Trump looked physically tormented when unable to interrupt Biden's first response, a look that only grew as the evening progressed with regular eruptions in his anger. We cannot overlook that. Trump was better than three weeks ago. He was partially under control. He still spent the evening spitting out lies and personal attacks, and losing sight of his ability to avoid interruptions. However, this was by far his most disciplined feat in the recent past – and the thing is, Biden was out of the way with Trump, who also shone.
Here's the level at which Trump can talk about politics: "I know more about wind than you do. Kill all birds."
Biden, on the other hand, mastered the facts, from the coronavirus to the economy, the environment and immigration. He repeatedly brought his responses back to the concerns of working families – of all races – and spoke directly to their concerns. He kept showing off the basic decency he brought into the campaign and into his career.
Trump has lied and racially baited and made his usual claim that no one since Abraham Lincoln has done what he has done for blacks, claiming to be "the least racist person in this room".
"Abraham Lincoln here is one of the most racist presidents we've had in modern history," replied Biden. "He pours fuel on every single racist fire."
Trump tried to lure Biden with accusations that he had done nothing as Vice President and berated him: "Everyone is talking and no action. “As Vice President, why didn't Biden do everything he supported? Trump insisted he respond.
"There was a Republican Congress," Biden replied, leaving him hanging. “That's it. That's the answer.” That's the disciplined Biden who showed up. Let the record reflect that while Donald Trump wasn't the screaming banshee he was in the initial debate, Biden continued to be the one who set the tone and showed the discipline and care we need in a president.