I was shocked.
After all the meandering, mumbling performances we had seen by Joe Biden over the past year, even while reading from a teleprompter, I would have thought that whatever mental decline he may have been experiencing would have progressed to a catastrophic point by now.
Instead, Biden was pretty much on his game during Tuesday night’s debate. While not in the running for any awards for elocution, the former vice president expressed coherent thoughts and strung them together in related sentences. At times, he was even forceful and borderline eloquent. His mind is not lightening sharp, but it wasn’t doing too badly for much of the night.
Perhaps the best analytical line of the night came from Dana Perino, who said that the bar was low for Biden, and he cleared it. I’d say he more than just cleared it.
President Trump thinks Biden’s on drugs. That may not be so far-fetched. It’s reasonable that if Biden isn’t as sharp as he was, that he is given something to focus and stimulate him during a debate. If so, whatever it is, it lasts for 90 minutes. But I don’t think even with pharmaceutical help you can make a person speak as clearly for so long as Biden did if they are very mentally impaired.
The problem for Trump is that some voters who worried that by voting for Biden they might be electing an incompetent who would soon cede power to Kamala Harris might feel reassured. In a game being played at the margins, where mere thousands of votes could decide the election, that could be significant.