2024

Biden-Trump Debate II: One For The Ages?

“The anticipated 2024 nominees have upped the ante, shooting the stakes into the stratosphere …”

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In an election cycle that’s already set so many “firsts” for presidential campaigns, this one may top them all. Seriously, we’re so deep in uncharted political territory right now you might as well throw out the record books. The old rules just don’t apply anymore.

News broke Wednesday morning that was the political equivalent of an earthquake – and not just a tremor, either, we’re talking about a San Francisco-style, 1906-level shaking.

The traditional presidential debates – fixture of every election for the past half-century – are always high-stakes affairs. Serious trouble can follow from a slip of the tongue or ill-advised gesture (think Gerald Ford’s “there is no Soviet domination of Eastern Europe” stumble in 1976 or George H.W. Bush looking at his watch instead of rival Bill Clinton in 1992). Conversely, paradigms can be shifted if a candidate catches that rare lightning-in-a-bottle moment (such as Ronald Reagan’s impromptu “there you go again” scolding of Jimmy Carter in 1980).

Now, the anticipated 2024 nominees have upped the ante, shooting the stakes into the stratosphere.

It’s mostly Joe Biden’s doing. His painfully obvious cognitive decline had some analysts wondering if he would take a pass on debating Donald Trump this go-round.

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Next, factor in Biden’s anemic polling. His job approval ratings and the number of folks who say they’ll vote for him in November are so badly underwater they’re resting alongside cement shoe-wearing Mafia snitches.

Add to that the quietly buzzing undercurrent of jittery Democrats increasingly wondering if they should dump “Scranton Joe” at their party’s national convention in Chicago this August.

In short, Biden had to do something. Big. And ASAP, too.

But what he did was so audacious and so large that even cynical journalists and politicians caught their breath.

First, his campaign sent a letter to the bipartisan Commission on Presidential Debates essentially saying, “Sorry, Charlie,” bowing out of those traditional fall encounters. Biden instead proposed two debates: One in June, the other in early September (which would give him a comfy time buffer to cushion the blow from a bad performance before voting begins).

The letter was followed up by the release of a video delivered in Biden’s cheesy, snarky “tough guy” style – divisive trash talk from a so-called “uniter” designed to wow the common folk he’s sold out economically over the past three-and-a-half years.

“Donald Trump lost two debates to me in 2020,” Biden said. “Since then, he hasn’t shown up for a debate. Now he’s acting like he wants to debate me again. Well, make my day, pal. I’ll even do it twice. Let’s pick the date, Donald. I hear you’re free on Wednesdays.”

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Tough talk, coming from the safety of a teleprompter.

Biden’s move is actually more of a ‘Hail Mary’ gambit than anything else. Despite his mask of false bravado, Biden is in serious trouble – and his campaign knows it. It’s pushing all the chips to the middle of the table and hoping a High Noon showdown with its arch-nemesis will right their sinking ship. 

For his part, Trump, who never met a chance to go head-to-head with a Democratic rival he didn’t like, wasted no time pouncing. And he didn’t have to be asked twice.

“I am ready and willing to debate Crooked Joe at the two proposed times in June and September. I would strongly recommend more than two debates and, for excitement purposes, a very large venue,” he posted on his Truth Social media platform.

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“It will be the first time in history a president and former president have ever debated…”

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Trump’s campaign later released a memo adding, “we believe there should be more than just two opportunities for the American people to hear more from the candidates themselves.” 

Incidentally, long shot independent candidate Robert F Kennedy Jr. is unhappy at being relegated to the sidelines. He accused the Biden and Trump campaigns of being in cahoots to exclude him. But there’s no “cahoots” about it; both sides want to keep the spotlight focused on the two star attractions. It’s likely the only thing they initially agreed on.

Yet Kennedy does have a point about one thing. The speed with which the debate challenge was thrown down, with which Trump accepted – and with which CNN announced it is hosting the June encounter – all show this has been in the works for a good while.

You don’t throw together an event of this magnitude on the fly …

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And so the “World’s most important network” (by its own modest admission) will host Messrs. Biden and Trump in a high-stakes debate at its Atlanta studios on Thursday night, June 27, 2024.

It will be the first time in history a president and former president have ever debated. It will be the first time the two major party nominees have debated before being officially nominated. It will be the first time a presidential debate has been held before the parties have even held their national conventions.

And CNNs rating will likely go through the roof, too …

What additional “firsts” will this campaign produce in the months to come? Count on this media outlet to keep our audience in the know the further out we venture into these uncharted waters …

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR …

Mark Powell (Provided)

J. Mark Powell is an award-winning former TV journalist, government communications veteran, and a political consultant. He is also an author and an avid Civil War enthusiast. Got a tip or a story idea for Mark? Email him at mark@fitsnews.com.

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5 comments

Cheri Nore Top fan May 16, 2024 at 8:52 am

this calls for theme music

Reply
Nanker Phelge May 16, 2024 at 9:09 am

“The late, great Hannibal Lecter was a wonderful guy”

“Jimmy Carrrrrr rrrrrr Connors”

“Nikki Haley didn’t defend the capitol on Jan6”

“Airports during the Revolutionary War”

“The oranges of the investigation”

I could go on forever. Funny how Wee Willie is obsessed only with Biden’s cognitive capabilities.

Reply
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VERITAS Top fan May 27, 2024 at 6:43 pm

Funny how you, Canker Phlegm, are so obsessed with why so many of us are indeed obsessed with Biden’s lack of cognitive abilities. We prefer that the leader of the free world not be drooling and doesn’t need to be led back to the Oval Office after deboarding the presidential helicopter that just landed on the White House lawn. Canker, I really could go on forever about your lying puppet-on-a-stick dunce and his string-pullers, but why. The majority of Americans agree that Biden should check in to the nearest memory care facility ASAP.

Reply
Sheriff Buford T. Justice Top fan May 16, 2024 at 11:21 am

Let’s Go Brandon.

Reply
CongareeCatfish Top fan June 5, 2024 at 11:14 am

This debate will be a complete dumpster fire, for a list of reasons that runs down your arm, and the whole world will be watching it. I weep that these are the choices we’re reduced to. While I’m not a “never trumper” RINO, – I still wish those that drank the cult of personality kool-aid had seen the light and let DeSantis take the helm for the GOP.

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