I’ll admit, part of me thought Donald Trump might surprise us all and perform really well during the first presidential debate. However, for the most part, what I saw during the first big test of the general election is exactly what I expected.
Hillary Clinton was poised, confident and showed off the fact that she’s probably one of the most well-rounded, knowledgeable and detailed presidential candidates we’ve ever seen. Meanwhile, Donald Trump was an absolute train wreck in the first debate where he couldn’t hide out in a crowded field of candidates like he could during the GOP’s primary. While he’s been campaigning for over a year, last night was really the first time Trump had to actually prove he’s more than insults, empty talking points and campaign propaganda designed to pander to his supporters — and he performed terribly.
It’s often said that how someone responds to adversity tells you a lot about the character of that person. So, knowing the character (or lack thereof, actually) of Trump, the humiliating day he had on Tuesday was rather fitting.
To start, there was the whining by Trump where he tried to blame a “faulty mic” for his poor performance, which is probably one of the dumbest things I’ve ever heard. Not only was his microphone obviously working perfectly, but that would have had nothing to do with how terrible his demeanor, behavior and responses were. Heck, I’ll even argue he might have been better off had his mic not worked properly, that way people couldn’t have heard all the asinine things he said.
Then he basically avoided any and all media outside of Fox News (shocker), where he complained about Lester Holt, saying that the NBC moderator (and Republican, by the way) asked him “hostile” and “unfair” questions. Now, I’d say this is “shocking” — except for the fact that I predicted he’d do exactly that.
Maybe the saddest part of the day came when Trump and his campaign continued to insist that he “won the debate,” citing internet polls as their “proof” — while dismissing the actual scientific polls that unanimously said Clinton clearly defeated him on Monday. He even tried citing an online poll from the Drudge Report. You know, because a hyper-partisan conservative website is really going to provide a quality random sample. If you’re citing online polls (which aren’t scientific or even remotely credible) because the real polls aren’t going in your favor, that’s pathetic.
Then there was the overall backlash from his performance. While Trump, his campaign and his supporters were busy making excuses for him, the truth of the matter was, there were several embarrassing moments for him.
First, the fact that he more or less called himself “smart” after Clinton accused him of possibly not paying any income taxes. Nothing like a presidential candidate essentially bragging about manipulating our tax code to avoid paying his fair share of taxes so the rest of us have to pick up his tab. Can you imagine if Mitt Romney had said that in 2012? That would have been just as damaging to his campaign as his “47%” comment turned out to be.
Then there were his terrible answers for the birther conspiracy he claims to have “ended” recently with his pathetic 27 second comment where he refused to cite what evidence he had been given that changed his mind. It seems like the more he talks about this situation, the worse he makes it for himself. It’s ridiculous to see someone who has numerous examples where he pushed this theory up until just a few months ago claim that the issue was put to rest years ago when he got President Obama to release his birth certificate. It almost might be a valid statement had Trump also not spent the last few years accusing the president of faking that very same birth certificate.
We also can’t forget the heat he took for his answer to Clinton bringing up his housing racial discrimination lawsuit where he never denied that it happened, but seemed to try to make an excuse for himself by claiming that everyone else was doing it, too. Maybe it’s just me, but saying something like “everyone else was doing it” when you’re accused of racial discrimination isn’t, exactly, the best answer for blatant racism.
Trump also made himself look even worse with women when — after denying he had called supermodel Alicia Machado “Miss Housekeeping” — he went on Fox & Friends to complain that she had “gained a massive amount of weight and it was a real problem.” I hear these sorts of comments and it’s still baffling how he’s polling as well as he is. I’ve never seen a candidate get away with saying what he says. We tore apart Romney for his “binders full of women” gaffe in 2012 — but that’s nothing compared to what Trump’s said about females.
And then there’s “snifflegate.”
Look, Trump might have had some sort of cold or allergies. It seemed pretty clear something was wrong or off with him. I felt that was rather ironic considering he’s questioned Clinton’s health and “stamina,” yet he looked to be the one who was having some issues on Monday night.
I’m not going to be one of those people claiming he did cocaine, or sniffed Adderall, or any of that other garbage. But it was one of those things (combined with constantly drinking water) which just added to the overall humiliation of the entire evening and what then transpired on Tuesday.
For the first time throughout his entire campaign, Donald Trump looked incredibly weak. Not only was a lot of this “tough-talking, macho” bravado washed away after Hillary Clinton absolutely owned him during the first debate, but he responded by acting like a cowardly bully who had just gotten knocked flat on their ass by the person to which they thought they were superior.
Tuesday was the first day where I saw the media finally treating Donald Trump like the weaker candidate — even though he’s always been exactly that. All things considered and knowing what’s at stake, it very well could rank as the most embarrassing day of Donald J. Trump’s entire life.
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