One wonders

On the eve of the first presidential debate on Monday, September 26, an ABC poll showed Hillary Clinton leading Donald Trump by 2%: 46% to 44%.

One of the readers’ comments stated that four years ago for the same time period the result was Obama with 49% and Romney 47%. Hmm.

On September 25, the Clinton campaign announced it was moving resources out of Ohio. Media reports presented this as ‘giving up’ on the state. Clinton’s team are now doing what they can to ensure that Pennsylvania is not a loss for them.

However, one wonders if they did give up on Ohio or if they are actually winning there and moving staff on to Pennsylvania.

Another interesting development emerged last week. It is possible that, for the first time in history, Maine’s electoral vote could be split. The northern District 2 is on track to vote for Trump, while the southern District 1 will plump for Clinton. Maine and Nebraska are the only two states that allow split electoral votes. Maine instead awards two votes for the statewide winner and one vote for the winner of each congressional district.

The Sunday shows on September 25 showed the usual Big Media bias. CNN’s Jake Tapper grilled Kellyanne Conway but was cordial to Robby Mook. ABC’s George Stephanopolous was also confrontational with Conway but pleasant to Mook.

Monday night’s NBC debate took place at Hofstra University on Long Island. Hofstra is located in Suffolk County, a bastion of Trump support, according to CNN. Although the unemployment rate is 0.5% below the national average of 4.9% — a statistic that seems rather understated — and median income is well above $80,000 per annum, small business owners expressed concern over the amount of work it now takes just to keep their heads above water. One sports bar owner said it was much easier to make money 30 years ago. The men interviewed lamented the decline of the middle class in Suffolk County and noted that their neighbours had three-hour daily commutes. One asked, ‘Is that any way to raise a family?’

With regard to the debates, pundits weighed in with advice. The best came from Bernie Marcus, the retired co-founder of Home Depot. He recommended that Trump hone in on corruption, change and his ability to fight for the working man and woman.

Paul Joseph Watson, citing The Conservative Treehouse, took a cynical but accurate view of Big Media:

If Clinton does poorly, debates don’t matter. If Clinton does well, there’s nothing more important than debates.

The Big Media buzz was that this was going to be a ratings triumph. The Washington Times said:

We are talking Super Bowl numbers here. Roman coliseum fascination for the masses!

In the end, the anticipated 100m viewers did not materialise. The AP reports that 81.4m watched it on television.

Regardless, USA Today‘s Brad Heath pointed out:

For 4 hours, more people were searching for info on our future leaders on Google than for porn. We did it, America.

For those who missed the debate or want to revisit certain points, The Daily Caller has the full transcript.

Big Pink’s admin — highly accurate since 2008 — had this take on the outcome:

Trump’s strongest moment and weakest moment were one and the same. It was the last thing he said. Trump declared that ‘Secretary Clinton does have experience but the wrong kind of experience.” It was his strongest attack as we said it would be – but it came at the end. At the very freaking end. Was that smart or dumb? Early on it could have helped shape the debate and been a Wagnerian leitmotif throughout this opera Trump could have returned to over and over and over again. Given at the end it is the easiest thing to remember. Whatever.

Trump’s attacks on “politicians” were his best parts. Hillary’s calculated personal attacks were her strongest moments.

Admin followed up with this:

But it won’t matter once the spinning gets done. In 2000 Big Media declared Al Gore the winner of the debate but the public declared George W. Bush the winner. Donald J. Trump will soon be in the spin room shaping the perceptions of the debate.

Whatever Trump said convinced some undecided voters in Youngstown, Pennsylvania. Several columnists have written that undecideds needed to see Trump as presidential, and they did. Frank Luntz‘s focus group showed:

Trump is doing better with undecideds than even with Trump-leaners.

He is actually winning.

Nigel Farage doubted whether Trump would pick up many, if any, new voters. He said no one will remember this debate.

Yet, Luntz was right, because a Gravis post-debate poll of September 28 showed Trump up by 4%.

As to who won, I agree with the New York Post in saying that the result was a draw.

Michael Moore, however, was alarmed. He declared Trump the winner and chided Hillary supporters:

Pro-Hillary gloaters doing end-zone dance again when still on 50-yd line. U MUST get it in your head TRUMP IS GONNA WIN and act accordingly!

Before that, he tweeted at various points in the debate. After the first half hour:

For Donald Trump. The debate is 1/3 over. Still time for Hillary to take him down.

Later:

Instead Hillary responds by plugging her book and website. Please, HRC, pull out the long knives.

Then, near the end, he gave up:

Five minutes left. I wish she would just go off on him. BOOM! Too much preparation, too much class. Oh well.

The interesting thing was that Trump had a great initial half hour. Then, just when Monday Night Football came on ABC, he laid low for the rest of the debate. One wonders if he did that on purpose: to get his point across to millions of viewers who were not going to watch the whole 90 minutes. On the other hand, he has a short attention span and is unaccustomed to debates, so the length of time might have seemed tedious to him.

In the end, several nationwide polls declared Trump the winner. Amazingly, so did Slate‘s. On Tuesday, September 27, he tweeted:

Such a great honor. Final debate polls are in – and the MOVEMENT wins!

A grateful nation believes that he won the NBC Presidential Forum and the first debate.

He also tweeted:

Once again, we will have a government of, by and for the people. Join the MOVEMENT today!

His GOTV — Trump Talk — continues to attract more volunteers.

Over those 48 hours, he garnered significant endorsements from the Bush Alumni Coalition of 50 former Bush appointees and the influential former New Hampshire Governor John H Sununu.

These were somewhat overshadowed by the Miss Universe 1996 controversy. However, by now, people around the world have read about the woman, no doubt raising their eyebrows at what she did in the years that followed.

I do expect more people to get on board the Trump Train, particularly now that it has emerged Hillary said back in February that Bernie’s Millennial supporters ‘are living in their parents’ basement’. #BasementDwellers is now trending. The Deplorables have welcomed them warmly as new friends. One Trump supporter tweeted:

This might be the last chance we have to elect a POTUS who is really for us, “We the people”

Too right.

They don’t care that Trump isn’t the world’s best orator. Neither should we. They want someone who will stand up for them and get things done.

The Boston Herald‘s Tom Shattuck analysed parts of the debate:

He spoke to the plight of the middle class and hammered big, clumsy government and tax increases as the cause.

“You have regulations on top of regulations and new companies cannot form, and old companies are going out of business,” he railed, and what was her response?

To drive people to her website. There is no better way to let the beleaguered middle class know that they are not worth her time.

Hillary Rodham Clinton does not have the common touch.

Trump does …

When Hillary went smug, Trump went real, saying things like, “It’s all words. It’s all sound bytes.”

More Trump on Hillary’s establishment: “They talk good around election time.” He sounds more like Rocky Balboa than a politician.

That bothers some readers of these Trump posts, but it really shouldn’t. He’s saying what many Americans think in the way they would express it themselves.

Harry S Truman was no orator, either, but people admired him because he was down to earth and got things done. My mother’s favourite anecdote was about him flying over part of the United States where homes were underwater after significant rainfall. The pilot, using his best English, said, ‘You can see how inundated the area is.’ Truman replied, ‘It’s flooded, too!’

The next debate will be on October 9. For the first time in a presidential debate, voters will be able to submit and vote on questions for the consideration of debate moderators. The format was tested successfully earlier this year by two US Senate candidates during primary season in Florida.

Trump will have to get firm yet remain civil. He needs to bring up a few essential topics: the emails, the Clinton Foundation and Benghazi, to name but three. He also needs to be able to respond better to her little pointed jabs without landing himself in trouble. Debbie Schlussel has an excellent detailed analysis. In part:

When Hillary said the police need “more education” and other baloney, I would have asked Hillary if she will denounce or disavow “Black Lives Matter” and their calls to murder police, as well as the chaos that it has fomented. Trump alluded to this, but didn’t put her on the spot, like he should’ve.

And there are many other instances in which he could have turned it around against her. He shouldn’t have responded to her about the $14 million loan his father gave him. He should have turned it around on her and asked about her using the State Department and the Clinton Foundation to illegally make millions in pay for play fees and Bill Clinton speaking engagements and ask her if the White House will be used as the Bill Clinton speaking fee agency. Any time she mentioned his business practices, he, again, should have turned it around to her sleazy operatives like Cheryl Mills who demanded immunity from prosecution. He should have turned it around on the Clinton Foundation, etc. Her “business” practices in the public sector are far more deplorable than his in the private sector.

One wonders if Clinton’s optics will ultimately damage her. Dilbert’s Scott Adams analysed the debate and pointed out:

Clinton looked (to my eyes) as if she was drugged, tired, sick, or generally unhealthy, even though she was mentally alert and spoke well. But her eyes were telling a different story. She had the look of someone whose doctors had engineered 90 minutes of alertness for her just for the event. If she continues with a light campaign schedule, you should assume my observation is valid, and she wasn’t at 100% …

Clinton’s smile seemed forced, artificial, and frankly creepy … Botox on your crow’s feet lines around your eyes can give that effect. But whatever the reason, something looked off to me.

Hillary’s lectern had a light box, illuminated to give her a softer look.

Time prohibits going into the little tricks going on behind the scenes at the debate. NBC’s Lester Holt gave Hillary a pass on most topics. She appeared to be sending him hand signals. Trump’s microphone was malfunctioning. After the debate, a white-haired man wasted no time in taking Hillary’s folder. What was in there? Was she wearing a discreet earpiece again as she did at the Presidential Forum? Some say yes. I’m not sure, but, you know, when you can’t remember anything anymore — as she has said of herself — someone has to feed you the answers.

This short video shows the full detail:

In closing, the LA Times poll still shows Trump in the lead. Crossover took place on September 12, so that’s very good news.

And, finally, have you seen the Worldwide Poll which currently shows Trump at 52% and Clinton at 48%? It’s an interesting site to visit with breakdowns by country.

I have much more news from this week which I hope to cover in the next instalment.

 

2 comments for “One wonders

  1. October 2, 2016 at 5:42 pm

    I saw a shot of the last Clinton rally – was it in Florida [?] – and one of Trump’s – 14,000, 12,000 turned away. The pundit asked how on earth HRC could be leading Trump in Florida?

    As for Ohio – they may feel they have it stitched up for the Dems now – payola, promises, or your life … And so have moved on.

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