Like it or not, Republican nominee Donald Trump “lost” the first presidential debate which took place last Monday. I am not supporting either major party candidate, but I agree with the undecideds who say that Hillary came out on top once the Cheeto dust settled.
With only two presidential debates left (thank goodness), both candidates are looking to increase support as election day nears. Both are polarizing in different ways, though, so the task before them is great.
Preparation on the Trump side of the aisle for the first debate was minimal at best, as The Washington Times reported:
Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump didn’t need mock debates or other traditional prepping for the big debate Monday because he was born for this moment, according to his running mate.
“He’s been preparing for tonight for his entire life,” Republican vice presidential nominee Mike Pence said in a CNN interview shortly before Mr. Trump took the stage to face-off with Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton at Hofstra University in New York.
“He’s someone who loves his family, loves this country and I think tonight people are going to see that lifetimes of experience and that authenticity come through,” he said.
Obviously, all that patriotism and family pride didn’t go far with voters who have yet to make their choice. The guy who cannot be tamed by advisors, media, or flesh and blood insists the next debate, scheduled for Sunday, October 9 will be different. He must be forgetting that we have his past, his personality, and those GOP candidate debates to look back on.
…he may take up the attack line going forward.
“I may hit her harder in certain ways,” Trump said in a telephone interview with “Fox & Friends.”
Trump sought to deflect criticism of his debate performance, saying the debate moderator, Lester Holt of NBC News, asked him “very unfair questions” and that he was given a “very bad” microphone.
Typical Trump. If things don’t go his way he’ll accuse others of not playing the game correctly so as to excuse himself of much of the responsibility.
I’m sure most of us (of the non-Trump variety) would give much to see another candidate debating Hillary with substance and strength. But here we are with Trump. As the September 26 debate wore on, he became less disciplined, and turned into a primetime version of his occasional tweetstorms. Hillary Clinton knew which buttons to push and pushed them.
With Trump, what you see is what you get. He’ll go on a less than presidential rampage on social media in the early morning hours. How he is outside of the debate stage is how he is on it. He doesn’t believe there should be rigorous preparation, he’s focused on spewing insults instead of bringing facts, and post-debate reactions are accusatory more than anything.
Donald Trump is incapable of hitting Clinton harder in their next scheduled debate encounter. There is a great deal of factual ammunition to send her way, but he’s uninterested in conventional tactics that others might use.
He won’t do a better job because he can’t do a better job. He’s not capable of it.
If he does manage to “win” Sunday’s debate, it won’t be because of a steady, focused performance. The best he has at his disposal are one-line zingers and the ability to constantly interrupt. These may play well in soundbites and among his base of current supporters, but they will not win over undecideds who will be voting next month.