domingo, 9 de outubro de 2016
A Red Bull display of madness': reactions to the Trump-Clinton presidential debate
"He prowled around Hillary Clinton, looming behind her when she approached the undecided voters in the audience. He hugged himself and hooked his hands in his belt. He inhaled so sharply through his nose that he sounded like he was snorting his own insults." (...)
A Red Bull display of madness': reactions to the Trump-Clinton presidential debate
Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump clashed on Sunday night in St Louis at their second debate, an event full of crosstalk and character attacks
Richard Wolffe, Jessica Valenti, Kenneth Pennington and Christopher R Barron
Monday 10 October 2016 04.33 BST
Richard Wolffe: ‘The nicest thing you could say about Trump’s performance was that it was bonkers’
That banging sound you heard were the last nails being hammered into the coffin of the Trump campaign. Or it might have been the thumping of Donald Trump as he stalked the debate stage.
Either way, the Republican nominee treated the notion of a contrite, humble performance with all the subtlety of a subway train. Not for him was the usual shame we associate with someone caught in a moment of sleaze.
He prowled around Hillary Clinton, looming behind her when she approached the undecided voters in the audience. He hugged himself and hooked his hands in his belt. He inhaled so sharply through his nose that he sounded like he was snorting his own insults.
Wounded animals behave in strange ways, and Donald Trump was nothing if not strange at the second presidential debate. He went far beyond barking his usual interruptions and conspiracies from the darkest corners of the internet: he answered a question from a Muslim voter by saying it was “a shame” there was Islamophobia. Then, two feet away from his questioner, he stoked Islamophobia as much as he possibly could: “We could be very politically correct, but whether we like it or not, there is a problem.”
He blamed Hillary Clinton for allowing him to pay no taxes. “Of course I do,” he admitted, when asked if he took advantage of tax loopholes. “So do all of her donors or most of her donors.”
He blamed both Clintons for raising the issue of sexual assault, as if he was just a hapless victim. “I think it’s disgraceful and I think she should be ashamed of herself, if you want to know the truth,” he said.
In any normal presidential debate, a nominee would be embarrassed to say something that evoked Gerald Ford’s calamitous assertion that there was no Soviet domination of eastern Europe. But Trump bettered Ford by several thermonuclear warheads: “I know about Russia but I know nothing about the inner workings of Russia,” he said.
The nicest thing you could say about Trump’s performance was that it was bonkers. A Red Bull display of sheer madness all the way to the end, when Clinton complimented his children.
“I don’t know if it was meant to be a compliment,” he said. Donald Trump knows about elections but he knows nothing about their inner workings.
Jessica Valenti: ‘People will say that Trump won simply because he didn’t spontaneously combust on stage’
If there was a theme for Trump this evening, it would be aggressive desperation. Whether is was the skulking around in Hillary Clinton’s frame, his shots at her marriage or his inability to stop interrupting both Clinton and the moderators – it all came across as a last gasp.
Trump set out to defeat Clinton in the debate in the only way he knows how to deal with women – as as Rebecca Traister put it – by “sexualizing, degrading and humiliating her”. That’s why he trotted out a pre-debate panel of women who have accused Bill Clinton of various offenses, and it’s why he took aim at Hillary Clinton on the same topic at the start of the debate. But it didn’t land, because everyone is still talking about the video of his horrific comments on women.
Donald Trump’s sex boasts: ‘When you are a star they let you do anything’
I was glad that Anderson Cooper laid it plain; he asked Trump, “You bragged that you have sexually assaulted women. Do you understand that?” Trump, who later dismissed the tape as “just words”, doubled down on calling his comments “locker room talk”.
What made that non-apology even worse was the physical way Trump held himself in the debate. Perhaps if you’ve been embroiled in a controversy about groping women and bragging about groping women, you don’t skulk around stage behind a woman. (And maybe don’t threaten to throw her in a jail – a new low!)
I predict that on Monday there will be people saying that Trump won simply because he didn’t spontaneously combust on stage. Clinton was clearly more composed and knowledgable, while Trump did his usual word salad, ignoring questions and making the odd racist move of talking about inner cities to an undecided voter seemingly only because he was black.
But at the end of this strange event, I think the biggest loser was all of us watching.
Kenneth Pennington: ‘Trump is depriving Americans of robust national discourse’
Donald Trump lost tonight’s debate. His asinine attempts to dismiss his piggish behavior by distracting viewers with talk of Bill Clinton and Isis were a failure.
But the real losers in tonight’s debate, and in this election, are the American people. When Donald Trump answers a serious question about his (lack of) healthcare proposals, he says simply, “The plans are going to be so good.” When asked about his (lack of) morals, he says randomly, “I’m gonna knock the hell out of Isis.” He won’t answer questions.
Part of that is a deliberate diversion strategy. To avoid talking about the video clip where he appears to condone sexual assault, he slams Bill Clinton or resorts to fear-mongering. But most of Trump’s answers lack depth because he simply doesn’t know what he’s talking about. When Anderson Cooper pressed him on how he could possibly reconcile his policy on preconditions with a repeal of Obamacare, he had absolutely nothing to say. He just doesn’t know.
When it comes to the Syrian civil war and the millions of victims it’s claimed, his policy also remains to be seen. This is a man who decides consequential policy positions on the stage because he hasn’t thought of them ahead of time. When he threw Mike Pence under the bus on Syria, it appeared to be the first time he’d even considered the question at hand.
Sadly, his lack of depth means our country has lost a valuable opportunity to engage in a desperately needed public discussion about the differing viewpoints in America on consequential issues. America needs Hillary Clinton to face off with an opponent who will challenge her viewpoints, not a hollow-headed clown with zero depth.
How can we fight climate change, raise incomes for the middle class, reform our ailing democracy, educate our children or champion world peace without serious and deep debate? We’ll never make headway on our serious challenges without robust national discourse. Trump’s campaign is depriving us it.
Christopher R Barron: ‘Trump succeeded in recapturing the momentum’
After a poor first debate performance – and the Friday release of the Access Hollywood tape – Republican nominee Donald Trump needed to hit a home run Sunday night to change the narrative and recapture the momentum.
Trump succeeded, and he succeeded before the first question was even asked.
Trump’s pre-debate press event with four women who have accused both Clintons of wrongdoing changed the conversation from what Donald Trump said in 2005 to what Bill and Hillary Clinton actually did.
It is clear that Trump’s pre-game press conference not only got talking heads to change the conversation, but it got Hillary Clinton – once believed to be unflappable – off her game, in a big way.
If Clinton was prepared for whatever Trump threw at her, it certainly didn’t come across in this debate.
Gone was the happy warrior from the last debate; in its place was a new defensive Hillary Clinton.
Trump kept Clinton on her heels for the entire debate. Whether sparring over Obamacare or foreign policy or tax reform or job creation, he effectively kept hammering her on her 30-year record.
Instead of a debate that was focused on Trump’s vulgar comments, the debate was focused on policy issues, and despite all of Clinton’s “preparation” when it came to the nuts and bolts of policy, Trump managed to not only go toe-to-toe with Clinton, he often got the best of her.
Trump needed to win tonight to stay alive. Clinton did not. Trump won, and he lives to fight another day. This race is far from over.