Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Debate #1

For most of the American public, watching a presidential debate is a lot like watching a foreign movie with no subtitles: it's not what you say that matters, it's how you say it, and the overall impression you leave.  Hence, there is no reason to parse the candidates' words for meaning, much less to fact-check.

Clinton, as usual, left the viewer uninspired — she is not one to stir anything resembling a strong emotional response.  On the other hand, she was cool and willing to poke a few needles when the situation arose.  We saw no sign of weakness, so the net effect seemed positive.

One supposes Tr*mp's constant interruptions were intended to demonstrate strength, but they just came across as bad manners.  His insistence that the news media lied when they reported the chronology of his attitudes towards the Iraq war or his role in the birther campaign came across somewhere between bluster and paranoia.  The net effect, in my estimation, was negative.

So, my feeling is that the debate's impact on that substantial block of voters who dislike both candidates may have nudged the needle slightly in Clinton's direction — or, more accurately, further away from Tr*mp.  We'll just wait and see.

No comments: