Matt Lauer Thought It Was A Forum (It Was Actually A Field)

Matt Lauer’s major failure moderating the Commander In Chief Forum was not being prepared for the wildly different rhetorical styles employed by Clinton and Trump.

Matt Lauer Loses the War in a Battle Between the Candidates

The NBC presidential forum on Wednesday night in Manhattan brought together the candidates Hillary Clinton and Donald J. Trump to try to determine who has the strength, preparation and presence of mind to lead during a time of crisis.

It sure wasn’t Matt Lauer.

In an event aboard the decommissioned aircraft carrier Intrepid, the “Today” host was lost at sea. Seemingly unprepared on military and foreign policy specifics, he performed like a soldier sent on a mission without ammunition, beginning with a disorganized offensive, ending in a humiliating retreat.

SOURCE: “Matt Lauer Loses the War in a Battle Between the Candidates” | The New York Times | James Poniewozik | 9/8/16

Clinton’s responses followed a pattern of “framing” the context and background of an issue, then offering her position on it. She’s The Attorney. Like a smashmouth football team, she steadily moved the ball downfield with nuance, controlled the clock with all that parsing, and played to her own strengths.

Trump went for quick hits like “the generals are reduced to rubble.” He’s The Salesman. Like a run-n’-gun football team, he kept throwing the ball downfield with all those insults and digs, played for the killshot, and took any opportunity to strike at his opponent’s weaknesses.

The first Hillary Clinton vs. Donald Trump showdown of 2016, annotated

Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton appeared at the same prime time event for the first time in the 2016 election on Wednesday night.

A transcript of what they said, and our analysis of what it meant.

SOURCE: The Washington Post | 9/7/2016

Matt Lauer had no clue about any of this. He thought he was the referee, not realizing that against both Clinton and Trump he was the defense. I like to think that a real listener who knows issues like Charlie Rose would’ve been able to pick up on this.

If I haven’t pushed these analogies too far, then this election isn’t about two different candidates, but about two different voters: jurors and customers.

Which one are you?


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