Second presidential debate scheduled for October 15, 2020.
October 8, 2020:
- In light of superspreader event at the White House, and the president's infection, Commission on Presidential Debates announces the second presidential debate will be a town hall conducted virtually.
- Biden agrees, President Trump cancels. He is afraid doing it virtually will make him look weak. (He has conducted many television and phone interviews, but there is no record he has ever been on a Zoom meeting.)
- Since the debate is cancelled, Biden agrees to do a nationally televised town hall from Philadelphia on ABC in the time slot the original debate had been planned to occupy.
- Trump announces he will do a rally on October 15, opposite Biden's town hall. This would be in-person.
- Trump's advisers explain that the debate (and Biden's town hall) will reach an audience far larger than the committed Fox viewers who will watch his rally. Perhaps 20 million versus 4 million.
- Trump releases a note from his doctor saying that he is all better and by the time of the debate will definitely positively test negative for the virus, and says he is back in the debate, provided it is done in-person.
- The CDP and the Biden team explain that it's too late to change the schedule again, and even if they did they will not back down on doing it virtually. The Biden team requests that the third debate (October 22) be changed to the town hall format originally intended for the second debate.
- Trump announces he will spend October 9 on Rush Limbaugh's radio show and then get a health exam live on Tucker Carlson's show later that night.
- A new Pew Research poll released October 9 gives Biden a double-digit lead.
If people insist on keeping statues of Confederate military officers standing around, we should require they add the body count of United States citizens killed under their command.
There is a lot of speculation about Biden's approach to the first presidential debate tonight -- will he ramble off-topic? Lose his his temper? Let Don get away with lies? There isn't much speculation and Don's approach -- reports indicate he'll repeat what he did against Hillary Clinton.
It's useful to remember that what gets under Don's skin is not being seriously challenged, but being not taken seriously. At heart (I speak figuratively), he is an eight-year-old bully who hates to be laughed at instead of feared. It might be useful to consider one of the best examples of this: The 2011 Correspondents Dinner, where President Barack Obama made his face turn orange. To this day, his face is still orange.
With the death of Judge Ruth Bader Ginsburg, the presidential election talking points take a hard shift.
If the president announces his choice to replace her, it will motivate Democrats to come out to vote. It won't change many votes, but it will generate enough outrage to persuade some undecided (or lazy) voters to return their ballots.
On the other hand, this appointment is a large source of support for Donald Trump, and that's the problem. Some Trump supporters might decide that this appointment fulfills their wishes, and they are no longer motivated to hold their collective unmasked noses and vote for Trump.
It also removes Senators Lee, Cotton, and Cruz from the list -- McConnell will need their votes in the Senate to wedge this turd through the door. They were never serious names anyway, just there to get out the vote, though that could change if the Republicans retain power in January.
The odds that McConnell won't get away with this are dismal. The only hope for 2021 is that a conservative slot opens up for Biden to appoint someone (unlikely) or that the new Congress adds two additional justices -- this is also unlikely, only because it seems too bold for someone like Biden. But it will come up.
Last night's news also means that all Trump-related Supreme Court battles will either be quickly resolved or entirely dismissed, unless John Roberts has more integrity than suspected. But he just might.