Sitting down and watching the debate this Monday was truly a surreal experience. Firstly, seeing two of the most important people in the country on the Hofstra stage shows just how historical this debate is for both Hofstra, and our country’s history. Going in, I was very eager to see what would transpire. This is the first election I plan to vote in, and also the first presidential debate I have seen.
Initially, both candidates seemed pretty passive. Both Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton gave predictable statements on job growth. Once the sparring began, it was clear Clinton was more politically literate than Trump, as expected. When it came to laying out the specifics on policies, Hillary seemed more prepared than Trump. Hillary was so prepared it even came off as a negative to some. Her responses seemed scripted at times, which definitely hurt her attempted appeal toward Trump supporters.
When it came to Trumps performance, it was very ‘Trump-like.’ That’s really the only way to describe it. He wasn’t afraid of making a white lie or two. He also did not hold back when it came to interrupting Hillary’s statements.
I have to say, I was fairly disappointed with the outcome of the debate. Both candidates gave predictable answers and counters to Lester Holt’s questions. It was pretty obvious that if you supported Hillary, you thought she won, and vise-versa with the Trump supporters. If this debate did not swing some voters in one direction or the other, what point did it serve?
This election cycle has been very odd. No one seems “in the middle” on either candidate. You’re either for Trump, for Hillary, or hate both. Both sides were set in stone on who they were voting for going into Monday night. Either candidate could have done virtual anything on the stage and their supporters would find a way to spin it in the candidates favor. In my opinion, this makes the debates useless.
When it came to answering questions, both Trump and Clinton danced around doing so. Holt (and just about every political moderator ever) did a poor job of forcing these candidates to stay on topic.
At the end of the day, no one was swayed by either candidate. This could be a testament to both Trump and Clinton’s negative approval ratings, but this debate format just seemed to disappoint those who were looking for a debate that would both entertain and inform. You can’t help but ask the question, if the debate did not swing voters in any direction, what point did it really serve?