Clin­ton v Trump: Round 1

The Myanmar Times - - The Pulse - NICK BAKER n.baker@mm­times.com

IT’S billed as the po­lit­i­cal show­down of the cen­tury – and Yan­go­nites will be able to watch.

50th Street Bar is host­ing a de­layed broadcast of the open­ing US pres­i­den­tial de­bate between Hil­lary Clin­ton and Don­ald Trump to­mor­row evening.

Af­ter one of the long­est, nas­ti­est cam­paigns in Amer­i­can his­tory, this will be the first time that Clin­ton and Trump di­rectly square off face-to-face.

“[It] will cer­tainly be a piv­otal mo­ment in the cam­paign,” said Laura Grace from Democrats Abroad – the official Demo­cratic Party arm for ex­pat Amer­i­cans – who is or­gan­is­ing the watch party.

Com­men­ta­tors from across the po­lit­i­cal spec­trum agree. Clin­ton’s seem­ingly unas­sail­able lead from ear­lier in the cy­cle has all but evap­o­rated in re­cent weeks. Ac­cord­ing to one analysis from statis­ti­cian Nate Sil­ver, who cor­rectly pre­dicted every state re­sult of the 2012 cam­paign, Clin­ton now has only a 58 per­cent chance of win­ning – down from al­most 90pc in Au­gust.

“It is now clear that the race will be much closer than many pre­dicted,” Grace said.

While the event is be­ing or­gan­ised by Democrats Abroad, Yan­gon’s Repub­li­cans, Greens and even Lib­er­tar­i­ans (should such a sub­set ac­tu­ally ex­ist) are also in­vited to watch. As too are the po­lit­i­cal and apo­lit­i­cal from around the world.

“Whether non-Amer­i­cans are gen­uine po­lit­i­cal nerds or just cu­ri­ous what the fuss is about, or sim­ply want to be en­ter­tained, this de­bate will have some­thing to offer,” Grace said.

She said Amer­i­cans will be able to reg­is­ter to vote at the event if they haven’t al­ready done so. Amer­i­cans un­able to at­tend can reg­is­ter to vote at vote­fromabroad.org.

“As an ex­pat, it can be tempt­ing to ig­nore what’s hap­pen­ing back home – es­pe­cially pol­i­tics. But Amer­i­can pol­i­tics will af­fect you no mat­ter where you live.”

She said there are more than 8 mil­lion Amer­i­can cit­i­zens liv­ing abroad which could tilt the race one way or an­other.

To­mor­row’s de­bate is the first of three be­fore the Novem­ber 8 elec­tion. It will be di­vided into the loftily ti­tled top­ics of “Amer­ica’s Di­rec­tion”, “Achiev­ing Pros­per­ity” and “Se­cur­ing Amer­ica”.

Ac­cord­ing to The New York Times, the to­tal tele­vi­sion au­di­ence may reach 100 mil­lion view­ers – the largest ever for a US pres­i­den­tial de­bate.

The de­bate watch party will be held to­mor­row from 6:30pm-9pm (a de­layed feed 10 hours af­ter the live event) at 50th Street Bar, 9/13 50th Street, Bo­tataung town­ship.

Few are ex­pect­ing a civil de­bate between US pres­i­den­tial can­di­dates to­mor­row.

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