Not Ready For Prime Time-Hillary Cleaned Trump’s Clock, Right?


September 27, 2016 by gregrabidoux2013



Aren’t I supposed to wear red and you, blue??


Hillary hit all the right notes Monday Night. And she wasn’t even singing the Monday Night Football theme song.

cap carrie underwood

I know, I know, it’s Sunday Night Football, go fact-check somebody else and leave the great Carrie Underwood alone!

Her time she took off from the campaign trail to cram sure paid off. She eagerly and proudly displayed her policy prowess, made sure she made time for her zingers and negative Trump branding her team of writers wrote while chiding “The Donald” for his overly-macho view of he world. She even accused him of having something to hide for not already making his tax returns public. She also professed deep concern that his finger could ever be anywhere near the nuclear button.

The media was in full consensus Tuesday morning as they roundly declared Madame Secretary the clear and undisputed winner of Round One. She even did a “shoulder shimmy,” she was so happy and exuberant, and that was during the debate one CNN commentator noted.

-What do you see in the mountain face, asked the Sherpa guide? I see a white lion full of power and fury. Is that what is there? asked the boy. It is not for me to say, the Sherpa replied, we will all see what we wish to see and only the mountain knows for sure and it’s not telling-A Himalayan proverb

Yet, online polls like the one conducted by had the results much closer even showing Mr. Trump coming out of the debate slightly ahead. Geez, you gotta ask yourself, what debate did those folks watch?


Was Hillary really that happy to be that close to Donald Trump?

While the debate between these two very different personalities with very distinct values and contrasting world and domestic views always promised that their performances would also contrast sharply, the end-result was not just a difference in style.

No. It became evident about 20 minutes into the moderated debate that this was more like a boxing match not only between fighters of two distinct weight classes but also between a career professional politician and a rather rank and raw amateur.

And while Hillary bloodied ‘The Donald’ all night long with jabs about his taxes, his business earnings (or lack thereof), his birther stance (with a much welcome assist from moderator Lester Holt), his NATO stance, his (apparently) stiffing some former employees, his stance on the Iraq war and his “living in his own reality” she did not knock out the challenger who lives to fight another day. Today’s polls indicate a post-debate bounce of about 2-3% points for Mrs. Clinton though the media autopsy of the debate would infer that “it” is over and the election is but an afterthought, an obligatory “go-through-the-motions” act with the result already known to all.


A 400 pound guy on a bed doing cyber-hacking, ewww!

Maybe. Or that is just what they see in the mountain-face.

For his part, Donald came into this fight needing to accomplish about 3 main objectives. The first was to look, sound and act “presidential.” And while this term is always hard to fully quantify or capture, most Americans want their president to show some restraint, some civility and some fair-play even while we want to see “that fire in the belly” and evident toughness (Ronald Reagan still is the undisputed winner at striking this balance, especially in his debates with then-President Carter and Debate#2 against VP Walter Mondale).


Reagan after delivering one of the all-time great debate zingers-look it up kids.

On balance, Trump pulled this off. He didn’t come across as an out of control bully, a phrase Secretary Clinton has accused him of being and he parried most of her early jabs without looking too “un-presidential” (according to Gallup Poll instant response rates, about 65% of those queried said that he “seemed presidential” and “could see him as president”). Granted, his own pre-debate behavior made for a pretty low-bar of expectation on this point.

His second objective was to continue to paint his opponent as “part of the problem and not the solution” and he tried to accomplish this by reminding viewers that Hillary “has had 30 years to solve problems and has failed to do so” and that “she helped create ISIS so she isn’t the one to destroy it.”

Mixed reactions here by viewers. Instant reaction polls suggested that the “30 years” charge is a double-edged sword. It does remind voters that she is a “politician” and not an outsider like Trump but that she must have gained some experience and insight over those 3o years which he did not while pursuing a very different career as a real-estate mogul.


His is bigger. His Trump Tower folks, his Trump Tower.

His third main goal was to try and draw a very sharp distinction between himself and Hillary when it comes to domestic and international security. Polling perceptions currently indicate that Mr. Trump is seen as stronger on crime and terrorism than Mrs. Clinton while she is seen as better suited to combat discrimination and improve race relations.

Again, mixed views on this topic. After a somewhat rambling and curiously low passion response to the topic of race and police shootings of African-Americans (maybe she was a bit over-prepared here, too much head and not enough heart) Trump noted that she said a lot but not the three words that are needed to be said-Law and Order. Yet, she parried his contention that inner-city life for Blacks and Latinos is “hell” by listing several positive attributes that indicate upward mobility for these groups under this (President Obama) and presumably her own Administration.

Overall, Mr. Trump started strong but faded and flailed badly as the debate wore on. Maybe his stamina was flagging. All those State Department trips may have toughened Hillary up despite her recent bout of pneumonia.


Hillary being supported by her staff post-pneumonia. Not a good look.

And while she may not have knocked Mr. Trump out he never seemed to even come close to putting her on the canvas. In fact, the debate rules seemed to paralyze him as Lester Holt showed little or no interest in pursuing the topics of the classified emails and accusations of Hillary violating law, the Benghazi tragedy where 5 Americans including a US Diplomat were killed during her watch nor the rise of illegal immigrants. For his part, Trump may have confused being “presidential” with not being “proactive” here and largely let Mrs. Clinton avoid any real moments of being uncomfortable on these topics.

He did make sure he mentioned Ohio, Pennsylvania and Michigan several times and Philadelphia, Chicago and Detroit which tells us a bit of his electoral map strategy while Hillary did not really hone in on any one area.

For Hillary, fairly or unfairly, the bar of expectations was much higher for her. The Wellesley valedictorian and debate-team captain was expected to be the policy-wonk, the one who did her homework and the one who was supposed to memorize the thick debate notebook.


A more innocent time, well before emails were even invented.

And she did.

She responded with the more complete and detailed and fully nuanced answers leaving Mr. Trump at times with the unenviable position of saying “me too” far too often. She also got in a number of zingers even if some did fall a bit flat or come across as too scripted. Her response to his noting that she stayed home lately while he campaigned (I did stay home and prepare for this debate and you know what else? I am prepared to be president) reminded many that when she claims to hardly ever have thought of being president over the years it is the overly-scripted and rehearsed Hillary talking not the genuine and real Hillary we are told that does indeed exist.

But her labeling trump’s economic tax-cuts as “Trumped-up, trickle-down” theory hit home.

So, the media consensus is that Hillary won by a TKO.

The question now becomes will it matter?

Will this or any of these much-hyped televised debates make a difference? Will they change hearts and minds of voters, especially those who claim to be truly and sincerely undecided?


But if the Himalayan proverbs teach us anything it is that voters will do what they always do and see what it is they wish to see regardless.

So, what did you see in the presidential debate mountain-face?

isis hillary

I cleaned his clock and trumped his towering ego.


isis trump

Next time, folks, next time the gloves come off.



I win most debates before they start with my eye of the tiger pre-debate stare.

What do you got?


25 thoughts on “Not Ready For Prime Time-Hillary Cleaned Trump’s Clock, Right?

  1. Clint Backstrom says:

    What a terrible debate we all endured. I felt like I was watching a middle school shoving match in the hall before recess. To me neither gave clear answers on specific strategies to fix any problem laid before them. Each simply gave over simplified rhetoric we have heard before, and heard a lot lately. All I heard I was ” I have a plan…….my plan will fix this!” and did not hear specific tangible strategies, or at least ones that could even conceivably work. In my mind debates prior the Obama era had more substance and we learned a great deal about each candidate. In recent years both sides of the stage have merely thrown punches. Without going down a rabbit hole or getting an argument started I can say I do not like either candidate well enough to vote for them, and Congress is really where the public electorate should focus it’s study of candidates if they really want to illicit true change.

  2. Junior Jackson says:

    The presidential contest, this year, is a good one. I try not to take a judgemental stance or biased leaning stance however this election season is warranting just those stances. Supporters of the republican nominee are very misinformed and should examine Mr. Trump as if he were their employer. Trump has the morals of a scorpion and the integrity of a serpent, and those voters should be able to see that they are not his reason for seeking the presidential office its merely to demonstrate his ability to conquer and ultimately destroy. I understand the American people looking for a new face/outsider and a strong personality but just like any other profession that come with huge responsibilities, the one seeking the position must demonstrate class, tolerance, and respect for difference of opinion. Mr. Trump has not demonstrated any of these traits, he has actually demonstrated the opposite.

  3. valdostaphil says:

    Phil-Edwards-Fall-2016 Ethics and/or AdminLaw
    (I’ve already posted more posts than I need to for both classes this semester anyway, but this is fun)

    I’m surprised at Trump’s unwillingness to concede this one. There was some media coverage on a conference call in the Trump camp where apparently he was mad at his people for conceding anything. I think it would help his numbers to be noble in admitted defeat. Blaming mics just makes him look like a crybaby. The thick skin narrative also has no basis in fact, but then again we already knew that from the hands thing.

    I’m also surprised by the talking heads that sort of seem to insinuate that all Donald has to do is act “Presidential” one time, at one debate, and that will somehow erase all the stuff from before. It doesn’t work that way.

    If he loses, I think the point where the last nail went into the coffin will be this Miss Universe weight thing. Nevermind that this is the first presidential election I can remember in my 33 years of living that so many prominent, mainstream people from either party has come out *against* their own major party nominee. I think that right after he lost a debate, and got called out for being sexist, and then turned right around the very next day and said on a radio show that she gained a bunch of weight and it was a problem, that was it. Game over.

    He’s now irredeemable in the eyes of far too many people to fix his statistics in individual demographics to carry the swing states: women, Latino Americans, African Americans, young people, etc. The second and third debates no longer matter. Even though some people won’t “tune in” to this election until right before it, there will be far too many Hillary ads that will play like a compilation of Donald’s greatest hateful hits. The fodder he’s given to the Clinton TV ads will be his undoing. Politics, policy, and debates notwithstanding, it’s all over but the Donald crying about microphones and rigged elections.

  4. A. Hughes says:

    I see silliness. You got one candidate with no public administration experience and then another with 3 decades of experience who has given into big private companies on occasions. That’s what I see. As a confession I was hoping for a Elizabeth Warren, Bernie Sanders, or Jill Stein type of candidate. So, “Bitter. Party of one. (…or party of millions.)”

    Do I know what’s exactly right for our country though, nope, not really, and I’m not going to pretend I do. But I do feel pretty confident saying Trump’s NOT what our country needs. He’s displayed so may distasteful sides of his personality such as but not limited to: blatant name calling, sweeping generalizations, and poor sportsmanship. He’s like a man-child. (That’s right, I just name called, ha!)

    I can say one thing though – this election year has people talking. Why I say this, and it’s anecdotal, in the 10 years working in multiple libraries, I have never in past years heard so much whispering about any election debate from students. I feel as though people are attracted to the drama in it – and if that’s what it takes to get people involved with government, is that a good thing? Hmm…

    Personally though I have a list of phrases that I’m so over hearing (but I get it…):
    “I’m not voting this year – both candidates are bad choices”
    “I’m going to choose the lesser evil”
    “I’m a libertarian”
    “If you vote third party it will make a difference”

    Overall, the real things I would like to see from presidential candidates is (1) a written document with reasons why they want to be president and then explanations of a plan for the future (this would be in addition to campaigning and debates), (2) …. nope. never mind. Number one would suffice for me, I just literally want to have a candidate put down in writing why they want to be president and what they plan to do (AND I want reasoning and references for their future plans). I know this could be a lot to ask and maybe irrelevant or basic but, it’s what I want if I had a say.

    Lastly, we have a book here in the library titled, Political Corruption in America: An Encyclopedia of Scandals, Power, and Greed – the reason I bring this up, I’M SO SICK OF HEARING ABOUT THE EMAILS! Hahaha! She’s not the first and won’t be the last – there is a reason accountability is preached in public administration programs. (I’m not saying this to give her a pass but I’m over this argument.)

    Welp, I think I’ve said more than enough :-/

  5. April Brauda says:

    I was unfortunate enough to witness this particular debate. Did Hillary come across as much more of an professional/adult than her opponent? Yes. However, appearing mature has never been Trump’s style, he instead relies on his “strongman” appeal (emphasizing strength rather than validity). I feel he did a great job furthering that approach on Monday night. He refused to acknowledge and even talked over the moderator at times, often acting as he was above answering the questions given to him as he failed to stay on topic the majority of the time. These certainly aren’t traits that I desire the leader of my country to have…but….Hillary is playing the same old political game that Trump always excludes himself from. She represents the very system that the outrage against is the exact reason of which Trump owes his success. If Americans were happy with their government, I doubt we would find ourselves in our current predicament of a populist like Trump being selected as the republican nominee. So overall, I am afraid for what the future holds. And find it incredibly upsetting that I am forced to cast my vote (although I’m aware in GA it won’t matter) in the direction that is the disappointment that I know all too well in order to avoid the unknown, the unfathomable consequences of what a trump presidency could mean.

  6. Kyle Rudrow says:

    Last Monday’s debate was a clarifying moment. The chatter that Donald Trump was secretly an intellectual and understood major issues in depth but was simply pandering to a certain electorate quickly dissipated. We saw Trump for who he really is and what a Trump presidency would look like. Not only did Trump fail to prepare for the debate but he failed to do his homework on topics from the US economy to the implicit biases that lead to the deaths of African-American men in American cities. He made crude insults and crashed (ironically, calling into question Clinton’s temperament and stamina). He allowed her to get under his skin and took every piece of bait Clinton through his way. I pride myself on having a wide variety of friends with different political and ideological backgrounds. Although the Trump campaign tried to perpetuate a false narrative that Trump actually “won” the debate for several days, none of my Trump-supporter friends believed this to be true. When I talked to Trump supporters and conservatives (as a caveat, this is in an academic setting), the overwhelming majority at least conceded Trump horribly lost the debate. A few life-long Republicans told me that Trump’s debate performance insured they will either abstain from the 2016 race or cast a vote for Clinton or Johnson. In the past several days, it became clear from the “scientific” polls that more Americans viewed Clinton as the winner than Trump – and this has translated to new inroads with men and independents. The multiple roads to 270 electoral votes Trump opened a month ago has fell apart not unlike Trump during the debate. It’s hard to predict how an election year and candidacy will be characterized until well after an election, but I have a hunch this will be seen as the moment the wheels came off the Trump train and it became game over.

  7. Chardonnay Watson says:

    The debate was a comedy spectacle to me. It seemed like Shonda Rhimes foreshadowed the election process without even meaning to. Overall, I thought that the debate was a shame because there was no structure to the debate and the moderator (controller for the debate) was awful. The points brought up were somewhat believable, but I am just going to wait for the next debate to make sure. Hopefully, the next is better.

  8. My, my, my, what a debate it was! I was yelling at my television and hollering “whooo hooo!” just like when I’m watching the Dawgs play. I agree with you that the expectation bar was set much higher for Hillary that it was for the Trumpster. Basically, to be considered a success, all Donald had to do was endure a 90 minute debate without being a bully or having a meltdown — both of which he failed to do. He continuously interrupted her, denied well-known facts, and even talked brought up his name-calling of Rosie O’Donnell and said everyone agreed with him. WRONG! I find it hard to believe that we are one election away from having Donald Trump as President of the United States. Is this really possible? Unfortunately, yes, it is. In this atmosphere of reality TV, news commentators instead of reporters, and the American public’s tendency to allow fear, ignorance, and/or hate to drive their actions, here we are — Donald Trump is the republican nominee for president. Whatever someone’s opinion of Hillary may be, one had to realize after the first debate that she is prepared to be president and that Trump is woefully unqualified. If not, then they are definitely seeing what they want to see in the orange mountain’s face. (Yep, I went there!) I am looking forward to Sunday night’s debate (insert Carrie Underwood song here), and I hope that the real Donald shows up like he did in the first debate because if that happens, Hillary’s going to win Round 2.

  9. Nathan D. says:

    After the presidential debate, I was a little disappointed in Trumps performance. I felt like the debate is the place for educational responded to current and relevant issues the nation is facing. I never looked at the debate as a competition between both candidates, but it is the moment for them to lay out their views on how they will lead. Regardless of my personal feelings towards each candidate, it was disgraceful to see Trump behave the way he did. His lack of maturity is what some people are concerned about. His responses to the questions by the mediator showed Trumps lack of experience in politics.

    During the debate, I was a little shocked that Hillary was brave enough to lead with a few direct attacks towards Trump. In her current position with all the controversy revolving her, I would have thought it was unwise. Surprisingly, she handled the rhetoric well especially regarding her emails and the private server. I believe Hillary did a good job maneuvering through the foolishness. Hillary also maintained her composure and gave realistic responses to the questions that were asked of her. In my opinion, Hillary controlled the debate and was a lot more professional than Trump. Even though media outlets may have stated Hillary won the debate, I don’t believe that it was enough to sway voters to support her any more than they support Trump.

    • Nicole Hawk says:

      The fact that Hillary attacked Trump directly during the debate didn’t surprise me from the perspective that there is also controversy surrounding her, but it did surprise me because strong female candidates often get dinged for this. The Atlantic Monthly published an excellent article recently about the blatant sexism in this presidential election:

      The article explains that other than her gender Clinton is a fairly typical candidate yet she receives a higher unfavorable rating than any other Democratic candidate since the 1980’s. I find the rhetoric swirling around her campaign disturbing from both sides. I had hoped that by 2016 we had left some of this sexism behind.

  10. Dustin H. says:

    I was taken aback by the tone and demeanor of this first debate, especially Donald Trump’s. I just had to sit and wonder, “how did we get to this point?” and “how in the hell can this be the Republican nominee…if this is the best they’ve got, they can go ahead and pick out their tombstone!”. I was very much ashamed, thinking that people are probably watching this all over the world. Regardless of the outcome, I certainly hope the rhetoric changes in the years to come.

  11. Raphael Walters says:

    This debate was really a joke to me. Actually, this whole election is a joke to me. Although, I voted (effortlessly), I still took this whole thing as a joke. As for this particular debate, it seemed to be no structure at all. Instead of answering debate question, they decided to attack one another’s character. I feel like they care more about being mean to each other than being a means for our country. There were times were Clinton was cut off by Trump and vice versa. It was a complete mess of a debate. Never in my 23 years (really 4-8 years) watching a Presidential Debate have I seen such disorganization.

  12. Aaron Whitehead says:

    This debate was not that interesting. I have been very perplexed about the entire election. Hilary has the most political knowledge but the emails really changed the views of the citizens. Donald Trump does not have any political skills. He has only been a business man all his life. I think he needed to run a smaller political office first to learn the rope of being a Politician.

  13. Cenetta. B says:

    My favorite part was the shimmy, and God how I wish the debate had mattered. Hillary came out strong, and I’m sure that she would’ve appeared as such against someone who was actually prepared to run a country. It was befuddling at best that the polls were as close as they were. I would also like to note that Hillary came out strong against police brutality possibly because of the groups of Black women interrupting her at various events asking her to come up with a plan for it. They interrupted both her and Bernie Sanders during the primary, and I think that she educated herself. Head or heart, at least she mentioned it.

  14. Angel Maxwell says:

    The three goals Trump aimed to accomplish were very insightful as I clearly did not view it that way. Although, it is fair that she has been in politics for approximately 30 years, it does not change the fact that he has not been in them in…ever! That is like replacing your doctor for a moderately successful salesman. There is something you cannot teach on the fly, one thing in particular which is running all of the United States of America. Nonetheless, all fair points; if we can’t trust someone whose failed to make progress the last 30 years, why not take a chance on someone who is not already corrupted from political dilemmas.

  15. gljackson33 says:

    I did not watch the debate because I knew it was going to be on all that week. Trump never amazes me with his antics. I did notice the faces and all that sniffing before his answer to the question at hand. The debate was like watching a comedy show. Worse debate ever under my watch.

  16. Hampton Raulerson says:

    The true winner of the debate cannot be decided by those who have already taken sides because the point of the debate is to change or decide minds. Many mainstream media outlets were reluctant to acknowledge the strong points of Trump’s performance or that the topics were kind of lopsided. Hillary certainly put forth her answers better than Trump but as discussed above, this was expected. These debates are more of a platform for the candidates talking points instead of actually debating. I would love to see them actually have to defend their ideas as I’m convinced neither of them could do it. One is to ignorant on the matter and the other would lie instead of telling the truth even though the truth would bring more benefit.

  17. scwoods23 says:

    I remember watching this debate and saying to myself, “Are these really the two that we have to choose from”? Like most have already said, I believe that Hillary was the most prepared out of the two while Trump clearly thought he was in a little girl’s elementary school fight In the sandbox.

  18. Harry Nelson says:

    All this talk about “looking presidential” and “having to do this” and “having to do that…”, that’s what this election boiled down to. The fact that Trump talked over the moderator is exactly what the republicans wanted to see. I’m telling you that this is punctuated equilibrium.

    • Harry Nelson says:

      I’ll add that for years many have been disappointed with how moderators ran debates. Personally I think it flies in the face of democracy. I don’t think that a moderator has the right to steer a debate. Who does the moderator answer to and how are we to be certain that they are unbiased (assuming that anyone can be biased)? How do we keep a moderated debate from being two against one? That the results were so close speaks to the possibility that the viewers reject the format or the pretense,

  19. Kendria Swift says:

    For the most part, I think many Americans were in a position to see how they could select the “lesser of two” evils. Both candidates held a position that someone could find something wrong with the candidates’ position on issues and plans for the future. Like many have said, it was hard to take the debate seriously.

  20. Briana Holloway says:

    Because it was hard for me to take either of candidates serious. I struggled to take the debates seriously. In a discussion that me and friends had about the debate it was like watching to kids constantly fight.

  21. David S Pittsenberger says:

    The past several months have shown us polls can be flawed. Winning a debate is so subjective anyway. And really,all the polls that say who one the debate are really measuring is the amount of the candidates supporters that responded to the poll. Most people are not going to be objective and are going to be subject to their own bias. I bet the amount of Clinton supporters that said that Trump won and the amount of Trump supporters that said Clinton won could probably fit in a city bus. Are independents watching these debates and responding to polls? Is anyone really watching these debates? I got sickened after the first few minutes and turned it off. But that may have been because I had already decided on Johnson and those two master manipulators weren’t going to work their magic on me.

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