Winners and Losers from the Second Presidential Debate

Last night there was another presidential debate. This made a lot of people very angry and was widely regarded as a bad move. Still, some of the participants came off better than others:


Hillary Clinton: I mean, what could she have done that would have made her lose the debate after the last few days Trump has had? Some possibilities:

  • Ripped off her mask and revealed that she was in fact ISIS commander Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi
  • Invited Bill to the stage to join her in sacrificing one of the Trump children to Satan (though she might have been OK if it was Tiffany)
  • Smiled less or not done her hair quite so immaculately

Martha Raddatz and Anderson Cooper: After moderating the debate with steely resolve and absolutely no patience for the candidates’ shit, this little-known ticket has rocketed to the top of the national polls

Affixing “-gate” to the end of any scandal name: This fixture of American political lexicon seemed to be on the decline after decades of gross overuse, but even the most weary among us have got to admit calling it “pussygate” is pretty rad

The future of our democracy: Trump’s declaration that he would throw his political opponent in jail upon assuming office has finally elevated the U.S. to the level of such upstanding governments as Russia, Zimbabwe, and North Korea and on second thought maybe this entry is in the wrong section

Mike Pence: Hasn’t found a reason to smile since 1986, so it’s not like he’s taking any of this Donald Trump stuff particularly hard

Planet Earth: The planet we all currently live on (and which, barring dramatic advances in space travel, we will all be living on for the foreseeable future), whose slow destruction and gradual, possibly irreversible warming have grown into potential catastrophes looming over the head of our species, finally got a question last night after being totally absent from the first two debates! Way to go

Leos Carax’s 2012 film Holy Motors: Kenneth Bone’s name immediately brought to mind the film’s eccentric fashion photographer, Harry T-Bone, who FORGET THE SPECIFICS IT’S AN ASTONISHINGLY BRILLIANT MOVIE GO CHECK IT OUT

Reince Priebus’ increasingly vivid and desperate delusions: Enjoyed a second straight debate where a composed and clinical Donald Trump devastated Hillary Clinton onstage, outlining a bold, conventionally conservative vision for America while consolidating a commanding, double-digit lead in the national polls


Specifics: Once again, this marginalized group waits for even one mention from Donald Trump

Insane, irrational patriotism: Hillary Clinton didn’t wear an American-flag lapel pin last night and IT DIDN’T CAUSE A RIDICULOUS SHITSTORM OH MY GOD WHAT A CONCEPT

The 114th United States Senate: After Donald Trump said that Hillary could have singlehandedly changed American tax law while she was a Senator, the 100 current members of the venerable legislative body are kicking themselves that they forgot about this easy path to wielding unfettered power in the chamber

Bill Clinton: Seems not to have anticipated that the ongoing attempt to pillory his wife miiiiight lead to a referendum on his presidency, character, and past wrongdoings

Donald Trump’s olfactory system: After sniffling through two successive debates, Trump’s underperforming nose has to be worried that it won’t keep its spot on his face for the next debate


Kenneth Bone: This man, who had enjoyed a quiet and untroubled existence in St. Louis, quite possibly as a devoted and admirable husband, father, friend, artist, and/or company man, and certainly as a person with a rich and intangible inner life, sole witness to a personal history that is uniquely and irreproducibly his, is now going to be reduced to America’s next Internet meme:

Image credit: Michelle Markowitz