Second presidential debate: Trump’s candidacy not dead, nor recovering

If Sunday night’s presidential debate had a theme, it was this: Low expectations were met.

Given the firestorm that preceded the debate — 48 hours of nonstop coverage of despicable comments Donald Trump made on a hot mic 11 years ago — there were serious people asking seriously if it would be a last hurrah for the Republican nominee, his final showing before being replaced on the GOP ticket. Elected Republicans across the country had been abandoning Trump since the video was reported by the Washington Post. Trump couldn’t have entered the debate hall thinking about rising in the polls so much as avoiding his political funeral.

Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton, left, and Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump arrive before the second presidential debate at Washington University in St. Louis, Sunday, Oct. 9, 2016. (Rick T. Wilking / Pool via AP)

Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton, left, and Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump arrive before the second presidential debate at Washington University in St. Louis, Sunday, Oct. 9, 2016. (Rick T. Wilking / Pool via AP)

Well, he did avoid that. It was an uneven performance, rough at the start, strong in the middle, fading a bit down the home stretch and then ending nicely. But Trump easily cleared the low bar of “can he get through 90 minutes without finishing off his campaign 30 days before the election?”

Here’s the thing about low expectations, though: The reward for meeting them isn’t all that impressive.

Really, the best thing that can be said about Trump in his second debate with Hillary Clinton is that he did well enough not to face the unprecedented step of stepping down or being forcibly removed as a major-party nominee. That’s it. He did not wound Clinton’s candidacy in any discernible way. He offered very little that was new — other than a pledge if he’s elected, almost certainly unique in American political history, to appoint a special prosecutor to investigate her email practices as secretary of state. Nor did he say anything we might expect to broaden his appeal beyond his shrinking share of the Republican base. He repeated his usual attacks on her, although he did introduce a stunning element of theatrics by inviting three women who have accused Bill Clinton of sexual misconduct toward them and referring to them during one of his remarks.

But other than that drama, he did not bring anything new to the table. Consider this: Trump has harped for more than a year about the porous border and the need to rein in illegal immigration and trade with our neighbors. Yet, when given a chance to talk about emails by Clinton’s staff released by Wikileaks late Friday — including an EU-esque “hemispheric common market, with open trade and open borders” — Trump completely whiffed. He spent much of his allotted time instead talking (not for the first time in these debates!) about his renovation of the Old Post Office Pavilion in Washington. Seriously.

Clinton, on the other hand, skillfully made the case for Trump’s lack of presidential fitness based on his lewd comments. She likened them to offensive things Trump has said about other groups of people, arguing he has been unfit to serve all along. It was an obviously rehearsed attack, but it was a good one. She spent much of the rest of the night playing defense, which she did well enough to exit the stage unscathed.

You see, low expectations also served Clinton well on this night. All she had to do, given the previous 48 hours and a week’s worth of excellent poll numbers, was avoid any kind of moment that could let Trump back into the race. I didn’t see any such moment, whether a negative one for her or a positive one for him.

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216 comments
Caius
Caius

From Nate Silver at 538 on gender gap.

All national polls in October averaged:


Women - Clinton up 15%

Men - Trump up 7%.


The question is the accuracy of the polls.  Some look at crowd size and say polls wrong.

But the same thing was said in 2012 with Romney's huge crowds and Obama's small crowds. Even Romney's organization thought it had a win on election day.


Trump has over 25 days to pull this out.  But I still say he has to cut the women's gap to a couple of points.  That means addressing women's issues which he has only made a token  attempt at doing. He is still talking to his base of about 39%, a base that is not going to leave him no matter what.  It is like he is trying to lose.




RafeHollister
RafeHollister

Wake up this AM to find that our always inept and inefficient government has spent over a million dollars last year providing Medicare to the dead.  I guess they are just trying to make sure all those dead Democrats are physically able to get to the polls to vote. 

oldpunk
oldpunk

@RafeHollister How does that compare to losses by other insurance entities? If you don' t know, maybe you should educate yourself before getting worked up.

IReportYouWhine
IReportYouWhine

30,000 people at a rally in Florida, there is something very strange going on. You trust polls coming from nbc, trash talk video dumping nbc, and cnn, clinton news network. 


I don't.


<iframe width="854" height="480" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/htwIcJv5IbI" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>

Eye wonder
Eye wonder

You really need to change your handle to "IWhineConstantly."

IReportYouWhine
IReportYouWhine

Quick, someone tell me how to distinguish between democrats and the republican establishment. 


I can't tell them apart. 

FIGMO2
FIGMO2

@IReportYouWhine 

A sig-nific-ant portion of online support for Hillary Clinton is man-ufact-ured by paid

 “astro-turf” tro-lls 

GEEZ! 

I can believe THAT!

It's like facing an onslaught of hyenas from every direction.

Dirty scavenger(s). 

FIGMO2
FIGMO2

@Here's_to_Blue @FIGMO2 @IReportYouWhine

None that are paid by Trump.

There has been mention of Trump trolls LIKELY/POSSIBLY/SUPPOSEDLY being paid by the Kremlin.

^^^ that's probably put out by Hillary's trolls.

The dems are all in on the Trump/Putin connection.

Silly dems!

SGTGrit
SGTGrit

Second time today I've lost posts? Software issues?

IReportYouWhine
IReportYouWhine

@SGTGrit I've had the same problem. My second to last comment would not go through until I broke up key words with dashes. I'm pretty sure that the ajc has set it's virtual blog censor on hyper anti republican, which means that any comment that has a pro America theme will likely be wiped out. 


Try any comment centered on words like "diversity" or "equality" and see if it doesn't go right through.

IReportYouWhine
IReportYouWhine

Afraid to speak your mind in AMERICA? 


Not your founding father's country, is it?

IReportYouWhine
IReportYouWhine

Do not vote for him! For which office is he running anyway?


Yeah, like this toady didn't vote for him, twice,  even though it was well known at the time that bill was a pervert .


By the way, if bill's transgressions back in those days had simply been locker room trash talk in private conversation, totally off the record, taken place in the land of the Free, I might have cut bill some slack and voted for him too. After all, anyone should be able to speak freely in this country without a bunch of East German wannabes listening in like communist slobs. I would have had total sympathy for bill and even suggested to him that, once elected president, he should have these thought and speech spies lined up and shot. Unfortunately, bill's crimes were rape and abuse, not just spoken words, so I couldn't get on board with it.


Fact

IReportYouWhine
IReportYouWhine

Has bill clinton ever apologized to Kathleen, Paula, Monica, Juanita, Dolly, Eileen, Elizabeth, Sally, Connie or Lencola?


Thank you.

IReportYouWhine
IReportYouWhine

A sig-nific-ant portion of online support for Hillary Clinton is man-ufact-ured by paid “astro-turf” tro-lls: a large team of su-pporters who spend long hours responding to negative news on the internet about her. The Clinton SuperPAC Correct the Record, which is aff-iliated with her campaign, acknowledged in an April pre-ss release that it was spending $1 million on project “Breaking Barriers” to pay people to res-pond to negative infor-mation about Clinton on social media sites. That amount has since increased to over $6 million. The trolls create a false impression that Clinton has more support than she really does, because one supporter will frequently create multiple anonymous accounts.


https://stream.org/astroturf-outrage-machine-of-paid-trolls-floods-social-media-to-counteract-negative-news-about-hillary-clinton/



Hello, headley.

McGarnagle
McGarnagle

The rally in Florida later tonight is going to be very interesting. I m hoping we get to see no teleprompter Trump. He will go after Ryan, McCain and the republicans who abandon ship.

lvg
lvg

Death spiral:


""""Donald Trump attacked John McCain on Tuesday, calling him "foul-mouthed" and claiming credit for the Arizona senator's primary win.

"The very foul mouthed Sen. John McCain begged for my support during his primary (I gave, he won), then dropped me over locker room remarks!," Trump tweeted, part of his rage-against-the-GOP tweet spree on Tuesday.

During a debate last night with Rep. Ann Kirkpatrick, McCain said he pulled his endorsement from Trump because of the Republican nominee's attacks on women."""



Read more: http://www.politico.com/story/2016/10/trump-tweet-attack-john-mccain-229612#ixzz4Mo1Ez0sQ 

Caius
Caius

New poll out today -  PRRI showing the same as other polls on two big voting groups

that Trump has ignored for over a year.

Women: Clinton 61%  --  Trump 28% -- (Obama 55% ave. in 2 elections)

White male college:  Clinton 39% -- Trump 46% --  (Romney 59% 2012)

Trump has 28 days to change this.  Talking about the Clintons, Paul Ryan and Muslims will not help him with these groups.  Policy, policy, policy!


Eye wonder
Eye wonder

@Caius

Trump only knows one kind of policy and he spells it thus (words scrambled to protect our children): Y S S U P

FIGMO2
FIGMO2

@MarkVV 

Note that you are still avoiding the point about Trump never apologizing.

When it comes to politicians, apologies are made in SELF defense, not the injured party's defense.

Words, just words. 

FIGMO2
FIGMO2

@Eye wonder @FIGMO2 @MarkVV

If you want to place importance on forced apologies go ahead.

I'm smarter than that, especially when it comes to Trump. 

An apology from him would be as valid as his many vacillations. Apologize today, attack tomorrow.

I wouldn't lower myself to even ask for one, much less accept one.

Mr. Khan shouldn't either.


Jefferson1776
Jefferson1776

Someone should ask Trump if a Star grabs his oldest daughter by the monkey and starts kissing her would he understand/

Here's_to_Blue
Here's_to_Blue

@Jefferson1776 Oh, he'd probably watch with as big a grin as that small round mouth of his could make, then yell "do it again, with feeling."

MarkVV
MarkVV

One of the most impressive features of the campaign is the gullibility of many Trump supporters (excluding the true “deplorables,” who do not care about such details as morality) in the belief that Donald Trump has miraculously turned 180 degrees from what he was before Obama’s presidency to the present. And I do not mean only the switch from many liberal views to ultraconservative. I mean things like a change from the Trump who condemned the Republican attacks on President Clinton regarding his sexual behavior and praised Hillary, to the Trump now. The Trump who switched from the boasting about his sexual assaults 11 years ago to the one who is dismissing it as “locker room talk,” and makes threats “if more tapes are released” – a stupid enough admission that there is more to be revealed.

And note the most common accusation by Trump supporters against Hillary, that she has been lying – and the same people prefer someone who not only, in all checks of statements, has been spreading significantly more falsehood than Hillary, but more importantly, in Kyle’s words, “lies because the truth is not just inconvenient to him, but meaningless and even irrelevant.”

Unbelievable. Fortunately, to their credit, there is a growing list of previous Trump supporters among the Republicans, who are saying: Enough!

Jefferson1776
Jefferson1776

ANYONE who starts an apology with the words "If I offended" , is doing NOTHING.

lvg
lvg

Just "locker room talk" with no actions?


""CHRIS HAYES (HOST): Your response to Trump's response, particularly telling the moderator he's never done anything like that.


LISA BLOOM: Well, it's honestly really sickening to me as a woman, as Jill Harth's attorney, I have spent hours talking to her about the pain that she says Donald Trump caused her. And I think what was missing in his very robotic apology, that obviously Kellyanne Conway wrote for him, is any sense of the damage that this has caused. I have to say locker room talk and I have to say I apologize. Okay, now let's move on and talk about ISIS. And a genuine apology by a person who had a conscience would take into account the women that he's harmed, women like Jill Harth who has maintained since 1997, when she filed a lawsuit against him, that he groped her, that he sexually assaulted her and it is sexual assault, take it from me, the lawyer, if you grab a woman by her genitals or you grab her breasts. That is very clearly a sexual assault. """


Media Matters quoting MSNBC

FIGMO2
FIGMO2

@Caius 

Constraints imposed by Congress?

Education is apparently on the president's "Eff-It" list.

At this year's White House Correspondents Dinner, President Obama said that he didn't have a bucket list, but with time running out on his administration, he did have something that rhymed with it. The president's choice of John King* to oversee the department after Duncan is a signal he's not that concerned with education politics at this point.

To the right, King is a lightning rod because of his support for Common Core standards and his leadership implementing them in New York. To the left, he's a flashpoint because of his support for teacher evaluations and no-nonsense championing of high expectations for low-income students and real accountability for the schools that serve them.

Teachers unions and some conservatives have been calling on Duncan to resign – this is not what they had in mind.

The education debate is about to get nastier.

John King is an accomplished African American educator who helped found a highly regarded charter school in Boston. His personal story is as compelling as any education official in the country. Most reform critics don't want to tangle with him publicly, if for no other reason than they have sense enough to recognize the gross optics of well-heeled white people explaining to an African American man why we shouldn't have demanding expectations for educators serving low-income minority youth. So expect the debate to get nastier behind the scenes as those tensions manifest in other ways. In particular, look for more controversy in states and local communities but don't expect much from Washington other than more administrative action.

http://www.usnews.com/opinion/knowledge-bank/2015/10/02/5-no-spin-takeaways-from-arne-duncans-departure-from-education-department

Obama pulled a fast one on you guys. Could be called the bait & switch dependent on where you're coming from.

FIGMO2
FIGMO2

GOOD GRIEF!

"I was saddened all over again that this candidate lacks the character, lacks the ability to understand the pain of those that have sacrificed their lives in defense of this country," Khizr Khan, the father of a slain Muslim American soldier, Army Capt. Humayun Khan, told CNN's Chris Cuomo on "New Day" Tuesday. "And for this candidate to put his political expediency ahead of any realization of pain and suffering of the families is shameful."

Trump said during the debate: "First of all, Captain Khan is an American hero.

Khan said Tuesday he was shocked that Trump brought up his son's name again considering that his family has never heard from the candidate.

http://www.cnn.com/2016/10/11/politics/khizr-khan-donald-trump-sad/

It wasn't Trump who brought up you and your son, Mr. Khan.  It was Hillary.

Someone needs to tell Mr. Khan the victimhood label assigned by dems does not give him endless cause celebre.

Move on with your life, Mr. Khan!

Your useful tool status will end once Hillary gets what she wants.

MarkVV
MarkVV

@FIGMO2 Somehow you missed the fact that Trump never apologized to that family for what he said about them after the Democratic convention.

FIGMO2
FIGMO2

@MarkVV @FIGMO2

Not the point I was making

Khan said Tuesday he was shocked that Trump brought up his son's name again considering that his family has never heard from the candidate.

Trump didn't bring up Mr. Khan and his son.

If someone has to beg or demand an apology, does one really mean that much?

In my opinion, it DOES NOT!

Ergo?

Move on with your life, Mr. Khan!

To which I would add...

stop lookin' needy!

It's unbecoming to Mr. Khan and his son.

MarkVV
MarkVV

@FIGMO2 @MarkVV Note that you are still avoiding the point about Trump never apologizing.

Finn-McCool
Finn-McCool

@FIGMO2 Wow, now shifting blame to Hillary for Trump fiasco with Gold Star parents?

That's a Conservative for you! NEVER take responsibility. Ever

FIGMO2
FIGMO2

Off topic but I've been waiting a long time to see someone point the finger in the right direction.

Arne Duncan: America’s teacher training programs are too weak

http://www.ajc.com/news/local-education/arne-duncan-america-teacher-training-programs-are-too-weak/crlzK7KpzU3tb0UFOsDCsK/

Arne Duncan may no longer be U.S. education secretary, but he is still focusing on schools and teachers.

Duncan says America needs to improve how it educates teachers.

“The system we have for training teachers lacks rigor, is out of step with the times, and is given to extreme grade inflation that leaves teachers unprepared and their future students at risk.


RafeHollister
RafeHollister

@FIGMO2 Now that he is out of office he is free to think and address solutions that might work, rather than being held prisoner to political correctness, diversity, the regime's social justice agenda, etc.


Government, what is good for? 

FIGMO2
FIGMO2

Who was most impressive?

The audience with their questions, none of which were answered sufficiently. The questions did tell me what voters were most concerned about.

Trump nailed Hillary by pointing out she's been in Washington for thirty years and done nothing to address taxes.

Hillary then goes on to assure that low-income folks will be cared for and the middle class will pay for it (Obamacare). That jobs will be provided as a consequence of climate change?

She admitted that she DID discuss the "need" for a private/public persona then questioned whether the Wikileak documents were valid?

Trump blew the Syria question but Hillary assured us the war would go on with more involvement coming from the U.S. Her no-fly zone will bog us down with boots on the ground.

This election SUX!

Our future is being cast to THEIR wind.  

MarkVV
MarkVV

@FIGMO2 You post usually are a little less mindless.

Trump nailed Hillary by pointing out she's been in Washington for thirty years and done nothing to address taxes.

Mailed her down? With the ridiculous claim that she, a single senator among 100, should have changed the tax laws? Perhaps she should have changed everything that was wrong in Washington?

Hillary then goes on to assure that low-income folks will be cared for and the middle class will pay for it (Obamacare).”

Did you fall asleep and had some dream about what Hillary said?

She admitted that she DID discuss the "need" for a private/public persona then questioned whether the Wikileak documents were valid.

And you see a contradiction? Did the Wikileak documents consist of that one subject?

Her no-fly zone will bog us down with boots on the ground.

How exactly would the no-fly zone but boots on the ground, pray tell us, general? (I do not think the no-fly zone is a good idea, but for other reasons.)

RafeHollister
RafeHollister

@MarkVV @FIGMO2 A mindless defense, never questioning your candidates claims or responsibility, just following her script.