Skip to main content

The Globe and Mail

In first debate, most pundits call it for Clinton

Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton laughs to Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump during the presidential debate at Hofstra University in Hempstead, N.Y., Monday, Sept. 26, 2016. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)


By Chris Hannay (@channay) and Rob Gilroy (@rgilroy)

The Globe Politics is pleased to include a roundup of news and opinion on U.S. politics, through until this year's election in November. As always, let us know what you think of the newsletter. Sign up here to get it by e-mail each morning.

Story continues below advertisement


> Last night saw the first of three U.S. presidential debates. You can read a full transcript here from Politico, or an annotated and fact-checked transcript from NPR here.

> Two stark visions of America: The Globe and Mail's Joanna Slater was ringside last night on Long Island. "From the opening moments, Hillary Clinton, the Democratic nominee, and Donald Trump, her Republican rival, offered starkly divergent views on the state of the country and the qualities required in its next leader." It is said that presidential debates rarely budge the electoral meter, but this has been anything but a normal election year in the U.S., due mostly to Mr. Trump, the real estate magnate and reality TV star. "Despite expectations that Mr. Trump would moderate his style for his first face-off with Ms. Clinton, he emerged almost as belligerent – if not quite as outrageous – as usual."

> Reality TV star can't grasp TV: The Globe's John Doyle says Donald Trump was defeated Monday by the most basic rules of television. "In the end, you can have your Twitter, which is Donald Trump's best medium. It's TV that gets people elected. ... Trump failed to grasp that on television any man can look menacing if he gives the faintest sign of being a bully. On TV, in the camera's unnerving eye, that's weakness. ... if he's that rich and successful, why is he coming across like a slightly desperate, grinning huckster?"

> Not ready for prime time: The Globe's John Ibbitson says that for any uncommitted voter to want Donald Trump to be president after Monday's performance, "you would have to be as angry and bitter as Donald Trump was Monday night. ... By any conventional metric, Ms. Clinton mopped the floor with Mr. Trump. ... could any reasonable person conclude that America would be in better hands with Mr. Trump as president? No. That conclusion is simply not possible based on the evidence."

> Six debate takeaways: For Globe subscribers, David Shribman looks at six key points from Monday's debate. "In a campaign year that has shattered conventions and expectations, Monday night's debate left some of those assumptions in tatters."

> The views from America: At The New York Times, Roger Cohen said Clinton clearly won the debate. "But hesitant voters are looking for a glimpse of the unexpected and unscripted in her, a human connection rather than a political one. They will still be waiting." ... Ross Douthat said Trump started strong, winning the first 25 minutes, "then the rest of the debate happened. ... he showed no ability to evade or duck or simply retreat on issues ... where long Trumpish answers make things only worse."

Story continues below advertisement

> In The Washington Post, E.J. Dionne Jr. writes that "Clinton's calm dissection of her foe reassured jittery supporters and no doubt shook many voters who were considering Trump. Clinton shifted the contest her way during her party's convention. She did it again during Monday night's debate." ... Dana Milbank called the debate "the revenge of the nerd. Trump was louder and nastier. But Clinton was cool and measured, continuing to make her case while Trump tried to talk over her." ... Jennifer Rubin said "Trump needed to conceal his temper, avoid queries on his taxes and dalliance with birtherism, and appear ready to be president. He didn't."... Jonathan Chait says "the contrast between an obviously and eminently qualified public servant and a ranting bully was as stark as any presidential debate in American history." ... Ezra Klein says the debate "featured a man who didn't know what he was talking about repeatedly shouting over a woman who was extraordinarily prepared." (And according to a Vox count, Mr. Trump interrupted Ms. Clinton 51 times.) ... Jeet Heer says that "during the Republican debates, Trump got away with outrageous behavior because he seemed like a clown who was having fun. That jovial spirit disappeared tonight."

> Expect a Clinton bump: Nate Silver at says postdebate polling showed a clear victory for Clinton, which likely points to gains for her in head-to-head polling. "The data is certainly noisy, but an emphatic win on the order of what Clinton or Romney achieved — and perhaps what Hillary Clinton achieved on Monday night — might be expected to produce a swing of 2 to 4 percentage points in horse-race polls."


> Canada and China are in high-level talks for a cybersecurity accord to protect Canadian businesses from hackers.

> The NDP is pressing the Liberals to repeal the former Conservative government's anti-terror legislation.

> Canada's defence ombudsman says the department of national defence should be taking on more of a role to help soldiers leaving service, instead of leaving it all to the veterans affairs department.

Story continues below advertisement

> Recent court rulings have raised concerns about whether residential school survivors who suffered abuse are being offered adequate redress.

> The Prime Minister's Office says aides Katie Telford and Gerald Butts had no idea their moving expenses had gotten so high, and that it was all handled by a third-party company, Brookfield.

> And the Liberals are considering a stay on a law that would strip citizenship from Canadians who had false information on their immigration papers - a situation that might include Liberal cabinet minister Maryam Monsef.


Campbell Clark (The Globe and Mail): "Justin Trudeau usually steers clear of criticizing Donald Trump by name, but his Liberals are happy to make a few bucks off anti-Trump sentiment."

Margaret Wente (The Globe and Mail): "Mr. Trudeau can never placate these [anti-pipeline] groups because their objections are absolute. There are no conditions or compromises that would satisfy them. They do not believe him when he says there's no inherent conflict between economic growth and serious action to reduce CO2 emissions."

Ferry de Kerckhove (The Globe and Mail): "As a former Canadian high commissioner to Pakistan, from 1998 to 2001, I believe [Liberal cabinet minister Maryam] Monsef. Her family's story is similar to the ones that my wife, who was an immigration officer responsible for refugees at the High Commission, heard many times. By the late 1990s, the city of Peshawar, where I had lived as a child, had mutated into a mini-Kabul, with millions of Afghan refugees, including a number of Taliban fellow travellers. People were travelling at great risk by bus, donkey and on foot for hundreds of kilometres from Afghanistan to Pakistan to try to persuade our immigration office to give them a visa while they waited in UN refugee camps."

Globe and Mail editorial board: "[Dr. Homa Hoodfar's] extended and pointless stay in Evin [Prison] was partly due to relations between Canada and Iran. Canada closed its embassy in Tehran in 2012, a year after the British embassy did so. In hindsight, the presence of a Canadian embassy might have spared much of Dr. Hoodfar's suffering, but that was the Department of Foreign Affairs' judgment at the time."

Report an error Editorial code of conduct Licensing Options
As of December 20, 2017, we have temporarily removed commenting from our articles. We hope to have this resolved by the end of January 2018. Thank you for your patience. If you are looking to give feedback on our new site, please send it along to If you want to write a letter to the editor, please forward to