SECTIONS
Sunday, January 20, 2019

Seares: Clinton won but did Trump lose?

MOST U.S. media organizations say Hillary Clinton won in the first presidential debate last Sept. 26 (Tuesday in PH). But her opponent Donald Trump insists he won.

Donald's stance fits into the Trump campaign's narrative that mainstream media and the establishment are rooting for Hillary while the American voters are supporting him.

He says he won even if more people who watched the debate believe he was given a severe drubbing than those who think he did the thrashing. He doesn't accept loss even as he complains he was given a faulty microphone ("was it set up the wrong way on purpose?") and moderator Lester Holt of NBC deserved a C for unfairness, vowing to give Hillary rough stuff in their next debate.

Even from here, debate watchers tend to agree with Clinton when she spiked Trump's interruptions of a listing of her feats. "You haven't done it, you haven't done it," Trump whined as she shot back, "Excuse me, Donald, I know you live in your own reality show."

We saw some of that in our own presidential debates last May: a candidate insisting on a lie that was already exposed as a lie. But nothing done here could come close to Trump's persistent pushing of his untruth.

Lie, falsehood, yet Trump insisted he was right, or hadn't said it ("Where did you find that?") or could do better, even though earlier independent fact-checkers proved him wrong.

Did Clinton win? She did, convincingly. But did Trump lose? Not in his mind, not to his supporters who believe the lies are part of strategy to get to the White House.

Results

When Trump was asked by moderator Holt if he'd accept the results of the election, he said yes, despite suggestions in the past that he might not as the polls, he charged, would be "rigged."

If he'd call the election differently as he does the debate, it would be typical Trump, "hugely, bigly."

(paseares@gmail.com)
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