As the debate wore on, Mrs. Clinton kept finding opportunities to make Mr. Trump seem smaller and smaller, or at least more puerile.
She noted that after a stretch without an Emmy for his reality TV show, Mr. Trump had claimed that the awards show was rigged against him — just as he now says about the election.
Mr. Trump did not disappoint. “Should have gotten it,” he said bitterly.
And it became clear that the candidate who relishes his role as a bully had little patience for being bullied.
Mrs. Clinton implied that Mr. Trump would find a way to weasel out of paying his fair share of taxes for Social Security.
“My Social Security payroll contribution will go up, as will Donald’s — assuming he can’t figure out how to get out of it,” Mrs. Clinton said, fully aware she was provoking him.
And provoked he was.
“Such a nasty woman,” Mr. Trump grumbled.
Amy Chozick and Michael Barbaro, “Hillary Clinton, Mocking and Taunting in Debate, Turns the Tormentor”, The New York Times (20 October 2016) [http://www.nytimes.com/2016/10/20/us/politics/hillary-clinton-donald-trump.html]