Biden’s worst moments were the evasions. Biden was asked point-blank to state his positions on the filibuster and court-packing. He said that the American people should express themselves by voting. Well, Joe, what are they voting for? Biden said that if he expressed his position, that would be the news story. Well, yeah, no kidding. It’s very possible Joe Biden will be president of the United States. That’s a good reason to have news stories about his views on packing the Supreme Court.

For Trump, where are the jokes and laughs? Trump seemed like a worse blowhard than usual tonight and therefore came across to me as more insecure. But I like orderly debate. Maybe others will see his constant interruptions as energetic and swaggering. He also hurt his own Supreme Court nominee, Amy Coney Barrett, by admitting he wanted her on the bench because he expects the Court would have to look at the election…

By far Trump’s most self-defeating habit in these debates is to refer to stories rather than tell them. He speaks as if he’s talking to people who, like himself, spend hours a day watching Fox News and have a shared folklore of scandal stories that can be referred to in shorthand. He refers to events, like ballots found in a wastepaper basket, but doesn’t tell the story of where they happened, or why they matter.