The 2nd 2016 Debate
Monday October 10, 2016
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Let me start out by stipulating that I was the only person in the Milky Way Galaxy - with the possible exception of Sen. Tim Kaine's family - who thought Kaine won the VP debate last week.
Having said that, given what we found out on Friday about Donald Trump's tour bus chatter, I want someone to send Gov. Mike Pence a letter with all of the charges that Kaine launched about Trump that Pence wouldn't answer, couldn't answer or flat out lied about.
Ok. That's off my chest so let's move on.
I was quoted somewhere on Thursday or Friday morning saying that all Trump had to do in this debate was play to a tie, assuming Hillary Clinton was as solid as she was the first time around.
His performance in that first debate was so weak, that everyone would be focused on how much better he was this time.
Not a very high bar.
That bar got higher about 90 minutes before the debate when Trump organized a press conference with women who have accused Bill Clinton of mistreating them sexually.
This was Trump at his most Trumpian - deflecting the accusations against him by attempting to have everyone (meaning everyone in the press corps) talk about Bill Clinton.
Here's the last thing I'm going to write about this: I ran GOPAC in 1998 when the allegations against him rose to the level of impeachment. I spent some part of my day, almost every day, beating up on Clinton for being the cur he clearly was.
That year, 1998, was an election year; the second mid-term election of Clinton's Presidency. Since the Civil War the party of the President had only gained seats in a mid-term election twice: 1934 (FDR) and 2002 (in the wake of the 9/11 attacks).
The GOP lost a net 5 seats. Our entire campaign was based upon Clinton's alleged misdeeds and having lied about them.
I know Clinton had to surrender his law license for lying, but he was found not guilty in the impeachment trial in the U.S. Senate and served out his term.
The people of the United States have litigated Bill Clinton's sexual activities, I will be surprised if Donald Trump can revive that litigation to any meaningful political end.
I was keeping track. The first 28 minutes of the debate was about sexually charged statements and actions; emails, and Donald calling for Hillary to be sent to jail. They finally got to healthcare nearly a half hour in.
I'm not doing a play-by-play of the debate but the style of the discussion didn't change much. Donald Trump stayed with his stream-of-consciousness answers; Hillary often got wound around the axle with details and trying to counter Trump.
Hillary's best answer in the debate came at the one-hour mark when Trump said, in effect, she hadn't gotten anything done in 30 years, She used that to list accomplishment after accomplishment most having to do with improving the lives of children.
Trump stayed on the attack using the same language - and to a great degree the same cadence - as he has been using in big arena speeches. Points to him for bending the "Town Hall" concept to his will and his strengths.
Overall, I think Trump did well in comparison, as I said above, to how he did in the first debate. Hillary did as well as she did in the first debate which was pretty good.
One of the problems in grading Trump, is I can't tell if he sounds more normal or I've heard his shtick so often I'm inured to the whole act. I do know that his constant whining was annoying although I don't want to sound like I'm whining.
I think his performance was good enough to take some of the energy out of the "Get Trump Off the Ticket" movement (which has zero chance of success), but I have the same problem with this performance as I had with this first: It did nothing to expand his voting base.
Trump voters are very loyal. So are Clinton voters.
We'll see about Wednesday or Thursday what the net effect of this very strange weekend will have on the arc of the campaign.
Nothing in the debate changed my opinion. Every Republican candidate in the country needs to look at his or her constituency and decide if they should run with, or run away from, Trump.
On the Secret Decoder Ring Page today: A comparison of Aristotle and Plato as well as a somewhat more timely review of the impeachment of Bill Clinton via Wikipedia.
The Mullfoto is another in the long catalogue of license plates.
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