She was clear, calm, logical, powerful, smiling - in contrast to Trump, who seemed beleaguered, tired, defensive, even incoherent at times, especially in foreign policy. He was rude in many exchanges, even snapped at the moderator Lester Holt, and seemed rattled. On several occasions, he resorted to bragging about his properties and accomplishments.
And she bested him, point by point, on such issues as
- ISIS, which Trump said Hillary had been fruitlessly fighting her "entire adult life"
- Trump's taxes, which Holt and Clinton both successfully pressed him on not releasing - at several points, Trump even seemed to admit that he had never paid any taxes
- racial profiling, which Trump said he supported, despite its unconstitutionality
- Trump's birtherism and lifelong racism
- Trump's lies about never supporting the war in Iraq and the attack on Libya, which Holt also called him on
- Trump's ignorance of NATO, which he said he would relate to as a "business man"
- stamina, which Trump, clearly out of steam and almost haggard, said Hillary didn't have, while she stood there smiling, energized, almost radiant
Can Trump survive this? His supporters will continue to support him. But it's hard to believe anyone on the fence won't want to jump off and run the other way.