The gloves are about to come off as both candidates step onto the podium and try to win over America. The first of several highly anticipated debates kicked off on Monday September 26th, 2016.
Will Trump be able to go a full 90 minutes without making a statement that causes outrage? Will Clinton be able to win over the trust of Americans as she faces her opponent and battles for a wider lead?
Debate Topics and Focus
Monday’s debate had three sections focused on three different topics that were announced at least one week prior to the event. Typically each segment is 15 minutes long and begins with a question. Both candidates got two minutes each to respond to the question, and to respond to each other. Any extra time left on the clock for that particular question was elaborated on through additional clarifying questions posed by the moderator.
- America’s Direction
- Achieving Prosperity
- Securing America
What to Look for in Tonight’s Debate
While the moderator will keep candidates on track, many will look for our next potential leader to also address current affairs. It’s expected that each candidate will weave in current affairs into the topics listed above, including the Syrian Civil War crisis, recent police brutality events, and immigration. The topics’ three main categories lend themselves to address those topics within the response, but if and how the candidates reply will depend on the overall debate.
The debate was moderated by Lester Holt and hosted at Hofstra University, in Hempstead, NY. Both candidates approached the podium with a cheer from the crowd, and after a brief greeting and handshake, the debate kicked off.
The Verbal Battle
The verbal battle began when Trump and Clinton were asked how they plan to bring jobs back to Americans, improve the growth rate, and address the debt. Clinton handled the topic with specifics about how to improve the economy through her vision of job creations, including businesses such as energy companies and other industries. When the moderator specifically asked Donald Trump how he intends to bring back American jobs, he danced around the topic and redirected the question towards how Clinton has failed to change the economy and keep businesses within the states.
It didn’t take long into the debate before Trump began his rant, throwing around insults and blame, instead of keeping on topic and addressing the moderator’s questions. Clinton worked to maintain control of her speech goals and address the questions through specific answers, while trying not to fall victim to Trump’s bullying.
Discussions on racial issues didn’t offer much more insight into the candidates’ stance on how to heal the nation. Trump focused on trying to debunk his “birther campaign,” while Clinton focused more on Donald’s previous downfalls with various minorities.
Cyber-warfare opened a can of worms for Trump and his questionable relationships with Putin. In defense, Trump responded with his most recent endorsements by admirals and generals, but failed to give any specifics around what he would do to protect the US against a cyber-war.
How did the Candidates Do?
The two candidates each had their own goals in the first presidential debate. Trump needed to show his ability to lead the country and demonstrate a level head. Clinton was working towards relating to the viewers and voters. In the end, Trump couldn’t keep his cool and reverted back to his notorious insults and rants.
Clinton didn’t quite get her message across either, trying to respond back to the litany of insults while answering the questions. One can only hope that the future debates will offer more detail and meat around the topics so many Americans are needing to hear.