A round-up of the third—and final—US presidential debateby Andrew Stuttaford / October 20, 2016 / Leave a comment
Hillary and Donald didn’t shake hands. And nor did Melania and Bill. Expectations of a mudfight had been whipped up by Team Trump’s decision to bring along a number of guests designed to spook Team Clinton. These included four mothers of people killed by illegal aliens, the former fiancée (from the 1990s) of the US ambassador butchered in Libya, the (allegedly estranged) mother of another of the Benghazi victims, the wholly estranged half-brother of the current president of the United States, and a former TV reporter from Arkansas who has emerged in recent days to assert that she was sexually assaulted by Bill Clinton in the 1980s. Adding to the goodwill in the air, Trump had suggested last weekend that the two candidates should submit to a drug test beforehand. Hillary, he maintained, had been “all pumped up” at the beginning of the previous debate, but had appeared curiously drained by the end of it (“She could barely reach her car”).
But (slightly) less mud flew than anticipated last night and it was The Donald who did not seem quite himself. And this was not just because he came across as somewhat more prepared than usual. Uncharacteristically sotto, he gave an impression of being gently sedated, or at least of having listened to his more sensible advisers, except, of course, when he didn’t. He made…