Politically speaking, Donald Trump now a dead man talking

With his performance in last night’s presidential debate, Donald Trump succeeded in his most important task: He survived, and he did so by enlarging the GOP tent just enough to allow his own running mate to squeeze back inside ….

Prior to the debate, a slew of Republican senators, governors and congressmen had withdrawn their support for Trump’s candidacy, calling him “unsuitable for the presidency” and saying they could not support a candidate who “brags about degrading and assaulting women.” In announcing his decision, Sen. Cory Gardner of Colorado called his party’s standard-bearer “a candidate whose flaws go well beyond moral shortcomings and who shows a disgust for American character and a disdain for dignity unbecoming of the presidency.”

Pence himself had walked off the campaign trail and returned home, saying “I do not condone his remarks and cannot defend them” and suggesting that he would take the next 48 hours to reassess his involvement. His home-state newspaper, The Indianapolis Star, quoted sources close to the Indiana governor  as saying that he was “keeping his options open.”

Apparently, Pence saw enough in the debate last night to allow him to return to Trump’s side, thus saving his party a complete collapse. But a lot of other Americans were less convinced. In a CNN poll of debate watchers, 57 percent thought Hillary Clinton had won; just 34 percent gave Trump the victory. A YouGov poll also gave the win to Clinton but more narrowly at 47-42 percent.

Personally, I thought the country dodged a bullet. Yes, the debate was ugly, especially in its first 20 minutes, when Trump and Clinton traded insults and rape allegations and other garbage. But the two participants then moved on, and in the end the event wasn’t the cataclysmic nightmare that I had feared.

Trump was Trump, short on detail, long on bluster and forever untethered to reality. He promised a great health-care plan to replace ObamaCare, and when asked for specifics, he responded by saying it would be really great. He promised to eradicate ISIS, and when asked how he again blustered and feinted. Pressed about the extraordinary intervention in this election by Vladimir Putin on his behalf, he feigned ignorance. His threat to imprison Clinton should he get elected was extraordinary, and in any other election year would have been the political story of the century. And when he wasn’t responding himself, he paced and hovered angrily in the background of the camera shot, doing a pouty Mussolini act.

Clinton was restrained. She knew the polls were swinging strongly in her favor even before release of the Trump “locker room” remarks; she knew that time and momentum are both on her side; she understood that the entire Republican Party is in the throes of collapse. So if Trump self-destructed on the stage last night, that would be fine, but strategically speaking a draw would suit her just fine. She played it low-key, and it worked.

Overall, then, Trump did well enough to slow the exodus of GOP support, even if temporarily, but a campaign fighting hard to keep the support of its own party at this stage is not a campaign capable of victory. And Clinton did more than enough to ensure that her path to the White House remains uncluttered by obstacles.

Reader Comments 0

1307 comments
omark
omark

http://www.nytimes.com/2016/10/11/business/buffett-calls-trumps-bluff-and-releases-his-tax-return.html?action=click&contentCollection=Politics&module=Trending&version=Full®ion=Marginalia&pgtype=article

See Donald? This is how a real man releases his taxes. At the debate, you claimed Warren Buffet had also used the tax codes to avoid paying taxes. At the time, you couldn’t be fact checked on that. No way to know. Well now we do. Despite the fact that he’s not running for president, Warren took it upon himself to release his tax returns. He’s paid taxes every year since 1944. Anyway, lying again. I guess you’re lips were moving.

The truth is, Mr. Buffet hasn’t always paid a lot of taxes. In 1944, for instance, he only paid 7 dollars. He was only 13 at the time. It’s safe to say that Warren didn’t start out with a small million dollar loan from his father.

TomGaff
TomGaff

More than likely you libs are right, Hillary will win! Get ready for O Bama part #2 and a tax increase for all who work(not just the wealthy) to support those who do not work. Free-Stuff for everyone, no need to work for any thing in life? Oh, by the way, wonder if it will bother the public when they find out Hillary was in a lesbian affair at the same time Bill was in his 12 year affair with Gennifer Flowers? Just curious here?

MaryElizabethSings
MaryElizabethSings

Sorry that I could not retrieve the link but I urge everyone to read columnist Eugene Robinson's column today about last night's debate. It is excellent. Robinson is a Pulitzer Prize winning columnist for the Washington Post.

quickdigits
quickdigits

I can see that I am typing this amongst a Large group of Liberals, most of whom don't have a Clue of what will really be best for this country. None of you even Listened to what Trump has to say, but if you did, you might have heard a Lot of concrete solutions to many of the problems we face today. Also, if you Did listen carefully, you would Not have heard Any solutions for our problems coming from Hillary's mouth last night! So why are you all voting for such a smiley faced liar as she is??? You all are a bunch of Morons if you believe her for one minute!!! All I have left to say is that You Will See If she Wins This Presidency....You Will See The Damage She Will Incur To This Great Country, which Most of you have been in the process of Destroying over the years!

hnbc
hnbc

Other than really great plans what in the Sam Hill specifics id deplorable Donald-bully-boy said. You were listening to that debate in the same alternate reality where Trumo lives, aren't you?

Finn-McCool
Finn-McCool

"If this election was a video game and this is the last level of Hillary getting to the office of President, it makes sense that Donald Trump is the final boss she has to slay"

~ paraphrasing John Oliver

Dumbmick
Dumbmick

This is only the beginning folks...Stand back and watch the 'Donald' pull out all the stops is the third and final debate, going even lower than he did in the 95 video with Billy Bush...How anyone could contemplate voting for this "Neanderthal" candidate, in their right mind is beyond me...I'm predicting a virtual 'landslide' for Clinton in November!

Finn-McCool
Finn-McCool

@Dumbmick Trump will hit rock bottom after he loses to a woman for the highest office in the land. Gonna be a back-breaker.

Infraredguy
Infraredguy

News Flash, Obama withdraws his support of Hillary, says when he asked her if she will keep her promise to never say " Its Obama's fault " she said " I don't recall "

ldw-Atlanta
ldw-Atlanta

It is staggering to me that a person like Trump would even have the wildest chance of being president.  I promise you if he was a woman or African-American, he would be sitting at home right now instead of commanding media attention.

CherokeeCounty
CherokeeCounty

@ldw-Atlanta

Van Jones made the excellent point today that if Trump were a black guy, the wingers like td and JReb would be calling him a thug.

Badger30024
Badger30024

Please parse Trump's comments - he was referring to what a star or celebrity can get away with - basically some braggadocio. He did not state that it was necessarily what he does or wants to do. Bad choice of the P word - would have been nothing if he had said a star could grab a butt.

Finn-McCool
Finn-McCool

@Badger30024 Three days later and you still think you can explain Trumps words to someone? 

Did you just wake up from a weekend bender?

Donnie_Pinko
Donnie_Pinko

So the ruling elite has clearly concluded that a Donald Trump presidency is simply unacceptable.

Binderlady2016
Binderlady2016

I will tell you one thing, NBC have named Trump's lewd recordings P-Gate.  So, Donald Trump will forever be remembered in history for P-Gate. Hilarious.

DownInAlbany
DownInAlbany

Trump's next book:  The Art of the Comeback

Caleb Vry
Caleb Vry

Who will he get to write it?

Wascatlady
Wascatlady

I would have loved it if Hillary had said, after trump's threat, "Apparently Mr. trump believes Americans are his vassals, his slaves, and as their lord he can order anything he wants and it will happen.  Well, I'm here to tell you in the USA we believe NO ONE Is above the law, no one can go outside the law to punish his perceived enemies.  When we start countenancing that, folks, we fall into the same kinds of horror as has ruined country after country who puts up with a dictator."


Or something similar.

Caleb Vry
Caleb Vry

No one will ever see those tax returns.

gadem
gadem

@Wascatlady PBO already said that we are not a people that looks to be ruled....although Deplorables are waiting on someone to tell them what to do.

Smokeyone
Smokeyone

Agreed. Jay mentioned it but did not emphasize how truly dangerous this idea is to prosecute and jail one's political opponents. Trump is a danger to this republic.

Binderlady2016
Binderlady2016

@Smokeyone  Trump better hope that he doesn't land in jail first when those tax returns are finally released.

Binderlady2016
Binderlady2016

Well, also in the news, NBC announced that they have fired Billy Bush and does not ever want him on their lot again.  Now Trump can hang out with Billy Bush and Chachi (Scott Baio) who is making the circuit trying to defend Trump's lewd comments.  Neither one of them have a job now.

hnbc
hnbc

Pandering Pence will be in charge because deplorable Donald-bully-boy does not want to govern. Didn't know you are voting for Pence to be president, did you?