Donald Trump didn't win Sunday night in St. Louis, but he didn't lose either. Yes, the bizarre, psycho drama which, at times, resembled an early Roman Polanski movie shot while the director was on acid, ended in a contentious draw.
Given what had gone down in the days leading up to the confrontation the tie will allow Trump to claim he won. In fact, it didn't take, but a minute after it was over for his running mate, Mike Pence to send him a message praising his, "impressive victory."
Today, Pence is backing Trump all the way after he said he would have Hillary Clinton investigated and prosecuted post inauguration day. That's a far cry from Friday evening when the allegedly religious Indiana governor was practically disowning the Trumpster for his sexually callous and lewd remarks on an "Access Hollywood," tape which exploded in the media that morning.
Trump's displeasure with Pence's reaction to the sordid tape and his sudden popularity among certain GOP hot shots was clearly on display last night. When asked about White Mike's stance on Syria, which is pretty much the opposite of his, Trump responded with terse, iciness, "Governor Pence and I disagree on the issue." When he said it, El Don's steely glare made you believe he was an inch from pointing directly at the camera in order to tell his choice for vice president, "You're fired."
Of course that was the least twisted thing on Trump's mind. Prior to the debate he held a press conference with four women, three of whom have accused Bill Clinton of sexual abuse. The fourth was a rape victim whose attacker was defended by a court appointed attorney named, Hillary Clinton. She didn't get the guy off, but managed to secure a reduced sentence.
According to reports the original plan was that the four women would be seated in Trump's VIP seating section and would enter the hall at the exact moment as Bill Clinton. The presidential debate commission found out about the plot and told Trump's people if they tried to pull the stunt security would escort the women out of the hall. They were seated early, behind the candidate's family.
When he wasn't ignoring, or evading questions, Trump attacked with a blizzard of accusations, half truths, and outright lies. The most outrageous of which was the claim he never tweeted the words, "check out sex tape," (of Alicia Machado, the former Miss Universe who Clinton had cited in the first debate as being a victim of Trump's run amok misogyny.)
The tweet, sent out between 3am and 5am, read, "Did crooked Hillary help disgusting (check out sex tape and past) Alicia M. become a U.S. citizen so she could use her in the debate?" The denial was a moment of supreme surrealism, one that not even Salvador Dali could surpass in his weirdest phantasms.
To reinforce his claims of media bias, a couple of times, Trump went all bitchy-whiny, complaining the moderators were letting Mrs. Clinton run over her allotted time while they were cutting him off. The truth is both candidates ran over while Cooper and Raddatz tried to control the pace of vitriol on both sides.
Meanwhile, as Hillary Clinton spoke, the Big Orange Guy prowled the stage like a caged bear. In more than a few instances he seemed to be stalking her by coming uncomfortably close to her back while she faced the audience. It was as if he was practicing some ancient aboriginal ritual of intimidation and dominance.
Yes, Donald J. Trump's win last night wasn't that he out debated Hillary Clinton, but he was able avoid what could have been a campaign ending disaster.
By doing so there is no doubt he drove his followers into spasms of glee. However, we can also be sure he didn't convert any of Hillary's followers. The question at hand is did Brother Trump sway any independents, or undecided women? The answer will come in a few weeks.
In the mean time what we do know is, Donald Trump isn't running against Bill Clinton, but he is most certainly on record bragging he can grab any woman's "pussy" with impunity because he is a star.
And, ultimately, that's the reality of where Don Trump is right now.