Tonight’s debate was possibly the most anticipated political event in modern political history. I’ve followed and analyzed politics for many years and I’ve never seen a presidential debate with as much anticipation as tonight’s first face-to-face “battle” between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump.
I wouldn’t say this was everything many thought it would be (aka non-stop reality-style drama and conflict), but it still showed us a whole lot.
Hillary Clinton was calm, collected and I think did a great job of appearing relaxed and comfortable. Meanwhile, Donald Trump looked rattled, nervous and many of his responses were rambling and all over the place.
To be honest, at times, this was hard to follow. While Clinton’s answers were usually fairly specific and on-point, Trump’s were all over the place and often hard to follow. Throughout his entire campaign I have never see him appear — dare I say — so “low-energy” and lacking stamina like I did tonight.
Predictably, fact-checking Trump was a constant job. Perhaps one of his biggest lies came when he denied calling climate change a hoax created by the Chinese. Well, it just so happens he most certainly did.
Another low moment for Trump came when he used the debunked lie that he can’t release his tax returns because he’s currently being audited, only to have it pointed out to him that the IRS has said that his audit has nothing to do with his ability to release his tax returns. In fact, trying to defend his stance on his tax returns landed him in a word salad rant where he said all of our airports look like they’re from the “third-world.”
Then there was the part of the debate where he claimed that the people who hacked the DNC (despite security experts saying all signs point to Russia) basically could have been some ‘400 pound’ guy lying in bed — nobody knows. This from the same man who says he has the “best words.” His vocabulary was clearly on full display tonight.
Perhaps one of his worst moments came when the birther conspiracy was mentioned. Not only did he try to take credit for making President Obama show his birth certificate, but he continued to push the soundly debunked lie that Hillary Clinton was the person who created the birther nonsense to begin with. Though what I would have liked to see him asked is why, when no other president has been forced to show their birth certificate, was our nation’s first African American president asked to show his.
He also claimed that Clinton has been fighting ISIS her “entire adult life.” Being that she turned 18 in 1965, and ISIS wasn’t founded until 2004, I don’t think that’s entirely accurate.
When Iraq was brought up, once again, he claimed he’s always opposed the Iraq War — even when there’s indisputable audio evidence that he was for the war in 2002.
Then when he declared he had a “better temperament” than Clinton, the audience actually erupted into laughter.
To quote Trump, tonight was a “disaster” for him. Not only did he look rather out-of-control and unorganized, but it was blatantly obvious that he lacks even the basic knowledge needed to discuss so many of the topics that were discussed tonight. Whenever he was pressed for specifics, he often reverted right back to his empty, often inaccurate, talking points.
I’m going to make a bold prediction that Trump whines about how “rigged” this debate was against him – which is basically what I predicted he’d do weeks ago.
With two more debates left before the election, clearly this first confrontation between Clinton and Trump set the stage for what we should expect going forward. The only question now is, will Trump even show up to the next two? While it could be political suicide to skip both events, he had clearly been laying the foundation for his refusal to participate in any future debates by pushing the idea that this one was going to be “rigged against him.”
But tonight was the first night we saw Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump go one-on-one, and it lived up to its billing.
I’m sure his supporters will disagree (after all, I’m sure he’s going to whine about how “unfair” everything was for him), but it was incredibly obvious that Clinton established herself as the only qualified candidate on that stage this evening. Not only was she vastly more knowledgeable when it came knowing actual details and facts, but Trump proved time and time again that he’s woefully unfit — and completely unqualified — to be president.