What parents need to know about tonight's presidential debate

And what Motherly is watching for.

Trump + Joe Biden
White House/Joe Biden/Instagram

[Editor's note: Motherly is committed to covering all relevant presidential candidate plans as we approach the 2020 election. We are making efforts to get information from all candidates. Motherly does not endorse any political party or candidate. We stand with and for mothers and advocate for solutions that will reduce maternal stress and benefit women, families and the country.]

Tonight's the night. President Donald Trump and Democratic Presidential Nominee Joe Biden will face off in the first of three presidential debates of 2020.

It kicks off at 9 pm Eastern time from Cleveland, where just 70 people will be in the audience for this historic and socially-distanced, 90-minute debate.

President Trump is reportedly skipping debate preparation while The Associated Press reports Joe Biden has been studying hard.

We at Motherly are preparing, too.


The candidates are expected to talk about the following issues tonight, according to the Commission on Presidential Debates:

  • The Trump and Biden Records
  • The Supreme Court
  • Covid-19
  • The Economy
  • Race and Violence in our Cities
  • The Integrity of the Election
These topics were chosen by the moderator, Chris Wallace of Fox News, and we've got to say we are disappointed, because while these topic are certainly incredibly important, there are some glaring omissions from this list. Hopefully the disproportionate weight of the pandemic's economic impact on mothers and affordable childcare will be addressed in the economy section, and the maternal health crisis which impacts Black women especially will be addressed in the race section, but political experts believe the debate will be heavy on name-calling and light on details about policy.
That's not okay. Candidates should not be spending debate time slinging mud, but rather impressing citizens with their vision for the future. Because mothers are so concerned about the future of the United States of America and policy has an impact on everything...right down to how, when and if people choose to have babies.
Back when Joe Biden was one of many Democratic candidates vying for the stage he's taking tonight, it took multiple debates for candidates to discuss paid leave. The people of the United States should not have to wait until the last debate for this pressing topic to be discussed by presidential candidates.

History has proven that fewer viewers watch the later debates, and by October 15 and 22, when the duo face off again, many will have already voted through advanced ballots.

Mothers in America deserve to know exactly how the candidates plan to address the cultural expectations that contribute to maternal stress in America, including:

  • The future of paid family leave in America
  • How maternal health crisis will be addressed
  • And affordable childcare solutions

We're calling on President Trump and Joe Biden to speak to America's mothers about the following issues, if not tonight then soon.





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