It was hard to take much away from the first Trump-Biden debate other than a sense of frustration, embarrassment, and annoyance.
The seemingly endless cacophony of bluster and rancor did give us a glimpse into the type of president Joe Biden would be. Buried in the middle of all the back and forth was an excellent question by the purported moderator Chris Wallace, posed to Biden about the riots and violence that have gripped a number of American cities over the last six months.
Wallace asked, " . . . as the Democratic nominee, and earlier tonight you said that you are the Democratic Party right now. Have you ever called the Democratic mayor of Portland the Democratic governor of Oregon and said 'Hey, you gotta stop this. Bring in the National Guard. Do whatever it takes.' That you'd stop the days and months of violence in Portland?"
Biden responded that he didn’t hold public office and then naturally blamed the president for the persistent rioting and destruction.
It was a cop out and a dodge.
It was a window into Joe Biden’s weakness.
As the leader of the Democratic Party, and a senior statesman, there is absolutely no reason why he couldn’t have influence over mayors and governors of his own party failing in their most basic responsibility to protect people and property from the unrelenting violence we’ve seen.
This wasn’t a situation like the changing scientific assessments during the early days of the pandemic. It didn’t require time and study. These were patently obvious opportunities to show decisive leadership to protect public safety and security.
Biden’s reaction fits a pattern of behavior by the former vice president that we also saw earlier this year during the height of the pandemic.
Biden had an opportunity to publicly push back on Democratic governors in states where thousands of seniors were dying in nursing homes due to state public health guidelines that opted to return COVID-19 patients to facilities that were wholly unprepared to prevent the virus from spreading. He never did.
Joe Biden has some fight in him.
President Trump saw it first-hand on Tuesday night.
What we saw, however, was a candidate so compromised by other forces in his party, so unsure of who he is that despite being the leader of the Democratic Party, he’s unwilling to use his considerable experience and influence to address major issues.
Joe Biden is just inches away from the pinnacle of American power, but after a lifetime of taking both sides of issues and encumbered by the designs of the radical Leftists in his Party, the result is a kind of paralysis incompatible with office he seeks.
All of this is made worse by clear signs of both physical and mental decline.
This is the difference between being number two and sitting behind the Resolute Desk.
Dithering and vacillation whether for political purposes or some other factor costs lives.
The president did not have a good night on Tuesday.
He missed numerous clear opportunities to discuss his record with clarity.
He said little to attract more of the women, college educated voters and suburbanites he needs to his column. Trump, like his style or not, is someone who presents the impression of a man ready to take on his own party, tackle public policy failures and sacred cows that have persisted for decades.
He did it with renegotiating NAFTA, reforming the Veterans’ Administration, cutting 25,000 pages of regulations, criminal justice reform, tax cuts, pushing back on China’s trade abuses, Opportunity Zones and school choice.
He did it with providing historic assistance to states during the pandemic. If only his personality didn’t get in the way of his message.
For Americans, this debate is revealing if we can look past the shouting.
The window into Biden’s approach to governing is obscured by the grime of our times on one side and his lifetime in the swamp on the other. The murkiness created by this combination will create uncertainty for America and Americans far more damaging than any early morning Trump tweet.
Tom Basile is the host of ‘America Right Now’ on Newsmax Television, Saturday’s from 12pm - 3pm eastern. Basile has been part of the American political landscape from Presidential campaigns to local politics for more than two decades. He has served in government at the local, state and federal level including in the administration of George W. Bush in various capacities. He was an advisor to the provisional government in Iraq from 2003-04. From 2009-2011 he was the Executive Director of the New York State Republican Party. A columnist, commentator and former radio how, his new book "Let it Sink In: The Decade of Obama and Trump" provides a look back at the 2010s to prepare Americans to defend freedom in the 2020s. His critically-acclaimed book, "Tough Sell: Fighting the Media War in Iraq,” chronicled his time in Baghdad fighting media bias and driving coverage of the Iraq war. In 2011, he was featured in Time Magazine's Person of the Year spread about political activism around the world. Basile is an adjunct professor at Fordham University and runs a New York-based strategic communications firm. He is a member of the New York Bar and sits on a number of academic and philanthropic advisory boards. Learn more about him at TomBasile.com or follow him on Twitter @Tom_Basile. Read Tom Basile's Reports — More Here.
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