The fi rst debate between the two aspirants for what has been described as the most powerful post in the world was a study in contrasts. On one side, you had a seasoned insider, someone who has not just worked the system for decades, more if you include her years as First Lady, promising continuity and a centrist world view. On the other side, you had a brash, aggressive, rich outsider using the most effective tool a politician has ever had: blame outsiders for your problems, and pledge to fi x it.
“I will cut taxes, and I will bring back jobs,” declared Donald Trump, knowing that these two words would loudly resonate with the people who matter, the people who vote. Truth is the fi rst casualty in a war. So it is not surprising that both sides in this war preferred to be less than factual during their debate, which dwelt not just on jobs and the economy, but complex and diverse subjects like climate change, crime, the law and the military, and even how to deal with the scourge of the Islamic State.
When somewhere at the end of the debate, the question turned to presidential ability and stamina, Trump not only uestioned Hillary Clinton’s judgment, but her looks and her stamina. Clinton cited her stint as Secretary of State and other experience to prove that she had the endurance, before adding: “You know, he tried to switch from looks to stamina. But this is a man who has called women pigs, slobs and dogs, and someone who has said pregnancy is an inconvenience to employers, who has said women don’t deserve equal pay unless they do as good a job as men.”
US Presidential debates—there are at least two more coming up—don’t tell what you can expect come election day November 8. They do, however, give Americans and the rest of the world some idea of what they can expect if either of them enters the White House.