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The Best Moments From Last Night's Really Great, Super Informative Debate

Okay, so, you missed last night’s debate. Congratulations! I’m jealous. I watched the debate from a plane, and about five minutes in, I started thinking, “I hope this is a Boeing.”

It wasn’t great, but you know what? Maybe it wasn’t as bad as I’m remembering. There were some good moments. Let’s go over everything you missed, if you didn’t get a chance to tune in. Strap in for the best moments from Donald Trump and Joe Biden’s 2024 debate

Best Moments from Trump and Biden’s First Presidential Debate

  • The debate was filled with fun historical tidbits. Trump offered this really interesting new spin on the history of Roe v Wade. I had no idea that no one supported it when SCOTUS first ruled on it, and that everyone wanted to give abortion rights back to the states. So weird, but I guess feminism wasn’t a thing in the 70s? Maybe it was a late-in-life career for Gloria Steinem? And also, Trump warned that right now, some states are allowing people to perform abortions after birth, which is – fun fact – just murder. Well, if it weren’t true, I’m sure the moderators would have jumped in and said something!
  • Along with history, Trump really flexed his creative writing muscles. In fact, he rewrote the entire history of his presidency: he claimed he fixed the healthcare system, eliminated all environmental problems, brought peace to the planet, solved racial inequality, and permanently saved the economy. No, none of it was true, but – to be fair – Biden falsely claimed he was endorsed by the Border Patrol. So, it’s safe to say there were a few fibs told by both sides. Standard operating procedure!
  • Trump said he got the price of insulin down for seniors. He didn’t – that was actually Biden who did that – but it gets confusing. Sometimes I mix up my own words with those of my political adversary who I’ve repeatedly threatened to throw in jail; I get it. 
  • Biden was super alive and awake during parts of the debate. There were moments when he really did perk up, and even smile, I think, or at the very least, grimace. 
  • Trump discussed how many “Black jobs” were being taken by immigrants. It wasn’t his best moment, but it could have been worse; he could have given examples of what he considers to be “Black jobs.”
  • Both moderators really kept their cool and gave space for the candidates to shine. It was super polite. I especially like how they never interrupted or fact-checked any of Trump’s 1920890 lies. I thought it was very modest of them. This was not their night; it was for Trump, Biden, Biden’s cough, and Trump’s egregious claims about how the Ukraine War wouldn’t have started under his watch.
  • Despite the tension, our candidates shared some common ground: each was in agreement that the other was the worst President ever.
  • There were two super fun commercial breaks! I didn’t watch them, since I was livestreaming from The New York Times and they didn’t show the ads, but I did get to look at a blank screen for a few minutes, and it was a welcome reprieve.
  • Trump was asked whether or not he’d accept the results of the election. No, he didn’t say he would, but he also didn’t blow up the whole studio, so I’d call that a Win for Democracy! 
  • We don’t really know yet how the debate will move the polls, but I can share one positive hint: my Republican mom texted me midway through to announce she was so thoroughly disgusted with both of them that she wasn’t going to vote. A Win for Biden!
  • Biden did what he needed to do and successfully put to rest questions about his age! By answering them. He’s too old, yes. He confirmed it. A Win for Answers!
  • I ate an entire pint of Ben and Jerry’s. Technically, this wasn’t a debate moment, but also, yes it was. Good news, though – I had Lactaid on hand. So my stomach is okay this morning! A Win for My Digestive Tract! Mentally, though, I am a disaster.
  • I give Trump grief for his lies, but he told the truth, sometimes. For example, in his closing statement, he said we were “living in hell.” A Win for Honesty!
  • And one final positive moment: some political scientists (at least one!) believe debates don’t really move the needle at all. Thank fucking god.
Ginny Hogan
Ginny Hogan
Ginny Hogan is a writer/stand up comedian. She's the author of "I'm More Dateable than a Plate of Refried Beans," and the host of "Raising Questions."