The First 2020 Presidential Debate

The first 2020 Presidential Debate between President Donald Trump and former Vice President Joe Biden took place on Tuesday, September 29th. The debate was held at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio and was moderated by Chris Wallace, a journalist and news anchor for Fox News. The debate addressed topics that are of most concern to the country such as COVID, the Supreme Court, health care, crime, climate change, civil unrest, the economy, and the integrity of the election. After the debate though, the reviews have been mixed about which candidate they believed performed better.

Many have questioned the effectiveness of the debate and the behaviors of Donald Trump, Joe Biden, and Chris Wallace. One example of mixed reviews of the debate comes from the New York Times article, Biden and Trump’s First Debate: Best and Worst Moments. While most people mentioned in the article leaned toward one particular candidate, which was Joe Biden, they all believed that the debate was chaotic.

Christopher Buskirk, an opinion writer for the New York Times, praised Trump’s ability of “pre-empting him [Joe Biden], rebutting him [Joe Biden] on the fly, and changing the subject” which he believed led to a successful debate for Trump.

Gail Collins, an American politics and culture columnist, believed Biden handled Trump as well as he could. She took it a step further by saying “Biden smiling and shaking his head at the president’s ranting was a welcome break.”

Michelle Goldberg, a Pulitzer Prize winning journalist, mentioned something other than Biden or Trump: she believed Chris Wallace was “utterly disgraceful as a moderator.”

Ben Shapiro, a conservative political commentator, believed that Chris Wallace was there to “badger Trump” and to “shield Joe Biden from any serious question.”

In my opinion, my favorite outcome of the debate was the SNL parody starring Alec Baldwin as Trump, Jim Carrey as Biden, Maya Rudolph as Kamala Harris, and Beck Bennett as Chris Wallace. I feel like more rules need to be set and enforced so a more organized and productive debate can take place. A possible addition could be a feature where the moderator could mute the microphones if one debater is acting unorderly. Although this debate unsettled the American public, I feel there is potential for future ones to be much more fulfilling.