It's the superficial impressions of the candidates that will determine how the electorate feels about them. Here are a few of those.
He has a hard time speaking in complete grammatical sentences, and as a result doesn't come across smart. Trump also uses the same limited vocabulary over and over again.
And he always seems to fall back on boasting about the "beautiful company" he built. (Who thinks of a corporation as "beautiful?")
He's florid, like a rich guy who enjoys his steak dinners and the drinks and dessert that go with them. His bone structure is perfectly good, but all the fat makes his eyes look somewhat piggish, which doesn't help his case given that he's constantly being accused of being a chauvinist pig.
Constantly interrupting Hillary by saying "wrong" does not prove your point; it just means you're an interrupter.
A more skilled debater could have skewered Hillary with more adroit references to the recent revelations from Project Veritas and Wikileaks. A skilled debater could have tied together the Department of Justice and the FBI and made the case for collusion.
But all Trump can do is shake his head and say something like, "Her husband and the Attorney General meeting on that plane on the tarmac for half an hour. Very bad. Very, very bad."
Hillary is the far more polished debater. She pivots, avoids answering questions, lies brazenly, and knows how to keep her easily distracted opponent off balance.
But has there ever been anything phonier than Hillary's smile? It's meant to be dismissive, to imply that a criticism leveled at her is so far off base it's actually amusing. But the smile never seems to reach her eyes. And laughing every time you're attacked is simply not a credible response.
If you looked at Hillary's eyes, you saw that she would mostly look down as she talked, occasionally look up, and whenever she looked at Trump while he was accusing her of something, she looked extremely stressed out. She also looked unhappy and bitter.
Part of the bitterness must have come from not having been able to just tell her Secret Service agents to shoot Trump -- in that hectoring, strident voice of hers.
Speaking of her security, an article which came out yesterday claimed that when Hillary broke her elbow, her security detail secretly exulted. (How incredibly unpleasant do you have to be for them to react that way?)
Hillary comes across as if she is filled with fury. Her original hatred of her father (he was reportedly a martinet) spread to Bill, and now it includes Trump. But really, it encompasses all men. And now she wants revenge.
That dumpy body may be near death (you can understand why Trump offered to take a drug test if she would), and her face has been lifted so many times that it's started to look like a mask. But, she's absolutely determined to be the first woman President, and she's not going to let anything stand in her way.
Not a sense of ethics, not a sense of shame, not a desire to play by the rules, and certainly not Donald Trump.
Sadly, it looks as if she is going to get her wish.
The Arab Spring
While listening to the debate last night, and hearing the discussion about Syria, it occurred to me that one phrase you never hear any more is "Arab Spring."
Back in 2011, when some of the worst of the corrupt, despotic dictators in the Middle East had either been toppled or were in the process of being overthrown, it seemed as if hope and change were in the air in that part of the world, all with either the tacit or overt encouragement of the Obama administration.
It's all fallen apart since, either into anarchy or hard-core theocracies. Syria, Libya, Tunisia, Iraq, and Egypt are all big messes now.
"Spring" has a nice, fresh, rejuvenating sound to it. It's the start of something new, when the long, cold winter is finally over and the buds are emerging.
Unfortunately, what has blossomed most has been Islamic terrorism. And, like an invasive weed, it's spread to areas where it hadn't existed before.
And if Hillary gets elected, and gets her way regarding the Syrian immigrants, we can expect even more of it here.