Thoughts From The Presidential Debate

By WVUA 23 Contributor Micah Ward

Last week’s presidential debate was a hard watch.

Schoolyard insults were the norm. The moderator couldn’t keep candidates in line. Important questions weren’t clearly answered. Commentators and pundits across the country said it was 100% the worst presidential debate ever.

The Commission on Presidential Debates announced that it would add “additional structure” to the remaining debates in order to prevent the constant interruptions.

Dr. Allen Linken, an assistant political science professor at the University of Alabama, said former Vice President Joe Biden needs to counter President Donald Trump’s aggressive debate style.

“If he just stands there and holds his temper and tries to make points to camera, tries to focus on the American people then he’s going to get shellac,” said Linken. “And yelled at and screamed at if President Trump thinks he’s using the same tactic that he’s doing.”

The candidates’ performances were vastly different. Six in 10 debate watchers said Biden had a better performance, while 28% said Trump did.

Dr. Regina Wagner, an associate political science professor at the University of Alabama, givers her take on their performances.

“I think Joe Biden’s performance was fairly average,” said Wagner. “But it was contrasted with Donald Trump’s disregard for the agreed-upon debate rules.”

She also said the lowest points in the debate were when Trump mocked Biden for attending a state school, his comments about Biden’s family, and the exchange around condemning hate groups.

People are hoping that the next debate goes more smoothly. Moderation needs to be better enforced and the candidates need to adhere to the rules.

Dr. Wagner said the candidates need to go into the next debate with new strategies.

“Biden needs to be more assertive and not let the president rattle him,” said Wagner. “Trump I think needs to find a way to keep his confident demeanor without interrupting and without the personal attacks.”

The next debate is scheduled for Oct. 15. Tonight, Vice President Mike Pence debates Vice Presidential nominee Kamala Harris.

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