Deciding who won the first Clinton-Trump debate is somewhat subjective. Some will insist Hillary won; others will claim the victor was The Donald. The result was close enough to a tie, that either side might claim victory.
After the 95-minute Clinton-Trump debate, there was a “reaction” panel composed of 5 or 6 people who analyzed who won or lost the debate. That panel seemed to agree that the debate was a “wash”–neither candidate won or lost in an absolute sense. But, they also seemed to agree (except for Katie Couric) that, if anyone won that debate (barely), it was Trump.
As a man whose reaction to Hillary goes much deeper than dislike, I can say I hope the “reaction” panel was right. I hope Trump won, even it the victory was only marginal.
I missed the first half-hour of the Clinton-Trump debate. However, based on the last hour, I saw the debate as a victory for Hillary. To me, Trump seemed a little anxious, slightly conciliatory, and even somewhat fearful. Hillary (much to my surprise and displeasure) seemed more “presidential”.
She knew her facts. She was articulate. She spoke with confidence and without any fear I could detect. She didn’t roll her eyes, bob her head or fall down in some sort of seizure.
I can’t stand Hillary, but she came across as a “pro” while Trump appeared to be something of a gifted amateur.
I’m writing this post about 45 minutes after the debate ended. We’ll know who actually won or lost tonight’s debate when the post-debate polls come in. I’m betting that the next polls will show that Trump (who was even with or slightly ahead of Hillary in the polls coming into the debate) will have lost about five points to Hillary.
I hope I’m wrong, but I have to give Hillary her due. She did not look like a woman who was about to swoon. She did not look like a woman who was afraid that she might suddenly lose control and swoon. It galls me to say that she won the debate. It wasn’t a decisive, contest-ending victory, but the victory was hers.
If Trump really lost tonight’s debate, why did he lose?
I’m guessing that his advisers convinced him to try to act “presidential”. Trump attracted national attention and won the Republican primary election because he was brash, cocky, outspoken and confident. That’s his nature.
When he tries to act “presidential,” he’s trying to act like someone other than himself. I suspect that that “act” makes him a little unsure of himself–a little hesitant. He can play the part of “Trump” with great confidence. He plays the part of “presidential” with uncertainty that can be seen or sensed by the audience.
Hillary played the part of “likable” much better than Trump played the part of “presidential”. If the real Trump debated the real Hillary, Trump would win by a landslide. But, so long as “presidential” Trump is facing off against “likable” Hillary, Trump is still facing an uphill battle.
I know that Trump can get into a lot of trouble by just being “Trump,” shooting from the hip and making comments he may soon regret. But I suspect that if he wants to win the second debate, Trump may have to be less “presidential” and more himself.
We shall see.