President Trump and Joe Biden held dueling town halls last night. I watched Trump’s, as I assume most people who tuned in did. It was the kind of spectacle to which we have become accustomed. A woman representing the Joe Biden campaign (who I later learned was Savannah Guthrie) attacked Trump in maniacal fashion for a while before giving way to a series of ostensibly undecided voters who asked slightly less hostile questions.
Trump performed extremely well, I thought. He was unflappable and consistently got the better of the over-the-top Guthrie, while answering the citizens’ questions intelligently and sensitively. Some no doubt wish he had adopted the same approach in his first debate with Biden.
Was the evening, then, a plus for Trump? I doubt it. I think it is harmful any time viewers see the Democrats’ talking points pushed time after time. In a hostile environment, Trump inherently was on the defensive, and while he did a better job of working his administration’s achievements into answers than he did in the Biden debate, I am afraid the main impression most viewers probably came away with was of the Democrats’ attacks being repeated one more time.
I don’t understand why a Republican politician can never make an appearance where he is questioned by a neutral or friendly person, or why a Democrat like Joe Biden is never interrogated by a hostile Republican operative. I guess it is more evidence that life isn’t fair, but the stakes are very high.