It only took 90 minutes, but Hillary Clinton and Donald J. Trump fell into a rut that reinforced both of their stereotypes. On most issues, Mrs. Clinton relaxed into wonkery – especially on national security – and delivered wooden lines about eagerly awaiting fact-checks. Mr. Trump’s reactions were a mix of favored rally themes and stream of consciousness boasts, and he interrupted with tangents and confusing non sequiturs, often in praise of himself.
Most people will say Mrs. Clinton got the better of these exchanges and had a good night. But both missed the opportunity to break out and show more repertoire. Mr. Trump continued to own the image of “strength,” toughness and the notion of shaking up the D.C. status quo. Mrs. Clinton kept her perceived monopoly on empathy and compassion for vulnerable people.
Interesting academic work suggests the most successful politicians defy conventional categories and steal traits that are normally associated with their opponents. The candidates will need to at least attempt this kind of shakeup to have any hope of achieving breakout in this campaign.
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Source: The New York Times