In the early going, it looked like it was going to be an ideal, Jim Lehrer-style performance from Lester Holt, the “NBC Nightly News” anchor. Lehrer was so boringly nonpartisan, so unwilling to play gotcha that he was always hotly in demand to moderate debates. For the first half or so, Holt gave simple, broad, open-ended questions and let the candidates go at it. He didn’t venture into live fact-checking, didn’t much quarrel with the nominees, didn’t ask persnickety questions.I do not agree with this at all. He lost control in the beginning and Trump and Hillary just talked over each other without any moderation at all. Holt said you have 2 minutes on such-and-such topic and Hillary or Trump went way past the time. I really hate when people talk over one another so-much-so I usually change the channel when it happens on Fox News. I should have done it for the debate because the beginning was just the candidates talking at the same time with Holt sitting there and letting it happen.
As to the debate, it looked like Trump was flustered and unready while Hillary was smug and smarmy. The whole time I was thinking I wish it was Jeb Bush against Joe Biden. That would have been a decent choice instead of these two train wrecks. Also Trump kept sniffing so much I thought he did a little cocaine before things got going. In any case I'm going to watch the next debate but I really hope Martha Raddatz and the Town Meeting Format does a much better job on Oct. 9th.