If I’m part of Hillary Clinton’s campaign team, I think after that 90 minute debate last night I’d breath a tentative sigh of relief. This was absolutely her night to lose — not only did she have to appear healthy and alive, but she also had to do more than squeak out a victory on policy and substance. The only expectation we put on Trump was if he didn’t literally vomit on himself he would have shocked audiences and commentators.
She had a sound strategy, but there were also missteps along the way. I’ll forgive gaffes and bad wording; it can’t be easy to keep completely coherent on that stage with that amount of pressure. So I won’t dock points for her early brain fart where she awkwardly said hello to Donald, or Trump almost celebrating his ISIS endorsement.
He took that bait she presented every time, that is obvious. Her jabs at his treatment of workers and shady business practices, taking advantage of the housing crash, not paying taxes, and wild temperament are all moments that should stand out in viewers mind. While both of their answers on the economy were vague and weak (at least to me; I’m bad at money) and her statements regarding no flight lists being used to block gun sales incredibly troubling (we can talk about that another time), she had much better talking points and language during the race segment. If he’s trying to break into minority votes, celebrating stop-and-frisk might not be the best move. However, debates like this aren’t 100 per cent concerned about policy and facts, but rather the way candidates can present themselves.
Trump was off the handle, but too often Hillary was stiff and robotic, which plays into his narrative of her being a typical uncaring and remorseless politician. When she was off the script was when she was strongest, in her natural reactions to the tirades of the man beside her. Her team should work on bringing out her personality and humanity more, she needs an emotional depth like her husband had if anyone is going to trust her. Otherwise we’ll continue to see her like a bottle of Buckley’s.