Last night I got popcorn to watch the debate. I didn’t know if it would be a drama or a comedy, but all the suspense was giving me a thriller vibe, so popcorn was justified.
For those reading that don’t like to read long texts I will try to make some brief regards about last night’s Presidential Debate and only after that I will go further in the details.
Firstly, Hillary Clinton won the debate. However she could have done much better and the main reason she didn’t do much worse or even lost it was because Trump is clearly not experienced in debate and couldn’t take advantage of the grave she was digging for herself.
I will give you 4 high and low points for each candidate, not because they were balanced but just because I don’t want to make it too long and it is a way to keep it concise.
Hillary’s High points
- She remained calm. She even tried to look relaxed and happy, which is trying a bit too hard, but in the overall not going nuts with Trump is really good.
- She had some great comebacks. While talking about Trump’s tax returns she was able to made it clear that Trump has not been paying his taxes and he even said “that makes (him) smart”. After several accusations that Hillary doesn’t know how to manage public funds and that the country is poor, he says “we don’t have any money!” and Hillary responds “if you had paid your taxes maybe we would”. BURN. About the Trump secret plan to take down ISIS she just said, “The only secret about the secret plan to take down ISIS is that there is no secret plan.” Just another example was when Trump tried to make her look bad/sick for staying at home in the last few days while he was traveling. To which she responded: “Yes, I have been preparing for this debate, and do you know what I have also being preparing for? The Presidency.” BURN, once again.
- She actually answered the questions with some strategy points, but didn’t make it too technical or too complex.
- She was able to reframe Trumps “answers” to her advantage. Trump never really answers the questions, but Hillary did a good job on not pointing that out, but using that void of answer to pretend that he answered something that he actually didn’t. With things like “What you mean is… (and reframing his answer)” or “On this subject what you have been saying is….”.
Hillary’s low points
- Talking about her husband’s “good work” on the 90’s as president was just plain stupid. Even if you would agree that Bill Clinton was a great president (which I don’t), trying to get credit for your husband accomplishments is not a good idea if you want to be seen as a strong, independent woman.
- Too many family related remarks. She mentioned her granddaughter, her late father (more than once) and her husband. It is good to show family values, but too much is too much. And going into a “my father is better than yours” debate was also stupid, even if the end point (that she could not make clear) was that Hillary knows “the struggling class” better than Trump.
- Directly quoting Trump. It is obvious that Trump says a lot of stupid things, but to spend time of a debate quoting him is a waste of time. He just said “wrong” to every quotation and denied it. He is the master of that and no one seems to care about that entire “Facts checker” thing. He just lies, and he always gets away with it. If people cared about him lying all the time he would not have his current 43% in the latest Bloomberg pool.
- Laying some traps and then don’t get the right comebacks (but she got most of them). She spent some time talking about how workers employed by Trump complain he doesn’t pay them. A bit later, Trump says he is amazing for doing a building under budget. The obvious comeback would be that by not paying his workers it is obvious he would be able to get things done under budget.
Trump’s high points: (yes, I do have to admit he did have some… specially when expectations were historically low.)
- He didn’t go for personal attacks, at least directly. He even said that he was trying really hard to not go there, and we have to admit that he could have been really unpleasant
- He mentioned many cities and states in his answers. That is also a good strategy to make people of those places feel involved.
- He mentioned his key/buzz words in the first answer and repeated them many times (too many, but that is another question). Words and phrases like “China”, “Mexico”, “Getting our jobs back”, “Factories”, “Beautiful” and “the people” are just some examples. He always uses them and it gives him and his speech power.
- Most importantly, he did a good job on blaming Clinton for the ISIS crises. Saying that she has been fighting ISIS all of her adult life is just stupid because ISIS as it is know now it is a relatively recent situation (or to say that the USA should have taken all the oil), but he did say something that a lot of people think: the way the USA left Iraq left space and resources to ISIS to grow. That was careless and as someone in the last administration Hillary does have her share of the blame.
Trump’s low points:
- He got aggressive really fast. He was just screaming all the time, interrupting Hillary all the time and he even got the nerve to say that he has the “best judgment” and the “best temperament”. Well… NOT.
- He didn’t actually answer the questions and when he tried he only got in trouble for that. On the international relations topic he just tried to protect Russia, making China look the “bad guys” but at the same time saying that should be China to deal with the North Korea situation. Ah, and he also said that the USA is being ripped off by EVERY country in the world. Nice International politics answer…. NOT.
- In relation to one of the Hillary’s high point: Trump just confessed that he doesn’t pay taxes and even bragged that it makes him smart. Well, I think I don’t have to go into detail here but for the everyday working class tax-paying woman/man that he supposedly supports this should just make their votes swing to Hillary. It is an outrage.
- He tried, but he couldn’t avoid being racist. . On the Gun control and racial discrimination topic (which, by the way Hillary did really really good) he just did not get it. Trying to play nice with the Afro American communities, he just blamed immigrants with guns of being the real danger and not some racist police officers. He talked about Obama’s birth certification issue again, and he did it with pride, not in an apologetic way. Hillary and the moderator even put him under fire for his gender related remarks on Hillary not having a “presidential look” to which he just, once again, ignored the issue and said that it meant her “stamina”.
I know the blog got a bit bigger than usual; I am sorry and thank you if you read it until the end. Let me know your thoughts on the debate.