The first Presidential Debate between Republican candidate Donald Trump and his Democratic opponent,Hilary Clinton on September 26, lived up to the expectation of Americans and people around the world in one respect. A record 81 million people watched the show and this made it the most watched Presidential Debate in American history.
Even from the front of a television screen, the huge suspense and diverse expectations that surrounded the event were all so palpable.There was so much history-making in the offing. For the first time, a man from outside the American political class, namely billionaire businessman,Donald Trump was making it this far in electioneering. Hilary Clinton,obviously the most experienced American politician to contest the presidency was making history as the first woman to have gotten to the level of the presidential debate. Added to all that was the fact that the two candidates were running neck-to-neck.
Both Clinton and Trump dressed in opposition colours for the evening, obviously to appeal to voters in their rival parties. Trump wore a blue tie (Democratic colour) and Hillary Clinton wore a red overall suit.
Hillary Clinton seemed more prepared, looking calm and smiling even when Donald Trump brought forward his attacks. For the first thirty minutes, Donald Trump was at his best, putting Hillary in a hot corner especially on issues concerning the American economy, the North America Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) and the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) many consider a failure and which Hillary denied supporting.
On issues concerning race relations spurring from the rise in the killing of unarmed black men by the Police, Donald Trump failed to properly address the root, but dwelt on empowering law enforcement and safeguarding the inner cities.
After 30 minutes, it appeared that Trump, a known showman who draws energy from a cheering audience,apparently got tired of the quiet atmosphere and began to fall prey to Clinton’s baits. She got him. He would reply her jabs and sometimes made rather ridiculous comments. For instance, he called himself “smart” in reply to Clinton’s accusation that he probably has not been paying his taxes.
Each candidate was given 2 minutes for most questions, Donald Trump interrupted Hillary about 30 times during her turn and looked somewhat uncomfortable, intermittently taking sips of water from a glass many times, Many analysts believe Trump should have used the debate as an opportunity to push forward his ideas, policies and solutions to the problems he has identified as plaguing America. Instead, he was on the defensive for most of the last 50 minutes of the debate.
Hillary Clinton’s vast experience in both politics and political debates obviously paid off as she backed her arguments with facts and figures, especially on international issues. She had Trump in the corner many times and gave him no chances. Clearly, the former Secretary of State used her time off the campaign trail to do an in-depth study of her opponent and knew how to shield herself from Trump’s attacks.
Donald Trump still has two more debates to prove he can be the next president of the United States but Hillary Clinton obviously stole this show. Ratings have begun coming in with CNN projecting Hillary could have won with as much as 62% while Trump got 27% .