I really want to go to bed, but my brain won’t sleep until I type this out.
Hillary Clinton told us Trump won the debate with her final answer. Final answer.
An audience member asked the closing question. He challenged the candidates to say something nice about their opponents. Hillary went first.
The right way to answer those screwball questions is to say something nice and sit down. I’ll explain why in a moment.
Hillary began by talking briefly about Donald Trump’s great kids. She got that part right.
But then Hillary went on the attack about negative campaigning. She talked for over two minutes, beyond her allotted time. This time, though, I don’t think Trump minded.
When Trump’s turn came, he nailed it. He called his opponent “a fighter,” and he piled on about her refusal to give up.
We all know Trump respects the hell out of fighters. His compliment was sincere as they get.
And then Trump sat down.
Here’s why Hillary’s answer was so bad and why she knew she lost.
When a voter asks a softball question, people want and expect a softball answer. We all wanted to feel good about something. We all know this race is nasty. We wanted a tiny respite from that nastiness. But Hillary just reminded us. She turned a softball question into an ugly answer. Because she had to try something.
Trump knew he’d won. He didn’t need to land a punch after the bell. He knew it, and he went to his corner. Like a champion. Like a gentleman.
Hillary knew she’d lost. She needed to try something to even the score, so she took a chance with a cheap shot after the bell, over the ref’s shoulder. She was cheap and ugly. And her gambit failed.
By hitting after the bell, Hillary told us all she lost. She telegraphed the outcome.
Trump is back on top. Watch him rise. Greatest 3rd Act ever.
Also published on Medium.