In U.S. Presidential Debate, Clinton Passes Commander-In-Chief Test
Photos by: Gage Skidmore
Finally, Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton have faced off in person, in the first of three debates that will define the final six weeks of this presidential campaign. Pundits will focus on the stylistic and temperamental differences the two displayed in their inaugural Sept. 27 debate: Clinton looked cool, composed and tough -- while Trump appeared undisciplined, domineering and fuzzy about the distinctions between his personal interests and the national interest.
America's foreign friends in Asia and elsewhere will juxtapose Clinton's promise that the U.S. will stand behind its alliances with Trump's perverse belief that U.S. allies and trading partners are more of a liability than an asset to American interests. For this Republican, only one of the candidates appeared prepared to navigate the U.S. through a dangerous world, and it was not the Republican nominee.
Clinton promised to stand up to Russia and China, including by vigorously defending against their cyberattacks on America. As Trump lambasted "failed" trade deals, Clinton pointed out that America, with only 5% of the world's population, benefited from trade with the other 95%. She met Trump's charge that the North American Free Trade Agreement has been a "disaster," with the riposte that the U.S. economy boomed throughout the 1990s after it was enacted.
Clinton declared nuclear proliferation, including the risk that terrorists could get their hands on a nuclear weapon, the greatest single danger to American security. She challenged Trump's position that nuclear proliferation would not endanger vital U.S. interests -- especially in East Asia -- pointing out that every American president in the nuclear age, Republican and Democrat, had defined a solemn duty to prevent any nuclear cascade. She quipped that "a man who can be provoked by a tweet should not have his fingers anywhere near the nuclear codes."