What they’re saying about Trump and Clinton

Presidential debate Trump and ClintonI scored Trump as the victor in the debate because he did what he needed to persuade, whereas Hectoring Hillary’s “teacher’s pet” stylings and grackle voice were offputting. Here’s are some excerpts from what other commentators have to say about Trump and Hillary. What a lot of them have in common is something I noted, which is that Hillary emitted “fried air” — a bunch of orotund phrases that meant nothing.

Scott Adams (whose persuasion filter informed my own analysis):

By tomorrow, no one will remember what either of them said during the debate. But we will remember how they made us feel.

Clinton won the debate last night. And while she was doing it, Trump won the election. He had one thing to accomplish – being less scary – and he did it.


Many commentators on the right — I included — are thoroughly colonized by leftist memes. How could we not be? We are constantly mesmerized by them, a thousand cult chants a day whispering at us from our electric soma boxes.

Many are looking at Hillary Clinton’s answers and saying “She won on points.”

Did she?

Because what did she really say? On national security and ISIS, she offered the novel thought that we must work more closely with our allies.

Really. You don’t say? I’m glad someone had the guts to finally say it.

Now, those whose brains are colonized by leftist viral memes will call that a “good answer.” It’s the accepted Conventional Wisdom answer of the Davoisie and the Davoisie wannabes.

But is it a good answer?

Or is it just insect-talk? (Insect talk being my own word for something so trivial and brainless it doesn’t even rise to the level of small-talk.)

Clinton said a lot of crap like this last night — she said that to improve race relations, we needed to build more trust in the community in police, and more trust in police in the community.

Um, that is not an answer. That is simply a way of re-stating the problem.


Lester Holt’s performance last night at the first presidential debate is being called in to question by many and depending on whom one asks (starting with me), Holt’s performance was clearly biased leaving no doubt in anyone’s mind as Holt on several occasions channeled Candy Crowley during his exchanges with Donald Trump going so far as to fact-check Trump.

Channeling Candy Crowley, Holt challenged Donald Trump on a number of issues while giving Hillary Clinton a pass, challenging her once. In fact, at least twice, Clinton boldly directed Holt willfully carried Clinton’s water.


The minute Hillary walked out with that manic smile, my comment at 6:06 PM (all times PST) was ‘boy, did they shoot her full of drugs.’ I’m not kidding in the least. I know a bit about such things. I’d guess B-12 combined with a Dexedrine cocktail, perhaps with some cortisone shots to keep her knees from buckling for 90 minutes. They’ll play hell trying to get her to sleep tonight without the aid of some serious downers like Seconal.

Expect her to be out of action for a few days.

Another thing I noticed (and I wasn’t the only one) was how over prepared she was, with each answer spilling on without so much as an um or an err. After the third time this happened, I understood. She’d gotten the questions in advance from Lester Holt, who composed them, and had then spent serious time rehearsing. It was like watching one of those old ‘pull the ring and she talks’ dolls.

As for Lester Holt, performed exactly as I said he would. Anyone watching the debates understood instantly that this was Holt and Hillary against the Donald.

Thomas Lifson:

Trump was genuine and spontaneous, while Hillary was controlled and phony.

Pundits are wordsmiths, so they overvalue the role of words in reaching voters. The visual impressions can count for more than the words if nothing in particular stands out as an immortal moment on the order of “You’re no Jack Kennedy.”

I have to compliment Hillary’s makeup and wardrobe staff. She was very well turned out, and she did not fade toward the end. If anyone did, it was Trump.

Joe Bob Briggs:

But since this was the first and only time Trump has ever been involved in a one-on-one debate, much less a one-on-one debate that goes on for more than 90 minutes, and since he was competing against a veteran fighter who has done it 40 times, I think Trump has to be given the victory according to the Rocky principle: Sylvester Stallone didn’t win the fight, but he was still on his feet at the final bell.

People who have only seen Trump in sound bites watched him go the distance without faltering. Were his remarks long on general observation and short on detail? Yes they were. Did Hillary know more than he did? Probably. Does it matter? Only to people who think the President should be a college professor. You don’t have to know how to do anything as President. You have to have the right instincts and you have to hire the right people.

Roger Simon:

Meanwhile there’s this: Trump concentrated his fire on Hilary actually having done nothing of substance in her 30 (later corrected to 26) years of public service — just talk talk talk. That approach may ultimately prove more lethal than the more obvious “Crooked Hillary.” I wonder if it was poll-tested. We’ll have to ask Kellyanne.

But before I sign off, I have to comment on what I think was the most significant moment of the debate and it came at the end.

Hillary had just gone after Donald on the sexism issue — the beauty contest nonsense, etc. — and it seemed for a moment that Trump was going to come back at her on her dreadful family life the whole world knows about. But then he stopped himself. He didn’t become the mean Donald that would turn off a whole bunch of people.

On Fox, immediately after the debate, Trump explained his decision to Sean Hannity. The candidate saw Chelsea in the audience and decided it was the wrong thing to do. Well done, Donald. This is the moment that may resonate in the weeks to come.

James Taranto:

Most telling, however, was Holt’s closing question, which was addressed to both candidates:

Holt: One of you will not win this election, so my final question to you tonight: Are you willing to accept the outcome as the will of the voters?

Mrs. Clinton: Well, I support our democracy. And sometimes you win. Sometimes you lose. But I certainly will support the outcome of this election. And I know Donald’s trying very hard to plant doubts about it, but I hope the people out there understand: This election’s really up to you. It’s not about us so much as it is about you and your families and the kind of country and future you want. So I sure hope you will get out and vote as though your future depended on it because it does.

Holt: Mr. Trump, very quickly, same question: Will you accept the outcome as the will of the voters?

Trump: I want to make America great again. We are a nation that is seriously troubled. We’re losing our jobs, people are pouring into our country.

The other day we were deporting 800 people. And perhaps they pressed the wrong button, they press the wrong button, or perhaps worse than that, it was corruption. But these people that we were going to deport for good reason ended up becoming citizens. Ended up becoming citizens, and it was 800, and now it turns out, it might be 1,800, and they don’t even know.

Holt: Will you accept the outcome of the election?

Trump: I want to make America great again. I’m going to be able to do it, I don’t think Hillary will. The answer is, If she wins, I will absolutely support her.

Most of the commentary we’ve seen on this exchange concerned Trump’s hesitation in answering the question. But he gave the correct answer in the end, after taking the opportunity to make one last pitch for his own candidacy. That’s normal political behavior; watch how often politicians in TV interviews answer questions with totally nonresponsive talking points.

Mrs. Clinton’s answer, however, is the more interesting one. Give her credit for answering the question straightforwardly before delivering her talking points. But consider how blasé—how normal—her answer is: You win some, you lose some; if Donald wins, that’s the way the cookie crumbles.

Would you talk that way about someone you thought was Hitler? Or even just “a mortal risk to American democracy and world peace”?

Daniel Greenfield:

Donald Trump’s main opponent in the first presidential debate wasn’t Hillary Clinton. It was NBC anchor Lester Holt. Hillary, with forced smiles as brittle as china and an eerie fake laugh, continued her primary debate strategy of repeating canned talking points while waiting for the moderator to knock off her opponent. Hillary wasn’t there to debate, but to once again seem like the only possible option.

Holt’s job was to make her seem like the only possible option by targeting Trump.

There were fears that Lester Holt would be another Candy Crowley. That was unfair to Crowley. The entire debate was structurally biased. Its general topics were framed in narrow left-wing terms, instead of discussing the economy and moving the country forward, Holt defined the topics as class warfare and racial divisiveness. Even national security was narrowed down to Obama’s favorite battlespace, cyberspace, rather than the actual battlefield.

Trump was hit with repeated personal attacks and gotcha questions by Holt, who then took to arguing with him over the facts. Hillary, despite having been under investigation by the FBI, received only a perfunctory offer from Lester Holt to comment on her emails after Trump had raised the issue.

But Holt’s overt bias also proved to be his undoing. Candy Crowley had been effective because her interjection into the debate between Obama and Romney had come as something of a surprise. Holt made his agenda clear at the outset. And it also made him easy to ignore, as Trump frequently did.

James Woods (making, I’m pleased to say, the same point I did):

Lastly, check out Steve Crowder’s detailed presidential debate analysis. There’s nothing specifically quotable. It’s just a breakdown of all of Lester Holt’s reprehensible behavior on Hillary’s behalf.