Walt, bless him, chose a late flight back from Santa Barbara so I was able to stay home and watch the whole presidential debate.
My very first impression was one that I hardy dared voice, but after the debate I saw it all over social media, even from Howard Dean....with all that constant sniffing that Trump did throughout the debate, and his continual drinking water....could he possibly have had a bit of cocaine before going on? I know nothing about drugs, but I have seen cocaine users sniffing continually...and there on Facebook and Twitter were dozens of other people asking the same thing, including Howard Dean.
"His performance may have been hampered by the cocaine he must have used...sniffing, water, etc. Symphony of incoherence." says my friend Joan. I just love the "symphony of incoherence."
By the end of the debate, I actually started missing that smirk of George Bush that drove me so crazy.
In looking at reports on the debate after it was over, there are right wing newspapers that say it went 80-20% in favor of Trump. Are those people snorting cocaine too??
The difference between the two candidates was striking. Hillary stood there and waited her turn (most of the time) while Trump interrupted her dozens of times. She backed up her policies with laying out plans for how to achieve those goals. Trump's answer to everything was to tell how many people endorsed him, how many businesses he had, how rich he was. I didn't hear one. single. plan. for how he is going to accomplish everything he swears he will do. In some cases, I'm not even sure he knew what he was talking about (in discussing domestic cyber terrorism, he referred to his young son.)
Republican talking heads (Steven Schmidt, Michael Steele, for example) agree it was a disaster for Trump. Schmidt talks about his lack of preparation, about his body language and his comments being somewhere between "incoherence and babble." He mentioned "talking gibberish about nuclear weapons." And this was a Republican strategist! ("He was like a jumping bean," said Rachel Maddow)
Nicole Wallace, another Republican strategist said that we held Hillary to the highest standards and she exceeded them. Trump was unprepared and seemed not to know what he was talking about much of the time, especially the longer the debate went on and got into subjects about which he was obviously woefully ignorant.
The New York Times in a preliminary report fact checked the debate. Hillary had a few false, or misleading statements. Trump's false or misleading statements were overwhelming. A few examples drawn from the New York Times article.
On Mr. Trump’s accusation that the withdrawal of troops left a vacuum in Iraq and Syria, which allowed the Islamic State to take root.
On Mr. Trump’s assertion that many NATO countries do not contribute their full share to NATO.
On Mr. Trump’s opposition to the Iraq war.
On Mrs. Clinton’s assertion that the United States needs an “intelligence surge” to help prevent terrorist attacks by homegrown violent extremists.
On Mr. Trump’s claim that the United States is “not updating” its nuclear arsenal and the Iran nuclear deal.
On Mr. Trump saying that China is “devaluing their currency” to gain an economic advantage.
On Mr. Trump’s claim that Ford is leaving the United States and taking “thousands of jobs” with it.
On Mr. Trump’s claim that “we have a trade deficit of almost $800 billion a year,” blaming trade deals for this.
On Mr. Trump’s claims that murders are up in New York City.
On Mrs. Clinton’s accusation that Mr. Trump said climate change was a hoax perpetrated by the Chinese. Mr. Trump responded, “I do not say that.”
And more. Trump is quite vocal about not taking the oil from Iraq. As the New York Times explains, "Seizing Iraq’s oil — or the resources of any country — is illegal under international law, and doing so would have likely prompted condemnation from around the world. In purely practical terms, seizing Iraq’s oil would have required tens of thousands of American troops to protect Iraq’s oil infrastructure, which is spread out across the country and largely above ground."
Perhaps my favorite Trump accusation about Clinton is that she "doesn't have the stamina to be president." Clinton has visited 112 countries, negotiated peace deals with top adversaries around the world, and sat through an 11-hour congressional witchhunt hearing. For starters. Trump couldn't stand still for an hour and a half debate without twitching and looking uncomfortable.
An interview with Trump on the floor of the hall afterwards shows where things are going to go on the heels of this disastrous debate. He now says that he had a faulty mic and that affected his performance. A reporter said that when Trump was asked if there was anything he regretted, the only thing he said was that he regretted not bringing up Bill Clinton's marital infidelities.
Has anyone ever heard Trump admit blame for anything?
Also, congratulations to Rosie O'Donnell whom Trump pulled into the debate, his venom against the actress having nothing to do with national security, but he just couldn't resist tossing another barb in Rosie's direction.
As I said, there has never been a presidential debate like this in my lifetime...and probably never.