Last night, the First Presidential Candidate Debate of 2016 lived up to its advance billing, turning into an event reminsicent of the legendary Monday Nights when Professional Rasslin’ reigned supreme in the Mid-South Coliseum in my hometown of Memphis, Tennessee.
Foxnews.com has posted the following summary…
Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton, in a fiery opening debate where seemingly nothing was off limits, clashed sharply Monday night as the Republican nominee worked to cast his rival as a career politician unable to bring change – and the Democratic nominee fought to tag Trump as an empty suit “hiding” something from the American public.
Entering their first encounter after a solid week of intense preparation, Clinton seemed ready for several of Trump’s taunts on stage at Hofstra University.
When Trump, discussing how he’d been “all over” the country talking to inner-city communities, said, “You decided to stay home, and that’s okay” – Clinton had a swift retort.
“I think Donald just criticized me for preparing for this debate. And yes, I did,” Clinton said. “And you know what else I prepared for? I prepared to be president, and I think that’s a good thing.”
Later in the debate, Trump summed up his counter-argument in a few words: “Hillary has experience, but it’s bad experience.”
The debate took a number of twists and turns, and it’s unclear how and whether it will tilt the race at a time when the polls are tightening. The general election rivals will meet twice more on the debate stage next month.
Despite some expectation-setting in the run-up to Monday’s face-off that the candidates would bring a reserved demeanor, the niceties did not last long. Trump and Clinton clashed early and often and rarely did they dial back the tensions.
Trump, toward the close of the debate, tried to undermine Clinton’s persistent argument that he’s temperamentally unfit for the nation’s highest office.
“I have a winning temperament. I know how to win,” Trump said, before contrasting that against Clinton’s widely mocked video-conference address last week to a labor union. Trump told Clinton “you were totally out of control.”
She countered: “A man who can be provoked by a tweet should not have his fingers anywhere near the nuclear codes.”
Trump also repeated his charge that Clinton “doesn’t have the stamina,” while Clinton responded by reviewing her secretary of state resume.
“As soon as he travels to 112 countries and negotiates a peace deal, a cease fire, release of dissidents … or even spends 11 hours testifying before a congressional committee, he can talk to me about stamina,” she said.
Trump used the debate to hammer campaign themes like calling for a return to “law and order” and vowing to bring jobs back to America. Clinton focused on rebuilding middle-class America as well.
But in between, the debate veered into personal shots.
Trump reached back to the 1990s to hammer her former president husband Bill Clinton over NAFTA, which he called “the worst trade deal maybe ever signed anywhere,” and remind voters about her controversial comment from that era referring to some young criminals as “super predators.”
Clinton, though, had a sharp exchange with Trump as she challenged him to release his tax returns, which Trump has said he can’t do because of an audit.
Clinton questioned whether Trump is really as wealthy as he claims and said, “There’s something he’s hiding.”
Trump issued Clinton a challenge of his own, saying he’ll defy his lawyers’ advice and release his taxes if she releases the “33,000 emails” she erased.
“As soon as she releases them, I will release my tax returns,” Trump said.
The tone of the debate seemed to get more caustic as the debate neared its end.
Clinton said of Trump, “This is a man who has called women pigs, slobs and dogs.”
And they traded shots over Trump’s role in questioning President Obama’s birthplace. Clinton said he peddled a “racist lie,” while Trump said Clinton aides played a role as well.
“When you try to act holier than thou, it really doesn’t work,” he said.
The debate was moderated by Lester Holt, who stayed out of the fray initially but toward the end challenged Trump on a handful of assertions including his claim he opposed the Iraq war.
At one point, Trump also accused Clinton of “fighting ISIS your entire adult life,” and she later mocked him for blaming her for “everything” and saying what she described as “crazy things.”
The Democratic nominee also ripped Trump over his tax plan, which she said would “blow up the debt” while mainly benefiting the wealthy.
“I call it trumped-up trickle down,” she said. “That is not how we grow the economy.”
Trump, meanwhile, described Clinton as late-to-the-game when it comes to scrutinizing American trade deals.
“Secretary Clinton and others … should have been doing this for years, not right now,” he said.
He said he wanted to keep jobs and business in the United States by threatening to tax companies that move jobs outside the U.S. He told Clinton pointedly, “You’ve been doing this for 30 years. … I will bring back jobs. You can’t bring back jobs.”
He made a similar argument about her ability to take on the Islamic State.
“You were secretary of state when it was a little infant. Now it’s in over 30 countries. And you’re gonna stop them? I don’t think so,” he said.
The presidential debate, six weeks before Election Day, was the first of three in the final stretch of the campaign. The general election foes’ first face-off came as polling consistently shows a tightening race, in national surveys as well as in the battlegrounds that will decide the election.
This put even more pressure on the candidates to turn in a stellar performance Monday night, and seize the advantage going into October. Polls show both candidates are viewed negatively by sizeable swaths of the electorate – but Clinton faced the primary task of settling questions about her honesty while Trump faced the task of proving to voters he’s ready for the nation’s highest office.
The debate, though, seemed to gloss over two of the biggest trouble spots in Clinton’s record – her personal email use as secretary of state and ethical questions surrounding the Clinton Foundation. The latter issue did not come up during the debate, while the emails were addressed briefly.
While Trump has assailed Clinton throughout the campaign as dishonest, the Clinton campaign increasingly has pushed a narrative that Trump is temperamentally unfit to lead. The former secretary of state has enjoyed some help from influential voices in the media establishment, with The New York Times and Washington Post both publishing editorials Monday morning echoing that theme.
But Trump has dismissed such critiques, maintaining the public confidence heading into Hofstra that he exuded throughout the Republican primaries – during which the first-time candidate and debater vanquished 16 foes and dominated the stage over the roughly dozen early-season debates.
That record rendered him a rival not to be underestimated by the Clinton camp, which spent days preparing the Democratic nominee in study and mock-debate sessions even while Trump was out campaigning last week.
After the debate was over, I went on Facebook to see how the political players that I follow would react to it.
What immediately caught my eye was a post by Ronald Reagan’s adopted son, Michael, the formerly nationally-syndicated Radio Talk Show Host, claiming that Trump had lost.
No explanation. He just claimed that he had lost.
I expected that from Michael, because, like George H.W. Bush, “41”, his genteel Republican Establishment Sensibilities are offended by Citizen Statesman Trump, even though he has reluctantly endorsed him after being hammered repeatedly by average Americans on Facebook for his snotty opposition to Trump.
Doug Shoen, who used to hand out at the now-comatose political website Hotair.com, is a co-host of the program “Political Insiders” on Fox news. He is a Former Pollster for President Bill Clinton. We used to get into political “discussions” in the comments section of the before-mentioned Salem-owned Website, back when “The Boss” Michelle Malkin, still owned and operated it. Therefore, it came as no surprise when, in his op ed posted on Foxnews.com this morning, he wrote that Hillary won because…
The debate, taken in its entirety, demonstrates how much preparation really matters. She was ready for all of his quips with a litany of detail that may have bored the viewer at points, but showed why she is winning on qualifications, experience and temperament in every poll.
I beg to differ from these gentleman, because, down here in Realityville, USA, while Trump did not completely take her out, like “King” Jerry Lawler used to do to Paul Orndorff when he used to drop him on his head with a wrestling move called a “piledriver” on Monday Nights at the Mid-South Coliseum, Trump still did well enough to fend off a two-pronged assault from both Hillary and Democratic Sycophantic Moderator Lester Holt.
Trump got in several good points and several good shots, clearly ruffling the feathers of The Queen of Mean on quite a few occasions, to the point of where it looked like she what waiting on Holt to intervene on her behalf, which he did, on at least 5 occasions.
It was the preparation itself, that Fox news is lauding in their summary, that hampered Clinton.
It was the only arrow that she had in her quiver.
Unlike Trump, she does not speak well extemporaneously.
When she is placed in an awkward position in the public arena, as she was last night, she comes off and stilted, awkward, and well, snotty.
This is no doubt the reason that all of the online polls that I checked out this morning show that Trump, in the opinion of those participating in these polls, ran away with the debate. Even CBS’ local affiliate in New York shows an overwhelming victory for Trump in the debate last night.
All of the Professional Politicians and Political Pundits still don’t get it.
Average Americans have had their fill of meaningless platitudes and political expediencies.
The frustration, anger, and helplessness that they have felt during the last 8 years has reached it’s boiling point.
Average Americans stopped paying attention to the Political Propaganda being spewed forth daily by the Main Stream Media on behalf of the Democratic Party a long time ago.
They believe the photographed reality being posted on Facebook more than they believe the pablum posted by the bought-and-paid-for MSM Minions.
Americans believe what they have seen and what they, their family, and their friends have experienced and are experiencing.
That is why Trump is surging in the polls and why Hillary’s “preparation” for last night’s debate turned out to be as effective as using a BB Gun on a rampaging elephant.
Even another “vitamin shot” from her ever-present “attendant” won’t help her now.
Until He Comes,