Hillary Clinton squared off against Donald Trump in the first presidential debate and laid a lot of  right-wing rumor mongering to rest. (Photo: ScreenCap)

Hillary Clinton squared off against Donald Trump in the first presidential debate and laid a lot of right-wing rumor mongering to rest. (Photo: ScreenCap)

Hillary Clinton laid to rest right-wing rumor mongering about her health with a strong performance in the first presidential debate. Donald Trump came across like a punch-drunk fighter, at times, belligerent, incoherent and confused.

Going into the debate, Republican pundits repeatedly said Trump had only one mission to accomplish. He needed to look “Presidential.”

He was anything but. The first few minutes into the debate, he became theatrical and belligerent. He repeatedly interrupted Clinton, talked in rapid-fire sentences and appeared agitated, verging on out-of control, like a road-raging driver.

From a women’s perspective, he was like every loutish boss and bad boyfriend.

In contrast, Clinton maintained her composure throughout the debate. She spoke convincingly and coherently, from start to finish. Some critics portrayed her as condescending, because she was smiling and, at times, looked “smug.”

But how could she not?

Going into the debate, spin doctors said she needed to put Trump on the defensive and make him look unsteady, if not unstable. She succeeded beyond her wildest expectations while hardly even trying.

He imploded on his own.

He came across as unprepared, especially on the issue of national security. He was widely viewed as incoherent on nuclear policy.

And, he came across as thin-skinned and defensive about his business dealings, his tax returns, the birther issue and his economic policy.

In fact, Clinton coined a new phrase “Trumped up trickle down economics.”

Hillary’s health — both psychological and physical — has been repeatedly targeted by right-wing rumor mongers.

They insinuated that she lacked the stamina to be president, suffered from mental problems and is temperamentally unfit to be president.

But Trump better fit that definition. When he proclaimed that Clinton lacked the stamina to be president, he looked like a punch-drunk fighter hanging on the ropes or swinging wildly in the air.

He wheezed and sniffed repeatedly throughout and continually sipped water. Clinton did not take a drink during the entire 95-minute confrontation.

Trump visibly sagged about 50-minutes into the debate.

He leaned heavily on the podium and spoke in fragmented sentences, mispronounced words and often lost his train of thought.

In April, Trump’s incoherent answers and his seeming inability to remember even basic facts, sparked a slew of stories about his mental capacity.

Trump has credited his “family genes” for his supposedly “excellent” health, but what he’s failed to disclose is his family history of Alzheimer’s. The debilitating mental disease struck his father Fred Trump.

Howard Dean, a medical doctor who ran for president in 2004 as a Democrat, tweeted that Trump was “sniffing all the time.”

And then added “Coke user?”

And that’s exactly how Trump came across. He started the debate talking 90-miles-a-minute and ended up looking like he was on a cocaine jag.

How much affect the debate will have on the race remains to be seen. Two more debates are coming up.

But one thing is clear, Trump needs a game change.

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