Ah yes, the debate. It pretty much turned out like I said it would.
I actually live blogged the whole thing (yes, once again I watch this stuff so you don't have too) but this was such a travesty I'll just go over the main points.
The minute Hillary walked out with that manic smile, my comment at 6:06 PM (all times PST) was 'boy, did they shoot her full of drugs.' I'm not kidding in the least. I know a bit about such things. I'd guess B-12 combined with a Dexedrine cocktail, perhaps with some cortisone shots to keep her knees from buckling for 90 minutes. They'll play hell trying to get her to sleep tonight without the aid of some serious downers like Seconal.
Expect her to be out of action for a few days.
Another thing I noticed (and I wasn't the only one) was how over prepared she was, with each answer spilling on without so much as an um or an err. After the third time this happened, I understood. She'd gotten the questions in advance from Lester Holt, who composed them, and had then spent serious time rehearsing. It was like watching one of those old 'pull the ring and she talks' dolls.
As for Lester Holt, performed exactly as I said he would. Anyone watching the debates understood instantly that this was Holt and Hillary against the Donald.
Holt had been chest thumping and bragging to his colleagues about how he was going to 'take down Trump.'
His questions were pretty much out of the Clinton playbook worded in leftist prose about 'income inequality' 'climate change' and 'racial justice', with aggressive interrogations by Holt on Trump's tax returns, Trump's 'racist birtherism' Trump's business bankruptcies and other tidbits. I especially liked the one where he framed Clinton's tax plans as 'Mrs. Clinton wants to tax the wealthy, and you want to lower taxes on the wealthy.' Actually Trump's plan is for an across the board tax cut and he did a decent job explaining it once he was able to get past Holt's constant interruptions and snide comments. Actually, Holt interrupted Trump 58% more than he interrupted Hillary Clinton.
Funny thing, Lester Holt had no questions about Benghazi, the Clinton Foundation or Hillary's e-mail scandal and her illegal private server. Even though one of his questions concerned cyber security, there were no followup questions on that little item! Lester Holt had indeed learned not to go there after what happened to Matt Lauer! The only mention was a comeback by Trump, who said he'd release his taxes when Mrs. Clinton released the 32,000 e-mails she deleted. It got a huge ovation from the audience which Lester Holt shushed as soon as he could. On the other hand, any applause for Mrs. Clinton was allowed to continue.
The only problem from Hillary's standpoint with Lester Holt's blatant partisan approach is that he overplayed his hand. He was so obvious about the whole thing that he actually helped Trump, who was perceived as the underdog fighting back against as rigged system, which has been one of Trump's campaign themes. Here was living proof, right in front of everyone. Social media is on fire about this.
Viewer polls from Time Magazine, Drudge and even CNBC showed Trump winning the debate handily and they weren't the only ones. Even Slate showed Trump winning. Needless to say, as I predicted the legacy media is already trying to spin this as a Clinton win, but it's going to be very difficult:
People might forget what you say, but never how you made them feel. Based on that, Trump won handily.
Of course, the 'fact checking' will go on. For instance, Trump was also entirely correct when he said murders had increased in 2016 in spite of the in the tank Politifact's efforts to lie about it. Talk about pants on fire!
FBI just released data showing murders increased 10% in 2016. Trump was 100% right. Yet another Politifact fail. http://www.politifact.com/truth-o-meter/statements/2016/jun/09/donald-trump/donald-trump-said-crime-rising-its-not-and-hasnt-b/ …
Expect a lot more of this. But people simply aren't fooled by the Clinton media as easily as they used to be.
Mrs. Clinton also did herself no favors ranting on about the 'incipient racism' in white society and especially among the police. I guess even when a black cop shoots a black man coming at him with a gun after being told repeatedly to drop his weapon, that's white racism too.
Trump also scored because of his obviously superior knowledge of how business and economics works and with a little exchange he had with Lester Holt about Stop and Frisk. When Holt stated incorrectly that it was 'unconstitutional,' Trump correctly replied that this was a ruling from one judge who was actually removed from the case and that New York's cop hating Mayor De Blasio had chosen to quash what would have likely been a successful appeal.
Trump did make one error I need to mention and he's not the only one. Barack Obama might brag about ending the Iraq War and people may talk about the vacuum this created but both are dead wrong. George W.Bush was the man who signed the disposition of forces agreement with Iraqi leader al-Maliki which called for all U.S. forces to be withdrawn from the Shi'ite dictatorship Bush created there, one of the stupidest things an American president has ever done. It laid the groundwork for Iran to flourish without the checkmate of Saddam Hussein's army right across the Gulf. But Obama can take no credit of blame for pulling our troops out of Iraq.
Of course Obama and Hillary can definitely be charged with having a major role in creating ISIS (which started in Syria as jihadist elements of the Syrian Free Army Obama funded armed and trained, not in Iraq) and destabilizing the entire Middle East with his illegal war in Libya, but that's a different question.
Again, this wasn't even a semblance of a debate. In a real debate, one of the participants can say the moon is made of green cheese and it's not the moderator's job to 'fact check' the speaker but but her opponent's to rebut her. Especially when the 'fact checking' is done in advance and aimed at one candidate and one only.
A final takeaway has to do with the overall demeanor of the candidates. As I predicted both Hillary and her minion Lester Holt tried their best to insult, demean and bait trump hoping to make him lose his cool. He refused to rise to the bait and kept things civil, which surprised a lot of people. He looked presidential compared to Mrs. Clinton's genuinely smug, nasty demeanor. The only time he really let fly a little is when Mrs. Clinton started bragging about her experience and Trump countered by saying something to the effect that it was all bad experience and failure, which again got an ovation Holt did his best to shush.
I honestly don't think Trump realized the extent the media was prepared to go to to try and take him down. They failed, but the Donald is a quick learner. And yes, Trump made a decision to avoid landing what could have been knockout blows in favor of appearing more likeable and presidential. For instance, when Hillary and Lester Holt were painting him as a sexist, it would have been no trouble at all for him to start referring to Hillary's sexual predator of a husband and Hillary's enabling of it. But as Trump tells it, he saw Chelsea in the audience and decided to let it pass because he felt it wasn't the right thing to do. Like Hillary's corruption and weakness on cyber security, most people already know this anyway, so I think that was a smart decision on his part first time out.
Trump fooled me too on this one. At times, I was like Bundini or Angelo Dundee, yelling 'Champ! Get off the ropes! Don't let them pound you like that, mention the Clinton Foundation!'
But like Mohammed Ali, The Donald chose to hold some of his fire and let Crooked Hillary and her media shill beat themselves, rope a dope style. Smart move, and expect him to be even more impressive next time out.