I hadn't intended to watch any of the so-called "debates" between the two grotesques running for president. But my wife was curious, so we watched it until she said she couldn't stand anymore, which was about thirty minutes.
If there is any justification for these weird performances, it's that the viewer may get some sense of what sort of person a candidate is. One is not going to learn anything substantive about their views and what they might do if elected. Anyone paying the least bit of attention already knows what they will say on those points, and what they will actually do is generally predictable within broad limits. Trump might be an exception to that last rule: who knows what he might do?
Anyway, looking at the debates only from that point of view--an appraisal of personality--Trump came across as he always does, as a fairly ignorant and unstable blowhard. Hillary...well, I certainly had a well-formed and very low opinion of her before the debate, and I have to keep that in mind. But she struck me as sinister. Certainly more clever than Trump, but creepy, especially at moments when Trump was saying something which played into her hands: like the witch welcoming Hansel and Gretel. Yes, I know it's a cliche, and I know I would be convicted of gross sexism for saying it, but that's what I thought (and I'm certainly not alone). It may not be fair. She was probably smiling to avoid looking grim and/or bitchy, which is what people often say about her. But: live by the image and sound bite, die by the image and sound bite.
And that, I guess, is pretty consistent with the view I've had all along, and that makes me glad I don't live in a swing state, so I won't feel responsible for helping to elect one or the other. Ignorant and crazy vs. clever and malicious. What a choice.