The Corner

We Got The Debate We Deserved Tonight

First, Lester Holt did not do the best of jobs on the one thing a moderator is supposed to do — control the allocation of time and prevent the candidates from talking over each other — but he did the right thing in mostly letting them talk and let the voters see them for who they are.

Second, both candidates showed up as . . . themselves. Trump filibustered and blustered and attacked Hillary from the left as well as the right; Hillary went for the wonkish support and the prepared, canned answers, the low-hanging fruit on sexism, and the adult answers on foreign policy that sounded like George W. Bush but ignored the actual facts of the Obama years. As I noted earlier, what Hillary very obviously did not do was to try to explain why Trump is not a normal Republican — yet she also did not really try to hang him around the necks of down-ticket Republicans. Both sides ignored the down-ticket, party-building types of answers.

Was there a winner tonight? Not an obvious one to the informed viewer, but then any informed person would run from these two candidates in horror. Some of Trump’s most effective moments were also his most demagogic, on TPP and Iraq and crime. If this debate moves the needle, it may be for reasons totally unrelated to reason.

Dan McLaughlin is an attorney practicing securities and commercial litigation in New York City, and a contributing columnist at National Review Online.

Most Popular

Law & the Courts

The FBI’s Corrupt Cops

White-collar criminals should hope for one thing this Christmas: that they get to live under the Horowitz rules. Michael Horowitz has testified that he found no evidence of political bias on the part of the decision makers who, under the Obama administration, relied on hilariously implausible “evidence” ... Read More
Law & the Courts

The FBI’s Corrupt Cops

White-collar criminals should hope for one thing this Christmas: that they get to live under the Horowitz rules. Michael Horowitz has testified that he found no evidence of political bias on the part of the decision makers who, under the Obama administration, relied on hilariously implausible “evidence” ... Read More
Elections

Diversity Panic Hits the Democratic Field

Stop me if you’ve heard this one before. An Asian guy, two black guys, three white women (one of whom spent much of her life claiming to be Native American), a Pacific Islander woman, a gay guy, a Hispanic guy, two elderly Caucasian Jews (one a billionaire, the other a socialist), a self-styled Irishman, and a ... Read More
Elections

Diversity Panic Hits the Democratic Field

Stop me if you’ve heard this one before. An Asian guy, two black guys, three white women (one of whom spent much of her life claiming to be Native American), a Pacific Islander woman, a gay guy, a Hispanic guy, two elderly Caucasian Jews (one a billionaire, the other a socialist), a self-styled Irishman, and a ... Read More
White House

Is Trump the Only Adult in the Room?

Donald Trump certainly is mercurial at times. He can be uncouth. But then again, no president in modern memory has been on the receiving end of such overwhelmingly negative media coverage and a three-year effort to abort his presidency, beginning the day after his election. Do we remember the effort to ... Read More
White House

Is Trump the Only Adult in the Room?

Donald Trump certainly is mercurial at times. He can be uncouth. But then again, no president in modern memory has been on the receiving end of such overwhelmingly negative media coverage and a three-year effort to abort his presidency, beginning the day after his election. Do we remember the effort to ... Read More