As I said in a recent post, I did not intend to watch the debate, and I didn’t. However, my wife did, and while she very considerately removed her Ipad and herself to another room while she watched, I couldn’t help overhear some of it in real time. My own impression was that she was making mincemeat of him, but it remained to be seen whether the meat would be highly spiced enough for the media to acknowledge the rout.
It appears, and this really is a miracle, that it was. The media set the bar extremely low for the Donald, but instead of stepping over it, he tried to limbo under it, and it didn’t work out well for him. As many have already noted, we can now expect several days of whining about how mean the media is to him, with the future of his debate appearances in doubt. I’ve had my problems with Hillary from a policy standpoint, but I’ve never accused her of not doing her homework, and she certainly did it for this one. She played him like a fiddle. It must be hard for them, but for the most part, based on the reaction I’ve seen, with the exception of Fox, they are playing it for the disaster it was for the Donald. I guess if you come across as an ignorant, unhinged coke head, even our media has to take notice.
Speaking of low bars, a few thoughts occurred to me about the frequent media refrain that this or that candidate must merely meet media defined low expectations in order to succeed in a debate. The obvious point is that the media itself defines these expectations, with no scientifically valid input from the public. In addition, I’ve searched my own memory, and I’ve failed to come up with a single example of the expectations game being played with a Democratic candidate. So far as I can recall, Democrats are expected to win on points, with the Republican often spotted a few points (or more) by the media prior to the opening bell. Not all Republicans benefit from the expectations game, but to my recollection, only Republicans (best off hand examples: Sarah Palin and Dan Quayle) do.
I wonder why that is.
No, I really don’t.