The showdown between Donald Trump and Joe Biden was as much about psychological intimidation as political persuasion.
Oh, yes, perhaps you’ve heard: These two men leading the long parade of people trying to win the presidency in 2020 are both rather old — between them, 148 years of experience on the planet.
And Donald Trump and Joe Biden have had careers on the public stage for nearly 90 of those 148 years, a fact that might at first call into question the whole premise of their showdown Tuesday in Iowa, where they were in separate locales but spent the day talking very directly to and about each other: What can either man hope to tell voters about the other that they don’t already know?
Both men, of course, believe the answer is plenty. It made for an arresting few hours in the narrative wars on which modern presidential campaigns are waged — an exercise that seemed as much about psychological intimidation as political persuasion.
In both cases, Biden and Trump with their mockery and insults seemed determined to get in each other’s head as much as in voters’. And in both cases, the message was a variant of, It’s getting late in the day for you, old man.