Florida won’t get its own presidential debate until October 15 in Miami, but the initial contest in Ohio is going to set the tone.
As a starting point, we ought to put aside the notion that Joe Biden is going to break down on stage without a teleprompter. Biden may be 77 years old and dependent on an overwhelmingly supportive press corps to hide his gaffes whenever he ventures away from home, but if he’s got one thing down pat, it’s nationally-televised debates. The guy has been doing it for decades now, through four presidential campaigns, six U.S. Senate races, and more hours of boring C-SPAN content than even the most intrepid Washington watchers would willingly subject themselves to.
Joe Biden in a debate is like an airliner on autopilot: he may need some occasional input on the controls to avoid doing something goofy, but the thing pretty much flies itself. We were reminded of that during the Democratic primary debates, where the aged Biden occasionally forgot things such as the number to text his donation line, but also showed flickers of the man who demolished Sarah Palin and Paul Ryan on national television.
We’re likely to see a “real” series of debates, and I would venture that Joe Biden might do quite well.
Given that, it’s important to concentrate on what he says. Autopilot Biden will remember some catchy lines from his stump speech and a few pointed barbs, but he’s going to conveniently forget what really matters: the 110-page manifesto that he and socialist U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt.. put together as a blueprint for his administration.
Biden will surely have a pithy quote about how mean President Donald Trump’s border security policies are, and how he wouldn’t dream of deporting anyone but the worst criminals, despite the fact that he and then-President Barack Obama actually deported more people than President Trump. If the former vice president even understands the full implications of the Bernie-Biden Manifesto’s immigration plan, he certainly won’t articulate it on stage: free healthcare for everyone who illegally enters our country, total amnesty for 11 million illegal aliens, and up to 52 million new immigrants — more than the population of California and Pennsylvania combined — in the next four years.
Biden will make a righteous-sounding lecture or two about “closing the racial wealth gap” or “leveling the economic playing field” — but he’ll never mention that the manifesto’s terms call for reparations for slavery and a massive expansion of the Obama-Biden administration’s “Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing” plan, which would force suburbs to repeal single-family home zoning ordinances and then pay to relocate public housing next to their schools and public services.
The reality of Biden’s multi-trillion dollar, big-government agenda wouldn’t be any more popular here in Florida than it would be in Ohio — or any other swing state. So that isn’t what Biden will talk about. Instead, he’ll deliver the same tried and true, folksy debate act about “fairness” and “hard work” that he’s used for 47 years.
Rogan O’Handley (@DC_Draino) is a former entertainment lawyer who now posts conservative political commentary and news online. He earned two bachelor degrees, magna cum laude, in political science and criminal justice from Northeastern University. He earned his law degree from the University of Chicago Law School.