The final debate

This election has been a shitshow for anyone with remotely progressive instincts, and last night’s debate was a prime exemplar of that. On the bright side, no one acted like a five year old.

The big takeaway is that Trump tried to get his act together and act semi-coherent. That took the novelty from Biden of being the only person in the room who was being coherent (a novelty for him in the first place). Of course Trump will always be, and always has been, Trump. But because we’re so used to him acting like a petulant toddler, the coherence was oddly unnerving as show by the polling with Biden winning much more narrowly. That, and the fact Trump won on the economy in the eyes of viewers, poses the risk that Mr Trump can seize back some of those moderate Republicans who couldn’t stomach Mrs Clinton but are so appalled they’re looking seriously at Mr Biden. Trump didn’t do well, but he did by his standard, the risk for him is opinions are far too entrenched to shift enough.

Mr Biden did typically lukewarm; a few stumbles here and there which is never good, and he basically pushed back on progressive policies whenever he was accused of being associated with them (the horror) but he looked and sounded fine, and that could well be enough. Barely anyone is excited to have Biden in the White House, but if he doesn’t scare anyone up until election day this is probably in the bag; let’s hope so, only time will tell.

It was a much calmer, more typical debate. Lots of looks of indignation, Trump departing maskless. I really doubt it’ll shift much. There’s still time for it to happen, but the Trump recovery is looking more and more like a pipe dream; Biden’s last stumbling hurdle has been passed. Now let’s just hope they don’t last minute reveal a smoking gun.

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