Recapping the first pres. debate

David Saveanu

Staff Writer

Sept. 26 saw Republican candidate Donald Trump and Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton square off in the first presidential debate as the two leading candidates in the 2016 election.

The debate was moderated by NBC’s Lester Holt, a first time moderator, who placed much emphasis on discussing national security. The topics covered included how each candidate was going to secure America, what direction they were going to take the country in, and the steps they’d take to advance its prosperity.

The polls following the debate seemed to be leaning toward Clinton, with CNN’s results of 27 percent voting for Trump and 62 percent for his primary opponent.

A selection of Parkland students, when surveyed, revealed a similar response, describing Trump’s performance as “restrained” and “lacking his usual aggression,” as described by Joey Magyar.

“It hurts me to say, it but Hillary took this one,” Magyar said.

The consensus among those who viewed the debate was that Clinton seemed more prepared, which is something Trump had pointed out as a fault. Clinton had a response:

“I think Donald just criticized me for preparing for this debate,” the former U.S. secretary of state said. “And, yes—I did. And, do you know what else I prepared for? I prepared to be president, and I think that’s a good thing.”

Speculation holds that Trump, being an outsider to politics, wasn’t as adapted to the usual debate procedures and struggled to keep up with Hillary, a seasoned career politician.

Willie Fowler, a professor of political sciences at Parkland, shared his thoughts regarding the debate. He hypothesized that this would be the most-watched debate—which it was, with over 84 million viewers according to NBC, and Trump’s lack of preparation would set him back for early voters and those on the fence.

Fowler described Clinton’s performance as one that was “very strong,” while he said Trump appeared to “wander aimlessly.”

There is a history of views declining following the first presidential debates—meaning the second and third debates don’t bring in nearly as many viewers—adding on to this is the fact that this had been the most watched debate of all time, so any error on either side could have lasting effects on their campaign. Trump’s lack of persistence, and aggression had set him back, as well as his non-preparedness, while Clinton’s well-rehearsed responses had perpetuated her campaign greatly.

The debate may have been one of the most history-making, as it featured the first female ever to participate in a presidential debate.

It showed us the candidates’ abilities, and personalities with one another, it allowed us to understand their most recent views, and it granted us a loose representation of where the election may be going.