The circumstances of the first presidential debate between Donald Trump and Joseph R. Biden Jr. could not be more different than usual. There will be no pomp or circumstance. There will be no greetings. Amid a pandemic and toxic climate, cemented by constant attacks between the two candidates and in a country more polarized than ever, president and candidate will be in Cleveland together for the first time on stage throughout this campaign. presidential for a debate, which lasts for more than a year.
The debate will begin at 2 a.m. Portuguese time and will be moderated by Chris Wallace of the Fox News Center. The reporter, despite coming from a television network known to side with the president, is one of those who make Trump most uncomfortable in the interviews he has given over the years. years – which has led Wallace to receive his share of attacks by the American leader.
But Wallace is also known for not doing a fact-checking: he says he wants to be as invisible as possible. And a lively debate is expected. Joe Biden doesn’t usually do well in debates (his own vice presidential candidate Kamala Harris was the protagonist of one of Democrats’ worst debates), he blunders, and Trump is almost certain to attack the former vice-president. Obama for the business of his son, Hunter, in Ukraine.
And the truth is, Biden could have more to lose, edging out the president in the polls. Trump’s campaign has focused a lot on Joe Biden’s mental abilities, taking advantage of every Democrat’s hiccups and break to share another video on social media. Trump Will Be Trump: The Debate is a TV show with millions of people and is an opportunity for the US leader to take advantage of the spotlight and attack Democrats, trying to boost his chances for Nov. 3.
Basically, the debate may not mean much to American voters. According to a Monmouth University poll, only 3% of voters say the meeting between Trump and Biden could help define their vote. And even if Trump loses – just as he apparently lost both debates with Hillary Clinton – there is no indication that it could hurt him when the votes are counted (as it did in 2016).
Yet an audience of 100 million people is expected. The debate will be broadcast on seven television channels, in addition to various means of communication via streaming, and will last 90 minutes, without advertising.
There will be no opening statements. Chris Wallace will put six topics on the table and each will be discussed for 15 minutes. There will be no more than 80 people at Case Western Reserve University to attend the meeting and the stage will have a more classic setting. The two candidates will not greet each other nor the moderator, promising to ensure a social distance. They will not wear a mask either.
The subjects were chosen by Wallace. The covid-19 crisis (which has killed over 200,000 people in the United States), the economy, the Supreme Court – for which Trump recently appointed a judge, will be discussed – racial violence in American cities like Kenosha, declarations the taxes of the two candidates and the integrity and validity of the elections.