First impression? That. Was. Hilarious!
Donald Trump got up on the stage expecting to manhandle weak little Hillary and found out what it’s like to get bitch-slapped by a pair of steel ovaries.
At no point did Hillary lose control of the debate. Her answers were thorough and well-considered. She tossed out facts like confetti and fact-checked Trump several times, much to his irritation. Hillary even knew when to step back and let Trump self-immolate.
On the other hand, Trump was a hot mess. He rambled, he lied, he ranted and he got visibly angry, a big debate no-no. He tried to bully Clinton several times but backed down when she simply raised her voice a bit and kept talking. He manged to get in a few zingers but most of them felt too rehearsed and fell flat.
Fortunately, Clinton did not try to land a lot of zingers or bumper sticker slogans because that’s not really her thing and it would have been awful. I winced at “Trumped up trickle down” but that was really it. The rest of the time, she hammered him with his own words and policies.
This is not an unmitigated disaster for Trump even though he was clearly unprepared in every conceivable way to face an opponent of Hillary’s caliber. I imagine his debate prep team is thankful he didn’t stroke out. I also image that Republicans all over the country are drinking very heavily right now.
What WILL be a disaster for Trump is if he flies into a rage over how “unfair” the whole thing was. And god help him if he refuses to debate again. He will look like an absolute coward and since his entire persona is about being strong, that would be a fatal move.
Meanwhile, Hillary is laughing her ass off at how easy that was. You could even tell she wasn’t putting her full effort into crushing Trump, most likely to avoid generating sympathy for him. Hopefully, assuming Trump doesn’t chicken out, she won’t get cocky for the next debate. Not that she should worry too much; it’s not like Trump is suddenly going to study and prepare. He’s WAY too lazy for that.
I suspect tomorrow’s headlines will be about how badly Trump lost but how it doesn’t change anything (if Hillary had lost, it would “the end of her campaign”). Still, look for Hillary’s lead to open a bit more over the next week and if she whoops him two more times like this? It’s a wrap.