September 27, 2016

“It’s not what he said. It’s how he said it”: How Trump can win the next debate

Oliver MackenzieRebel Columnist

Donald Trump didn’t win the battle of ideas, but he might have set himself up to win the battle of minds.

If you take the time to watch last night’s presidential debate, you’ll quickly see why. Clinton appeared weary and her voice was robotic. Her performance was competent, but deeply uninspiring. She listlessly recited answers, answers that she had clearly been spoken many times before.

But Trump made a lot of mistakes last night. He let the conversation dwell on his failures, which hurt him. Trump’s deflections about his birtherism and support of the Iraq War were particularly poor.

Take this exchange:

Trump could have acknowledged his actions and moved on. He could have deflected and tried to pivot the exchange back to Clinton’s use of a private email server. He could have declined to answer the question.

Almost anything would have been better than the answer he gave. Instead, Trump pushed back, and gave a rambling non-answer that allowed Clinton and the moderator to linger on a losing issue, an issue that reflects Trump’s worst qualities.

That wasn’t even the worst answer to come out of Trump’s mouth last night:

Trump knew there was a high chance he would be asked about his apparent support for the Iraq War, and he gave a rambling non-answer in which he invoked Sean Hannity’s name eight times. With other presidential candidates, you can take a certain level of preparation for granted, but that isn’t the case for Trump. The Trump campaign signaled that Trump would be skipping “conventional” debate prep prior to last night’s debate. It’s very clear that he didn’t prepare adequately.

From the limited post-debate polling we’ve seen, it seems as if Clinton has won a strong victory. Public Policy Polling has Clinton ahead by eleven points in a survey of likely voters. CNN has Clinton ahead by about a two-to-one ratio, albeit in a Democratic-leaning sample of the electorate.

But Trump did demonstrate a real knack for the basics of debate and speech last night. Trump is a gifted, dynamic orator. His presence and body language is excellent. When he’s speaking, he seems to own the room. He’s much more effective at communication than Clinton.

With those fundamental qualities, Trump doesn’t need a tremendous level of preparation to beat Clinton. He just needs to engage in mock debates and to be coached. He needs to develop concise, coherent answers to common questions, particularly questions about his personal scandals.

And there’s certainly room for Trump to come back. Barack Obama lost the first presidential debate in 2012 by about the same margin that Trump did, and slipped several points in the polls. Obama learned his lesson. He rallied for the subsequent debates, delivered much stronger performances, and ultimately won the presidency.

Trump should take Obama’s example as a guide. If he can give firmer answers and pivot away from his past controversies, he’s got a good shot to beat Clinton. With Trump, it definitely feels like you have to grade on a curve, but his fundamental debate skills are strong enough to make up for a tenuous grasp of details.

Trump is an excellent speaker with a good grasp of politics. If he can exercise the preparation and tact of a typical presidential candidate, he’ll easily beat Clinton in the next debate.

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commented 2016-09-28 13:39:56 -0400
Shit, she is now leading by 6(Ipsos Reid). I guess she did win that debate
commented 2016-09-28 11:00:59 -0400
Mr. Reece

In Eastern Ontario we get Detroit Fox News. You are incorrect in stating that Fox behaves like CNN if you bothered to put your money where your mouth is you will note that Fox Detroit it was strongly critical of Trump and the moderator was a black man as well as the Clinton supporter. The moderator was highly critical of Trump. The others on the panel were a single Trump supporter and two others who criticized BOTH candidates with most saying Clinton won. BTW Have you been to Detroit! I suggest that every Canadian Democrat/Clinton supporter go to Detroit and see what Trump is talking about. I have driven through some of the worst parts of the city of Detroit AND THAT IS SCARY AS HELL. One could compare it to the bombing of Dresden. Its amazing that the Left can achieve that without one single bomb!

Jack Pallance you may be right however where is the benefit in her saying that ? An idiot may let it pass by however what you are saying is EXACTING what BILL and the “EXPERTS” said about North Korea. Oh, they are years away, nothing to see here folks! Then BOOOOM! Oh, blimey I guess we were wrong! Ahh, but people don’t care because most are too brain dead to perceive the repercussions. Maybe part of the 1.5 Billion was also to keep Iran revealing that they now HAVE a nuke. Now we have N Korea stretching their reach with ballistic missile test AFTER test.

Let us remember where all this began. THE LEFT. THEY are the ones STILL making idiotic movies like Trumbo and Bridge of Spies. FULL of BS that diverts attention away from the truth. That truth is that the Soviet Union WAS NEVER OUR ALLY and that Communist sympathizers operating within western society handed OUR atomic secrets to NKVD/KGB Handlers operating out of USSR embassies. They did this via the Communist Party of the United States, Canada and Britain. Parties I may add that are still allowed to exist today. Soviet espionage in the west began as early as 1919/20 and continued until the wall came down. Yet our media treats this as a joke. The secrets smuggled out by the likes of Fuchs and the Rosenberg’s as well as dozens of others in the British and Manhattan Projects as well as those entrenched in Liberal and Left leaning political parties ( that in includes the Liberals in Canada ) SEVERELY affected foreign policy especially dealing with Communist expansion in Eastern Europe and Asia. It led to several disasters like the splitting of Korea and Vietnam because the spectre of Nuclear war affected an all out effort to prosecute those wars.

So now we are just waiting for Iran to reveal that they have a bomb? How would that be in their best interest when they can blackmail the United States and harass their ships at will embarrassing them in front of the world. NO, I think they are further advanced than thought and like North Korea it will not come as a surprise to me when they truth is finally known.
commented 2016-09-28 03:11:39 -0400
HMMM LEFT LEANING president running the US for the last 2 terms, mass shootings up by a lot, race relations are as bad as ever and the debt has been more than doubled. Yeah such a thinking person LMAO!
commented 2016-09-28 03:10:26 -0400
Andrew did you believe Hillary when she claimed she took responsibility for the Email issue? Well sorry she lied and denied until she could do it no longer.
commented 2016-09-28 03:07:36 -0400
Andrew how dub do you have to be to believe CNN is not biased? Right after the debate they had some Clinton hack acting like the birther thing was just some honest mistake. LMAO!
commented 2016-09-28 03:05:55 -0400
Andrew how dumb can you be to think you can spend your way out of a recession? How dumb can you be to vote for an imbecile like Justin?
commented 2016-09-28 03:04:00 -0400
Andrew Stephenson sorry but when did you ask every person if they are a swing voter? And sorry everyone thinks for a living you halfwit. I can out think you anyday and i do not lean left. You do realize Hillary told a few lies as well, but of course you cannot think of what those were. If you left leaners are such awesome thinkers then why do you ruin everything?
commented 2016-09-28 02:53:14 -0400
That moderator was not unbiased, he attacked Trump and asked irrelevant questions regarding things like Trump’s tax return. Also the Birther issue was brought up, that along with calling Obama a Muslim was started by Clinton in the 2008 race to be the nominee against Obama. But somehow it all got dropped on Trump’s shoulders. And the issue of him being for the war in Iraq, it doesn’t matter if he was for it or against it, he wasn’t in political office and therefore had no influential input involving the vote to engage in that war. But as we know, Hillary was for it and voted for it, yet they keep dragging Trump over the coals on this ridiculous issue. The questions that scum moderator asked of Trump had nothing to do with the significant issues that are of primary importance to Americans. That media moron gave Hillary a total pass on everything, and seemed to ask the main questions to Hillary first where she led an attack on Trump each time and he made the poor choice to defend against her attacks. After which it went back to her and she relaunched another attack, it left Trump in a tail spin and prevented him to some degree from talking about the real issues. He did well in the time he had to talk about those issues, where Hillary did not really get into discussing any of the issues as she was too busy being in attack mode. Trump got emotional, and Hillary did her impression of a cold, stiff mannequin with a sardonic smile. And the moderator did his impression of a traitorous member of the media.
commented 2016-09-28 01:03:46 -0400
Yvette Mozol. The left knows those that control the media equals control the narrative. That is why Hillary wants to shut down Breitbart which is another story that should be front line and center. Any assault on free speech should of major concern to all political stripes except maybe communists of course unless it is their free speech being denied.
commented 2016-09-28 00:13:01 -0400
Edward J……I went to that website link you provided, wow!!! talk about conflict of interest. Why has this story not been in MSM, not even Fox News. Now, I get Comey’s decision & I believe that he should be the next one to be investigated.
As for Trump, he could have done better, hopefully he will learn from this first (test) debate. His problem is, too defensive on personal attacks, he should acknowledge briefly then pivot to attacking Clinton’s policies & scandals.
commented 2016-09-27 23:50:51 -0400
What was so evident last night was the difference between a life-long civil servant and an entrepreneur.
She was not comfortable at the beginning and, as you said, she looked tired and worried. But, she did pick up later.
Trump kept Clinton out of her comfort zone though and changed the rules of the game.
commented 2016-09-27 23:46:42 -0400
Each debate should have two moderators: one left, one right. That way what one misses, the other addresses.
commented 2016-09-27 22:20:41 -0400
Andrew Stephenson commented – “Pretty much anybody who thinks for a living is going to lean left.”

A pretty simplistic and ignorant way to view politics. It has never been about lefty and right branded dogmas, it’s about what best serves the nation, individual freedom and civil liberty – anything else is just making excuses for superfluous subjugation to the state.

You need to read more reason-based philosophy and history before pimping the narrow left-right paralogism
commented 2016-09-27 20:27:33 -0400
Clinton also berated him for saying the US should blow the Iranians out of the water for harassing their battle ships.One of these times they will sink a US battle ship with one of those boats.
They have to give 24 day notice to Iran before they can get a inspection on their nuclear facilities.I’m sure a lot of criminals would like the same treatment.Great deal.
He also made a great comment on defense contracts over budget.
So if you want the same shit going down Hilary is your girl.
PRESIDENT TRUMP for a better stronger USA,
commented 2016-09-27 20:26:51 -0400
“Moderators from the mainstream media will always lean to the left and Holt was no exception.”

Pretty much anybody who thinks for a living is going to lean left.

“What is not so publicly mentioned is that only 26% of the respondents who participated in that survey identified themselves as Republicans while 41% identified themselves as Democrats.”

Think about that a bit … Basically, the number of Trump-supporters is 104% of Republicans, while the number of Clinton supporters was 152% of Democrats. Basically, Trump had his own and not much more, while Clinton captured a huge chunk of the swing vote. It’s the swing vote that counts …
commented 2016-09-27 20:20:07 -0400
Every single one of those polls Bill is citing is an open webpoll, which makes it easy for bored Trumpsters to sit there all day voting for their guy.

The CNN poll was a more conventional phone poll, designed to prevent this. One respondant gets one answer, which changed the result significantly.

I think that Gateway Pundit result tells us a little something about the average intelligence of the Alt-Right. How dumb can you be to rank someone fourth out of two? LOL. What a joke.
commented 2016-09-27 19:57:33 -0400
Sean what debate were you watching?Trump offered his tax return for Clinton deleted E-mails.And what was her answer,bait and switch.What the hell kind of answer was that.And what was that with that retarded smile on her face?Why did her nose turn red to the end of the debate?Never once did I see her drink anything.30 years and now she has all the answers.Yeah right Sean.As far as green energy Trump should have used Ontario of a prime example of how to really fuck up your economy.
commented 2016-09-27 19:57:27 -0400
“The Obama administration will get a 3rd term” I agree, under the new nazi communist ran globally rigged election procedures, just the same as what happened here in Canada with Trudeau. Revolution, this is what should happen if Clinton gets elected or N America gets totally conquered by the communists.
commented 2016-09-27 19:55:20 -0400
He didn’t “lose” this debate – he made the mistake of assuming the zombie voter was as familiar with issues as he was – All Clinton did was a 90 min. running lie – the polls today are still running in Trump’s favor – next debate make the audience swallow the red pill.
commented 2016-09-27 19:31:47 -0400
Hillary killed Trump at debate #1, just like she’s killing him with the polling numbers.

Face it. Americans are way too sane to elect someone supported by the ill-informed, ill-educated masses: the truly deplorables.

Hillary will easily, though not overwhelmingly, win in November. Sanity prevails.

The Obama administration will get a third term!
commented 2016-09-27 17:59:14 -0400
They should let the public ask the questions and do away with the Marxist moderators.
commented 2016-09-27 16:38:18 -0400
I agree Ken. I don’t think I can watch another debate. Too depressing. Trump should just cancel them unless Hannity is the moderator.

I call BS on Iran being weeks away. Even now I still think Iran is at least years away.
commented 2016-09-27 16:35:07 -0400
Would have also helped if he got the questions ahead of time like Clinton did.
commented 2016-09-27 16:22:03 -0400
I watched most of the debate. The host was biased towards Clinton as all media is, the same as what was done to Harper. The host told Trump’s supporters to keep quiet when they cheered for Trump, but when Clinton’s supporters did the same they weren’t cautioned. I found Trump to be in commendable command of his comments and on top of all the mud slinging Clinton dished out. His answers were right on and superior to the washed out canned answers she gave regarding everything. Yes she rehearsed for this debate and sounded perfectly polished, you could tell, it sounded like nothing more than a boring campaign speech filled with empty promises. I believe Trump knows what he’s talking about and will bring US out of debt unlike Hillary and the present Obama administration. Anyone who votes for Hillary is condemning the US into another 4 years of financial and islamic hell which they might not ever be able to get out of. Americans need to vote for Trump, for progress and security and everything else. Trump beat Hillary hands down in the debate last night.