Last night was the first of three of the big TV debates between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump.
Up to 100 million viewers tuned in in the USA. Even on this side of the Atlantic, a large number of people stayed up to the early hours to see Trump versus Mrs Clinton, such is the excitement surrounding the presidential election.
With Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump virtually tied in recent national polls, they entered the debate as the two least popular presidential candidates in modern history.
In the blue corner, a career politician, an experienced debater, trying to stem an apparent surge in popularity for her rival.
In the red corner, a reality TV star, who successfully disposed of his opponents by giving them nicknames on stage, now needs to prove he has the temperament to be commander-in-chief.
They argued on television like a pair of teenagers. Hillary Clinton’s best line was “I think Donald just criticised me for preparing for this debate. And yes I did. And you know what else I prepared for? I prepared to be president. And that’s a good thing.”
Clinton largely kept her cool, eventually offering wryly with a smile: “Donald, I know you live in your own reality.”
According to a CNN poll of debate watchers, 62% thought Hillary came out on top, 27% for Donald Trump and 11% unsure. However, 46% think that neither of them are suitable to be President!
Towards the end of the debate, the Republican claimed Mrs Clinton does not have the “stamina” to be president, clearly alluding to her recent bout of pneumonia.
“I said she doesn’t have the stamina. And I don’t believe she does have the stamina. To be president of this country, you need tremendous stamina,” Mr Trump said.
Mrs Clinton fired back: “Well, as soon as he travels to 112 countries and negotiates a peace deal, a ceasefire, a release of dissidents… or even spends 11 hours testifying in front of a congressional committee, he can talk to me about stamina.”
The debate concluded with both candidates pledging to respect the results of the election no matter who wins. It’s a sign of just how contentious this election has become that such a pledge is even necessary.
The election is on 8th November so time is running out …
What are your views? Who would make the more credible president of the United States? How do they both compare to Obama? If you had to choose between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton, who would you vote for?