Trump Came Across As ‘A Total Assh*le’ In The First Debate
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Former Republican operative Stuart Stevens joins Molly Jong-Fast and Rick Wilson for a special episode of The New Abnormal on the night of the utterly chaotic first presidential debate. Trump’s amped up ranting reminded everyone that he’s “a guy that you just would not want in your face for another four years,” Stevens concluded. “Trump just came across as a total asshole.” It was a night when the moderator, Fox News’ Chris Wallace, was unable to keep control. Stevens suggested giving the moderators the right to cut off the microphones of unruly candidates. “I think the moderators ought to have the rights to shock collars,” said Rick.

 

They all agreed that this kind of Trump performance was unlikely to make inroads with the college-educated voters or the white moms he needs for a second term. “Chris Christie and Rudy Giuliani did not kill it with the debate prep,” said Molly. “It was not a great debate for women tonight, but I don't think Trump really gives a shit about women quite frankly.” Molly wishes they would just cancel the rest of the debates. “Trump is insane and he is just so destructive. And when you give him a mainstream media venue, it ends up undermining elections and civil society as a whole,” she said. Stevens, who was part of George W. Bush’s debate team, was more upbeat. He said this had been a terrible night for the president. “I think that there's going to be a big movement for Biden after this,” he said.


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Here are some references from this week’s show: David Wasserman for the Cook Political Report: “What One Florida County Could Tell Us About a ‘Gray Revolt’ on Election Night” Rosemary Quigley’s Slate diary The Betsy-Tacy Treasury book series by Maud Hart Lovelace Roll of Thunder Hear My Cry by Mildred D. Taylor The Anne of Green Gables book series by L.M. Montgomery John Dickerson for Slate: “To the Teacher Who Changed My Life” Here are this week’s cocktail chatters:  Emily: Casey Newton’s newsletter, Platformer John: El País: “A Room, a Bar and a Classroom: How the Coronavirus Is Spread Through the Air”; The Intuitionist by Colson Whitehead David: David asked whether there is a word for the extreme discomfort he felt watching people embarrassed in terrible ways in Borat Subsequent Moviefilm   Listener chatter from Alana @snarkoutgirl: Wikitongues: “Aydyn Speaking Tuvan” Slate Plus members get a bonus segment on the Gabfest each week, and access to special bonus episodes throughout the year. Sign up now to listen and support our show. For this week’s Slate Plus bonus segment ahead of Halloween, Emily, David, and John share memories of times they were deeply scared. You can tweet suggestions, links, and questions to @SlateGabfest. Tweet us your cocktail chatter using #cocktailchatter. (Messages may be quoted by name unless the writer stipulates otherwise.)   The email address for the Political Gabfest is gabfest@slate.com. (Email may be quoted by name unless the writer stipulates otherwise.) Podcast production by Jocelyn Frank. Research and show notes by Bridgette Dunlap. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
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