Frail? Certainly. But Command of the Facts


Accuracy, truth, context, and detail, plus three bucks, will get you a cup of coffee.

Soon after the debate started, the standard take was gelling around “disaster”—for Biden. I’ll confess I missed the start, which will doubtless supply the ad snippets and social media ping-pong. I intended to give the whole show a miss, but got piqued by a friend’s text.

And yes, Ol’ Joe looked frail as ever, and his voice may have quavered even more than usual. He meandered repeatedly and fumbled occasionally for policy details. But I was pleasantly surprised (starting from very low expectations) how much he recalled and how cogently he recited it. The downside to all the prepping is too much detail and no zingers. But at least he pretty much answered the questions and hit the talking points.

Weirdest, most pathetic debate moment since 2016, when Trump touted his penis size after Marco Rubio (now a vice presidential prospect?) taunted him about his small hands: Asked (as Biden was) about his age and fitness, Trump went on a long brag about his golf prowess, which no doubt has Xi Jinping quavering. Biden took the bait, dove into the sandtrap, and went on even longer about his golf game (“I carry my own bag.” That left Trump, of all people, to say, with affected seriousness, “Let’s not act like children.” And Biden to snap, “You are a child.” Sigh, the beloved country….

Eric Scigliano
Eric Scigliano
Eric Scigliano has written on varied environmental, cultural and political subjects for many local and national publications. His books include Puget Sound: Sea Between the Mountains, Love War and Circuses (Seeing the Elephant), Michelangelo’s Mountain, Flotsametrics and the Floating World (with Curtis Ebbesmeyer), The Wild Edge, and, newly published, The Big Thaw: Ancient Carbon and a Race to Save the Planet.
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  1. Excellent reporting back, Eric. About those flubs from Joe Biden, yes, he did mix up the Paris Agreement and Paris Peace Accords but he corrected his mistake immediately. That doesn’t matter: the commentary today is that Biden can’t keep names straight. Of course, Trump makes flubs like that constantly.

    Why aren’t we all talking about the racist remarks Trump flung out such as the about “black jobs” that immigrants are supposedly taking away. How I wish someone would ask him, “What, Mr. President, is a black job?”


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