Sep 272016

I had a good time live-blogging the debate last night on Twitter, though I came away a little disappointed that we didn’t have more fireworks. Here was my immediate post-debate analysis on Facebook last night, which still sounds right to me this morning:

Hillary started the evening almost in zugzwang, or perhaps playing Russian roulette with only one empty chamber instead of one loaded one. She had a lot of potential mistakes to make and then didn’t make them. Edge to her, largely on that basis. Her errors were minor and likely noise-level.

Trump’s biggest mistake throughout was switching gears without providing context. Some of what he said on Iran could have been effective, but he started in the middle of the story because he assumed everyone knew what he was talking about. He needed to burn a few seconds on background. Furthermore, predictably, he interrupted too indiscriminately, and took some planes all the way into the ocean when he should have bailed. (The Iraq/Hannity sidebar was just bizarre and interminably long.) I suspect he either can’t or won’t be coached on behavior like this, because there was much more of it tonight than there should have been.

I think we ended the evening where we started. A major blunder from Hillary might shake things up. A significantly different approach from Trump might shake things up. I consider each of these things unlikely, and barring either of them, I think Hillary cruises.

On to the VP debate. What are their names again?

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