Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Reflections on the Clinton-Trump Debate

It was definitely not the Lincoln-Douglas Debates The consummate policy wonk from Illinois, Connecticut, Arkansas, New York, and D.C. debated the not quite ready for prime time debater from New York. The well prepared Clinton debated the unprepared or under prepared Trump, who was unfamiliar with this type of debate. Clinton certainly won on points, but did she win in the hearts and minds of Americans? Clinton won on talking points, policy papers, 30 years of experience, and the standard Democratic bromides of tax increases on the rich and and sticking it to Wall Street (Does she plan to return her $675,000 in speaking fees to Goldman Sachs?) Trump talked tax relief, excessive regulation, law and order, and relief for the inner cities Clinton had to be careful with “law and order” because she could not risk losing the inner city Black vote Law and order are powerful words, that resonate with much of the public, but two words were missing from the debate: Freedom Liberty Trump complained of excessive regulation, but nothing about freeing the people from the increasing yoke of an ever expanding government Both candidates favor expanding the role of the government, Clinton simply much faster than Trump. Hillary was Hillary and the Donald was Donald. Hillary showed she had stamina, not just from the well-practiced, memorized one-liners, but because she made it through the 1½ debate without any discernible physical problems. Hillary also showed that she will even lie during a nationally televised debate. Hillary glibly ran on the status quo She ran to perpetuate the status quo. She offered nothing new Donald Trump represents a break with the past, even in his debating style Americans feel the country is sliding downwards She offered bromides He offered alternatives Yet, this was a debate He missed opportunities to respond with one liners, that would be devastating to her, but didn’t. He missed opportunities to hammer home her glaring weaknesses He let her make him the subject of the debate rather than him forcing her to justify her failures, lies, and other improprieties He missed his chance, and knows it today He did not prepare as she had, but debated in the style that got him through the primary season, beating 16 experienced, mostly traditional candidates That was then, this is now Lester Holt was not fair to him in the debate. So what? Holt asked unforeseeable questions. Trump should have been prepared with quick answers to return to his main points. If Lester Holt did not raise Benghazi or the Clinton Foundation, trump should have. Clinton was Clinton, and Trump heeds the beat of a different drummer. She won the evening The campaign is not over

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