During the bizarre scene of the dueling town hall events between Joe Biden and Donald Trump on Thursday night, several PJ Media columnists took on the task of live blogging what unfolded. We all watched as a de facto debate unfolded in separate locations and with separate treatment for each candidate. Trump got a consistent stream of hostile questions, and Biden faced a softball environment. Even with about three times as many breaks, Biden showed significant signs of fatigue and a lack of focus toward the end, calling into question his capacity to handle the job of POTUS.
This worked to prove my premise after the first debate, that Trump getting him worked up and angry kept Biden engaged and on point for the entire evening. Tonight, without the constant adrenaline rushes of having to face attacks from Trump, Biden slowly faded away. In doing so, he proved what many suspect, that 77-year-old Joe Biden’s faculties are in decline.
Biden fared well for the first 45 minutes of the de facto debate, sounding crisp, on point, and awake. Honestly, that’s all most of his voters tuned in to see, to be reassured he could actually handle the job. For that time period, it felt like he was taking batting practice and making consistent contact. While Trump faced withering pressure, George Stephanopoulos allowed Biden to hit all of his talking points. Oh, sure, he stepped in a few times to make it appear he was holding Biden’s feet to the fire, but for the most part, Stephanopoulos allowed a permissive environment for Biden to stretch out and relax.
Of course, he maintained his lifelong dedication to compulsive lying, but that didn’t really matter as much as his ability to stay crisp. From the live blog:
Oct 15, 2020 8:05 PM est | Jeff Reynolds
Biden is actually looking fairly credible so far, with an effective attack on Trump, saying he didn’t take it seriously enough quickly enough. Cogent, so far. We’ll see how long it holds up.
Oct 15, 2020 8:06 PM est | Jeff Reynolds
Biden is still rambling about the first question about what the covid response looks like when it follows the science.
Oct 15, 2020 8:10 PM est | Tyler O’Neil
Hey! A tough question for Biden
A 2016 Trump voter asked Biden if he would take a vaccine from the Trump administration, citing Kamala Harris’s anti-vaccine position.
Oct 15, 2020 8:11 PM est | Jeff Reynolds
Biden is coming off as competent. Softball event so far, and he’s keeping it on the rails.
Meanwhile, over at the Trump event:
Oct 15, 2020 8:14 PM est | Jeff Reynolds
Ugh. How many times?
Here we go with the white supremacy BS
The first commercial break came for Biden less than 20 minutes into the event, while Trump faced more critical interrogation:
Oct 15, 2020 8:20 PM est | Jeff Reynolds
Stephanopoulos: “So you will not raise taxes on the middle class?” Biden: “Well I gotta get the votes. something something democracy consensus” [COMMERCIAL BREAK]
After a five-minute break, Biden actually faced a difficult question from a young progressive black voter who challenged Biden to make him earn his vote.
Oct 15, 2020 8:28 PM est | Jeff Reynolds
The environment is really helping Biden. He’s hitting his points, and looking collected.
Oct 15, 2020 8:29 PM est | Jeff Reynolds
He’s hitting points like it’s batting practice. He’s full of crap, but coming off as competent.
At 27 minutes in, the Trump town hall goes to break.
Over on the other one, Biden’s trying to thread the needle to get a young progressive’s vote while not alienating more moderate voters.
Biden rambled in almost all of his answers, and it got progressively worse as the night wore on.
Oct 15, 2020 8:31 PM est | Tyler O’Neil
Biden is so rambly and he doesn’t really make any sense.
Oct 15, 2020 8:32 PM est | Jeff Reynolds
Biden has been talking directly to the young black voter for almost ten minutes straight. Powerful time allotted to him.
Oct 15, 2020 8:36 PM est | Jeff Reynolds
Biden says he still believes that more cops equals less crime, as long as they’re involved in community policing, not “jump squads.” I’m beginning to believe he was given the questions in advance, he’s hitting them so well.
Then, another well-timed break for Joe to have a rest.
Oct 15, 2020 8:40 PM est | Bryan Preston
Biden’s softball game just went to its second break.
Meanwhile, at Trump’s grilling they’re all using their outside voices. Especially Guthrie.
Oct 15, 2020 8:44 PM est | Jeff Reynolds
And Biden is back. Five-minute break.
After the third break, Biden got a question about Amy Coney Barrett’s confirmation, to which he replied that he hadn’t watched much of the hearings, but he didn’t think ACB had any guiding principles:
Oct 15, 2020 8:47 PM est | Bryan Preston
Is that why Biden calls lids before 10 am?
“I get in late at night from going to Florida and the like,” Biden says about watching the ACB hearings. Good gracious he’s full of it.
As the night stretched on, Biden clearly ran out of gas. First, as previously mentioned, commercial breaks occurred about every twelve minutes, allowing him to recharge as best he could. Then, when coming back from breaks, he reverted to his lying ways, possibly exposing a glitch in the matrix:
Oct 15, 2020 8:52 PM est | Jeff Reynolds
Oh good, a NeverTrump R with a question for Biden. Biden says he knows he will be voting for him, and then expresses shock that he knew his dad, who served in the Reagan administration. And then he says he doesn’t hold grudges. Good God this is insufferable.
And, then …
Oct 15, 2020 9:08 PM est | Jeff Reynolds
Another Break!?!?! After only six minutes??
Oct 15, 2020 9:09 PM est | Jeff Reynolds
Biden says the Amazon rain forest is the largest carbon sink in the world, absorbing more carbon from the air than the entire emissions from the US, and then says we have to transition to electric cars. And cut to commercial. :07
At this point, it became obvious why ABC took so many breaks because after they came back, Joe Biden REALLY slowed down. He began slurring, losing his point, and pausing. It was downright painful.
It got pretty bad from here.
Oct 15, 2020 9:15 PM est | Jeff Reynolds
If most folks haven’t tuned out of the Biden Town Hall by now (which they probably have), they’re seeing the Biden right now who can’t keep it together for a full day.
Oct 15, 2020 9:14 PM est | Jeff Reynolds
It happened when he came back from the last break.
I missed the first hour, but Biden looks like he’s running at half-battery now.
Oct 15, 2020 9:18 PM est | Bryan Preston
The lights do appear to be flickering in the Biden belfry.
Trump, by the way, did a 2-hour speech in NC today and also had to debate Savannah Guthrie.
Georgie just offered Biden a comfy pair of fuzzy slippers.
After ANOTHER break, Biden looked like Lt. Commander Data after someone hit his off button.
Oct 15, 2020 9:26 PM est | Jeff Reynolds
Oh no. Joe has completely stopped. Someone wind the key in his back.
From there, it was a 3-minute wrap-up segment in which Biden once again slurred, paused, and got confused. While I thought the beginning of the night was a disaster for Trump, the end of the night was downright disqualifying for Joe Biden.
He is not capable of being President. Tonight it was obvious.