Ratings: Donald Trump vs Hillary Clinton presidential debate

Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump
Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump

The gloves came off, and the dust has since settled, so who came out on top in the first of three US presidential debates?

Most people expect that a US president needs to handle themselves with dignity, be respectful, but be respected as well. There's a natural grace and authoritative presence that any US president needs to have, so how did nominees Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump come across?

- Hillary 7/10

The former US Secretary of State is no stranger to the big stage. She's been on it many times herself, and she's watched husband Bill grace it, slip off it, then casually jump back on it again.

During the debate, arguably her greatest test to date, Clinton exuded a natural confidence and appeared forthright without being overly aggressive.

When Trump accused her of hiding 30,000 emails on a private server, she admitted her mistake. Presidents should be accountable for their actions. On this occasion, Clinton was.

When Trump accused her of helping to sow the seeds of Islamic State (IS), she didn't bat an eyelid.

Clinton remained restrained despite Trump's obvious baiting. Very presidential indeed.

- Trump 3/10

The billionaire tycoon turned presidential hopeful turned in a rather abject performance on this count. A president should remain measured, calm and in control. Trump appeared to be none of these things during the debate.

He seldom answered the questions moderator Lester Holt threw at him, he often repeated himself, and very often talked himself and his business success up.

Does the world expect a US president to be so vain? Where was his dignity?

On foreign policy matters he was largely bereft of ideas. He admitted to not knowing much about America's pivotal military alliance with NATO because he'd been busy running his multi-billion dollar business.

His main foreign policy statement?

He wants other countries to pay the US more for being their sheriff and protector.

Trump then wants to be a Sheriff of Nottingham type figure, hardly a good look for a wannabe leader of the free world.

There have been two types of US presidents in history. Those who led their country into war, and those who didn't.

- Trump 3/10

If elected, Trump could be the next LBJ or Bush. He wants massive spending increases on the US military, but claimed to respect the power of nuclear weapons.

Trump stated that Russia was increasing its nuclear arsenal, while the US wasn't.

By having a powerful military force, the threat is always there to use it. This has been seen time and time again throughout history.

When Lester Holt claimed Trump had supported the US lead invasion of Iraq in 2003, Trump was adamant he'd been misquoted.

Trump's answer to North Korea's nuclear ambitions? Let China deal with it.

So some mixed messages from Trump here. On the one hand, he claimed that nuclear war was still the greatest threat the world faces, and in his words "a much bigger threat than global warming".

On the other, he wants a far more powerful US military defence force, capable of hunting down the likes of IS wherever they are.

You can't help but wonder if he'd have an itchy trigger finger.

- Clinton 6/10

A US president should have the respect and the ear of other world leaders.

Clinton talked up her experience in foreign policy, claiming to have stopped Iran's nuclear ambitions without a shot being fired.

She said she wants to keep the US military from expanding, which to be fair, is still the largest and most well-funded in the world at present.

Wary of expensive excursions into Iraq and Afghanistan, Clinton claimed she wouldn't tip the US into another war if she became president, and would certainly do everything in her power to avoid nuclear confrontation.

A 'no war' policy certainly means 'no nuclear war', but what if Russia flexed its muscles again as it did in the Cold War?

Clinton appeared to have at least some answers here, or at least a clear head.

Both would be needed.

Easily the biggest domestic problem in the US at present along with gun control, Clinton didn't shy away from the issue of race relations and justly so; one of her biggest voting blocks is the African-American community.

- Clinton 8/10

Clinton said she would look at ways to have less Black Americans in prison, but did she have a plan for doing so?

She claimed it would happen if mandatory prison sentences were reduced.

So how do you deal with a largely white police force seemingly shooting Black Americans on sight for the most simple of crimes?

Clinton said she would have the police force retrained in dealing with Black American suspects

She also accused Trump of racial profiling and essentially, being a racist.

- Trump 2/10

The Republican nominee was recently rolled out for the media at a black church service awkwardly dancing along to the beat. It was an eleventh hour grab at the African-American vote.

The world knows most Blacks won't vote for Trump, and why should they?

During the debate he claimed they were living in hell.

Trump said he wanted less African-Americans in prison, but said it was more important to take the guns out of their hands before they committed crimes.

He touted 'law and order' first and foremost, actually he said 'law and order' about half a dozen times.

Did he imply Black America was lawless then?

Clinton attacked his history of treating black communities badly in business.

I'm not really sure Trump cares that he's seen as a racist. His votes lie elsewhere in middle, white America.

The answer is of course obvious but will Trump's swing voters actually care?

Brexit showed that those who don't usually come out and vote can be persuaded to do so if given a big enough carrot.

The tasty vegetable at stake in the US election can essentially be boiled down to this: A promise by a mega-rich white male that he can 'make America great again'.

The pivotal moment of the debate in my opinion was when Clinton said: "Just listen to what he is saying".

She claimed Trump was basically shooting himself in the foot by simply taking the stage and opening his mouth.

He'll be opening it again during the second debate. Whether different words come out is another matter.