The main takeaway from the third presidential debate was Donald Trump’s refusal to accept the outcome of the election regardless of the circumstances. Trump has some reason to be skittish, considering some of the revelations of vote fraud from the Project Veritas videos. The huffing and puffing by some on the left will be somewhat curious considering the outrage about the Florida recount in 2000.
Aside from that, Trump had his best performance of any of the debates, hitting Hillary Clinton hard on a number of issues, including the WikiLeaks revelations and her record in public office, including her foreign policy record as secretary of state and her stands on the 2nd Amendment. He took tough stands on abortion, immigration, and trade that will anger some people and enrapture others.
Clinton’s performance was robotic and scripted for the most part, but she did show some genuinely faked emotion when Trump’s record with women arose. He offered a version of the Clinton defense by denying everything repeatedly.
In short, in a debate heavy on issues both candidates made the case as to why the other is terrible. Trump showed Clinton to be at once corrupt, dishonest, and incompetent. Clinton painted Trump as intemperate and prone to saying and doing things that many find alarming. Both candidates lied shamelessly, but Clinton far more than Trump. The debate displayed the awful choice that Americans have in November of what the late Texas liberal writer Molly Ivins called the evil of two lessors.
Indeed, if the audience were to vote for which person on the stage they wanted as president, most would probably have selected moderator Chris Wallace, the Fox News anchor who did the best job running a presidential debate in living memory. He did not let up on either candidate and often displayed a deft knowledge of the issues that exceeded that of either candidate. He was the adult in the room refereeing a pair of squabbling children.
Has the debate determined who will be president? The conventional wisdom suggests that Clinton is still favored to win. But a large number of undecideds are waiting for the candidates to give them a reason to vote for them. Unfortunately, the candidates only gave them a reason not to vote for the other person. #2016 Presidential Debates