Our Snarky Summary of the First Presidential Debate

On Monday, September 26th, 2016, at 9pm EST, the Republican and Democratic nominees for President of the United States, Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton respectively, came together for their first debate (transcript here). About 100 million people watched the Gathering, when a stroke of a sword would release the power of the Quickening. In the end, there can only be one…


Clinton had invited Mark Cuban, an actual billionaire business person who’s been critical of Trump, to sit in the front row of the debate, purportedly to rattle Trump’s feathers. After the candidates came out on stage and shook hands, Clinton pointed to the front row, waved and said something within earshot of Trump:

When asked why he, unlike every other candidate over the past 40 years, hasn’t released his tax records, Trump said, “I don’t mind releasing — I’m under a routine audit. And it’ll be released. And — as soon as the audit’s finished, it will be released.”

In response, Clinton said “…the only years that anybody’s ever seen were a couple of years when he had to turn them over to state authorities when he was trying to get an online casino license, and they showed he didn’t pay any federal income tax.” To which Trump said, “That makes me smart.”

In the middle of last night’s event, we got nostalgic for the classy debates of the Republican primaries, when Trump criticized “Little Marco” for making fun of his small hands: “He referred to my hands, if they’re small, something else must be small. I guarantee you there’s no problem. I guarantee it.”

At one point, Trump said, “We have to bring back law and order. Now, whether or not in a place like Chicago, you do stop and frisk which worked very well, Mayor Giuliani is here, worked very well in New York. It brought the crime rate way down.” Moderator Lester Holt, doing his job for the first time that night, said, “Stop and Frisk was ruled unconstitutional in New York because it largely singled out black and Hispanic young men.” To which Trump replied, “No, you’re wrong.” And when Trump says “wrong,” you know there’s a 99.9% it’s right. Holt was right.

Still on the topic of racism, Trump reprimanded Clinton for using the term “super-predator” once to refer to certain violent gangs in a 1996 speech — a mistake she has apologized for — saying “I think it was a terrible thing to say.”

When asked by Holt why Trump continued to insinuate that Obama was possibly not an American citizen, as recently as last January, years after Obama made his birth certificate public, Trump vomited up a nonsensical justification implicating Clinton’s campaign for starting the birther question (not true) and patting himself on the back for getting Obama to produce it, all while failing to answer the question.

True to form, Trump was sure to plug some of his properties, like Maralago and his new hotel in DC: “We’re just opening up on Pennsylvania Avenue right next to the White House, so if I don’t get there one way, I’m going to get Pennsylvania Avenue another. But we are opening the old post office. Under budget, ahead of schedule, save tremendous money, I’m a year ahead of schedule.”

Within the first 26 minutes of the debate, Trump interrupted Clinton 25 times. By the end of the debate, he’d interrupted her a whopping 51 times. (She only interjected 17 times.)

Believe me” is one of Trump’s annoying verbal ticks and it was on full display in the first debate:

Throughout the debate, Trump said “We have a winning fight” and “I have a winning temperament” and “[In the polls] I’m either winning or tied.”

Again, he wins 51 o 17:

Holt asked Trump if he stood by his recent comment that Clinton doesn’t have a presidential look, and he repeated it right then and there in front of her: “She doesn’t have the look. She don’t have the stamina.”

Out of nowhere, Trump decided to remind everyone about his mean-spirited, sexist war on Rosie O’Donnell: “You know Hillary is hitting me with tremendous commercials, some of it’s entertainment, some of it is said somebody’s been very vicious to me, Rosie O’Donnell, I said tough things to her and I think everybody would agree that she deserves it and nobody feels sorry for her but you want to know the truth, I was going to say something extremely rough to Hillary, to her family, and I said to myself I can’t do it. I just can’t do it. It’s inappropriate, it’s not nice.”

Trump continued that thought: “But she spent hundreds of millions of dollars on negative ads on me many which are absolutely untrue. They’re untrue and they’re misrepresentations. And I will tell you this, Lester, it’s not nice and I don’t, I don’t deserve that. But it’s certainly not a nice thing that she’s done.”

When discussing foreign affairs, Clinton spoke globally: ” And I want to reassure our allies in Japan and South Korea and elsewhere that we have mutual defense treaties and we will honor them. It is essential that America’s word be good. And so I know that this campaign has caused some questioning and worries on the part of many leaders across the globe. I’ve talked with a number of them. But I want to — on behalf of myself, and I think on behalf of a majority of the American people, say that, you know, our word is good.”

After it was all said and done, Trump scurried off the stage with his tail between his legs, while Clinton — yes, the political professional — hung back for a victory lap:

A lot is at stake in this election, including abortion rights, access to contraception, the future of Planned Parenthood, and LGBTQIA rights, to name a few near and dear to our hearts. Make sure you’re registered to vote in your state and then make sure you vote on November 8th!

One Comment

  1. I watch the first debate and it’s entirety (can’t believe I actually sat through it and watch the whole thing) and I thought it was a joke, so I am glad you took a humorous approach to this article because I believe everyone who was watching it did not take it seriously. Also even though I do not like either candidate thats running, I have so much respect for Hilary Clinton for her composer and grace throughout the debate because Trump said some nasty things about her that I’m sure she probably wanted to kick his ass for saying it.

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