7

Scott Adams’ Take on the Debate

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Scott Adams, the creator of Dilbert, has had probably the most acute analysis on this strange campaign this year.  Here is his take on the debate:

 

I just watched the debate on replay. Trump won bigly. This one wasn’t close. And keep in mind that I called Clinton the winner of the first debate, and I now endorse Gary Johnson, primarily to avoid being called an alleged enabler of alleged sex abusers and their alleged enablers. That basket of deplorables includes both Bill and Hillary Clinton (the alleged doer and the alleged cleaner-upper) plus Trump and his alleged misdeeds.

Some quick reactions…

1. When the Access Hollywood tape came up, Trump dismissed it as locker room banter that he regrets. You expected that part. The persuasion move was that he quickly contrasted that “small” issue with images of ISIS beheadings, and cage-drownings. It was a high ground maneuver, a powerful visual anchor (like the Rosie O’Donnell move from his first primary debate), and a contrast play. In this framing, Trump cares about saving your life while Clinton cares about your choice of words. I realize the issue is Trump’s alleged deeds, not his words. But in terms of debate persuasion, Trump nailed it hard.

2. Clinton’s body language was defensive. Trump is physically larger and prowled the stage. He won the optics. It only got worse when a fly landed on Clinton’s face mid-answer. Both candidates looked perfect in terms of wardrobe and hair, given what they have to work with.

3. Trump threw in enough random details about Syria to persuade viewers that he knows more than they thought he knew. And he did a great job selling the idea that he knows more than the generals (as ridiculous as that sounds), at least in terms of not announcing where we plan to attack. I agree with the moderator who said there might be good reasons for announcing attacks – such as giving time for civilians to leave – but it wasn’t quite a counter-argument. Trump succeeded in looking informed on Syria, and at the same time reinforced the “can’t keep a secret” theme for Clinton.

4. Trump’s pre-debate show with Bill’s alleged victims dismantled Clinton’s pro-woman high ground before the debate even started. I didn’t see the pre-debate show, but I assume it was impactful. It had to be. Clinton looked shaken from the start.

5. The best quotable moments from the debate are pro-Trump. His comment about putting Clinton in jail has that marvelous visual persuasion quality about it, and it was the laugh of the night, which means it will be repeated endlessly. He also looked like he meant it.

Clinton’s Abe Lincoln defense for two-faced politicking failed as hard as anything can fail. Mrs. Clinton, I knew Abe Lincoln, and you’re no Abe Lincoln. You know that was in your head. Or it will be. 

6. Most of the rest was policy stuff that no one understands or cares about. We don’t know how to fix Obamacare or what to do with TPP. But by acting competent on these and other policy issues, Trump gains more than Clinton in persuasion.

7. Trump attacked Clinton on emails, and did a good job. His base needed that.

8. Clinton had to defend her “deplorables” comment. She said she regretted it. Regret isn’t what the public wanted to hear. That’s about her. They wanted to hear that she doesn’t think that way. She failed to address the emotional part of that topic, and that’s a persuasion fail. Continue Reading

11

As Hillary Reaches for the Smelling Salts

 

 

Bill Clinton’s deposition on Monica Lewinsky.  A good thing to remember when Hillary rants tonight about how outraged she is about what Trump said.  Ah for the halcyon days of that Clinton’s presidency when parents had to shoo kids out of the room when the news came on, and when oral sex and the oval office became synonymous.  Trump is a pig, but having these characters act morally outraged over Trump is truly nauseating.

19

Debate Open Thread

 

 

The second debate between Trump and Clinton starts at 8:00 PM Central Time tonight, and for lovers of political theater it promises to be exceptional.  Any other politician would be dead meat now but Donald Trump is not “any other politician.”  He isn’t a politician at all, as he has demonstrated time and time again in this campaign.  What began, I suspect, as a vanity ride for him, has turned into a political movement that has been consistently underestimated by his foes, including me.  Well, I am done underestimating Donald Trump.  Tonight promises to be an epic disaster for him, but I would not be surprised to see him throw away the political rulebook yet again and snatch a victory from a debacle.  We shall see.  For a political junkie like me, it does not get any better than this.

 

Update:  Trump has just held a news conference featuring Juanita Broaddrick, Paula Jones, Kathleen Willey and Kathy Shelton.  It looks like he is taking the nuclear option unless this is a pre-debate headfake.

 

Update:  Trump thus far, a half hour into the debate, is bringing his A game in the debate:  Calm, articulate and on the attack.  He has won most of the exchanges with Hillary.

Update:  An hour in Trump is more than holding his own.  Clinton came into this debate over confident and Trump came in knowing that he couldn’t afford another loss.  Frank Luntz’ focus group is showing that 17 think Trump is winning, 4 think Hillary is winning and 9 think it is a tie.

Update:  I called the first debate for Clinton and I think Trump is just as clearly the victor in the second debate.  A bravura performance considering the pressure Trump is under.

Update:  From the Luntz focus group:

Focus Group: Who are you willing to vote for?

BEFORE #DEBATE • Hillary: 8 • Trump: 9

AFTER DEBATE • Hillary: 4 • Trump: 18

45

Politics Open Thread

The most hilarious feature in the above video is the idea that Bill Clinton and Hillary Clinton are sleeping together.  Lots of political news, all of it unedifying.  We have Trump from 2005 talking to Billy Bush, yes a scion of that Bush family, braying about his attempt to physically seduce a married woman.  Trump is a pig about women?  Who knew?  Then we have hacks of Hillary’s three speeches to Goldman Sachs, for which she was paid $675,000 for slightly more than three hours of speechmaking, hitherto kept secret, back in 2013 where we learn, to our stupified amazement, that she says one thing in public and one thing in private as a matter of policy, and that she believes in utopian schemes, such as having a common market for North and South America powered by green energy.

 

Too much going on in the law mines today for me to do more than note all this in passing.  This open thread is your opportunity to comment on the political scene.  As usual, be concise, be charitable and, above all, be amusing!

 

18

Yeah, It Was Just Pneumonia

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As resolutely as most of the media attempts to ignore it, signs continue that there is something seriously wrong with Hillary’s health:

‘We love you, Hillary!’ an audience member shouted, giving her time to recompose herself. ‘Thank you!!’ Clinton replied.

She coughed once more and cleared her throat three additional times before she fully recovered. 

At the end of her remarks, as she was headed for the exit, Breitbart News noted that Clinton had to reach out for her lead Secret Service agent’s arm and steady herself for a moment before she descended down the steps.

It was the second time this week Clinton lost the struggle to control her voice in public. Since developing pneumonia, she’s had coughing fits several times and observers have noticed strangeness about her gaze. 

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