As I went to bed on Monday night, I had the unsettling sensation that Hillary Clinton might well have won the debate. In this I was hardly alone, but my feeling was “unsettling” because I knew that Clinton was appealing to people like me. So we must be ready to discount our own impressions––as well as the impressions of the liberal media. Indeed, when I woke up the next morning, the Donald offered compelling confirmation that these impressions had indeed been inaccurate:
Pretty impressive. And then Mark Shields of PBS fame apparently found HRC to be abrasive and off putting. A colleague of mine said the same thing.
So it must have been true. Donald Trump, reality TV star, knew instinctively what Americans wanted to hear. And he confirmed it, remarking:
And who can disagree, given that Real Men don’t watch CNN. Poor Hillary was left posting and boasting about one lousy poll:
Clearly enthusiastic Trump supporters were mobilized to respond, flooding these polling sites as if they were voting for their favorite singer on American Idol. Indeed, as CBS noted, “According to data released by Twitter, Donald Trump dominated Twittersphere. Sixty-two percent of Twitter conversation went to @realDonaldTrump compared to @HillaryClinton who claimed 38 percent.” If nothing else, this confirms what we already know: Trump (but also his supporters) know how to use media–particularly social media–far more effectively than his Democratic rival.
Of course, in the more extended aftermath, as the more scientific sampling came out, our initial impression was confirmed: Clinton had “won” the debate. But the Charlotte Observer fought back: “Presidential debate surprise: Clinton loses ground among some voters in swing state.” Good for the Charlotte Observer! Their certain to be one of the best seats on Trump press plane. As CNN perhaps somewhat gleefully reported:
Washington (CNN)Donald Trump is angry that his aides and advisers have conceded to reporters — largely without attribution — that the Republican nominee struggled in his first presidential debate.
In a conference call with surrogates Wednesday afternoon, Trump aides made clear the Republican nominee is upset that his allies publicly acknowledged they pushed him to change his preparation and tactics before his next bout with Hillary Clinton. And he wants them to stop it immediately.
The message was “not subtle,” a source familiar with the call said.
Trump wants his supporters to make an energetic defense of his performance and refuse to concede that he didn’t nail it.