The first presidential debate: Two angry old men yelling at each other


John Harrison

President Donald Trump and Former Vice President Joe Biden; The two nominees for the presidency.

The best way to summarize this first presidential debate is very simple: Two angry, 70+-year-old men yelling at each other for two hours straight while another 70+-year-old man gets frustrated because one angry old man is interrupting the other.

The angry old men in question? Former Vice President Joe Biden and Incumbent President Donald Trump, of course. The third man mentioned? Fox News anchor Chris Wallace, the unfortunate moderator of this debate.

Chaos, constant interruption, and frustration were the names of the game in Tuesday’s debate. The constant interruption came mostly from Mr. Trump, as Biden could barely seem to get a word in edgewise. At one point during the debate, Chris Wallace had to raise his voice in order to stop the bickering between the two, because he found himself unable to ask the questions.

Speaking of the questions, those were being interrupted too, as Trump and Biden both answered questions before Wallace could finish asking. According to an article from The New York Times, Wallace’s goal was simple.

“My job is to be as invisible as possible,” Wallace said.

Obviously that wasn’t feasible.

At the end of the debate, when NBC News anchor and “Meet the Press” host Chuck Todd was asked his thoughts on how the debate went, I caught the one word that he said that summarized it: trainwreck.

Former Senator Claire McCaskill was also on NBC News after the debate, and she described Donald Trump’s demeanor in this debate like he was acting like a 12th-grader. I would put it different, though using the same numeral. He wasn’t acting like a 12th-grader, it was more like a 12-year-old.

According to CNN, Donald Trump talked more than Joe Biden, beating him by one minute, 50 seconds: He spoke for 39 minutes and six seconds, compared to Biden’s 37 minutes and 56 seconds. I can infer that the 39 minutes were mostly interruptions to Biden’s time.

The next debate for the presidential nominees is scheduled for Oct. 15, while the vice presidential candidates square off next week, Oct. 7. According to the Commission on Presidential Debates, the vice presidential debate will be held at the University of Utah in Salt Lake City, while the next presidential debate will be in Miami. Hopefully there will be less bickering and more good points in these next debates.