In retrospect, it is incredible that the media consensus seems to be that Hillary Clinton won the debate — the expectations set up by pundits were so high for Clinton and so low for Donald Trump that it seemed like a no-win situation for the Democrat. Pundits said she should smile, not cough, not laugh, not condescend, show some levity, provide substance and entertainment, and more. Trump, meanwhile, just had to not lie and fill the gaps about his policy proposals.
On her show Wednesday night, Samantha Bee summed up the expectations of Clinton: “Be perfect but not too perfect. Save us from fascism but, like, don’t be a bitch about it.” In comparison, Bee said, “No one was suggesting superficial changes for Trump — like try wearing a suit that actually fits or embrace your baldness proudly or don’t snort your way through the debate like Jean-Pierre’s prized truffle pig.”
Yet the superficial expectations for Clinton continued even after the debate, with CNN bringing in a “body language expert” who said that “women are going to tell [Clinton’s] is a fake smile more than men.”
“Look, Hillary Clinton is never going to smile naturally enough for you,” Bee said. “She’s never going to be a thrilling speaker. Her oratory is always going to remind you a little of your least favorite history teacher’s lecture about the cotton gin. She’s never going to make you love her. In fact, she’d probably be offended if you tried; she has grandchildren for that.”
Bee added, “But we don’t need her to be warm and vulnerable. It turns out what America really needs Hillary Clinton to be, she is — namely, one of the only people in the whole god damn country who’s not afraid of a bully.”