On Monday, a record 84 million people tuned in to the first presidential debate of the 2016 election season, according to CNN. While both Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton brought their game, only one could win.
After 95 minutes of debate and seemingly endless interruptions, Clinton definitively emerged victorious over Trump. Trump was only able to keep his cool for so long before exploding into the cartoon-like character many view him as.
While Trump focused most of his talking points on emphasizing the problems in our country, Clinton focused on solutions and her plans to better the world around us. When prompted to discuss racial tensions, Clinton addressed gun violence and her ideas to minimize it, but Trump incorrectly stated that murders in New York were up.
Clinton was not free from error, but Trump piled up significantly more factual inaccuracies – from insisting stop-and-frisk wasn’t unconstitutional after moderator Lester Holt told him it was to denying statements he made about climate change. In fact, the 2012 tweet he denied had the most retweets that night. Just remember Trump: the internet never forgets.
But actions often speak louder than words, and Trump’s nonverbal messages were received loud and clear. According to Vox.com, Trump interrupted Clinton 51 times while Clinton interrupted Trump 17 times in comparison.
Trump claimed that his temperament was his best quality, but his demeanor proves otherwise.
Clinton kept herself composed, smiling, nodding and taking notes whenever Trump was speaking. But Trump was unable to return the favor, often scoffing and making unpleasant faces when he wasn’t interrupting Clinton’s arguments.
Finally, post-debate, as both candidates left the stage, Clinton shook hands with Holt, who expected the same from her opponent. Instead, he was left hanging.
Clinton, without a doubt, left the winner. Trump may have started out composed, but Clinton was able to get under his skin to remind the audience of his true colors. The American people are watching you, Trump, so you better be watching yourself.