- Neither candidate suffered the dreaded gotcha moment. Both candidates will continue this campaign undamaged by their performance.
- Hillary Clinton won the debate, and by that I mean she had better arguments that were more skillfully articulated. But I’m reminded to of what Barack Obama said of her in their battle for the 2008 nomination: (I’ll have more on this farther down)
- Donald Trump continued to trumpet vague ideas about what he will do. I wish he would add more substantive details about his plans. Perhaps that would have come with more preparation.
- Both candidates sounded presidential, and, at least on the radio, Clinton didn’t seem unhealthy. That was particularly important for her going in. Donald Trump also succeeded in coming across as legitimately presidential. This was his first real exposure to many Americans in the general election, and he needed to make a presidential first impression. I think is passed that test adequately. Before last night, I was concerned he might come across as the sophomoric boor we sometimes saw during the GOP debates. He did not.
- Clinton clearly went in with the objective of drumming up the excitement within the black community that she so desperately needs to win in November. My hunch is that Trump will actually out-perform previous GOP nominees and that Clinton will continue to struggle generating enthusiasm with African-Americans.
- Finally, it is still anybody’s election to win. Depending on which presidential polls you choose to place faith in, Clinton is probably ahead right now, but by no more than a point or two.
She’ll say anything and change nothing.
Overall, the debate was a bit mundane, especially considering the fireworks that could have gone off between these two. Academically, Clinton was at the top of her game – but that’s what she does. She’s a professional politician who knows how to tickle the ears of her supporters. On the other hand, Trump’s approach was just to be Trump and win points with his personality – but that’s what he does. He’s a professional entertainer who knows how to tickle the ears of his fans.When we get right down to it, the choice is clear. In Hillary Clinton, we have tried and true liberal who will extend the legacy of Barack Obama and drive our nation farther to the left. In Donald Trump, we have a man who will never apologize for America and her greatness. Liberals may not like everything Clinton will do, but she is definitely their candidate. Conservatives may not like everything Trump will do, but he is definitely their candidate.