In the final Presidential debate the candidates finally spent a significant amount of time talking about real policy issues.
The already committed supporters of each candidate will tell you that their candidate won.
This was the most animated and confident Clinton has appeared throughout the entire campaign cycle, and through the first half it was the most subdued we have seen Trump to date.
At about the half way point it appeared that whatever they’d medicated him with to keep him calm reached its limits though, and the bombastic antagonism spewed forth
I would expect to show over the next few days that as a result Trumps numbers haven’t significantly moved either way, many of undecided voters are moving to Clinton.
I doubt there were many, if any, undecided voters won over by Trump’s display of uninformed outrage grounded in his own willful ignorance last evening.
He’d have done better if his advisors had just sat him down for a few minutes before hand to watch Schoolhouse Rock’s old “I’m Just A Bill” video, so he would have had at least a fundamental understanding of what it takes to pass a bill through our Congress.
But ultimately Trump’s performance had two defining and damaging moments.
His refusal to acknowledge the outcome of the Presidential election if he does not win, despite the fact that just hours earlier his own Vice Presidential candidate had said he would is the most glaring. If these two can’t get on the same page for the campaign, how are they ever going to work together in the White House? This issue seems to be getting the most coverage in the follow up by the major media outlets.
But Social Media has latched onto a different issue and is running with it. While Clinton was attempting to discuss the issues of Social Security funding, Donald Trump spoke over her, saying “Such a nasty woman.” Immediately a firestorm erupted on twitter under the hashtags #Nastywoman and #Nastywomen. #BadHombre also got a good bit of play in response to his use of the term for deportation.
Dylan Matthews wrote that there were three clear winners and two clear losers from last night’s debate. The winners were: Hillary Clinton, The Reproductive Rights Movement, and Vladimir Putin. The losers were Donald Trump and the Democratic Process.
I’d contend that if in any United States presidential debate we can surmise that one of the clear winners is the leader of Russia, that we can also include the American people in the column of losers from the event.
As a final note, of all the debates we have seen over this Primary and General campaign cycle, I have to say that the two performances by Chris Wallace as moderator have been the bets run. He managed to keep them mostly on target, he asked the important followup questions that needed to be asked of each, and generally kept control of the event. I think it would be safe to add his name to the list of winners for the evening.