Thursday's night presidential town halls were very different from each other, and a similar theme has emerged in the political post-mortems. What was originally supposed to be a face-to-face debate "morphed into a long-distance study in contrasts," write Alexander Burns and Katie Glueck at the New York Times. Essentially, the events provided viewers with a choice: Which style of president do you want, combative or, well, dull?
- The "dueling town halls were like a choose-your-own-ending book, letting us peer into the future and see what the two election outcomes would be like," write Mike Allen and Margaret Talev at Axios.
- "It came off less like a split screen than a breach in the political universe—Die Hard versus It's a Wonderful Life," per David Siders and Anita Kumar at Politico.
- "On one channel, Mister Rogers' Neighborhood. On the other, a rerun of Celebrity Deathmatch. Or, at least, that's how it felt," write Scott Bixby and Asawin Suebsaeng at the Daily Beast. That wasn't the only comparison to Mister Rogers. Biden's town hall "feels like I am watching an episode of Mister Rodgers [sic] Neighborhood," tweeted Trump campaign adviser Mercedes Schlapp. USA Today notes that "Mr. Rogers" was soon trending.