The mission for Donald Trump tonight was to break even– he did that. This is true notwithstanding the moderator’s soft treatment of Hillary Clinton. NBC News anchor, Lester Holt cut Hillary a lot of slack tonight– he frequently interrupted Trump and didn’t ask Clinton a single question about Benghazi and the Clinton Foundation. Both candidates caused him some control problems.
Trump was on the defensive at times and curiously laid off on personal attacks and references to Benghazi and the Clinton Foundation. Clinton stooped to name-calling towards the end of the debate saying Trump called women “Piggies” and otherwise abused women. She was mean at times, Trump spared the Clinton family when he didn’t attack Clinton on her abusive history with women. Neither candidate scored a victory on a “who won the debate” technical standard, but Trump wins overall because he didn’t blow it by coming off as wild or out-of-control. That is all he had to do.