Tags: donald trump | lazy | debate | lost | hillary clinton

Trump's Laziness Cost Him First Debate

Trump's Laziness Cost Him First Debate

Supporters of Republican Presidential candidate Donald Trump listen to the first of three presidential debates, on September 26, 2016, at the Trump headquarters in Urbandale, Iowa. (Steve Pope/Getty Images)

Wednesday, 28 September 2016 02:13 PM Current | Bio | Archive

The debate is in the books, and we have a loser.


During the primaries, GOP voters justifiably seethed at their party’s lack of leadership, but allowed emotion to cloud their judgment, failing to see the forest for the trees. Had they channeled that energy into a realistic vision for retaking the White House, they would have seen that Ohio Gov. John Kasich was the winning horse. Instead, sealing themselves in an echo chamber, they chose hearing what they wanted to hear over backing the candidate with the best chance.

You reap what you sow, and now Donald Trump finds himself trailing despite Clinton’s old-guard stature, trust-deficit, and huge unfavorable ratings. And he clearly didn’t help himself at the debate.

Here’s why:

1) Clinton won across the board, trumping Trump on appearance, style, unflappability, body language, and most of all, command of the issues.

Her point-by-point answers were conversational, her ideas peppered with facts and statistics. And she learned from the Nixon-Kennedy debate the imperative of connecting with people by looking into the camera (as JFK did), versus debating sideways (as Nixon and Trump did).

She remained unflustered and smiling, unlike Trump’s contempt-filled scowls and eye-rolling. And she was helped by Trump, who wasn’t sharp enough to take advantage of golden opportunities handed to him by the moderator and Clinton herself.

Conversely, Trump was woefully unprepared. More than his insults, what may prove Trump’s downfall is his utter lack of knowledge. Voters don’t expect their president to espouse minutiae, but they do expect a firm grasp of the issues, specifically the ability to articulate what the problems are and how to solve them. Trump, with the exception of hammering NAFTA, did not do that.

Instead, everything was a “disaster,” “tremendous,” “beautiful,” and “unbelievable.” Specifics were nonexistent as Trump kept repeating himself during tangential diatribes. He succeeded in making Hillary Clinton look like Daniel Webster, and that’s saying something.

All that notwithstanding, the debate will likely not have a major impact. Neither side lost core supporters, and there was no all-defining gaffe that changed the trajectory, such as Gerald Ford denying Soviet domination of Eastern Europe.

However, if this election is as close as some polls purport (though this author thinks that’s an illusion generated by agenda-driven pollsters) a shift of even two points could provide momentum to Clinton.

Trump needed a home run. With 80 million watching, this debate mattered most because interest in upcoming debates will wane, and ratings will tumble.

2) Conservatives haven’t learned that whining is pathetic.

Just as many blamed Chris Christie for Romney’s defeat because he embraced President Obama during Hurricane Sandy (mind-bogglingly ludicrous), they’re back at it. This time, it’s that the moderator was biased, Clinton got softball questions, and the debate was rigged.

Prior to the debate, Trump called moderator Lester Holt a “Democrat” and labeled the system “phony and unfair.” In reality, Holt has been a registered Republican since 2003, and Trump agreed to the rules. Immediately after the contest, Trump said Holt "did a great job…I thought it was very fair." Yet the following morning he flip-flopped, claiming Holt was biased, and asked him “hostile” questions; Trump even insinuated that his microphone may have been sabotaged.

Trump complained that Holt didn’t ask about the Clinton Foundation, Benghazi, or her email scandal. True enough, but he wasn’t asked about the legal controversy swirling around his Trump Foundation, the Trump University lawsuit, calling an American judge a biased Mexican, his criticism of the Gold Star parents who lost a son in Iraq, or his products manufactured overseas. That’s not bias; it’s time constraints.

Republicans oppose the culture of victimization, yet so many, including Trump, play that card. The solution is for Trump to exercise better control, make salient points, and realize that Americans aren’t endeared to thin-skinned leaders. He criticized Clinton for taking time off to prepare, yet he clearly made a huge mistake by not doing the same. Trump has only himself to blame.

3) Trump repeatedly whiffed.

The cyber security question was an invitation to hammer Clinton on her State Department emails and inability to keep her own server safe. But he didn’t. He could have explained that America’s highest-in-the-world corporate tax rate incentivizes businesses to relocate overseas; advocated cheap energy as the way to grow manufacturing; and touted energy independence as the way out of the Middle Eastern quagmire. Yet nothing.

Most damaging, he gave credence to Clinton’s narrative that the rich “don’t pay their fair share” by not paying income tax (“that makes me smart).” And he hurt his populist image by showing no compassion for the millions who lost their homes (“that’s called business).”

Time is short. Trump needs to immediately sharpen his game for any chance of overcoming Hillary.

And there’s no debating that.

Chris Freind is an independent columnist, television commentator, and investigative reporter who operates his own news bureau, Freindly Fire Zone Media. Read more reports from Chris Freind — Click Here Now.

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Time is short. Trump needs to immediately sharpen his game for any chance of overcoming Hillary.
donald trump, lazy, debate, lost, hillary clinton
Wednesday, 28 September 2016 02:13 PM
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