NICK AND TIRED: 4 takeaways from last night's debate

Nick Siano is a junior telecommunications and journalism major and writes "Nick and Tired" for the Daily News. His views do not necessarily agree with those of the newspaper. Write to Nick at

We did it, folks. We’ve made politics into entertainment. Or, perhaps, we’ve ignored politics and substituted GIF-able smirks and sniffles for discourse.

The first presidential debate happened Sept. 26 and was simulcast across major networks and streamed on multiple websites. This was the first time Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump shared the stage for a debate. These were the top moments of the night:

1. Dodging the system “makes me smart”

In what sounded like an admission that he doesn’t pay income tax, Trump said that hiding his business dealings “makes me smart.” Releasing them, of course, comes without approval from his lawyers, who I’m sure are nothing but the best and hugely expensive.

Trump assured the audience that he would release his tax returns “when [Clinton] releases her 33,000 emails that have been deleted.”

Looks like a pipe dream now.

2. Trump plugs business after stiffing architect

After ensuring the audience that America needs jobs, and he could provide those jobs in some ambiguous fashion, Trump was grilled about his own business practices. Clinton reminded the businessman that his idea for fixing the national debt just months ago was to force creditors to accept less.

Yeah, you read that right. He planned to negotiate the debt down with his deal-making prowess.

Clinton brought up an architect, Andrew Tesoro, who built a New York clubhouse for Trump, only to be stiffed and refused a full payment for his work.

I want to say I would love to do this with going out to eat. Just scarf everything down, and then say I was dissatisfied and only pay half. But I’d feel terrible doing that.

How does he defend himself? By plugging his new hotel down the street from the White House.

3. Temperament

It was only a matter of time before someone would realize they couldn’t go toe-to-toe with their opponent and decided to attack their character. Trump did this in the form of comparing his temperament to that of Clinton.

“I think my strongest asset may be by far is my temperament. I have a winning temperament,” Trump said.

Yet according to a Fox News poll conducted in mid-September shows that voters don’t share those sentiments. Fifty-nine percent of likely voters say Clinton has the temperament to be president, compared to 38 percent who say the same for Trump.

He finished his statement by saying Clinton was “out of control.”

She just laughed. And the audience laughed with her.

4. Stop-and-frisk

The act of stopping individuals based on any grounds an officer deems suspicious was ruled unconstitutional by the District Court for the Southern District of New York. Yet that’s the way Trump plans to eliminate crime in inner cities: with an act that became notorious for singling out blacks and Latinos.

The New York Civil Liberties Union and New York Police Department have released data that breaks down targets of stop-and-frisk. From 2002 to 2015, over 50 percent of those stopped were black, and nearly 30 percent were Latino.

So, it’s clear that minorities are targeted. But is it done rightfully? Were officers’ suspicions correct? Chances are, no. Each year, a minimum of 80 percent and sometimes as high as 90 percent of those who were stopped were found to have been doing nothing wrong.

So maybe it’s time to rethink that plan.

Clinton won this first debate. But it wasn’t some massive victory — it doesn’t feel like she provided any content to sway voters who might be on the fence. That’s what she needs. Hopefully, in the debates to come, she can work on that. She’s turned Trump’s words against him and was prepared to answer for her negatives, an effective debate strategy. But somehow, that’s not going to be enough for her.


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