Final Debate: How Hillary Beat The Donald, and The Donald Beat Himself

October 29, 2016

We might have thought that the big news of the third and final presidential debate was Hillary Clinton’s continuing mastery of the bait play and her ability to taunt a very teasable Donald Trump. Either that, or Trump’s improving performance in the very spare theatre of two podiums and one capable moderator. He wasn’t so bad, most noticed. And Hillary just held on.Slide02

But the real news and moves of the historic tilt were revelations that Donald Trump has no firm plans to sportingly concede defeat Al Gore-style. To FOX News Chris Wallace’s late question, if win or lose Trump would accept the results of the election, The Donald declared in what must surely be entered as a ping for the ages that he just might not, that he’d have to keep America in suspense.

The Media, as Trump likes to call it, seemed to go postal and, indeed, there was a justifiable sense that what Trump was demonstrating was more a form of anarchy than the candidate’s self preservation. On reflection, however, one wonders why Trump-the-negotiator would do anything different. Retaining his right to challenge the results served to keep his insurgent brand front-and-center and to support his recent two-part accusation:  That (1) the election is rigged and (2) the media are conspiring against him.

There were other sideshows worthy of playmakers and good students of rhetoric — the Bad Hombre label, Josh Earnest’s next-day nod that Trump’s sniffles are cocaine huffs. But it was Trump who, on his own volition, wrote the headlines about election results and spurred the pundit class to speculate on his foghorn-scale signal for mass unrest if things don’t quite go as he might like.

Post by Alan Kelly