Presidential debate

Trump debates well, but is unlikely to move the needle

Featured image I’m not sure what it means to “accept” the results of an election, but after tonight’s debate I’m more convinced than ever that this election is unacceptable. In this corner, wearing the nauseating grin, is Hillary Clinton. She delivered a lengthy oration about the Supreme Court without ever mentioning the Constitution (which Chris Wallace specifically asked her about). Instead, she said she wants the Supreme Court to take sides. To »

Tonight’s debate

Featured image Here’s what to expect from tonight’s debate between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump: Fireworks from Trump. The fireworks probably won’t differ significantly from the ones we saw at the second debate, though we may hear more about “rigged elections.” Perhaps Clinton will goad Trump into taking things to a new level. If so, the debate will be worth watching. Otherwise, not really. Here’s what not to expect from the debate: »

Trump bounces back, but back to where?

Featured image My view is that Donald Trump won tonight’s debate. He dominated the stage and landed shot after shot on Hillary Clinton. Hillary, meanwhile, struggled to say much that will connect with voters except perhaps Muslim-Americans. This was the performance Trump’s supporters wanted to see in the first debate. If the Access Hollywood tape had not surfaced, Trump might be well on his way to pulling back to even, or close »

Lester Holt’s blatantly biased performance

Featured image Donald Trump can’t blame his poor debate performance on Lester Holt. Nor would it be wise for him to try. Biased moderators usually win twice when the victim whines. That’s why Kellyanne Conway shrewdly praised Holt’s performance after the debate. But Holt’s performance was not praiseworthy. Rather, it was a nakedly biased effort to aid Hillary Clinton. The mischief began with the very first question. Holt proclaimed the state of »

Two polls have Clinton winning the debate

Featured image In a CNN poll of debate-watchers, 62 percent thought Clinton won the debate compared to 27 percent for Trump — a 35-point margin. According to Nate Silver, that’s the third-widest margin ever in a CNN or Gallup post-debate poll, which date back to 1984. Only a 1992 debate between Bill Clinton and George H.W. Bush and the first Obama-Romney debate were viewed as more one-sided. Meanwhile, a PPP poll had »

Glenn Kessler illustrates why moderators shouldn’t “fact check”

Featured image In advance of Monday night’s debate, Hillary Clinton’s cheerleaders in the media have been encouraging moderator Lester Holt to contradict, during the debate, candidates whose assertions of fact they disagree with. Glenn Kessler, the liberal “fact-checker” for the Washington Post, even compiled a list of assertions he says don’t withstand fact-checking, the vast majority of which are by Donald Trump. He urges the moderator to “clip and save.” It is »

A Trump-Sanders debate?

Featured image There’s talk of a debate between Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders. It would occur before the California primary. Sanders says he’s up for it. Trump said so too, but now it seems he may have been joking. For Sanders, a successful debate against Trump could propel him to victory in California, something he dearly would love to achieve. However, it wouldn’t propel him to the nomination. Hillary Clinton has that »

Tonight’s GOP debate — basically a non-event

Featured image Tonight’s Republican presidential debate produced virtually no fireworks and nothing that is likely to change the trajectory of the race. In other words, it was a good night for Donald Trump. The mild tone of the debate was due, in part, to CNN’s approach. Perhaps feeling embarrassed by their previous outings, Jake Tapper and Dana Bash asked policy questions almost exclusively. Food fight questions were left for near the end, »

A good night for Ted Cruz; a good enough night for Donald Trump

Featured image Tonight’s Republican presidential debate was not a game-changer. In fact, I’m not sure it will have any impact on the race. Obviously, this is a bad outcome for those of us who are anti-Trump, so I wish I could report otherwise. But I just didn’t see anything that seems likely to (1) cause Trump to lose support or even (2) cause the considerable anti-Trump sentiment in the party to deepen. »

On Libya, Kasich is right, Rubio is wrong, and Trump is lying

Featured image During last night’s debate, Ted Cruz criticized Marco Rubio for supporting U.S. military intervention in Libya to topple the Qaddafi regime. Qaddafi’s demise has, of course, resulted in awful consequences, including, but certainly not limited to, the rise of ISIS in Libya Rubio responded that he supported our intervention because it was foregone conclusion that Qaddafi would fall and he wanted the U.S. to facilitate a satisfactory post-Qaddafi future. Unfortunately, »

What is Telemundo running for?

Featured image There were five official presidential candidates in tonight’s GOP debate, but six debaters. The sixth was a female reporter from Telemundo. She was running a single-issue campaign. Her issue was relief for illegal immigrants. Her performance was nauseating. The Telemundo woman, María Celeste Arrarás, asked the candidates this question: “Do you [or your fellow candidates] get it?” By “it,” as she made clear in a speech masquerading as a question, »

There’s no evidence that Trump opposed invading Iraq

Featured image Last night, Donald Trump repeated his claim that “I’m the only one on the stage that said we should not go into Iraq.” As I’ve pointed out before, however, there is no credible evidence that Trump said any such thing. Trump had plenty to say about the Iraq invasion after it had taken place. In the early days, when it wasn’t going well, he called the invasion a mess. But »

A good night for Bush and Rubio, if that’s possible

Featured image In an earlier post, I wrote at length about what I thought was the big moment of tonight’s debate — Donald Trump’s attack on George W. Bush. I’ll now offer my overall impression of how the various candidates did. I thought Jeb Bush and Marco Rubio had the best debates. Jeb went toe-to-toe with Trump and was considerably more forceful than in their previous encounters, especially the early ones. Bush »

Trump channels Code Pink

Featured image It’s no secret that Donald Trump is a vicious bastard. It’s no secret that his views have often been more aligned with liberals than with conservatives. But until tonight, I didn’t know that his stance on George W. Bush is more vicious than that which leftist politicians are willing publicly to take. Nor did I know that Trump once urged Nancy Pelosi to impeach President Bush. In tonight’s debate, Trump »

I wonder who’s Kissinger now

Featured image If I had known that Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders were going to debate about Henry Kissinger, I would have kept watching last night. Having been outdebated on foreign policy in the previous debate, Sanders opened a new line of attack featuring the 92 year-old former Secretary of State. At Politico, professor Gary Bass reports: Sanders announced that he had a “very profound difference” with Clinton. “In her book and »

Tell me why

Featured image Tell me why no one attacked John Kasich last night. He’s leading the governors/former governors in New Hampshire, and conventional wisdom holds that only one (or at most two) governors will survive the New Hampshire primary. He’s a bona threat to finish ahead of Marco Rubio (and this was true even before last night) and Ted Cruz. If he finishes a close second, he could even hurt Trump going forward. »

Chris Christie’s suicide mission may make this a good night for Trump and Kasich [With Comment by John]

Featured image The first portion of tonight’s GOP debate, as well as the post-debate coverage, was dominated by the clash between Chris Christie and Marco Rubio. Christie assailed Rubio for not having governing experience and compared him to Barack Obama, who was also a first-term Senator when he ran for president. In addition, Christie criticized Rubio for allegedly relying on 25-second sound bites. Rubio responded by saying, in effect, that Obama’s problem »