5 Takes on the Clinton-Trump Showdown
Clinton 'went right for Trump's ego'
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 27, 2016 5:08 AM CDT
Updated Sep 27, 2016 6:03 AM CDT
A handshake before the debate.   (AP Photo/David Goldman)
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(Newser) – The Hillary Clinton-Donald Trump showdown on Monday night was billed as the most anticipated in many years, and it did not disappoint, according to the Hill, which describes the clash as one between "the more incisive and prepared Clinton and Trump, who leaned heavily on instinct and combativeness." Five other takes on the debate, which many analysts are calling a win for Clinton:

  • Glenn Thrush at Politico calls it a clear loss for Trump, who "became muted and pouty" toward the end. Clinton "went right for Trump's ego," and he "wilted and offered a series of meandering answers" when challenged on things like his wealth and his record of job creation, writes Thrush, who believes Trump "flat-out forgot to pursue" a line of attack on the Clinton Foundation.

  • FiveThirtyEight kept track of the number of interruptions, and Trump comes out way ahead on that score: He had three full-fledged interruptions, where he seized the floor, compared to zero for Clinton, and 24 "fleeting interjections" while his rival kept talking, compared to five for Clinton.
  • The biggest contrast may have been between styles, not policy positions, according to Alexander Burns at the New York Times. "He shouted, interrupted, and sniffed. She kept a level tone and wielded prefab one-liners," writes Burns, who thinks Clinton prevailed on issues of race, gender, and national security, while Trump was strongest when portraying himself as a political outsider.
  • Paul Farhi at the Washington Post takes a look at the moderation and finds that NBC News anchor Lester Holt played a "largely passive role," declining to intervene as "Trump interrupted Clinton and made a series of questionable assertions," though he did seem "to push harder on the Republican businessman" than on Clinton. Farhi notes that Holt's questions didn't cover issues such as "Supreme Court nominations, Social Security, gun control, abortion, student loans, military affairs and health care, especially the Affordable Care Act."
  • It was a debate that highlighted the stark choice voters face, and one where the "two contenders did, in fact, play to their strengths," decides Gerald F. Seib at the Wall Street Journal. "He to his ability to connect with voters on visceral terms, she on her ability to move smoothly from subject to subject with an air of authority." Trump, however, sometimes "seemed a bit too eager to interrupt and play the part of the bully," he writes, while Clinton "occasionally seemed on the verge of appearing smug."
(Click for 12 of the debate's standout back-and-forths.)