NBC’s “Commander in Chief Forum,” held Wednesday night aboard the USS Intrepid in New York, was the closest thing to a debate between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton until the real thing on Sept. 26. And it showed an advantage Trump might have when the two meet face-to-face: she has a record in government to defend, while he doesn’t. On that score, Trump, at 70 a newcomer to politics, seems new, while Clinton, at 68 a veteran of decades in public life, seems, well, not new.
The format of the NBC forum, in which the two candidates were separated by only a commercial break, put that contrast into higher relief than ever before.
Clinton cited her experience right out of the blocks, when moderator Matt Lauer asked her, “What is the most important characteristic that a commander in chief can possess?”
“Steadiness,” Clinton answered instantly. “An absolute rock steadiness, and mixed with strength to be able to make the hard decisions. Because I’ve had the unique experience of watching and working with several presidents …”