Much like the first debate — and grading on the Trump Curve® — Trump had a good start. He started more disciplined, and sustained that discipline longer, than in any other debate. He won on many issues, particularly abortion (though most of the credit for that goes to Chris Wallace who actually asked a question about partial birth abortion). But, about 30 minutes in, Trump started interrupting and showboating. It wasn’t much at first, but it got worse and worse. The tipping point was his refusal to turn on Vladimir Putin. “He said nice things about me!” is a line he always has to get in. It’s so strange, because he honestly seems to think that repeating this helps him. It doesn’t. After months of criticism that Trump is easily swayed by flattery, when he points out that Putin flattered him and suggests that’s a valid reason for not overly antagonizing Putin it only reinforces the critique.
More to the point, few are impressed that Putin complimented him, and those who are undoubtedly are voting for Trump already. Meanwhile, the few persuadable voters left are probably less likely to vote for him when he says things like that. And that’s just one example. When he snaps “what a nasty woman” at Clinton, what voters not already enthralled with Trump, or resigned to voting for him, are brought into his column? When he blurts out “Wrong!” who, at this point, is charmed by that?
I agree with the already gelled conventional wisdom that Trump’s biggest blunder came when he said we’ll just have to wait and see whether he accepts the results of the election. Whatever arguments you want to make in defense of the response are irrelevant (and judging from the ones I’ve heard on TV, pretty pathetic). He basically gave the media carte blanche to freak out over his answer for at least a week. Don’t get me wrong, I think his answer was awful. But even if I didn’t, it was strategically stupid — unless the goal is to further alienate his core supporters from mainstream American politics in order to create a television network for the ranks of the disaffected (as part of Operation Destroy the GOP).
Jonah was no doubt appalled by the challenge to the Bush/Gore election, too.
Was he out of short trousers back then?
Hillary supported Gore in HIS challenge.
So did most of the liberal media.
You obviously don’t understand how the game is played when you are running as a Republican. Every statement you make, every answer you give, is viewed through the prism of how it will be retold by a press that is basically hostile to a Republican candidate.
The media? You mean Rush and Drudge and Breitbart and Fox News?
Aren’t they the big names?
You people don’t like the fact that most Americans choose to get their news and views from sources that are not “approved” by yourselves.
But HEY! Drudge is reporting that the LA Times poll shows it is all tied up!!!
I mean why would anyone want to look at Huffpolster or Nate Silver’s 538?
Why not go with the rightwing news outlets?
Considering the POSSIBILITY that the “press” is as hostile to Trump as you suggest (never mind the success of the CONSERVATIVE media), doesn’t it baffle you that this buffoon can’t control the taste he has for his own foot long enough to allow himself to actually win even a single debate?
Hillary didn’t inflict mortal damage to The Donald – not once – he did that all by himself, even as FELLOW REPUBLICAN moderator Chris Wallace TRIED to walk him back from the edge. And that’s been the pattern of Trump’s entire campaign. Hillary doesn’t NEED to hit any home runs – she’s walking the bases on Trump’s unforced errors.
I’ve said all along that Trump wasn’t really interested in the presidency, and it’s apparent now that I was correct. I can’t say if he’s doing this self-destructive shtick because he’s really a Democrat at heart and he’s planted himself where he is to throw the election to HIS FRIEND HILLARY, or if it’s really been a grandly and brilliantly successful hoax meant ONLY to launch a TRUMP media empire… or both. Either way, Trump has managed to do more harm to the Republican Party than any presidential candidate before him, and I CAN say that I told you so.