On Sept. 26 the first 2016 presidential debate took place at Hofstra University in Long Island, New York. The 90 minute debate was split into 3 sections: Achieving Prosperity, America’s Direction and Securing America. Republican candidate Donald Trump and Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton each had 2 minutes to answer questions asked of them and 30 seconds of rebuttal to the other nominee’s response.
During the debates first section, Achieving Prosperity, Trump and Clinton were asked about jobs in America. Clinton mentioned the usual topics of placing value back on jobs in infrastructure and manufacturing. She also wisely mentioned the hot-button issue of paid family leave. Clinton went on to throw jabs at Trump, referencing his comment in 2006 where he claimed that he hoped for the devastating housing crisis. Trump, too busy with his foot in his mouth, could not dodge the punch, saying: “That’s called business, by the way.” Many people believe that Trump was strongest in the first segment of the debate. Chief Strategist of Mitt Romney’s 2012 campaign Stuart Stevens said on his Twitter @stuartpstevens: “Trump brought 20 minutes of material to a 90 minute show.”
America’s Direction, the debate’s second segment, was when potential voters were most hopeful to hear the candidates say something that matters about America’s deteriorating race relations. Both candidates disappointingly tip-toed around the issue. Clinton landed at least somewhere on the board, saying “We have to restore trust between communities and the police.” No real resolutions were suggested that night by Clinton. Trump, however, suggested that stop-and-frisk be restored even after it was found unconstitutional. Trump went on to continue his racist narrative about people of color in the United States, unsurprisingly. Clinton proceeded to call Trump out, reminding us all that most people targeted by stop-and-frisk were Black and Hispanic people, which contributed to the large number of Black and Hispanic men in jail for non-violent crimes. On Twitter, @alexconant commented “Overheard at Florida bar just now: ‘Two old White people talking about race relations? [eye roll].”
By the final segment, Securing America, Trump had lost all of the initial composure he’d come in with. Fact checker fingers were flying as lie after lie came out of Trumps mouth. Most notably, Trump said “I did not support the war in Iraq.” In the reality that the rest of us live in, Trump said in 2002: “Yeah, I guess so. I wish the first time [invasion] was done correctly.” Both moderator Lester Holt and nominee Hillary Clinton tried to call Trump out on the blatant lie but he shimmied his way out of it, and hopefully the presidency, once again.