Just to give you a rough summary of what I thought of the first debate, here are a few rather lengthy observations:
Donald Trump dominated the first 20 minutes to half hour of the encounter. Focusing primarily upon trade, the one public policy he’s immersed himself in-and has a mastery of-played to his strong suit. It also highlighted the stunning hypocrisy at the core of Hillary Clinton’s campaign. Trumpeting her opposition to CAFTA merely served to emphasize her political opportunism, as this stance was crafted expressly with the purpose of securing her left flank in any future Democratic contest. Supporting one of President Bush’s signature foreign policies would have made her path to victory in 2008 that much more difficult. We should recall that Barack Obama was not on her political radar at the time.
Likewise, her opposition to TTP-a pact she enthusiastically promoted as Secretary of State-was born of political opportunism, not genuine conviction. Even without the surprisingly successful Sanders campaign, endorsing a plan which was almost universally opposed by organized labor-the backbone of the Democratic Party even in its current corporatized, Clintonian shell-could have proved fatal to her presidential ambitions. Her labored attempt at triangulation, combined with Trump’s implicit appeal to disenchanted supporters of her primary opponent, was unquestionably the highlight of the debate from his perspective. Read More »