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Live Blog: Presidential Primary Debate #1 in Cleveland, OH.

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Live Blog: Presidential Primary Debate #1 in Cleveland, OH.

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Time: 9:00PM-10:30PM Eastern Time (with no commercial breaks)

Place: Sheila and Eric Samson Pavilion, part of a joint health campus between Case Western Reserve University and the Cleveland Clinic

Host: Fox

Moderator: Chris Wallace, Fox News.

Candidate line-up:

Donald Trump (President of the United States)
Joe Biden (former Vice President of the United States)

Topics, fifteen minutes each:

The topics for the debate are “The Trump and Biden Records,” “The Supreme Court,” “Covid-19,” “The Economy,” “Race and Violence in our Cities” and “The Integrity of the Election,” according to the Commission on Presidential Debates.

How to watch:

The debate [will be] aired on all major US networks, including ABC, CBS, NBC. It will be played on CNN and MSNBC, as well as Amazon Fire, Android, Roku, and Apple TV services.

The debate will also be streamed on C-SPAN (and a million other places).

Drinking Game: Here.

* * *

There’s a ton of breathless commentary out there, but I think this debate, to an unusual degree, comes down to the two candidates themselves, as people (and not to platforms, policies, records, or even tactics). Will Biden slip a cog? An hour-and-a-half standing will be a long time for him. Biden did well in his one-on-one with Sanders, for sure, but Sanders wasn’t trying to land any punches. Trump, in contrast, is a brawler. But did he train hard enough for the match? I would say that if Biden avoids being knocked out, he wins. On the other hand, Trump has form. Over and over again, we have seen him, Houdini-like, escape from impossible situations stronger than before. For me, the most amazing outcome I can imagine would be Trump successfully showing one single sign that he’s a vulnerable human. He would turn himself from a heel into a face!

That said, Cleveland seems a little sketchy just now, from what I see on the Twitter. The National Guard is out:

Business are being boarded up:

There are free speech zones, with the following items prohibited:

What, no grappling hooks?

On the brighter side, Terminal Tower is lit:

Though I’m not sure “Terminal” means what the Biden campaign thinks it means.

* * *

As usual, this post does not update; readers may track the debate in real time in comments.

Please keep your comments as informative and analytical as possible. Write for the reader who hasn’t seen the debate, and comes to this site in lieu of watching it on TV. There are no points at NC for knee-jerk, context-free one-liners (“Boo ____!” or “Yay!”) that only those who are also watching can make sense of; that’s for Facebook or Reddit.

I think it adds more value if you take a moment, use your critical thinking skills, then comment, and readers can discuss what you say. That way, those who cannot watch the debate — or can’t stand to do so — can get a good idea of what really happened by reading what you write after the fact. This is what the NC commentariat is so very good at, after all. Last time, the times before that, and this time. Thank you!

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