Second Debate: Trump Listens To Advisors To Deliver Technical Knock Out

REUTERS/Saul Loeb/Pool

David Krayden Ottawa Bureau Chief
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Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump prevailed in the impossible dream last night.

Forget the nattering nabobs of negativism holding court in the mainstream media.

Cast away the defeatists like Mitt Romney who were pleased beyond belief with the Trump video scandal.

Trump listened to both his closest advisors and his inner self and the result was a bravura technical knockout in last night’s presidential heavyweight bout.

After a weekend of being pummeled by every mainstream media outlet in the U.S.; of seeing his Republican establishment critics recoil in horror at his offensive Billy Bush bus banter; and of being eviscerated by every self-righteous liberal and conservative who have apparently lived in bubbles their entire lives, Trump drove away with the debate, leaving Democratic Hillary Clinton choking on his dust.

Yes, you can say that Trump had nothing to lose last night, that all he had to do was endure 90 minutes of public shaming, beg forgiveness and move on.  Except there would have been nowhere to move on to.  Trump needed a resounding victory last night and he needed to demonstrate that speaking idiocy into a microphone is not the moral equivalency of being a walking national security violation who was responsible for Americans losing their lives in Benghazi.

He needed to show that his private sins do not equate to Clinton’s pubic outrages.

He was successful in doing so and even though he waved Bill Clinton’s abhorrent sexual behavior in front of the audience like a hunting trophy and notwithstanding his pledge to prosecute Hillary when Trump became president, he managed to  do so without appearing as a rogue elephant bent on destruction; he has never demonstrated more coolness under fire, more irony and humor in the midst of distress and more simple self-control.  And unlike Clinton and Kaine who inject their well-rehearsed one-liners into the debate at the most impertinent moments, Trump’s rejoinders were fresh and spontaneous.

It takes a large portion of moral resolve, great personal courage and fighting spirit to put your political life on the line before tens of millions of rapt television viewers.

He succeeded in attacking without appearing vicious, I believe, because he listened to the team of advisors that surrounded him all weekend and forged a strategy that would resuscitate a campaign that appeared doomed.  But certainly it was his campaign manager, Kellyanne Conway, who provided the key advice to remind Americans of Clinton’s close association with victims of sexual assault and her utter failure as a secretary of state without being forced into the weeds of justifying some of the bizarre episodes in his own life.

His bravura debate performance has not silenced any of his critics and the Clinton News Network is actually declaring that Hillary won the debate in their morning analysis.  And the final weeks before election day will be dominated by a titanic struggle between a billionaire and his grassroots social media followers taking on a massive media and political establishment that cannot countenance a Trump presidency.  He is in mortal combat not only with liberal elites but Republican fifth columnists who would rather endure a pusillanimous and deeply corrupt Clinton presidency than a week of Trump in the White House.

It will be a bitter fight and the tone of this campaign will be louder and shriller with cascading anger and retribution. We are living in the age of conscience-less politicians and self-made news.  The credibility gap between the mainstream media and the social media adherents is widening, and whether it’s putting stories about Hillary’s sexuality out there in plain view or posting pictures of Trump-hating Fox news host Megan Kelly in lingerie, this is total war.

But, if Trump can stay focused in these final weeks on how little Clinton has accomplished in her political career and how much her venal ways have sucked from the system, then he will win – despite the Mount Everest-like odds that have already dismissed his candidacy.  As Harry Truman – a Democratic as far removed from the Clintons as whiskey from grain — understood in a 1948 election that virtually no one thought he could win, the people still have the final say.