Most of us have those moments in life when we wished more than anything that we could be a fly on the wall listening in on conversations. Last night’s Presidential Debate 2016 was one of those nights. I would have loved to have been on the wall listening to Hillary Clinton’s campaign staff remarks as they watched the debate unfold.
The biggest questions leading up to the debate were; Could Hillary survive an hour and a half without having a coughing fit and could Donald go through the debate without blowing a cork and reverting to the “Rosie is a pig” demeanor?
As with most debates, each candidate had a few high moments and each candidate had some weak moments. Without question, one of the top moment’s for Hillary Clinton’s team was the discussion of Mr. Trump’s tax returns. NBC’s Lester Holt prefaced the question by stating that the IRS confirmed that no laws were restricting him from releasing his returns. Trump was obviously uncomfortable with this issue and remained with the talking points that his Attorney’s have advised him not to release them until his audit is complete.
On this topic, Hillary did score a quick jab (to borrow boxing analogies) to the nose with her response to the three or four possible reasons he has not released them. Hillary dove into “Is Donald really worth the billions he claims, is Donald hiding something, did Donald really give to charity as he claims, and lastly, Donald didn’t actually pay any taxes”?
While I am not a career professional debate coach, I do know that Donald Trump’s response to this attack was “cringe-worthy” for any Trump supporter. He responded with a couple of “typical Donald faces early, then closed with (in regards to the paying of any taxes) I’m smart.” This most unorthodox answer both displayed ego, arrogance and made him appear as he is unpatriotic for weaseling his way out of paying taxes. This series was definitely one of Donald’s “lower” moments of the debate.
Another “cringe-worthy” moment (at least for myself) was the topic of “Stop and Frisk.” This was a time when Donald could have hit the ball out of the park. Had Donald “properly-prepared” for this debate, he would have known that Mayor Guiliani’s stop and frisk was not unconstitutional, but unconstitutional as applied according to Guiliani. (Here Donald could have cited Rudy who was on the first row as his source) Secondly, he would have known that the practice did cut crime in New York City from over 2,300 murders a year in 1990 to 500 deaths by 2010. The violent crimes in NYC dropped from a half-million a year to just over 100,000 by 2010. Had Mr. Trump thrown these statistics out, (these numbers are from a New York Times article in 2012) it would have ended with Hillary and Lester both having egg on their faces.
In my opinion, I also think that Mr. Trump needed to have a better-prepared answer for his “job creation” question that he knew was coming. Lester Holt had to ask him several times, “Yes Mr. Trump, you say you’re going to create jobs, but HOW ARE YOU GOING TO DO THIS”? It almost seemed as if he was dancing around this topic rather than a “crisp, clear and definitive answer.”
The downside in my opinion for Mr. Trump were the many “MISSED” opportunities he could have utilized against Mrs. Clinton. Probably one of the biggest was a softball tossed out by Lester (I don’t think he even realized this) regarding cyber-crimes. This was Mr. Trump’s layup for a grand slam where he could attack her and land a knockout punch (because of her private server), and he let it go by. OUCH!
I do think that Mr. Trump needs to work on his phrasing when he answer’s questions. He needs to elevate his language significantly. It almost seems as though he is speaking to middle-school children. We do not need to hear “so good, so good” and “so great, so great” coming from someone asking to be President of the United States. In other words, his choices for verbiage needs to be elevated along with his poise and charm.
Donald Trump does have an atomic bomb in his war-chest and for whatever reason, he didn’t pull it out and drop it. That warhead is the “Pay for Play” that was run through the Clinton Foundation. The fact is, a clear, concise explanation of the billions received from nations (and some were illegal to receive cash from) who dislike us so that the United States would sell them arms or for other favors needed to be brought out. And they were not! Maybe he is saving this for the second debate, and I sincerely hope this is the case.
I will say that the armchair pundits such as myself all agree this morning that the debate was largely a tie. Yes, the Trump supporters think he won, the Hillary supporters think she won. Hillary was poised, in control of herself as was Donald. Nobody gave the other a true game ending blow which only serves to create excitement for the next debate.
SUGGESTION FOR DONALD TRUMP; In the next debate, please thank America for affording you the opportunity to be on the stage fighting for the average citizen. WEAVE something patriotic into your opening or closing statement that thanks everyone for being at the debate and end on a high-note. IE; Shining city on a hill, together and with your help, we can all “Make America Great Again.” Otherwise, practice your verbiage, practice some numbers and stat’s and practice a couple of good one-liners that cause her to stumble.
What are your thoughts about the debate? Leave your comments below, we would love to read them!
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