Donald Trump blew it. But will the voters take any notice? | Richard Wolffe

Donald Trump blew it. But will the voters take any notice? | Richard Wolffe

At the first presidential debate the Republican candidate behaved like a heckler at a Clinton speech. The problem is, that may be how a lot of Americans feel

Donald Trump walked on to the biggest stage of his life with nothing but upside ahead.

After the most undisciplined campaign in living memory, Trump was always going to look bigger by standing on a presidential debate stage. He could spar with a former secretary of state on an equal footing.

To paraphrase George W Bush, Trump thrives on the soft bigotry of low expectations. All he had to do was avoid tripping over his shoelaces. Instead he somehow contrived to blow his biggest moment, and all the credibility accrued by steadily gaining ground in the polls over the last several weeks.

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Just like his convention speech, Trump ran a gamut of emotions from angry to aggravated. He sniffed and he snorted. He took every piece of bait Clinton dangled out there from sideswipes about his fathers business to his support for the war in Iraq.

He sounded more like a heckler at a Clinton speech than a presidential candidate asking for votes. And he often seemed to resemble the rivals he once liked to mock. Just like Marco Rubio, he sipped water early and frequently. Just like Mitt Romney, he choked.

They say that presidential campaigns are the longest job interviews in the world. But judging from their first debate, its not clear that Trump and Clinton are interviewing for the same job.

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