Trump Vs. Clinton: First Presidential Debate And Predictions For The Upcoming Ones

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First Presidential Debate

Everyone was waiting for it, the first official showdown between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton. Broadcast from the Hofstra University in Hempstead to an estimated audience of 84 million (not counting the live stream viewers), this debate was unlike any other in the history of US politics, but like most debates, it was clear who lost.

The Huffington Post called it “America on the Brink”, The Drudge Report termed it the “Debate of the Century”. Apparently, it lived up to all the hype. It was the “most tweeted debate ever” according to Twitter spokesperson, Nick Pacilio.

Who Won And Who Lost?

Major media outlets and the public has the same opinion, Hillary was the clear winner.

Trump’s Trumped-Up Rhetoric And Policies

The event started smoothly enough then turned into a roller coaster of lies, half-truths, and accusations. The sheer asymmetry of the debaters, in terms of experience, knowledge, and professionalism, was revealed in stark contrast.

Mr. Trump wasn’t in his element, to say the least, and he seemed thoroughly unprepared to handle the battle against Clinton. None of his answers seemed relevant and the overall rhetoric was a mess. Clinton on the other hand delivered all the punches she could with perfect poise.

Watch the highlights of the 90 minute debate in 5 minutes:

Hillary referred to Trump’s tax policies as “Trumped-up trickle-down”, this phrase is applicable to the rest of the policies and plans that the GOP presidential nominee stated during the debate last night. It was bad enough that Mr. Trump had come to the global arena unprepared, but he made it worse by showing everyone how thin-skinned he really is.

He acted like a tough defensive bully, Hillary started out uncertain about how to react to this behavior. She quickly came into her during the end of the first half. By the time the second half came around, she was blazing ahead and leaving Trump behind with her scorching attacks.

Perspectives From The Twitter-Sphere

The Twitter-sphere was abuzz with reactions during the debate with lots of people and mainstream media outlets live-tweeting the debate. However, the post-debate reactions offer perspectives.

Octavia Nasr, a journalist with CNN summed up the debate succinctly:

MSNBC’s Howard Fineman tweeted the following:

The former president of Mexico, Vicente Fox tweeted out this reaction:

The ex-host, Jerry Springer had this to say:

What The Experts Are Saying And Highlights

“What on earth was that? For 90 minutes, we watched one candidate for president display the seriousness the office demands while the other did what was once unthinkable: show up unprepared for a globally televised job interview. The first presidential debate between reality-television star and wealthy builder Donald Trump and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton was mind-blowing. Trump brought the vaudeville shtick that worked for him in the primaries to the main stage and bombed.”

– Jonathan Capehart (Member of the Washington Post editorial board)

Presidential Debate 1

“Ninety minutes was never going to be enough time for Mr. Trump to redeem his candidacy, even if by some miracle he had wanted to, if he had suddenly developed a coherent set of policies and principles, an agenda against which Mrs. Clinton’s proposals could be weighed and reviewed, and a baseline level of decency.”

– The New York Times Editorial Board

Presidential Debate 4

“starting around the 11-minute mark in the 95-minute event, Trump’s cool began to melt. He started to shout through Clinton’s answers, gripping the sides of the lectern until his hands turned red.”

– Jenna Johnson (Reporter for The Washington Post)

Presidential Debate 2

“Hillary Clinton’s performance in the first presidential debate on Monday veered from uncertain and tentative to firm and, ultimately, scorching. No amount of practice, it seemed, could fully prepare her — or perhaps anyone — for Donald J. Trump’s hurricane of factual distortion, taunting interruptions and blustery generalities. Mrs. Clinton seemed to slowly but steadily learn how to confront and subdue Mr. Trump on the fly, as tens of millions of Americans watched.”

– Michael Barbaro and Matt Flegenheimer

Presidential Debate 5

“Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump stumbled through the first presidential debate Monday night, losing his composure on multiple occasions,”

– Eliot Nelson (Editor at The Huffington Post)

Presidential Debate 3

“After the first 20 minutes, it may have been the most lopsided debate I’ve ever seen — and not because Clinton was particularly effective. But you don’t need to be good when your opponent is bad,”

– David French (National Review)

Presidential Debate 6

The Debate Aftermath – Candidate Reactions And Campaign Activity

Clinton quickly moved to capitalize on her strong performance, meanwhile Trump lobbed attacks on the host, decried the questions as unfair, and reiterated some of his controversial remarks. This is pretty much, what the pundits expected. Trump’s advisers explained away his remarks and his performance.

Trump’s post-debate schedule included an appearance at a watch party organized by the Nassau County Republican Committee. He decided to skip the event, Clinton, on the other hand, celebrated with her supporters in Westbury.

A Final Word And Upcoming Debates

Mr. Trump might call cold hard facts “mainstream media nonsense”, but after last night’s dismal performance, he needs to pay attention to this “nonsense” and learn the value of facts if he wants to perform any better in the upcoming debates. The second debate is scheduled for Sunday, Oct. 9, 2016 and the last one for Wednesday, October 19, 2016.

The standard format for the second debate, as decided by the Commission on Presidential Debates, dictates that common citizens should pose half of the questions. Most voters are looking forward to this town-hall style debate. Trump’s improvisation strategy might work better in the second debate; he might be able to gain back some of the lost ground. The third and final debate will have the same format as the first.

The two political rivals are currently neck-and-neck, with voters split at 46/44 in favor of Hillary. The debate performances might not sway staunch supporters but the undecided ones will certainly be keeping a close eye on the outcome.

However, according to some reports, we won’t get to see any more Trump/Clinton debates.

Rudy Giuliani said that Trump should participate in upcoming debates only if certain concessions were granted. “If I were Donald Trump I wouldn’t participate in another debate unless I was promised that the journalist would act like a journalist and not an incorrect, ignorant fact checker,”, he said.

At this point there is no telling what Mr. Trump might decide, after all he does live “in his own reality”.

About The Author

Kelvin Stiles is a tech enthusiast and works as a marketing consultant at SurveyCrest – FREE online survey software and publishing tools for academic and business use. He is also an avid blogger and a comic book fanatic.