Nashville, the capital of country music in the state of Tennessee, is ready to host the second and last debate between the two candidates, at Belmont University.
After three weeks in doubt about whether or not a new debate would be held between US President Donald Trump and his Democratic rival, Joe Biden, – with covid-19 in the White House – everything indicates that they will finally meet again this Thursday, in Nashville (Tennessee), With new rules like mics muted at times to avoid the chaos of their first meeting.
Nashville, the capital of country music in the state of Tennessee, is ready to host the second and last debate between the two candidates, which in reality should have been the third, at Belmont University between 8:00 p.m. and 9:30 p.m. local time on Thursday (01:00 and 02:30 GMT on Friday).
The main arteries of the city are wallpapered with posters announcing the debate; and the organization has been testing for covid-19 since the weekend to journalists and volunteers who have been arriving these days.
The Presidential Debates Commission, the non-partisan organizing body, announced this week a new protocol so that the scenes of the first face-to-face on September 29 in Cleveland (Ohio) are not repeated, marked by numerous interruptions, the largest partly motivated by Trump, which prevented them from being fully addressed topics of interest to voters.
The biggest news is that the microphones will turn off in some parts of the event. But there will also be a physical barrier between the candidates and against the virus. On Wednesday night, in the final touches, they placed of the great shields of plexiglass in front of the candidates’ lecterns.
The debate will be divided into six blocks of fifteen minutes, that will begin with an uninterrupted dissertation of the applicants who will have two minutes each.
It will be just in those initial two minutes when the microphone of the candidate who is not speaking will be muted to ensure that he does not interrupt the other.
In the remaining time of each of the segments, both microphones will be open, although the Commission has indicated that “its hope is that the candidates be respectful of each other’s time“.
Despite this novelty, the expert in political debates, David Zarefsky, a professor at Northwestern University (Illinois), expressed to Efe his doubts that this will serve to moderate the tone.
“I think it will have more or less the same tone, except for the statements at the beginning of the two-minute segments by each candidate, which will be uninterrupted. The ensuing discussion could be more chaotic. I’m not sure Trump will be able to contain himself“, he opined.
Communication professor at Boston University, Tammy Vigil, also predicted that “it is very likely that Trump will employ the same strategy” as in the first debate.
“Even if his mic is off part of the time, he doesn’t seem to be able to control himself, will probably speak to distract and interrupt Biden Vigil said to Efe. Trump appears to be stubbornly locked into disruption mode, even though it clearly hurts him outside of his base. However, (Trump) may see his ‘rebellious’ actions as motivating for his base, so he is likely to ‘redouble’ his strategy. “
In Vigil’s opinion, Biden should try to ignore TrumpBut it is possible that he will respond to his provocations, especially if the president attacks his son Hunter; something the president knows.
The meeting will be a challenge for the moderator, the journalist of the NBC News network Kristen Welker, after the numerous criticisms against Chris Wallace, presenter of Fox News, for his role in the debate in Cleveland, by allowing him to get out of the way. hands.
In the Nashville face-to-face the issues to be addressed in each block are the fight against the pandemic, American families, national security, leadership, the climate crisis, and race.
In addition, the mask will be mandatory for all the public and those who do not wear it will be expelled, unlike the debate in Cleveland, where most of Trump’s guests did not wear it.