With the Nov. 8 presidential election barreling toward us, everyone’s eyes are on Republican candidate Donald Trump and Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton. Recently the two contenders squared off in the third and final debate of this election season. Expectations were high going in to the debate, with Trump’s camp hoping to turn around his poll performance and Clinton seeking to widen her lead in the race.
I believe what the American people wanted, however, was clarity and consistency on what the candidates had to offer and what their specific policy points would be. As with the earlier debates, that is not what we always got and is certainly not what we took away from the third debate.
According to Daniella Diaz at CNN, the topic that was most discussed after the debate was trending on Twitter higher than phrases like “Supreme Court,” “Chris Wallace,” and “Putin.” That now infamous hashtag was “Bad Hombres.” This remark arose when Trump was asked about his stance on immigration reform and he replied, “We’ll get them out, secure the border, and once the border is secured at a later date, we’ll make a determination as to the rest. But we have some bad hombres here, and we’re going to get them out.”
This became a focus of the post-debate commentary with CNN’s Van Jones making an excellent point, “The only time Donald Trump used Spanish in this campaign … is to smear and denigrate immigrants.”
Donald Trump’s night was not so bad, however, as the candidate was able to provide solid answers to questions regarding the Supreme Court, Roe v. Wade and the Second Amendment that would appeal to his conservative base. In addition, he did not mention jailing Hillary Clinton or bringing up decades old allegations against Bill Clinton.
However, his successes were easily outweighed by his mistakes. Trump spent a portion of his time discussing how his show, “The Apprentice,” was unfairly denied an Emmy. As Matthew Cooper points out in Newsweek, “Doing so isn’t likely to sway an undecided voter or bring back wavering Republicans.”
On the other side of the debate stage, Hillary Clinton had a much better performance overall. Even though, at times, her answers sounded too forced and too prepared. Her preparation paid off though as Clinton was able to control her answers and back them with fact, even on issues that ordinarily would not be in her favor.
Clinton was able to get in some impromptu zingers about Trump such as, “Donald thinks belittling women makes him bigger, and I don’t think there is a woman anywhere who doesn’t know what that feels like.”
Also when discussing the possibility that Russia was behind the hacks on the Democratic National Convention, Clinton said that Putin and Russia would prefer Trump as they would “rather have a puppet.” Trump’s only retort to this was “You’re the puppet.” Which brings us back to our playground days of “I’m rubber, you’re glue.”
The debate left me with three impressions. First, Hillary Clinton was the clear winner of the debate.
Second, Hillary Clinton will be the next President of the United States.
And finally, the people of the United States may have lost if the political process continues to play out the way it did in Wednesday’s debate.