100 million Americans were expected to watch tonight’s debate. As such, both candidates had a lot to win, and a lot to lose. These are my five key moments.
1. Trump’s Trade War Attacks
Donald Trump was incredibly aggressive in challenging Hillary Clinton on trade affairs and her previous support of trade deals such as NAFTA and the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP). Mr. Trump’s early focus here was important for two reasons. First, it shows the Trump campaign believes he will succeed in persuading independent voters in critical swing states such as Ohio and Pennsylvania to join his movement. Many Americans, including many liberals, in those states are deeply skeptical of free trade deals and may gravitate towards Mr. Trump’s message. Second, Mr. Trump showed he will use trade as his key argument to undercut Mrs. Clinton’s argument that she is the candidate of change. His focus here was simple: “I will look out for your jobs and Hillary will lose them”. Expect much more on trade before November.
By indicating about jobs, he might have suggested cutting on foreign nationals serving high positions in the country or restriction of using automation and intelligent technology like Crypto CFD Trader as a replacement of human professionals. If machines replace humans to do an activity, that job may be lost but a human only makes the robot and that is a more challenging role.
2. Trump’s Iraq War Rant
Mr. Trump was furious when moderator, Lester Holt, stated that Mr. Trump had supported the Iraq War. He wouldn’t let it go. And as Mr. Trump lost composure, the crowd became audibly uncomfortable. But by using his allotted time to reference the past rather than articulating critiques of Mrs. Clinton, he gave the former Secretary of State an opening to assert her own record uncontested. Mr. Trump then appeared to rule out a nuclear first strike. That line may not render as critically important with many Americans, but it will definitely hurt Mr. Trump with the Republican national security establishment. Mr. Trump’s only saving grace here was his flip on Mrs. Clinton’s claim that she has experience. Agreeing with Mrs. Clinton’s assessment that she possessed significant experience, Mr. Trump added that Mrs. Clinton’s experience was all bad.
3. Clinton’s “You’re not Ready” Strategy Against Trump
Just as Mr. Trump was determined to persuade voters that Mrs. Clinton is untrustworthy, Mrs. Clinton advanced the notion that Mr. Trump is inherently dangerous. She was sending undecided Americans an implicit message: “you might not trust me, but you cannot trust your future with Donald Trump.” Mrs. Clinton was clever in framing this “fear Trump” narrative. Recognizing Mr. Trump’s confident penchant for quick jabs, Mrs. Clinton articulated policy specifics where she has greater knowledge than her opponent. But she also responded to Mr. Trump’s more surrealist comments with calls for the fact checkers to get checking. These efforts – subtle and unsubtle – are designed to persuade Americans she is the only option for competence and knowledge.
4. Clinton’s Anti-Police Narrative
Mrs. Clinton’s line of argument on police issues was highly negative. She portrayed most American police officers as either poorly trained or inherently prejudiced. It was a bad miscalculation. While there are very obvious and serious issues with the policing of minority communities in America, the presentation of police officers as a flawed class of citizens will play badly with many Americans. In rural communities, citizens often have close relationships with those who police them and Mrs. Clinton’s words will play as deeply unfair and even dishonorable. Moreover, Mr. Trump’s claims that minority communities have been neglected by Democratic policies will also find some sympathy.
5. Trump’s Stamina Attack
Mr. Trump made a significant error when he failed to back away from his previous insinuations that Mrs. Clinton lacks the stamina to be president. His words were poorly chosen here, and the Clinton campaign will quickly apply his words to paint the Republican nominee as anti-women. It will be interesting to see if any shifts occur in female-demographic polling data in the days ahead.
Tom Rogan is a foreign policy columnist for National Review, a domestic policy columnist forOpportunity Lives, a panelist on The McLaughlin Group and a senior fellow at the Steamboat Institute. Follow him on Twitter @TomRtweets.