No audience, muted microphones and tight timing: Biden and Trump debate for the first time

No audience, muted microphones and tight timing: Biden and Trump debate for the first time

Biden is the older of the 2 candidates and has recently appeared more vulnerable and at times confused. “He has to convince the voter that he can still do it,” says van den Pulck. “Even though Trump is a few years younger, it’s mainly about Biden’s age. He needs to show that he’s not too old.”

The current president is taking this debate very seriously. He has already retreated to his country at Camp David for a week. That undivided attention is also essential, says Voss. “A moment when he seriously stumbles over his words or seems confused is enough.”

“Democrats are hoping that Biden won’t fall into the cracks by making mistakes and that he will come out clear,” says US correspondent Bjorn Sonnens. “He needs to prove to the American people that at 81 he is still firmly in control of the world’s most important country.”

If Biden isn’t convinced, according to Vos, there’s even a small chance he’ll be sidelined at the Democratic convention. “It’s very unusual and hasn’t happened in years,” he insists. “But it’s possible. Even if it’s too late, because you’re running against someone who’s doing well in the polls and is ready for the polls in November.”

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