ANALYSIS: No nuclear warfare at debate from Trump over Clinton accusers
Presidential nominees Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump had one last attempt on Wednesday, Oct. 19, to pitch their campaigns to the American people.
The venue: a final debate showdown at the University of Nevada Las Vegas, moderated by folksy conservative broadcaster Chris Wallace from Fox News.
There were jabs, jibes and Trump lost his cool. There was vitriol, venom and “bad hombres” to boot. At this point, all of that is pretty par for the course when trying to analyze a debate that’s more spectacle than substance.
Despite all of that, it was as satisfying a policy debate than I think we’ll ever get out of these candidates. It was certainly better than the last two showings. It’s also hard to imagine that the last debate in a trilogy would give us the best look into finite proposals, but here we are.
A day later, and we’re actually a bit wiser on what Trump and Clinton will stand in terms of leadership come January.
Trump vowed to help wipe Roe v. Wade from legal precedent with his U.S. Supreme Court picks. Clinton promised she would not make a final march into Iraq with occupying ground troops to fry ISIS like a Thanksgiving turkey.
In that regard, both sides won last night.
Yet with all of the mounting Trump rhetoric of a “nuclear war” with Clinton over sexual assault claims, I was left left scratching my head when it didn’t happen.
Where were the President Bill Clinton or WikiLeaks warheads I was promised? In no way do I believe or give credence to any of Trump’s gut shots against Clinton. It just would have been fun to see Trump or Clinton meltdown entirely on live TV.
Every other debate had some element of melt, so I don’t think it’s unreasonable to expect or demand anything less. Trump’s silver bullet damnation of how the Clintons handled Bill’s escapades never materialized, and certainly without the "Dr. Strangelove" dramatics he promised last week.
There’s a reason for that. The Trump camp dug itself so deep into a hole last week over sexual assault -- complete with its own fierce denials and vicious victim-blaming of accusers. He simply lost the shrinking moral high ground.
Going scorched Earth would expose his Achilles' heel a mere three weeks away from the election. When Trump opens his mouth to deny or degrade his accusers, the filth piles up like an anchor under his sinking ship campaign.
Someone in Trump's inner circle must have finally talked some sense into him, because it just never really happened. No Jupiter missiles with Paula Jones’ name on them. No civilian targets like daughter Chelsea Clinton to show the effects of scandal on their family dynamic.
It would have been the lowest, lamest and most despicable blow in presidential debate history, and I’m sure the American people are better off now that Trump’s mutually assured destruction tactic broke apart in the atmosphere.
Trump promised us war, and he never delivered. He’s already broken one of his chief campaign promises before his election as president.
Consider that the last invalidating example of why Trump probably shouldn’t be commander in chief.