At 10:06 p.m. a journalist friend said in an email: “I think he’s actually pasting her in the debate.” That was pretty much my impression, but then I might be biased against her. There were however some giveaways that he had indeed done damage. Whenever she fought back with sentences such as these —
“So we have taken the home page of my website, HillaryClinton.com, and we’ve turned it into a fact-checker.”
“I have a feeling that by, the end of this evening, I’m going to be blamed for everything that’s ever happened,”
“Well, I’ve heard — I’ve heard Donald say this at his rallies, and it’s really unfortunate that he paints such a dire negative picture of black communities in our country.”
— I knew she was flailing. As Trump put it after that last one: Ugh.
Then there was the increasingly evident bias of the reportedly Republican-registered Republican moderator Lester Holt. It quickly became pretty apparent that all his mean questions were being directed at Trump, while Hillary (yet again) got off scot-free. So was he really not wanting to get the Matt Lauer treatment? Apparently he doesn’t mind the damage to his reputation that will come once the extent of his anti-Trumpiness becomes fully known and especially how it echoed the Clinton campaign’s talking points and Hillary’s debate prep. No doubt a class thing, which again is why Trump can win. They’re all in this together, and Trump is running against them all.
Many are taking Trump to task for spending too much time responding to the birther question – apparently Hillary’s favorite topic these days. But as she also betrayed when she brought up Trump’s supposedly calling on Putin “to hack into Americans,” she like every other anti-Trumper has missed the cheekiness implicit in the game Trump had played with the birther matter from the start. Those who refuse to pick up on that aspect of Trump’s game-playing are missing the reason for a great deal of his personal appeal. Some might call it part of his charisma or charm. Hillary of course wouldn’t know about such things.