As the panel on Special Report looked at Donald Trump’s debate performance and the after effects, Charles Krauthammer described how Trump’s vanity emerges when he has the freedom to express himself:
I don’t understand why everybody is surprised at his lack of discipline. He has been out there for 15 months. He is completely undisciplined. Yes, for a month he has been led around, shackled, handcuffed by his staff, made to read from the Teleprompter. But the minute you let him loose – meaning on the debate stage where there is no prompter, and the immediately after when he is reacting — what emerges is his central weakness: vanity. You have seen this all along.
I don’t know whether his strategy was to go after target audiences. I suspect that’s what his staff was hoping. Trump’s strategy is to express himself. He did extremely well in doing that in the primaries. He came out of nowhere. There weren’t a lot of people who thought he could. And he trusts himself. Is anybody surprised he is continuing the feud with Miss Universe? The worst part was that little interjection about not paying taxes, which he now has to defend as well. Because this is a man who, when he is personally attacked, has to reflexively respond to defend his self-image. That’s what drives him, and that’s what explains all of the things that appear to be puzzling my colleagues over here [on the panel].