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27 September 2016


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Colonel, IMO there was nothing, zero to learn from this first debate, the line of issues and questioning , and the moderator
amazingly knew what not to ask, IMO, questions, and the moderator were not unbiased. Obama' birth certificate after 8 years, is not going to help solving anybody' problem in this nation, except Hillary'.


I watched the debate with 5 other white, moderately-successful people (4 women which is Hillary's demographic)
Everyone thought Trump won on trade, but that the second half of the debate went to Hillary for "looking and sounding presidential".
Trump's attack on Rosie O Donnell and his flagging attention-span appear to be a real handicap.
There was no clear winner and certainly no TKO.



John Minnerath

"wide eyed Kewpie doll smiling , eye rolling, sneering, etc. was quite annoying"
To say the least, she makes my skin crawl.
The heavy pro Clinton bias from the moderator was also not unexpected.

Edward Amame

My concern was that the press would do to her what they did to Gore in 2000 -- turn a win into abject failure. That's not gonna happen to Clinton after last night.

The race will still remain close though. Partisans saw what they wanted to see.


wide eyed Kewpie doll smiling , eye rolling, sneering

Ok, was noted over here too, I had only the American original during the debate on TV.

But may I ask something, I know it is absolutely irrelevant but on my mind nevertheless, maybe Tyler is around?

I cannot recall having ever before come across someone that draws this type of audible breath while talking. What is that? It irritates me somehow. Sometimes its more frequent, close to every 10 seconds, sometimes its less.

mike allen

He certainly ran out of gas all the while trying to convince us that she was the one who had no stamina.

I did not see any sneering by either one of them. She did try to use humor like a kindly grandmother towards an unruly toddler. An act of course, but an effective one.


I had to turn it off after around 30 minutes.

Vapid and devoid of any substance, moderated by a fool.

My truthful impression, both are just plain batshit crazy.

Margaret Steinfels

You're referring to Trump? If so, let me add that I wanted to hand him a kleenex to blow his nose and stop the sniffling. Didn't he have a handkerchief in his pocket?

Col. Lang, if I may, the Kewpie doll remark.....unworthy.


Pray tell, who in "the press" would "do to her what they did Gore"? They did not like Gore. Had it out for him. You think THIS press core is going after Hillary?!!? Amazing. Where are they? On PBS? MSNBC? CNN? The Times? The Post? Hell, not even Fox, accept for Hannity. CBS? ABC? NBC? Come on man....


Trump was pressed for specifics on his economic plan, to which he argued that we should lower the corporate tax rate to 15% and renegotiate NAFTA. That's pretty darn specific if you ask me. Most business owners I know think a plan like that is a fantastic idea.

That was about the only thing of substance I heard. Hillary was of course allowed to skate by with vague assertions of "investing in education" with no real way to articulate how that would actually improve the economy. Holt had a difficult time trying to hid his bias.


It was a sorry spectacle from my perspective. But her job was to knock him out. Or, provoke him to knock himself out. He was not knocked out.


Debate goes to Clinton, simply because Trump couldn't focus enough to put together any kind of detailed criticism on the many openings Clinton left him. I agree that her fake smile was very annoying. Agree that the moderator was leaning toward Clinton, but it was for things Trump deserved to be called out on. It would've been nice to see Clinton similarly challenged on things like Libya and the Clinton foundation, the way Trump had to eat his words on the birthers. Both are unelectable. They're very lucky Stein and Johnson were kept out.


Trump running out of gas... flailing then deflation. Focus during unrelenting crisis overwhelms him (his mode is to yell at underlings and walk away - if he were prez, that's what we'd all hope-for). Forget his tax returns, drug testing may be more in order. As to Hillary... she was predictable, as ever.

Stuart Wood

The first debate summed up in poetry:

JABBERTRUMPY (Apologies to Lewis Carroll)

Beware the JabberTrump, my girl!
The names that bite, the lies that catch!
Beware the Cuckoo Birds, and shun
The frumious Right-Wing Batch!

She took her Factual Sword to mind
Long time the Orange foe she sought
So rested she by the Tumtum tree,
And stood awhile in thought.

And, as in uffish thought she stood,
The JabberTrump, with eyes of flame,
Came whiffling through the tulgey wood,
And Tweeted as it came!

One, two! One, two! And through and through
The Factual Blade went snicker-snack!
She left it dead, and with its head
It went galumphing back.

And, hast thou slain the JabberTrump?
Come to my arms, my beamish girl!
O frabjous day! Callooh! Callay!
She smiled, as did the world.

Richard Sale

My first impression startled me. I realized that Trump was the smarter of the two. Hillary by nature, gets snide right away. Saying that Trump's companies suffered bankruptcy six times was a deliberate lie.

both lied constantly.

Lester didn't ask a lot of questions about both that he should have.


Eric Newhill

Clinton botoxed, made-up and drugged-up to just the right levels that she almost appeared healthy and on the ball. Her stage crew and physician(s) were the big winners last night.

To bad we didn't get to hear them debate the real issues of the day. I blame the moderated for the juvenile level to which the debate rapidly sank. Hillary was by far the worst in that regard.

My theory is that Trump let her get all the personal attacks over and done with and showed he could exercise restraint. Next debate he will eviscerate her.


Dear Colonel,

As is clear even from the few comments above, those solidly in either camp were unlikely to change for which the debate had nothing. Its the undecided that matter. And as Donald Trump has very well shown, facts and policy have nothing to do with this campaign.

Trump had to appear presidential and not raving. On that he succeeded. He lost focus, which is not typical Trump, and could be a plus (more human) or a minus (how can you negotiate if you lose focus?).

Hillary needed to convince why she is trustworthy and appear healthy - I might have missed it, but did not see her address the trust topic, and proving you are healthy is exceedingly difficult (its a negative), but she looked wooden to my eye. In any case, humans are very good at spotting poor health in people, but its at the unconscious level (except for trained professionals), and if her schedule remains light on campaign and heavy on fund raising in the next week, then a medically-facilitated 90 minutes seems most likely (and will lose her the election).

My debate score for the election is Trump succeeded at surpassing the very low bar that Hillary set for him, while Hillary did not move her bars (health and trust).


They both earned a second shot next week.

ex-PFC Chuck

The most succinct analysis I've seen was in a retweet that came into my Twitter feed shortly after the end of the debate. It was originally posted by a young woman (a guess based on the name and thumbnail photo) whom I know nothing about named Maddie Stone: "The only winner tonight was the Voyager probe, which is speeding from the earth at 17 kilometers/second."

For an analysis of why Clinton and Trump, like their establishment political confreres in the rest of the industrialized world, are utterly unable to cope with the challenges facing us I suggest a blog post entitled "Why There Is a Trump." The author, Raul Ilargi Meijer, is the co-host of the blog Automatic Earth which focuses mainly on political-economy issues. The post was written a few hours before the debate.



Trump' performance was startling to me in its ineptitude. I expected better.

Starting sometime after the first third of the debate, Trumps demeanor began to change. He drank more and more water. He looked all around. He more and more responded reflexively to Hillary's fly bait.

At this exact point in the debate, I noticed a distinct change in Trump's demeanor when he answered this question from Hillary.

CLINTON: And maybe because you haven't paid any federal income tax for a lot of years. (APPLAUSE)

And the other thing I think is important...

TRUMP: It would be squandered, too, believe me.

It was at that point, I think, Trump realized he had really screwed up with a devastating admission that over the years, he has paid little, if any, federal taxes and thinks that those who do, like me, are stupid and he knew he had insulted a hoard of people.


It was the declinsion of the sentence that hit me, it was the "would be" which I interpreded as a "If I had paid any taxes, my taxes would [have been] squandered."

The bait caught him with a bald admission that the reason that he does release his returns is that he does not pay taxes and he is afraid that if his base learns that fact, it would hurt his chances.

From that point in the debate, Trump's demeanor became more and more familiar to me.

I have been a trial lawyer for over 40 years and have watched many, many people perform in the courtroom, a context quite similar to a debate. As the minutes passed, Trumps body language became more and more familiar and it became increasingly evident that Trump had succumbed to the controlling emotion every good trial lawyer tries to instill in the opponent and avoid himself--fear.

The fundamental takeaway from the debate was that the bully Trump can easily be frightened with simple fly-bait.

From the end of the first third of the debate, Clinton had him where she wanted him; Trump stopped thinking clearly and was responding emotionally from his overwhelming feeling of fear and inadequacy.

Clinton scared the shit out of Trump. From the moment of the "It would be squandered, too, believe me" reflexive response, HE KNEW she had bested him and he was rattled.

By the end of the debate as Clinton methodically stoked his fear, Trump showed himself to be the cowardly bully he really is.

Trump is not brave enough or emotionally smart enought to be President.


AED, truly IMO, I don’t think this buffoon, deserve to be the president of this country, OTOH, considering the only other choice, is a proven borgist warmonger, who, as she claims, will want to impose her way of life on everybody else, if necessary, by starting new and more disastrous wars. So be it, I rather take unknown surprises by an untested buffoon, then a proven borgist warmonger.

Nancy K

Some have mentioned they did not like her Kewpie doll looks, I did not like his sniffing and grimacing faces. I found his train of consciousness or unconscious speech very inarticulate. I think he could have gone after her on more issues and just missed it. The commentator did question Trump more but Trump can be very evasive in his answers. Granted both my husband and I support Hillary however he did teach speech and debate at a high school and college level and he felt Hillary was far better. He thought Trump lacked basic debating skills and felt whoever is working with him is doing a poor job,that he missed many opportunities and he was too centered on himself and his business and his properties etc. During the first Obama Romney debate, he felt Romney was much better and won that debate, so he can look at it objectively.


FiveThirtyEight expects a 2-4 % bounce for Clinton on this 1st "debate", based on what has occurred in previous Prez "debates". My take is that Clinton did not "win", but Trump unraveled and allowed her to appear better. The polls seem to swing when one or the other have a "bad week", rather than reflect any positive aspect in the candidates (there really has been no positives!). As this "debate" will be a negative for Trump, his poll numbers likely to go down--until, another likely negative on Clinton pops up!
This is both an interesting and depressing Prez election!

Patrick Armstrong

As far as I know, the only person to have got Trump right from the very beginning is Scott Adams. Here's his take: "Clinton won the debate last night. And while she was doing it, Trump won the election. He had one thing to accomplish – being less scary – and he did it." http://blog.dilbert.com/post/151007796236/i-score-the-first-debate

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