It has been said that Jackie Gleason hated to rehearse and ‘The Honeymooners’ was filmed with the cast receiving the script only hours before. It was a testament to Gleason’s skill (and his co-stars) the show was hilarious and a roaring success. Donald Trump proved in the debate last night that he doesn’t have enough talent to go into a debate unprepared.
Hillary Clinton came across exactly as I expected – boring, pedantic and long winded. Her attempts at being funny reminded me of the person who tells a joke, laughs and says, “Get it?” to others. Still, Hillary was prepared, in command of the facts and pretty much ran circles around Donald Trump.
Trump continued to be an embarrassment as the standard bearer for the Republican Party. He did well in the first 20 minutes, hitting Hillary on trade and playing to the white working class voters that solidified his base of support. But from that point on, things got progressively worse.
During the GOP primary, Trump had the freedom to walk on stage, shout whatever drivel he wanted and walk off declaring himself the winner because he never had to take time to answer questions about policy, diplomacy or national security, with any depth.
Last night, he had to do that and he was not up to the challenge at all. Trump has zero command of the facts. His answers on specific policies sounded as though he was searching for the truth inside that head of his and there were times he rambled on incoherently to the point he reminded me of the homeless people you see at the train station talking to themselves.
The worst part is, Trump likely convinced himself, after seeing the online Drudge poll, that he won. And won convincingly. He’ll read criticisms such as this one as nothing more than sour grapes from “losers” who just don’t get his brilliance. If he’s lucky, Kellyanne Conway will get a hold of him and say, “That was awful. It’s time to prepare for the next debate.”
If Trump can learn to read from a teleprompter, he can prepare for debates. Trump may find himself in more familiar company in the next debate when it is a town hall format. He may be more at ease with such a format, but he still needs to prepare. Last night was terrible by any measure, even in a political season as weird as this one.