Clinton-Trump debate – more of the same

Viewers heard nothing new in the long-anticipated televised presidential debate – the first of three – between Clinton and Trump.

The first televised debate between the two American presidential candidates Monday evening brought no surprises – only relief, perhaps, to the Trump supporters who worried he might lose his cool or to those rooting for Clinton who feared she could show signs of illness.

There also appeared to be no clear winner. Republican Donald Trump and Democrat Hillary Clinton threw political punches back and forth throughout the 90-minute contest, and each took turns being on the defensive.

Nobody blew it, and neither one scored a home run.

Most disturbing about Clinton was her smug expression and broad smile whenever her opponent mentioned, for example, the 33,000 deleted emails or what he considers to be a terrible deal with Iran. It was a smile one would expect to see on a wedding photograph – bright and happy, certainly not indicative of a serious, decisive event. Perhaps it was a sign of nervousness, although the consensus among viewers was that she radiated confidence.

Trump, despite his lack of political experience, held his own. There was one word, however, that may have been particularly offensive to voters looking for honesty and respect. Accused of not paying federal taxes, he practically acknowledged that he hadn’t, adding that evading payment is “smart.”

Those particularly concerned about U.S. policy towards Israel may have been pleasantly surprised that the only reference to the Jewish state was Trump’s mention of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in the context of the Iran nuclear deal, saying that “Bibi” was not “a happy camper.” Most Israelis are likely pleased not to be a political pawn in the presidential contest. On the other hand, Trump apparently had the Israeli leader on his mind – as an important ally not to be disregarded.

Nevertheless, despite all the nitpicking and analyses, it appears that very few Americans will have changed their voting decision as a result of this debate, which was essentially more of the same.

By: Atara Beck, World Israel News

Note: We do not endorse any political candidate.