Actress or Leader?

In last night’s debate between Trump and Clinton I thought about how the two were reported to prepare. In Trump’s case he openly admitted that he did not rehearse because there was such a thing as over preparedness. He chose instead to read and to study issues. Hillary spent five days, or more in sessions where she answered attacks posed by a Trump roll player. To me that sounds the same as an actress delivering a memorized script before the director in a dress rehearsal situation.

Trump was clearly on the defensive during parts of the session, and his answers were short, but to the point. He didn’t spend endless minutes hearing himself pontificate as did Hillary. His responses were extemporaneous meaning he was thinking on his feet. I’d be willing to bet that Hillary’s responses were fed to her through an ear-mic; a director feeding her cues such as “#3” and she automatically begins argument number three. It was very apparent that Hillary’s answers were very well written to address issues she wanted to get out rather than to answer questions head on.


I faulted Trump for not pushing her e-mail crisis more aggressively. I had to leave the room for about five minutes so I missed a part of the debate and did not hear anything about Benghazi, nor do I know if it even came up. There was one segment which Trump clearly missed when Hillary responded to her role in initiating ISIS. Trump was making the point that Obama’s failure to leave a security force in Iraq enabled ISIS to fill the void. She answered that President Obama was not responsible for removing troops because that decision was made before his tenure, clearly a blame Bush deflection.

Donald Trump is not known for his debating ability, nor for eloquent speaking. Because of that I did not expect him to perform as well as Hillary. The problem is that we have been conditioned by years of hearing lawyers argue against each other. Lawyers are trained to debate and spend years practicing their techniques. Since most candidates are lawyers we are barraged by eloquent and fluid arguments. For instance, I rate Ted Cruz as one of the most eloquent debaters ever heard on the campaign. The point I’m trying to make is that eloquence does not necessarily mean you win the argument. In every trial there is one side that wins and one that loses, so much for eloquence.

Who do you think won the debate?

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