Two debates are left between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump.
The vice presidential debate was supposed to be simple. It was supposed to be a nice break from both of these insult-driven campaigns, as well as the migraine-inducing first presidential debate. It wasn’t.
The first presidential debate was historic, with 84 million people, according to television ratings data from Nielsen, watching Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump clash. Viewers had to sprint to get an Advil after the first five minutes. Interruptions kept coming and coming and it seemed to turn into a reality television show.
Trump interrupted Clinton 22 times in just 26 minutes, according to USA Today. Was he trying to set a Guinness World Record? Watching Barack Obama and Mitt Romney debate in 2012, compared with what America just witnessed, was enjoyable and, quite frankly, beautiful, as they actually talked about issues that affected our country.
Referring to the performances of Trump and Clinton, sophomore Max Sokolov commented, “They are talking more about how the other person is going to be a terrible president. They are not talking about what they are going to do with the situation America is in. I think politicians should talk about their policies and why they are a better choice.”
The Daily Emerald mentioned the debate watchers’ predictions: “Many viewers thought it would be a calm debate”. The viewers were wrong. Though Tim Kaine and Mike Pence have very different demeanors than the presidential candidates, they maintained the same aggressive back-and-forth as those on the top of their respective tickets.
Kaine interrupted Pence at least 70 times, according to abc news, and again both candidates talked more about what their running mates have said than what they would do as vice president.
Between these two parties, answering the moderator’s question also became a major point of confusion amongst viewers. Both the presidential and vice presidential candidates avoided moderators Lester Holt and Elaine Quijano’s questions, as each candidate wanted to prove how wrong the other was.
On the topic of moderators, they have a very difficult job because millions of Americans watch the debates and expect perfection. Musician Reggie Watts blamed Holt for talking too little on Twitter. “We need to get better moderators. Lester Holt and former moderators are so passive exerting no control.”
Some M-A students do believe that the vice presidential debate was the better of the two. Sophomore Alex Coleman shared his views on the first two debates: “It was a lot more cordial in the vice presidential debate. These debates are meant to be messy. If you want to interrupt sure, but don’t interrupt excessively.” Even through all of the arguing on stage, many focused on deciding who came out victorious in each debate.
It seems that many agree Clinton had the edge in the first presidential debate. CNN said that “Trump took the bait, repeatedly interrupting angrily or dismissively throughout the night.” Coleman commented, “Clinton put Trump in circles.” As for the vice presidential debate, Coleman, a Democrat, believes that Pence was victorious. “Kaine just kept interrupting and interrupting.”
These debates have been unpredictable and will only get crazier as we start heading towards election day. One main message stays the same. Go out and vote. For now, try to not get too many headaches from these ‘discussions.’