Written by Hannah Dunleavy

In The News

What the fuck just happened? Final Presidential Debate

Tin foil hats at the ready: it’s time for the last showdown of the 2016 US presidential election. Hannah Dunleavy struggles through talk of women, election rigging and those fecking emails.

Illustration by Louise Boulter

Illustration by Louise Boulter.

12.30am

Hello. OK, I’ve been in bed poorly for two days, so I’m not convinced how sensible it is to get up and start watching this; it might well finish me off. It seems since I fell asleep about 70 hours ago, I’ve missed an interview Melania Trump gave to CNN‘s Anderson Cooper, so I might watch that to kill a bit of time.

1.03am

Man, that was… circular. She blamed the media, she blamed Billy Bush, she blamed other women, she said she wondered if they even knew the mics were on. (I’m guessing they didn’t but I’m wondering WTF relevance that is.) She wonders why the New York Times never writes stories about how great she is. Hahahaha.

1.10am

Trump’s been on a pre-debate Twitter binge so extensive I’ll be surprised if he’s not wearing a tin foil hat tonight. I’m going to have a power nap.

1.44am

Maybe I should’ve turned the TV off, I just had a dream about Kay Burley. *Shudders*

1.50am

OK, some facts. This is the last of the three debates, it’s in Vegas and the referee this time is Chris Wallace, from Fox. He’s already said he WON’T be fact-checking, but instead will act as a timekeeper. Chris mate, an egg-timer could do that. There are apparently going to be six topics discussed; not sure what they are supposed to be, but I’d imagine they will end up being: emails, Chyna, Bill Clinton’s penis, how brilliant Trump is (x2) and how much he respects women.

1.53am

My pussy for the evening will be Peggy. Joan’s hiding under a bed. Because she’s smart.

hannah's cat2am

Apparently Bill Clinton has asked that he not have to shake Melania’s hand tonight. Not sure why that is. Neither is Sky, so it’s talking about Ted Danson instead.

2.05am

No handshake for the candidates either. Clinton is wearing white. Nice.

2.06am

First question is on the Supreme Court. Clinton talks women, workers and LGBT communities. I can’t argue with any of that.

2.07am

Trump is talking the Second Amendment. He’s following the same pattern as the last two debates, in that he’s started off very quiet and very slow. This should last about 15 minutes.

2.09am

Clinton’s talking “reasonable regulation” of gun ownership, the 33,000 deaths a year down to guns and the number of toddlers who hurt themselves or others with guns every year. Trump’s not in agreement. I’VE NEVER FELT MORE BRITISH.

2.15am

Trump’s been asked about the overturning of Roe v Wade (that’s the Supreme Court judgement upholding a woman’s right to an abortion). He’s not answered it really. Clinton’s talking about the funding of Planned Parenthood and gone back to his statement about “punishing” women who have an abortion. Because no one respects women like Donald J Trump.

2.18am

Clinton: “I don’t think the Government should step in and make the most personal decision for a mother.”

2.19am

Trump’s talking “ripping a baby from the womb”. She’s angry about that. It’s the first time I’ve seen her riled in all three debates and she’s chosen the right subject. If you ask me.

2.20am

Trump’s talking about strong borders. And heroin. And the wall. And he’s sniffing again. JOY!

2.24am

Clinton says Trump “choked” when he spoke to the president of Mexico. He also says Clinton wants the wall. Wallace wants her to respond to that. Trump has his first moderator whinge. To be fair to Wallace, he’s been pretty cracking already.

2.27am

Trump’s claiming that Obama has deported millions of people and no one knows about it. Then how does he know?

2.28am

Clinton’s being asked about a Wikileaks leak. She wants Trump to condemn the Russians. Jeez, she’ll be wanting him to take his I ❤️ PUTIN poster down from his bedroom wall next. The audience has been reprimanded for making a noise.

I’m not sure if this is because I’m poorly but Trump and Clinton seem to have swapped tactics this evening. If this doesn’t change soon, I’m going to call an ambulance, just to be safe.

2.30am

Hahaha. Just as I typed that she called him Putin’s puppet and he said, “You’re the puppet.” Yeah, Hillary, and your mum.

2.31am

Ooh, bit of shouting. From everyone. Wallace has asked about Putin. Trump says Putin’s outsmarted Clinton. Man he loves Putin. He’s big on the hyperbole tonight. Sorry, he’s the most hyperbolic that anyone has ever been ever in the history of American politics ever.

2.35am

He’s back on Japan. Poor Japan. I can’t help but feel this is part of the old-school 1940s racism he so enjoys revelling in. And boom, he’s just called Clinton a liar.

2.40am

He’s criticising Clinton for being nice to America’s allies. What a bitch.

“For fuck’s sake. If you respected women you’d answer their fucking concerns, you pompous orange ballbag.”

2.43am

She’s criticising his tax plans. And talking about investing in people. And praising Obama. Like really praising him.

2.45am

He’s talking about jobs. I can’t believe it’s 2.45am and he’s not lost the plot yet.

2.47am

“There’s only one person on this stage who has shifted jobs to Mexico and that’s Donald.”

2.50am

He doesn’t seem to realise that being the First Lady or being the Secretary of State doesn’t mean you can change every law in America.

2.51am

She’s just compared her last 30 years to his last 30 years. No contest really.

2.52am

We’re onto fitness to be president. Wallace is asking about the nine women who’ve come forward about being groped. Trump says those stories are false, Clinton made them come forward and they want fame. He’s also saying Clinton paid people to start fights at his rallies.

2.54am

Joan just came out of the bedroom, looked at the telly, then at me and coughed up a furball. That’s what I call timing.

2.55am

Clinton brought up the fact that Trump said the women who accused him weren’t attractive enough and “she wouldn’t be my first choice.” He’s interrupting, saying he didn’t say that. Come on, Donald. We’ve all seen it.

2.56am

“Nobody has more respect for women than I do.” Now he’s changed the subject to her emails. For fuck’s sake. If you respected women you’d answer their fucking concerns, you pompous orange ballbag.

2.57am

Clinton just said what I said. Maybe a bit more eloquently.

2.59am

Trump’s saying all the claims are false and he’d rather talk about Isis. I bet he would.

3am

She’s been asked about the Clinton Foundation and pay to play. She’s gone off on a tangent. And why not, given how the evening has gone.

3.01am

Everyone is talking at once.

3.02am

He wants to talk about pushing “the gays” off buildings and Clinton giving money back to people who do. Now we’re on to Haiti. If that sounds a bit chaotic, it is, but it’s also probably the calmest debate yet. That said, there’s still very little of substance being discussed.

3.03am

Trump’s been asked about money given to his charity being used on a lawsuit. His answer is “we put up a flag”. That must mean something to someone somewhere. Surely.

3.05am

He’s shouting at her about her ads. Because Trump.

3.07am

Trump has been asked about his claims the election is being rigged. Tin foil hats at the ready. He’s refusing to say he will accept the results of the election. “I’ll look at it at the time.” Hold up, he’s going to “keep us in suspense”. HOLY SHIT. And now he’s on at the corrupt media.

This all sounds familiar. He’s saying she shouldn’t even be allowed to run for President. The last minute has been so bonkers, I’m secretly delighted as I’d started to think I was so ill, I was failing to basically comprehend English. At the same time, HOLY SHIT.

3.09am

Clinton’s calling everything that he just said horrifying.

“Trump is going to create ‘tremendous jobs’. He says tremendous twice more. Well, that’s me convinced.”

3.10am

Trump thinks he deserved an Emmy. For today’s performance if nothing else.

3.12am

“Let me tell you, Mosul is so sad.” Wow, the quality of debate here is breathtaking. He says George Patton is spinning in his grave. Probably because a draft dodger keeps talking about him.

3.14am

Trump is going to take Mosul eventually. And it is going to be a wonderful thing. And then Iran is going to write a letter of thanks. This is insane.

3.16am

He’s talking over her. She’s being told off for not letting him speak. He just said that her campaign chair John Podesta said some horrible things about her “and boy was he right.”

3.18am

He’s been fact checked on what he said about Aleppo in the last debate. He’s not letting Wallace finish the question. And then he’s just doubled down on it by repeating the statement he has literally just been told was wrong.

3.22am

She’s being asked about a “no-fly zone” in Aleppo. She gives a sensible response. And says she’s not going to “slam the door on women and children” from Syria.

3.23am

He looks a bit sweaty. And I say that as someone who currently looks really sweaty. I’m half expecting him to hit a button and shout, “More glitter!”

3.24am

They’ve moved on to the national debt. Trump is going to create “tremendous jobs”. He says tremendous twice more. Well, that’s me convinced.

3.26am

CHYNA!

3.27am

Clinton’s brought up Trump criticising Reagan when Reagan was in power. In America, this is the equivalent of calling your granddad a twat. At his funeral.

3.29am

Last question. And it’s about benefits. Trump’s talking about cutting taxes and repealing Obamacare. You know, the usual. Not sure that answers the question. Neither is Wallace, to be fair.

3.31am

She’s talking about his taxes. He says she’s “a nasty woman”. Boo to the nasty lady.

3.33am

There’s going to be a minute of impromptu closing statement. Jesus, I feel less healthy by the second. Clinton’s reaching out to everyone to make America work for everyone. He starts his statement with the word “she”. Enough said. Oh no wait, he’s back to the idea that all African Americans and Latinos live in inner cities. Enough said.

3.36am

Wallace calls voting an honour and an obligation. Clinton shakes his hand and waves at her supporters. She and Trump totally ignore each other.

3.37am

That’s it. The last debate is done. I’m going to need another excuse to get up and eat Pringles at 2am. If anyone’s planning on televising a row with their partner let me know. Thanks for listening, I’d say it’s been a pleasure, but you know…

Read WTFJH in the other Presidential debates here.

@thatdunleavy

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Written by Hannah Dunleavy

Hannah Dunleavy is the deputy editor of Standard Issue. She likes whisky and not having to run anywhere.

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