The first Presidential Debate between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton received an enormous amount of speculation prior to the event but that faded into nothingness with the explosive fallout following the debate.
It was generally conceded by both sides that the first thirty minutes favored Trump but that Hillary scored the most effective jabs in the following hour session. Hillary was obviously well-prepared for a personal attack on some of Trumps perceived character flaws. She reached back some twenty years to illustrate his disdain for the feminine gender in regards to his comments about his first Miss Universe winner. Then she belabored him on his failure to release his tax returns. Next, she was ably abetted by the debate moderator, Lester Holt, who joined her in attacking Trump on racial issues. Holt interrupted Trump some forty-plus times and conversely lobbed softball questions to Hillary. Holt’s main obsession was with Trump’s handling of the “birther” issue. His main contention was to cast that issue as racist. In actuality, race was never an issue with Trump. It was a matter of location rather than skin color. Fortunately, Trump was able to counter-attack by noting that Hillary’s campaign people, namely Sydney Blumenthal, were the first ones to circulate the fact that Obama might be a Muslim.
Hillary may be treading on extremely dangerous ground if she wants to make the race primarily about past character failings. Her resume, from White Water to the private server is a mine field of scandals that Trump is now primed to bring up. As far as the bad treatment of the gentler sex is concerned, it would be hard to imagine anyone equaling Hillary’s comments about the many women who stepped forward to speak about Bill’s extra-marital affairs. She castigated those victims to the point that made Bill seem to be the victim instead of the perpetrator. Trump may be forced to bring his threat of inviting Jennifer Flowers to sit in the front row of the next debate and stare down Hillary just as much as Hillary supporter Mark Cuban did for Hillary in the first debate.
In addition to the scandals in her past and present, Hillary is generally regarded as a congenital liar. In the area of personal insults, she is absolutely no match for Trump. But trying to take him on at this own game may be the most disastrous course of her whole campaign. In effect, her smug and smirking demeanor in the first debate may well have been a projection of false confidence.
While the primary campaigns of the two candidates often reached the temperature point of boiling water, the spirited exchanges of the presidential contest are reaching lave-like heat. Look for Trump, who said after the first debate that he was loathe to criticize Hillary personally, to probably have no compunction in doing it in the upcoming face-offs. Rounds two and three will probably set even higher viewership than the first one, which was a record-breaker.