Who won the second presidential debate? Let’s examine each candidate’s performance
After 90 minutes of yelling and finger pointing, it’s hard to tell who won the second presidential debate. It’s always hard to get away from your bias. If you think Donald Trump is a smart, well-spoken man after the release of the Trump Tapes this weekend, (excuse me while I try to stop laughing), then you’re going to think he did OK every time he doesn’t grab Martha Raddatz’ genitals. If you don’t mind that Hillary Clinton is a dodgy, shady politician, it won’t matter to you that she doesn’t talk with a lot of transparency. In this traveling circus that is the 2016 election, as long as someone doesn’t punt a small child into the crowd or burst into flames, it’s pretty much a win-win all around.
This second debate was no different. Having learned from the first, where he sometimes appeared flustered and interrupted often, Trump seemed a little more ready to fight this time around having lost a ton of Republican support over the weekend. Clinton brought out more of her same schtick, where she leans back and allows Trump to dig his own grave, resorting to those Jim Halpert-type stares to show that she is the “adult” in the room.
Unlike the first debate, in which the split screens really revealed some of the more uncomfortable moments the candidates went through, the town hall format of the second debate was a way to see how candidates interact with voters and handle not just one, but two moderators: Anderson Cooper and Martha Raddatz, who came with follow-up questions and goaded the candidates into actually answering the question.
Here’s how they fared.
Donald Trump: Out For Blood
Leading into the debate, Trump was on the attack. He brought the women from Bill Clinton’s scandals to watch. He dug right in and at one point actually used the “L” for loser sign while Clinton was talking. Trump attacked her about her emails, her experience in the senate, and brought up Benghazi. If winning means biting and looking for conflict, Trump might have won.
Then again, he still didn’t know shit about anything. At one point, he even said he didn’t know jack about Russia. He also had a very tired demeanor — probably from being scolded by his campaign advisor (Ivanka) all night about those tapes.
Verdict: He did not say anything about Clinton’s appearance this time. Less sniffling.
Hillary Clinton: Did Not Say “Pussy”
I’m not going to lie. I was secretly hoping Clinton would just come out and say, “This man said he ‘grabs pussy.’ Why are we pretending to have a real conversation here?” But she didn’t. If she had, she would have won in my book, hands down. Instead she did her Trump Face, which is the flat smile and facial expression Clinton holds when talking to Trump on the same stage. She tried her best to keep her cool, but there were moments when she started to lose it, throwing some deep, dark shade Donald’s way when he went low. Clinton also interrupted Trump, too, every now and again, which is something she held back from during the first debate.
Verdict: Did not say “pussy.” Should have said “pussy.”
Really, this debate was pretty similar to the first one, even though Trump’s campaign is just falling apart tweet by tweet. So American voters still have no idea what Trump’s plan for Syria is or if Clinton can laugh without being prompted. At this point, it doesn’t look like voters will know anything more about the candidates before November and really, could we even handle it if we did?