Rear-View: The First 2016 Presidential Debate

The first 2016 Presidential Debate has come and gone, and the conclusion: what America expected. Indeed, Monday’s debate showed what the Millennics podcast has long suggested, and what I will continue to opine: the presidential debates will serve as a driving force for Clinton, and a dagger for Trump. Before turning to the explanation, note that this article does not explore the content, or policies of the candidates; rather, this article simply focuses on their performance, and the outcome derived therefrom.

As the Primary debates showed, the debate stage is not the best arena for Trump. Indeed, Trump’s off-put style, lack of preparation—which Clinton quickly pointed out, and Trump conceded—the propensity to become unhinged, and Trump’s inability to keep his bearing came to the forefront at first Presidential Debate.

Furthermore, Trump showed one of the downfalls of owning and running your own business for the majority, if not the entirety, of one’s life: a default to a monologue. As Trump has shown repeatedly, he is adverse to having a dialogue; rather, Trump prefers to have a monologue, where he directs, controls, or otherwise dominates the path and content of the conversation.

Consequently, Trump has given Americans a look in on what a Trump Administration would be like, where it would most likely be stocked with yes-men who would not only affirm Trump’s opinions, but outwardly refuse to challenge them. Moreover, and of utmost concern, is the interaction and effect this type of off-put monologue would have on the international stage, and with international leaders.

Turning to Clinton, she also delivered as expected for a seasoned politician. Clinton offered some of the best from a seasoned politician delivering calm, collected, concise, and disciplined answers.

Additionally, Clinton’s prowess on the debate stage emanated. Clinton’s prowess showed her ability to out maneuver and provoke Trump, consequently causing him to become unhinged. Meanwhile, Clinton did well with deflecting Trump’s best efforts and attempts at throwing Clinton off her game.

In the end, Trump did himself no favors in the first 2016 Presidential Debate. At the same time, however, his base is not going anywhere; instead, he offered exactly what they like: brash, arrogance, and a twisted version of reality. Nevertheless, the on-the-fence Trump supporters likely found themselves pondering serious questions the morning after, as they feel the hesitancy of backing Trump after a performance that left much to be desired.

Consequently, Clinton’s even-handed performance may have created some defectors in that camp, which is likely the Clinton Campaign’s strategy going forward: win as many as the on-the-fence Trump supporters, and current undecided voters as they can. The Presidential Debates are providing a conducive environment to achieve that end.

Authored by: Jonathan J. Cianfaglione