Due to circumstances beyond my control (stubborn headphones), I missed the first 20 minutes or so of Joe Biden’s town hall last night, and due to other circumstances beyond my control (family obligations), I was only able to watch about 20 minutes before having to stop. I never had any intention of watching Trump’s town hall and wouldn’t have even if he hadn’t scheduled his to compete with Biden’s, but I had hoped to watch all of Biden’s. I have, however, read most of the transcript of Joe’s town hall, and some key takeaways from Trump’s.
I must say that it was great, the few minutes I was able to watch Biden’s event, to be able to hear Biden answer the questions asked of him without interruption. It was great not to have to look away from Trump’s freakish facial contortions while he muttered and blathered. We actually got to hear what Joe thought, what he plans to do once he is in the Oval Office. Much more informative and less stressful than the debate a few weeks ago.
Most of Biden’s responses to questions were what we’ve come to expect from Biden: calm, thoughtful responses, intelligence, no raised voice, and even speaking in complete sentences. He covered what he would do differently regarding the coronavirus pandemic, and spoke about a vaccine, saying …
“If the body of scientists say that this is what is ready to be done and it’s been tested, they’ve gone through the three phases, yes, I would take it, and I’d encourage people to take it.”
He mentioned that while he would like to be able to make the vaccine mandatory, he realizes this cannot be done …
“You couldn’t, that’s the problem. You can’t say, ‘Everyone has to do this.’”
Perhaps one of the most glaring differences between Joe Biden and Donald Trump is the ability to admit to a mistake. Last night, when Joe Biden was questioned about the 1994 crime bill that he sponsored while in the senate, he defended and explained parts of the bill, but was also able to admit that in hindsight, some parts were a mistake. Trump, on the other hand, has never admitted to a mistake and still gives himself kudos for his horrible handling of the pandemic that has now cost the U.S. 223,000 human lives.
From what I’ve read, the two town hall events were as different as night and day. Joe’s could be said to be almost boring in contrast, but that’s fine with me! I’ll take boring over bombastic any day of the week! I agreed with most of what Biden said, the only thing I would argue is that I think fracking should be banned, Biden doesn’t. But hell … if that’s the only thing we disagree on, that’s nearly a miracle in itself!
I was also impressed with Biden’s response to the final question by moderator George Stephanopoulos, “Mr. Vice President, if you lose, what will that say to you about where America is today?”
“Well, it could say that I’m a lousy candidate, and I didn’t do a good job. But I think — I hope … that it doesn’t say that we are as racially, ethnically, and religiously at odds with one another as it appears the President wants us to be. Usually, you know, the President, in my view, with all due respect, it’s been divide and conquer, the way he does better if he splits us and where there’s division.
And I think people need hope. I think — look, George, I’ve never been more optimistic of the prospects for this country than I am today. And I really mean that. I think the people are ready. They understand what’s at stake. And it’s not about Democrat or Republican.
If I get elected, you know, I’m going to be — I’m running as a proud Democrat, but I’m going to be an American president. I’m going to take care of those that voted against me as well as those who voted for me, for real. That’s what presidents do. We’ve got to heal this nation, because we have the greatest opportunity of any country in the world to own the 21st century. And we can’t do it divided.”
And that in and of itself, my friends, makes me want Joe Biden as my president more than ever before.
Now Trump, on the other hand …
… was apparently his usual obnoxious self, perhaps even more so, but he met his match with moderator Savannah Guthrie! Given that I do not watch television, I had never seen Ms. Guthrie in her spot as co-anchor of the NBC News morning show, but … this lady is gooooood! She held Trump’s feet to the fire, and apparently, he squirmed!
From The Washington Post’s article, “5 takeaways from the dueling Trump and Biden town halls” …
When Trump claimed that a study showed 85 percent of people who wear masks still get the coronavirus, Guthrie noted he falsely characterized the study.
When Trump defended his pandemic response by citing another study that showed 2 million people could have died of the coronavirus, Guthrie rightly noted that model predicted that only if the government did precisely zero mitigation.
When Trump declined to denounce QAnon because he said he didn’t know what it was about, Guthrie provided details about what it was about and invited him to do it, noting Sen. Ben Sasse (R-Neb.) has flatly denounced it as a baseless conspiracy theory. Trump instead offered that he liked that QAnon was against pedophilia.
When Guthrie pressed Trump on his retweets this week of a bizarre conspiracy theory about Osama bin Laden’s death, Trump explained by saying he was just passing along information. (“That was a retweet, I’ll put it out there. People can decide for themselves.”) Guthrie then provided the retort those tweets have long demanded: that he’s the president, not someone’s “crazy uncle” spouting off on Twitter, and that the information he promotes matters.
I particularly love that last part … “he is the president, not someone’s ‘crazy uncle’ spouting off …” LOVE IT!!! Part of me almost wants to watch the clip, just to see the look on his face when she said that! Maybe I will. Crazy Uncle Donnie! Has a certain ring to it, don’t you think?
I have a policy that I do not donate money to political candidates, even ones I support. Why? Because there are people going without food, homeless people living on the streets, sick people who cannot afford medical treatment … when you compare the pleas of a politician who has never gone hungry a single day in his/her life against those needs … well, if I have an extra $25 or $100, I donate it to the local food bank or homeless shelter. Tonight, I broke that policy … so impressed with Joe Biden was I, that I donated $25 to his campaign. Not much, but given that 75% of my monthly income goes to pay for my insulin and other medications, it was the best I could do. It was my way of saying, “I believe in Joe Biden.”
We’re in the final days, my friends. Some 15 million votes have already been cast by mail-in ballots and early in-person voting. There is a new enthusiasm that we didn’t see even in 2016 … and it isn’t enthusiasm for another four years of the hell we’ve lived through for the last four! It is hope … the hope for a president who represents ALL of the people, not only the wealthy, not only those who support him, but each and every one of us. Hope for a brighter future, hope that we can re-establish our relationship with our allies, hope that we can begin to address the racial issues that are tearing this country apart. Hope … it’s a beautiful word, and tonight, Joe Biden showered me with hope.