Clinton clear winner of first debate

Camille Frink, Contributing Writer

This is an opinion article and does not necessarily reflect the views of The Tulane Hullabaloo.

The first presidential debate of 2016 was contentious before it even began. After many fights over the date of the debate from Donald Trump, it was held on Sept. 26, 2016 at Hofstra University in New York. Regardless of one’s preferred candidates, the debate was exciting to watch. While both candidates argued passionately, it was clear that Hillary Clinton left the winner of the first presidential debate.

Though definitely the loudest candidate on stage, Trump seemed unprepared. While Clinton came across as collected, Trump appeared confused, erratic and out of control of his emotions, at one point stating that his son loved computers in response to a question about cybersecurity. Instead of answering the questions asked, he would often change the subject to one of his main talking points—China, job growth, the looming threat of Islamic State group, Clinton’s emails, or President Obama’s birth certificate. Since it was the same few fear tactics he has been spewing for months, his decided voters must have loved it.

For anyone more ambivalent, however, the debate was a clear win for Clinton. For her, a victory over Trump meant that she stayed calm and was able to come across as collected, intelligent and knowledgeable while he yelled incoherently and argued with the moderator. Clinton managed to answer the questions thoughtfully and intelligently while still matching Trump’s passion and appearing strong. At no point did she sink down to his level.

Clinton did an excellent job of exposing many of Trump’s lies and personal embarrassments, including his former support of the Iraq War, his previous support of gun control and two suits filed against him by the Justice Department for racial bias. She was also successful in pivoting away from the topic of her emails, while questioning Trump on his failure to release his tax returns, which made her seem trustworthy in comparison.

Of the two candidates that spoke on the debate stage at Hofstra University Monday night, Clinton clearly out-performed Trump by appearing calm and in control compared to him. She successfully made Trump appear weak and unfocused, while remaining in control of her position. Performing well in the first debate is a huge victory for Clinton and will likely give her an advantage over Trump in securing the votes of those still undecided.

Camille is a sophomore at Newcomb-Tulane College. She can be reached at [email protected].

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