Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Advantage Clinton!

That's how they would put it at Wimbledon. The debate score is 1-0 for Hillary. Even the Fox News crew gave it to her.

When I heard that Trump was not practicing and was going to wing it, I figured that Clinton was going to win it. He did, and she did.

Clinton was poised, confident, and prepared with specific proposals for economically advancing America. Her vast experience in government showed. She was patient beyond belief in the face of Trump's constant interruptions.

Trump was ill-mannered, showed no respect for the rules of debate and even less for the moderator. He came across just as he did in his campaign: shallow, ill- or un-informed about major issues, and offering only slogans instead of solutions.

Here is the transcript courtesy of the Washington Post.

Here is my favorite moment. The candidates got into it over crime rates. As usual, Trump went off the rails and exceeded his time, rejecting attempts by the moderator to get him on track and on time.

TRUMP: And I will tell you, you look at the inner cities -- and I just left Detroit, and I just left Philadelphia, and I just -- you know, you've seen me, I've been all over the place. You decided to stay home, and that's OK. But I will tell you, I've been all over. And I've met some of the greatest people I'll ever meet within these communities. And they are very, very upset with what their politicians have told them and what their politicians have done.

HOLT: Mr. Trump, I...

CLINTON: I think -- I think -- I think Donald just criticized me for preparing for this debate. And, yes, I did. And you know what else I prepared for? I prepared to be president. And I think that's a good thing.

Now I will go out on the web to see what others think.

Just did a little of that. The Daily Star does its he-said, she-said reporting, reminiscent of the announcer in a boxing match - a punch here, another there. At least Fitz got it right.

Here's John Cassidy's take at The New Yorker.

“Words matter when you run for President,” Hillary Clinton said toward the end of Monday night’s happening at Hofstra University, on Long Island. Clinton was criticizing Donald Trump for his loose language regarding America’s allies in Asia, but she could have been summing up the lopsided debate, which saw her doing virtually everything she needed to do while Trump indicted himself with his own words.

Cassidy has a very entertaining account of the exchange about Trump's refusal to release his income tax. Clinton nailed him.

Then there was the damage done by the things he did say. At one point, Lester Holt, the moderator, asked Trump about his refusal to release his tax returns, a subject that Trump must have known would come up. He replied by saying that he would release his returns “when she”—Clinton—“releases her thirty-three thousand e-mails that have been deleted.” Perhaps Trump thought he was being smart with this answer, but it only gave Clinton a chance to respond, which she did with relish.

“So you’ve got to ask yourself: Why won’t he release his tax returns?” she said, seizing the moment. “Maybe he’s not as rich as he says he is . . . maybe he’s not as charitable as he claims to be.” Then Clinton raised another theory, one that I and others have written about: “Or maybe he doesn’t want the American people, all of you watching tonight, to know that he’s paid nothing in federal taxes.”

Here, you’d expect the target of the attack to sense the danger. Evidently, Trump didn’t. Having interrupted Clinton during most of her previous answers, he did so again. “That makes me smart,” he said.

Even on Twitter, where people were pulling apart Trump’s words with the relish of a class of third graders dissecting a worm, it took a few seconds for this statement to sink in. Had he really just boasted that he didn’t pay any federal taxes? Indeed, he had.

Later on it Trump again seemed tacitly admit that he pays no income tax.

TRUMP: ... Our country has tremendous problems. We're a debtor nation. We're a serious debtor nation. And we have a country that needs new roads, new tunnels, new bridges, new airports, new schools, new hospitals. And we don't have the money, because it's been squandered on so many of your ideas.

HOLT: We'll let you respond and we'll move on to the next segment.

CLINTON: And maybe because you haven't paid any federal income tax for a lot of years. (APPLAUSE)

And the other thing I think is important...

TRUMP: It would be squandered, too, believe me.

You might complain about one of these tacit admissions from Trump being taken out of context, but not two.

You almost have to feel sorry for the Trump trainers. It's like wielding a wet noodle over a grizzly bear.

Here is another take from the New York Times: Debate Takeaways: Hillary Clinton Digs In and Prevails

Rather than shifting the lines of the presidential race, Monday night’s debate seems likely to deepen them — bolstering Hillary Clinton’s advantage on questions of temperament and tolerance, and amplifying Donald J. Trump’s blustery message of drastic change.
But Mrs. Clinton appeared to gain in strength over the course of the debate, ultimately routing Mr. Trump in a series of late exchanges.

Also, check out Bob Lord's post at Blog for Arizona on the questions we should be asking, and answering, about Trump's tax returns and his refusal to release them.

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