Donald Trump was recognized to be woefully unprepared for the first presidential debate last night. As Paul Krugman remarked, “being too lazy to prepare for the most important moment says something about candidate.” Something not good.
Chuck Todd of NBC’s Meet The Press, however, seems to think preparation says something bad about a candidate too. He said in his post-debate analysis that, in comparison to Trump, Clinton seemed “over-prepared.”
— Meet the Press (@MeetThePress) September 27, 2016
“It was clear both candidates didn’t lie to us about how they prepared for this debate. Hillary Clinton you could tell spent a lot of time preparing for this debate. Hillary Clinton was at times, you could argue, over-prepared.”
Ezra Klein gave credit where credit was due. After all the talk about how strong he is, Trump faded early, and Klein noted that “Clinton won this debate in part because she had more stamina for this than Trump. He flagged badly after 30 minutes. She didn’t.”
Chuck Todd did avoid the low represented by Fox News host Brit Hume’s claim that Clinton looked smug and “not necessarily attractive.” At least Hume was astute enough to recognize that Trump came across as “annoyed” and “uncomfortable.”
Hillary Clinton did so well, in fact, that pundits are falling over themselves to find something negative to say about her, perhaps in quest for that “false equivalency” that has become so popular in the mainstream media.
You can’t be over-prepared to be president. You can only show you don’t care enough to prepare. There are probably few who would not wish for a president who prepared “too much” rather than not at all. Trump was not only physically tired, but mentally tired. He lacked the intellectual stamina to master the issues and the temperament to refute criticism.
Roll Calls’ Jonathan Allen tells it like it is:
“Donald Trump has given us the worst debate performance by any major-party nominee since the advent of television.”
No search for errors on Hillary Clinton’s part is going to change the outcome of the debate. She prepared, she won, and Trump is left to stay up all night searching for online polls that say he won while coming up for some excuses to use on Fox & Friends this morning.
Maybe he will prepare for that.