A Reflection on the Third Debate

The third debate was kind of fascinating.  Donald Trump started off well.  He wasn’t interrupting Hillary Clinton and seemed to be patiently waiting for his turn to speak.  He was answering questions fairly well, as was Clinton.  Actual policy was being addressed and it seemed more like a normal debate than either of the first two.  However, it soon started to decline.

Donald Trump had several missteps but he also bruised Hillary Clinton when he criticized her for giving preference to foreign donors who made contributions to the Clinton Foundation during her time as Secretary of State.  He kept his composure for a lot of the debate but just couldn’t resist interrupting.  He interjected again with the “wrong, wrong, wrong” comments and called her “such a nasty woman.”  That was the biggest comment that was turned into a meme out of the whole debate.  “Nasty woman” is sort of similar to Hillary’s “basket of deplorables” comment.  Trump interrupted Clinton far more than she interrupted him, but when she did interrupt, it was with sass.

Trump wasn’t the only one dishing out jabs.  At one point when Trump was talking about his “very beautiful apartment in a hotel down the street…” Clinton interjected “Made with Chinese steel!”  She also called Trump a puppet, but of course he fired back with a denial and that she was actually the puppet.  Clinton went on the offensive this debate and in my opinion it didn’t hurt her.  Clinton didn’t hold back on the insults and the provocations but she also knew when to just sit back and let him essentially self-destruct.  Perhaps the biggest moment, especially according to the press, was when Trump didn’t say that he would accept the outcome of the election.  Everyone was shocked when Chris Wallace tried to clarify his question even more and Trump’s response was “I’ll keep you in suspense, okay?”  That has been the biggest headline I’ve seen since it has always been the custom for candidates to accept the outcome of the election as a symbol of respect for our democracy.

As for actual policy, both candidates talked more about it in this debate than in the other debates.  Trump brought up his hate for NAFTA, again, and said that he would do away with it or make significant changes to it.  He also claimed that he would repeal Obamacare and cut taxes on the wealthy.  Trump attacked Clinton, saying that she wanted open borders, she would change the 2nd amendment, and she would allow abortions to happen even just a few days before birth.  Clinton had to explain and defend herself about all three of those issues but I feel that she did a pretty effective job of it.

Clinton is ahead in the polls and as of right now, according to fivethirtyeight.com, she has an 86.7% chance of winning the election thus Trump only has a 13.2% chance.  These presidential debates have done nothing but increase her chances of winning because it has become very clear that Trump doesn’t have the temperament he claims to have to be the president.  After every debate he seems to have dug himself into an even deeper hole.  At this point in the campaign I feel like there is little he can do to win.  As long as no new scandals break about Clinton and her campaign, she has the presidency almost in her hands.  She and her team just need to work to prevent anything big from breaking.

The thing to watch for now is, and I can’t really believe I’m saying this, Russian interference in the election.  Trump claims the election is rigged, not by the Russians though, and Clinton claims that the Russians are intervening because they want Trump to be president.  They want “a puppet” as Clinton put it.  Now that the debates are finally over, all we have to do is make it to Election Day.

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