Being in Japan gave me the opportunity to watch the U.S Presidential debate in the morning. It was an event I’d been anticipating to see for weeks, styled as the biggest and most crucial Presidential debate in history. The estimated audience of 100 million viewers clearly supported that notion. For many Americans themselves, there was a large feeling their nations future could be determined from that night’s events- for many others, it was for pure curiosity and even entertainment.
Having watched the debate, I’m no fan of Hilary Clinton, but Donald Trump’s performance was underwhelming, confusing and bizarre even by his own standards. Hilary’s team must have been rubbing their hands with glee as the Republican candidate ventured off into endless, incoherent and irrelevant rambles which amounted to nothing. Even on security issues and foreign policy, areas where Trump has been popular with his supporters, he literally gave the impression that he didn’t have a clue what he was talking about. He clearly didn’t understand the issues, never mind propose answers or solutions.
On the other hand, Hilary, far from being a saint, responded well to the questions, used her career experience shrewdly and landed numerous blows on her opponent. She used clever tactics to brush off Trump’s attacks, easily embodying a sense of superiority over him simply by keeping calm, cool and just laughing or shrugging off the charges he placed on her. I wouldn’t vote for her if I was American, but its fair to say she looked like a President, she sounded like a President and she responded like a President whereas Trump came across just a bumbling fool- You have to wonder how he has got this far already.
In conclusion, if Hilary set out to portray herself as a capable, reliable and “safe set of hands” for the office whilst showing her opponent up for what we stereotype him to be, then she succeeded with this debate. It is of course, only the first of three and Trump still has opportunities to convince people otherwise. Nonetheless, history shows debates alone don’t win Presidential elections, Romney thrashed Obama in 2012, Kerry easily beat Bush in 2004, but where did they end up? It’s still all to play for, but tonight definitely gives the Donald a deeper hole to climb out of and a lot of precedents to reverse before the majority would even think about putting him in the White House.