First Presidential Debate: Missed Opportunities

screen-shot-2016-09-27-at-9-58-18-amIn the first Presidential Debate both candidates appeared calm and subdued.  Moderated by Lester Holt, there were very little fireworks.  Considering Donald Trump is running against one of the most corrupt politicians in American history, from a conservative standpoint the overall consensus was that there were many missed opportunities.

Nate Madden of Conservative Review writes:

Donald Trump’s last-minute mention of one of his “key” issues at 2016’s first general presidential debate Monday was emblematic of one of his biggest missed opportunities of the evening.

Typical of the rest of the night, in which both Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton failed to discuss policy issues for any substantial amount of time before diving headfirst into each other’s’ personalities and personal histories, what should have been a layup question from debate moderator Lester Holt about stopping jihadist terrorism on American soil quickly devolved into a minutes-long mess about NATO, the Iraq War, and Trump’s relationship with Fox News personality Sean Hannity.

From The Washington Post:

“Well, first I have to say one thing, very important. Secretary Clinton is talking about taking out ISIS. ‘We will take out ISIS.’ Well, President Obama and Secretary Clinton created a vacuum the way they got out of Iraq, because they got out — what, they shouldn’t have been in, but once they got in, the way they got out was a disaster. And ISIS was formed.

“So she talks about taking them out. She’s been doing it a long time. She’s been trying to take them out for a long time. But they wouldn’t have even been formed if they left some troops behind, like 10,000 or maybe something more than that. And then you wouldn’t have had them.”
From that point, the discussion was quickly reduced to a rehashed he-said, she-said of whether or not Trump initially supported the invasion of Iraq, the mechanics of the troop withdrawal under the Obama administration, and the state of NATO.

A look at the New York bomber
Oh, and don’t forget the strain of Trump’s Iraq defense, in which he couldn’t stop talking about Sean Hannity.

The national security threat posed by immigration to and from countries where jihadist sympathies are prevalent has only been driven home further by the recent string of bombings in New York and New Jersey, as alleged bomber Ahmad Rahami reportedly traveled to Pakistan to receive training at a Taliban seminary.

This was a question that was tailor-made for a hardline stance on limiting immigration from high-risk countries. But the policy from Trump was nowhere to be found — eschewed for barbs against Clinton instead.

This is one of Trump’s strongest issues, and instead of hammering the common denominator between the horrific string of jihadist terror attacks experienced in the U.S. and Europe since the rise of ISIS, the Republican nominee chose to run headlong down a line of debate that was, at best, boring — and, at worst, made him look completely incoherent.

Unfortunately for the Trump campaign, the candidate didn’t just let one of the night’s slowest pitches slide directly over the plate; he swung at the wrong ball.

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