Among those who were in favor of the first U.S. presidential debate is a clear and growing sensation that the first on-air confrontation between Donald Trump and Joe Biden was a fuss.
For about 90 minutes, the candidates shouted, hesitated, and ignored the issues despite repeated appeals from moderator Chris Wallace.
And it looks like the Presidential Debate Commission – a neutral charity that sponsors events – agrees. On Wednesday, the group said the first debate made it “clear” that additional structures would have to be added for the remaining two match-ups. According to CBS News, potential changes are being considered as candidates cut off their microphones if they try to obstruct each other.
President Trump then responded in a tweet, indicating that he was not willing to accept changes in format.
How could these subsequent debates happen in the two weeks until Mr. Trump and Mr. Biden return to the ring?
Typically, presidential debates give voters a chance to hear what candidates have to say before casting their ballots. During Tuesday’s event, however, there was a common desire among those who observed the two to remain calm on stage.
As the debate progressed, there was a flood of social media with the power to silence the moderators by selecting candidates at the request of voters, scholars and journalists – and preventing them from jumping out of change. Although both nominees were guilty of obstruction, according to CBS News, President Trump was a more serious criminal on most accounts.
According to U.S. media, the change is reportedly at the top of the list proposed by the Debate Commission.
Calls to mute seem to be a zoom-era product brought on by the coronavirus epidemic. While working from home and using video-chat applications like Zoom, we are now able to mute ourselves and turn the volume back on colleagues – a tool that can turn a moderator’s hand desperately to keep quiet.
A good moderator?
Many who were dissatisfied with Tuesday’s performance expressed dissatisfaction with moderator Chris Wallace.
From the start, the Fox News anchor struggled to maintain control of the candidates, desperately pleading with Mr. Trump to stop talking and allow his opponent to finish, at one point shouting for the president to “let him go.” [Mr Biden] Answer! “.
But many defended him, saying that working with this set of candidates – such as Mr. Trump – was a strict order for some.
“I’m not blaming Chris Wallace at all. He’s a great, stand-up journalist,” presidential historian Laura Eileen Smith told the BBC. “He did well with the Clinton-Trump debate in 2016, he was a good choice to moderate. Directly from the gate he was given an almost impossible task.”
Speaking to the New York Times the next morning, Mr. Wallace said he was sorry for the way the evening had dawned.
“I never dreamed it would stop the way it did.”
For the next two debates, Mr. Wallace will pass the torch. First to Steve Scully, political editor of the C-Span television network, and then to Kristen Welker, a White House correspondent for NBC News.
Will they have a better chance of supervising the candidates? This is a great unknown. As a conservative veteran of Mr. Trump’s favorite network, praised for his work as a moderate in the last presidential election, Mr. Wallace was considered to have as good an opportunity as any. But even he has not proved any match for the clash of chaos this year.
A new format?
This change is already confirmed. The next debate will take place on October 15 in a town-hall format in Miami, Florida, where candidates have taken questions from voters instead of journalists. Here, the environment is usually more casual. Before the pre-coronavirus election, candidates sit within reach of voters without being secured behind a stage.
The town-hall style could benefit these particular candidates, Ms Smith said, adding that it could bring some civility. “In the first debate they were just looking at Chris Wallace, otherwise the house is pretty dark,” he says.
This time, neither Mr. Biden nor Mr. Trump can steamrolle the moderator – they have to answer directly to the voters.
“It can inspire a bit more confidence and bring back some pride in the format of the debate,” Ms. Smith said.
Call them off?
Some debaters and pundits who turned to the first controversy felt that the events were not conducive to preservation. As Tuesday’s contest unfolded, Twitter insisted on an application to cancel the remaining match-ups altogether.
“I wouldn’t be surprised if this is the last presidential debate between the president of the United States and former vice presidents of the United States,” CNN anchor Wolf Blitzer said minutes after the confrontation ended.
Read the headline in Frank Bruni’s New York Times column, “In the Interests of Democracy, Cancel the Trump-Biden Debate”. The call was echoed by the Washington Post, Slate and Atlantic Magazine.
But the debates still have their defenders, including MS Smith.
“I think it would be a step in the wrong direction [to cancel]. It will concede defeat at this point, “he said.” Debate has been a helpful way to showcase candidates ’skills in the past. Even to see the policy, go into more detail.
He added: “I don’t think the dialogue on democracy should be canceled, even if it is loud for you.”
The remaining debates will proceed as scheduled on October 15 and October 22, according to the new rules of the Debate Commission announced this week.
But Vice Presidential candidates – Vice President Mike Pence and California Senator Kamala Harris – will split their debate in October first. This is expected to be less worrying than their running mates.
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