As Americans breathe a collective sigh of relief that the presidential election is almost over, I have to say I'm going to miss it, especially the debates. Not because I enjoy the onslaught of outrageous things the Donald says or does, but because Hillary has shown time and again what it is to be presidential.
She has been the matador at a bully-fight, a Professor schooling the Apprentice, the Queen in a game of Chess.
She was the ultimate Secretary of Bait.
As her opponent snorted in his own ego and spewed out Trumpisms that are as truthful as the comments on his own Facebook page, Hillary stayed cool and calm. She demonstrated an unwavering command of the issues and delivered her case with passion and compassion. She even scored points with her distinctive Grammy-winning diction. (Yes, she won one.) Under a barrage of insults and belittling jabs, Hillary strategically wove a web of traps for the bumbling oaf who went from composed to insulting in a matter of minutes. This was by design.
While the Donald took every chance to castigate Hillary, pointing at her petulantly, blaming her for this and "her sleazy campaign" for that, Hillary stayed on message, strategically citing Trump's own words, standing up for those he's dismissed, insulted, and even assaulted. She baited him with his own deficiencies and sliced away at his Achilles' heels: his treatment of women and support of the Iraq war. He quickly disintegrated into his signature word salads and non-sequiters, while she stood up for women's rights, Democratic principles, and indeed American democracy. She reminded us that while she was in the Situation Room during the Osama Bin Laden raid, he was on the non Emmy-winning Celebrity Apprentice. And when he tried to rattle her with others' criticisms of her, she replied with facts.
Seriously, let's think about what it takes to be on stage with a man baby whose instinct is to lie and demean you at every turn. What would you think if you were the valedictorian, the smartest girl in your class, and you had to debate the unprepared bully brat who got thousands of people calling for your jailing or even hanging? Hillary looked all the stronger as the Donald belched out "wrong" and "you're the puppet" and "nasty woman." This is not the most effective way to get the women's vote, by the way. She demonstrated his pattern of being a sore loser crying foul, and when he refused to agree to accept the election results, she immediately spoke our minds by calling it "horrifying."
It's been reported that being roasted by President Obama at the White House Correspondents' Dinner in 2011 contributed to his decision to run for office. He was going to show America who was great!
Well, he has showed us, and it's not him.
It's her, the deft player who has taken unrelenting hits, only to respond with grace and precision. While her opponent was in a gutter-level wrestling match looking for a knockout, she understood it was about making moves in the long game. In this last debate, I do believe she got her checkmate.
Rebecca Kraus is a content strategist and creative consultant. After working in entertainment journalism and games design in Los Angeles, she moved to Seattle seeking new adventures. For a whole host of businesses, she writes branded copy, provides digital strategies, and helps develop products. She also blogs about parenting, politics, food, and frivolity. Enjoy her website.