Final Face-off For Trump and Clinton
by Alexander Chen on Friday, October 21st, 2016
This past week marked the season finale of an exhilarating three-part series between an email-seeking shark and a shimmying, balloon-loving “wife of Bill Clinton.” No, this series wasn’t some new twisted television series. It was this year’s presidential debates. October 19th closed the series between Donald J. Trump and Hillary Rodham Clinton. During this series, Americans observed the emergence of a relatable Clinton as well as a (relatively) poised Trump. Additionally, they met a Trump who sniffled one too many times and a Clinton who mentioned one too many rehearsed jabs.
As interesting as Clinton’s “trumped up, trickle down” and “when they go low, we go high” sayings are, a more memorable moment of the series was the introduction of America’s favorite mustache-bearing, red-sweater-wearing coal plant operator, Kenneth Bone (#WelcomeToTheBoneZone). But in all seriousness, the first two debates were both exhilarating and entertaining. However, they disregarded the needed discussion of policy and rather focused on clever one-liners. The final debate, however, changed the status quo.
To open the debate, Wallace asked the candidates about the future of the Supreme Court. Clinton started by denouncing Citizens United and emphasizing the need to stand against wealth inequality. In response, Trump described his plan for a pro-life, Republican Supreme Court Justice who will uphold Second Amendment rights. With the conversation focused on the Second Amendment, Clinton declared that she believes in the Second Amendment with certain safety measures in place. Next, Wallace diverted the focus towards abortion asking Trump whether he supports the overturning of Roe V. Wade, a landmark case giving women the right to abort. Trump stated that overturning Roe V. Wade “will happen…automatically, ”and, therefore, states should decide the legality of abortion. Clinton disagreed stating, “we’ve gone too far to turn back [on Roe V. Wade].”
After the first thirty minutes, the poised Trump quickly disappeared. Trump’s control was tested when Clinton discussed Trump’s suspicious relationship with Vladimir Putin and Russia. Following Clinton’s assertion that the Kremlin was behind recent cyber attacks, Trump attacked Hillary and America stating that “[she has] no idea…Our country has no idea.” Trump appeared to even praise Putin stating, “Putin has outsmarted [Clinton] at every step of the way.” Appearing to have entirely lost the composure of the beginning of the debate, Trump fell back into his usual rhythm of interrupting Clinton with “wrong” throughout the mini-segments regarding the economy and the candidates’ fitness to be president.
During the mini-segment about one’s fitness to be the president of the United States, Wallace asked Trump whether he “will absolutely accept the result of this election.” In response, Trump expressed that he “will tell…at the time” and continued by stating that Clinton should be unable to run for presidency “based on what she did with e-mails and so many other things.” In contrast to Trump’s response, Clinton shared that democracy works such that candidates “have accepted the outcomes when [they] may not have liked them.” She went on to state that Trump was “not up to doing the job” due to his response.
Wallace ended the debate with an irregular opportunity for the candidates to give closing statements to the viewers at home. Appearing rehearsed and prepared, Clinton looked into the camera and shared her goal to make the economy and education system work for everyone. Trump, avoiding eye contact with the camera, attacked both Clinton and Obama and continued by sharing the problems of modern-day America. Chris Wallace closed the first debate emphasizing the importance of voting and focussing on the issues. With the debates over and Election Day fewer than 20 days away, this election cycle is quickly coming to a close.
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