After watching the 2nd presidential debate between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump I wanted to make a few observations.
1. The first two rounds were a dumpster fire.
I felt physically uncomfortable watching the debate. We all knew Trump was going to get questions about the 2005 audio that was released on Friday with him making lewd comments. He doubled down on it being “locker room talk” which is something I totally reject.
He said he never engaged in this behavior. So he was just lying about it then? Who lies about stuff like that? Most people, if they’ve engaged in behavior like this, lie that they didn’t do it because they are ashamed.
The record shows he has had affairs, and there are a number of accusations made against him to make me think that this isn’t entirely true. I also think we are going to be hearing a lot more.
That said he was definitely prepared. He put Hillary Clinton on the defensive by bringing up President Clinton’s sexual misconduct. Which really increased the “ick” factor, but took some heat off of Trump.
The thing is when Clinton and Trump were pointing out each other’s faults – that was one of the few times I actually believed them.
They are both morally unqualified to be President.
2. Trump landed some punches with Clinton’s emails and Benghazi.
Trump took several opportunities to put her on the defensive. Unlike the first debate he didn’t miss opportunities to bring these topics up.
3. Trump made history by throwing his running mate under the bus.
I don’t think I’ve ever seen a presidential candidate throw his running mate under the bus during a debate like Trump did with Mike Pence last night. Saying he disagreed with Pence regarding Syria strategy was jaw dropping. This makes me question just how much he will listen to his advisers. Pence spent ten years on the House Foreign Relations Committee. He isn’t a newbie when it comes to foreign policy, and he has a better grasp on what is going on in Syria than Trump does.
But yeah sure, let’s praise Assad, Russia and even Iran (!) because at least they are fighting ISIS.
He essentially made himself out to be pro-Assad, pro-Russia and pro-Iran.
4. Trump trumps Hillary Clinton on tax policy and Obamacare
Trump’s best moment was discussing his tax plan and attacking Hillary Clinton’s. Clinton’s comments about helping small businesses with her tax policy is asinine when you consider she wants to cap itemization which will hurt those who are self-employed. Her estate tax plan will hurt family farmers.
Trump also scored points on the Obamacare exchange. He put forth some ideas for what would replace Obamacare once it is repealed. Clinton said she would fix what was broken in Obamacare, but didn’t specify what that is or what she would do about it.
5. Clinton gave Trump a great gift.
Hillary Clinton’s remarks about the Supreme Court may just helped to shore up some of Trump’s base of support. People are extremely concerned about the Supreme Court. Clinton’s complaints during the debate that the same Supreme Court that approved of Obamacare and same-sex marriage was not doing enough on her issues may convince some conservatives to go to the polls for Trump.
6. Unequal moderators
I thought Anderson Cooper did a good job for the most part. Martha Raddatz however was awful. Lesson number one. Debate moderators are not supposed to get in debates themselves which is what they didn’t.
A much improved debate performance for Trump from the first debate. Clinton fell flat. If I had to pick a winner I would give that to Trump. I will say this, I don’t think it will change the trajectory. The bad news he received last week will make an impact. The fact he didn’t say anything during the debate that will cost him Republican votes is probably a win in and of itself.