Well, after nearly two years of waiting, after dozens of also-rans came and went, we finally got the first presidential debate, barely more than a month out from Election Day. Donald Trump, the Republican nominee, and Hillary Clinton, the Democratic hopeful, met on the stage at Hofstra University Monday night for what was expected to be the most-watched debate.
And Trump bombed. There is no other way to describe it.
Right off the bat, it was obvious that Trump was, at best, going to have a rough go of it. Sniffling away, possibly battling a cold, Trump was low-energy at the beginning. But, there was still hope. Hillary tossed out a canned one-liner — Trumped-up trickle down — and used it TWICE, giving him the opening to rattle her.
And he choked.
Throwing out any potential prep work he had done, he began interrupting Clinton whenever she flustered him, which was often. While he rambled incoherently at moderator Lester Holt’s questions, Clinton calmly stood there, looking radiant and confident, patiently awaiting her turn. And then she would deliver a well-prepared answer, providing facts, figures and actual plans.
Yep, we got to the birther issue, and Trump did the expected — blame it on Hillary. And it didn’t fly. All Clinton needed to do was sit there, smile, and easily refute his lies. At this point, the meltdown was fully in effect. And there was no way to reverse himself. He was at the point of no return.
More moans. More sniffles. More wheezing. Drinks of water. Sighs. He was seething at Hillary’s general calmness. He was pissed over his inability to fluster her. So he became more and more and more flustered. And what we got was the most unhinged final half of a presidential debate in history.
He referred to Barack Obama as “your president,” still holding onto his birtherism even after calling Hillary the originator. By the time we got to the end, Trump, spittle flying, was claiming he had great temperament while saying Hillary was the one out of control. And to cap off the night, he made sure to say Hillary “doesn’t have the look, doesn’t have the stamina,” all while he was sweating, red-faced and struggling to get the words out.
Only the most sycophantic of Trump supporters *coughSeanHannitycough* will pretend that Trump had an even half-assed night. This was the single worst performance in a modern presidential debate. The. Single. Worst.