I admit I wanted Trump to thump Hilly tonight. I wanted him to call her out on lying to the FBI, to Congress, to the American People. I wanted him to hit her on the corruption infecting the Clinton Foundation. I wanted him to nail her on her campaign paying professional agitators to disrupt Trump rallies.
Now, he did all that but not the way I wanted him to. No roundhouse punches, no swinging for the fences, instead Trump played to win. Which made for dull television but, I think, may have locked it up for him.
I wrote a couple of days ago that if Trump could go for the father/grandfather thing, look sane and competent, he’d pull the votes he needed. That was the route he took tonight.
Hilly was in there fighting. But she wandered off her own points. Extolled the Clinton Foundation, rambled on while both the very good moderator, Chris Wallace and Trump tried to get a word in edgewise. Tried to own the minutes like she was the challenger rather than the gal with the big poll numbers.
Trump leaned back. He made his points but he managed to project a sense of self-assurance I had not seen before.
I think he won on points but, unlike the first and second debates, he seemed easy in himself. Some of the annoying swagger was gone. He let Hilly run on about her set pieces without letting her get under his skin. If anything he was a bit too mellow, a bit too measured. He was running up points but he was not fist pumping every time he scored one.
Hillary certainly scored sufficient points that the MSM will be able to tout the debate as a Hilly win. But, if she had scored no points at all, the MSM would score it exactly the same way.
For Trump tonight was largely about showing the undecided voters that they have nothing to fear in a Trump Presidency. I think he did that. Draining the hysteria was job #1, scoring points, which he did well, was a distant second.
Hillary now retreats to her bunker – although she now has some event scheduled between now and the end of the month – and Trump keeps his show on the road.
The other thing which happened tonight is that Chris Wallace ensured that he would be struck off the party lists of all sorts of establishment types. He brought up Wikileaks, he brought up the Veritas videos, he asked about Hilly giving a quarter of a million dollar speech. He asked Trump some tough questions too, but it was refreshing to see a degree of even-handedness. And it put Wikileaks and Veritas and Hilly’s speeches into play.
Trump had a great night, Hilly had an OK night, but the final three weeks are going to be more about her corruption than Trump’s buffoonery. Which means that, net, Hilly got killed.