- The Washington Times - Tuesday, September 27, 2016

“Dilbert” creator and social commentator Scott Adams declared Hillary Clinton the winner of Monday’s U.S. presidential debate, but with a twist — Donald Trump “won the election.”

Mr. Adams has made headlines since last August, when he noted the billionaire’s mastery of persuasion.

The trained hypnotist wrote an op-ed for the Washington Post in March saying that it was hard to deny Mr. Trump’s “sly appeals to our own human irrationality.” He wrote Tuesday morning that voters care more about “how they feel” than debating style, which is good news for the Republican candidate.

“Clinton won on points. She had more command of the details and the cleaner answers. Trump did a lot of interrupting and he was defensive,” Mr. Adams said on his official blog. “If this were a college debate competition, Clinton would be declared the winner. I call that victory on the 2D chess board. But voters don’t care about facts and debating style. They care about how they feel. So let’s talk about that.”

Mr. Adams said that both Mr. Trump and his Democrat opponent looked “presidential enough,” but that doctors seemingly “engineered 90 minutes of alertness” for the former secretary of state.

“Clinton’s smile seemed forced, artificial, and frankly creepy,” the writer and artist said. “I’m already hearing on Twitter that mentioning a woman’s smile is sexist. I understand the point. But when someone goes full Joker-face and tests the uncanny valley hypothesis at the same time, that’s a bit different from telling a woman to ‘smile more.’ My neighbor Kristina hypothesized that Botox was making her smile look unnatural.” 

“Trump was defensive, and debated poorly at points, but he did not look crazy. And pundits noticed that he intentionally avoided using his strongest attacks regarding Bill Clinton’s scandals. In other words, he showed control. He stayed in the presidential zone under pressure. And in so doing, he solved for his only remaining problem. He looked safer. […] Clinton won the debate last night. And while she was doing it, Trump won the election. He had one thing to accomplish — being less scary — and he did it.”

Mr. Adams’ “Dilbert” appears in over 2,000 newspapers around the globe. In addition to penning the character’s attempt to navigate the absurdities of office life, the author holds an MBA from UC Berkeley.

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