The Nation reports:
So it happened: Donald Trump faced Hillary Clinton onstage in the first presidential debate, and the earth didn’t swallow us up and end civilization as we knew it. The earth did not stand still. What had seemed like a bad dream wasn’t a dream: Trump is the GOP nominee for president of the United States, and only Clinton stands between him and the nuclear codes. There must be a German word for the feeling you get when something so terrible happens, you think you’re imagining it, but I haven’t found it yet. There they were, together, in the flesh, on the debate stage, with polls showing the race tightening.
This match meant something serious.
Clinton faced asymmetric warfare at Hofstra: She is knowledgeable, wonky, experienced, conscientious; Trump is the opposite of all of that. His folks had been telling the media she had more to lose, as the great debater; he just had to fail to swear, spew misogyny, and tell obvious lies in order to exceed expectations. The Democrat went in as “the AP high-school history teacher,” conservative Hugh Hewitt observed on MSNBC Sunday, avoiding overt sexism but tooting a misogynist dog whistle, while “Trump is the football coach.”
Well, the football coach flopped, badly. Trump came in unprepared and winging it, and he never got more serious or grounded in policy or detail as the night went on. Clinton found a way to sound competent without being overbearing or scolding. From early on Trump hectored her, interrupting and talking over her, and she handled it with aplomb.
She regularly advised the audience to check her Web site, HillaryClinton.com, for real-time fact-checking. “Donald, I know you live in your own reality,” she said calmly. And it gradually became clear she was right.Mic reports:
That sound you hear is the entire Democratic Party exhaling.
Hillary Clinton cleaned Donald Trump's clock here at Hofstra University in the first presidential debate, delivering a strong performance that put anxious Democrats' nerves at ease.
"I think it may be the most lopsided debate ever," a relieved Clinton campaign official said halfway through the debate.
Clinton won by letting Trump shoot himself in the foot over and over again, keeping her cool as the Republican nominee repeatedly interrupted her and continued to lie about his past positions. She was prepared, poised and patient as Trump repeatedly took her bait, overreacting to Clinton's attacks and walking into the traps Clinton laid for Trump over his business record and political history. She was funny without being inauthentic, and the contrast with Trump's unhinged performance was striking.
Throughout the night, she managed to criticize and correct Trump without coming across as arrogant. Her reactions to Trump's were not unlike how many viewers must have reacted at home: "Can you believe this guy?" Toward the end, he said Rosie O'Donnell deserved the sexist insults he'd lobbed at her appearance.
That happened. In a presidential debate.
If expectations were any lower for Trump coming into the first presidential debate, they would have been underground. But somehow, Trump managed to dig a tunnel underneath them. Clinton won the first debate in a landslide.
Des Moines Register reports:
Republican Donald Trump reinforced negative perceptions about his candidacy in the first presidential debate of the 2016 campaign, leading several Iowa political experts and observers to call Monday night for Democrat Hillary Clinton.
Trump frequently wandered into the weeds of past controversial statements, drawing attention to aspects of his character and record that are unlikely to win over undecided or middle-of-the-road voters, Drake University political scientist Rachel Caufield said.
“Imagine any other candidate saying that paying nothing in taxes is just good business and arguing that stiffing contractors is justified if you are unhappy,” Caufield said. “This could be refreshing or crazy depending on your existing predispositions.”
“This has to be the worst debate performance from a GOP presidential candidate that I can remember,” social conservative activist Shane Vander Hart tweeted.Vox reports:
Hillary Clinton broke Donald Trump within the first 20 minutes of the debate. I spent the rest of it wondering how big the cracks had to get for America to notice.
He made a cryptic reference to a moment at an appearance for the AFL-CIO: “I don’t know who you were talking to, Secretary Clinton, but you were absolutely out of control! I said, ‘There’s a person with a temperament that’s got a problem!’”
The accusation was so patently ridiculous, so clearly rooted in sexist stereotypes (and Trump’s insistence on parroting back every criticism made of him), that her reaction wasn’t anger but relief: a laugh, a shimmy, the catharsis of knowing that something has become so obvious that everyone has to acknowledge it’s true.
When Trump went after her temperament, she gave that shimmy. When he was asked about a slam on her “look,” then claimed he’d actually attacked her stamina, she glanced at the camera and gave what I can only describe as the universal female expression for “Can you believe this shit?”
The reason Clinton’s gambit worked is that she took advantage of the same truth that Carly Fiorina used against Trump during one of the primary debates: overt misogyny, like insulting women about their looks, is generally considered impolite.Sacramento Bee reports:
If character is revealed under pressure, the high-pressure face-off at Hofstra University in New York revealed two candidates who were exactly the candidates we all expected.
The experienced, uber-prepared, cool-headed Clinton clearly articulated her center-left agenda. Trump – who has spent most of the campaign lying, threatening, jeering and insulting people – interrupted Clinton 25 times in the first half of the debate.
The presidential debate stage is not a dinner theater musical comedy; it is an audition for the biggest job in the world. And Trump’s mugging and bullying demeanor was unbecoming at best. There is no analogous presidential debate performance in American history.
He shrugged off facts as “mainstream media nonsense,” bragged that “I know how to win,” invoked his friends shock jock Howard Stern and sycophant Sean Hannity as neutral arbiters of his conduct.
He claimed that the unconstitutional “stop and frisk” program in New York was not so, and threw in a fat-shaming comment about an imaginary 400-pound person who might have hacked into Democratic emails. Weird. And he claimed to have a temperament that was the more presidential. If he does, he didn’t display it.
By any objective and traditional measure, Clinton got the best of Trump. She was clearer than Trump laying out her proposals on tax cuts, clean energy, jobs and police shootings.Talking Points Memo reports:
Entering the debate, Trump’s job was to look presidential and show himself to be acceptable to fence-sitters. Clinton’s job was to maintain the high ground, and reach out to undecided voters. Polls in the coming days and on Nov. 8 will show for sure how they fared. But on one night in New York, Clinton clearly confirmed that she is prepared for the Oval Office, and Trump did not.
It's a rudimentary debate rule. As millions of Americans tuned in Monday night to watch Clinton and Trump face off for the first time, as undecided voters were ripe for the convincing, it was key that Trump remain calm and unencumbered by a temperament that has poisoned his debate performances in the past. It was the bare minimum really, but Trump could not resist letting the audience know at every turn what he was thinking as Clinton talked.
Following the debate, the Clinton campaign resisted attributing Trump's interruptions to gender dynamics. "I don't know that that behavior is something he only does to women," Clinton communications director Jennifer Palmieri told reporters at the debate site, in response to a question from TPM. "Viewers saw what they saw, they’ll draw their own decisions about his behavior."
Some of Trump's coldest moments on the stage were moments she forced upon him. As Clinton laid out how she believed Trump had been rooting on the housing crisis, Trump jumped in.
"In fact Donald was one of the people who rooted for housing crisis. He said back in 2006, gee, I hope it does collapse then I can go in and buy some and it did collapse," Clinton said.
"That is business, by the way," Trump said.The Guardian reports:
Donald Trump’s freewheeling approach spun wildly out of control in the first presidential debate as he was forced on the defensive during a chaotic clash with Hillary Clinton.
Goaded by Clinton and pressed hard by moderator Lester Holt, the Republican nominee angrily defended his record against charges of racism, sexism and tax avoidance for much of the 90-minute clash at Hofstra University, outside New York.
Trump hit Clinton on trade and her political record – issues that have helped him draw level in recent polls and may yet dominate the election – but the property tycoon appeared thin-skinned and under-prepared as he sniffled his way through the debate.
But the Democratic nominee seized on Trump’s meandering responses and apparent loss of focus as their long-anticipated clash wore on.
“Words matter when you run for president, and they really do matter when you are president,” said Clinton.
“I think Donald just criticized me for preparing for this debate. And yes I did. You know what else I did? I prepared to be president,” she added.Washington Post reports:
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.
Trump’s performance was the rhetorical equivalent of hurling garbage on the lawn. A question about x would lead to mentions of y, z and whatever else came to mind. For instance, a response about Hillary Clinton’s emails led to a mention about the sorry state of New York’s LaGuardia Airport. And then there were the gasp-worthy moments that would sink any other presidential aspirant.
And for a candidate who says he is serious about earning the African American vote, Trump delivered a tone-deaf response to a question about healing the racial divide. “Secretary Clinton doesn’t want to use a couple of words, and that’s law and order,” said Trump. “We have a situation where we have our inner cities, African Americans, Hispanics are living in hell because it’s so dangerous. You walk down the street, you get shot.”
Not only did Trump continue to dabble in racial stereotypes about people of color, but he also used his answer to advocate the reinstatement of the unconstitutional practice of stop-and-frisk. A practice deeply unpopular with African Americans. And that was before Trump vigorously defended the racist birther lie he rode to the political prominence he used to win the nomination. An offensive delegitimizing of the nation’s first black president that remains an insult to millions of Americans, especially African Americans.Bloomberg reports:
The entire 90-minute debate on Monday night was a demonstration that Donald Trump doesn't have the temperament to be president.
Hillary Clinton was prepared -- she always is -- and she baited Trump early and often. And Trump got caught each time. He also hooked himself, including in at least two exchanges with moderator Lester Holt (who did an excellent job, allowing both candidates to talk).
The most revealing display, however, was when he was actually flying off the handle. After Trump bragged about his temperament, Clinton responded with a few real-world examples of why "a man who could be provoked by a tweet shouldn't have his fingers anywhere near the nuclear codes." She mentioned the episode recently when Trump wanted U.S. forces to fire on Iranian boats that had taunted them. He interrupted (as he did that quite often), correcting her (or so he thought) that, "No, they were taunting us."
In other words, Trump was advocating a foreign policy that would let no taunt go unpunished. Even if it led to a few more wars.
As for the other debate action, little of it went well for Trump. As usual, he displayed little or no knowledge of government and public policy. At one point, when asked if the U.S. should adopt a no-first-use doctrine, he clearly had no idea what that was.The Huffington Post reports:
I’ve been traveling to presidential debates since 1988, and the one I just saw here at Hofstra University was historic.
Republican nominee Donald Trump turned in the worst ― and I mean worst ― debate performance in modern times. It was so bad that in a normal year, it would disqualify him from getting anywhere near the White House.
With NBC moderator Lester Holt becoming more aggressive at the end after losing control of things early, the debate was for the most part an exercise in exposing Trump’s lack of knowledge and casual approach to the biggest moment of the campaign.
Trump had lame if not confusing and contradictory answers on a whole host of issues, including but not limited to: why he hadn’t released his income tax returns; the prospects and predicament of African Americans; his early business history as the son of wealth; whether he would benefit from the tax cuts he is proposing; and the role of Russia in hacking Americans.Talking Points Memo reports:
Asked about his continued birther crusade, Trump at first turned to the blame game, arguing that the rumors about President Obama’s birth had been fed by Clinton campaign aides in 2008. But moderator Lester Holt continued to push Trump on why he flogged the issue for years after Obama’s birth certificate was released and what he would to say to Americans of color.
“I say nothing, because I was able to get him to produce it,” Trump said, before going on to claim that the African-American community “really wanted me to come to that conclusion.”
“I think I did a great job and a great service, not only for the country, but even for the president in getting him to produce his birth certificate,” Trump said.
His refusal to show regret over the rumor-mongering set Clinton up to pounce on Trump.
“Well, just listen to what you heard,” Clinton said, before slamming him for “this racist lie.”
She also referenced the lawsuits brought against his family’s business for racial discrimination to argue that “he has a long record of engaging in racist behavior.”The Daily Beast reports:
Game changer for Hillary Clinton? No, no quite. But what happened at the debate was this: She showed that this is a marathon, and a candidate has to be able to go the whole distance. She showed she can. He didn’t.
For the first hour or so, it was kind of a rope-a-dope performance by Clinton. She let him punch himself out. For the first 20 minutes or so, some of the punches landed. On trade, and on other issues. But then Trump started to over-punch, especially in the way he interrupted Clinton repeatedly.
Vox reports:Then, in the closing 30 or 40 minutes, she went into him hard, on his failure to release his tax returns in particular. Trump tried to hit her hard, on ISIS, but the punches didn’t quite land.
America just got its first real look at Commander in Chief Donald Trump. It wasn’t a pretty sight.
One of the things about being president is that, legally speaking, you’re pretty free to fire off nuclear weapons. So one of the most important questions in deciding on a president is whether you think someone has the character and basic knowledge to steward America’s vast nuclear arsenal.
To try to get at this issue, moderator Lester Holt asked Trump about “no first use:” The idea that the US should swear off launching a nuclear strike against an enemy unless it has been attacked with nukes first.
This is an interesting, complicated, and very important nuclear policy debate, with credible experts on both sides. Trump’s answer revealed that he had no idea what it was about.Politico reports:
A composed Hillary Clinton got under Donald Trump’s skin during their high-stakes showdown on Monday night, with the Republican nominee persistently interrupting Clinton as she needled him on his business record, the size of his fortune and his relationship with the truth.
For 90 minutes at Hofstra University, Clinton and Trump clashed on style and specifics, disagreeing about foreign policy, economic plans and their readiness for the Oval Office. But for most of the evening, it was Clinton who was driving the agenda. She rattled off crisp prepared lines and repeatedly lured Trump into less politically favorable terrain, including a long discussion of why he was refusing to release his taxes.
“First, maybe he's not as rich as he says he is,” Clinton suggested. “Second, maybe he's not as charitable as he claims to be.”
“I have a feeling that by the end of this evening I am going to be blamed for everything,” Clinton said with a smile.
“Why not?” Trump retorted.
“Just join the debate by saying more crazy things,” Clinton shot back.
Clinton seemed to gain steam as the debate went on, hitting Trump in the closing minutes for his past attacks objectifying women’s appearances. The former secretary of state often appeared relaxed as Trump scowled and tried to jump in during her answers.
NY Post (!) reports:Clinton had prepared for weeks for the face-off with Trump, complete with briefing books and mock debates. Trump has eschewed such traditional preparation and, while he landed some of the evening’s most memorable lines, his performance was far more uneven.
Hillary Clinton was boring and exceptionally well-prepared. Donald Trump was exciting but embarrassingly undisciplined. He began with his strongest argument — that the political class represented by her has failed us and it’s time to look to a successful dealmaker for leadership — and kept to it pretty well for the first 20 minutes.
Then due to the vanity and laziness that led him to think he could wing the most important 95 minutes of his life, he lost the thread of his argument, he lost control of his temper and he lost the perspective necessary to correct these mistakes as he went.
Methodically and carefully, Hillary Clinton took over. Her purpose was to show she was rational and policy-driven, the kind of person who could be trusted to handle a careful and delicate job with prudence and sobriety — and that he was none of these things.
His supporters should be furious with him, and so should the public in general. By performing this incompetently, by refusing to prepare properly for this exchange, by learning enough to put meat on the bones of his populist case against Clinton, he displayed nothing but contempt for the people who have brought him this far — and for the American people who are going to make this momentous decision on Nov. 8.Washington Post reports:
MONDAY NIGHT’S debate told the story of this year’s presidential race. The Republican primary process failed, producing a nominee who cynically or ignorantly sells a warped view of reality, disqualifying himself with practically every overheated sentence. The Democrats, meanwhile, nominated a flawed but knowledgeable, confident and even-tempered politician.
The contrast on transparency and character was also extreme. Mr. Trump once again offered bogus excuses for refusing to release his tax returns. Ms. Clinton, meanwhile, admitted she was wrong to use a private email server and offered no excuses. Mr. Trump attempted to pin his racist “birther” campaign on Ms. Clinton, even though, as Mr. Holt pointed out, Mr. Trump carried it on well after President Obama produced his birth certificate. Mr. Trump claimed the better temperament even as he petulantly hectored and interrupted Ms. Clinton through most of the debate.
None of this should have been a surprise to anyone who has paid attention to this presidential race. When the debate turned to foreign policy, Mr. Trump spewed ignorance, claiming the rise of the Islamic State could have been prevented if “we had taken the oil” and that Iran should have been obliged by the deal on its nuclear program to somehow rein in North Korea.
“I haven’t given lots of thought to NATO,” Mr. Trump said, quoting himself from an earlier interview. By the end of the evening he had made clear you could end that sentence with just about any matter of policy and be as accurate.The Atlantic reports:
Donald Trump sniffled and sucked down water. He bragged about not paying federal taxes—“That makes me smarter.” He bragged about bragging about profiting from the housing crisis—“That’s called business, by the way.” He lost his cool and maybe the race, taking bait coolly served by Hillary Clinton.
If her objective was to tweak Trump’s temper, avoid a major mistake, and calmly cloak herself in the presidency, Clinton checked all three boxes in the first 30 minutes of their first debate.
All the flexibility in pre-debate polling was linked to Clinton, coalescing around her during her highest moments and nudging toward a third-party candidate or the uncommitted category during her lows. That might suggest that a winner’s share of persuadable voters—undecided voters—have already decided they can’t vote for Trump. They also may be leery about helping Trump by voting third party or not voting at all.
These voters may be looking for a reason or an excuse to vote, albeit reluctantly, for Clinton.
If undecided voters are looking for cultural permission to vote for Clinton, Trump gave it to them.Vox reports:
The first presidential debate featured a man who didn’t know what he was talking about repeatedly shouting over a woman who was extraordinarily prepared.
The debate was a collision between Donald Trump’s politics of dominance and Hillary Clinton’s politics of preparation.
Clinton’s politics of preparation won.
Toward the end of the debate, Trump questioned Clinton’s stamina. "I don't believe she does have the stamina," he said. "To be president of this country, you need tremendous stamina."
But the irony was it was Clinton’s stamina that won this debate, and behind that stamina was her preparation. Trump grew less and less coherent as the night wore on, and his early spree of interruptions flagged as he was quickly forced onto topics where he hadn’t done the work to feel comfortable. Clinton, by contrast, grew stronger as the debate wore on, because she had prepared for everything the moderators threw at her.
There were many differences between the candidates on display in this contest, but the most consequential one was that Clinton displayed the basic personal qualities necessary to be president. Trump didn’t. She had done the work to know what she was talking about and to survive a high-stakes encounter with an unpredictable opponent. He hadn’t done the work, and it showed.CNN reports:
Hillary Clinton was deemed the winner of Monday night's debate by 62% of voters who tuned in to watch, while just 27% said they thought Donald Trump had the better night, according to a CNN/ORC Poll of voters who watched the debate.
Voters who watched said Clinton expressed her views more clearly than Trump and had a better understanding of the issues by a margin of more than 2-to-1. Clinton also was seen as having done a better job addressing concerns voters might have about her potential presidency by a 57% to 35% margin, and as the stronger leader by a 56% to 39% margin.
And the survey suggests Clinton outperformed the expectations of those who watched. While pre-debate interviews indicated these watchers expected Clinton to win by a 26-point margin, that grew to 35 points in the post-debate survey.
NBC News reports:About half in the poll say the debate did not have an effect on their voting plans, 47% said it didn't make a difference, but those who say they were moved by it tilted in Clinton's direction, 34% said the debate made them more apt to vote for Clinton, 18% more likely to back Trump.
Hillary Clinton appears to have edged out her Republican opponent Donald Trump in the first presidential debate, based on analysts' take on the market reaction.
"Early indications suggest Hillary won the debate; at least didn't lose. Futures are higher and the peso is rallying," said Jack Ablin, chief investment officer at BMO Private Bank. U.S. stock index futures erased losses to trade positive as the debate kicked off. Futures were near session highs as the debate ended, with Dow futures briefly adding more than 100 points.
"I think Hillary Clinton did pretty well. I think she was better prepared than Trump," said Bruce Bittles, chief investment strategist at Baird. "Whether the debate will mean anything (remains) to be seen." Key market issues such as drug pricing and breaking up the banks were not discussed at this debate. But both candidates agreed on the need to strengthen cybersecurity. Clinton focused more on combating terrorism in cyberspace, while Trump said hacking and cyberwarfare was a "huge problem." Paul Christopher, head global market strategist at Wells Fargo Investment Institute, said Clinton's "direct references to supporting Arab allies against ISIS was also a strong statement that reiterated the current administration's approach, although she did not offer much that was new."Vox reports:
It will be a few more days before we get methodologically rigorous polls measuring how the electorate felt about the first presidential debate. The indicators we have so far are necessarily incomplete and limited — they’re focus groups of tiny, hand-picked samples of undecided voters, polls of people who watched the debate rather than the electorate at large, and plain punditry.
Still, what we have so far points toward a Hillary Clinton victory.
We’ve got:CBS News reports:
Furthermore, and potentially even more important, pundits in the media are converging on the narrative that Clinton won and Trump lost. This initial evidence will confirm those spot judgments, and that could matter. As I wrote earlier this month, political science research indicates that media judgments about who “won” a debate could help influence voters’ perceptions of who won.
- A poll of debate watchers by CNN/ORC, which found that 62 percent thought Clinton won and 27 percent thought Trump did. CNN’s David Chalian emphasized on air that the sample was 10 points more Democratic than in a typical poll, but that’s still a strong win for Clinton.
- A poll of debate watchers by Public Policy Polling, which found that 51 percent thought Clinton won and 40 percent thought Trump won.
- A focus group of 20 undecided Florida voters by CNN found that 18 of them thought Clinton won.
- And a focus group of Pennsylvania voters by GOP pollster Frank Luntz overwhelmingly thought Clinton had won. Libby Nelson has more details about that here.
CBS News contributor and pollster Frank Luntz spoke with undecided Pennsylvania voters after Monday night’s presidential debate, and the general consensus among them was that Hillary Clinton won.
When asked by Luntz who won the debate, five undecided voters said they believed Trump won, and 16 said they believed Clinton won.
Voter Sabrina said after watching the debate, Trump swayed her towards Hillary.
“He was completely offensive,” she said. “He lost me on the racial unity. And that’s where I draw the line.”
*** SUPPORT HILLARY CLINTON ***