First Presidential Debate to be Clash of Candidates

Michaela Althouse

The showdown we have all been waiting for. Trump and Clinton, head to head on Monday night. It’s safe to say the Internet may implode in memes, if the suspense doesn’t kill us first.

The face-off is the first of four Presidential debates in the 2016 election cycle at Hofstra University in N.Y. Lester Holt of NBC’s Nightly News is moderating, and he has his work cut out for him. In one of the most contemptuous and high-stake elections that the U.S. has seen in awhile, Trump and Clinton were set against each other from the start. Their campaigns are thick with mudslinging and shots are taken at every opportunity; the first chance to see the candidates side by side is a show no American will want to miss.

Illustration by Aaron Cohen
Illustration by Aaron Cohen

Both Trump and Clinton have been laced in scandal for the past few weeks. Clinton, whose health has always been a target for Trump and other right-wing opponents, had to leave a 9/11 memorial due to a bout of pneumonia. Concerns were raised about the health of the Democratic nominee and whether the illness would affect her presidency, if elected.

Trump, on the other hand, has been in the news for his “bromance” with Russian President Vladimir Putin. Historically, the relationship between Russia and the U.S. has always been rocky. Some conservatives were quick to back Trump in his sentiments toward the Kremlin, but concerns were raised over the political conflicts between the two countries. And with the ceasefire ending in Syria, a Russia- and U.S.-backed conflict, voters aren’t too keen on buddying up with Mother Russia at this point. These conflicts are surefire weak points to be poked at by both ends.

What we can count on being mentioned in this debate are the sections released Sept. 19. The topics, which originally were not going to be announced, are as follows: America’s direction, achieving prosperity and securing America.

In the wake of the Sept. 17 bombings in New York City, which were speculated to be acts of terrorism, one of the hottest debate topics is Homeland Security. The approach each candidate takes on this issue could make or break the opinions of uncertain voters.

In a forum Wednesday, Clinton reminded Americans of her role in the killing of Osama bin Laden and stated she would be taking a stand against the Islamic State. However, she also stated firmly that she would not put ground troops in Iraq or Syria.

Trump was rather vague in his answer during the forum, however, he did call for a substantial enlargement of the military. Hopefully, the Republican nominee will reveal some specific details regarding his policies for Homeland Security.

With the debate just around the corner, time is ticking for our two candidates to get their statements into shape. Whether they will rise to the anticipation in the showdown Americans have been waiting for, no one knows. But most can emulate Trump’s comments on the Tonight Show earlier this week:

“I look forward to it,” he said.

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