5:59pm MST – Well, here we go. How will Trump do in the wake of his miserable failure last time? How will he do in the wake of the tape that was released on Friday? How will he do in the wake of all the former endorsers running for the hills? And how long will it be before he mentions Bill Clinton? Find out all this and more, and as always, press F5 to refresh!
6:02 – Giuliani apparently compared Donald Trump, the Republican Party’s nominee for President of the United States of America, Commander-in-Chief of our armed forces, and Leader of the Free World, favorably, to St. Augustine. I don’t know if Augustine existed, or if he’s in the afterlife, or what, but if he is, I’m pretty sure he just threw up in his mouth.
6:04 – No handshake!
6:05 – Our first question is about them as role models, and as Hillary dives right in, I notice Trump is already looking physically uncomfortable. Also, yes, irrelevant, but I quite like Hillary’s outfit.
6:07 – Donald Trump calls this “a great country”. I thought we were supposed to make it great “again”?
6:08 – I can’t tell for sure if he genuinely doesn’t know anything about the Iran deal or if he assumes that his audience doesn’t. I suspect both. Also, he isn’t even coming close to answering the question, which is about being a role model.
6:10 – And so begins the minimization and outright lying about what he said in the tape in 2005. “I said some really horrible things, but I promise I will bring down ISIS!”
6:11 – He’s sniffing again.
6:13 – As Clinton talks about the video, Trump is very obviously having to force himself not to interject. I wonder how long this resolve will last.
6:14 – Clinton is doing a very good job of sounding quite humble.
6:17 – There we go. Seventeen minutes. That’s all it took for him to bring up Bill Clinton and start on about the unsubstantiated rumor of her threatening the women allegedly victimized. Also, he’s continuing to push the lie that Hillary freed a rapist and laughed about it. It’s also yet another example of him dumping on the 6th Amendment.
6:21 – And there we go, with him pushing, again, the lie that Clinton’s campaign was the one that started the birther movement. Even if that were true, it still doesn’t excuse his embracing the idea and running with it. Also, wow, accusing Clinton of stealing the primaries, and bringing up the emails, again, while advancing menacingly on Clinton.
6:22 – Now he’s threatening to use the legal apparatus of government to prosecute Clinton, despite all the investigations that have already happened, and despite the head of the FBI, a Republican, said there wasn’t enough evidence to prosecute.
6:23 – Ah, there we are. The first interjection from Trump.
6:24 – Cooper telling the audience to keep it down reminds me again of my constantly-asked question, why the hell is there an audience in the first place?
6:26 – Clinton is sitting when Trump is talking, and standing when answering the question. He’s up and pacing most of the time, looking quite uncomfortable. She still looks quite unruffled.
6:27 – Oh, hey, we’ve gone from 30,000 deleted emails to 39,000! Impressive.
6:28 – Wow, that resolve to behave just didn’t last. Now he’s constantly interrupting and interjecting. He’s lost control again.
6:29 – “I’m a gentleman.” Lie of the night, surely.
6:30 – I’m glad she’s making the point that, yes, there are problems with the ACA, but it has some great things, too, and just needs to be refined. I appreciate her listing all the benefits it has, too. Those are things people absolutely love; they just don’t like to pay for them.
6:32 – I don’t think that he understands that under the ACA, many people are buying their own insurance, and most of the rest are having it paid for by their employer. This isn’t government-funded.
6:36 – So Trump’s answer about pre-existing conditions really does just boil down to, “trust me, I can fix it,” and we’ll just go back to what we had before, but somehow allowing sales across state lines would magically fix it all.
6:37 – Trump is trying to say Islamaphobia is a shame. Accurate, but, gee, I wonder who’s been pushing that more than about anyone else?
6:39 – Trump answers the woman’s question and paces while doing so. Hillary walks right up to the woman, looks directly at her, and starts answering her question. It’s a much better way to make a connection.
6:40 – Ugh. What is Trump doing to that poor chair? It’s not a woman in 2005, Trumpie!
6:41 – Once again, he’s saying he didn’t support the Iraq War. He did. Soft support, perhaps, but he supported it.
6:42 – For the record, it takes about 3 years for a refugee to be permitted to come to this country. We already have “extreme vetting” of refugees. It’s frankly much easier for someone to come here on a tourist visa and commit terror acts that way.
6:44 – Trump is, overall, doing better this time around than he was in the previous debate. But he’s still doing pretty awful, and acting like a #whinylittlebitch.
6:46 – Trump really does seem convinced that he can force other countries to do whatever the hell he wants. I really hope this man doesn’t become president.
6:47 – Here’s a question about the speeches. Let’s see how this goes.
6:48 – I don’t know that I would have started off by comparing myself to Lincoln, but it’s a reasonable example, I suppose.
6:49 – I am rather surprised that Clinton didn’t mention that Trump asked the Russians to hack the DNC.
6:50 – Wow, if he really believes the whole “honest Abe” thing, then he’s very much a naive individual.
6:54 – I, at least, am quite happy to have my taxes raised, depending on what I get out of it. I’m ok with that. But I recognize that I’m in the minority here.
6:55 – Again Hillary advances toward the front, and speaks directly to the person who asked the question. Let’s see if she actually answers it.
6:56 – She’s now providing specifics on what she would do, though not as many as I’d like.
6:57 – So he just admitted that he didn’t pay federal taxes for many years. And again, he’s claiming that he understands the tax code “better than anyone who has run for president”. Didn’t W at least have an MBA?
7:00 – I don’t think Trump understands quite how the Senate works.
7:02 – I’m very glad she’s taking the “30 years” thing on.
7:03 – Trump is spending a lot of time hiding behind his chair, rather like it’s a podium. Hillary is much more relaxed.
7:05 – Hillary’s response on handling Syria is intelligent, nuanced, and pretty good. I can’t wait to see what reality TV star Donald Trump has to say about this!
7:07 – A pretty mediocre response, which didn’t actually answer the question. Good that one of the moderators is calling him on that.
7:08 – Iran has always been a fairly powerful country, but I suspect he doesn’t know that.
7:14 – My computer crashed, so I was off for a few minutes. But I’m back now, just in time to see Trump a: complain about “our inner cities”, and b: say the word “Latino”, as though he had an accent. Fantastic.
7:16 – Again we see Clinton standing directly in front of the questioner, and looking him in the eye while answering his question. Trump just stalked around doing not much.
7:18 – Here comes a very valid question about the “deplorables” comment. She didn’t answer it especially well.
7:20 – Another four years of Obama? Sounds fantastic to me, and not a comment I’d make when Obama’s favorable rating is pretty high.
7:22 – “Does Mr Trump have the discipline to be a leader?” “No.” “Oh, I’m shocked to hear that.” Yes, that’s the sort of thing she’s referring to, Mister Trump.
7:25 – A good, but not great, answer on SCOTUS from Clinton.
7:26 – Trump says he’s quite keen to appoint justices in the same mold as Scalia. So consider that a warning to all those of you who are still on the fence.
7:28 – A fly just landed on Clinton. It didn’t move away for quite some time. That’s not a happy visual.
7:29 – Though to be fair, a fly buzzing around Trump’s head is a bit more amusing.
7:30 – Ugh. “Clean coal” isn’t. Natural gas is better, but coal is just terrible no matter how you slice it. Also, I find it a bit odd that he thinks energy producing companies have gone overseas or something. As far as I know, China isn’t shipping electricity to us.
7:31 – Clinton drives in the knife over Trump using Chinese steel. Yes, it’s important to remember that people who buy low-cost products made overseas, including steel, are the ones to blame for this.
7:33 – “Name one positive thing you respect in one another.” Excellent. I can’t wait to see how Trump turns it into a stab. For her part, Hillary turns it into a comment about his children, and that they’ve turned out as they have thanks to him. Not unreasonable.
7:35 – Can Trump think of anything positive to say about Hillary? Yes, in fact. Good for him!
So overall, I think Trump did much better this time than he did last time. But it’s like improving from an F to a D+. I also think that Clinton missed a lot of chances to really drive the knife home when dealing with him and some of the stupider comments that he made.
I was also very surprised that the video from 2005 wasn’t a much bigger issue during the debate. It certainly could have been.
Still, I feel a win for Clinton, if not quite as out of the park as it was last time.