Conservative column

Trump failed to redeem himself in 3rd debate

/ The Daily Orange

Just like that early 2000’s JoJo jam goes, it’s just too little too late. Same goes for Donald Trump: The final debate is just too late for you to get your act together.

He rightfully called out Clinton on various issues, including her former support for stricter border control, calling out her senatorial voting record and her flip flop on the Trans Pacific Partnership. But he failed to deliver, just like my 2 a.m. GrubHub order.

Trump clearly made an effort to play down his in-your-face demeanor for roughly the first 40 minutes of the debate, which is kind of impressive. From there, it was a touch-and-go catfight between him and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, which in all honesty did not look good for either of them.

For the most part, the two candidates kept their cools and even occasionally talked about their policy positions. This may be wishful thinking, but it would have been nice if this was done two debates ago.

Trump in particular would have benefitted more if he had discussed his policy positions early on in the campaign, rather than now. When he and Clinton weren’t battling it out, he raised some firm points and used a few buzzwords that would make any far-right conservative swoon. He spent a solid portion of the first segment of the debate talking about potential Supreme Court justice nominees and the Second Amendment being “under siege.”

But Trump still had two particularly shining moments during the debate. The first, when he called out the former secretary for pivoting from moderator Chris Wallace’s questioning of a quote of hers in which she called an open border policy a “dream.” This even garnered some applause from the audience.

The second happened when he strategically called out President Barack Obama, whom Clinton has closely aligned herself to, for his record-number deportations of illegal immigrants.

That shine, however, dulled out toward the end of the debate. Trump came off as a sore loser when he said he was going to wait to see if he would accept the outcome of the election. And Wallace was right when he called out Trump for his answer, saying it has been proper decorum to concede, granted if Clinton proves victorious.

He also fumbled during his last answer on saving Medicare and Social Security, arguing the key to both is repealing and replacing Obamacare. Trump had a perfect opportunity to say what his position would be, as he has consistently said that he wants to protect Medicare and senior citizens. But he just didn’t deliver.

Playing the blame-game with the topic of the sexual assault accusers against him did not benefit him either. He could have used this opportunity to apologize for his past behavior and say he was looking into it. Instead, he blamed the Clinton campaign.

Tonight was Donald Trump’s last chance to allow a positive image of himself to resonate in the minds of Americans with less than three weeks left until Election Day. But Trump just didn’t do that.
Vanessa Salman is a senior political science major and history minor. Her column appears weekly. She can be reached at vksalman@syr.edu or @VanessaSalman on Twitter.

 

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