Back for this presidential election only, America's original political blogger Andrew Sullivan and recent Hillary convert had the following to say about his worry that Clinton would fall to Trump at the debate:
What can one say? I was afraid that Trump’s charisma and stage presence and salesmanship might outshine Hillary Clinton’s usually tepid and wonkish instincts. I feared that the facts wouldn’t matter; that a debate would not take place. And it is to Clinton’s great credit that she prepared, and he didn’t, and that she let him hang himself.
His utter lack of preparation; his doubling down on transparent lies; his foreign-policy recklessness; his racial animosity; his clear discomfort with the kind of exchange of views that is integral to liberal democracy; his instinctual belligerence — all these suggest someone who has long lived in a deferential bubble that has become filled with his own reality.
Clinton was not great at times; her language was occasionally stilted; she missed some obvious moments to go in for the kill; but she was solid and reassuring and composed. I started tonight believing she needed a game-changer to alter the trajectory of this race. I may, of course, be wrong, trapped in my own confirmation bias and bubble — but I thought she did just that.
I’ve been a nervous wreck these past two weeks; my nerves are calmed now
We did witness a game changing event last night, and on the second debate in early October we can confidently expect more of the same. Donald Trump simply isn't in the same league as Hillary Clinton, and no matter how much his team prepares him for the next round, he's just way, way out of his depth.