I had a story title before the debate started … Mrs. Know It All Schooled By The Class Clown. That would have been a fun story to write. Especially for someone who has been amused by Trump and very reluctantly supportive of Clinton. Someone like me, for instance.
But then they actually had the debate. And that changed everything.
I made a note at 9:57pm, about fifty minutes into the debate. “Rooting for Trump to make it a good show, but Hillary is doing a much better job on the question of who will be the most competent custodian of the country’s affairs.” And, that pretty much says it all.
Going into the debate, the Clinton campaign was leaking oil big time. Hillary’s bout with pneumonia gave credence to lingering health stories. Her staff’s lack of candor on the subject exacerbated the situation. London betting shops had her down to a 63 percent chance to win the election. After the debate, they took her up to 71 percent. That’s a win.
I have to say, I was impressed with her performance. She doesn’t have the amiable charm of a Ronald Reagan, or the urbane grace of a John Kennedy, and she’s no Barack Obama (did I tell you I really like Barack Obama?).
But, the little lady has skills. And she competes. And, if truth be known, she played The Donald like a fiddle. Plus, she even showed a little shimmy to punctuate one of Trump’s over-the-topisms. Good for her.
The next day, she was feeling it at a rally in North Carolina … “Did anybody see the debate last night?” She was having a good old time and the crowd was into it. A far different scene from earlier Hillary events that resembled meetings of the Politburo in the Stalin-Era Soviet Union … people clapping like their jobs (or their lives) depended on it.
Meanwhile, the Trumpster was complaining about the sound system in the debate hall and feuding with a former Miss Universe, a Latina, who, in the words of Trump, “gained so much weight you wouldn’t believe it.”
If the sound system was screwy, it’s Trump’s fault. Any self-respecting political operation would have demanded testing of the sound system right up to the last possible moment. And, if one microphone was superior to the other, demanded the time be split at the “good” microphone. Regarding the Trumpster’s “outreach” to the former Miss Universe, it needs a little fine-tuning.
I’m watching Michelle Obama (The Closer) on MSNBC bringing it for Hillary at a rally in PA as I write this. She’s hammering Donald without mentioning his name and giving it all she’s got for Hillary. Her husband has blocked out a lot of time in October to do the same thing. Who’s Trump going to counter with … Joe Arpaio and Mike Tyson?
By the time Hillary and Trump debate again on October 9, the London books will have Hillary closer to 80 percent likelihood of winning than 70.
You heard it here first.
I will post again on Wednesday, October 12, 2016 after the second debate on Sunday, October 9.
Comments are welcome at tomc[at]wednesdayswars[dot]com. Comments will be addressed in subsequent posts.