It's the Final Countdown: Welcome the Last Presidential Debate of 2020

Illustration for article titled Its the Final Countdown: Welcome the Last Presidential Debate of 2020
Graphic: Jim Cooke (Photos: Getty

Congratulations, you’ve somehow managed to make it to the final debate of the 2020 election cycle, featuring Donald Trump and Joe Biden. The last time these two septuagenarians went head to head was September 29, a night that quickly turned into a shitshow thanks to frequent interruptions from Trump and paltry moderating by Fox News’s Chris Wallace.

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The president was diagnosed with covid-19 three days later on October 2, reinventing the meaning of October surprise.

The next debate between the two was scheduled for October 15, but it was canceled after Trump refused to take the debate digital following his covid-19 diagnosis. Instead, the men held individual town hall events: Biden on ABC, Trump on NBC, the American people forced to flip between television stations to see different visions of a better America. (Biden’s calm affability won the ratings battle, likely to Trump’s chagrin.)

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Tonight’s debate, moderated by NBC’s Kristen Welker, will focus on the following topics: Race in America, American families, national security, climate change, and leadership. Trump’s team urged the Commission of Presidential Debates to focus on foreign policy instead, as previously agreed upon by both campaigns. However, the debate moderator has ultimate control over the debate topics. Trump has already called Welker “no good” and a “radical Democrat,” so expect his petulance to be on full display tonight.

There’s one thing to look forward to tonight, however: The Commission overlords will have the power to mute either candidate’s microphone if they talk out of turn.

Hope you have your mind-altering substance of choice at the ready, because tonight is going to be a big ol’ mess. I’ll be making fancy cocktails and yearning for a meteor.

There are 12 days left until Election Day. Let’s get on with it, shall we?

Staff writer, mint chocolate hater.

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