If you’re like me, you enjoy presidential debates for the memorable lines, the zingers, and watching two politicians talented enough to win the nomination of their parties debate the future of the country. If you’re like me, two other things are probably true: The debates are usually pitched toward people like us, and we’re atypical of most voters in the country.

Understanding those latter two points is the key to understanding Tuesday night’s face-off between Donald Trump and Joe Biden, because for the first time in years this debate was not pitched toward people like us. Trying to score it by traditional metrics misses the point.

So what was the point? It appears that the president had three goals, two of which he pulled off with varying degrees of success.

The first was to avoid a traditional debate on the merits. Rather than judging it in a vacuum, consider the alternative: A sober affair, consisting of Biden clubbing Trump over the head with 200,000 dead Americans, a historically large GDP contraction in the second quarter, his problematic (and still missing) tax returns, and the myriad other issues that have arisen over the course of his presidency. Trump simply wasn’t going to win that debate, and by avoiding it, he accomplished something he set out to do.

The second was to project dominance. This has been a Trump debate staple for five years now. It began with his derogatory nicknames during the GOP primary season in 2015-2016 and continued with his bizarre snorting and stalking the stage like a beast of prey during the debates with Hillary Clinton. By constantly talking over Biden, needling him, and refusing to accept any direction from moderator Chris Wallace, Trump was attempting to send a message that he was in charge. In retrospect, he previewed this approach for months with his constant attack on Biden as being “weak.”