The final presidential debate was by consensus the best of the three. Much credit goes to the moderator, Chris Wallace of Fox News, as our Ed Morrissey described here.
There was, for a change, significant policy discussion between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton, as Jazz Shaw pointed out here, deciphering the truth about the national debt discussion.
Abortion, gun control, immigration, ObamaCare, the Supreme Court, ISIS, Mosul, they were all there.
Clinton was her usually tightly-scripted self, rattling off memorized talking points and confirming her family connections to R2D2. Trump can deny all he wants that he prepared this time. Clearly, he did. And it showed to his benefit.
The two of them were pivoting so much, they pivoted from pivots. When Trump opened the smelly can of corruption holding the remains of that lucrative pay-for-play scheme between her State Department and the Clinton foundation, Hillary set a new debate-stage speed record pivoting to how hard the foundation fights AIDS.
Trump did not press it further.
Most shocking, you might recall from Wednesday evening, was how fiercely Trump tore into Clinton over the lethal Benghazi incident in 2012. How the wannabe commander-in-chief ignored or rejected so many pleas from Amb. Chris Stevens for increased security as Libya fell into lawlessness and chaos after the successful Clinton-Obama toppling of Moammar Gadhafi.
The quirky dictator, who voluntarily relinquished his nuclear weapons program as requested, ended up dead, torn apart by a mob, which Clinton was caught celebrating on videotape. A fate for weapons compliance that no doubt registered when Iran heard similar Western weapons demands.
Later on the anniversary of 9/11, another better-armed mob tore apart the U.S. Benghazi consulate and attacked its CIA annex, killing four government employees, including Stevens, an aide and two CIA operatives.
Their pleas for help went unheeded all night in Clinton’s Washington office. Not one boot or plane moved to rescue the men. The White House has refused to reveal what Obama was doing during those deadlyhours when the first American ambassador in 30 years perished.
We do know that Clinton was busy concocting that yarn about angry Libyans spontaneously reacting to an obscure YouTube video critical of Islam. She started peddling the fable to media around 10 p.m. In the morning before the bodies were cold she appeared in the Rose Garden with Obama, who denounced the attack and vowed swift justice (which, by the way, is still pending.) No media questions that day as Obama rushed off to Las Vegas fundraisers.
When the bodies arrived home, Clinton promised bereaved families tough prosecution of that unknown filmmaker, though she’d already emailed her daughter it was terrorism. Ten days later, long after intelligence agencies had debunked the video claim as fantasy, Obama was still citing it to the world in a UN speech.
Months after, a formal Accountability Review Board scanned documents kindly screened for them by Clinton staff. The report blamed Benghazi lapses on systemic bureaucratic problems. No one was charged. No one was fired. The board didn’t even bother interviewing the woman in charge that awful night.
Anyway, were you impressed by how fiercely the Republican nominee prosecuted the Democrat point by point over her murderous failures? And how lame were Clinton’s responses?
You were not.
That’s because Benghazi’s blood stains on Hillary Clinton never came up in the debate. The would be Oval Office occupant had to defend nothing about leaving four men to die at the hands of terrorists. Another missed Trump opportunity to define a Clinton vulnerability.
Americans died. Americans lied. And among the more than 17,000 words uttered in that debate on national TV the word “Benghazi” was totally absent. Pfft. As if it never happened.
After all, what difference, at this point, does it make?