The Debate: Biden Wins – and Trump Loses His Last Chance at Changing Election Trajectory

After U.S. Senator Cory Booker slammed former Vice President Joe Biden over a comment he made about working in the senate with segregationists, Biden refused to say he was sorry and hit back with a demand that Booker apologize. Booker says, no way.

The debate last night was Donald Trump’s last chance to change the election trajectory.  His debate defeat, however, was total.

Based on the CNN Instant poll after the debate, Joe Biden won the debate, 53% to 39%. This poll had a sample of 32% Democrats, 31% Republicans, the rest Independent, so Republicans can hardly credibly attack this poll.

Just as revealing, however was a CNN panel of undecided voters in North Carolina.  When asked after the debate whom they viewed as the winner, eight said Biden, two called it a draw, and none said Trump.  When the panel was asked if any had decided whom to vote for as a result of the debate, seven said Biden and none said Trump.

Trump needed a decisive victory in the debate to change the trajectory of the campaign.  He failed abjectly.

True, Trump behaved much better in this debate than in the first, but that certainly is a low bar to climb.  Still, he projected himself very poorly, coming over as an angry, dishonest man without any empathy whatsoever.  The constant smirks on his face were repulsive.  By contrast, Biden’s projection was that of a warm, empathetic man with character, competency, and integrity.

Trump could not get away from his total predilection for dishonesty.  As the CNN fact checker, Daniel Dale put it, Trump engaged in a bombardment of lies.

Trump gave absolutely no vision of what his goals would be for a second term.  By contrast, on the major issues of the Coronavirus and healthcare, Biden’s responses were both concise, yet programmatic.

On the healthcare issue, Biden scored a virtual knockout.  Trump has talked about repealing and replacing the Affordable Care Act (ObamaCare). ObamaCare now is in jeopardy of being abrogated by the Supreme Court in view of the scheduled confirmation by the Senate of the new Supreme Court Justice, Amy Coney Barrett. Trump has had four years to offer a replacement for the Affordable Care Act, but he has failed completely in this regard. And Biden made that point abundantly clear.

On the Coronavirus, Biden pointed out the essence of the Trumpian failure.  Trump claims that we should learn to live with the virus.  Trump, however, has taught us how to die with it.

The real star of the debate was the moderator, Kristen Welcker.  An African-American, Welcker had to be well aware of Trump’s outrageous record of abuse of African-American women journalists, including Yamiche Alcindor, Abby Phillips, and April Ryan.

Yet Welcker was unintimidated by Trump. She controlled the discussion and asked superbly relevant questions.  Her performance was the finest moderating job in the history of presidential debates.

The worst example of Trump’s lack of empathy was the way he was totally dismissive of the horror of the 540 children separated from their parents at the border and the inability to find the parents.  Trump was not just lacking in empathy: He was downright inhumane.

The most absurd exchange was Trump’s claim that he has done more for African-Americans than any president since Abraham Lincoln. That is news to the African-American community, which in the recent NBC/Wall Street Journal Poll indicated an overwhelming preference for Biden 91% to 4%.

African-Americans are well aware of Donald Trump’s lifelong record of bigotry (his record of discrimination against African-Americans as a Brooklyn landlord, his advocacy of the death penalty for the innocent Central Park Five, and his leadership in the anti-Obama Birther movement) and his alliance with the White Nationalist movement as president.

Trump also displays an appalling ignorance of history when he compares himself with Lincoln.  Presidents John F. Kennedy and Lyndon B. Johnson succeeded in enacting the Civil Rights Acts of 1964 (public accommodations), 1965 (voting rights) and 1968 (housing).  What has Donald Trump done concerning the African- American community that compares with that?

Trump’s false claims about Joe Biden having a connection or financial stake with Hunter Biden’s business involvements were totally refuted both during and after the debate.  First, Biden’s claim that he had never received any income from a foreign source was totally credible and provable from his tax returns, which, unlike Trump, Biden has fully disclosed.

Even more effective was a Wall Street Journal investigative report which appeared after the debate last night, proving conclusively the falsity of Trump’s allegations regarding Joe Biden and Hunter’s involvement with a Chinese oil company.

There was one issue which Trump will try to use against Biden during the last week of the campaign in Texas and Pennsylvania: Biden’s positions on 1) phasing out fossil fuels (i.e. the oil industry) by 2050 and replacing it with zero emission fuels;  and 2) opposing the spread of fracking on federal lands. These positions may damage Biden’s prospects in Texas but not in Pennsylvania.

In Pennsylvania, fracking is proving to be an economic drag.

As a result, a recent CBS News poll shows that a majority of Pennsylvanians oppose fracking.

Furthermore, Biden’s targeted areas for votes include Pittsburgh, Philadelphia, and the Philadelphia suburbs.  The oil regions of the state have never been projected as voter-rich areas for Biden.

Bottom line:  Biden will win this election comfortably.  I plan to give you my electoral vote breakdown before the end of next week.

Alan Steinberg served as Regional Administrator of Region 2 EPA during the administration of former President George W. Bush and as Executive Director of the New Jersey Meadowlands Commission.

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  • Moe Howard

    Corrupt old man suffering from dementia. His wife should be ashamed for letting the Dems put him through this.

  • Kathleen Demarest


    I a m not celebrating the demise of this outrageous administration until every enabler
    and the unfit president is far, far away from our beloved White House.
    Alan Steinberg in closing states, “Biden will win this election comfortably.”
    ——-Please, Yes!——and we , the American people can once again live comfortably.

    After a sleepless night on the morning after the 2016 election, I was a tear stained,
    disheveled mass of shocked disbelief—————BUT——————NEVER———
    did I think I would be reading about traumatized children ripped, yes ripped, from
    their parents’ arms and put in cages——————-NEVER!!!
    I am so thankful and always will be thankful that I did not vote for Trump.
    I could not live with the guilt.

    On the coronavirus, and I quote from the column,” Trump claims we should live
    with it. He has taught us how to die from it.” This best sums up
    Trump’s coronavirus response.
    Yes, we should learn to live with it. While Trump and his sidekick, Chris Christie,
    scurry to the hospital to receive the best of upscale care that most Americans
    can not and will not receive. I speak from experience. My sister’s husband had
    the coronavirus. He was treated kindly, but he did not receive the treatment
    Trump and Christie received. Therefore, he died, and my family mourns.

    And so, Alan Steinberg, I thank you for giving this white suburban female voter
    hope because, believe me, she has had it with this circus of a presidency.
    . Looking forward to your electoral breakdown!!!

  • Bruce Todd

    While the evidence of how the “unbiased” debate moderators, questions, and format, has been documented to be far from “unbiased”, similar to the way in the that Donna Brazile gave the questions to Hillary Clinton for the 2016 debates, AFTER the DNC had pushed her primary opponents to the side, the bigger crime is that a 2 minute answer or a 30 second response, is more in line with cooking scrambled eggs than a Presidential Debate. This is a far, far cry from the Lincoln/Douglass debates the outcome of which organized for many people in their own minds, questions of great magnitude of what makes us different from mere cattle or as the Constitution declares that “All men are created equal”. But it did unfortunately take many who “Laid down their lives on the alter of Freedom”, to concretize that concept in our own eyes, and within the eyes of the rest of the world. We have strayed far from that concept in particularly the last two Bush/ Obama Administrations as we destroyed much of Iraq, Libya, Syria, using the Tony Blair concept of R2P “Responsibility to Protect”. When candidate and later President, Donald Trump, declared an Administration committed to ending the “Endless Wars”, he declared war on a “Military Industrial Complex”, and all people and institutions both Democrat AND Republican that participated in that ideology. It is from that bees nest of corruption and opposition to that Constitutional mandate to fight for those concepts of “Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness” that the present so-called “Political Battle” emanates from. In reality, a Trump Administration that opposes Unjustified Wars, has recommitted the nation to the “New Frontier” of Moon and Mars colonization, rebuilding our industrial, agricultural, and scientific capability, and especially “Finding better relations with Russia, China, and others”, makes him not just a Republican, but the best Democrat since John F. Kennedy.

  • Bruce Todd

    Detroit News Endorses Black Republican John James vs. U.S. Sen. Gary Peters
    Oct. 26 (EIRNS) — John James, an African-American West Point graduate and Army Ranger pilot who led soldiers in combat during Operation Iraqi Freedom, now the Republican candidate for the U.S. Senate seat held by U.S. Sen. Gary Peters (D), has a one-point lead over incumbent Peters, according to Trafalgar polling, the Detroit News reported in its endorsement of James this week. In 2014, the News had endorsed Peters. Its editorial board wrote this week, “This is the right moment for John James. He is waging his campaign at a time when America is trying to work through its long history of racial animus. As an African-American, a conservative, and a Republican, James would add important perspective to policy-making aimed at vanquishing racial inequity.”

    The Washington Examiner reported Oct. 24 that President Donald Trump told James in September that “It took a lot of guts [to run] for U.S. Senate,” during a Michigan rally. President Trump said, “John, I am with you. You have my total and complete endorsement. You have everything I can do. And I really believe you are going to make it.” The Examiner reported Oct. 24 that Trump’s opponent, Vice-President Joe Biden, also “weighed in” on the Michigan Senate race, calling James a “disaster” earlier this month. James responded with a viral Twitter video, saying, “Yes, @Joe Biden. I am a disaster for the national Democrats’ narrative. A black man who thinks for himself.”

    Twitter censored a reader who posted the Detroit News editorial endorsing James, saying it “doesn’t tell the whole story.” Nazism, anyone?

    • Kathleen Demarest

      SINCERE…….. You deserve Aplus for effort and loyalty.

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