By Andrew Bolt ~
I have mentioned a number of times how this Presidential Campaign is being covered here in Australia more than any earlier campaign has ever been covered. Every night, on every one of the major TV networks, there is always some news on the campaign. In much the same manner as it is in the U.S. nearly every commentary favours Hillary Clinton, and if anything much is said about Donald Trump, it is nearly always negative and unfavourable. The debate was covered here in full, three hours of it in fact, by the National Broadcaster here in Australia, the ABC on its News Network. I didn’t watch it as it was around Midday our time in Australia, and frankly, I had other things to do. I did however listen to a Current Affairs program not long after the debate finished, and that also was on the ABC, this on the radio. The commentator said that Hillary Clinton won the debate in a very convincing manner, and that Trump was all but slaughtered. Everything they said was positive for Hillary and negative for Donald Trump. Had I based my opinion about the Campaign on this, then it would be significantly in favour of Hillary Clinton. Luckily, I know a lot better than that. Andrew Bolt has a differing opinion, probably the only one I have seen from Australia that has anything nice to say about Donald Trump…..TonyfromOz.
Hillary Clinton won the debate against Donald Trump. But did Trump gain most from it?
Trump clearly won the first third of the debate, so much so that Clinton kept yelling to her fact-checkers for help.
He clobbered her as someone who’d been part of the political class for 30 years – a political class now despised. He clearly exposed her as weak on trade deals that Trump claimed were unfair and had sent manufacturing jobs overseas. He did a Bernie Sanders on her.
Trump came back to that line of attack at the end, noting she’d also been Secretary of State while the Islamic State grew from “a baby” to an operation active in 30 countries. And now she claims to have a plan to fight it?
But for most of the last two thirds Trump was beaten up. The alleged bully was in fact attacked by Clinton as a racist, sexist, tax-dodging businessman who was probably deep in debt and had “stiffed” many small businesses by not paying them what he owed.
Trump’s ego kept getting in the way. He simply could not admit he at first backed the Iraq war (albeit in an offhand way) and spent a ludicrously long time urging reporters to ask Sean Hannity what he’d once allegedly said, apparently in private. He was hopeless in explaining why he’d spent four years after the release of Barack Obama’s birth certificate still suggesting he was not American born. He even seemed to suggest Clinton was right, and he’d not paid much in tax.
Question is how much all that hurts him.
Trump did not come badly unstuck on policy, but on the personal. Yet he still stands as the challenger to the establishment, which Clinton represents and could not deny.
Clinton was clearly better in the debate, yet the best she could project was competence. Not leadership.
And not likability, either.
Trump was not knocked out by any means. But another debate or two like that and he might be.
Andrew Bolt writes for the Herald Sun, Daily Telegraph, and The Advertiser and runs Australia’s most-read political blog. On week nights he hosts The Bolt Report on Sky News at 7pm and his Macquarie Radio show at 8pm with Steve Price.