BAYHAM: Thursday’s Curiously Unusual Presidential Debate

This Thursday evening from Atlanta will be the earliest televised verbal scrum between the two major party candidates.

In fact it’s so early technically neither candidate has been nominated by his respective party as the Republicans don’t gather in Milwaukee for another few weeks while the Democrats won’t meet to officially bestow their blessing on the incumbent until the second half of August.

Granted the nominations are not in doubt as both former President Donald Trump and sitting President Joe Biden easily plowed through the caucuses and primaries.  And in the case of the Democrats, an earlier certification of Biden as nominee will occur prior to the convention due to state ballot access deadlines.

And part of that fault is due to the commencement of ludicrous early voting on some states, with a few accepting ballots for the November election in late September.

However the names of the candidates are a formality as presidential electors and not actual presidential candidates receive votes, but I digress for now.

So what is the point of having the leadoff presidential debate in the midst of summer vacation with four months and change left between then and the actual November 5th Election Day?

The narrative is that President Biden’s team offered two square offs with Trump (the other, scheduled for September 10th also being earlier than any other previous televised debate) in order to bolster his poll numbers, which were sagging at the time the challenge was issued.

Amazingly enough Team Trump gladly accepted these terms in quick order.

For the 81 year old Biden, limiting his exposure to two uncontrolled venues is a risk averse play and allows him to front his reelection candidacy through massive media buys.  It’s a replay of the basement strategy from 2020 but with reinforced walls.

For Trump, the debates didn’t go particularly well for him four years ago- particularly the first one that did no favors for his likability.  With the debates essentially shelved, Trump can MAGA rally himself to his heart’s content. And as his speeches tend to resemble off the cuff harangues, the former President won’t have to take time off his speech-making circuit for debate prep.

Essentially both candidates will be on cruise control once they walk off the debate stage on September 10th.

But what else is in play?

For Biden there’s clearly a crisis of confidence in his competence.

Don’t believe me?

Just log on to Twitter/X and read the collective tantrums by the usual Leftist entertainment suspects over the New York Post showing video of a visibly disoriented Biden wandering around a parachute landing in Normandy while his world leader peers were looking in a different direction.

And if anything the close up frame video was charitable compared to the extended footage where the president just doesn’t seem to be…there.

Biden is hoping that a strong debate showing against Trump will put to bed any “switcharoo” talk and shore up faith in his ability to beat Trump.


But what if things go badly for Biden?

The Democrats would have a month and a half to consider their options for the ticket- as I said earlier, names of candidates are irrelevant in the legal sense as the 538 presidential electors are free to cast ballots for whomever they wish.

Bear in mind this is the same party that conned/buffaloed the voters of Missouri into casting their ballots as a tribute for a dead governor whose name remained on the ballot for US Senator and tried the same play in Minnesota with Fritz Mondale as the beneficiary…though Minnesotans proved to be less susceptible to crass funerary gaslighting.

And there’s precedent.

In 1972 Democratic vice-presidential nominee Tom Eagleton exited his party’s ticket after it wss revealed he underwent shock therapy for depression and was replaced with Sargent Shriver by the Democratic National Committee.

As the first debate will be held 53 says before the Democratic National Convention gavels in Chicago, the delegates would have ample time to vet and make a change.

Trump too has his “omega” motive.

Thursday’s debate will be held two weeks before the former president is sentenced by a New York Court for his conviction on the cartoonish 34 counts related to paying off a porn actress for silence prior to running for president.

Since we are truly in new territory here and there’s no telling the outcome of the July 11th court date, Trump is eager to take the debate stage as a presidential candidate in the event New York State quadruples down on their judicial antics.

Consider it Trump claiming his turf to reassure the delegates that regardless of whether he is able to be present in Milwaukee,  he’s running and he’s the Republican candidate.

For both Trump and Biden, just being on that stage on Thursday evening achieves a political end notwithstanding how they perform, if only to shoo away the political buzzards.



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