After recovering from the first debate, Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton returned to the stage to deliver the second US presidential debate. Following Donald Trump’s failure from the last debate, he returned more vicious and threatening towards Hillary while she arrived ready to take on the real estate mogul again. October 9 marked the second debate, located at Washington University in St Louis, Missouri and was conducted in a ‘town meeting’ format with an audience to which the ‘Gallup Organisation’ claimed were ‘uncommitted’ voters.
The beginning of the debate was dominated by discussion of Trump’s leaked tape that included some sexist statements over women from the Republican Candidate, yet Trump retaliated by attacking Bill Clinton himself and his misconduct with women. at first, Trump declared his statements was ‘locker room talk’ which in other words means the crude and vulgar trade of comments that are passed by usually men to each other and exists solely for the purpose of humour. instead of dwelling on his scandal, he then referred to Bill’s rumoured scandals with various women that arose during his presidency. This then lead to Trump declaring Paula Jones (former Arkansas State employee who sued Bill Clinton for sexual harassment in 1991, which precipitated to Clintons impeachment from the White House) was in the audience. However, Clinton responded by judging Trumps attacks through quoting Michelle Obama: “When they go low, you go high,” stirring a loud applause from the audience (who in fact are chosen as they are impartial viewers, suggesting Clinton’s advance over Trump in the debate).
Yet, a shocking moment from the debate was when Trump had the audacity to threaten Clinton that she would be incarcerated if he was elected president. It’s not that he threatened her that was shocking as the past few months has included Trump making statements at his rallies that Clinton would be arrested, but the fact that he threatened her in person which showed his true character. The direct threat proves that Trump is a danger if elected president and it’s evidently clear that Clinton was the only one on the stage who was trying to keep the debate remotely Presidential-like with her smart and measured approach to Trump’s childish behaviour. Trump supporters in the audience cheered his threat but critics only state that Trump only reflected an anti-democratic impulse, which only emphasised his incompetency for Presidency.
Furthermore, a rather hysterical part of the debate was when Trump foolishly followed Hillary on stage like a predator when she discussed Obamacare. This lead to the infamous US sketch comedy show ‘Saturday Night Live’ to create a parody of this moment of the debate which depicted Trump as disturbing, distracting and relatively bizarre.
To sum up Trump’s performance, a quote from actor John Cusack:
“Trump staggering about like a drunk.”
On the other hand, it’s arguable that Clinton sometimes lapsed during Trump’s attacks. Trump relentlessly tried to bring up her email server scandal in the final hour in order to move the spotlight onto her, however her defence was rather weak as she only repeated her rehearsed response to this anticipated question. She admitted that it was a mistake yet Trump interrupted by trying to show that her carelessness of confidential emails. Clinton tried to dismiss him although it only lead to crosstalk in the debate, where the moderators tried to move on, but Clinton appeared rather flustered by the whole ordeal.
Nevertheless, Clinton did redeem herself when a question relating to Islamophobia arose from an audience member. Trump’s answer was feeble as he continuously criticised Obama and Clinton’s reluctance to use the term ‘Radical Islamic Terrorism’, but overall did not answer the question. Clinton on the other hand spoke about how Muslims should feel more apart of America rather than secluded and that she wants America on a united front in order to defeat ISIS. She also slammed Trump by stating that violent jihadist terrorists prevent this collaboration as Muslim nations are less eager to cooperate with Americans when they hear what Donald Trump says about them.
However, the prime moment of the debate was the end, where audience member Karl Becker asked:
“Regardless of the current rhetoric, would either of you name one positive thing that you respect in one another?”
Despite the contentious tone, the debate ended rather sentimentally because of this question. Clinton complimented Trump’s children, (who in fact were previously close friends of Clinton’s child, Chelsea before this Presidency period) and admitted that the ‘conflict-oriented’ election has affected both parties. Trump then answered Becker’s question by implying Clinton is persistent, despite himself not agreeing with her judgement.
Overall the debate further proved that the Trump campaign is in shambles and Clinton ought to recover for the next debate, as the final debate will test both the candidates.
Will Trump triumph and advance over Clinton or realise his failure of a campaign and collapse on stage?
Will Clinton finally finish off Trump and claim the favour of the swing states, or will she come across as weak towards the indecisive voter?
The polls suggest that Hillary is ahead of Trump, however a lot can change between now and election day. It all depends on whether the people of the United States go out to the polling stations and vote for the right candidate on November 8!