- The Washington Times - Thursday, October 20, 2016

At Wednesday night’s final presidential debate, Hillary Clinton met the other Donald Trump, the presidential-sounding one, not the thin-skinned political neophyte that had shown up for much of the 2016 general election campaign, some female political observers said afterward.

Mary Ann Meloy, a former Reagan White House aide and Pittsburgh GOP activist, said that “there may not have a clear winner tonight but Donald Trump certainly wins the title of most improved.”

Trump demonstrated a restraint as well as a comfort with knowledge and positions. He expressed his positions on these issues more succinctly than on all previous occasions,” she said.

Others noticed the improvement too, especially in how he reacted toward Mrs. Clinton.

“She didn’t let up attacking him, but he remained calm,” Arizona Republican National Committee member Lori Klein Corbin said.

Minnesota Republican National Committee member Janet Beihoffer added that “Donald Trump pushed back, and people want to see that.”

Florida state Rep. Kristin Jacobs, Broward County Democrat, said Mr. Trump did pretty well in containing himself until almost the end of the debate when “he called Mrs. Clinton a nasty woman.”

Ecstatic that Mr. Trump and Mrs. Clinton “finally talked about the issues,” Delaware Democratic state Rep. Helene Keeley, said Mr. Trump “was best on the Second Amendment, and Hillary was best on women’s rights across the board.”

Mrs. Keeley, who is also chairman of the National Foundation for Women Legislators, said Mr. Trump’s worst moment was “not saying he would honor the election results,”

Bit Vicki Sciolaro, an evangelical Christian who is the Republican chairman for the 3rd Congressional District in Kansas, had the opposite view, saying she believed it “was brilliant for Trump to refuse to accept the election results because of all the corruption coming to light because of the WikiLeaks and by the admission of the FBI.”

Khadine Ritter, a member of Washington County GOP in Ohio, thought Mr. Trump did best “when he brought up the Clinton campaign inciting violence at his rallies and her acceptance of foreign money from regimes that kill gays and oppress women, neither of which she responded to.”

But, Mrs. Ritter added, “Trump may be the worst debater in presidential history.”

“Not only is he often unintelligible, but he takes us close to the brink of a brilliant answer and then fails to bring it home. Why, for example, would he not speak to the content of the hacked emails rather than their source or the connection between the media’s donations to Hillary and their bias.”

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