Tag Archives: Debate

Presidential

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┬ávideos, 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.

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Pre-Game

Whoever wins, a very large part of the electorate–perhaps more than a third–will believe that the government lacks legitimacy. We have not had circumstances like this since the Civil War. If Trump loses, his voters will blame a corrupt oligarchy and its allied media for electing a criminal to the White House; if Clinton loses, the minority constituencies of the Democratic Party will respond as if the Klu Klux Klan had taken over Washington. There has never been anything like this in the past century and a half of American history, and it is thankless to predict the outcome. Nonetheless I will: Trump will crush it. Clinton, the major media, the pollsters, and the mainstream Republican Party have badly misread the insurrectionist mood of the electorate.

David “Spengler” Goldman

The whole Goldman piece is worth a read.

Goldman is about the last person one would expect to foresee a Trump victory. He is smart, connected, deeply Jewish and very much at the intelligent patrician end of the vast right wing conspiracy. But Goldman understands that this election is a referendum on whether or not the American People are willing┬áto put up with another four years of corruption on both sides of the aisle or if they are willing to “drain the swamp”.

Goldman sense that the Americans have had enough.

I think he’s right. But I have ben disappointed before.

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Post Debate

Scanning around the internet the Trump supporters seem to be saying “Our guy won.” and the Hilly supporters are going with “Our gal didn’t lose.”

I thought Trump won on points. Much more polished than he was in the first debate and more willing to take the shots he needed to. I also think he spiked the grope gun.

What Trump did not do is knock Hilly out. She was still standing at the end of the debate which enabled her media supporters to claim “no loss, undefeated” and go back to attacking Trump.

A few days ago, Scott Adams suggested that if nothing came up between now and the election Hilly would win. He went on to say that the livelihood of nothing coming up was precisely zero. Coming out of the debate I think that is a pretty solid analysis. Trump won this debate and defused the grope tape. Hilly held her ground. If she continues to do no better than hold her ground I suspect she will win.

Trump needs to do, and be seen to do, at least two things: first, keep doing his rallies and try to expand them. A lot of people have to see that it is ok to vote for Trump. While there are plenty of people who will stay home rather than vote for Hilly, that will not win Trump the election. He has to make voting for him attractive enough to get people out to the polls.

The second thing Trump has to do is underline the reality of Hilly’s criminal conduct. He made a good start in the debate but it needs to be hammered home.

The fact is that there will almost certainly be another damaging revelation about Trump in the next four weeks. Possibly before the next debate. Trump needs to be prepared to pivot whatever that revelation is back onto Hilly’s criminal activity.

At the same time, it is a pretty good bet that there will be a few revelations about Hilly in that same time frame. While Hilly can rely on the MSM to bury most of them, there are likely to be one or two stories even the MSM can’t kill.

A couple of senior serving FBI agents resigning in protest over the handling of the criminal investigation of Clinton would be tough to ignore.

Trump needs to be ready to jump on this sort of thing. Jump in a focused, precise, damning way. He showed much more discipline in this last debate. Whether that discipline will last is a whole other question.

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Hilly On Points

Unsurprisingly, Trump did not knock Hilly out in the first debate. As even Mark Shields at PBS said, Trump won the first third but faltered in the second and third.

Hilly was better than I expected her to be. (Weirdly enough, she had a bit of the Jane Fonda in “Grace and Frankie” thing going on.) Trump was his usual aggressive self but, while he could run over the moderator at will, he didn’t land many punches past the first third.

Now there will likely be complaints about the questions and about how the moderator let Hilly run on; but what in fact happened is that Trump missed opportunities. He missed tying cybersecurity to Obama’s giving up American control of ICANN (aka the internet). And he was not deft enough to use that question to pivot onto Hilly’s risking America’s security with her home brew server. He hammered her for the fact her employees took the Fifth but he missed the opportunity to nail her with Comely or Mills having been given immunity.

My bet is that the media will spin this as a big win for Hilly. It wasn’t but the fact that she stood up and counter punched will be enough to push the narrative forward. Which would be damaging to Trump if this was the only debate. But it isn’t. There are two more.

Trump is smart enough to watch the game tapes and figure out where he missed targets and how to hone the attack.

I think we have seen the top of Hilly’s game tonight. Tonight she was about as good as she is likely to get. I don’t think we saw Trump’s “A” game.

One other thing to note: it was not a very interesting debate. Which will mean that a good deal of the TV audience will not have stuck it out for the whole thing. People who watched the first third might well have come away thinking The Donald had won and will be astonished to read in the paper that Hilly pulled it out. Mistrust grows.

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Debate, eh?

Elizabeth may, leaders debateWell I watched pretty much the whole thing. One of the 30,000 or so people who did on YouTube.

Justin showed up. Wore pants, albeit short pants, and sounded like a really quite good university debater. Tom was unctuous. Lizzie was, sorry to say, drowned out. And Steve looked very much like the sort of adult one would want to have as Prime Minister. (And I don’t like Steve.)

No one landed a zinger. No one ran over time. Everyone was quite polite and very Canadian. On my Twitter feed one American who was watching the Republican Gong show could not help but compare and contrast and wish the US had something like the pretty solid debate we had tonight.

My one note is this: Trudeau, Mulcair and Harper all talked over Lizzie May. It grated. I kept hoping that Harper would “white knight” Liz and say something simple like “let her finish”, or “Miss May was speaking”. It would have made Mulcair and Trudeau look like the bullies they so clearly are. It would have been smart politics too. Liz put up a credible performance tonight. Yes, of course she is a lunatic; but she was not wrong on C-51. She is a weirdly decent person and that came through.

Harper could easily have called the other boys to order and demonstrated the real leadership his campaign is trying to project. He didn’t.

It was not a fatal error, but it was an opportunity missed.

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