Trump won the first 25 minutes and then things went about the way I expected a ninety-minute debate to go for him.
— Ross Douthat (@DouthatNYT) September 27, 2016
That’s it. Trump blew this thing, in my view. Hillary caught her stride about a half-hour in, and showed herself to be presidential. He came off as extremely unprepared. I cannot believe Trump helped himself tonight, though for all I know, the voters loved him. Hillary didn’t have a big win, but she did win, and I believe that she stopped the bleeding for her campaign.
I know that everybody has a different standard for Trump, but if Trump ends up judged the winner of this debate in the polls, I don’t know what to say anymore. There is no way Donald Trump is ready to be President of the United States. No way. And I don’t believe many undecided voters changed their mind to vote for Trump based on his performance tonight.
If we hadn’t just lived through the first nine months of 2016, I’d say that Trump’s toast.
— David French (@DavidAFrench) September 27, 2016
UPDATE.2: The only positive reason Hillary Clinton gave tonight for voting for her is that she’s not Donald Trump. That’s not nothing! But when I think about what any of the other GOP presidential contenders could have done against her tonight, and what a Clinton presidency will mean for the country, and for the Supreme Court, I … despair.
UPDATE.3: Yes, Lord, yes, it is. With a stake through its heart and a garlic necklace. Ain’t nothin’ left for us religious conservatives but the Benedict Option.
Am I right that not one word was spoken about abortion, same-sex marriage, or any other culture war issue? The relig right really is dead.
— Damon Linker (@DamonLinker) September 27, 2016
UPDATE.4: Reader Alex, on Trump’s uncanny ability to undermine his own campaign with petty self-obsession:
He called into Fox & Friends this morning and seemed particularly upset that Clinton had mentioned that he had called a pageant winner “Miss Piggy”. Trump’s defense: “She gained a massive amount of weight, and it was a real problem. We had a real problem. Not only that, her attitude.” That’s the *next morning*! It’s hours after the debate is over and his big take-away isn’t about trade or immigration or Benghazi, it’s about fighting for the right to call out fat b*tches for being fat and b*tchy.
The Republicans are losing the college-educated, white female vote for the first time since JFK, and stuff like this really isn’t going to turn that around.
What bothers me about Trump more than that he’s a misogynist pig is that he’s so stupid as to think that this stuff matters. Here’s a man who has a real shot at becoming president, but six weeks before the election, he’s calling a national TV show to talk about this crap, even though there’s nothing he can say that makes him look good. His sense of reality is crackpot, and his lack of self-discipline staggering.