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Trump vs Biden could be the worst presidential debate in history

Ding ding ding! Trump vs Biden, the debate rematch, is on – so brace yourselves for the worst presidential tussle in history! This time, ladies and gentlemen, they’re four years older.

The truth is Trump does not have a very good record in presidential debates

In 2020, in the first presidential debate of a Covid-riven election, the two old men set a new low for American politics by shouting over each other like drunk slobs in a bar.

Trump, who may have been suffering from Covid himself, decided to attack Joe Biden for among other things his handling of the swine flu in 2009, when Joe was vice-president. ‘Don’t ever use the word smart with me,’ was probably Trump’s most memorable line. ‘Because there’s nothing smart about you, Joe.’ 

Biden probably came out just about on top that September night in Cleveland because he said what most people were thinking: ‘Will you just shut up, man?’ But Lincoln-Douglas this was not – and 81-year-old Biden sounds ridiculous today as he tries to puff himself up like some macho pugilist: ‘Donald Trump lost two debates to me in 2020,’ he says. ‘Since then, he hasn’t shown up for a debate. Now he’s acting like he wants to debate me again. Well, make my day, pal.’ 

Trump is equally silly, of course, albeit more deliberately funny. He accepted the two proposed debate dates – June 27 and September 10 – then posted yet another amusing video contrasting his rallies with Joe Biden’s doddery public performances.

But the truth is Trump does not have a very good record in presidential debates. He’s a sharp rhetorical counter-puncher, largely because he’s willing to be so rude, but he’s not usually one for sweeping arguments and showing a great understanding of his own policies. 

In his first debate against Hillary Clinton eight years ago, she outwitted him repeatedly with her superior grasp of the facts. 

Biden, who has a speech impediment, has always tended to let his mouth run away with him. In fact, there is a perverse argument that the 46th president’s semi-senility helps: his ability to talk total nonsense on the spot has been reduced, though he still often tries. 

But it is clear that expectations for Biden in the 2024 debates will be so very low that, unless he falls over and soils himself, his backers in the media will talk about how energetic and strong he is. That’s the bar for leadership of the free world, folks.