Maxim Behar: The Biden-Trump debate earthquake shook America and the world

Maxim Behar: The Biden-Trump debate earthquake shook America and the world

Host (Anna-Maria Konova): Today, Joe Biden and Donald Trump, the leading contenders for the presidency in America, debated. We continue discussing the topic in our studio with journalist and PR expert Maxim Behar, a member of the Atlantic Club. Hello and welcome!

Maxim Behar: Good afternoon!

Host: We heard the summary of how the debate went, but even the statements from members of the Democrats were extremely sharp. Exclamations like "This is increasingly painful to watch" and "Oh my God, we have a problem" were just some of the reactions. How did you find the debate?

Maxim: In my opinion, the most accurate description for this debate is an earthquake – one that shook all of America and the entire world. Even today, after watching the debate, I couldn't comprehend all the reactions from government, state leaders, and politicians worldwide. The biggest surprise for me was that people were surprised. Even a five-year-old who followed Biden's appearances on YouTube over the past seven to eight months might have predicted this outcome. There was no surprise, and this wasn't a debate. Having your microphone turned off and not being allowed to take notes in front of you is not a debate. This debate could have been conducted online like it was live. However, it wouldn't have shown how moderate Donald Trump was, unlike all his other appearances, despite the insults.

Host: By the way, I also noticed that he had cultivated his demeanor despite the two showing intolerance towards each other.

Maxim: No, he hasn't cultivated his demeanor because I have been following him for the past few months. He is super aggressive, slightly unfiltered, and very emotional. He just knew what would happen with Joe Biden. And Joe Biden used the incredible chance to fail on the television that sympathized with him the most. His team chose CNN, the rules to have no notes, microphone cut-offs, and everything else. And in the end, the truth is that the world saw a big drama in America. I said it - it's an earthquake. Obviously, this cannot continue anymore. This is not a disease in America but of the system itself, which, for some reason, we still call democracy.


Host: If we look at the Richter scale, what will be the consequences of this earthquake, according to you?

Maxim: There are two options. One is for the Democrats to quickly decide and try to replace Biden with another candidate, which seems highly likely to me at this stage and will most probably happen. There is an internal system of 4,000 delegates in the Democratic party who need to vote for such change. But where will they find such a person? They have to find a new, young candidate at the last minute. Kamala Harris can't be a suitable one because, generally, her popularity isn't that high, and she has always stayed in the background. I was also surprised by the reactions of Joe Biden's wife, Jill Biden, and Kamala Harris, who said the debate was great and that he performed well. Of course, Jill is his wife; naturally, she supports him. Immediately after the debate, she told him he was fantastic and answered all the questions. But we all see there is a problem, and it needs to be solved. America is one of the superpowers in the world, and there is some instability there. We see what is happening in Russia and China. These three are the world's biggest states, and two are governed with a firm hand. In America, where we expect freedom of voting, opinions, and media, we see something happening at the top that does not inspire much optimism.

Host: I watched Kamala Harris' interview after the debate, and she got a bit angry at the host and the questions he was asking. But she said these 90 minutes should not be solely considered for anything. Instead, the American people should look at the three years the administration did its job and fulfilled its promises to the nation. Since you are a PR expert and journalist, what could be the weight of this debate we saw – for everything you are talking about, the outcome of the election results, and for the complex scenario, if necessary, of replacing Joe Biden with another candidate?

Maxim: What Vice President Harris said was complete nonsense because she said not to look at these 90 minutes but at the three and a half years before. However, this debate is not about the last three and a half years but the next four years. Suddenly, we saw Joe Biden as a person whose abilities are questionable. First, could he fight in the elections? Second, would he be able to govern for the next four years? What has been so far is irrelevant. From a purely communicative point of view, the current task before the Democratic Party seems impossible. They need to find a new, young, intelligent, and ambitious person, like John Kennedy in the 60s, who can sweep away Donald Trump. It seems to me, at this stage, the name of the next president of the United States is Donald Trump, and I don't believe there is another possibility. Even if he isn't doing anything, time is working in his favor. You saw the results CNN showed. People who were going to vote for Biden are now 7% less, and the people who will vote for Trump are 3% more. This difference is growing.

Host: Considering that the debate is being held exceptionally early for a pre-election debate, can the echo of this debate be quieted by the time of the elections and tip the scales in Biden's favor?

Maxim: At this stage, on June 28, it seems impossible to me. But let's see if the public relations business in America can do a miracle and if the Democrats find a suitable candidate. The American public will have enough time to be convinced because this person must have experience in administration and politics, apart from charisma and knowledge. But if they had this person, the Democratic Party would have already brought them out. Some forces, mainly political, do not want to see any change, which is very risky and puts the US on the edge.

Host: What consequences will Trump's return to the White House have? We know that European leaders are concerned about this. Russia is also interested in what will happen with the elections. China is also interested, as you mentioned.

Maxim: No one knows what will happen because if Trump returns to the White House, it will be in a different world, environment, and setting. The world changed after COVID-19 and continues to change with social media, artificial intelligence, a new balance of power, and the two severe wars. Therefore, no one can predict. Perhaps a president who thinks more adequately and has this experience from the past four years. It wasn't such a tragedy in the world while Trump was president. For North Korea, it was probably a big celebration. There aren't many negatives, but we can't predict anything. The world is changing incredibly fast, and what is valid on Friday, next Wednesday, can be completely irrelevant.

Host: Not to mention, until November 5, when the elections will take place, so we will see if Biden can return to the battle with new strength.

Maxim: No, he won't succeed.

Host: You predict this is unlikely.

Maxim: For sure, he won't be able to succeed. If the Democrats indeed find some super innovative and unprecedented solution, it will be a massive surprise for me, and I will study it very carefully.

Host: It will be interesting, indeed. Thank you for this conversation and your analysis in our studio.


Watch the full interview here.