I choked up a little last night knowing that this would be the last Presidential debate until the first Iowa cattle calls of the 2020 cycle start an excruciating 6 months from now. Fittingly, the candidates were in top form, giving the American people the show-stopping finale they deserve.
|Mosul||Chicago||Emails||Big Deals||Gaslighting||Entourage||FINAL GRADE|
After decisively losing the first debate and only landing a few big shots in the second, Donald Trump knew he had to go for the knockout tonight. He started out slow, sounding sedated and almost sore. But before we knew it, Donny Casino was loose from his shackles, with his full repertoire of interruptions, insults, and non-sequiturs. Unlike the second debate where he petered out, Trump was there the entire time. Whether he was finally taking Hillary to task for emailing Sidney Blumenthal, attempting to get John Podesta in trouble at work, implying he would put a hotel in Mosul, or boldly telling the audience that events which occurred actually did not, Trump’s high energy from the primary was in full effect tonight. His demand that Hillary Clinton be disenfranchised for her email felonies were strikingly on-message for a candidate who so frequently veers off. Americans saw a Donald Trump who is 100% committed to putting his opponent behind bars, and quite a few swing voters are going to be impressed by the rare candidate who might actually keep his promises. Win or lose in November, Trump, like the veteran cop thrown off the force for his unorthodox methods, clearly will not stop until he gets his perp.
|Bipartisanship||Deficit Courage||App Solution||Green Jobs||Respect||Threatening Nuclear Confrontation With Russia||FINAL GRADE|
Trump gave viewers everything they wanted tonight, but Hillary showed herself as the more rational and adult candidate. Nowhere was this more evident than her Simpson Bowles-esque debt figure recitations, which is probably what we’ll all look back on as the exact moment that she won the presidency. Mothers hugged daughters, fathers texted their sons through court-appointed mediators, and children rejoiced as the former Secretary of State bravely pledged to protect the next generation from the specter of the deficit. I don’t bring my personal life up in these things very often, but as a father, the number one thing I worry about for my Colby isn’t drugs, gangs, or the knockout game. It’s being saddled with bloated entitlement liabilities and public debt. That’s what every parent fears, that their beautiful round children will arrive to a future where debt is over 90 percent of GDP, where deficits roam the land and threaten the continuation of the F-35 project. Hillary looked us in the eye and said, “Parents, let me worry about it.”
While she did propose a no fly zone in Syria that would require hundreds of thousands of troops to occupy Syria and almost certainly provoke a hot war with the Russian Federation, it was clear her eye was zeroed in on a more immediate threat. And for once, I don’t care how many times Mark Penn emailed her illegally: she’s the only rational choice.
|Alpha Male Posture||Gorilla Mindset||Miles Davis-Like Cool||Handling Of Audience Members Yelling “Cuck” At Him||Devoting 80% Of Questions To The Deficit||“Mr. Trump may I please say a… oh.. okay. I’m so sorry sir.”||FINAL GRADE|
Regular readers know the Dig, as an inveterate print journalist, has always been skeptical of the ability of these TV news makeup chair-jockeys to focus on serious issues. These flashy hip hop debate moderators are more concerned with ratings than with matters of import for our nation. But last night, Fox News’ Chris Wallace proved me wrong.
The virile Wallace strutted on stage and dominated the whole night. He was barely afraid to interrupt the candidates or lay down the law when audience members applauded or heckled or yelled out his wife’s email address. And when he tried to interrupt the Donald, eliciting an “I’m talking, Chris” and an offensive finger wag, Wallace cocked his head and smirked with the confidence of a man who knows his point has been proven.
Best of all, Wallace devoted massive sections of the debate to the all-important issue of the deficit, grilling the candidates on which social programs need to be axed in order to achieve the vital goal of entitlement reform. The hundreds of millions of voters clamoring for a Social Security grand bargain and a 90+ retirement age owe Chris Wallace a “debt” of gratitude for his service. The Dig must tip his hat to this Mammoth of Moderation.
Carl “The Dig” Diggler has covered national politics for 30 years and is the host of the Digcast, a weekly podcast on iTunes and Soundcloud. Got a question for the Dig? E-mail him at email@example.com or Tweet @carl_diggler.