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Analysts say second US presidential debate smacked of household brawl

October 10, 18:05 UTC+3 MOSCOW
An expert says Hillary Clinton tends to demonize Russia and Vladimir Putin in an attempt to deal a heavy blow on her main rival, Donald Trump
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Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump and Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton

Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump and Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton

© AP Photo/Patrick Semansky

MOSCOW, October 10. /TASS/. Sunday evening’s US presidential election debate between Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton and her Republican rival Donald Trump revealed utter lack of tact on either side, with the opponents getting too personal now and then, polled experts on US affairs have told TASS. By and large, the TV show sounded like an obscene quarrel.

In the debate televised from St. Louis, Missouri, Clinton, a former US Secretary of State, accused Russia of war crimes in Syria and called for an investigation. Trump retorted that in Syria Bashar Assad, Russia and Iran were fighting together against the Islamic State (terrorist organization outlawed in Russia) and that the United States should join that common struggle.

Clinton’s "trump card"

"Hillary Clinton tends to demonize Russia and Putin in an attempt to deal a heavy blow on her main rival, Donald Trump," believes State Duma member Vyacheslav Nikonov, whose doctoral thesis was devoted to the US political system. "Confrontation with Russia is Clinton’s ‘trump card’ she is keen to use in attempts to outplay her Republican rival, allegedly having sympathy for Putin."

"By presenting Russia as an enemy the Democratic candidate hopes to mobilize her electorate for struggle against a common threat," Nikonov said.

He expressed regret the current election rhetoric was a reflection of Washington’s real policy towards Moscow. Over the past few days the US television networks kept showing footage presented as the effects of Russian air bombardments of hospitals and childcare centers in Syria, Nikonov said. "Clinton has in fact followed in US Secretary John Kerry’s footsteps to urge an investigation of what she described as Russia’s war crimes in Syria. In fact, this is a call for direct confrontation."

Andranik Migranian, a professor at the Moscow state institute of international relations MGIMO, remarks that Clinton did not bother to present any proof, though.

"At a certain point Clinton supported bombardments in Iraq and Libya, which had left tens of thousands of civilians killed. It is very careless of her to come out with war crime charges against Russia," Migranian said.

"Russia is now more proactive in its foreign policy. It has built up its military potential and proposed its own conditions for cooperation with the United States.

A very convenient situation for pointing an accusing finger at Russia and declaring it a common enemy, isn’t it? This is being done for mobilizing the electorate in Clinton’s support. But even if she emerges the winner, Clinton will have to interact with the Kremlin somehow, which she acknowledged regarding cooperation in the nuclear sphere," said the deputy head of the Institute of US and Canada Studies, Viktor Kremenyuk.

Meager content, much bawdry

By and large the experts described the US presidential debate as meaningless in content and very harsh in form.

"Judging by comments in the social networks, the fly that settled on Clinton’s face during the debate was the most widely discussed participant. This is a sure sign the public at large does not care at all about the content of the debate," Nikonov said.

He found rather amusing Clinton recalled a dirty remark about women, whcih Trump dropped eleven years ago, in her attempt to discredit the opponent as a sex maniac.

"By doing so she merely helped 70-year-old Trump score more points," Nikonov said with irony.

In his opinion, the rivals’ ferocious attacks against each other, including Trump’s threat to send Clinton to jail, are something unprecedented in US politics.

Migranian said the debate looked pretty much like a household quarrel, in which Trump dubbed Clinton as a duplicitous liar, while the opponent came pretty close to slamming him as a rascal.

"It was pretty boring to watch this 90-minute hassle, in which the opponents were washing the other’s dirty linen. It looks like the Americans are fed up with political correctness," Migranian said.

Who beat whom

"Even the outspokenly pro-Clinton television network - the CNN - had to admit that in the second round the Democratic candidate performed worse than Trump, while the multi-millionaire presidential hopeful coped with his task far better. It looks like it was really so," Nikonov said.

Kremenyuk disagrees. "By the second debate Trump had obviously lost much of his original momentum. On the contrary, Hillary looked triumphant," he said.

"We will know the answer to the question who beat whom after the latest public opinion polls, to be more precise, after November 8, the day of the presidential election in the United States," Kremenyuk concluded.

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