As difficult as it was to watch parts of the first presidential debate, it should be no surprise to those who have been tracking Joe Biden's public speaking performances over the years.
The debate, as many know, became quite heated at times, with President Trump and former Vice President Biden trading barbs and interrupting each other throughout the event.
When the topic of military service emerged, Biden attempted to use his son Beau's military service as a transition point towards re-accusing President Trump of publicly insulting veterans and servicemembers.
— Team Trump (Text VOTE to 88022) (@TeamTrump) September 30, 2020
What Biden overlooked was video footage of him visiting and speaking at an air force base where, while attempting to compel the audience to clap for his having nominated to the air force academy the lieutenant who introduced him, he called the attending service members "stupid bastards."
He said to play it...well, here it is.
Joe denied this. Here’s the video. https://t.co/Lf3T5j5CEd
— Jenna Ellis (@JennaEllisEsq) September 30, 2020
In addition to that comment, he continues to lament that "you all are a slow bunch...must be slow here, man." It's certainly not pleasant to hear the former Vice President simultaneously commending and then criticizing service members, but even more disconcerting that he feels more commendable than President Trump and the accusations against him.
We watch the debates to try and identify distinctions in policies, commitment to values and overall demeanor and decorum. While neither candidate demonstrated the most chivalrous manner, Biden ended up labeling himself further as a hypocrite by trying to dredge up debunked accusations while dismissing his own lackluster behavior.
Such conduct only makes assessing him even more difficult given his inability to clearly define his platform or to clearly indicate what his agenda would be as president.
If there can be any consensus from this debate during these unprecedented times, it might be that the precedent Joe Biden left was one not much better than whatever criticisms he tried to present.