So much disappointment for those with foolish pre-debate analysis. Trump supporters who thought Hillary Clinton would cough up a lung or collapse on the floor twitching as her eyeballs ping-ponged around her eye sockets as she last gasped “Benghazi” could not believe that Hillary Clinton looked good with her new haircut and red pantsuit. Hillary supporters who thought Donald J. Trump would finally be destroyed and totally exposed as a bumbling billionaire orangutan who is not nearly as qualified as Hillary Clinton by years of experience in public office and entirely devoid of policy smarts were likewise broken-hearted by the fact that Donald J. Trump stood toe-to-toe with the well known, well experienced, Hillary Clinton on a nationally televised debate stage. We of course were exactly correct in our pre-debate analysis because we did not have such foolish preconceptions.
Who won? Keep it quiet but for the very reasons we wrote in our pre-debate analysis, Donald J. Trump won the debate, and Donald J. Trump won big. Do we think he was perfect? Far from it. As we predicted pre-debate, Hillary Clinton goaded Donald Trump with talk about inherited wealth, his father, and other personal garbage and unfortunately the goading worked. But Hillary Clinton’s best moments at the debate came in the form of personal attacks. The Hillary2016 strategy is to make Trump personally unpalatable and although some bombs landed successfully with loud noise, the bottom line is the attacks did not derail the mighty TrumpTrain. Hillary Clinton failed to make a case for herself as the Obama third term and at the same time a voice for change.
Trump won the debate big for several reasons. The main two reasons we discussed in our pre-debate analysis. First, Donald J. Trump is the candidate of change and this is a change election. Second, the medium is the message and the moment Trump appeared on stage with Hillary Clinton he was the winner.
Trump won the debate for the reasons above but Trump won the debate big-time because of what happened at the debate. What happened? Trump attacked Hillary on the very points we suggested on policy matters and on the question of change. Hillary’s attacks against Trump were geared to make Trump personally unpalatable whereas Trumps attacks against Hillary were on policy and that “there will be no change with Hillary”.
As noted in our update to the pre-debate post it might have been better for Trump to begin the debate with the sentence he ended the debate with. But pretty much, not in the order of attack we would have preferred, Donald Trump followed through with what we thought he would do. Trump did use Obama’s “racist” attacks against Hillary in 2008 as we thought. Trump did use the ‘why haven’t you done it already in your long career?’ attack to mock Hillary’s promises and plans. Trump did very well on trade deals and on “jobs, jobs, jobs”. Trump would have been well off to follow our formula:
“Nothing will change if you vote for her.” This is the most powerful argument for Donald J. Trump and like a magnificent flower in full bloom it has many petals to display. This Trump argument destroys Hillary Clinton’s most powerful argument. Hillary Clinton’s most powerful argument will be that she is experienced and ready to lead for the change she proposes. But to every proposal Hillary Clinton makes for her type of change, for every detailed policy proposal Hillary makes tonight, Donald Trump will respond “Lester Holt, I would say to Secretary Clinton ‘If your idea is so good why haven’t you done it already? You’ve been in public office longer than Millennials have been alive. Why haven’t you done what you say you will do already? Also, if you’re idea is so good why hasn’t Barack Obama already done what you suggest? If you try to blame the usual ‘Republicans blocked Obama’ nonsense what makes you think you can do what Obama could not do? Are you saying you are better than Obama? Are you insulting black voters? You’ve had decades of experience doing the wrong thing and that is why most of the people say the country is on the ‘wrong track’. You have been in government for decades. You are responsible for many of the disasters this country faces today. Nothing will change if Americans vote for you. I am the candidate of real change for the better. I will Make America Great Again.”
Trump’s great failures came in two categories. The first is letting himself be goaded by Hillary on the personal issues. The second and most important is the missed opportunities. Trump failed, as we suggested, to charge hypocrisy on the Hillary use of tax shelters even as she says she will raise taxes on the rich like herself. Trump also failed when he allowed Hillary to talk about the need for cyber security without mentioning the Hillary emails and cyber security violations.
It could have been much worse for Trump. Trump could have let Lester Holt get away with the Candy Crowley type deceptions of the voters. Trump fought back against Lester Holt and Hillary Clinton on issues such as the Iraq War and Stop and Frisk. A Mitt Romney would have folded. Donald J. Trump fought back.
Hillary Clinton’s failures were as consistent as her performance was well prepared. And therein lies the problem: Hillary’s performance. It was a performance. It was a very good performance. It was in many ways a brilliant performance. But it was a performance. And that is the problem.
At a debate you hang a light on your problem and then eliminate the problem. What Hillary Clinton needed to do, but failed to do, was take her biggest problem and turn it to an advantage. Hillary had to say something like “I am qualified to be president more than Donald J. Trump because I have the right kind of experience. I have this and this experience and this has taught me this and this. I am prepared to be president because I am a hard worker and because I have learned to navigate the complexities the presidency requires the president to have in a modern world. I am sorry that many people think I am inauthentic. Perhaps I am. Perhaps I am too well prepared, too rehearsed, too much a product of a committee. But that is not true. I perhaps am too cautious but that is a good quality to have in a perilous world. I believe in and will fight for (either change, or the opposite, stay-the-course). My path is the right path for this and this and this reason.”
The closest Hillary Clinton came to that positive statement, was her defense, joined by Lester Holt, of the miserable Barack Obama economy. And therein is Hillary Clinton’s big problem. Hillary is now the Obama Third Term, the status quo candidate, the stay-the-course candidate of plodding numbing heart-breaking unendurable suffocation. Hillary Clinton’s best lines were so clearly over-prepared by a committee of the ruling class courtiers they tasted often of week old hamburgers found in a moldy dumpster behind a defunct McDonald’s restaurant.
Trump helped himself where it mattered:
How Trump won over a bar full of undecideds and Democrats [snip]
Letosky entered the evening undecided in a town that is heavily Democratic in registration. Her sister and father are on opposite sides of the political aisle. Donald “Trump had the upper hand this evening,” she said, citing his command of the back-and-forth between him and Hillary Clinton.
Reed, 35, is a registered Democrat and small businessman. “By the end of the debate, Clinton never said a thing to persuade me that she had anything to offer me or my family or my community,” he said, sitting at the same bar that has boasted local icons as regulars, such as the late Fred Rogers, and Arnold Palmer, who had his own stash of PM Whiskey hidden behind newer bottles of whiskey for his regular visits.
“Have to say Trump had the edge this evening, he came out swinging but also talked about specifics on jobs and the economy,” Reed said.
Reed said Clinton came across as either smug or as though she was reading her résumé, adding there was nothing on her résumé that touched on his life. “I am a small businessman, a farmer, come from a long line of farmers and coal miners. The policies she talked about tonight ultimately either hurt me or ignore me,” he said.
The first part of a debate is the most watched and even a Trump hater thinks Trump was strong:
He began with his strongest argument — that the political class represented by her has failed us and it’s time to look to a successful dealmaker for leadership — and kept to it pretty well for the first 20 minutes.
Michael Moore Says Trump ‘Won’ The Debate
Michael Moore appeared frustrated on Twitter following the presidential debate, saying Donald Trump “won” and “we all lost.”
The 62-year-old filmmaker warned “pro-Hillary gloaters” against celebrating over how Hillary Clinton did in the debate against the Republican nominee and insisted nothing she did changed things.
“Pro-Hillary gloaters doing end-zone dance again when still on 50-yd line,” Moore tweeted. “You must get it in your head Trump is gonna win and act accordingly!”
Why would Michael Moore say Trump won? Ask the Charlotte Observer from the important state of North Carolina:
Presidential debate surprise: Clinton loses ground among some voters in swing state
Kae Roberts and Jay Eardly were leaning toward Hillary Clinton before Monday night’s debate.
By the end, they had both pulled away.
John Kokos and Hank Federal were undecided going in, potential Clinton backers.
By the end, they’d ruled her out. [snip]
In a focus group of 21 voters from around Charlotte conducted by McClatchy and The Charlotte Observer, four who had been up for grabs before the debate had moved away from her by the end. [snip]
For the four who emerged less impressed by Clinton, it was the seeming familiarity of her proposals for the economy and national security that was a turnoff.
Roberts, who is unaffiliated with a party, wrote in her notes several times during the debate that Clinton offered “pie in the sky” ideas. By debate’s end, she had moved from leaning toward Clinton to undecided.
“The things she says she’s going to do, there’s no substance behind it,” Roberts said.
It’s a change election. The candidate of change wins. The status quo, Obama third term candidate loses. Donald Trump at the debate made it clear he is the candidate of change not responsible for the mess the country is in. It’s a change election. That’s all you need to know.