This week in America he would have felt cheated, as an opportunity for real drama slipped through his fingers.
Instead of an originally scheduled head-to-head debate, President Donald Trump and former Vice President Joe Biden appeared separately in different cities, with different moderators and on different networks in overlapping town halls.
Had they been on the same stage, the striking differences between the two and the choice voters face two weeks from now would have seemed even more dramatic:
Trump, on NBC, bragging about his administration's record, sowing confusion about the best health practices in a pandemic, refusing to tamp down rampant conspiracy theories like QAnon and expressing confidence he will win his bid for re-election.
Biden, on ABC, methodically describing policies he would implement as president, emphasizing the injustice of discrimination against transgender people and of the practice of redlining, touting the benefits of pelletizing horse and cow manure to reduce carbon emissions, conceding that he had made mistakes in his career and grappling with the chance he might lose.
It was a disaster for the President, Lockhart wrote, because so much of the conversation was about the country's failed response to the coronavirus pandemic. Trump even lost the TV ratings battle to Biden's town hall.
Biden and Trump are scheduled to meet for their second and final debate Thursday.
No one has seen anything like it: early voting is smashing records around the country.
Among the people waiting to cast their ballots was Norman F. Robinson III, the son of civil rights demonstrators in the 1960s. It took him four hours to vote in Decatur, Georgia. "It's not just about finding the will to stand in a long line -- it's also about choosing to do so as safely as we can in the midst of a deadly pandemic," observed Robinson. He was happy to see that almost everyone wore a mask, though they didn't always observe 6 feet of distancing.
Actor and singer Mandy Patinkin says he "wasn't always the liberal snowflake Hollywood elitist pinko commie socialist Democrat some of my Twitter commenters tell me I am." He credits his wife Kathryn and friend Martin Sheen with making him realize that everything we do is political in some way.
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The takeaway from four days of hearings this week on the Supreme Court nomination of Judge Amy Coney Barrett was clear: Democrats have no realistic way to stop her confirmation in the final days of the presidential campaign.
Barrett gave little ground on issues raised by Democratic senators, insisting that there were many areas she could not comment on because they might come before the court someday. Elliot Williams wasn't buying it. "In response to New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker, Barrett refused to answer the straightforward question of whether every American President 'should make a commitment -- unequivocally and resolutely -- to the peaceful transfer of power,'" Williams wrote.
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Through the raging controversies of the Trump administration, Republicans have stood by the President, with few exceptions.
But now -- with Trump behind Biden by double digits in national polls, with Democrats raising more money than Republicans in many races and GOP control of the Senate at risk -- "the fever may be starting to break," wrote John Avlon. "Donald Trump has held his party in line with bullying tactics and the white-hot love of the conservative populist base."
It would be a mistake to conclude from the polls that the election is already decided, wrote Eric Zorn in the Chicago Tribune. "Biden's average polling lead today is smaller than (Hillary) Clinton's was at a similar point in 2016 in Florida, Michigan, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin and Ohio," he noted. "It's slightly larger than Clinton's lead was in North Carolina. And, of course, for what it's worth (not much), his lead is significantly larger than Clinton's was in the national polls."
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In a document they call the "Great Barrington Declaration," a group of scientists has argued against Covid-19 lockdowns. This week some top Trump administration officials though not Dr. Anthony Fauci indicated they're open to the idea of aiming for "herd immunity," noted Jeffrey D. Sachs.
Their view: "Let the pandemic run its course until most of the population is infected and has ostensibly developed antibodies to ward off future infections. Typical estimates hold that 70% or more of the population would thereby become infected," Sachs pointed out.
Covid-19 has had a devastating effect on many big cities, "emptying normally bustling streets and haunting formerly crowded subways," Fareed Zakaria wrote in an excerpt from his new book, "Ten Lessons for a Post-Pandemic World."
"People sheltered in place or scattered to the suburbs. Work shifted to laptops and Zoom, as the energy of cities was replaced by an eerie quiet."
Hurricanes are given human names like Katrina, Maria and Sandy each season to help people make a connection with these enormous natural phenomena. For only the second time, as John D. Sutter noted, this year the "World Meteorological Organization has run out of human names ... for storms in the Atlantic." So now they are using the letters of the Greek alphabet.
On October 7, Hurricane Delta hit Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula and two days later, it made landfall in Louisiana. It arrived in the US, where at least four people died, just about a week after Tropical Storm Gamma hit Tulum, Mexico.
Sutter, who has reported on climate for years, wants to address the fears "many around the world share, even if they don't have the exact words to express it. Maybe that's you. Or maybe you're too tired or worried or just so overwhelmed these days that it only occurs to you late at night, when the kids are asleep or you're alone and there's no one to talk to..."
"The truth is, we don't have to be paralyzed by the magnitude of this crisis. There are workable solutions we're just not pursuing them, or not doing so anywhere near the economy-shifting scale (or the planet-saving speed) that the science of global warming requires."