Meantime three headlines from yesterday tell salient things about the debate:
Suburban Women Found Little to Like in Trump
Trump Lashes Out, Calling Debate Unfair
And just just for fun, the third one is a fine satire: Trump Threatens to Skip Remaining Debates If Hillary Is There . It's so like Trump that I thought at first it was for real.
In the first story, from the New York Times on Tuesday, we learn that the women of the Philly suburbs, including Republicans, were turned off by Trump's misogynism, which is so deep and pervasive in his character that he can't even recognize it. It is so blazing that it blinds him to what a jerk and idiot he's being toward women. But those women weren't blinded to what he is. They watched him attack Miss Universe for being "fat".
Without their vote, he can't win the Philly suburbs. Without the Philly suburbs, he can't win Pennsylvania. Without Pennsylvania, he can't win the electoral college vote. He doesn't seem to catch on to these verities of politics. I guess he doesn't need verities because he already knows everything.
In the second story, also on Tuesday from the Times, we hear the whining Trump who can't stand to lose, blaming everyone except himself for his failure on Monday night, including the microphone. Get this, Donald: we could all hear you quite well as you repeatedly and rudely interrupted Clinton four times as often as she interrupted you. In response to his whining, Hillary Clinton came across today for once with a snappy response: "If you're complaining about the microphone that means you had a bad night." Couldn't say it better myself.
In fact, Hillary was rather charming when saying this on Tuesday, a genuine smile and a genuine twinkle in her eyes. I never thought I'd say Hillary Clinton is charming. But she came across very well all through the later stages of the debate. I've always found her rather stomach-churning as a personality, a very phoney person. But Monday night she seemed to have grown up into someone with actual poise, confidence, and two feet on firm ground. Sort of presidential, in fact. I think she is beginning to see herself as president. That will help others to do so.
She emerged after one-third of the debate as though from a foxhole, like a soldier who knows the enemy may still have ammo but is too tired to pull the trigger. Meantime Trump was wilting. Trump's two years of extra age, his 70 to her 68, seemed more like twenty. He seemed old and worn out even before the debate was half over.
Strangely enough, exhausted as he seemed to be, Trump nevertheless brought up the unfortunate (for him) subject of "stamina", asserting that he has stamina and Clinton doesn't. He had so obviously run out of stamina himself at this point that his assertion was pathetic.
Why does he use the word "stamina"? That's code for the sexual staying power of the rutting male. It's a slam on women as the weaker and dominated sex. And it also hints at Hillary's health, which he insists is poor, though looking at the pair of them on Monday night, she glowed in rosey health and he was pallid and white, wiped clean of the orange-colored pseudo-tan makeup he usually wears.
Trump's male base of course believes women should go back to being meek and weak little creatures who venerate and obey the muscled Lord of the Castle. The stamina issue tells his male supporters that Trump is their man, all man, and they like that he despises women because they do too. Oddly, though the media early caught on to the racism in this race, it hasn't picked up much on the appeal of the anti-women theme. I live among Trump's male base in the Alleghenies of Central Pennsylvaina and know very well how they feel. They are scared of women and their progress. (I helped scare them, for example, yelling at auctioneers for ignoring bids from us women.) They see that their own day of dominance has slipped away. Hillary represents all that. Their man Trump will somehow magically turn back the clock to the kitchens of 1950 where these older men grew up, where their mothers baked cookies, obeyed their husbands, and got slammed around on a Saturday night after the husbands had been out drinking.
The third headline is from a humor piece in the New Yorker today that is so well done that I took it seriously until my daughter-in-law said, "Don't you know who that writer is?" What fooled me is that it is so like Trump! It's exactly the thing he woud do or say. In fact, he did make some noises after Monday night about not showing up for more debates. And he did protest that Clinton had said mean things to him. So who or what can I blame for my mistake? Any mics around?
Bottom line: the man is so ill-informed and lost in his own reality that it's credible that he doesn't even know or accept what a debate is.
It is actually funny but only up to a point. The point being that almost half the voters apparently want to give him that little suitcase with the nuclear codes. They wouldn't know what a debate is either, I guess. Do they even know what nuclear weapons do?
NC focus group per Charlotte observor:"For the four who emerged less impressed by Clinton, it was the seeming familiarity of her proposals for the economy and national security that was a turnoff."