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Clinton’s image managers emerge triumphant in debate prep

Clinton’s image managers emerge triumphant in debate prep

Clinton’s image managers emerge triumphant in debate prep

by The Honourable Joe Volpe, Publisher

TORONTO – Hillary Clinton’s image consultants won Wednesday night’s Presidential debate.

Her campaign team, confident that, on substance, she could more than handle herself, decided to give the American public the visual representation of what a truly professional President would look like. If it matters.

Perfectly coiffed in a hairstyle that oozed self-assurance in either official gender and wearing a suit styled accordingly, she strode onto the stage with purpose and composure one would attribute to “the white knight in shining armour”.

The contrast with the meandering gait of her opponent, Trump, whose relatively dishevelled, purposeless [loin-cloth length] tie, mis-matched on a darkish suit, could not have been more glaring.

Somehow, one knew this was not going to be a “fair fight”. One could say that it the outcome would be a forgone conclusion … “rigged”; one might argue.

Clinton addressed questions on substance with a coherence and method consistent with the expectations that the meticulous visuals her handlers demanded she present on the stage. On Immigration, Foreign Policy, National Security, Military preparedness, Economic Planning, International Trade, Jobs, Social Issues and Constitutional matters, the answers were typically crisp and to the point. Does it matter at this stage of the game, I wondered?

The viewers might not agree, but the positions were there to contest, rebut, or accept. More importantly, the “messages” did not distract from the “messenger”, Clinton. She assumed carriage of the only message that mattered: “which America better defines the one you see in the mirror every morning?” Or, if you prefer, which America would you put forth for the world to judge?

As they say in Sports, Clinton “put on a clinic”. In contrast, Trump’s position on all issues were consistent with those that one attribute to “my mind is made up; do not confuse me with facts.”

From a debate spectacle, it was so one sided, that I almost began to feel sorry for Trump. No, that’s not true. I was upset that he and his team had such little regard for the viewer/voter. They seemed completely oblivious to any position other than the one that would flow from the over-weening self-confidence of a blustering braggart and “prepared” him accordingly.

His arguments on virtually every issue resembled a colander. Clinton sliced and diced him on every issue. His tone petulant and whiny. His argumentation tentative and defensive. Accusatory but not substantive.

If he had “image consultants”, they served him as poorly as those who structured his substantive preparation. Or, equally likely, he thought he could go it alone. He has his supporters. They may yet carry him over the finish line.

It is foreboding, though, that his most significant contribution in the debate was the statement alluding to a refusal to accept the outcome of the election – in the event that it should declare someone other than himself as victor.

The subtext of the debate? Of the two pretenders to the Presidency, Clinton hit all of the “civil and civilized” notes expected of a candidate who is both tough and prepared. But the question for the public to answer was: are you (America) ready for a female President?

(Friday 21 October 2016)

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