October 23, 2020
Dear Mr. President,
I know you’ve probably debriefed with your aides and maybe even with Melania and I wondered how they thought you did. My guess is they all praised you up and down for following the rules of the debate. I’m sure you thought you did great, awesome, the best ever and I would agree that it was the best you have done in the two debates and the one town hall event. Personally, I think that when you raise your voice, as you are wont to do, it may mean you need hearing aids, but, mostly you didn’t really yell. There was no spittle coming out of your mouth and only an attempt at interrupting or talking over the moderator, Kristen Welker. One commentator thought you seemed a bit “low energy”. Maybe all the travel, stress of the campaign and even the recovery from your virus have sapped some of your incredible energy.
I wrote to you that we would talk again after the debate especially about if you followed my suggestions.
1. I recommended that you stay positive and, for the most part, you did as well as you can except for your remarks on the children who have been separated from their parents and now your administration can’t find the parents. Unfortunately, this is HUGE. There isn’t a parent who doesn’t panic at the thought of having their child ripped from their arms, hearing the child wail in fear and not hearing from them for the last three years. They weren’t taken care of in clean, safe cages. They were babies, toddlers and pre-schoolers, elementary age children and young teens. The Obama administration kept families together and no one, except maybe Steven Miller, thought separating parents and children was a great policy. In the future you might try acting sad or chagrined that there was such a poor tracing system that the parents may not be able to be found. Please don’t say the parents don’t want their children or the children are happy without their parents. That does not show the empathy that is called for.
2. My next recommendation was for you to try and be respectful. Despite dissing the moderator before the debate, you were mostly appropriate with her last evening. We had talked about not accusing VP Biden of dumb or discredited or unproven conspiracies, but you couldn’t help it. Hearing that Biden took millions of dollars from Russia and China and other countries and is still (probably) getting money from them just sounds nuts. The line you had about Biden sending sheets and pillowcases somewhere (?) was just weird and no one knows what you were talking about. It was kind of silly to accuse him of being a corrupt politician while stressing how long he has been in public services and no one has noticed something like corruption.
3. The discussion of the virus was not your strongest argument. Since you have said “it’s going away and very soon” since about mid- March, the line is no longer effective. Surely you saw yesterday’s statistics on infections, hospitalizations and deaths? However, it’s nice to hear you be so positive about the vaccines, but, unfortunately, they aren’t coming in a couple of weeks.
4. The discussion on the economy was a nice try to show how great things were last year. It might have been better for you to discuss how you might improve our situation next year with specific new ideas other than “open up our country”. It is very clear that you care deeply about the economy but less clear on how you plan to help small businesses.
So, it was a decent debate on issues. The clear winners were Kristen Welker who asked some serious and important questions and didn’t let you go off too far from the question and the television viewers who didn’t need Xanax after watching this debate. I think I can safely say, Whew, at least we don’t have to sit through another one.