Bruce’s List: A daily guide to informed reads.
It is almost unbelievable but Donald Trump’s supporters think he may actually have “won” the debate last night, the second of three as the US presidential election campaign nears its end, with Democrat Hillary Clinton. The two used a town hall-style debate, less formal than the first, in the highly personal and nasty exchange during which Trump at one stage threatened to put Clinton in jail if he were elected. In the immediate aftermath, Trump supporters claimed victory, though more sober analysis will probably show that what he did was play to his base — Trump diehards willing even to forgive his lewd remarks about women and sexual assault on them captured on tape in 2005 and leaked to The Washington Post late last week. Literally hundreds of Republican politicians, many fearing that his remarks about grabbing women “by the pussy” would hurt their own campaigns for re-election to Congress, have dumped Trump and it seems almost impossible now that he can win on November 8. But he may get a bounce from last night’s debate. We will have to watch for polls to emerge later today. A quick CNN poll after the debate had Clinton winning by a wide margin. After the first debate Clinton took a solid lead even in swing states like Ohio that Trump simply has to take in order to beat her. Somehow Trump managed to praise both the Russian and Syrian leaders. I’ll include the leaked tape in this column but first here is the Financial Times’s take on the debate as it ended: Trump regains footing in bitter second debate with Clinton (paywalled).
And here’s a lively US round-up of the debate from the New York Daily News: Debate devolves as Donald Trump harps on Bill Clinton ‘rape’ victims, vows to ‘jail’ Hillary — Clinton laughs off his ‘lies’.
Just before the debate the New York Times put together this lovely timeline of how, why and when Republicans have peeled away from their party’s candidate: More than 160 Republican leaders don't support Donald Trump. Here's when they reached their breaking point.
The Donald, of course, has little choice now but to double down and on Sunday he did, lashing out at the Republicans rushing for the door: Donald Trump vows retaliation as Republicans abandon him.
Given what Trump has been saying about Mexicans in the US it was probably inevitable that the Mexican peso rose as it becomes increasingly clear he isn’t going to be president. OK, here’s the tape: Trump recorded having extremely lewd conversation about women in 2005.
And, if that were not enough, Trump managed to diss even his own running mate, Mike Pence, saying he hadn’t spoken to him about US policy in Syria and that he disagreed with remarks Pence had made about standing up to Russia: Donald Trump throws running mate Mike Pence under the campaign bus during town hall debate.
Finally, a South African tragedy. Fezeka Ntsukela Kuzwayo died at her home in Durban on Saturday. We came to know Fezeka as Khwezi, the woman who accused President Jacob Zuma of rape in 2005. He was acquitted but the fact that he had sex with her at all is a stain on his legacy that is unlikely to ever be forgotten. This powerful piece from Marianne Thamm says it all: #RememberKhwezi: Zuma’s rape accuser dies, never having known freedom.