2016 Presidential Debate II – Analysis

Despite the expected humiliation of Donald Trump during the second presidential debate, Trump dominated shortly after the initial round of questions, which included an attack on Trump’s character by Mrs. Clinton, in connection with the crude and unsavory language reflected in a leaked tape of Trump, having a private conversation upon arriving at the set of a television soap opera in 2005.

Trump masterfully handled the attack, in following up his initial video apology, with a second apology to the American people for his disgraceful remarks. Perhaps the most salient part of his apology was not the apology itself, but rather the admission of embarrassment; which poignantly indicates he truly recognized the shameful and wrongful nature of the language used in the conversation. Accordingly, his apology was likely construed as authentic.

In the context of debating, Trump quickly went on the offensive, and raised the hypocrisy of Clinton, by bringing four of the women, allegedly sexually assaulted by President Bill Clinton, and subsequently verbally attacked publically by Hillary Clinton in the aftermath of these alleged assaults. From a tactical standpoint, this was a very shrewd move by Trump, as having these women at the debate, and holding a press conference with them earlier in the day, almost certainly caused some anxiety among the Clinton campaign staff, and served as a warning to Mrs. Clinton that Trump was fully prepared to compare his treatment and attitude toward women with that of the Clintons, before 60 million people watching the debate. This tactic almost certainly compelled Clinton to quickly leave this issue, and transition into a debate on policy. This transition into a policy discussion worked to Trump’s advantage, for the simple reason that he is correct on the major policy issues, including border security and immigration, the economy and jobs, national security and ISIS, Obamacare, the Middle East, and Russia, and the Second Amendment.

Clinton was mostly on the defensive throughout the debate, while Trump adeptly articulated his policies, and hit Clinton particularly hard on deleting her e-mails after Congress had issued a subpoena. Trump demonstrated knowledge of the issues, was poised, focused, and quick-witted. Despite being on the offensive, he avoided being mean-spirited, and appeared presidential. Trump clearly won this debate, and restored his campaign’s election viability.

Article By Allen Sutton