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Biden’s Debate Demands Show His Weakness. Trump Can Capitalize On It

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The exhaustive list of demands released by Joe Biden’s campaign for only two presidential debates tells you just how weak he truly is, but whatever. They’re not unreasonable requirements, and a couple could even work to Donald Trump’s advantage.

Trump has accepted the proposal, but he should also insist some of his own conditions are agreed to by Biden and, just as crucially, whoever moderates.

Biden’s demands are laughably transparent. He wants two debates instead of three because his campaign knows as well as anyone there’s no upside in the rapidly deteriorating president appearing next to the tanned, restless, and ready Trump, who is currently demolishing Biden in surveys of swing-state voters.

He wants no live audience in the room because his campaign knows as well as anyone that Trump remains the unparalleled political performer who thrives in front of a crowd.

Biden’s most controversial demand is that Trump’s mic be muted when it’s Biden’s allotted time to speak. After all, Biden’s campaign knows that directly engaging the former president is high risk, no reward. Biden wants the same done for his own mic when it’s Trump’s time.

Again, whatever. Trump would stand to benefit from the muted mic agreement anyway. His performances in the two debates with Biden in 2020 were a failure by any honest assessment. His attempt to overwhelm his opponent with what amounted to a bunch of incoherent noise backfired. It reinforced voters’ belief that Trump was chaotic and exhausting at a time when everything was already chaotic and exhausting.

In the coming rematches with Biden — a diminished and feeble figure loved by no one but Zelensky and defense contractors — a lot less will be more.

But if Biden wants to overhaul debate format precedent, it shouldn’t be that every change is to his advantage. His CVS receipt-length list of requirements said nothing about who gets to moderate, other than that it should be standard anchors or hosts from one of the big news networks.

Admittedly, Biden has nothing to worry about regardless of who ends up moderating. Even the Fox News-designated moderator of the first 2020 debate, Chris Wallace, interfered on Biden’s behalf. The corporate media personalities who moderate this year’s debates will do the same whenever they can.

That’s why Trump should insist that if the candidates can’t interrupt each other during their respective turns, the moderators also need to keep their mouths shut during the candidates’ allotted time. As important, moderators should be forbidden from injecting their unnecessary thoughts and opinions (sometimes falsely referred to as “fact-checking”) for the duration of the event. That can wait for their little roundtables afterward.

Oh, and no earpieces for the moderators to get real-time coaching from some scheming producer in the control room, either. The TV director is going to have to run the show from the studio floor.

There are clues as to who will serve as the moderators. CNN on Wednesday announced that it will be hosting one of the debates, meaning that the moderator will likely be the awful Jake Tapper, the awful Wolf Blitzer, or the godawful Anderson Cooper, plus perhaps one of the female anchors, probably Woman-of-Color™️ Abby Phillip. Trump has agreed to another debate hosted by ABC News, where the moderator will likely be either the terrible David Muir or the terribly short George Stephanopoulos, who at 5 feet, 5 inches tall may require a booster seat.

Whatever the case, it’s going to be another two-against-one matchup with the odds stacked in Biden’s favor. Trump, along with every other Republican, should at least have a guarantee that there won’t be any more Chris Wallace or Candy Crowley moments where the moderator takes liberty to run interference for the Democrat.

No moderator interruptions and no “fact-checking.” Trump should insist upon it — and if Biden won’t agree, then all mics remain live for the full debate.


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