Trump and Biden

The unthinkable happened at the Biden-Trump debate on CNN. The end of the 90-minute debate between the two old men saw a Democratic Party meltdown.

President Joe Biden, 81, stiff and fumbling, standing behind the podium, scored an own goal. Commentators in the liberal media, instead of rooting for him, played unhappy football coaches recalling players.

“President Biden, it’s time to drop out,” said the New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristoff.

Journalists being journalists, of course, don’t give just their own opinion, they quote others.

Democrats talk of replacing Biden

“Democrats talk about replacing Biden on the ticket,” said the Times. “Democrats consider the unthinkable: It’s time to let Biden go,” proclaimed Politico. Instead of bashing the Republican Trump, the Democrats turned on their own candidate for a lacklustre performance.

Biden betrayed his age. His voice was weak and raspy, he meandered, he lacked punch and fire.

Donald Trump, 78, only three years younger than him, spoke with more force and conviction. He lied, said his critics, but he wasn’t feeble. His mobile face showed a gauntlet of emotions, from impatience to contempt for the president.

Biden’s face, on the contrary, seemed frozen, occasionally betraying anger and contempt for his rival and sometimes bemusement, but often immobile with age.

The liberal or non-rightwing media was reduced to self-flagellation, lamenting how bad the Biden-Trump debate looked for America. “U.S. allies say Trump-Biden debate ‘isn’t a great look for America’,’’ reported Politico.

“The world was watching Thursday’s U.S. presidential debate, and it cringed,” it said. “Foreign diplomats and officials expressed disappointment and even alarm at Joe Biden’s performance in particular.”

Too overwrought after the debacle, the anti-Trump columnists and commentators were yet to reflect with their usual foresight on one common strand currently unifying three leaders of the Western world.

Biden, Sunak and Macron

Biden, Rishi Sunak and Emmanuel Macron are all hoisted with their own petard.

Neither Sunark nor Macron had to seek an election just now, nor did Biden have to engage in a televised debate five months before the presidential election.

But he wanted an early debate to pull ahead in the close-fought opinion polls. Instead, like Sunak and Macron, he has commenters forecasting his political demise.

The Democrats fear on his current form he will lose the election.

U.S. presidents seeking re-election usually don’t have to fight off challengers from their own party.

Biden seemed assured of running for re-election until now despite concern about his age,

But now there are Democrats saying he should drop out of the race and let a younger candidate run for the White House.

Pick new candidate at party convention?

They want a new candidate chosen at the party convention.

That would be highly unusual.

The Democratic national convention is scheduled to be held in Chicago from August 19 to August 22.

Conventions officially nominate the presidential and vice-presidential candidates and adopt a party platform. But they are usually ceremonial affairs. Normally by then, a leading candidate has emerged with enough delegate votes from caucuses and primaries to be the presidential nominee.

The last time Democrats faced a tight delegate race was at the 1980 New York convention when Jimmy Carter narrowly edged out Ted Kennedy for the nomination. For Republicans, the 1976 Kansas City convention was the most recent nail-biter, when Ronald Reagan lost to Gerald Ford, the incumbent president.

Sources: The New York Times, Politico

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