I thought Donald Trump’s finish, in which he praised Hillary Clinton for being a fighter, was both gracious and graciously delivered. In fact, I’m still thinking about it more than a half-hour later, because it showed that Trump could be something approaching humble — an aspect of his personality that I don’t think I’ve seen this entire campaign. Perhaps it was a sign that he was genuinely touched by her praise of his children; perhaps he was simply tired and had spent all his ammunition. But for a guy who always has to not only be dominant but express dominance — with insults, with the tone of his voice, even with the look on his face — it was, well, shocking.
- Am I the only one who thought this debate at times was like the Howard Cosell episode of “The Odd Couple,” where Jack Klugman’s Oscar arms himself with unnecessary insults? (Yeah, it’s probably just me.)
- Hillary generally got the better of Trump, but there were times I couldn’t help but think she would have had to raise her game against, say, William Weld (or Barack Obama, for that matter). All politicians have tape players in their heads, but the good ones manage to hide it when they turn it on. (Obama is very good at this.) You could sometimes hear the tape running when Hillary — not a natural politician, as she has noted more than once — gave her answers. (Yes, I think we’re “stronger together,” too, but jeez, you only have to say it once.)
- No vodka tonight. I watched the debate at the great Manuel’s Tavern, where it came on right after my Team Trivia show, and I ended up sticking to water. But there’s one more debate to come. I’ll be stocking up on the alcohol.