By Paul Gable
The first presidential debate is over and I don’t believe anything has changed.
An after the debate poll showed Hillary Clinton the winner over Donald Trump by a 62 – 27 percent margin.
I don’t think that matters. Remember, by all accounts, Romney trounced Obama in their first debate four years ago. And it didn’t matter.
Both candidates played to their base last night. Clinton’s base is going to vote for her and Trump’s base is going to vote for him, no matter what.
I don’t believe either candidate did anything last night to swing undecided voters their way.
Both candidates had their moments.
Trump agreed that Clinton has a lot of experience in government, but called it “bad experience.”
Clinton said, “Donald I know you live in your own reality.”
Both statements are true to the candidates’ respective supporters. Neither can be called a defining moment that could swing an election.
Trump hammers away dissing career politicians. Who does he think he will be dealing with if he gets to the White House?
Clinton touts her experience, but half of the Washington crowd will never agree with her on anything.
Neither answered the question that probably is more important to Americans than any other – “How will you bring back jobs?”
Trump spent his time telling us why jobs left the country. Clinton said she was going to work really hard to get new jobs, but never told us how.
This probably reflects worse on Clinton because Trump does not understand anything about issues or governance. His entire candidacy is built on reflecting the mood of his supporters.
A longtime acquaintance of mine probably said it best after the debate.
“The American people lost tonight. We have 300 million people in the country and these two are the best we could find to run for president?”
So far, this is a campaign long on rhetoric and short on policy. The American people have suffered through rhetoric for at least the last 40 years while the country has foundered.
Unfortunately, with five weeks to go, this is still a referendum on who is the worst candidate. The answer seems to be a dead heat between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump at this point.