Summing Up: You Know Who I Am. You Know Who He Is

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“Well, first of all, I’m jealous. I would’ve liked to have been able to moderate that debate and get a real exchange of views instead of hundreds of interruptions.”
— Chris Wallace, FOX News


Let’s start there, giving a cheer to NBC’s Kristen Welker who kept tonight’s debate under control, not letting either candidate disrupt (though allowing rebuttals where needed), letting us have a real window into each candidate.

And then simply go to the end, a telling moment with Welker’s question – “What would you say tonight to those who don’t support you?”

Trump used that question – as he did through the night – not to share his own vision for the next four years but to attack Biden and his family, Democrats in general, and warning of economic catastrophe should he lose:
“…… he wants to raise everybody’s taxes, and he wants to put new regulations on everything. If he gets in, you will have a depression the likes of which you have never seen. Your 401(k)s will go to hell and it will be a very, very sad day for this country.”

Biden’s answer was an echo of his campaign – yes, critique the President, his failures and divisiveness, but something more:

“I am an American president. I represent all of you, whether you voted for me or against me…..What is on the ballot here is the character of this country. Decency, honor, respect, treating people with dignity, making that sure that everyone has an even chance. And I’m going to make sure you get that. You have not been getting it the last four years.”

It was a far better debate than the raucous chaos of a month ago, not a game-changer but a cleaner look at both candidates – Biden’s optimism and decency, his baggage too from a punitive crime bill and nearly a half-century in politics, Trump’s repeated distortions on health care and the Covid virus, his years-old promise to release his taxes (apparently still in an endless audit), the Mueller Report as “phony witch hunt,” and the perennial that he’s done more for African Americans than anyone except Abraham Lincoln.

With just days before election night, with millions of votes already cast, perhaps Biden summed the night and this campaign best — “You know who I am, you know who he is”

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