The first 2020 presidential debate — live blog

30 September 2020

9:25 AM

30 September 2020

9:25 AM

7:25 p.m. ET — Matt McDonald: Hello and welcome to The Spectator’s live blog for tonight’s tête-à-tête between President Donald Trump and former vice president Joe Biden. Along with eight other Spectator contributors and editors, I’ll be guiding you through the evening’s shenanigans in Cleveland. Hopefully we can offer a better quality of debate…

7:30 p.m. ET Matt McDonald: Here’s a lovely picture of some anti-Trump protesters gathering in Cleveland’s Wade Park to whet your appetite. Next up, what our writers are most looking for tonight.

Protesters in Wade Park, Cleveland (Getty)

7:35 p.m. ET Chadwick Moore: I’m expecting Biden to do surprisingly well, due to the ear piece and the mountains of Adderall they shoved up his nose beforehand.

7:36 p.m. ET — Caroline McCarthy: I speculate the two candidates will spend more time trying to trigger each others’ supporters with gotcha remarks than actually substantially talking policy.

7:36 p.m. ET — Stephen L. Miller: I’m looking forward to seeing if Joe Biden lives up to his nickname from 19-Odd-6 ‘J. Clover Fisticuffs’.

7:37 p.m. ET Bridget Phetasy: I’m most looking forward to [insert Slobodan Praljak drinking poison gif]

7:40 p.m. ET — Caroline McCarthy: To your point Chadwick, that’s something I don’t get re: Team Trump. Why are they trying to set expectations for Biden so low? Like if he comes across as anything other than an addled old man on 10 different medications, it’ll look like he did shockingly well.

7:43 p.m. ET — Dominic Green: Hello, Cleveland! I’m most looking forward to reasoned debate, facts and figures at the fingertips, and Trump forcibly removing Biden’s cochlear implant

7:44 p.m. ET Bridget Phetasy: It would be great if Sleepy Joe went up behind Trump and whispered in his ear.

7:44 p.m. ET — Dominic Green: In Russian?

7:45 p.m. ET — Bridget Phetasy: Would be even better if they both started debating…in Russian.

7:47 p.m. ET Matt McDonald: Does anyone know any undecided voters?

7:49 p.m ET — Caroline McCarthy: The undecideds I know are deciding whether to vote for Candidate A or stay home, not whether to vote for Candidate A or Candidate B.

7:51 p.m. ET — Bridget Phetasy: Most of the undecideds I’ve heard from are sitting it out or making an election booth decision.

7:54 p.m. Stephen L. Miller: I am undecided on whether or not to vote in person for John McAfee or mail in my ballot.

8:03 p.m. ET— Matt McDonald: Tucker Carlson’s opening monologue is all about how unlikely it is that Biden actually made it to the debate and is participating. Forgive me for shamelessly quoting myself, but I was talking up Biden’s debate chops in August: ‘Perhaps reintroducing Biden into the familiar environment of a one-on-one debate will bring forth his true self, like one of those heartwarming viral videos in which elderly people with dementia play old music perfectly from memory.’

8:19 p.m. ET— Matt McDonald: So which of the week’s pre-debate ‘bombshell’ news stories do you think will have an impact if they come up this evening?

8:20 p.m. ET — Stephen L. Miller: Oddly? Biden and Russiagate by Trump. Biden might have to admit he was in the Oval Office meeting which he has denied but is confirmed by Strzok’s notes. Daniel Dale will go diving under his desk.

8:22 p.m. ET — Amber Athey: WHERE’S HUNTER?

8:23 p.m. ET — Stephen L. Miller: If Trump says ‘Where’s Hunter, fat’, the debate is over. I want to see Trump ask Biden what his seventh grandchild’s name is.

8:24 p.m. ET — Bridget Phetasy: Even grandparents without dementia don’t know that stuff.

8:25 p.m. ET — Stephen L. Miller: Trump is going to walk out and give Sleepy Joe a My Pillow.

8:30 p.m. ET — Bridget Phetasy: The countdowns on all the news channels really drive home what performance theater this is. I have Challenger anxiety.

8:31 p.m ET — Caroline McCarthy: Like your space shuttle is going to explod?

8:32 p.m. ET — Bridget Phetasy: Yes like I’m about to watch a disaster on live television. Little did I know at my tender age that would be the first of many. Like the Challenger, I would encourage you to just sit back and enjoy the fireworks no matter what happens.

8:35 p.m. ET — Caroline McCarthy: ‘Wine’ is apparently trending exclusively because of the debate.

8:36 p.m. ET —Amber Athey: Cringe.

8:36 p.m. ET — Bridget Phetasy: I’ve never hated being sober more.

8:37 p.m. ET — Caroline McCarthy: I am not allowed to drink while awaiting the diagnosis of a sleep disorder and this is excruciating.

8:55 p.m. ET — Bridget Phetasy: Who’s going to poop himself first?

8:56 p.m. ET — Stephen L. Miller: Depends.

8:57 p.m. ET — Caroline McCarthy: Juan Williams had a point that the conventions didn’t meaningfully move anything in terms of polling, so why would the debate?

8:58 p.m. ET — Stephen L. Miller: The conventions were planned.

8:58 p.m. ET Chadwick Moore: Polling? Lol…

8:59 p.m. ET — Amber Athey: Dana Perino looks fantastic by the way.

9:00 p.m. ET — Stephen L. Miller: Jill Biden is dressed like she is at a funeral. WHERE’S HUNTER?

9:00 p.m. ET — Amber Athey: The Trumps are not wearing masks in the audience but Jill is.

9:01 p.m. ET — Stephen L. Miller: This is the debate we could have had in 2016, thank you.

9:03 p.m. ET — Jacob Heilbrunn: I say Biden comes out swinging.

9:04 p.m. ET — Bridget Phetasy: If Biden wins through this he wins.

9:04 p.m. ET — Stephen L. Miller: It’s hilarious CNN has to air two hours of Fox News.

9:04 p.m. ET — Jacob Heilbrunn: Will Wallace win the debate?

9:04 p.m. ET — Stephen L. Miller: Yes.

9:05 p.m. ET — Dominic Green: Chris Wallace is a highly articulate candidate with a good grasp of the details.

9:06 p.m. ET — Amber Athey: Biden’s tie sucks. Kurt Eichenwald would have a seizure.

9:06 p.m. ET Chadwick Moore: None of the questions were given to a candidate? Already shaking things up in 2020.

9:07 p.m. ET — Jacob Heilbrunn: Trump is treating it like a press conference, not a rally.

9:07 p.m. ET — Bridget Phetasy: Has Biden called a lid yet?

9:08 p.m. ET — Amber Athey: Trump needs time to get warmed up. He is best at quick jabs and back and forths.

9:08 p.m. ET — Stephen L. Miller: Biden looks pale or Trump looks too tan.

9:08 p.m. ET — Jacob Heilbrunn: Both can be true. Trump playing against type so far.

9:08 p.m. ET — Stephen L. Miller: Do you think Trump caked on the tan to make Biden look more pale and sick?

9:10 p.m. ET Chadwick Moore: Biden with the American flag pin. There goes the base.

9:10 p.m. ET — Stephen L. Miller: Biden is…unsteady.

9:11 p.m. ET — Bridget Phetasy: Antifa gonna storm the stage and burn Biden’s pin.

9:11 p.m. ET — Stephen L. Miller: Trump was strong there.

9:11 p.m. ET — Bridget Phetasy: I’m the PARTY NOW.

9:12 p.m. ET — Dominic Green: Trump landed some punches there, Biden comes back talking about himself in the third person.

See the full story of The first 2020 presidential debate — live blog on Spectator USA.

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