Is Joe Biden prepared for what’s going to hit him on Tuesday night during the first presidential debate?
That’s a question Democrats would dearly love to answer. It’s not that Biden is a soft touch or a weak sister. Biden’s temper is legendary (he called an Iowa voter who asked him about Hunter a “damn liar.”) and he often gets choked up answering questions. Nor is it really a question of Biden’s stamina or mental acuity.
Rather, it’s Trump’s relentlessness that Democrats worry will overwhelm the former vice president.
“It’s like training for a knife fight and somebody is getting an Uzi,” one Democratic congressional aide said, Mediaite reported.
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“Trump has told associates he wants to talk specifically about his opponent’s son Hunter Biden and mused that the debates are when ‘people will finally realize Biden is just not there.'”
The Senate Homeland Security and Finance Committees on Wednesday issued an interim report on an investigation into the junior Biden’s role on the board of Ukrainian energy firm Burisma Holdings. The report found, in part, that he had paid “nonresident women who were nationals of Russia or other Eastern European countries…who appear to be linked to an Eastern European prostitution or human trafficking ring.”
It’s easy to understand the Democrats’ anxiousness. Trump will be able to paint a picture of daddy helping his son get rich by using the influence of his high position to get Hunter Biden a job that he didn’t have to do much while apparently partying like there was no tomorrow.
But it’s more than Biden’s hedonist son. There’s a real question whether Biden traded favors to get his son the job. That’s bribery and most voters would not look kindly on Biden for grasping it.
Biden’s debate prep is fairly routine.
Biden’s early debate preparations focused on reading briefing books and holding smaller prep sessions with policy aides, people familiar with his preparations said. He typically prefers having aides pepper him with questions in rapid-fire form over conducting full mock debates, those people said.
Ron Klain, Biden’s former chief of staff who also managed ex-Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton’s presidential debate work, is helping to oversee Biden’s debate preparations ahead of Tuesday night, those sources said. Other longtime close Biden advisers who have been involved in recent debate prep sessions include Anita Dunn, Steve Ricchetti and Mike Donilon.
Is Biden really preparing to debate Donald Trump as he would any other candidate? Why is he wasting his time with “briefing books”? I guarantee there are going to be a lot of fireworks and a lot of mud-slinging, but not much in the way of substance. He should throw the briefing books out the window and start sharpening his knives.
The debate topics won’t matter. Moderator Chris Wallace may ask about the Supreme Court but Trump will respond with charges against Hunter Biden. And if Biden is dumb enough to actually respond directly to a question from Wallace instead of going on the attack, he is not going to do well.
It doesn’t sound to me as if Biden knows what’s going to hit him on Tuesday night. But that’s what you get when you bring a knife to a gunfight.