Hillary wore RED (state) dress; Donald wore BLUE (state) tie.
Here ended the surprises.
It was pretty much as predicted…HRC came well prepared with specifics (often too long answers) on her views and policies; The Donald was overly broad in his vision for America, backing off of specifics, even when asked several times for them by moderator Lester Holt, NBC News.
(Holt I think did a fairly good job under trying circumstances, only twice asking for proof of the candidates' statements, both times to Trump, and both times not getting it.)
The best political fact checker I know, the Washington Post, summarized this important aspect of the debate this way: "Her misstatements paled in comparison to the list of Trump exaggerations and falsehoods.”
That included his support for the Iraq war (though he vehemently insisted there were 2 sources to support him and challenged the media to check them,) the “birther” controversy, the IRS audit, and others.
HRC hit him hard on why he won’t release his tax returns (“what is he hiding? Maybe he paid no taxes”..as he did in several years of state returns. Trump’s response: “that just shows I’m smart”) Trump said he would “if she will release her 30 thousand DELETED e-mails.” Kinda hard to do so Trump is safe here.
One surprise: other than that exchange he did not hit Sec. Clinton about her e-mail problems, which polls show is a big negative for her.
Overall impression, a broad one, is...no real news, both repeated their basic positions, but I have a general feeling this one went to the lady. (Near the end Trump made the mistake of challenging her “stamina” for the job, when it appeared he was rather tired, this being his first 90 minute debate.)
At the start of each campaign “the media” tell us debates don’t matter. Then, in many of them, as events move along, suddenly “the media” realizes “this time” they “could” be important. They are always important.
As Jason Robards opined in “All the President’s Men”, “only the future of the republic is at stake.”
I'm just sayin'...