Ladies and gentlemen…the main event! In this corner, the challenger Donald “The Donald” Trump, six foot two, two hundred and twenty-two pounds, a reach of seventy-three inches in the Red White & Blue shorts. And in this corner, the incumbent-ish Hillary “Tell No Lies” Clinton, five foot four, one hundred and thirty pounds, a reach of thirty inches in the Polyester Red shorts. And there’s the bell!
(These are live, unedited notes on the fight.)
Clinton tried early on to land a climate change jab, which was batted away effortlessly by Trump. A roundhouse on “We’ll have a special prosecutor to enforce trade deals” whiffed. Trump responded with one on the kidney with NAFTA and TPP.
“You are going to approve one of the biggest tax increases in history” sets her back on her heels. Hillary thrust back with a website Fact Check advertisement that hit nothing but air. Trump says, “Go to her web site. She tells her how to fight ISIS” lands but without much force.
Blows back and forth about tax cuts and increases. Quick “I have a feeling that by the end of the evening that I’ll be blamed for everything” by Hillary answered with sotto voce “Why not” by Trump. Hillary’s tax-cut-for-college-loans-that-will-boost-the-economy draws no blood. “We are in a big fat ugly bubble” Fed jab by Trump hits. Lester Holt’s request for tax release hits, but not in a soft spot. Countered by Trump’s pledge to release taxes if Hillary gives up her emails. Pain. Returned by Hillary’s insinuations “There could be anything in there! There’s something he’s hiding!” One or two blows get through, the rest are parried.
Hillary scores a point about stiffed paychecks. Her bankruptcy footwork blows by Trump’s “We took advantage of laws.”
“Gun epidemic” is an own blow from Hillary. Trump’s law and order, stop and frisk left-right combo stings. Trump fact checks Lester Holt on stop and frisk, a mistake on Holt’s part to enter debate; he scores a point for Trump in doing so. Hillary’s condescension towards blacks backfires slightly. “Our police are outgunned” does nothing; her call for profiling to buy guns is an own blow. Hillary tacitly admits police are implicitly biased towards blacks. Ouch.
Trump’s super-predator reminder to Hillary hits and her head waggles (her tell when she’s caught). Trump catches Hillary about murder rate in New York. She runs to the corner about safe neighborhoods and respecting rights. Trump scores a body blow with his “See you later, I’ll see you in four years” about pandering for votes among blacks. A quick jab about her health and staying home smacks hard.
Lester Holt’s attempts at birth certificates jabs miss; Trump hits Holt back by reminding Hillary was the original birther. Hillary joins Holt in calling birtherism “racist”, a punch which only hurts leftists.
War drums beat by Hillary with a Russian tattoo doesn’t hurt The Donald. Admirals and Generals over political hacks causes grief. The DNC break-in scores another quick blow. But Trump misses a chance to unleash the e-mail scandal. Hillary’s war plans for ISIS does nothing. Trump’s reminder that Obama and Hillary led to ISIS’s creation doesn’t send her reeling. Her come back about vacuuming up intelligence salvo falls short.
“You started the Iran deal; that’s another beauty” draws a trickle of blood. As does Trump’s call for NATO nations to pony up their dues. Holt jumps in to defend Hillary claiming the record shows Trump supported the Iraq war. Trump beats back the double-team attack, but it costs him a little. “I have much better judgement than she does. I also have a much better temperament than she does” looks like it doesn’t hurt, but it causes an internal bruise which won’t show for days. Hillary’s boasting of the Iran deal is an own blow.
The Iran, China, North Korean nuclear nexus razzle dazzle adds points to the challenger. Hillary tries to block with ineffective words about honoring agreements. “He says it’s a secret plan [to defeat ISIS]. The only secret is that he has no plan” dies aborning. Another own blow. “We cannot be the policeman of the world” slides in for a point.
Holt lets Trump mention Hillary’s stamina. Holt realizes his error and tries to stop Trump. Trump slaps Holt away. “His has experience. But it’s bad experience” uppercut bops her head back. She comes back with Trumps hates women. Trump retaliates with Rosie O’Donnell. Even-steven on the exchange.
Judge’s quick decision—but first a word on what a win means. No (or close to no) Hillary supporter changed her mind, and no (or close to no) Trump supporter changed his because of this debate. The questions is how many ‘undecideds’ changed theirs. So the Judge says: A tie on points. But if we have to call a victor, it goes to Trump because he had two foes, and Hillary had one.
Morning update As of 6 AM next morning, the Drudge poll unsurprisingly puts Trump as winner (80% to 20%). But even more interesting is the Time poll, which put it as a 50-50 tie. This is significant because Time is a standard media organ, meaning if Hillary really won that poll would likely show it. CNBC has Trump as winner 62% to 38%. On the other hand, the Breitbart-Gravis flash poll (immediately after the debate) gave the edge to Hillary, 48% to 43%, which is odd: 9% is missing. In that poll, 2% of undecideds switched to Trump, and none for Hillary. That makes this poll another tie.
More polls will be coming in over the week as matters sink in. But the early indications agree with what I wrote last night.