Debate Round 1

ep-160929583Remember the actual TENSION before the debate between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton? There was a tightness in the air, on television and across the Twittersphere.

And it continued for a while — while Trump was calm, Hillary was rattling off her prepared remarks and the everyone was getting in the groove.

Finally we got what was expected: Broad attacks, long-winded defenses and smarmy responses.

And that was just on Twitter!
(ho ho ho)

But the broad consensus is that Trump did well in the first half hour, then Hillary did much better in the final 60 minutes. Instead of attacking Hillary on all the regular recent events, Trump spent the majority of the time defending himself. Hits on emails, Benghazi, servers, Clinton Foundation and “deplorables” all went by the wayside.

Now moderator Lester Holt isn’t innocent in this whole matter. Sure, Trump was Trump and he went down the path that he usually goes down.

But Holt asked the “tough” questions to Trump — and ONLY Trump. He hit him on his taxes, birtherism, argued back and forth on the Iraq war and Hillary’s “look”.

And what did Hillary get from Holt?

You can argue that Hillary kept Trump “on his heels”, etc. etc. and that he should have been more on offense. But when it’s 2 against 1, the game changes.

Could Trump have still hit Hillary harder and better? Of course. But Hillary also had the luxury of no hard questions from the “independent” moderator. And she got to have Holt do the dirty work while she stood by doing her shimmy-dance thing.

Hillary supporters know this happened.
But Holt wasn’t about to end up with the same fate as Matt Lauer — or heck, even Jimmy Falon. So hammer Trump he did.

Debate panelists felt Hillary won easily. But it’s questionable how much “undecideds” watched past the first 30 minutes. The estimation here is that it did little to move the needle much either way.

Feel free to give an edge to Hillary.
Question is, did she need more than that?



Solace for Hillary fans:

A focus group of 29 undecided Ohioans gave it:

Hillary: 17
Trump: 0
Neither: 11

Solace for Trump fans:

Same focus group said NONE of the undecideds were moved to one side or the other by the debate.



More on the rest of the politics of the day around 1pm-ish. So come on back.

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  1. anon says:

    Clinton bested the Donald, we are a step closer to ponder the next 4 years. The media was the clear winner. which they have been predicted and shaped for days

  2. Whining about the moderator shows you think you lost. HTH.

    Meanwhile, CNN has compiled a list of lies Trump told. Here they are:

    He said he did not support the Iraq war
    Clinton was involved in birtherism
    Stop and Frisk has not been ruled unconstitutional
    Murders are up recently in NYC
    Said that his claim climate change was a plot by the Chinese was a ‘joke’. and that China doesn’t do anything to help climate change.
    (To Clinton) “You’ve been fighting ISIS your entire adult life” (whuh? Is he accusing Clinton of being a millenial? No, he just hasn’t got the faintest clue about history and geopolitics),
    “Ford is leaving the US”
    Denied he had ever called pregnancy “an inconvenience to employers”.

  3. Meanwhile, from the inimitable Ben Sasse

    I dunno, you guys…but it kinda feels like both teams lost tonight.
    I don’t think this is the game America deserves.

    It was like watching the Cowboys vs. the Giants. You’re rooting for both teams to lose, but you know that can’t happen.

    • Sparkles says:

      Cut and dried –
      On August 12, 2013, U.S. District Court Judge Shira A. Scheindlin ruled the controversial police tactic unconstitutional.
      The Bloomberg administration appealed, and the Second Circuit Court of Appeals suspended the order and sent it back to be tried under a new judge. But the court denied the city’s motion to vacate Schneidlin’s decision.
      Eventually, the de Blasio administration dropped the appeal.

      Donald Trump was wrong.
      Hillary Clinton was right.

      Of course, Trump’s microphone was a little crackly, and lower than Clinton’s.. I’m not suggesting a conspiracy, but…
      And Lester Holt is a democrat.
      And what about Benghazi-Benghazi!!

      • repenting lawyer says:

        Sparkles, hate to ever agree with Trump but a USDJ could not overrule Terry v Ohio, SDNY. case found NYC application discriminatory. Since City gave in on appeal, interesting but not strong precedent.

      • Sparkles says:


        I respect your wisdom.
        For a layman, the explanations presented in the media for ‘unconstitutional’, hence Trump is wrong, seem pretty straightforward.
        There are clearly some permutations in the reasoning that leads to your conclusion, that my layman’s brain can’t wrap itself around. Some leaps I’m not equipped to make.

        Thanks for the enlightenment.

    • repenting lawyer says:

      Bluejay, see my response to Sparkle. NYC program was a combination of no broken windows policing with stop and frisk as a tool. It tended to produce discriminatory enforcement which is what D Ct held. Popular press treated that as overruling stop and frisk, which was approved by the SCOTUS in Terry v Ohio, a decision of the Warren Ct hardly an enemy of the 4th Amendment, and which a D Ct judge could not overrule. Trump has tended to conflate stop and frisk with Giuliani’s version, which kind of confuses the issue, but he was correct.

      • Bluejay says:

        You are correct on the law. No surprise there.

        My point is that it was a decision of a single trial judge and the current Mayor dropped the appeal. No SCOTUS decision at all. Holt attached way too much significance to the case. He made it sound as if John Marshall had ruled on the issue.

  4. Sparkles says:

    It’s impressive how many news outlets have already fact checked last night’s debate.

    GH pointed to CNN.
    NPR has an impressively comprehensive debate transcript available, with every claim fact checked.
    Politico has a robust review they call The Politico Wrongometer.
    The bright young minds at Vox have a list of 11 of Trump’s Biggest Whoppers –
    1) Trump: “I do not say” climate change is a hoax perpetrated by the Chinese.
    2) Trump to Clinton: “You’ve been fighting ISIS your whole life.”
    3) Trump claimed to have not called women “pigs, slobs, and dogs.”
    4) Trump said he was endorsed by the Immigration and Customs Enforcement border patrol agency.
    5) Trump said he did not support the Iraq War.
    6) Trump: I only got a “very small” business loan from my father.
    7) Trump denied that he claimed to not care if Asian countries got nukes.
    8) Trump claimed he released the “most extensive” financial review in political history.
    9) Trump blamed the “birther” conspiracy theories on Clinton allies.
    10) Trump claimed American manufacturing is in decline.
    11) Trump: NATO focuses on terrorism because of me.

    It takes only a cursory review of the news media this morning before the pattern becomes vividly clear –
    Donald Trump Lies. A lot.

    • The Grundle King says:

      They both lie a lot. They’re both the absolute worst that either party has to offer. It’s like choosing between jumping into a sewage lagoon, or having sewage dumped on you.

      • Sparkles says:

        Trump is certainly the worst candidate the GOP could have put forward.
        Breathtaking in his lack of qualifications for the role, wholly devoid of principle, recklessly unrestrained in his approach to the world around him and ruinously incurious.

        HRC lacks any aspirational attributes and has a disconcerting disregard for openness and transparency (many would argue based on 30 of relentless vilification by her opponents).
        Yet, HRC is fact one of the most well qualified candidates for POTUS on the planet.

      • The Grundle King says:

        “Yet, HRC is fact one of the most well qualified candidates for POTUS on the planet.”

        I keep seeing democrats repeating this line…but I have no idea what they think her qualifications actually are.

        Aside from being married to their hero, Bill Clinton, of course.

      • Sparkles says:

        I have no idea what they think her qualifications actually are.

        I’m glad to be able to rectify your plight.
        Conveniently, in their endorsement in Sunday’s paper, the NYT clearly lays out the exact qualifications that make Hillary one of the most qualified in modern history.
        And on the following day, the very same paper clearly presents the case of why Trump is the least qualified, in all of history.

        You’ll find each by googling –
        Editorial: Hillary Clinton for President
        Editorial: Why Donald Trump Should Not Be President

      • bynd says:

        NYT gives a lot of credit for, she tried. Some accomplishments, a few. I do believe that the future will show the Iranian deal to be a major error. But if trying is all it takes to be President she is certainly qualified. If trying, but not accomplishing, is a harbinger of what is ahead, then nothing will change and she will be another ineffective president. If she doesn’t follow the Obama method of executive orders to legislate.

        Why hasn’t anyone asked what those two think of such actions by the current Pres.?

        Questions not answered. The ACA is not salvageable because it is bad law and the Repubs won’t let be. Regardless, what would she do?

        The biggest threat to jobs and the economy is automation. And her plan for that is?

        Worse thing is, she is a short sighted politician who cares for the moment and reacts far to late for the future.

        Trumps has his own issues.

        But so much for the NYT endorsement of anyone. 30 years of being around the top and her actual accomplishments are?

  5. Post debate thoughts says:

    Talking point on the right went from it was a tie to it wasn’t that bad to Lester Holt, the registered republican, was in the bag for HRC to devolving into the usual suspects of what happened to more questions on emails and Benghazi! That’s when you know you’re losing. This coming from a registered repbublican.

    I also wonder if Trump pays federal income taxes. I don’t like paying high taxes, but I do pay taxes. If his comments on not paying federal income taxes are true and he really believes he is smart for not paying taxes, then he is a freeloader not willing to contribute to society.

    I also never thought I would hear Rosie O’Donnell being named in a debate.

    Watching how most of his responses are also “I have a great plan” makes me think his plan is to have the VP be the one in charge of domestic and foreign policy. Which is likely not far from the truth when you think about what was leaked about his meetings selecting a VP.

    Speaking of his repetitional use of “I have a great plan for (blank)” or “I have the best (blank)” I am struggling between starting to feel like he is selling me something on the home shopping network or one of the old west snake oil salesmen.

    Do I like Hilary? No. Will I plug my nose and vote for her? Yes.

  6. bynd says:

    In this state it appears that many believe that following the law is some how wrong. Who wrote the laws? MRI and Trump both followed the law, yet others skewer them for doing so. Even the recall of Suttle. How many said that the law was meant for such charges yet, that isn’t what the law said.

    If he paid less in taxes, just like Warren, than the lower class’ don’t blame them, blame those who pandered and wrote the laws. That would be HRC.

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