Monday, October 10, 2016
I wasn't wrong...It did...Indeed this was the most contentious and ugly of the two debates....With Trump being...well...Trump!
Hillary Clinton had more to work with in terms of negative hits on Donald Trump in this debate than she did the last time the candidates met earlier this month, but she did less with it than she did in the first debate. This debate was focused far more on Clinton than Trump -- particularly in the final hour or so. Hillary Clinton's answer on her email server was ahhhh and her Abraham Lincoln defense on her speeches to Wall Street was ridiculous. (Even I thought that that was funny!)
So, how is she a winner? Because Hillary Clinton went into this debate with massive momentum in the race -- much of it caused by Donald Trump's stumbles and mis-steps -- and she didn't make any sort of glaring error that would allow the Republican contestant back into the contest. She was steady, knowledgeable and pleasant -- even in the face of some very personal attacks -- throughout. And she let Donald Trump talk which, as has been the case since he got into the race, is always his undoing.
This was actually a better debate than the first one...I couldn't honestly say who had the edge at the end of the night... but look, Donald Trump was much more solid and energetic in this debate than in the previous one. He was able to drive messages on Clinton's email, the Clinton Foundation and Benghazi. He dealt with his hot mic tape in (relatively) short order. And he ad-libbed a terrific line after Clinton cited Lincoln to explain her impolitic comments in front of a Wall Street audience.
And yet, Donald Trump was -- wait for it -- his own worst enemy. His stunt of holding a pre-debate press conference with a handful of women allegedly assaulted by Bill Clinton flowed seamlessly into Trump's insistence from the debate stage that Hillary Clinton would be in jail if he was elected president -- and into his remarkable (and repeated) accusation that Clinton has "hate in her heart." Donald Trump won the debate among the Republican base who have longed for a candidate who would stand up to the Clintons without fear of reprisal. The problem for Donald Trump is that we know from polling that his base isn't nearly large enough to win an election.
Sooooo....Hillary didn't commit any errors, she stayed on point and Donald Trump did just enough not to embarrass himself....
Score- Hillary ...but just barely!