Ron Hart
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‘Let’s get ready to mumble’ at debate

A rarity happens next week: a presidential debate before either party’s convention. Trump probably should not have agreed to the unusual CNN debate this early. If Biden melts down or freezes up, Dems have time to replace him before their official nomination in Chicago. I would have waited, but where there is a camera and a national audience, you will have a Trump. 

Trump should want to run against Biden, and more specifically his record, rather than against a player to be named later. Holding the debate this early might be a bad decision. A fresh new candidate, whom they will not have time to beat up on, could beat Trump. Biden probably cannot. 

CNN, not known for its honesty and fairness (it famously gave Donna Brazile the debate questions for Hillary ahead of time) keeps changing the rules to favor Biden. All of Biden’s requests, like CNN being able to mute them (aka Trump), and no audience, have been granted; both are unprecedented. No doubt, with no audience to applaud, leftist reporters will plant questions. And no audience there will make Biden feel at home, just like at one of his campaign rallies.

Biden also made sure that Robert Kennedy Jr., who is polling at 15%, was not included. George Floyd got more oxygen in a Democrat city than the Biden campaign is giving RFK Jr. Biden, who famously has not provided Secret Service protection to the vulnerable Kennedy, did offer to book him a room at the Lorraine Motel. 

The debate will seem odd in another way: a campaign centered around a hot porn star, a Baltimore bridge falling into the water, and no Kennedy there. 

Biden probably had one request denied, that a team of Visiting Angels be in the wings to show him off stage. CNN, feeling that just adorned the narrative that Biden has personified, did him a solid and said “no.” 

Given that Biden became oddly lucid during his State of the Union address, Trump did have one poignant request: that both he and Biden be drug tested before the debate. I disagree, because if they make those two aged men tinkle in a bottle before the event, the debate would be delayed for an hour to get measurable levels.

One could argue these two geezers should just argue in the balcony seats at The Muppet Theater instead. Dana Bash and Jake Tapper will moderate with the mute button on. If nothing else, their efforts will serve to remind us that kindergarten teachers are woefully underpaid.

It is funny how political bedfellows change. For the last presidential debate, Trump was famously prepared by Chris Christie. He is no longer on Trump’s side. Back then, he was a good guy to have on your side, unless you were in a canoe. 

CNN will provide Trump an unfiltered national audience. But that is taken out of the fuller context. In reality, this election will be decided by about 500,000 voters in six or seven swing states: Michigan, Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, New Mexico, Nevada, Arizona and maybe Georgia. The debate, if it sways any votes, will be focused there. 

While Biden was having his Hollywood libs raise money for him in LA, Trump was cutting into Biden’s core support in a black church in Detroit. Biden’s rapidly falling poll numbers among African Americans have alarmed the Dems. That is no surprise. Here is Donald Trump with 34 felony convictions, a mugshot, more charges pending, a probation officer, a gold toilet at his mansion and three different baby mamas. He was welcomed in Detroit like a prodigal son. 

The issues should be well defined. Trump wins on the issues that matter: the border, crime, inflation and wars of choice engulfing us. Not having an answer for that, Biden will win on abortion. And he will head-fake us with fashionable liberal worries like global warming, trans rights and whatever “Trump is a threat to democracy” means.

The much-bellowed “threat to democracy,” as best as I can understand it, is the lie the left propagates that Trump wants to be a ruler for life, and brand him as a Roman emperor. Too bad Orange Julius is a name already trademarked. 

Replacing Joe is tricky, since Kamala Harris is a disaster. Rumors were that Dem operatives contemplated replacing Joe with Hillary at the convention. Kamala heard that and was purported to say, “Over my dead body” — which got Hillary thinking.

Ron Hart is a libertarian op-ed humorist, an award-winning author, and a frequent guest on TV and radio. He can be contacted at or @RonaldHart on Twitter.

Meet the Editor

David Adlerstein, The Apalachicola Times’ digital editor, started with the news outlet in January 2002 as a reporter.

Prior to then, David Adlerstein began as a newspaperman with a small Boston weekly, after graduating magna cum laude from Brandeis University in Waltham, Massachusetts. He later edited the weekly Bellville Times, and as business reporter for the daily Marion Star, both not far from his hometown of Columbus, Ohio.

In 1995, he moved to South Florida, and worked as a business reporter and editor of Medical Business newspaper. In Jan. 2002, he began with the Apalachicola Times, first as reporter and later as editor, and in Oct. 2020, also began editing the Port St. Joe Star.

Wendy Weitzel The Star Digital Editor

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