First debate to Clinton — key question how Trump rallies

EDITORIAL

The much-anticipated debate between the two candidates for the United States presidency saw neither Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump land what could be considered a killer blow.

In boxing terms, Clinton had a clear points victory but she failed to record a knock-out. The Donald is still very much in the contest.

Pre-debate hype saw a total audience of 80 million in the US, the kind of figures usually only reached for Gridiron’s Super Bowl. As often happens after such a build-up, the actual event was a little flat.

Clinton showed her legal background by being well prepared and having a good grasp of all the necessary facts. She saved her barbs, such as Trump’s refusal to release his income tax details, until later in the debate when the audience ignored the moderator’s instructions and applauded.

Trump got in some good punches of his own, including over Clinton using a private email account while Secretary of State — although she skilfully softened that by admitting her error.

Trump restrained his more boorish behaviours . . . the question is whether he will be tempted to revert to his usual character in the next two debates.

In many ways the first debate was more important to Clinton, whose backers have watched with alarm as Trump closed on her in the polls and probably feared that she would be overwhelmed.

The NBC-run debate will not have changed any opinions among Trump’s hard-core supporters, but he has a lot of work to do in the next two debates to win over wavering voters.

There is a mood for change in America, where 70 percent of people feel the country is going backwards. It is also significant that only one third of voters describe either candidate as honest and trustworthy. Barack Obama is much more popular — a classic case of, “you don’t know what you’ve got till it has gone”.

The prospect of a Trump presidency alarms most of the Western world and this has grown as he closed the earlier gap between the two. Yesterday’s debate would have done little to ease those fears.

The much-anticipated debate between the two candidates for the United States presidency saw neither Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump land what could be considered a killer blow.

In boxing terms, Clinton had a clear points victory but she failed to record a knock-out. The Donald is still very much in the contest.

Pre-debate hype saw a total audience of 80 million in the US, the kind of figures usually only reached for Gridiron’s Super Bowl. As often happens after such a build-up, the actual event was a little flat.

Clinton showed her legal background by being well prepared and having a good grasp of all the necessary facts. She saved her barbs, such as Trump’s refusal to release his income tax details, until later in the debate when the audience ignored the moderator’s instructions and applauded.

Trump got in some good punches of his own, including over Clinton using a private email account while Secretary of State — although she skilfully softened that by admitting her error.

Trump restrained his more boorish behaviours . . . the question is whether he will be tempted to revert to his usual character in the next two debates.

In many ways the first debate was more important to Clinton, whose backers have watched with alarm as Trump closed on her in the polls and probably feared that she would be overwhelmed.

The NBC-run debate will not have changed any opinions among Trump’s hard-core supporters, but he has a lot of work to do in the next two debates to win over wavering voters.

There is a mood for change in America, where 70 percent of people feel the country is going backwards. It is also significant that only one third of voters describe either candidate as honest and trustworthy. Barack Obama is much more popular — a classic case of, “you don’t know what you’ve got till it has gone”.

The prospect of a Trump presidency alarms most of the Western world and this has grown as he closed the earlier gap between the two. Yesterday’s debate would have done little to ease those fears.

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