Last night's, ah, debate between the president and Joe Biden raised eyebrows worldwide:
The Chicago Tribune: "But despite his efforts to dominate the discussion, Trump was frequently put on the defensive and tried to sidestep when he was asked if he was willing to condemn white supremacists and paramilitary groups. ... The scattershot debate bounced from topic to topic, with Trump again refusing to embrace the science of climate change while Biden accused Trump of walking away from the American promise of equity for all and making a race-based appeal."
Josh Marshall: "Beyond all the individual offenses one of the underrated sub-themes of anti-Trumpism is exhaustion. One of the deepest traumas of living in the home of an abuser stems not from the outbursts of physical violence, verbal abuse or manipulation but the accumulated stress of ambient tension, uncertainty, the reflexive, unshakeable hyper-vigilance. It is exhausting in a profound way. Trump is exhausting – I suspect even for some who share his dark values. This was 90 minutes jam-packed with everything that makes Trump exhausting. ... The most important thing remains that Trump had to shift things in his favor and he failed. Since he’s already losing that’s a big loss. I suspect it was even worse for him. Maybe a turning point."
NBC: "It was unclear that Trump made up ground in an evening during which he put his brash and petulant style on full display, with the apparent intention of appearing dominant and making Biden look weak. Trump's approach to date has hemorrhaged support among seniors, suburban women and white college graduates, and those constituencies are likely to decide the election."
The New York Times: "For four years, Mr. Trump has rarely strayed from the warm confines of his own informational bubble. Any exposure to the outside world — a White House news conference, a friendly media interview, a rally with adoring supporters — has generally gone forward on his terms. But on Tuesday, this was a picture of a presidency stripped to its studs: an unpopular incumbent unfurling an often dubious defense."
Fox News: "'On the Trump side, it was too hot,' [former New Jersey governor Chris] Christie said. 'You come in and decide you want to be aggressive, and I think it's the right thing to be aggressive, but that was too hot. With all that heat, you lose the light. That potentially can be fixed. Maybe, maybe not.'"
The Washington Post: "Donald Trump came to heckle. He came to interrupt and to pontificate and to flail his arms, batting away questions and facts in a chaotic fury. He was a boor and a troll, holding up his stubby mitts in an angry pantomime as he tried to halt the words coming from former vice president Joe Biden’s mouth. Trump seemed to believe that with a single rude hand gesture, one that he regularly uses to assert his dominance, he could hold back the truth so he could be free to spin and hype and vent. It was an exhausting mess that spun beyond moderator Chris Wallace’s control and outside the bounds of anything that could reasonably be called a debate. It was a 90-minute display of a president’s testosterone-fueled, unmanaged rage and insecurity. Biden came to debate, God bless him."
NPR: "This was maybe the worst presidential debate in American history. If this was supposed to be a boxing match, it instead turned into President Trump jumping on the ropes, refusing to come down, the referee trying to coax him off, and Joe Biden standing in the middle of the ring with his gloves on and a confused look on his face."
The Toronto Star: "Trump’s onstage intensity and logorrhea have proved a formidable challenge for some of the nation’s leading interviewers. And with the president ignoring the traditional parameters of debate decorum, Wallace was left with few good options to keep Trump from chattering without pause."
The Guardian UK: "The looming question is whether Tuesday night’s performance will sway voters. While nearly three in four voters said they planned to watch the debate on Tuesday night, according to a recent Monmouth University poll, just 3% of voters said it was “very likely” to affect their vote in November."
The BBC: "[I]f Trump's goal was to turn this campaign into an ugly scrum, leaving voters alienated from the process and uncertain about whether there will be any kind of clarity or resolution at the end, it was an evening's work well done."
La Prensa: "Durante 90 minutos de debate el mandatario interrumpió constantemente a Biden y lo corrigió varias veces. Incluso el moderador Chris Wallace le pidió que dejara hablar a su oponente ante lo cual Trump increpó al periodista: 'Parece que estoy debatiendo contigo, no con él'. Este momento cristalizó un desempeño positivo de Biden, sobre el cual planeaban dudas ante sus conocidas equivocaciones y lapsus, que fueron aprovechadas por los republicanos para señalar que el exvicepresidente de 77 años tiene un deterioro mental."
Der Spiegel: "Soon you felt like you were in an elementary school yard - until presenter Chris Wallace of Fox News, who found himself unable to moderate the president at times, stated exhausted after an hour and a half: 'This is the end.'"
Betcha can't wait until October 15th!