USA: First Presidential Debate Worries Democrats

Joe Biden looked unconvinced and “slow,” “disciplined” Trump didn't pull his punches

They talked about the economy, inflation, Israel, Ukraine, immigration policy… and golf. Joe Biden and Donald Trump faced off in the first debate on July 27 in Atlanta, Georgia, in preparation for the November 5, 2024, presidential election. The discussion between the former and current presidents showed that the current White House occupant was not very impressive. He has confirmed the fears of those who believe he is too old and not in optimal physical and mental condition for the new mandate. Panic arose among Democrats.

This is what all analysts agree on. Joe Biden performed poorly, his voice was weak and hoarse (he would later explain it was due to a cold), he stuttered at times, his gaze was fixed, he did not finish some sentences and repeated others almost mechanically. For months, if not years, there has been talk about the decline of the President of the United States. If a heartfelt State of the Union address in March reassured his supporters, their concerns are now real. Reports are beginning to emerge from the US media that Biden is coming under increasing pressure to pass his delegates, which he secured in the primaries, to another candidate for the upcoming party convention.

Donald Trump is not very young either (78 years old vs. 81), but on stage he looked full of vigor and, moreover, even managed to refrain from his famous provocations and usual hyper-aggressiveness.

The debate showed a picture of an increasingly divided country where opponents do not acknowledge each other (Trump and Biden did not shake hands and almost never looked at one another), both accusing each other of lies and economic disasters. To win elections now in the United States, which is more divided and polarized than ever, it will probably be necessary to convince the few swing state voters. The perception of the strength and health of the candidate may have been decisive: Biden clearly lost in this matchup.

“He looked a little disoriented. He gained momentum as the debate progressed. But by that point, I think the panic had spread,” CNN quoted David Axelrod, a prominent Democrat and former adviser to Barack Obama. Axelrod also acknowledged that there will be “discussions among Democrats about whether he should continue to fight.”