Watching the presidential debate Monday night was an interesting experience (to say the least). Hillary Clinton began by entering comfortably into her calculated politician speak (relating carefully planned talking points like a pre-programmed robot) while Donald Trump spoke largely off the cuff and projected his signature unorthodox persona (patently “not-politician”).
Clinton surprisingly took some fight to Trump throughout the night; attempting to zing Donald on several issues, including whether or not he supported the Iraq war, his tax returns, and the people he allegedly built his business on the backs of; but to anyone with even a little knowledge of Hillary’s markedly scandalous past, these attacks ran very thin. Any damage that her aggression might have brought to bear against Trump became almost instantly muted by her own hypocrisy — an example of this occurring when she suggested Trump was hiding something by not releasing his tax returns. Hiding something? You mean like 30,000 erased emails?
That sort of tactic is not an unexpected one from the former Senator (who expects that her own supporters and uneducated undecideds will give her a pass for just about anything if she lies hard enough). The usefulness of this old “go-to,” however, may be swiftly reaching its end. Why? Because Clinton has a credibility problem with the American people. Not only is she now known (famously) for her habitual and unapologetic lying, she’s also an “O.G.” establishment politician right down to the very core — and that was clearly on display this evening.
While Trump seemed chaotic and a little vague at times, Hillary came across as manic and smug — hiding behind her politician speak and condescension. If anything, Trump came away looking like something different — an unpracticed, unpolished, regular person with a particular set of skills setting him a part from about 99.999% of the population — a super “everyman.” Hillary Clinton, on the other hand, looked like a lawyer and politician — of the “dime-a-dozen” variety.
It makes one wonder how she was able to make it this far; even when her only competition was a septuagenarian socialist — and she almost lost to him (even after the DNC conspired to cheat on her behalf). Flagrant flaws withstanding, many pundits have rushed to line up behind Clinton; declaring her the victor of this evening’s contest. Thankfully, there are a few other venues (with no particular loyalty to Trump) that have maintained some objectivity and are questioning that narrative. Below is an excerpt taken at 12:17am EST from the (left-wing) Time Magazine poll following tonight’s debate, showing Trump as the favorite with a significant margin of victory among the over half-a-million voters. If the pundits liked Hillary, it looks as if the people liked Trump. Who matters more?
Rare editor Jack Hunter (a libertarian supporter of Gary Johnson) had this to say about the debate outcome:
I’m watching the debate analysis and critiques now. Many are giving Hillary the edge. I don’t know about that. I’ve been very clear that I’m not a Trump fan. I’m also not a Hillary fan. I’m supporting Libertarian Gary Johnson in this election. But I think Trump came out of Monday night as a more sincere — if not serious — candidate. That doesn’t mean he’s more electable, only that he might still be more attractive in an election full of voters already in revolt. Democrats saw Bernie Sanders attempt a coup d’état of the political establishment this year. The Republicans saw the same with Donald Trump, who just happened to become their nominee … Hillary Clinton seemed like a conventional politician in the first presidential debate. Donald Trump did not. That might not be enough to swing this election Trump’s way. But it has defined so much of this election to date.
What do you think? Did Trump win the debate tonight? Did we totally miss something and Hillary was actually the better of the two? Let us know on Facebook or in the comments below.