First US Presidential Debate, Abridged

CLINTON: Can I respond? TRUMP: Not without a commentary track from Donald Trump, you can’t.

I was hoping to have this published somewhere else, but that didn’t work out. So I’m going to throw it up here while the first debate is still at least kind of in your memories.

LESTER HOLT: Knock-knock, it’s the United States. Welcome to the debate. If you’re in an Irish time zone, you should really be asleep, so I’m going to make up for that by taking a half-hour cat-nap. First, who will be better for business?

HILLARY CLINTON: I am a politician. Donald is a broken hairdryer.

DONALD TRUMP: *sniff* I’m going to open by saying that Mexico is bad, just to make totally clear that you are dealing with me, Donald Trump. Hello. Yes.

CLINTON: Can I respond?

TRUMP: Not without a commentary track from Donald Trump, you can’t.

CLINTON: Your economic plan is similar to trickle-down economics, so I’m thinking of calling it ‘trumped-up trickle-down’. Does that work? Would that be fun? It’s no ‘Romnesia’ but I think it might do the job.

TRUMP: Listen, you don’t have a plan.

CLINTON: See, you’re doing this thing where I state facts about you, such as ‘what you just said was racist’ or ‘you don’t have a plan,’ and you respond with ‘no, you.’ Which makes you sound eight years old, but the media have to report it as ‘Clinton and Trump exchange blows in planning feud’ or they’ll lose their non-partisan reputation. Anyway, I wrote a book called Stronger Together and you can read it if you want to know my plan. It has a good cover so it sells well in train stations.

TRUMP: People believe that you sit at the centre of a dark spider-web of corruption and deception through which you control the entire western world. The Vatican, the IRA, and the Dough Bros all report back to you.

CLINTON: I assure you that is not the case.

HOLT: Now, about those e-mails, Hillary.

CLINTON: I have been investigated for emails and come out the other end. Donald has actual criminality on his record. Again, the media is struggling to appear non-partisan, so they’ve given our respective flaws equal coverage, but really that’s a false equivalency. There’s just no comparison between Donald and me. Now, Donald. Let’s talk about your business. You don’t pay your workers.

TRUMP: Of course not. That would be dumb. Only losers pay their workers, and I’m a winner. You see, I could buy, say, an apple. I could eat the apple, then I could say it was bad, more pear-like. Then I wouldn’t have to pay. But I’ve already eaten the apple. It’s honest exaggeration. I can even get the apple to pay me if I want.

ENDA KENNY: *sticks head in door* You don’t need to, though.

CLINTON: Quiet, you.

TRUMP: Sad! *sniff* Listen, if there’s one thing I’ve learned during the last few weeks of half-heartedly trying to trick suburban white voters into thinking I’m not racist, it’s that all black people, and only black people, live in terrible inner-city ghettos. They’re in the worst shape they’ve ever been in.

CLINTON: I have run out of interesting ways to say that you’re lying. Black culture is vibrant and alive.

TRUMP: *eye roll, audible groan of white supremacy*

HOLT: Is racism a problem for police?

CLINTON: It’s a problem for everyone.

TRUMP: That is such a prepared answer.

CLINTON: *completely out of nowhere* Did you just criticise me for preparing for this debate? Because yes, I’m prepared. I’m also prepared to be President.


TRUMP: Look, the point is, you don’t have a good temperament. I have a better temperament.

AUDIENCE: *audibly laughs at him*

CLINTON: A good temperament? You interrupted me 26 times in the first 25 minutes. I have spent my life doing this. You decided last year that you were interested enough in doing this and that you would be great at it. In 2012, you kind of idly considered running but decided to make another season of The Apprentice instead. Then they kicked you off that channel for being a racist. It’s unfair that there is anyone in the world who feels bad about themselves while you feel good about yourself.

Years ago, Al Gore rolled his eyes or something and people said he probably lost because of that. If I coughed, I would have lost this debate instantly. So I didn’t cough. My brand is pixel-perfect and even if you think I’m morally reprehensible, it’s obvious that I, in a practical sense, would be great at this job.

Meanwhile, you’ve spent this entire debate saying ridiculous, stupid things, just like you’ve spent the last 18 months. It’s all anyone is going to be talking about afterwards.

TRUMP: That’s the plan.

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