Lion of the Blogosphere

Post-debate analysis

This is a tough one for me. Seeing Hillary smirking and lying about Trump’s record makes me get so mad at her, it’s hard for me to evaluate. Of course the talking heads on mainstream media are saying that Trump lost the debate. But it should be noted that Trump is the only one who get applause from the audience, on three occasions.

I don’t think this debate is going to change the polls. Trump was not able to put it away. On the other hand, the average undecided voter with an IQ of 100 is not going to interpret the debate the same way as the Trump-hating news media.

But yes, Lester Hold and Hillary steered to debate to bring up topics like Trump’s taxes, climate change, birtherism, while avoiding any significant talk about Hillary’s emails. Yet it should be noted that one of the applause points of the evening was when Trump said he’d release his taxes when Hillary releases the 33,000 missing emails. And they kept immigration, Trump’s strongest issue, entirely out of the debate.

At the Drudge website, the online poll shows that 90.37% think that Trump won the debate. Of course that reflects the bias of Drudge’s readers

Written by Lion of the Blogosphere

September 26, 2016 at 11:05 PM

Posted in Politics

51 Responses

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  1. I felt like Trump was, as expected, unprepared. I guess blurting things out worked in the previous debates, but not here. Hillary looked confident and her rehearsed answers were at least substantive.


    September 26, 2016 at 11:07 PM

  2. Amazes me that during the assault on Trump’s taxes, it never occurred to him once to bring up her paid Wall Street speeches.


    September 26, 2016 at 11:10 PM

    • Because he can’t control his emotions, which is exactly her point.

      Look, at this point it’s his emotions v. her health.

      And Wikileaks, and events. None of us can predict what will happen, but I say Trump didn’t do himself, or patriotic immigration reform and trade nationalism, any favors last night.


      September 27, 2016 at 5:30 PM

  3. Clinton’s up in the betting markets.


    September 26, 2016 at 11:11 PM

  4. Trump should’ve performed better.

    Regardless of the two-on-one treatment, he had some fantastic openings to smash HIllary on her emails (the hacking/cybersecurity section), the Clinton foundation (when she disparages him for wealth); and Benghazi.

    He whiffed all these beautiful openers!

    And he could have brought up illegal immigration in terms of job killing, low wages, and “urban” crime. He was not on point when he should have been.

    And here’s what he should’ve said when pressed about calling women insulting names: “So what? Women are allowed to be insulted just like men are. I’m sure Secretary Clinton has called several women far worse names than I ever have, believe me.”


    September 26, 2016 at 11:14 PM

  5. Lion, maybe you’re having trouble putting it into words, but as a Trump supporter that was painful to watch. Hillary and her campaign must be ecstatic right now. Seriously, she made him look like a buffoon. He can do better, and hopefully will – but he has to put in the effort and do some actual debate prep next time.


    September 26, 2016 at 11:15 PM

    • “Seriously, she made him look like a buffoon.”

      He made himself look like a buffoon. She helped. But mainly the damage was self-inflicted.

      What happened yesterday made me think something I never thought I would have thought: I wished Ted Cruz were up there. He’d have made mincemeat of her.

      Second: Ted Cruz will start running for President as soon as she is elected. And I’ll get myself read to vote for him.

      Hey MaryK if you are reading this: You were right!


      September 27, 2016 at 8:52 AM

      • What happened yesterday made me think something I never thought I would have thought: I wished Ted Cruz were up there. He’d have made mincemeat of her.

        You don’t seem to understand that the issue is persuading undecideds not verbally crushing the old lady.

        Trump is not an intellectual or gifted debater. We know.

        But El Ratocould win a debate and still lose votes.

        Trump is flawed but he’s all we’ve got.

        Stop going all wobbly and being a quitter. Trump is still on track to win it. Close but still a win.


        September 27, 2016 at 3:39 PM

      • “ou don’t seem to understand that the issue is persuading undecideds not verbally crushing the old lady.”

        So says the Pauline Kale of LoTB…..LOL.

        Very funny, the idea that somehow Trump even had the ability to stand up to HRC, much less crush her. He got crushed.

        And stop calling her “the old lady.” She’s a sick lady, but she looks pretty young for 68. And he’s old too. So it’s a wash.

        Someone here said he revealed himself as a man of limited intellect- a nice way of saying, he’s stupid and was outclassed.

        “Don’t go wobbly” – an old lady said that. No one here’s going wobbly. It’s a forum to discuss the truth, not a cheer squad.


        September 27, 2016 at 5:34 PM

      • So says the Pauline Kale of LoTB…..LOL.

        Pauline Kael was known for her very New York liberal centric comments about nobody she knew voted for Nixon. You are doing something similar by focusing on your own perceptions and not those of UNDECIDEDS.

        Trump doesn’t need to win for those people who hate Hilary or try to win over her supporters. He needed to prove to UNDECIDEDS that he isn’t evil/crazy/sexist/racist/hitlerman!!

        “Don’t go wobbly” – an old lady said that. No one here’s going wobbly. It’s a forum to discuss the truth, not a cheer squad.

        It’s not about cheering on Trump. You just need to calm down and realize many UNDECIDED voters are not like you. They perceive things differently, that’s why they are UNDECIDED at this late stage.

        Plus, two debates to come. Maybe Trump will be even worse or maybe he will go on the attack with more policy details and effective criticisms of Hillary.


        September 27, 2016 at 11:58 PM

  6. In the feed I watched, Hillary was off camera for several minutes at the end. Was it like that for all feeds? If so, what were we not allowed to see? She blinked constantly. And she did a little dance move, shaking her whole body to ridicule something Trump said. Was that a seizure? What middle class white person has body language like that? Some of her answers were so scripted, I think she knew the questions in advance. The whole thing was a disgrace. And Trump was trying so hard to be professional, he wasn’t aggressive enough. I hope he’s not taking a dive like Romney.


    September 26, 2016 at 11:18 PM

    • You sound about as nuts as Howard Dean speculating on Twitter that Trump’s sniffles must have been the result of coke use. The only difference is I suspect the left is smart enough to not make #cokeheaddonald or whatever into a meme the way the alt-right is constantly turning random nonsense like Hillary’s “seizures” into theirs.


      September 27, 2016 at 7:45 AM

  7. Hillary: slow, scripted, overprepared.

    Trump: fast, unfocused, underprepared.

    I’m biased for Trump and didn’t think either of them did well, so I guess Hillary did slightly better.

    What annoyed me about Trump was how he got so bogged down on his taxes, his business, birtherism, etc. I don’t think he lost anything during those topics, but when the topic was cybersecurity, I was frustrated that he blathered on about his son, instead of making wicked remarks about how Hillary screwed over America’s cybersecurity with her private server.

    I think that Trump needs to get ready to attack Hillary on a few key points. He can put the election away, but he didn’t do it tonight.


    September 26, 2016 at 11:18 PM

    • Trump fights like a bitch. It’s all these little slaps and interruptions and eye rolls. I humoured it to some degree with the primaries because the format maybe necessitated that style. But it simply wasn’t necessary with Clinton. He had no excuse for not BTFO’ing her with presidential magnanimosity.


      September 27, 2016 at 12:27 AM

      • The good news is Hillary won’t destroy Trump in a debate. She launched a full on attack with him, and the questions were set up to wreck Trump, and he held on without taking much damage at all.

        What’s frustrating is that Trump could’ve ended it. He should have crushed her on her emails. He should have blasted her on the Foundation. If there was anything left over, he should have burned it with Benghazi.

        I was surprised that he didn’t reframe the set ups. He doesn’t need to waste the debate on defending his business record, his taxes, etc. He needs to put the election away. I hope he and his team get on it. They didn’t lose, but they could have won this once and for all tonight.


        September 27, 2016 at 1:40 AM

  8. My God – he really blew it. She was prepared; he showed up with thin skin. The polls are gonna swing.


    September 26, 2016 at 11:20 PM

    • Concern troll.

      I’ve read about half a dozen post-debate polls saying that Trump won it.

      People saw a smug, psychopathic smiling Hilary lying through her teeth with her canned answers, and Lester Holt totally in the tank for her.

      Trump could do better, and should do better – and he left some areas of attack on the table, unfortunately – but this defeatism of so many on the Alt-right is a weakness that people will have to overcome unless they want to keep losing.

      As for Hilary, she looked absolutely bizarre at times.

      Ye Merry Uncucker

      September 27, 2016 at 1:13 AM

  9. The talking heads I saw on PBS seemed to think that Clinton won, but not to a degree that it will be a defining moment in the campaign. Also, one of the hosts Mark Shields didn’t think that Clinton improved her ‘likeability’. They seemed to think that the fact Clinton was so polished almost played into Trump’s argument that she’s a career politician.


    September 26, 2016 at 11:22 PM

    • The talking heads I saw on PBS seemed to think that Clinton won, but not to a degree that it will be a defining moment in the campaign.

      This works to Trump’s advantage because the expectation was she would dominate him. That he held his own makes him look more presidential.

      The Undiscovered Jew

      September 26, 2016 at 11:38 PM

  10. I am currently listening to MSNBC, after going through the other channels.

    My impression is that the mainstream network commentary was written before the debate, and they would have said the exact same points regardless of what the two candidates said. I’m also impressed by the number of already declared Trump opponents called to deliver what passes for analysis.

    Honestly, the debates themselves were nothing exciting, though at least Ms. Clinton stood up straight and there was more back and forth between the candidates than we usually get at these things.


    September 26, 2016 at 11:31 PM

  11. A few other thoughts:

    -Hillary was clearly leaked the questions beforehand

    -the split-screen just happened to make Hillary look bigger than Trump!

    -Jesus, where is Trump’s preparation on this one?! He didn’t need deep policy crap, but he should have been equipped with two dozen zingers for all those great openings. I wish Heartiste/Roissy were debate prepping him.”

    “My tax returns weren’t responsible for the deaths of four Americans in Libya.”


    September 26, 2016 at 11:33 PM

  12. Here is my analysis:

    Trump won because Hillary pretended the election is being held in 1996 and her job is to make the DLC great again.

    Clinton had no defense against attacks about her positions on substantive issues such as trade, the economy, manufacturing, and foreign policy. The only points she scored were on schoolmarm gotcha’s about his past personal statements or his business activities. For his part, Trump was thrown off course when the topic moved to his taxes, but he evened things up with her emails. When the debate revolves around scandals, Hillary can never do better than fight Trump to a draw.

    The electorate will remember what Trump said because the subjects of his attacks all centered on leading issues. Hillary on the other hand pretended the past 8 years of her career never happened and the condition of the country is excellent.

    The delivery of Trump’s attacks were given in a clearer way than they were against his primary opponents, though he did not go on the attack as often as he should have. If he had turned the subject back to her failings more frequently he would have won by a greater margin.

    In terms of temperament, Trump had the advantage. He didn’t come across as insane, but he managed to sound real and passionate while Clinton was slippery, over-scripted, and her script was limited to Dick Morris-style triangulations about micro-policies. A Dick Morris approach is the wrong one when the world is convulsed by macro-disasters.

    The pundits will probably wrongly count the debate as a Clinton win on grounds of tone. They will be wrong because a darker tone better reflects the dark mood of the electorate.

    The Undiscovered Jew

    September 26, 2016 at 11:35 PM

  13. Trump didn’t mess it up, which is all he had to do. Hopefully he does better next time. Saying that Iran deal should’ve included North Korea and Yemen was realy dumb.


    September 26, 2016 at 11:36 PM

    • Actually thought the NK comment was a good one. We know the Iranians are beneficiaries of the NK nuclear tests. They are joined at the hip.

      Yemen was a head scratcher.


      September 27, 2016 at 11:13 AM

      • ? Do you know who the Houthis are?


        September 27, 2016 at 1:47 PM

      • Do you know who the Alawies are? Nuclear arms is the issue of negotiations, would you like to add the change of regime also? Trump is gonna get bogged down in nuclear negotiations because if Iran’s support for Hutties now? Trump doesn’t have experience, talks through his hat and it showes. Why doesn’t he just stick to the real issues. Who the hell cares about Alicia Machado or his 10 year old son playing with computers?


        September 27, 2016 at 3:35 PM

      • That particular issue is probably fed to him by Jared Kushner. It’s what the Israeli government wishes the US had done instead of signing the Iran deal.


        September 27, 2016 at 5:53 PM

  14. Trump wasn’t wild and crazy. Victory for him. Hillary managed to make it through physically, just barely. Victory for her. Hillary’s wonkish, Trump isn’t. Nobody cares.

    Andrew E.

    September 26, 2016 at 11:44 PM

  15. Disappointing. Trump could have brought up speeches, Clinton foundation, etc. He also didn’t do a good job defending himself. But Lester Holt was against him. There were several questions against Trump but I don’t recall any against Hillary.


    September 26, 2016 at 11:50 PM

  16. Don’t have TV up here in the backwoods (even satellite), so had to make do with radio only. On sound alone, here’s my take:

    Donald held his own. Hillary got through without coughing. I’d say it was a draw, with neither getting in any real hard shots.

    But I do think Donald missed a couple of opportunities: When grilled about his tax returns, he could have noted that the ones that the Clintons released show that 96% of their charitable contributions went to The Clinton Foundation. When Hillary countered his “stamina” remarks with talk of visiting 112 countries and 11-hour testimony before a congressional committee, he might have noted that the country appreciates your efforts even though they were indeed “bad experience”, but we have concerns about your ability to carry out the duties of the office going forward. And in the jobs/economy segment he did well enough but could have augmented his case for bringing home companies by making our corporate tax rates competitive with those in the rest of the world so that companies like Apple which have billions stashed away elsewhere could repatriate that money to create jobs at home. He might have countered the charge that he stiffed some of his contractors by citing a couple of “pay-for-play” examples where Clinton Foundation contributors DID get what they paid for.

    And finally, although perhaps beyond the scope of a 90-minute show, he might have quickly elaborated on the charge that he owes $650 million by adding that in terms of the $3.9 billion worth of property so mortgaged, that’s a pretty conservative level of leverage.

    Needless to say, the MSM will spin it as a Hillary solid win, but Donald was being Donald and did in fact show himself to be pretty knowledgeable and not the dunce they would like to show him to be. Agree that this one won’t change a whole lot of minds.


    September 26, 2016 at 11:51 PM

  17. The only winner tonight is the Voyager probe speeding away from Earth at 17 km/sec (ht Maddie Stone)


    September 26, 2016 at 11:53 PM

  18. I’m in 100% agreement with your post debate analysis.

    I think he blew the debate due to lack of prep. But I don’t think it will make any difference. Historically, debate performance has had negligible affect on the general election. At least, it won’t change my vote because I still support his core policies and oppose hers. I also think she’s corrupt and doesn’t really care about the country. I care about the country and won’t vote for someone who doesn’t.


    September 26, 2016 at 11:58 PM

    • Kennedy – Nixon mattered, but because there was only one debate, this was the first time this was tried, and the election turned out to be one of those really close things where everything matters. The no debate with Humphrey – Nixon and the Poland response with Carter – Ford wound up mattering for the same reasons, the elections were just really close and you can come up with any reason why they turned out what they did.

      In 1984, 2004, and 2012 the challenger’s relatively strong performance in the first debate allowed them to climb back into the ring against an incumbent everyone expected to win easily, but the incumbent just adjusted in the second debate.


      September 27, 2016 at 1:45 AM


    This is a poll being taken by Bing. Trump is 54% to Hillary’s 38%.

    This debate does remind me of the debate between Dick Cheney and John Edwards, not in its similarities, but in its differences. The debate style being taught is to never answer your opponent’s charges or defend against your opponents accusations. You always talk around the points being made to address the audience. This is what Dick Cheney did and he argued rings around John Edwards.

    Hillary Clinton was doing the same thing to Donald Trump. That’s why she was so smug and grinning like a Cheshire cat. She really thinks she “got” Donald Trump because he was not prepared like Dick Cheney.

    The problem is that Trump is not an establishment politician. This is not a debate class between Exeter and Andover. Each candidate is too well known and has too much baggage. Trump was working to make his case to the American people, while Hillary was standing around and acting imperious. The sheer arrogance of talking about cybersecurity while a State Department email server was sitting in her closet selling secrets for cash laundered through the Clinton Foundation was lost on no one, even if Trump did not mention it.


    September 27, 2016 at 12:02 AM

  20. Trump held back because he wanted to deflate the media portrayal of him as “crazy” and all that. He is appealing to the undecideds, they just need to see he’s not Hitler in order to vote for him. so he is just trying to seem “reasonable” and he let Hillary slide on some things (err on the side of caution). it’s called strategy. he will hit her harder at the next debate. This was a Trump win, nonetheless. Hillary had a weird smile, phony mannerisms, robotic talking points and snarking sound bites. she’s not any more likable than she was yesterday even with the moderator helping her every step of the way.


    September 27, 2016 at 12:26 AM

  21. I think Trump won (but I missed the first half hour). He certainly seemed more likable. When Hilary was talking Trump generally appeared to be serious and attentive. When Trump was talking Hilary often had a smug , arrogant grin. Made me want to punch the TV.


    September 27, 2016 at 12:33 AM

  22. Trump looked like he was pulling punches all night.

    I didn’t support the man, but the way Hillary spoke I bet Ted Cruz would’ve smashed her.

    Jason Liu

    September 27, 2016 at 12:34 AM

  23. My horse race take is honestly that it was a push.

    The weird thing about this is that both candidates were facing questions about whether they even belonged on the platform. In past debates the candidate facing these questions “won” by just showing up and being minimally competent. We all have examples of this. In this case both candidates had these questions.

    With Trump having pulled even in the polls, he really had to be more restrained than usual and look “presidential” and he did this. Hillary Clinton had to stand up straight and make reasonable arguments and she did this. I think Trump lost, but it was a “lose the Iowa Caucus to Cruz” type loss. Really, once they made the debates a tradition, after 1976, and had two or three of them I don’t think the first one matters that much, as long as someone doesn’t physically attack their opponent.

    However, the media spin about how Clinton crushed Trump was pretty intense There are still lots of people who exclusively get their information from broadcast media and newspapers and they could well carry Clinton over the finish line, despite Trump tending to have positions that are actually popular with voters.


    September 27, 2016 at 1:18 AM

  24. Overall, I thought it was a tie, which means it skews slightly to Hillary based on the mainstream media’s spinning of the debate. Especially since Trump had momentum going into the debate and was rising in the polls, while Hillary had negative news with her health for the past few weeks. Trump looked pretty tired, and Hillary looked fairly polished and healthy, which will be positive for Hillary simply because the health news about her for the past few weeks had been so bad.

    Trump could have done better.


    September 27, 2016 at 1:28 AM

  25. By the way, I was going to post this prior to the debates (I’ve been really busy), but strategically the Trump campaign should have gone for a draw or a slight loss.

    The reason is that the best Donk counter to Trump is to convince Hillary Clinton to drop out of the race and replace her with Kaine. Kaine has the same positions but not nearly the same negatives, and has a better chance of beating Trump. A Trump knock-out in the first debate would have facilitated this.

    I really don’t think either Trump or his advisors think this way, but they may have well decided that the priority for Trump was to come across looking sane and presidential in the first debate instead of winning arguments.


    September 27, 2016 at 1:52 AM

  26. Hillary probably got the best of him on first impression.

    However, Hillary is Hillary and the more she speaks the more her poll numbers go down. Who else’s eyes were glazing over several times while she was speaking?

    And Hillary did call the whole country racist so Republican media could kill her on that.

    Too bad Donald missed the opportunity to attack Hillary on her wealth when responding to Hillary attacking him on his wealth.


    September 27, 2016 at 2:06 AM

  27. Trump won it, at the risk of getting all Scott Adams, he presented himself as the more powerful, stronger candidate and laid some seriously good groundwork to close the deal at the second or I would expect third debate.. They’re not running for the head of a think tank. democrats don’t seem to get that ever. Kill shot of the night “she’s got a lot of experience, and it’s all Bad” that will seep into the subconscious and weave its web. Hillary was having trouble towards the end, couldn’t keep the fake smile going much.

    2 Minute Alpha

    September 27, 2016 at 7:15 AM

  28. I think it was a tie as well. Trump was Trump, Hillary was Hillary. Both delivered standard performances in their virtues as well as flaws.

    Honestly, I think the best historical analogy is Palin-Biden in 08. Everyone thought that was going to be an awesome reality show spectacle, but it wound up being dull because it was almost over-anticipated. If someone was watching this debate who just woke up from a coma, I’m sure he’d have some wild things to say, but at this point, I know both of the candidates so well I’m just bored.

    Muscle up

    September 27, 2016 at 7:19 AM

  29. Trump blew it but he also let Holt bias the debate. If he doesn’t change the rules for the followup he has no chance no matter what he does. Time to attack the press and make an issue out of it. If he’s going to lose, go down swinging. Show the press he’ll punish them. He should have made it a condition before but now H will just choose not to have a debate at all if he tries to change the rules.


    September 27, 2016 at 10:48 AM

  30. Trump’s greatest strength is that despite being a Republican, he never supported the disastrous Iraq war while Hillary was one of the war’s most influential backers.

    Yet Trump let Hillary take that advantage away from him by not attacking her on that issue first. She accused Trump of supporting the war and all he could do in response was babble incoherently.

    Here’s the truth: Trump gave no support to the Iraq war other than vaguely saying “I guess so” when Howard Stern asked if he supported it. Even liberal Eugene Robinson said Trump’s response to Stern hardly showed strong support.

    By contrast, Hillary as a senator actually voted to authorize the war, giving it legal and bipartisan legitimacy. She gave a speech wrongly claiming Saddam Hussein had links to Al Qaida. Her husband went on Letterman propagandizing for war.

    He should have ripped her to shreds on that issue, and yet Trump was the one on the defensive in the debate for supporting the war. Where the hell was his staff to prep him for that issue???!!!


    September 27, 2016 at 12:02 PM

  31. NBC didn’t ask a single question about immigration last night. What’s not said is just as important as what’s said.

    This lie is your lie, this lie was made for you and me

    September 27, 2016 at 12:48 PM

  32. As Scott Adams’ says, on a 2D dimension, Hillary won on points. On the more important 3D dimension, Trump wins.

    Hillary didn’t do anything you didn’t expect from her. Trump didn’t blow up, didn’t get petty, didn’t insult, his proof he can control himself to any who thought he couldn’t.

    Further, she’s robotic; he’s human.

    Victory, Trump.


    September 27, 2016 at 1:45 PM

    • He is wrong. Trump ranted and raved like a lunatic for 2/3 of the debate.


      September 27, 2016 at 3:21 PM

  33. Good take from Andrew Sabisky:

    “But no knockout was to be found, for either fighter, and ultimately the championship rounds were something of a disappointment. Trump came off the ropes to land some attractive combinations, the Libyan jab followed up by the heavy Iraq right cross. His opponent continued her dutiful body work, focusing on Trump’s volatile temperament in the context of a nuclear-armed world. At the final bell both were clearly tiring, but in the last ten seconds Trump’s strong, dark closing words gave the judges something to remember his efforts by….

    In reality, of course, debates don’t matter. They provide the winner of the debate with a temporary boost in the polls that typically lasts no more than a week, as Mitt Romney found to his cost after winning the first debate against Barack Obama in 2012. In that context, who the media and the general public judge to have triumphed is almost entirely irrelevant. Both candidates said a number of stupid things that will no doubt keep the campaign consultants busy creating new negative adverts, but of course, as this campaign and the Republican primary has taught us, television adverts and other forms of big-ticket spending don’t really move the needle either.

    In this respect the debates resemble professional wrestling rather more than boxing, closer to scripted charades than a true fight with authentic consequences. Both Trump and Clinton played their respective characters well, with their traditional faults and virtues on full display, and if you were a fan of either to begin with, you probably didn’t end the debate remotely disappointed. The many Americans who do not view either candidate favourably, however, may be rather less enamoured of this situation.


    September 27, 2016 at 4:36 PM

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