- When you think about it, the debate format is silly. We don't elect a President to debate with his opponents. We hire him to run the country - that's why it's called an Executive Position.
- Trump had a low bar - he just had to avoid going into a screaming meltdown to surpass expectations.
- HRC had a tougher climb out of her pit - she had to find a way to answer critics of her actions (Benghazi, emails, Clinton Foundation money fiddles, etc.). She did NOT do that, she just danced around the questions, spewing redirection like a pro (no offense, she is a pro with the media and sound bites).
- At worst, Trump came across as slightly aggressive, not budging when he wanted to make his point. He was scrupulously polite, referring to HRC as "Secretary".
- HRC looked bad - referred to Trump as "Donald". She overcame her low energy problem (amazing what drugs will do).
- The worst part is that HRC comes across as smug. She reminds people of the kid in school who always had the right answer (not especially smart, just studious), and who lorded it over the rest of the class. She spoke EXTRA SLOW to Trump, something that had the effect of making her seeming to be talking down to him (probably was).
In the beginning, she worked in a reference to her granddaughter's 2nd birthday. This was probably planned to "humanize" her. She got a jibe in at the rich, and how they had to pay the government more money.
Trump came out strong, pointing out specifics in the Mexican economy, and using his personal experience with international business. He appeared gracious, conceding that he and HRC shared some concerns about child care. He used the specific example of Carrier and how it is moving jobs south to Mexico.
HRC: That phrase "trumped-up, trickle-down" is clumsy. She must think that it's a slogan that will get traction - I think she's wrong.
Trump: Good point about the difference in countries that have sales taxes, vs. those with VATs. He clearly understands the financial aspects of trade. BTW, he calls her Secretary Clinton, then checks "is that OK?". Comes across as not just polite, but gracious.
He is making some good points, but gets interrupted by Holt, who asks, How do you bring jobs back? Good answer by Trump, who says, "Well, the first thing you do is, don't let the jobs leave."
He clearly favors a tax on imports, which is not a bad idea. It's different from a tariff, which penalizes imports. This is making the importers pay the tax that would have gone to a local company, similar to what they do in those other countries.
HRC mistates Trump's words without penalty.
Fortunately, Trump doesn't seem to accept the Marquis de Queensbury's type of debate protocol, and interrupts HRC when he feels she has misrepresented his words/statements.
He does hammer her "Is it Obama's fault?" - trying to get her to go on record as opposing the President. She evades the trap, but Trump's point is made.
That was just the first 20 minutes or so.
- Media/analysts - HRC's a CLEAR winner!!!!
- Everyone else - Trump, 60 - 40