If you are anything like me, you treat the Presidential debates like an early Christmas present. Full of excitement, endless possibilities, and, at times, slight disappointment. It’s hard to believe that we are through the primaries and are now just six weeks away until Election Day. SIX WEEKS!
On Monday night, at Hofstra University, Republican nominee Donald Trump and Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton went head-to-head for the first debate of the 2016 Presidential election. There were interruptions, accusations, fact checking, fact disputing, and so much comedic value packed into a 90-minute debate, moderated by Lester Holt. Here’s what transpired at the debate, as I give you full access into my first Debate Diary…
9:01 – Patiently waiting around for this debate to start. Trump and Clinton can’t show up on time? Not a good start, punctuality is everything!!!
9:03 – Talking to my friend Aryn. The betting for Hillary Clinton’s amount of coughs is over/under 100. I’m going over, can we get someone to tally this sort of stuff?
9:04 – LESTERRRRR!!! Let’s get this thing started!!! He sounds like he means business.
9:05 – Clinton and Trump are introduced. Clinton wearing Red. Trump wearing Blue. What is going on here? Are we being Punkd? Where is Ashton Kutcher?!
9:06 – First question and Clinton is the first to speak. How cool is this? A woman debating in late September. The answer – so cool.
9:07 – Clinton stresses her views on why she is a better choice to create better jobs in America. Talks about raising the minimum wage, getting equal pay for women (finally), and having the wealthy pay their fair share.
9:08 – “Donald, it’s good to be with you.”
9:08 – It didn’t take long for Trump to bring up Mexico. About the 7th word out of his mouth.
9:09 – He said Mexico again! He’s going for a Guinness World Record at this point.
9:09 – Trump states how he wants to drop taxes from 35 to 15% for all businesses (large and small). Gives a few personal anecdotes and talks about how China and Mexico are on the rise and the United States is falling behind.
9:12 – Lester asks Trump how he will get industries to move back to the United States. He immediately responds how his dad gave him a small loan back in the 70s and how he turned that into a huge amount of money. I wish I got a “small loan” of about $40 million.
9:14 – “Secretary Clinton… is that okay? I want to make sure, I want you happy, that’s very important to me”… Lowkey creepy, Donald.
9:15 – Lester again asks Trump how he will get industries to move back to the United States. Still no answer from the Don.
9:16 – Clinton gives a Trump quote about the housing crisis 8 years ago. Trump responds with “that’s called business”. Clinton follows up with how many jobs were lost during the crisis.
9:18 – Clinton says in her plan, 10 million jobs will be added. With Trump’s plan, millions of jobs will be lost. Trump looks like someone just stole his chips at lunch.
9:19 – A little back and forth with Trump and Clinton. The gloves are about to come off.
9:22 – Lester is just like all of us at this point. Sitting here with eyes wide open. This back and forth is golden. “Is it President Obama’s fault?!?” and lots of banter about NAFTA.
9:23 – Trump mentions, again, that his tax cut will be the biggest since Ronald Reagan. He’s very proud of it (he said that, too).
9:26 – Donald Trump attacks Hillary on ISIS. Lester Holt cuts them both off (well, attempts). Back to taxes.
9:28 – Clinton says “I feel like by the time this night is over, I’ll be blamed for everything” Trump responds with “Why not?”.
9:29 – Trump continues to interrupt Clinton’s time. Homie, this isn’t the Republican Debate. Let her speak.
9:29 – Clinton continues talking about the middle class. Totally disagrees with “top down” strategy.
9:32 – Lester brings up the tax returns that Trump has yet to release. He states that he’s still in a routine audit and will release them once that is finished. I may be ignorant, but how long does a routine audit take? Hasn’t it been a year?
9:33 – Trump deflects tax returns conversation to saying he will release those when Clinton releases her 33,000 e-mails. Cheers from crowd.
9:35 – Clinton brings up a few reasons why Trump isn’t releasing his tax returns. Not as charitable? Not as rich? Clinton believes it’s because he hasn’t been paying federal taxes for years. Clinton then admits she made a mistake with the e-mails and took responsibility.
9:38 – According to Don, we are turning into a third world country based on our airports. Hmmmm………
9:41 – Clintons brings up Trump’s business dealings. How has has “stiffed” people he has worked with, refused to pay. Trump says “maybe I wasn’t satisfied with the quality of work”.
9:44 – New topic – Race in America. This one could be really intense. Clinton is up first.
9:46 – The Secretary is talking about criminal justice reform. Brings up the recent events in Tulsa and Charlotte. Stresses how communities need to come together and how guns need to be out of the hands of people who don’t need them. She wants to help restore trust between the police and communities.
9:48 – Trump’s turn. First words out of his mouth are “Law and Order”. He wants to stop the violence, continues bringing up how thousands of people have been shot and killed in Chicago. Talks about illegal immigrants in gangs that have guns. Also, mentions how maybe we should do “stop and frisk”. Lester says how it was ruled unconstitutional due to racial profiling. Trump says “no, you’re wrong”….
9:51 – Clinton brings up how it is unfortunate that Trump paints such a bad picture of black communities in America. Talks about how if you are a young black man and did the same crime as a young white man, you are more likely to be incarcerated. Big time statement from the Secretary.
9:53 – The Secretary says that if someone is on a no-fly list, they should not be able to purchase guns. Trump agrees.
9:56 – Trump brings up again how successful “stop and frisk” was in New York City and how it’s a great idea.
9:58 – Trump talks about how he’s been to Detroit and Philadelphia and all over. Takes a gentle stab at Hillary for “staying at home”. Hillary responds by saying “I think Donald just took a jab at me for preparing for this debate. And preparing to be President. Which I have.”
10:00 – We’re an hour into the debate and we’re shifting gears to President Obama’s birth certificate. Lester calls out Trump for continually bringing it up for the past five years, even after Obama produced the birth certificate in 2011. Trump doesn’t have much to say, besides being proud of himself for making Obama produce the birth certificate.
10:02 – Trump says he has had such a great connection with the African-American community for the “last…..little while”.
10:02 – Clinton’s response, calling out Trump for his “racist” remarks of Obama not being a U.S. citizen. She talks about the “birther lie” and how First Lady Michelle Obama said “when they go low, we go high”.
10:05 – Trump is talking about the law suit. And Clinton is just looking over with this amazing grin. She came to play tonight.
10:06 – Trump says “that is the true way I feel”, followed by a huge smile from Hillary.
10:06 – New topic – Cyber Security and protecting America from hacking groups.
10:07 – Clinton’s focus is Russia’s cyber attack and how serious of an issue it is to the security of our nation.
10:09 – Trump’s response that he is endorsed by several admirals. I have NO idea what this has to do with Cyber Security, but at this point, why am I even trying to make sense of his strategy?
10:10 – The first Bernie Sanders reference! And the whole world cheers. And then weeps.
10:11 – Not really sure if Trump addressed the issue. Talks something about a 400lb hacker laying on a bed? And how his 10 year old son is really good with computers. Again, why am I even trying to make sense of this?
10:13 – Clinton just cleared her throat. Not sure if that counts as a cough. I’m impressed, this debate needs to be sponsored by Halls for controlling homegirl’s coughing fits.
10:14 – Clinton says how Trump supported the war in Iraq. Trump says “wrong” several times.
10:19 – Trump talking about the flaws of NATO, then says all the NATO countries need to get together and knock the “hell out of ISIS”. Continues saying ISIS was an infant years ago, and now they’re in over 30 countries. Thus, Clinton cannot be the person the stop them.
10:20 – Oh and by the way, Trump says he was against the war. Lester says “the record proves otherwise”. Trump says “the record proves I’m right”. Oh, Donald.
10:21 – Trump wanting someone to call up Sean Hannity because Sean will have his back.
10:22 – Trump just said he has a much better temperament than Secretary Clinton. Now he’s just toying with us. Clinton cannot stop smiling.
10:22 – Clinton’s turn. All she can say is “WHEW…OKAY…”
10:23 – Clinton goes on to defend herself against Trump’s claims with ISIS and the War in Iraq. Goes on to talk about Donald’s temperament.
10:25 – “A man baited by a tweet should not have access to the codes to nuclear weapons” – Clinton says for the 568th time. Doesn’t make it any less true.
10:27 – The debate is almost over and I just thought about the fun I could have on Snapchat with filters. Where has my head been the past 87 minutes?!
10:30 – Hillary says it is essential that America’s word be good. Defends the deal with Iran, brings up about Trump’s “secret” ISIS plan. Says the only secret thing about it is that has no plan. Burn.
10:33 – Trump says Hillary does not have the look and the stamina to be President. Stamina. Stamina. STAMINNNAAAAA.
10:34 – The audience is starting to cheer for their candidate. Lester has lost all control. He never had control of the candidates. Now he lost control of the audience. LESTER!!! WE BELIEVED IN YOU!!! WE ALL BELIEVED IN YOU!!!
10:36 – “We have to mov….oh…Trump…you get 10 seconds….” Lester Holt for the 40th time tonight.
10:37 – Just in case you forgot, Donald reminded us all that he wants to make America great again.
10:38 – Lester Holt has the biggest sigh of relief. The debate is over and he admits how they didn’t get to every topic. No kidding, Les. No kidding.
The second debate will be moderated by Anderson Cooper and Martha Raddatz on Sunday, October 9 in St. Louis, MO.