~~September 27, 2017~~
COOL HAND CLINTON
~Clinton Keeps Her Cool~
Monday, September 26, brought the first debate of the presidential season, but it often felt like two separate debates.
One, from Hillary Clinton, was wonky, crisp, and polished; if not always inspiring, it was professional and careful.
The other, from Donald Trump, was freewheeling, aggressive, and meandering, occasionally landing a hard blow but often substance-less and hard to follow. But the two debates intersected at times, sometimes raucously, as Trump repeatedly broke in to interrupt Clinton.
Historically, debates have tended to have little effect on the ultimate result of the election, and little lasting effect on polls. But this was precisely the performance Clinton had wanted.
With polls showing a dead heat, Democrats have been beginning to panic, with the pitch increasing ahead of the debate, as supporters wondered whether Clinton could perform, and whether Trump would shoot himself in the foot or manage to appear presidential.
It’s also tough to predict the response of voters to a debate, and while Trump performances during the GOP primary were often mediocre at best, he still scored high marks with his supporters.
But Clinton’s delight was barely hidden by the end of the night.
When Trump concluded an increasingly angry spiel directed at her—”I have a winning temperament. I know how to win” – the Democrat paused for a brief moment, smiled at the camera, said, “Woo! Okay!” and did a little shimmy before answering.
It was the happiest she had looked in public in the last 20 months.
~David A. Graham~
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