While President Donald Trump was up early Friday morning claiming on Twitter that his Thursday evening town hall meeting on NBC News had been a big success, the ratings and reactions from viewers suggested otherwise, and even a top Trump campaign adviser noted that the event had been better than the first debate with Joe Biden when Trump repeatedly interrupted and acted like like a lunatic.

The tepid reaction from Trump’s team is to be expected considering that his advisers had feared he’d make a mockery of himself yet again, according to The Daily Beast:

“To various players and operatives in Trumpworld, the president still managed to dramatically improve his public messaging compared to his widely panned (including among his close advisers) performance in the first Trump-Biden debate. Granted, that was setting the bar through the floor.

“’He didn’t spend the whole time yelling, he didn’t piss himself… so this was as best as we could have hoped for,’ said one Trump campaign adviser. ‘After the last debate, that is an improvement.'”

That’s one hell of a low bar: The president didn’t yell for an hour and didn’t piss himself. Apparently, what passes for success these days when it comes to Trump is that he manages to reign in the cray cray and not wet his pants. How’s that for American exceptionalism?

On the other hand, Joe Biden’s town hall, which was broadcast on ABC and lasted two hours instead of Trump’s 60-minute session, was filled with reasoned and thoughtful responses from the former vice president, such as when a questioner asked what it would mean if he lost to Trump:

“It could say that I’m a lousy candidate and I didn’t do a good job. But I hope that it doesn’t say that we are as racially, ethnically and religiously at odds with one another as it appears, as the president wants us to be.”

As the standoff between the two town halls was later billed, “It’s Mr. Rogers vs. ‘Someone’s Crazy Uncle.” Indeed, that pretty much sums up the 2020 election.

Featured Image Via NBC News