By Robert J. Garrison
If you didn’t watch the debate last night, you didn’t miss anything. The third and last debate of the election year was overall just a rehash of the previous two debates. There were a few moments of drama but overall the debate was a boring snooze-fest.
The bar was pretty low for the Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton. All she had to do was show up and paint the Republican nominee, Donald Trump, as a loose cannon with no experience. I believe that she accomplished that but just barely.
On the flip side, the bar for the Republican nominee Donald Trump was high, because he needed a knockout punch. Although Donald Trump did hit Hillary Clinton with a few solid blows, none of them amounted to the knockout that he needed.
After the debate, I spoke with some of the staff in the TSS News Room, were we discussed what the takeaways would be in the media headlines the next morning. I predicted, accurately that the two big takeaways would be (1) That Chris Wallace was by far the best moderator of the three debates and (2) Trump’s refusal to say that he would accept the outcome of the election even if he loses.
Chris Wallace did a great job of asking follow-up questions to probe and try to get deeper into the thinking and ideas of the candidates. Wallace allowed both candidates to address one another in an open format without letting it get too out of control even though at times both candidates did their best to talk over him and interrupt him.
Wallace asked Donald Trump if he would accept the results of the election, and Trump answered with
“I will look at it at the time, I will tell you at the time. I’ll keep you in suspense.”
To me, that wasn’t a horrible answer. Remember just a few days ago videos were released by Project Veritas showing Democratic operatives discussing ways to commit voter fraud. The video has also uncovered that Robert Creamer, who was working for the Hillary campaign, but has since resigned, led an effort to create havoc and protests at and in Donald Trump rallies!
These videos have already forced those on the video to step down from their positions. So you can excuse me if I don’t jump on Donald Trump for not saying that he will accept the results of the election before he makes sure that no evidence of voter fraud or corruption impacts the final results.
Even Joe Scarborough, who is hardly pro-Trump, called out the media for their hypocrisy of taking that one line and blowing it way out of proportion.
So who won the debate? I don’t really think that either candidate truly won.
Hillary got hit by the Wikileaks emails hard by the moderator and by Donald Trump. Hillary’s answer to the Wikileaks story was to blame Russia for the sole purpose of impacting the U.S. election. According to a recent Rasmussen Report poll, many don’t buy Hillary’s argument of Russia trying to impact the election but that they actually believe that it’s the media that are the ones trying to impact the election!
Trump of course got hit by the comments made by women and his temperament. These two issues have clearly impacted Donald Trump and his numbers in the polls. However, it has been the case that when scandals like those come out people do peel away from Trump but over time they revert back to Trump as a default position.
In any case, both candidates did little to appeal to those outside their core base. Based on that fact alone they both lost and the debate was a draw.
A quick note on the psychology of the debate. Hillary was successful in painting Donald Trump as a womanizer monster and a person that doesn’t have the temperament to be president. This will leave a deeper impact on the voter than Donald Trump’s painting of Hillary as a person with poor judgment and a lair. Lastly Donald Trump remark towards the end of the debate of
“What a nasty woman.”
just feed into Hillary’s caricature of him. In the end I don’t feel that Trump did enough to change the race in a major way. I really don’t see any candidate getting a bounce out of this debate.
Robert J. Garrison is a political and religious writer for The Systems Scientist. You can connect with him directly in the comments section, follow him on Twitter or on Facebook, or catch up on his articles in the Archives.
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