Clinton's Baiting Traps Trump in First Debate

Hillary-Clinton-versus-Donald-Trump-Debate-1.pngHillary Rodham Clinton, the 69-year-old former Secretary of State striving to become the first female President of the United States, goaded rival Donald J. Trump, the 70-year-old New York City real estate tycoon, into losing his cool and looking most un-Presidential in the first of three scheduled nationally televised debates Monday night.

Clinton came prepared for the 105-minute debate held at Hofstra University in Hempstead, NY. Trump did not. As usual, he tried to wing it. It didn't work.

The debates' rules barred Trump from using insults to intimidate opponents as he did in his nomination campaign. Still, he tried, but fell flat on his face when Clinton used humor and a smile to thwart his effort this time around.

Like the time he boasted, near the end of the debate, that Clinton doesn't have a Presidential appearance.  "She doesn't have the look...She has no business ability...She doesn't have the stamina to be President of this country. You need tremendous stamina."

Trump added, often in fractured sentences and talking quickly:  "You have to be able to negotiate our trade deals. You have to be able to negotiate what's right with Japan, with Saudi Arabia.

"I mean, can you imagine we're defending Saudi Arabia and with all of the money they have, we're defending them and they're not paying their way. You have to speak to them. What you have is so many different things, you have to be able to do and I don't believe that Hillary has the stamina" to do it.

When debate moderator Lester Holt asked Clinton to respond, she

just smiled, raised her eyebrows a tad, then replied:

" soon as he travels to 112 countries and negotiates a peace deal, a cease-fire release of dissidents and opening of new opportunities and nations around the world, or even spends 11 hours testifying in front of a Congressional committee, he can talk to me about stamina."

Clinton, the wife of former President Bill Clinton, clearly won the debate. It was watched by an estimated 100 million viewers around the world and has been called the biggest electronic event in history to date.

Clinton's victory wasn't a knockout but it was solid. Trump's loss was big but it wasn't disastrous. He has an opportunity to come back strong in the next two scheduled debates. I don't think he will. That's because he feels he has the answers to all of the nation's problems. But he clearly does not.

The debates were scheduled so that, among other things, undecided voters might be swayed into voting for either candidate as the Nov. 8 election time nears. It was also the first time that Clinton and Trump had personally met and also the first time Trump had debated one-on-one, instead of one against 15 or so contenders as was the case in his nomination race.

But it is doubtful if either Trump or Clinton won over many new voters with their responses. What the Hofstra University and television audience heard and saw were a hodge-podge of critical national issues being brought up quickly by both sides with few solutions offered by either candidate.

It really wasn't a true political debate in the correct sense of the term.

Still, Trump looked a little Presidential-like when the debate opened when he responded to a few of moderator Holt's questions but then he lapsed into his usual blustering, egotistical, mixed-up bag of replies that he used previously on the nomination trail.

He also lost points later in the debate with both the audience and Holt when he questioned Holt on his (Trump's) position on the Iraq War. Clinton had baited Trump on this issue when he first vehemently accused her of supporting the Iraq war.

Trump lashed out: "I did not support the war in Iraq. That is a mainstream media nonsense put out by Hillary because she frankly...I think her whole campaign is made up of mainstream media. My question is I was against the a minute; I was against the war in Iraq. Just put it out."

Moderator Holt interjected. "But the record shows you are wrong" about that.

Trump shouted: "The record shows that I am right. When I did an interview with Howard Stern, very likely the first time that anyone asked me that, I said, very lightly, I don't know. Maybe. Who knows?"

Clinton also baited Trump on his repeated boasting of his business ability and that he had developed some of the more notable real estate projects in the country.

"I have met a lot of people who were stiffed by you and your businesses, Donald," Clinton said. "I've met dishwashers, painters, architects, glass installers, marble installers, drapery installers like my Dad was, who you refused to pay when they finished the work that you asked them to do.

"We have an architect in the audience who designed one of your clubhouses at one of hour golf courses. It's a beautiful facility. It immediately was put to use. And you would not pay when the man needed to be paid when he was charging you."

Replied Trump: "Maybe...I was unsatisfied with his work.  Which our country should do, too."

That's an example of the disjointed answers Trump uses when confronted with an embarrassing question. He did it throughout his entire nomination campaign and he is still doing it. He seldom answers a question directly and to the point.

With all their ideological and political differences, however, Trump and Clinton said they would support the winner of the Nov. 8 election.

Viewers get another chance to see them Oct. 9 in the second Presidential Debate at Washington University in St. Louis, MO. Moderators will be ABC News' Martha Raddatz and CNN's Anderson Cooper.

The third and final debate is Oct. 19 at the University of Nevada in Las Vegas, NV. Fox News' Chris Wallace is the moderator.

If those three debates don't tire you out, there is still a Vice Presidential Debate scheduled for Oct. 4 at Longwood University in Farmville, VA. Elaine Quijano of CBS News is the moderator.


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