Trump vs Clin­ton: Round 2

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

COULD to­day mark the end of Don­ald Trump’s run for most pow­er­ful job in the world? The sec­ond US pres­i­den­tial de­bate will be held this morn­ing (Myan­mar time) – only days after the re­lease of a 2005 tape where Trump bragged, in graphic terms, about grop­ing women.

Crit­i­cally, the for­mat of to­day’s de­bate is a town hall-style fo­rum where the two can­di­dates will field ques­tions from a room full of un­de­cided vot­ers.

If the ob­scene com­ments from the 2005 tape weren’t a death knell for Trump, one or more mis­steps to­day may very well be.

Once again Yan­go­nites will be able to view a de­layed feed of the event. Democrats Abroad is host­ing a de­bate watch party at The West Steakhouse in Pearl Condo tonight.

And, once again, you don’t have to be a Clin­ton supporter to at­tend: Yan­gon’s Repub­li­cans, Bernie Bros, Greens or even Bull Moose Party re­vival­ists are wel­come.

Or­gan­iser Laura Grace said the ef­fects of the re­cent Trump tape “are still un­fold­ing, but the back­lash seems to be se­vere, with high­level Repub­li­cans can­celling joint ap­pear­ances and with­draw­ing their sup­port”.

Grace added that the town hall style will test both can­di­dates.

“Clin­ton and Trump will be ex­pected to di­rectly ad­dress and en­gage the au­di­ence – in­clud­ing mak­ing eye con­tact, mov­ing around the stage and re­spect­fully an­swer­ing ques­tions,” she said.

“This for­mat is con­sid­ered the most chal­leng­ing as can­di­dates are judged by body lan­guage, de­meanor and use of cam­era an­gles, as much as their ac­tual re­sponses.”

Clin­ton has al­ready been as­cen­dant in the polls after what was re­garded as a win in the first de­bate on Septem­ber 26.

Ac­cord­ing to a polling ag­gre­gate sys­tem on the FiveThir­tyEight web­site, she was given a 58 per­cent chance of win­ning the elec­tion on the eve of the Hof­s­tra Univer­sity con­test. This has since in­creased to an 81pc chance. “The stakes couldn’t be higher for Don­ald Trump,” Grace said.

“[Even be­fore the tape was made pub­lic], his poor de­bate per­for­mance in the last de­bate was fol­lowed by a se­ries of dam­ag­ing events: the leak of old tax re­turns that im­ply he hasn’t paid fed­eral taxes in decades, his at­tacks on a for­mer Miss Uni­verse about her weight and his er­ratic latenight Twit­ter rant­ing.”

“With many vot­ers al­ready cast­ing bal­lots through early or ab­sen­tee voting, there is very lit­tle time left for him to re­cover.”

“The Teflon Don” has been able to sur­vive the un­sur­vive­able in this elec­tion cy­cle be­fore – mock­ing the dis­abled, a litany of racial slurs, other misog­y­nis­tic re­marks, just to name a few. But will the fall­out from #grope­gate fi­nally mean it’s all over?

The sec­ond de­bate watch party will be held to­day from 6:30pm-9pm at The West Steakhouse in Pearl Condo.

Amer­i­can cit­i­zens will be able to drop off their mail-in bal­lots and, if they need, ac­cess emer­gency bal­lots at the event.

Photo: AFP

Work­ers pre­pare the stage for the sec­ond pres­i­den­tial de­bate.

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