There is little dispute that Donald Trump let pass several hanging curve balls during the first debate with Hillary Rodham Clinton. The left assiduously “worked” Lester the Ref to insure that unlike his colleague Matt Lauer, Holt would not raise discomforting issues with Hillary, such as the email scandal, the Clinton Foundation, Benghazi, etc. Instead, Mr. Holt saw it fit to pepper the GOP candidate and keep him off-balance and on the defensive throughout the night, on issues that “truly” are at the fulcrum of the future of the country, such as Trump’s tax returns, the Birther controversy and a malcontent architect who claims that Trump stiffed him on one of his projects! Hillary Clinton, looking vital and fresh from her miraculous and rapid recovery from her “pneumonia”, also succeeded in having Trump fall into carefully laid traps on vital issues that the country is now facing, such as his comments about the weight gain by a Latina Miss Universe winner! Can the Khan family and Judge Curiel be far behind in the calvacade of Democratic identity politics?
However, while Holt steered the conversation in the approved direction of the Democratic candidate, there should have been no reason why Mr. Trump did not alter the course of the debate to more fertile and relevant subjects and further failed to stay clear of personal attack ambushes set by Clinton. He engaged in drawn-out and often ridiculous defenses of his past statements or actions; a trait that he can’t seem to resist, when he should have been utilizing his time attacking the Obama/Clinton record! Trump’s reactions of constantly interrupting Hillary and of Clinton obviously getting under his skin, leads credence to her campaign ad about Trump being dangerously provoked by a tweet (with the sound of jet engines revving up in the background). Additionally, this behavior tends to turn off voters.
The email scandal was touched upon only one time during a conversation on cyber security. Mrs. Clinton, the ultimate poster child of cyber security, again robotically repeated the tired and hackneyed lines that her home-brewed private server was a “mistake”; that “she would not do it again” and that “she takes responsibility for her actions.” Trump merely replied that her actions weren’t a mistake but on purpose, and commented that it was a disgrace for her aides to take the Fifth Amendment during the investigation. He left it at that! This was a pitch down the heart of the plate that should have looked like the size of a grapefruit to Babe Trump. But he left his bat on his shoulder!
Clinton’s serial lies to the American public about her private email server; the deliberate deletion of 33,000 emails using the BleachBit program after the receipt of Congressional subpoenas; her aides smashing her Blackberries with hammers in an attempt to destroy the evidence; FBI Director James Comey’s virtual indictment of Hillary in his no-indictment speech of July 5th – preceded by the secret meeting of Attorney General Lynch on the tarmac of Sky Harbor Airport, Phoenix with Bill Clinton, and the revelation of just last week that President Obama knew about Hillary’s private email and communicated with her on it while using a pseudonym (thus making Obama a co-conspirator!) – are all juicy facts that should have been laid out by Donald Trump demanding explanations from Mrs. Clinton! Such a tasty dish to set before the (aspiring) queen! But Trump didn’t do it Why? Perhaps he thought everyone had already had heard of all the details already. If so, that was a tactical mistake. Many viewers of the debate are only now tuning-in to the presidential campaign for the first time and are not fully conversant with all the sordid details of this scandal. The time for prosecution by Trump was at that moment! Yet, it was squandered!
Another issue that was not raised by Donald Trump (nor Lester Holt) during the debate was the interplay of the Clinton Foundation to HRC during her tenure as Secretary of State, and the mounting evidence of favorable treatment and even billion dollar deals rendered to foreign fat-cats and governments by the State Department, for those who made sizeable contributions to the Foundation. As an example, a Russian oligarch, friend of Vladimir Putin and major contributor to the Clinton Foundation, successfully negotiated a deal with Clinton’s State Department whereby he cornered one-fifth of America’s uranium reserves! Another deal involved State taking Algeria off the list of countries that promote terrorism after a hefty contribution was made to the Foundation. Are these the quos of the quid-pro-quos that grease these contributions?
The Clintons, who left the White House “dead broke” in 2001, are now are worth well over $111 million dollars. While Bill Clinton has been able to getting away with charging upwards of $500,000 per speech worldwide; many to odorous and oppressive regimes, what are the sources for the accrual of rest of this massive wealth? It has been reported that the Clinton Foundation has been rated as one of the worst charities in regard to the ratio of the amount of money that goes to the charitable causes compared to funds paid for “expenses.” For instance, in 2013 the Foundation took in $140 million dollars, yet spent only $9 million on direct aid! Where is the rest of this money going to?
Charges have been made that the Foundation is actually the Clinton family slush fund. The accounting ledgers are said to be a mess. Further, what was the true motivation for these foreign powers to give so generously, when Hillary was Secretary of State? For only altruistic reasons? That doesn’t pass the Realpolitik smell test! The interplay of Hillary Clinton as Secretary of State (and future president?) with foreign donations to the Clinton Foundation has all the earmarks of a multi-million dollar Pay-to-Play arrangement that puts to shame all previous schemes in the history American grafting politicians! No wonder Hillary’s aides were so assiduous in attempting to obliterate her 33,000 “private” emails. Yet, this issue was not explored by Lester Holt nor raised by Donald Trump. Instead, valuable time was wasted by Trump in bringing up Rosie O’Donnell. You don’t win the presidency by bringing up Rosie O’Donnell!
Other issues not raised in the debate by either Lester Holt or the GOP candidate for Hillary’s explanations; among others, include the impending collapse of Obamacare with the sticker-shock of massive premium increases scheduled to be released one week before the election (don’t bet on it!); her lies about Benghazi; Clinton’s plan to use executive orders to grant legal status and a path to citizenship to vast swaths of illegal aliens; her plan to increase the entry of immigrants from ISIS infested countries and her radical stance on abortion on demand to the moment of birth. Also left untouched was Hillary’s outrageous blanket condemnation of all Anerican police officers as being inherently racist! She was not called to account for any of these topics.
Before the first debate, the polls were closing in favor of Trump, both nationally and in the battleground states. Since the debate, Trump has boasted of non-scientific call-in polls that had him as the winner of the debate. In contrast, the media/entertainment conglomerate has labeled Hillary Clinton as the winner and has taken much glee in ridiculing Trump’s performance. Even Trump’s advisors have gently hinted that he could have done better.
As of this writing, the post-debate scientific polls have yet to come out. Will Hillary Clinton get a bounce in this most unusual year and if so, how much of an advantage will she receive? Did the debate pull her back from the abyss? Or, has the electorate already discounted “Donald for being Donald” and Trump will not suffer a great penalty for his debate performance? After all, he still remains the change agent in this most unusual year!
There are two presidential debates that are still to come and history has shown that the winner of the first debate in 2004 (Kerry) and 2012 (Romney), went on to lose the election. Also, much still can transpire in the next 42 days. Donald Trump had never before participated in a one-on-debate and by all accounts he is a fast learner. Two questions remain, will Trump be able to control his volatility in debates #2 and #3 and better prosecute his case and further, will it be enough?
-The Chicago Patriot