TV Duel – You Won’t Tame Donald Trump

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Donald Trump vs. Joe Biden – Part Two. The last TV duel before the election is on. Is it sinking into chaos again? There are stricter rules, but Trump seems nervous. That doesn’t bode well.

Last time there was Donald Trump chatting in between. And a challenger Joe Biden, who grunted at the US President: “Shut up, man?” Many viewers of the first TV duel a few weeks ago are unlikely to remember much more.

On Friday night, at 3 a.m. German time, the second and last of these traditionally most important dates in the US election campaign is due. Donald Trump and Joe Biden meet in Nashville, Tennessee. Will it be more than a big mess this time? Trump seems nervous. For this reason, too, despite the rule changes, it is unlikely that the US president will allow himself to be tamed.

The hyperactive president

In less than two weeks, on November 3rd, there will be an election in the USA. And after his forced Corona break, hyperactivity broke out in the President. Hardly a day goes by without him speaking to his supporters at a rally. Or there is an interview. Biden, on the other hand, does what he’s been doing all the time: he’s holding back. Before the duel, he doesn’t have any major appointments in his calendar for days.

On the one hand, that seems unusual for a challenger. But Biden is still clearly leading in the polls. By barely performing, he can show that he takes the corona pandemic seriously. And he can avoid mistakes, for which he is well known. A welcome side effect. It’s Trump’s turn, he now needs to catch up.

But it just doesn’t work.

US media quote employees who increasingly doubt Trump’s many appearances. The rallies suit the entertainer, that is undisputed. But most of them are no longer broadcast on national television. Trump almost only speaks to his die-hard fans. And they choose him anyway.

In addition, the Trump campaign is running out of money. His team went into October with a campaign budget of $ 63 million. Biden has more than twice as much available for the final spurt at $ 177 million. Lots of dollars for the all-important television commercial.

The microphones are switched off

All of this makes the TV duel all the more crucial for Trump – and obviously makes the president increasingly nervous. So he criticized cheerfully. At the beginning of the week he called his corona expert Anthony Fauci a “disaster”. A few days later he raged against an interview that had just been recorded for the successful program “60 Minutes”. The conversation was “FAKE” and “ONE-SIDED”, he wrote on Twitter. So he supposedly broke it off prematurely.

The TV duel itself also attacks Trump as a precaution – in case things go bad for him. “It’s a set game,” he said on Fox News. The non-partisan commission that organizes the duels are “not good people”. He considers the presenter Kristen Welker to be “very unfair”, “totally partisan” and “terrible” anyway.

Trump does not like the new rules of the debate either. After the roaring duel a few weeks ago, the microphones are switched off – at least whenever the moderator calls up a new topic and the opponents are allowed to recite their two-minute input statements one after the other. In the debate itself, however, the microphones should remain open. To “ensure an exchange of ideas”, as the organizers say, optimistically.

So there is still plenty of opportunity to torpedo the debate.

“Just let him talk”

Is that Trump’s plan again this time? Some observers believe that it is simply the best way to create chaos. Simply because it has too little to offer in terms of content. However, from the point of view of the majority of viewers, Trump was unable to score with this strategy in the first duel. The fact that he canceled the second after the organizers wanted to hold it digitally because of his Covid disease did not help Trump.

So if there is a real debate this time, Joe Biden wants to be prepared. He said that he would look at Trump’s most recent statements on the important issues. He didn’t reveal much more about it.

Trump, on the other hand, recently argued quite openly about the right strategy for the duel. He was told, “if you just let Biden talk, then he’ll go out of business at some point,” he told Fox News. In fact, it is precisely such mistakes that Biden’s advisors fear.

Just whether Trump can really restrain himself?

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