Presidential Debate of 2016: Trump and Hillary (My Impressions)

September 26, 2016 Presidential Debate from New York’s Hofstra University.

I think back to a phrase Rush Limbaugh used last week concerning the debates: “It’s not what you say that people will remember.  It’s how you make them feel.”  There are so many directions I would love to pursue, but the primary feeling I have is “not good.”

Trump made a big point, in the days leading up to debate night, he was campaigning instead of preparing, and it showed. I saw one post-debate commentator (not a Hillary supporter) say Hillary was on the ball, Trump was on the defensive, and he failed to make the point she is not prepared to be Commander in Chief. Clinton came off “poised, charming, Intelligent, and for the first time – likable.” (Judge Napolitano, Fox News Channel.)  He is absolutely right from a stage presence point of view. Smoke and mirrors.  The substance is what matters,but it will get ignored.


I understand the tension and adrenaline to say what you have to say and make it count, but this is as much a television show as it is war of words.  He could’ve made all his points, and made them well, if he had pulled back and floated them like a paper airplane gliding through the room, and less like a home run hitter swinging a bat.  This is where George Bush’s “aww-shucks” works.

His points were right on the money and frankly didn’t need to change.

  • The economy (which she would exacerbate the problems)
  • Law and Order
    • “No fly, no buy”  in agreement with Hillary, but no Gun Control
    • Stop and Frisk is legal and works
  • Jobs (a problem exacerbated by NAFTA coupled with high US Corporate Taxes)
    • Bring businesses back with lower regulation and taxes
  • Military wipeout of ISIS  (his point of broadcasting to our enemies ahead of time what we will do being stupid is a very good point)
    • That Hillary oversaw US Policy during the rise of ISIS
  • Inner city neighborhoods being taken from granted by politicians
  •  I loved how he swerved into the emails controversy – offering to release his Tax Returns if she will release her 30,000 delete emails  (yeah, I’m pretty sure that is an irrecoverable set of disks)

He needed to change his delivery. That is everything, especially in our modern “Feelings” based culture. The intangibles of tone, delivery, body language couple with the message is what will stick in viewer’s minds.

I think of the following Proverbs:

15 A soft answer turns away wrath,
but a harsh word stirs up anger.
2  The tongue of the wise commends knowledge,
but the mouths of fools pour out folly. 

A soft answer keeps a listeners heart open to receive what is being delivered.  Knowledge, not force of how something is said, is what will win the day.  If your opponent pours out folly, even though it may not seem it at the time, the folly will reveal itself and work as a detriment to their case.

In this case because of “how” Trump said it, people will look more negatively upon him rather than listening to his content.  His opponent Hillary on the other hand, while she spun the same old lines and even lamely pulled out the racist card and sexist card, will be largely overlooked because attention was drawn to Trump.

4 A gentle tongue is a tree of life,
but perverseness in it breaks the spirit.

Seriously, state the truth, be plain, be passionate, but don’t be a wrecking ball.  “Gentle” doesn’t mean coward.  People will hear the message in a word succinctly delivered.

When he got REALLY excited he commingled Global Warming with jobs and economy with ISIS/Military and Putin. He jammed so much together in 30 seconds at one time I lost all the topics.  And when Lester, the moderator, got back to Hillary she just smiled calmly and handled the softball delivered to her.  {Edit/Update} She was even able to say “Wow” like she was the adult in the room.  But What about the substance of what he delivered?  Was it wrong?  No.  It was overwhelmed by “how” he made people feel when he said it.

I watched Trump be interviewed by  Fox News’ Sean Hannity about the end of the debate, the lead-up to the “mean” response and not saying what he was going to say:

Sean: At the end of the debate maybe as a sign of desperation she tried to attack you as sexist, what is your response to that?

Trump: Well, I didn’t want to say, her husband was in the room along with her daughter – whom i think is a very nice young lady – and I didn’t want to say what I was going to say, about what’s been going on in their life … I thought it would be very disrespectful to Chelsea and maybe to the family.

I must admit I was too busy switching between Twitter Facebook and TV to catch the entire context live, and this makes sense.  Trump was literally trying to take the high road, and there are probably some of the debate characteristics I missed as I was monitoring things.


As for Hillary, like I quoted above, she looked poised – and as one person said, Robotic.  I was going for the “Valium” angle, but Robotic is a good explanation.

Her points were the same drivel mixed in with some outlandish accusations of racism and sexism:

  • The economy
    • Not surprising she wants a “Fair Economy” (Government dictates pay == socialism/ communism)
    • She wants government to “create” great paying jobs in certain sectors – technology for example  (more socialism communism)
    • Supports the  Trans Pacific Partnership agreement
  • Law and Order
  • Jobs – bring businesses back with lower regulation and taxes  (doesn’t work.  Who’d want to bring their money back to get taxed?)
  • Military wipeout of ISIS
    • Never really addressed the issue.
      She pounded that Donald was for the war before he was against it
  • Inner city neighborhoods – did
    • Calls the men “Predators” in this area and Trump calls her out
  •  The emails controversy
    • {crickets}

I had a nice chuckle when Hillary asked “What is Donald hiding” in his Federal Tax return? She used that as a point to pounding on Donald having a 0% Tax Rate.   He didn’t go after her about her email server in a closet with US Secrets and no security.  He didn’t press her on her health records.  And what about her $250,000 per speech fee to the banks?  Why not release transcripts or recordings of what she said?  She is the one with a lot to hide.

She took an immediate chance to accuse Donald of being a racist.  The Democrat Party has always used the Race Card to some extent.  Whether it was to endorse Slavery, Jim Crowe laws, Support the KKK as their militant arm or resisting the Civil Rights Act of 1964 pushed through by Republicans.  Now they are the “Affirmative action” party.  They must always have one skin color over another.  So much for Martin Luther King Jr. “I have a dream.”

And of course she had to pull out the “Sexist” card where Trump accused Rosie O’Donnell of being bad inside and out, and having called a Pageant contents a “pig.”  Stand alone with no background they are pretty bad sounding.  Of the Pageant contestant I have no familiarity, but Rosie case I do remember it occurring and thinking even at that time, why do gals like this get away with making decent people look bad?  Rosie deserves the hits she takes.

Again, without a label to demonize, Hillary just doesn’t feel at home.


Lester Holt

With her campaign accomplice, Lester Holt, she was able to get away with that without asking what she was hiding concerning her Health, her email server, or Benghazi. Really?  The punchline on said it all:  “LESTER HOLT: THE THIRD DEBATER…

How many times did Lester go after Hillary to clarify, or to answer fully, or to be limited on time?  I Watched the debate with the rest of you.  Once maybe to clarify.  She was given a wide berth.  As many speculated leading up to this event, Lester saw how Liberal pals savaged Matt Laurer for “going after Hillary” for the above items and may have worked to correct a “wrong” or to avoid the same treatment.

He pressed Donald almost mercilessly at time, and Donald Handled it mostly well, while to Hillary he gave a wide berth. He did a fine job about asking questions no one cared as much about.  There are other scandal items that needed to be addressed before moving forward.  But being an expected partner with Hillary, I won’t hold me breath.

This Tweet said it all:

No questions On
Clinton Foundation
Destroyed emails
Good job
Libs dig it

To wrap, one thing I greatly appreciated was Trump not allowing Hillary to say outlandish things without challenging them.   He didn’t allow Lester Holt to go all Candy Crowly on the Republican contestant (as an unchallenged 3rd debater … thank you Matt Drudge for that characterization.)

But for the next debate please please please Mr. Trump, remove the word “I” from your vocabulary – The viewers want to hear how you will benefit them, with or without your credentials.  The world is watching.  Make it count, as a servant leader, not sounding or coming across as someone looking to be served.  #ServantLeadership

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