Most observers say Hillary Clinton won the Monday debate. She had poise. She knew how to speak about the big issues. She had the facts.
That is what makes for a good debater. But what is of great interest is why Donald Trump lost.
Even his supporters said it was not a good show for him. Attention turned to his preparation for the debate. It was chaotic. His advisors said his schedule was too crowded. He received different advice from different people. He did not focus during preparation. He did not practice before a podium.
What happened at the debate? His first half-hour was competent. Then he started interrupting Mrs. Clinton. Some women saw his manner as disrespect for her as a woman. He rambled. His staff had primed him to respond to certain of Clinton’s remarks. He did not.
Donald Trump thought he won. Then he said any problems were not his fault. He said the moderator, Lester Holt, was aggressive to him. For example, Trump said Holt brought up a discrimination lawsuit filed against his company. It was Clinton who mentioned the lawsuit. He said the microphone was faulty (everybody heard him).
What many critics said about Trump is now a little clearer. He believes he is smarter than anyone else. He finds it hard to concentrate and to listen. He does not believe he has to practice. He does not believe he has to know a lot.
The next debate is October 9, 2016. The format is different. It is a town hall. The candidates can sit or stand and walk around as they choose. They will take questions from voters who are undecided about whom to vote for.
At this point, politics is a little like show business. The more skilled performer will make the best impression. Donald Trump uses words like “beautiful, incredible, fantastic” to describe his ideas and programs. Mrs. Clinton has a background as a person of knowledge and detail.
Be sure to watch or listen to the next debate.
Source: The New York Times September 28, 2016