Tonight’s debate between presidential candidates Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump was moderated by Lester Holt, and carried on most of the major networks. It took place at Hofstra University. The themes were achieving prosperity, Americas direction and security.
It was supposed to be six segments of 15 minutes, however there was a great amount of rowdiness among the candidates, so all was not according to schedule.
We have judged this, not on the issues, but solely on how we believe they will affect the polls and their potential for winning the Presidency. (If judged on the issues, Trump wins hands down, in my humble opinion…)
Some examples of points awarded:
Hillary entered the stage with a goofy smile and in bright red, which was not as Presidential as Donald Trump’s entrance, a minor point but first impressions count.
Posture and poise, I gave the nod to Hillary, since Donald seemed slouched to me. Hillary exhibited none of the nervousness of previous debates.
Donald seemed to have a cold and the sniffing seemed to detract from his stature.
Trump scored when he offered to release his taxes when Hillary releases the 33000 emails not handed over. Hillary scored negatively when she basically accused the police and indeed the entire country of being racist. It could have been huge point in Trump’s favor if he called her on that.
Hillary scored well with her “grin” which she used effectively when Trump was speaking. It was a not so subtle mocking of Trump that played well to the television audience. She also brought a lot more detail on issues to the forefront and was effective in expressing criticism in sound bites.
Trump seemed defensive in talking about several issues, including his support/non-support of the Iraq war, the charges of racism in the 1970’s (defended aptly but it did not help his cause), and other issues.
Notably missing from this debate were any substantial discussions of Hillary’s email scandal, the Clinton Foundation, or Benghazi.
Donald Trump, in my opinion, missed several opportunities to blast Hillary with poignant sound bites.
In short, despite my optimism that Trump would dominate, he did not.
My final score: Hillary Clinton +7, Donald Trump +4.
While I don’t believe this will cost Trump many votes, I expected momentum to be gained and for the polls to move to a clear Trump advantage. It will not happen based on this performance.
I do still believe Trump is the master of the Big Show, and he will do better in succeeding debates.