Sympathy for the Donald

Sep 28, 2016 · 536 comments
jvb (Palmyra, New York)
Frank - thank you so much for the chuckle which is a version of laugh that sounds louder just like Donald Trumps sniffles were'nt sniffles they were snuffles which are louder!
Abby (Tucson)
I'm gonna say it, but this is only speculation. However, after hearing about how high Hitler was all the time, first hyped up on Pervitin - the Reich's methyl amphetamine - then on Eukodal, same thing as Oxy, it's not crazy to think a man with a crazy doctor might need to come home EVERY night to get another shot to feel good. Hitler also used the purest cocaine when the strain was getting too much for him.

"Blitzed" or "High Hitler" might inform more inquiring minds. The megalomania with a touch of paranoia? It's a drug reaction waiting to happen.
CJ13 (California)
Dear Donald,

You can now add another achievement to your huge, beautiful resume:

Choke artist.
Harley Leiber (Portland,Oregon)
Some one said, "a poor workman blames his tools". Nothing could be more accurate in describing Trump's insidious and near hysteric need to "blame" for his own shortcomings. He was unprepared because he is incapable of preparing. He lacks the ability to study and absorb. That ability, if it ever existed, is overwhelmed by his need for instant gratification and attention. He lacks the emotional maturity essential for the office of POTUS. He has mastered the mute button, the tweet, the nasty comeback, the grimace, and the smirk...None of these are in the job description.
Raymond (Washington DC)
Yea, Frank, it's rigged alright. Political hacks like Crooked Hillary never get the hard questions, just me. That's ok. Whatever. But it's rigged in a bigly way. Just sayin. Best, The Don
Matthew Clark (Loja, Ecuador)
To all those who would not have Donald Trump as President, I share Han Solo´s immortal words: " Don´t get cocky."
Bob Dvorak (Saugerties, NY)
You're repeating yourself. No, wait. You're repeating yourself.
nzierler (New Hartford)
Trump's idol must be PT Barnum because he has amassed millions of suckers drinking his Kool-Aid.
Phil Zaleon (Greensboro,NC)
Dear Mr. Bruni,

You are bigly funny, perhaps even, the most bilgiest funny man in this hugely universe... trust me I know, because I alone can fix this, the bilgiest problems we face... I'm Donald J. Trump! (Editor Note: When in doubt of syntax or punctuation use ellipses or even better exclamation marks if you can... people will think you are ugley smart... or even better throw in extra words!!!!!).

The Trumpian (Hoity-toity Military School cum Wharton alum) bellow “I love the poorly educated” almost says it all. Just think of all the money saved by not educating those inner-city kids... and now they lack the critical reasoning skills to see me for the fraud I am... it's a Trumpian Win Win!!!!!!

Anyway, I'm tired now... writing this is too much like studying for exams or Presidential Debates... and I don't need to anyway cause I'm SMART... just ask me!!!!!

Trust Me,
The Donald
Rob Verchick (New Orleans)
Wait, didn't Michelle Obama write a column almost exactly like this a few years back?
Tfranzman (Indianapolis)
Donald, or should I say, Donnie, has all the mentality and bearing of a 12 year old playground bully who wants your lunch money. That's what I see every time his image comes across my screen. Hillary was having none of it and did what all Americans should be doing.....standing up to him. While she didn't physically punch him in the nose, rhetorically she did. Take that you little punk......and that goes for your wretched little sidekicks Rudy and Chrissie too!!
Lee Elliott (Rochester)
I would say that if you ever get a chance to play poker with Mr. Trump you should not pass up the opportunity. All during the debate what he was thinking could not have been more obvious had there been a thought bubble above his head.
I've heard many times that body language is a far truer indicator of a person's thoughts than the words he says. Trump's body language was not saying nice things about Hillary Clinton. Truly if there were an archetypal example of trying to put lipstick on a pig, this was it. No matter the stakes, the real Donald will always show up.
DR (upstate NY)
Great article. BTW, it's about time to deconstruct Trump's use of the word "rigged." Something like, "The existing state of the world, in which rich white males run everything and get to dump constantly on others, is the norm. Any circumstance where the weak and inferior are protected by law, order, and civil society is 'rigged.' If I had that woman out on a playground, I'd just be rough with her, but here I am forced to be polite."
Tom (Wysox pa)
Don't miss the series finale of The Donald Trump Show November 8th entitled, "It's Everyone's Fault But Mine".
treefromsp (Phila., PA)
I love it but the reality is Trump supporters don't get it. They'll read and say, 'see this guy understands what's wrong with this rigged system, and that'll be that. For the record, this fool mentioned my beloved city at the debate; yeah, he was here for a photo op at a touristy cheeseteak spot and at the prestigious (read whites only) Union League. Other than that, he stayed outside the city limits and only visited the ultra rich (read -you know) suburbs where Trump lawn signs look like the grass has turned blueish.....
AnnH (Lexington, VA)
I taught 5th & 6th grade. Trump's post-debate behavior is exactly what one tries to get students beyond. We would actively address the need to take responsibility for one's failures and mistakes. We would tell the kids how bad it looks to blame everyone and everything else for them--and that they are fooling no one when they do it. It is disheartening that an individual with the maturity of a 10-year-old could actually be the President of the United States.
C. Morris (Idaho)
Alternate Caption;

'Patriotism is the last refuge of a scoundrel. . .'
grannychi (Grand Rapids, MI)
Funny how often D.T. reminds me of the old childish taunt, 'Cry, baby, cry, put a finger in your eye...' 'He didn't treat me nice! She didn't treat me nice! It's her fault; she made me do it!' Doesn't he realize the buck stops on POTUS's desk?
Sarah (NYC)
Loved your column. Real entertainment!!

Even kind of understand why an unnamed candidate may have a large following - for the sheer entertainment. Folks hang on to his foolish words. They have never encountered anyone like that before. Certainly not as a candidate for the highest office in the country.

But just like the fact this column is no prize winner and it will not get you the Pulitzer. Let's all hope that the certain candidate will not get the Presidency because we certainly do not need an entertainer in the White House.

Show is over folks. Let's all get serious and elect the only serious candidate in. She has proved over and over again that she is absolutely capable and has the stamina for it.
Sam (NV)
This is the first time I've laughed about anything pertaining to this election.
Thank you so much.
Dennis (New York City)
Donald was there when Jesus had his moment of doubt and pain, and Pilate washed his hands of the whole mess.

At least that's what The Donald has said. Believe Him?

Rufus T Woodrow (New England)
I had a witty comment, but I left it in my other pants
Jody Kelly (Arlington, VA)
Best. Column. Ever. And spot on.
PhotoGirl (Tuckahoe, NY)
You rival Calvin Trillin. Good shot!
Carl Ian Schwartz (Paterson, New Jersey)
Chaplin's "The Great Dictator" flopped when it opened in 1940; Hitler was no longer funny. Neither is Don the Con.
mayelum (Paris, France)
The wonder is that: after this debate, there are still some Americans who would want this inarticulate candidate to be POTUS. Imagine him at a meeting with other world leaders...I shudder!
Helen B. O'Rourke (Chicago)
I needed this clever parody to lift me up after my post-debate sickness and feeling of doom. Thank you.
epifani (Wash. DC)
A little comedy...a little tragedy...thank you, Italiano!
Jean (austin,tx)
I generally don't like these sorts of columns where the writer adopts the voice of the object of his satire. But this was great because it did more than simply ridicule him (as richly deserving he is of that). It implicitly gives an answer to the following question: what would the world be like, columnists included, if we all behaved like Donald Trump? It would be bad, people. Very, very bad.
LindaInQueenAnne (Seattle)
Thanks for reading my mind, you captured the debate and provided much needed humor.
I just want to say to my fellow commenters that the NYT is the only website on which I ever post comments, because it's the only website where you can actually read intelligent stuff and respond to intelligent people.

We have a great community going here – the comments on Frank's op ed are smart and funny. It's a relief to know that there are still sane people in the world, including sane people with a sense of humor.
tgarof (Los Angeles)
I am an intellectual property lawyer representing former SNL star, Jon Lovitz. We are suing Donald Trump for wantonly co-opting Jon's signature character, Tommy Flanagan, the Pathological Liar. Just kidding. I lied. Lying's fun. It gets you places. You might even get to be President. Yeah. That's the ticket.
Milliband (Medford Ma)
As a Democrta ,if the Democrats ever nominated anyone as remotely crass and ignorant as Donald Trump, I would really hope that I would not support him or her.
Kenneth J. Tewel (Fort Lauderdale, Florida)
The lady wore red to camouflage and hide the blood spurting from her opponent as she punctured his very thin skin on his very ample physique. By the end of the evening, her outfit was covered with blood from the holes she had gored in his self-assured but fragile ego. She was able to continue her assault without looking unsightly and having the focus on the changing color of her clothes. Which is why she will wear brown to the next debate.
Ryan Meyer (Newburgh, IN)
a keyboard typing a bad article is like believing a gun is responsible for killing someone.

both are absolutely ridiculous. and so are you for saying the former is, but not the latter.
su (ny)
Kudos, But seeing in TV still some people worshipping Trump as if he is Fuhrer.

I would like to say only one thing, There was excellent documentary on PBS presented by FRONTLINE, yesterday.

One should watch this Documentary understand this two candidates history.

Hillary Clinton which she has no personal moral problems was subjected to public humiliation because of his husband Bill. She was literally thrown under the freight train by Bill at least 3 times and she came out alive but most important dignity of a great woman.

Hillary's political history has ups and downs but over all she proved she is hardworking , true statesman character.

Trump meanwhile as a personal character is simply a morally shallow, and extremely narcissist life, still this doesn't totally makes him unfit. But His business history is simply a fraudulent enterprise. Trump may be the only person who make profit and name from bankruptcy. Trumps most important business achievement his bankruptcy and that created a path to make name for himself. This is practically is not exist for Middle class America, but it is all too common in top 1%.

Trump is a personally and business wise totally corrupted person.
Wanda (Kentucky)
My sweet holy deity, it's really that bad, isn't it?
Hakim (University of Florida)
Hey Frank, why don't you run for president? I love these Monday Morning quarterbacks! Like the rest, you're a know-it-all. Actually you sound like Trump and inside are no different than him as are most people.
Thinking, thinking... (Minneapolis)
Interesting thing happened to my husband yesterday. Following a discussion with a contractor (a stranger) about a home repair, the contractor said to him, out of the blue, "Did you watch the debate?" My husband commented that he thought Trump seemed unhinged. The contractor replied, "Doesn't matter to me. I'm voting for him. Hillary just wants to take my guns away."

True story. This is what the thinking world is up against.
Eric Schlosser (Williamsburg Brooklyn)
I know you're joking with the tag line"what's a man to do when all is rigged against him?", but the majority of his supporters agree with the statement, "America used to be a place where people worked to get ahead, now it's a place where people cheat." I have no idea what's going on in the mind of a Trump supporter, but his might actually be a winning strategy.
Kay (South Burlington VT)
I hope, bigly, that you can get your keyboard fixed.
Tim (Chicago)
Believe me, everything bad is the fault of Obama and Hillary.
jc (LI, NY)
How sad is it this man has over 40% of the national electorate? What does this say about our country and our citizens? At some point Trump will go away, but we will continue to have this national divide.
Topsie (Verm)
Wonderful column!
Spencer (St. Louis)
You captured it, Frank! Accurate and hilarious as well.
R. Adelman (Philadelphia)
Cool. But I would have liked to have seen at least one paragraph that wondered hither and yon and made no sense at all (except maybe to James Joyce...and then, not in a good way).
Shauna (Oklahoma)
This is huge!
mikey (NYC)
He was not wearing an earpiece and could not have been monitoring the audio, Lie #5349.
Mychase (Around)
Am I the only one who thinks that not every journalist is supposed to write a serious column in this political climate? Then again this column seems pretty serious to me.
uchitel (CA)
One of your best. Spot on.
Clark Landrum (Near the swamp.)
Sorry about that keyboard, Mr. Bruni. Maybe Trump can blame a defective nuclear button after he starts WWIII.
Kev2931 (Decatur GA)
Now Frank,

I know that you had fun writing this particular column. But it was a departure from your usual, well-worded prose. We're guessing here that you have the stamina needed to channel others besides Donald Trump.

But I'm not complaining. I'm just noticing.
Welcome (Canada)
Trump wanted his microphone with a louder volume setting. One more sick comment or mean to be above everybody else, to show his manly persona. He is a loser.
Ted (Brooklyn)
I love seeing all these Trump parodies. Everyone, it seems, is the doing them. It means more and more people have his number.
Amelie (Northern California)
Congratulations to your keyboard for a brilliant column! Great job, Frank.
Bearded One (Chattanooga, TN)
No one seems to be mentioning that in the debate, The Donald boasted several times that in the 1970s his real estate company "never admitted guilt" when they were penalized for their rental policies that discriminated against blacks. This was all well documented.

Does this mean Mr. Trump would "never admit guilt" for tax evasion, or for being clueless about politics and true leadership while serving as the prime scam artist of the 20th and 21st centuries?

Hillary looked great, making the most of her presidential stamina. You go, girl!
Michael Tyndall (SF)
Ridicule might be one of the most effective ways to bring Donald down. Like a mafia don, he can't stand being disrespected, and a properly timed barb might cause him to lash out uncontrollably for all to see. Even his followers might distance themselves from their 'tough guy' if everybody's laughing at him.

BTW, one of the funniest send-ups of the election was the following skit put on by members of the cast from Will and Grace. It's really good!
Jack T. (Boston)
The only reason a candidate as idiotic and unqualified as Trump has managed to gain traction is because so many voting age adult citizens let emotion rather than reason govern their decisions. Democracy depends upon an intelligent and discerning voting public. No candidate like Trump should be able to gain any traction with such voters for the very simple reason that little of what he says makes any sense if you really think about it.
Philip Carlsen (South Portland, ME)
Frank, you're the best. Always.
TK421 (NJ)
Please be careful, those defective keyboards can mess up your cyber.
Sandy (Northeast)
Brilliant! Bruni is bigly-er than ever!
blackmamba (IL)
Liberal progressive Democrats were chortling when the ancient doddering ignorant dim bulb Grade B Hollywood actor Ronald Wilson Reagan won the Republican Party Presidential nomination in 1980.

Donald John Trump buried 16 Republican primary and caucus opponents. In the 2008 and 2012 Presidential elections 57% and 59% of the white vote went McCain/Palin and then Romney/Ryan. A majority of Americans are still white and the Republican Party is still their party. Trump is much beloved on Fox "News". Rafael Cruz, Reince Preibus and Paul Ryan have fallen in love with the Donald.

Donald John Trump is very lucky that he running for President of the United States against Hillary Diane Rodham Clinton. Hillary is very lucky that she is married to a cowardly serial draft dodging moral degenerate serial adulterer corrupt crony capitalist corporate plutocrat oligarch welfare king and thus has intimate experience with the Trump type.

America and the world are in need and deserve our sympathy and love.
Gini Illick (coopersburg, pa.)
A bigly thanks to you Frank. What a wonderful column.
Linda (Canada)
Brilliant column. The first time I've laughed since Trump won the primaries. It must be the debate. Trump actually is the buffoon I thought he was. I thought I was imagining his buffoonness until I saw him next to an intelligent, strong woman.
alecia stevens (new york city, ny)
He's always complaining - about our country, our jobs, the Mexicans, the fat beauty queen, about no law and order, about the media, and now about the mic. Do his supporters like complaining? Does anyone like complaining? I don't get it. But I did get this article! A great way to start the day.
peggym2 (Queens, NY)
I am the best reader of this column, I am huge reader, a bigly reader except I may have misread something! If I did maybe my doctor gave me the wrong prescription! You know these doctors, always trying to make a buck! And maybe my newspaper is plotting to only transmit certain news to me, since i do read this online. It's not fair! The other readers never have this issue. Ya know what, I am going to refuse to pay for this paper because I am not satisfied that I am reading this correctly, even though everyone who knows me knows that I am a ginormous reader, the best, except when the words sent to me are just wrong!
bill (Astoria, Queens)
A lot of you have been asking me about the sniffing and I can tell you right now I don't know. But what some of you are suggesting is very interesting and disgusting believe me. A lot of people are calling me about it and a lot of people are writing about it on the cyber. Let me tell you I have people looking into it and what they are finding is off the charts I can guarantee you. Loser behavior, believe me. Behavior for losers.
Ted (Brooklyn)
Bullies have feelings too.
Tony (Woodbridge, VA)
No question who won the debate. But who is the biggest whiner? Trump or Giuliani.
P Jean Leaming (<br/>)
This was the funniest column ever. The Donald might not appreciate it. He's probably thinking "This guy is more incoherent than they are accusing me of being."
Pierre Markuse (NRW, Germany)
To keep it in line with the headline of the article:
"But what's puzzling you, Is the nature of my game."

And puzzling he is, the Donald, but somewhat sane people should by now have realized that Trump is far from being a real politician but is just a showman. He is looking to cater to a crowd of supporters who are ignorant of facts and are looking for a strong leader to "make America great again". How? They don't know. He doesn't know. But that doesn't matter, because he is not selling politics he is selling promises which he'll be never able to live up to. But by then it will be too late. The deal is done. Hopefully the American public is smart enough to make it a good deal. Good deals seldom include Trump.
Elaine (Tanay)
Great column, Frank Bruni!!! We need to laugh through our tears...
Deborah Yetter (Riverside, IL)
Great column, Mr. Bruni. A brilliant bit of writing, even with a defective keyboard.
Joe T (Philadelphia, PA)
Trump showed that he only has the temperament to be a clown. Great article!
C.G. (Texas)
Satire can be so powerful. Nice job, Mr. Bruni.
SharynH (<br/>)
Great create column, Mr. Bruni. Funny, funny, funny. But also tragic as well. Write on!
Dagmar Kraemer-Anderson (Princeton)
Thanks for making me smile, then continue laughing until the last sentence of your beautifully crafted column! From the title, the picture, the references, examples funny! I share your sentiments all the way!
John A. (<br/>)
I also used to think he says "bigly", but he is saying "big league". That was clear to me when he said it two times back to back during the debate.
Rebecca Rabinowitz (.)
Thank you, Frank, for this perfectly-pitched gem of political satire! You've given us all a moment of respite in a distinctly depressing, frightening political campaign. Let us hope that Drumpf is relegated to the recycling bin of those miscreant keyboards as the election season comes to a close.
Chas. (NYC)
Attention Gail Collins someone has stolen your keyboard---and its happy! I should add: Nothing destroys a politician more than he/she becoming their own satire...Mr. Trump is on his way.
The Inquisitor (New York)
When will Donald grow up? We're waiting.
Glen (Texas)
Sympathy for The Donald?

Frank, sympathy for the Devil I can do. This is asking too much.
It was so obvious that Trump had a cold or an allergy. To coin the old saying "what ever goes around comes around"
GW (Rye, NY)
A Solipsistic Sonnet
by Trumplet

To be and not to be, that is my quest.
To flaunt outrageous fortune and to claim
that I’m a lowly pauper—but the best
in business. My assets are my fame.
I’m under audit so I can’t reveal
my tax returns although I guarantee—
as master of the fine art of the deal—
they show tremendous wealth and poverty.
Why challenge me? The truth is black and white.
Obama once was Kenyan, now no doubt
he’s sort of kin to us, and day is night.
You’re hired and fired. I love you. Now get out
sans sev’rance. I don’t pay for what I’ve bought.
If ever I should err, it’s all your fault.
jdvnew (Bloomington, IN)
Trump says he cheats business partners and doesn't pay any taxes because he's "smart." I guess that makes us dumb because we wind up paying his taxes.
Mary Kay Klassen (Mountain Lake, Minnesota)
The PBS Frontline special on both Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton was really well done in following their lives since childhood. With Donald Trump, the way his dad treated his older brother who became an alcoholic, had the opposite affect on Donald Trump making him over compensate and react at everyone and anything. For Hillary Clinton, it was more that her work on the Watergate commission gave her a real sense of not only possibilities but accomplishment which showed her what could be done. Her downfall came with a husband who was a serial philanderer, and how that became her undoing, in the sense of trying to manage that, which makes her very secretive and private. Well done piece on PBS with a window into both of the them as they run for President.
Lucinda (Cambridge,MA)
I was able to watch a character who sniffed like DJT... It was a way of puffing himself up. It was puffing up the way a strutting male pigeon does, making your chest bigger, to be more dominant and important... The puffing up would come before a string of bragging statements. Perhaps this is a vestigial animal trait. Puffery from Wikipedia: "In law, puffery is a promotional statement or claim that expresses subjective rather than objective views, which no "reasonable person" would take literally. Puffery serves to "puff up" an exaggerated image of what is being described and is especially featured in testimonials."
Glenn Ribotsky (Queens, NY)
Nice column, Frank. But only partially successful, as your inherent senses of grammar and coherence still force you to construct sentences far more logical than those of your target. (Even your explanatory digressions make some sense, which is more than we can say for the Donald's.)

It takes a rare and specific type of talent to be as incoherent as the Donald. You, Frank, do not, thankfully, possess this talent.
Ozzie Banicki (Austin, Texas)
The sympathetic vs the Greedy: which part of America will prevail? Most likely some sort of compromise is the answer -- moderation will prevail.

Who is the candidate that will be more likely to compromise? Moderate or Extreme? Voters who don't accept compromise will vote for Trump and pay the consequences of high crime by the underprivileged -- there will be murder, not just of citizens, but police officers, even military personnel -- CHAOS!

In school, your kids would never be safe. Survival of the fittest!

Compromise means give and take: Common ground policies that mitigate the desperate ones and offer a much more peaceful America -- an America that can accept available opportunity in the context of struggle. Nothing is free, but a free America is a land of opportunity that all can accept.

The extremes include greed and lethargy, most are not in those extreme categories; so compromise is the law of the land -- Trump doesn't get it.
misterarthur (Detroit)
Change the (digital) headline. I have no sympathy for him, and you don't either. Sarcasm doesn't play online. People read the headline and move on. You're inadvertently doing Trump a favor for everyone who doesn't take the time to read your column.
mptpab (ny)
Frank, this is the best column I have ever read. You are the best columnist in America. The comments on the column are also highly perceptive and right on. I just told three lies, the number Hillary tells before she is fully awake in the morning.
Graciela (Gilford, NH)
I find the fact that Bruni will actually wrote such a piece ridiculous. It is true that at times humans look for excuses and blame others. However, we are not running for president and publically blaming a microphone or the moderator or his shoes being to tight is not within the rules of behavior a future president should have. I can see the pattern, when he pushes the nuclear clicker he will definitely blame the clicker malfunctioning. Bruni should be focusing on making sure that everyone understands that Trump does not have the luxury of behaving like this and cannot blame a keyboard as Bruni can. What a waste of precious NYTimes space that should have been used to make sure this lunatic does not get anywhere near the white house.
Poor Donald. I'm not sure if what the microphone was picking up was his sniveling or if he was actually Choking.

Does Hillary know the Heimlich maneuver, or is that breaking the debate rules?
michael (sarasota)
In all total seriousity, I am really actually shocked no "blame it on Obama"
appeared anywhere as it obviously was a hangnail on the shortest finger, the only one, by the way, to tap into the keyboard.
Reader (New York, NY)
No excuses for this monster. He should never be allowed to set foot near the White House. The shameless plug of his new hotel during a presidential debate? Truly pathetic. I can't wait to cast my vote in November.
Ralphie (CT)
In many ways, these debates are simply a mass Rorschach test -- people see what they want to see. I'm sure most of the Times writers (even one's with bad typewriters) had written their columns about the debate over the weekend and were simply waiting for a few examples from the live debate to fold in to their final product.

Trump wasn't very good, but neither was HRC. Her condescending smirk (her trademark) was annoying as were her tiring recitations of old failed ideas. But I think we can all agree that Lester Holt did not treat Trump fairly. He asked or followed up on questions re Trump's taxes, whether he was for the Iraq war, his settlement of a housing discrimination case in the 70's, the birther issue, and incorrectly fact checked Trump re the constitutionality of stop and frisk.

Meanwhile, no questions for Hillary regarding e-mails -- including why the FBI gave many of her staff immunity -- no questions on why she (and Obama) blamed the Benghazi attacks on a spontaneous reaction to an anti-Muslim film when they knew it wasn't true, nothing about the Clinton foundation, her and Bill's speech fees (and the content of her Wall Street speeches) her destruction of e-mails -- well the list of scandal related questions goes on and on.

This doesn't mean that he shouldn't have pressed Trump, but he only went after Trump. Hillary should have received equal treatment, don't you think? And Holt should have kept the focus on policy issues.
Edward (Dalton)
The comments here confirm why I no longer read the wonder why Trump is a popular candidate . You shake your intellectual erudite heads in disbelief yet your party has or had no other formidable candidates that were willing to stand up to HRC. This fact alone should make you wonder what hope there is for us all. Look at yourselves you are defending a political democratic mafia called the Clinton family . In the words of Pogo" I have seen the enemy and he is us"
SMK (Rhode Island)
Bigly entertaining.

klm (atlanta)
Well done, Frank. I haven't stopped laughing since Trump bragged about his temperament.
jim (monroe ny)
Actually , I have heard that Trump has recently learned that his microphone was indeed sabotaged and the culprit was Ted Cruz's father.
Greg (Vermont)
You have my vote. Best columnist ever. Great words. Unbelievable sentence structure and analysis. Big League, believe me.
Stephen Hampe (Rome, NY)
This column is another fine example of Trump's lunacy laid bare. His feeble "explanations" would be dismissed if heard from a 5-year-old where they would, at least, be age-appropriate, nevertheless requiring correction to help the child develop better coping strategies.

Still, it remains troubling that there is a sizable segment of the American population who are undeterred in their support of this man and his grab bag of statements and positions. They still believe he is a "straight shooter." I know what that is SUPPOSED to me but am at a loss how Trump is seen as having that quality.

It is to weep ...
Kathy J (Boise)
Mr. Bruni you outdid yourself with your sarcasm, satire and tongue in cheek wit. If you have any time between your print journalism efforts, consider tossing a few bones to the writing staff at SNL as their best 2 months every 4 years is about to begin.
Kristine Bean (Charlottesville, VA)
Thanks, Frank, I needed that.
commenter (RI)
It can never be his fault, he always has an excuse. If it is not the microphone, it is the moderator. If he looses the general election, it will be because Crooked Hillary stuffed ballot boxes. He will exhort his voters to take to the streets and make things right. If he wins and Angela Merkel makes an unflattering comment he will say she doesn't deserve to be Chancellor and besides, she is fat.

He can have no fault (but a good brain!). Heaven help us.
klm (atlanta)
Trump will spend the second debate whining about how he was mistreated in the first debate. Apparently, the lack of a cheering audience was too much for him, tempermentally speaking.
eswierk (CA)
Computer programmers deflecting (or accepting) blame sometimes say PBKAC, or Problem Between Keyboard and Chair. For the Donald it's a Problem Between Microphone and Hair.
TH (Austin Tx)
Some people never take responsibility for their actions and now we will see Donald get really ugly because he has always got his way through revenge.
And blaming Hillary for Bill's indiscretions is the lowest way to go .
We women that have been betrayed have suffered enough with questions that we ask ourselves .
Hillary acted in the most Nobel way ,And became stronger .
Donald has many more" skeletons in his closet" than he would want us to know .It's how we live now and learn from the past .
I don't believe Donald lives this philosophy ,his present behavior is ugly!
So appalling to see him call people names and act like a badly behaved child.How can anyone consider a person like this for a President ,it's embarrassing for our country and not an example for our children .
Barbara Stewart (Marietta, OH)
It's a sad fact that I don't often laugh anymore, something about the realities of aging. But I could not help myself. Bless you Frank, bless you.
Jim B (New York)
I often get so caught up in what Mr. Bruni writes that I overlook how well he writes it. Well today, his keyboard did not let him down.
Jon_ny (NYC, ny)
pout. that's what one does.

blame everyone else for everything, that's what one does.

put on the sad puppy dog face (sorry to all those poor puppy dogs) . that's what one does.

and place the blame where it belongs, on HRC. i'm surprised Trump did not give her credit for, say starting WWIi or the Vietnam War. oh she was not yet alive for the first... but no matter. facts are irrelevant. and anyway, isn't she really 110 and a VR construct of our computers?

that's what one does.
PLombard (Ferndale, MI)
Ross, thanks for showing your sense of humor!
Paul Johnson (Samta Fe, NM)
Like all playground bullies, when he loses he blames everyone but himself.
PLombard (Ferndale, MI)
Oops, I meant Frank.
David L, Jr. (Jackson, MS)
First audience question for Trump: Can you define apophasis?
Kim (Darien, CT)
This is hilarious - if only it weren't so damned depressing.
John H. (Portland Maine)
Thank you Mr. Bruni. I think we all needed a good laugh.
Rick Pearson (Austin)
Trump is such a crybaby. How does his supposedly macho base tolerate him?
Al Mostonest (virginia)
"Ce qui se conçoit bien s’énonce clairement, et les mots pour le dire arrivent aisément."

I thought I'd be effete and throw in a little French saying to add to the pile.

It basically says, "That which is well-conceived expresses itself clearly, and the necessary words will come easily."

Trump expresses himself badly because he thinks badly, when he thinks at all. It's like spending your days ingesting pizza and beer in front of the TV and then expecting to go out an win a triathlon.
Ken7 (Bryn Mawr, PA)
This great article and my watching of the debate reminded me of the trial scene in the movie Cane Mutiny--the paranoia, the rambling talk, etc. of Captain Queeg.
Nadim Salomon (NY)
Clearly, Trump should not be presidential candidate. Yet, he might win. Have the millennials become the tea party of the Democratic Party.
Frank (NYC)
Delicious column!
Mike BoMa (Virginia)
Though I trust Trump will never be our commander-in-chief, he has already convincingly earned his lifetime title of deplorable-in-chief.
Janice (<br/>)
Love it! thx for the smile.
kglen (philadelphia)
This is a very funny column! ( except that it's actually not funny at all)
But thank you for making me smile Mr. Bruni, I haven't done that for a couple days now.
David Greene (Farragut, TN)
The best moment of the debate was when Hillary repeatedly labeled the birther movement a racist lie.
No mincing words, just the truth.
Trish Bradley (Delaware)
Great start to your column ! The first half was masterfuly written! Then it seemed you started to tire (thank god for spell check, oh, I meant fact check didn't I) well, I started to tire also and my paper slipped to the floor whereupon my dog ate it. Well, anyway...I'm still going to read your column
Conklin 5 (Indianapolis)
It's taken a year but I think I've figured it out.

When Donald says "bigly" I think he's actually saying "big league."

That moves his vocabulary from three year old to ten year old, but at least those are words. Perhaps all those other microphones were the bad ones.
Frank Stonehouse (Austin)
It's all about tapping into your audience's frames of reference. You don't approximate that as closely as you hope; your message falls on mostly deaf ears. On Monday night, Clinton did a better job of analyzing her audience and fending off her foe.
Trump's ascension to candidacy is a conspiracy concocted by comics...

Four, or even eight, years of material is too rich for them to pass up.
Thomas Molano (Wolfeboro, NH)
Ooh, Gail, Frank's thrown down the gauntlet. Are you gonna pick it up? This should be fun!
sherm (lee ny)
"first-ever general-election debate between a woman and a circus act."

Frank, that is the best description I've seen yet !
Michael Blattman (New York, NY)
This column needs to be used as a case study in college curriculums that demonstrates that satire can be fun yet be powerfully potent. As a professor, I'd use it in my classes, but I do not think it relates to economics. But like Trump, I will make the narrative fit anyway to my benefit so it becomes hugely...HUGELY successful with my students!
Hope Cremers (Pottstown, PA)
This is beautiful.
Andy Mok (New York)
Pitch perfect. Kudos on channeling the Donald!
Mogwai (CT)
...and yet he is tied with her in the polls.

America is too intolerant, too ignorant and too racist.

I am glad I finally have an out when Trump wins.
Doc (arizona)
Trump's whining about this and that interfering with his performance. WHAT a whiner! Trump is doing nothing new. It is expected that he will whine, accuse others of, take your pick, sending him difficult, unfair questions, being a Democrat, if, in fact, those people ARE Democrats. But what does fact matter to Trump. He's on a crusade to appeal to the dumbest of our country's voters. Trump doesn't have to search for new ways to insult others more talented and smarter. He repeats himself endlessly. All Trump has to do to pick out a problem that one of his victims has is to look at himself in the mirror. Trump, in insulting others, is simply defining himself. He must hate himself.
jmolka (new york)
Donald knew the entire world would be watching. He knew all eyes would be on him. And yet he still refused to do even the most basic preparation for what was, without exaggeration, the most significant public event of his life. His ignorance was surpassed only by his arrogance. This is the man. There is nothing else to him.
ncvvet (ny)
On stamina, I wish Hillary had mentioned she doesn't have to fly home every night to sleep in her own bed. Try doing that when Sec State or president!
I was amazed to see kellyann fault Hillary for prepping! She actually was saying it was a fault of Hillary to spend time actually preparing for the 'debate', I personally prefer my President to be prepared. I actually did that myself when facing a testing event and, mean dad that I am, expected my child to do that in school, in the military and now at work! What a novel idea for Kellyann!
Excessive Moderation (Little Silver, NJ)
Boo Hoo, the bully's whining. Rigged, unfair, questions too tough, moderator unqualified and hates me
Tom Leustek (New Jersey)
Incoherent babbling aside, that comb-over of fine golden hair is reason enough to disqualify him from serving as president.
Bill78654 (San Pedro)
This is what Gail tries to do, but she's simply not funny. Not that I'm sexist. I love women, I really do.
Tom Wild (Rochester, NY)
Mr. Bruni, I do so look forward to your columns!

'... sauntered into action as if the sheer, inimitable wonder of his presence would be enough.'

Your keyboard seems to be working perfectly. Thank you.
Steve (Fort Myers)
Donald complaining about debates being just words. Best line ever.
Thomas MacLachlan (Highland Moors, Scotland)
Great column, Frank. When facing absurdity, laughter is the best antidote. And for Trump, a yuge antidote (or, more correctly - antidope) is required. We laugh at him, not with him.
Tony (Boston)
Very funny. But on a sobering note, almost 50% of American voters say they will vote for this megalomaniac liar. Scary.
lathebiosas (Zurich)
Brilliant column, by the way...
souriad (NJ)
I have one of those keyboards, too! Frustrating! True genius suppressed by clicky capacitors -- manufactured in a country that stole American manufacturing jobs, and manufactured the fake global warming "crisis"!
Sajwert (NH)
I strongly believe that your keyboard is at fault. It isn't your fault that the many words you have are all within the 4th grade level, that you repeat yourself frequently, that if you wanted to write about ISIS you would show that you know more than the generals do. BUT that keyboard won't help you. It doesn't understand how intricate your intelligence is, how superior your ability to understand complicated issues, and it just messes up everything you type.

And if you were ever to need a mic..............................
Miss Ley (New York)
Mr. Bruni, Having received photos of St. Tropez from my late mother's caretaker, a bright light who goes on to tell me she won a neat sum at the Casino, how should I reply to this friend? 'You're a lucky duck and come visit this little house in America, only two hours away from 'La Grosse Pomme', or The Big Apple'. She loves New York, and within ten days of her stay, knows my City of birth better than this American.

Both of us have solid roots in 'The Working Class' by legacy, both are now Middle-Class. Oddly enough, I do feel some sympathy for Trump, but not at the cost of my Country and its People. There is a possibility that he will get 'The Crown', and 'Oui'.

My romance with a Trump Empire was finished with the concept of this Ruler and his views of immigrants, wall-building infrastructure, and reading in Vanity Fair, a 1990 profile of the man entitled 'After the Gold Rush' and Palm Beach. Apparently he asked the journalist at the time if it would make the front cover.

Earlier was thinking of Japan and our Allies, somewhat dismissed by Trump during the Debate. It also sounds as if Trump does not pay his bills? Those who are supporting this Rooster in the Blue-Collar Community often tell me they have been ripped off and stung, mostly by rich clients. What happened to the Two-Way Street.

Voting for the only candidate in these presidential elections. Her name is Hillary Clinton. She is fair. For her, I will make a delicious Coq au Vin. Cheers, Mr. Bruni!
Bartleby45 (Connecticut)
Thank you for alerting me to the malevolence of faulty technology: now I realize it wasn't me but auto-complete that has been sabotaging my novels...for my entire life.
Thomas Renner (New York City)
Great column Frank, the shame of it all is around 40% of America seems to think this guy should be president. Now that's the real laugh!
Albert Yokum (Long Island, NY)
Brilliant! Simply brilliant!
michael michalofsky (bronx)
of course he is a clown and a buffoon and potentially incompetent but
he still has the support of the people
who are sick and tired of the
do nothing crooks in washington like
the likes of hillary
yes they are both crooks and both untrustworthy
trump has just more obvious faults
great column
Paul (Westbrook. CT)
But Trump has his faithful followers! They practice what mark Twain said: "Faith is believing what you know ain't so." Trump has faith in his presidential temperament . His followers have faith in his huge abilities to end ISIS, to deport 11 million people, humanely, to build a wall and make Mexico pay for it, to build up the military, to lower the taxes on the rich, to end the regulations on corporations and financial institutions, and for him to make a ton of money when our economy goes bust!
carl99e (Wilmington, NC)
Hey, give the guy a break. The dog ate his notes! So there!
Eraven (NJ)
A Doctor on PBS yesterda said . sniffles is a sign of nervousness. I am happy The Donald found some one that can make him nervous.
End is neat Donald. Enjoy the last few weeks with your crowd
Paul Leighty (Seatte, WA.)
Maybe I can smile about it all in a few weeks. Right now I'm embarrassed that my country has put up this miserable wretch as a major party candidate.

Gosh. We Americans sure do have a lot of work to do.
Kim (Butler, NJ)
"My federal tax rate over the last five years is a negative integer." -- Because I'm SMART!!
reader (Maryland)
Very funny Mr Bruni. Unless next January we hear I Donald J Trump do braggadiciously swear on this small Bible I got from my father to bigly execute the office of supreme leader of the US believe me and to the best abilities ever in history protect defend and preserve the constitution of the US it's an amazing constitution except that pesky only two term thing but I will built you a new one ahead of schedule and under budget. So help you God.
Alan (CT)
Trumps whining post debate is priceless! I thought he was about winning? Thirsty Don better do some studying before the next debate.
carolmimran (baillargues, france)
Tout simplement GÉNIAL! What is truly funny is that I'm not sure Trump would "get" your column.
Miriam Borne (Manhattan)
Thank you Mr. Bruni. This election cycle has been so hard to take, particularly with Trumps daily doses of blasphemy towards some new person or group. Your wit and humor are a great balm in times like these. So funny, read your words twice
and reblogged everywhere to share this moment of comic relief
wynterstail (wny)
He's his own SNL skit.
steve (nyc)
Compared to Drumpf's rhetorical skills, this column was Robert Frost.
Art (Huntsville Al)
Trump had the worst performance I have ever seen and would have been better off if his mike was turned off.
I knew Hillary was good, but she cut Trump to shreds in this debate and made it look easy. She is the real thing.
Father Eric (Ohio)
I have seldom laughed so much reading an op-ed article! Thank you, Frank!
It is right there for all to see in the accompanying picture: The Donald just does not measure up.
Eraven (NJ)
Thank you Mr Bruno. You made my day
HG (Bowie, MD)
Donald Trump is that insufferable jerk in the office, or that racist uncle at your family reunion that you try to avoid at all costs. You can usually keep contact with these people to a minimum, but if Donald Trump is elected President, we are going to have to listen to his lies, fractured syntax, degradation of people he is mad at, and his randomly repeating nonsense sentences for the next four years. That’s assuming he manages to avoid blowing the country up and we still exist in four years.
Julie (Playa del Rey, CA)
And half the country think he's going after the status quo, can get away with anything and are proud of his/their ignorance. He won/always wins.
That he even has a chance is beyond words.
Beth (<br/>)
Frank Bruni, you ARE great. You have often made me laugh (sometimes when I felt like crying), and think. Keep up your yugely eloquent work!
Joshua Schwartz (Ramat-Gan)
"It"s all my keyboard's fault"

Or spellcheck did you in, especially in a phone. You might also have your eyesight checked.

My keyboard has even been known to switch languages on me when I was not looking.

Out damned keyboard, off with your batteries!
profitsee (Massachusetts Proper)
Your satire will someday be considered revolutionary: Donald Trump in Finnegans Wake. Insanely brilliant. Making The New York Times Great Again.
Dex (San Francisco)
I thought I was reading the New Yorker's humor column for a moment. Then I realized, well, many many people told me that this was better. I'm not saying that's me, but when many many anonymous people told me how awesome this column was, you have to listen. "Law and Order. What? Oh, no I just like saying those three words. They don't relate this conversation. But their great words, aren't they? The kind of words that your faulty keyboard won't let you type correctly. I have lots of words like that. I'm especially proud of braggadocious. I have a winning temperament, and that word help me win Scrabble once after I had a meltdown about my opponent's triple word score. I was trying to be the first player to deploy the word nucular, and someone tried to tell me that that's not how president's spell that word. As usual, I get beat by cheaters. Not that I'm complaining
Catherine (Ohio)
Best column ever. And if we took an online poll about your column, there's a huuuuge chance that Russian trolls would enthusiastically vote for YOU, YOU, YOU!

I mean, unless it's all rigged. And if you do lose, we have been warned it will be rigged.
Naidia (San Francisco, CA)
Oops! I called you Roger by mistake! Sorry, Frank! But then, like you and a special someone, I never really make mistakes, do I?
Bob M (Whitestone)
My investigators set out to see what was meant by the distance between his thumb and forefinger, and they couldn't believe what they are finding...
Paul (DC)
Well said, he really channeled Trump. So I ask the 40mm or so who plan to vote for this cretan, why? What possible reason could you have for throwing away your franchise on such a horrible individual? Ladies and gents, that is the question?(I really made that up, I just didn't get credit for it. I got cheated)
Paul (Georgia)
When Trump claimed his temperament is his greatest asset, the audience laughed. Hillary should have agreed, and said, "I'd hate to see your worst asset. Perhaps it shows in your taxes."
Paul Bertorelli (Sarasota)
Let's not start laughing too soon here. Trump still has a serious chance of winning this election because this year, the electorate is volatile at best, deranged at worst.
Did anyone else notice the peculiar choice of clothes of the two candidates? It's happened at different times during this campaign. Hillary wore Republican red, and Donald wore a tie of Democratic blue.
CEA (Houston, TX)
Once again Frank Bruni did not disappoint, but all fun aside there is still a very large segment of the population who like Donald Trump no matter what. While on my way to work yesterday morning and listening to NPR I was struck by the comments of what appeared to be a young man participating in a panel hosted by Steve Inskeep. He thought Donald Trump had done very well and carried the night, and hoped Trump doubled down on his blustery approach. Then I caught up with some former colleagues (highly educated professionals) I had not seen in a while and they surprised me by expressing support for Donald Trump and believing Lester Holt had been unfair in his questioning the night before! While they said Trump would not have been their first choice, they are vehemently opposed to Hillary because "she is a liar and only interested in benefitting herself." And that sums up the problems in this election: Hillary is so disliked by so many that they would risk having Donald Trump at the helm. May God help us all.
bob west (florida)
The saddest thing about this 84 million person show is that even though he lost the Monday night smackdown, he got all this free publicity, which is what he and his sheep always wanted! Grunts and groans and his ducktail hairdo are all his plan needs to put down PC!
Aurace Rengifo (Miami Beach)
I understand completely it is not Trump's fault. He was born with that brain. It was not his choice.

All the fault is with the GOP leadership. America is still waiting for an apology.
Thomas (Singapore)
You are right, even I am starting to feel sympathy for the Drumpf - nearly...
Pat (Arizona)
Oh my goodness, this is so freaking funny. Thank you for giving me a great laugh at 12:20 a.m. -- what I need to get me to bed.
Charles Dean (San Diego)
Nailed it, Mr. Bruni. Again.
Bill Friend (Queens, NY)
Thanks for the morning laugh. Nice play on the Rolling Stones song in the title. "Please allow me to introduce myself, I'm a man of wealth and fame..."
Emili (Miami)
Great column. Yuge.

A minor point: I think he was saying "big league," not "bigly." It was all very successful. Very successful, nonetheless.
This is so funny!! terrific!! Even "Bigly" baby couldn't have written it better.
dmead (El Cerrito, CA)
If Trump loses, one of the great victories will be the end of pundits parodying his speaking style. We've been getting one to five a week since 2015. God help us if he wins. Actually, if he wins they won't be able to parody him; they'll be too busy reporting his words.
Mardi13 (Fresno, CA)
Thank you, Mr. Bruni. I was just heading to bed even more terminally depressed than I have been (and that was pretty bad) after watching Frontline: The Choice 2016. Trump is an even bigger disaster and a more dangerous charlatan than I thought - this show should have played on both Fox and CNN. But your excellently written column on that sneaky pernicious keyboard sent me to bed in tears from laughing. Brilliant.
Nick (California)
How insensitive to make fun of someone so insecure and narcissistic. He will surely be in a bad mood after reading it, taking it out on the family. on the other side he might not get the joke......
Blackforest (Germany)
My own keyboard also seems kaputt, all German. So I'll just click "recommend" to express how much I have enjoyed your column.
Sharon Dotson (Houston)
All I can say is ... Perfect!
Rhena (Great Lakes)
In Italy and just woke up and finished your column. Thanks for the laugh.
Tom Storm (Australia)
Yeah but wait - next time it's 'No More Mr Nice Guy.' Chelsea's feelings be damned - for sure she hasn't a clue about her Dad's colorful history. Mr Nice Guy is going to break the bad news on National TV. She'll be devastated...right.

Anyway I hope Trump ignores Rudy's call to abandon the next two debates - because last night was the best unscripted (as far as Trump goes) TV in years. Trump has a future on-camera for sure, maybe on a collapsible bench in a cage over a tankful of water.

And may I say, all the fancy nuanced critiques from the literati are no match for Donald Trump's glorious fiery self-immolation. We can all learn from this - and we should be grateful there's more to come.
mo (NY, NY)
"..air into his hair and more air into his head..". Are we channelling Pauline Kael by any chance, Mr. Bruni?
sdw (Cleveland)
On Monday, Rupert Murdoch will be knocking on Frank Bruni’s door. News Corporation needs someone to work with the quirky, un-qwerty keyboards over there.
Ron (An American in Saudi)
You actually got paid for this. Wow. Yes, it was humorous. Yes, I got the point.

But it's akin to the reaction classically-trained artists and art historians originally had to the paintings of Jackson Pollock: "Heck, my five-year-old paints just like that."

I think I like better your take on what college you attend not being who you are, Frank. And yes, I purchased the book.
Ray Richmond (Valley Glen, CA)
It was just Trump's luck to be stuck with a microphone that had a cold.
keko (New York)
You beautifully brought home the point that Donald Trump's candidacy begins to sound more and more like an episode of "South Park" with Cartman running for president.
Tsultrim (Colorado)
I just received my new baseball cap in the mail from Hillary Clinton. It has a quote on the front of it from Donald Trump: "I have a very good brain." I personally think every woman should get one. They are a tad expensive for most women, but worth it. The hat would go perfectly with a t-shirt that says "bigly" across the chest. That way, those of us who aren't exactly bigly across the chest could assert that we are and then be more figurally acceptable to you know who. As long as we weren't too bigly, so bigly that we became piggly.
Canadian Observer (Calgary (Canada))
Thank you for your humble column. Clearly you are a leader in your field, but I have to express some disappointment. Why wouldn't you at least brag about not having to pay taxes?!? I mean, phhht, what kind of loser doesn't pay taxes, and then doesn't brag about it?! I mean, come on. I've got no time for this. All journalists are losers because they pay taxes! And you know they're PIGs too! Persistent Information Gatherers. Look at it! Anybody can see that. Come on. We're through here.
Todd (Pacific Northwest)
#WhiningAttitude (The Donald's must abundant asset) begets #Trumpertantrums.

Wind him up and watch him go! He cannot be counted upon to pay his debts or his taxes, perhaps, but he is nothing if not reliable when it comes to complaining that most of the influential people in the world are picking on his great and wonderful self.
Bill (California)
Make my reality great again!
MMaurin (Seattle)
Frank-- Your writing style has vastly expanded to greatness.
Mary Ann (Madison WI)
Mr. Bruni, I know just what you mean. I hate it when I don't get my racquet restrung before a local tennis match!

Bigly good reading!
I M Probulos (United States)
Can you even imagine the excuse-fest of a Trump presidency? It will start with day one and not end until he is impeached. The congress, the senate, costs, the chinese, liberals, Muslims, Mexicans, just pick out of a hat.

Carl Meilicke (Vancouver, b.c.)
Watching Trump in the debate was like watching Bogat playing Captain Queeg in the climatic courtroom scene of the movie The Caine Mutiny. We saw an failed human being slowly disintegrate into the pitiful reality that he had tried so hard to hide from himself as well as others.
WatchingListening (Missouri)
This column is funny at first, but as it develops ... it's hilarious ... and then, even more hilarious. Such clever satire. Thanks a lot!
Gunnar (Norway)
Just brilliant. Keep that keyboard.
Rocko Worldl (Ct)
"...including a medical panel, moderated by Sean Hannity, on the question: “Clinton: Fully Recovered or Drugged Out the Wazoo?”

Your keyboard banged out great line there.
Steve Landers (Stratford, Canada)
I suggest a lighter approach for the Clinton campaign. Something like:
"A fiery jet with the speed of light.
A cloud of smoke,
And a hearty "high-ho Boeing!"

Return with us now to those thrilling days of yesteryear,
When America was great.

The Loan Trumpster rides again" (cue William Tell).

Whaddya think?
Mike Baker (Montreal)
I'll conjecture at the root of the Miss Universe kerfuffle, you'll discover the words - roughly translated from Spanish - "You keep your stubby little fingers off me."

And that was that. Grudge indelibly etched.

We've seen that Trump doesn't take rejection well. And we can bet the flop sweat under that suit became a torrent at Clinton's surprise mention of the name Alicia Machado. Interesting facial reaction in the moment (run the tape) from a man who otherwise has trouble piecing together two related recollections. Deer saw headlights. Some things - mostly meaningless pointless things - he remembers just fine. For others, it's so nice of Secretary Clinton to coax out an old codger's short term memory.

(It was also apparent on Monday that Donald hasn't talked WITH a woman in some time. They're to be talked TO, eh Don? Hillary's no Carly, no Sarah, oh no sir!)

And today's whining? Think pretext for Trump bailing on the second and/or third debate. He got spooked last night that his public comeuppance is in the mail. His memory's pretty sharp - when it comes to dirt. Other people's is "fair" game; his own not so much. And with the Mouth That Bored, there are great piles of it just waiting for someone to roll up the lumpy carpets. Clinton shot one over the bow on Monday. Loads more ammunition where that came from, eh Don? And bullies do have that unsightly of habit of running when things get hot.

'Hoping you like your chicken fried Madame Secretary.
David Parsons (San Francisco, CA)
With apologies to Mick & Keith

Please allow me to introduce myself
I'm a man of wealth and no-taste
I've been around for long, long years
Stole many a man's money to waste

And I was 'round when Jesus Christ
Had his moment of doubt and pain
Made damn sure that Pilate
Washed his hands and sealed his fate

Pleased to meet you
Hope you guess my name
But what's puzzling you
Is the nature of my game

I stuck around St. Petersburg
When a needed some more spare change
Hired Paul Manafort for Putin's ministers
Hacked the DNC all in vain

I formed Trump U
Held a fellows rank
When the credit cards maxed out
And the lawsuits came

Pleased to meet you
Hope you guess my name, oh yeah
Ah, what's puzzling you
Is the nature of my game, oh yeah

(Woo woo, woo woo)

I watched with glee
While the media swarmed
Around my Birther claims
And my racist games

I shouted out,
Ted's father killed John Kennedy
When after all
It was you and me

(Who who, who who)

Just as every cop is a criminal
And all the sinners saints
As heads is tails
Just call me Lucifer
'Cause I'm in need of some restraint

(Who who, who who)

So if you meet me
Have some courtesy
Have some sympathy, and some taste

(Woo woo)

Use all your well-learned politesse
Or I'll lay your soul to waste, mm yeah
Tell me sweetie, what's my name
I'll tell you one time, you're to blame

(Woo woo, woo woo)
Samir Hafza (Beirut, Lebanon)
Judging from this entertaining column, I suggest that you keep this keyboard of yours.
Malia Molina (California)

If we could see your face, and I hear it's a good face, many people are saying so, we'd see toughness. Real tough. Big league. Smug, rude, domineering toughness of a big league baby. I mean, bully. A big league bully. Damn my autocorrect.
NM (Saratoga)
I've heard from many, many people---really good people, that Frank Bruni is a great columnist!
Theo D (Tucson, AZ)
Finally, Bruni comes close to finding out why he fell for the 'charm' of GWBush and wrote such sycophantic nonsense back when.
Richard Williams (Davis, Ca)
Mr. Bruni, you are a pathetic loser. That is the WORST column I have ever read, and many beautiful friends who love me agree. Besides my investigators are checking out the electronics and they cannot BELIEVE what they are finding. Donald's microphone from the debate and that earbud which prevented him from condemning David Duke came from the SAME factory in CHINA. Coincidence? You tell me.

I suggest that you crawl back into the Basket of Deplorables.
Eric S (Philadelphia, PA)
This paper has really gone too far. It does not seem to realize, or perhaps to care, that it reeks of elitism. Maybe get outside in the fresh air a little, venture outside of NY City, to places where no one reads the Times, or would think much of it, if they did. There are decent, thoughtful people who support Trump, as well as hapless bigots. How? Well, you've shut out the other voices, so here we all are. I feel sorry for those who are not secure enough to credit Trump for ideas that they would applaud if they had a more refined provenance. To sacrifice its reputation as a trustworthy news source, the Times must feel vulnerable. It's sad to see this paper become a smear rag. Silk makes a poor rag, anyway.
Brian Schwarzwalder (Hong Kong)
This column was tremendous. Big league. It was a beautiful thing to read this column.
DbB (Sacramento, CA)
Keep up the fine work, Mr. Bruni. Donald Trump cannot be satirized enough. But never forget that at least 40 percent of the electorate will not see the humor.
Bill P. (Albany, CA)
Will Trump ever realize that his problems are caused by himself? His bigotry, his crookedness, his cheating in business, his narcissism, his attention deficits, his ignorance, his hundreds of lies and his sense of Entitlement (not Social Security or Medicare) but Privilege -- his belief that laws and rules apply to others, but not to himself? At least partially, I blame those who kowtow to him for money or other reasons. tRump, you are a loser! You're fired!
avid reader (U.S.A.)
The monicker best suited to Mr. Trump is "Cry-Baby Donald." When he is confronted with his own detestable conduct, he makes personal attacks against the person confronting Trump with his own deplorable conduct. When he receives poor reviews, it's because of some unspecified unfairness. He is the quintessential poor sport and bully. Cry-Baby Donald.
Hey Joe (Somewhere In California)
This was a bigly yuge article, and believe me, I know bigly. And yuge? Well just look at my bigly yuge hands. Wink, wink.
Raymond Louis Llompart (New York, NY)
Sorry, Mr. Bruni,
Michiko Kakutani you are definitely NOT.......
Pamela (Burbank, CA)
I laughed myself silly over this piece. It truly captures the man, his utter lack of preparation and his sheer stupidity. You've done a wonderful thing here. You've managed to show what a fraud he is by imitating him and putting his buffoonery in another perfect context. He is a man deluded and a man about to be kicked in the chops by American voters.
Rob Woolley (NZ)
On the things that really matter - Donald Trump will bring the goods.
On the things that really matter to women, hispanics, blacks - his team will bring the goods.
The fact of the matter is you need a strong leader, Clinton is a ditherer.
Trump is that strong leader and his weaknesses will be ironed out by his team, intelligent, reasonable minded people.
The fact is you can employ a great team but you have only one chance to vote in the strong leader - you can't buy leadership. Clinton after years of experience can not stand straight in a strong wind. She's a populist, plain and simple.
Gina D (Sacramento)
Maybe I won’t get paid for this column because I didn’t do good work. A lot of people don’t get paid because they don’t do good work, architects, plumbers, doctors, columnists. Or maybe it will be because I gained weight. I’m an eating machine. That’s caused a lot of trouble. I'd say something but it's beneath me. No wait. I gonna say it. I cheated on my wife with a show girl. A beautiful one too.
KGS (florida keys)
For the next two debates they should turn off the microphone of the person that does not have the floor. Then if they DO interrupt they will have to scream to be heard. If Hillary had interrupted Donald that many times while he was trying to speak how do you think his supporters would have reacted? Yet I don't recall any of them admonishing him in their post debate analysis for his constant interruptions.
sara (cincinnati)
I love you Frank!
Brian Sussman (New Rochelle, NY)
Frank Bruni, this is one your best columns, either despite or because of the sarcasm. And I think your keyboard was well-behaved and accurately reflected your intelligent thoughts.

I rarely complement you, so it must be my own keyboard that is misbehaving which must be controlled by that undamned Anti-Trump.
Janet Greenlee (Louisville, KY)
Great column! I was actually embarrassed for Trump -- he was unseemly.
Kilgore Trout (USA)
Mr. Bruni, you didn't have to come up with these excuses since, as one of your loyal base supporters, I can forgive any shortcoming that your writing may suffer from (perceived or otherwise). I simply don't read a word of it anyway.
John Babson (Hong Kong)
Frank, you should be one of Hillary's mock debate sparring partners, you do The Donald so well! Quite a number of folks were glued to the TV here in Hong Kong but of course that doesn't get counted in the ratings. The expatriate American community is quite concerned.
SVB (New York)
No one who needs to read this will. They reflexively fly from anything in the NYTimes. But the choir can still enjoy. Hallelujah.
Jane Nevins (Maryland)
Okay, Frank Bruni. Finally you dragged a note out of me with this column. I so often have been tempted to send a note about liking your writing even though my politics are opposite yours. This faux Trump one is a gem. Thanks for staying original and always a writer to look forward to reading.
Michael Roush (Wake Forest, North Carolina)
The only thing I haven't seen Trump or his supporters blaming for his debate performance is someone having spiked his water.
GBarton (Boca Raton, FL)

Clinton campaign just called. They want you to stand-in DJT to help Hillary prepare for upcoming debates. :-)

Flawless impression.
Dochoch (Murphysboro, Illinois)
Well, I think we should take DT at his word (whatever that may be) when he says he might not participate in future debates because they're all out to get him. Poor, put upon Donald.

And yet, there may well be a great opportunity for all of us if he doesn't show up for a future debate. After mocking others as "Little Marco," "Lyin' Ted," "Low-energy Jeb," and "No Stamina Hillary," etc., perhaps we should contemplate appropriate appellations for him should he doesn't participate.

How about "Little Lord Donald"? Or how about "Chicken Trump"? You know, the guy who:
-- backed out of military service after graduating from military prep school which he wants us to believe was the same as real military service. Tell it to the Marines!
-- refused to pay off hundreds of creditors, went to bankruptcy court four times to protect his investments, and yet made money off the foreclosures of millions of homeowners because he's a "good businessman." Just as Ebenezer Scrooge said to Marley's ghost, "But you were always a good man of business";
-- fears voters might get a look at his tax returns, and yet didn't pay federal income taxes because he's "smart;"
-- is afraid of crying children;
-- sees "blood coming out of" whatever;
-- refused to rent apartments to non-white families for fear they might (what?);
-- can't stand the heat that he so readily dishes out to others.

Hey, Chicken Donald, do you remember what President Harry Truman said about people who couldn't stand the heat?
Chuck (DC)
this was hilarious!
SpartanFan (Carlisle, PA)
Herr Drumpf has attributed all his sniffing and snorting last night to a faulty mic. Well, a number of really excellent, beautiful, amazing people have told me that it was actually due to “white line fever,” “the pause that refreshes,” and schussing the “Aspen downhill.” Others have said he was merely offering a toot to Gary Johnson stoners. Or, there’s the notion that his sons resemble drug dealers from a Miami Vice episode.

I’d like to believe he was just Koched-up, except that them boys apparently aren’t big fans.

Whatever the reason, now’s not the time to “lay back and groove” on election day—vote.
Miriam (Long Island)
Funny, funny column, Frank. Please thank your keyboard for me.
Gerry (Park City, Utah)
Regarding Trump, maybe a sense of humor is our only saving grace. Mr. Bruni, you've hit a home run, one for the ages. Hang on to that keyboard. I'm starting to feel like a decent American again. A man who can laugh.
slack (200m above sea level)
If Trump wants to win this election he'll need to do something really maybe throw a moon.
Lot of us would vote for him, not me but some people
Doc Knowles (Orting, WA)
Frank, honey, sweetie, pal o mine...that was yuuge! Believe me when I tell you, you have words. You have the BEST words. That Ivy League school you attended has paid off BIG! I mean YUUGGGE! Am I right? I am thinking that your keyboard fubar is really just a small hands problem. Trust me on this. You need a keyboard custom built for your hands! Am I right? Of course I'm right. Now we all know that small hands are no indication of your supernatural prowess in the bedroom arena. After all where do those other columnists come off talking about stamina? If three wi-fi connections and countless dial ups aren't a true indication of stamina then I challenge anyone to compare their digital fluency to yours, baby! Take it from me because I'm an expert on just about everything! I was thinking about emailing Giuliani, but he has a dish and our IP switchboards aren't compatible. And Carson, forget about it. He wanted me to hand write any communication I have with him! Go Figure! In this day and age? Who even has a pen?
Kathy (Hawaii)
I've been ignoring your column all day because Trump [& his followers] so offend me that I have lost by sense of humor. I finally gritted my teeth and read it [& of course it was great & funny] but it was only after I read many of the readers' comments that I loosened up and started laughing.

Thank goodness for you & your readers reminding me that being ticked off, scared and "heavy & significant" won't get me any closer to helping defeat Trump, which is my particular wish.

Good job all....thanks.
another expat (Japan)
You have the best words.
artbco (NYC)
Lyin’ Hillary? Hah. Sniveling Donald! Sniveling Donald! Sniveling Donald! Say it! And share!
Coolhandred (Central Pennsylvania)
Hillary Clinton eviscerated Donald Trump with words, cogent thoughts, and coherent rhetoric. She slashed his thin skin, stomped on his stiff toes, and pummeled his psyche.

And Donald Trump is being considered for what job again?

"President" you say? Not possible with his schizophrenic mental capacity and bilious vitriol.
Kurt (Chicago)
Brilliant. Tongue in cheek exemplified. Smiles all around on this one....thanx!
Narda (California)
I'm glad you don't have your finger on the nuclear buttons, you might fat finger the keyboard and blow up the planet!
Jane (Santa Rosa)
Thank you for this brilliantly hilarious article. Or maybe it's hilariously brilliant? I, too, have a faulty keyboard.
Janice (Minnesota)
Big League, Bruni, Big League!
Y (MidWest)
Mr. Bruni, I don't think you have a keyboard problem. I think you write BEAUTIFULLY, in particular in this opinion page -- I am just saying.
East End (East Hampton, NY)
ha, ha, ha, I'm still laughing... Frank, your piece was so funny, funny piece, can't tell you how funny folks, believe me, you're going to agree it was the funniest piece ever, you won't believe how funny. But it's beautiful that people can be so funny, and I should know, have had years-- years-- of experience judging funny from not funny. And I know funny when I see it. I'm telling you, it's what I do best. You're going to love how much I know about funny. That Frank, known him all my life. Know a funny guy when I see him.
Moira Green (Portland)
Oh, wonderful column, Frank Bruni. Thank you for making me laugh in the context of this grim, hideous election. I didn't think it was possible.
William S. Oser (Florida)
Don't tell me Frank Bruni is going to vote for Hillary! After all the years shilling for Republicans when there was nothing that any reasonable human being, especially a Gay one (me too!) could support. Well it must be that................(fill in your choice of metaphor here). Welcome Frank, we welcome you with open arms, if perhaps a little bewilderment at how you could have stayed over on their side so long. For sure, if there is ever a party of the MODERATE right, I would consider supporting them, after all I think personal responsibility is given short shift by the left, but I am not holding my breath thinking it will happen in my lifetime. Again, welcome Frank to the party of sanity!
Jkb200 (San Antonio tx)
using a ghost writer, r u? he/she is pretty good.
Cat (Western MA)
I'm not saying this, mind you, but I've heard that people are saying this may be the best column you've ever written.
Mary Stawicki (Mary) (Unionville PA)
I didn't watch the debate. I was out of Xanax. But your column was a wonderful recap. No drugs needed.
Deborah Frost (NY NY)
Frank Bruni is a national treasure. Praise the Lord!
Musician (Chicago)
Making fun of the Donald is too easy. The tsunami of material that regurgitates from his mouth is seemingly endless. I must admit, I've never been able to really take the man seriously. Yes, the thought of him in the White House is terrifying. But could that actually happen? He's so...... un-Presidential, so buffoonish, so very entertaining, so very scary, so repulsive yet somehow so unreal. Anyway, great column, Frank. You nailed it.
Jaydee (NY, NY)
Ha ha! Nicely done.
Nailadi (Connecticut)
Just as the name Quisling has become synonymous with the notion of a traitor, so will Trump's name become synonymous with a person who is a bombastic, untethered, xenophobic, misogynist bigot.
Northpamet (New York)
Trump should stop whining! Being president is a hard job. A foreign leader might say something to him meaner than even Rosie O'Donnell. Does he think anyone wants to hear him whining about it? His job is to get things done, not promote his brand.
Chris (Missoula, MT)
He says not paying taxes makes him smart. That means the rest of us who pay taxes and support our country and our military and our schools are stupid. We really would be stupid to vote for you, Mr. Trump.
Elizabeth Wilson (Canada)
Mr Bruni:Have you been eating skittles? You can't possibly mean that Trump's performance last night would have outshone Donald Jr. when he was running for president of the senior class at his prep school.
Engineer (Salem, MA)
Hmm, the Donald does not believe in Global Warming but he sure believes in Global Whining. :) He's got all the excuse making proclivities of a 3rd grader who didn't do his homework... "My microphone was sabotaged.... The questions weren't fair..." Cue the teeny violins.
Steve Folberg (Austin, TX)
Touché, Frank. This is wonderfully clever. Thank you!
Ruth Futrovsky (Potomac, MD)
This is so perfect, I'm betting Trump will read it and think "I know exactly how he feels. Bigly."
smart fox (Canada)
A great one, thanks (but the hands, not so big...)
Mike (Ann Arbor, Michigan)
Fat pigly didn't do bigly
Behind the podium he was quite wiggly
Also sniffly and pouty while he tried to sound doughty
When what he wanted was to get the hell outy
moses (San francisco)
Mr Trump is a petulant crybaby.
Laura Davidson (Connecticut)
This is a fabulous column and I love how we can always count on Frank Bruni to bring us much needed comic relief at the right time!
mtrav16 (Asbury Park, NJ)
You're making a comeback, welcome back.
PJelliffe (Boulder, CO)



Jagan (Seattle, WA)
Mr Trump won the debate last night narrowly just retorting to talking points from a 'Chairman Mao'ish' Mrs. Clinton. And he did that with some restraint and not even hitting her hard on her track record or indulge in any personal attacks.

What I see though is the mainstream liberal media in a desperate situation to prop-up Mrs.Clinton, to stop the bleeding from becoming a torrent.

But its a lost cause...

What they fail to understand is that there is an underlying reason why the vast silent majority of the population voted for Mr Trump in this extraordinary election cycle.

Over the last three decades, there has been a steady build-up of anger and frustration of the general population against the institutions that failed to protect their social, economic and political interests. Radical changes were made to the country without the democratic consent of the vast majority.
The elected representatives of the population just took them for granted and dismissed their concerns while selling themselves to the highest bidder.

There is a price to pay for all this betrayal and excesses... and it just took round one last night...
NAP (Oregon)
Ha Ha! You captured it . . . The Donald that is. I laughed my way through every line.
ernieh1 (Queens, NY)
I believe that Donald Trump is mentally unbalanced, though I am no psychologist, merely as observer of people for a long time.

But if that is the case shouldn't there be someone close to his, doctors, friends, lawyers, campaign advisors...who would know or notice this, and do something about it, if nothing for Trump's own sake?

And if they know that he is unbalanced, how does one explain that they are willing to have him become president of this country and wreak untold calamity to his nation? What is the GOP thinking if they knew this man is off his rocker? Is it that important to the party? It is a baffling thought indeed.

But the man we saw at the debate last night would not in my view, fall within the spectrum of a person in full control of his mental faculties.
profitsee (Massachusetts Proper)
Parody is a rigged system -- in your favor
Sid Dinsay (New City, NY)
Dear Mr. Bruni:

1) Hit record and read this into camera.
2) Post to YouTube.
3) Profit.


Trump University
FXQ (Cincinnati)
If this is how he is going to go in to negotiate trade deals, god help us. The man got his head handed to him. No wonder he fails at every business he touches. The man is a legend in his own mind.
Eric (New York)
Great column! In spite of your keyboard problems.
Not Amused (New England)
My wife and I read this together, and we read it really well - superlatively, really, reading of the highest order! - if you were here you'd love how well we read this, and we laughed like professionals, like we'd been laughing all our lives, not like these phony corrupt politicians, but like it was real business laughter (though we never admitted to being guilty of laughing). Even we were impressed by how well we laughed, and by how much! - more than anyone, we laughed the most, because we could see the humor, the humor, that's what we saw, the humor. And we didn't even need a keyboard for that, but our keyboard is better than yours, believe us! - we have one incredible keyboard...we've going to market a line of'll love them...we'll send you one!

Seriously, thank you, we needed that!!!
Glen (Texas)
Frank, what makes you think he had air in his head? Where on earth do you think he got the O2, N, and CO2 to fluff up that cotton candy that tops the vacuum between his ears?

The answer to the math portion of your essay is obviously "D." 1+1=? is insoluble by comparison.

The sniffles are obviously a side effect the big "C." Along with being animated, incoherent, and sounding like a rhinoplasty or rhinotomy was scheduled for the first thing in the morning or, more likely, just completed a few minutes ago. Feeling better today after a good night's sleep, are we? Oh, sorry. Perhaps you'll get some rest tonight, if you get my [snow]drift? Perhaps a date with Mary Jane and a moonlight kiss in one Boone's Farm orchard or another would help.

And finally, this quote: "Don't worry about your critics." - Alfred E. Neuman.
Mary Anne (Nashville)
Donald Trump talked about building new airports, roads, increasing military spending. He also says that he's smart for never paying taxes. Who does he expect will pay for those expenditures? Oh yes, the middle class.

Let's give him the benefit of the doubt that he is a billionaire. He is essentially a welfare king, living off the hard work and contributions of tax-paying middle class Americans. And he is proud of it. Disgusting man. I hope that Republicans are truly proud of their welfare king candidate.
John (W)
Very well- written article. Your keyboard made no mistakes. I hope the NY times remains the place to go There is truth left in the media. Thanks, Frank.
doy1 (NYC)
Bigly Piggly talked a great wall,
Bigly Piggly had a great fall,
All Piggly's lackeys and all of his kin,
Couldn't put Piggly together again.
Sarah Reynolds (Maine)
Oh, Mr. Bruni, it's like shooting fish in a barrel. I love it!
Peter Ranum (Tucson AZ)
GREAT column. You pegged the Donald totally. Can anybody imagine a president talking like the Donald does.
RK (Long Island, NY)
You last column was full of worries about how Trump could turn in a good debate performance. Glad to see that you have recovered.

The Clinton camp telegraphed her preparation for the debate, including this in the NY Times: "They are undertaking a forensic-style analysis of Mr. Trump’s performances in the Republican primary debates, cataloging strengths and weaknesses as well as trigger points that caused him to lash out in less-than-presidential ways."

Trump was not only not prepared for the debate but it seems as if he didn't even prepare to counter the moves the Clinton camp telegraphed.

Is this really the guy, the one who is ill-prepared, that you want as president? That the question that people, especially Trump supporters, should be asking themselves.
Frank, this is yuge. Feel free to sprinkle these interjections repeatedly wherever you wish:

It's called business.
Worst deal ever.
Where did you get that?

I could go on, but I need a water break.
Paul (Bellerose Terrace)
Word of the day from Trumpty Dumpty: "Braggadocious."
Try tapping that out on your keyboard, Frank.
Griz (Columbia, NJ)
Worth a second and third read! Thank you for the great laughs, Frank!
I'm reading this to my husband, and we are both hysterical. Thank you!
HJBNYC (New York)
Brilliant, as in brilastic, a cousin to fantastic.
Jim (Chicago)
Bullseye !
jim (boston)
When Obama completely tanked in his first debate with Mitt Romney even his most ardent supporters called him out on it. Too bad Trump's supporters can't rise to that level of honesty. I can't tell if they are trying to convince the rest of the world that Trump won or if they're trying to convince themselves of it. Whatever they're doing it's not doing them or their candidate any good. If they really cared about Trump they would be calling him out on his performance and urging him to do better next time. Instead they're just encouraging him to stick to a failed script. That's fine with me, but I don't see how it makes much sense if you're a Trump supporter.
L’Osservatore (Fair Verona where we lay our scene)
Observers of cultural scenes often moan that video rules over reading and that music rules over thought. Yet here we see a parallel to that in the comparison of Hillary-Who-Lies versus Donald-Who-Shoots-from-the-lip.

Donald really is an honest person when he remembers as much as he can, but he's seventy years old. A person can earn billions and yet not be able to remember pages of new information when he has always ''had people for that.''
Of course, Presidents ''have people for that.'' Whole departments of them, so his lack of detail parallels the working presidencies of Obama and Bush.

Hillary is rehearsing as if she could be elected Chief Administrator of the Courts. But she has two problems: decades of being our foremost habitual liar, and an attitude of staying above the law.
These details she is so proud of recalling matter even less to an immoral money launderer than they do to a leader who just rewrites the PPACA as he goes along like Barack the Pseudonymous E-mailer.

Yes, we learned that Mr. Obama LIED when he claimed to have learned of the illegally stored emails through the news media. But you know that you'll never care.
Carter Nicholas (Charlottesville)
FINALLY the restaurant critic hits his stride: a real treasure of snide amusement.
JoniScala (Red Hook, NY)
A political revolution was in full swing last spring, but that was derailed and I must say job well done Mr. Trump. A wonder he even showed up at the debate.
Mike (Boise)
Jellyroll Morton (Wilds Of Maine)
"big league" not bigly
Daniel Messing (New York)
Of course it's the microphone 's fault!
Not only the microphone hissed but it actually distorted the extremely articulate and measured exposition of the many reforms and plans that he has thought about in great detail to fix the terrible mess that Hillary Clinton created in this Country.
If it had not been for this microphone( probably sabotaged by his many enemies that are treating him so unfairly) he would have done UNBELIEVABLY well and would have won BIGLY.
Well Donald, there is yet two more debates in which I am sure that you will be able to shine as the measured, calm, respectful and classy gentleman that we all know you are.
JessiePearl (Tennessee)
Thank you Mr. Bruni. With the exception of being a bit too coherent, a perfect column.
sthomas1957 (Salt Lake City, UT)
One more month of this guy and then it's all Clinton for four more years. And for some reason I don't think Republicans are going to go easy on her.

The deepest bench, indeed.
Harry Pearle (Rochester, NY)
J. D. Vance has written about Trump as an addiction for the masses:

Instead of questioning Trump's sanity, maybe we should question the sanity of many voters and media supporters of Donald Trump.

Hillary Clinton may have won the debate, but for millions who may be addicted to the Donald, it does not matter...

The only thing we have to fear is...Trump supporters
Karl Haugen (Florida)
At least when Hillary is having her staff use hammers to destroy 16 personal cell phones they don't have to worry about technical issues.
Michael (New York, NY)
Of course Con-ald claims that the debate was rigged. Losers tend do that.
rainydaygirl (Central Point, Oregon)
It is so sad,
That the Donald feels bad,
About the debate unfairness.

He whines and bellows ,
About inept fellows,
Who didn’t give him a good mic.

Lester Holt is biased,
His questions not of the highest,
To show Trump in all his glory.

Hillary was mean
She shimmied and preened
And thirst overtook Donald's bellowy voice.

Thanks Mr. Bruni,
Your words aren't loony,
But provided us with such a great laugh.
Cliff Anders (Ft. Lauderdale)
Frank this would be extremely funny, if it were not so true and reflective. What makes it even more difficult to read, is the fact that there are almost 40% of voters, that have watched this idiot and still say they will vote for him. It will not be ISIS that is the undoing of the US, if these people prevail. With that thought in mind, the fun subsides. I travel a great deal with my work and I was in Europe last week. They are very scared for the US and their future if the Donald is actually elected. I assured them that voters had more sense than to put this country in that kind of trouble. I hope that is really hope that to be true.....
Paul G. (San Francisco)
You showed some serious stamina here. And while we're talking about temperament, Trump's comment reminds me of a debate-like exchange between the Three Stooges. Curly says to Moe, "watch out, I'm temperamental." Moe replies, "yeah, you're 5% temper and 95% mental."
Dan (LA)
Poor Donald. He's just misunderstood. Also, there is a conspiracy against him. And just because he experienced a recent massive weigh gain does not entitle us to call him Mr. Piggy. Maybe skip the Skittles?
Richard Grayson (Brooklyn, NY)
I actually did feel sympathy for Mr. Trump when he started rambling about his 10-year-old son's computer skills. It was the kind of sympathy you feel for anyone, including people whom you dislike, when they are floundering, because all of us who are old enough have gone through embarrassing situations where we are not prepared for what's happening: maybe we didn't read the case that our law professor has chosen us to ask questions about, or maybe we didn't clean the room as carefully as we should have in our job as a custodian and now our employer is chewing us out, or maybe we forgot to bring our dish to the pot-luck dinner with our neighbors.

It felt so embarrassed for Mr. Trump that it was painful to watch him talk about his little boy being so great with computers.

Most of us learn from these humiliating experiences and try to make sure they don't happen again -- by being better prepared, by doing our job more carefully, by making sure we don't forget the next time.

Will Mr. Trump learn? The next debate should tell us that. As someone who despises Mr. Trump's positions and is disgusted by his public persona, I honestly don't wish him another cringe-worthy moment. To see any human being suffer like that makes for painful viewing.

On the other hand, for the first time in this campaign, I felt sorry for Donald Trump.
Agent Provocateur (Brooklyn, NY)
Well played, Frank, well played.

Just like Obama was for the far right over the past eight years, Trump will be the red meat to the liberal MSM once he is elected president. They will be feasting on his foibles for years.

The only possible downside will be the horrible indigestion that liberals will have to be deal with when some of Trump's policies are implemented and actually prove to be effective.

I can't wait until we start getting those big checks supporting the US's defense efforts from the layabouts in Europe, Japan and Korea!
Robert Tolar (Ohio)
Great article with "OH SO TRUE" reflections! I love your perspective!
Richard Green (San Francisco)
The most irritating Trump tic, at least to me, is his use of the word "hit" as in "They hit me, I hit them back." The guy has seen "The Godfather" way too many times.

And Rudy Giuliani, the junkyard dog of the Trump campaign is just pathetic in his attempt to become relevant again, harboring hopes to be AG in a Trump Cabinet is many years past his expiration date.

But, all of that aside, Frank, your keyboard has obviously been replaced by one that does just what you want it to do.
DWLindeman (Jersey City)
Well sure, Donald Trump is invariably all the things he believes, believes he is, and hopes the greater public will believe he is, and so believe about him all the time. Donald Trump comes off as the orginial "The Dog Ate My Homework," type, and for now, politician. We may wonder, charitably, I suppose, for whom this sort of fragamented and shape-shifting identity politics was developed for in the first place. We'd need to look to the Donald's Oedipal politics in order to begin to understand this, and I, for one, point to the Donald's father Fred. Donald Trump's fantasy identity, the fantasy that he could be one identity of himself and yet many identities of himself suggests itself as a strategy devised by himself to cope with the intimidating and imperious Fred Trump, Donald Trump's mentor and nemisis. This description of who Donald Trump is, and of how he functions even now, goes a long way toward explaining his improbable persona, both as person, and as would-be politician
AlysonEmm (Melbourne)
A fine article,Frank. But in Australia we are not laughing. Even our right wingers are somewhat terrified.
AK (Richmond,VA)
Great column Mr.Bruni, thank you.
madeleine (Avon, Colorado)
Your temperament, which is outstanding, by the way, is truly your best asset. And believe me, I know something about assets.
Betty (NJ)
This is .... Is "bigly"-still laughing- great one, Frank!
Rudolf Dasher Blitzen (Florida)
Mrt. Trump: All marriages have difficult times now and then (as the Clinton's had). In that territory there are two kinds of people: (A) Those who are together because they love each other and when the difficult times come they fight tooth and nail to salvage their marriage and to stay together and (B) Those very weak individuals who are together for something else than real love and when the difficult times come they seek refuge on an extra-marital affair first and then they dump their spouse like used toilet paper and go on to have a second spouse, then a third spouse, then... Do you get the point Mr. Trump?
Malcolm (NYC)
Poor Donald, so low energy...
Howard (Queens)
The basic fact that everybody fails to grasp is that the real purpose behind the presidential election is not to decide what's best for America but what's best for Donald J. Trump (not to be confused with Wile E. Coyote).
This is a great career move for Trump even if he doesn't make any money off it.
He already is the greatest man god ever created, now he can be the greatest man in world history- up there with PT Barnum and Attila the Hun.
We can make world history Nov 8. The Donald really is gonna score big
Dolores Retaa (Tempe, AZ)

Next debate, a 'mute' button on the speaker MUST be available. He can keep talking, we just don't need to listen to him and Hillary can continue to respond to the questions. Also, since he is a circus, doubt quick orientation on debate protocol would help. Heck, a middle school student entering debate knows the basic protocol. Let a teen mentor the 60+ adolescent.
Randall (Los Angeles, CA)
Okay, folks. Here is the explanation for what happened at last night's debate between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton. Someone (and you can guess who) placed two foreign substances on Donald Trump's microphone. One substance, to which he was allergic, caused him to sniff uncontrollably, thus causing him to inhale great quantities of the second substance, which made him stupid, obnoxious and incoherent. There you have it. Now don't forget to register and vote.
chandlerny (New York)
I prefer the way Elaine Stritch used to exclaim "Wrong!" Donald Trump's version is close, but at least Ms. Stritch prepped and rehearsed before a performance. And I'd rather see "Elaine Stritch at Liberty" than "Donald Trump at Newark Liberty."
John LeBaron (MA)
Mr. Bruni. Funny stuff but the Donald will have the last laugh. He stormed in as a very solid silver medalist in last night's debacle debate. He should take full credit due for such an astonishing achievement. He doesn't need to blame Hillary, Lester, Rosie O'Donnell, fat women or a faulty mic. I'll be honest with you. He did great!. He did great!

He should feel very, very proud of the outstanding performance he managed all by himself in the face of impossible -- some people are even saying conspiratorial -- odds stacked up against this brave and noble figure. Believe me! People are saying. People are saying.

(During this election season of social media, I am beginning to feel that I live on an entirely different planet from the one where I was born. I gotta be honest with you. It's unfair. Really unfair what they're doing. Really, really unfair. Rigged. That's what it is. Rigged!

That I can tell you. That I can tell you!)
Joel (New York City, NY)
Now we are told that what we saw and heard didn't happen. Trump indeed lives in an alternate reality and anyone in his domain risks their head if they challenge his version of events. Insane is a good word for his world and it will be for ours if he is not sent packing.
nowadays (New England)
You are a great columnist! Go ahead, be braggadocious!
Hans Gelders (Belgium)
Last night’s debate between Mrs. Clinton and Mr. Trump was aired directly by the Belgian television. I did not bother to follow it as it started at a rather inconvenient hour (3 am local time). However, I read the comments by journalists in the Belgian morning papers. Their judgment was unequivocal, it was not worth staying up for. I managed to read some comments on the opinion pages of the NYT and the quality of these comments seem to be similar to the level of the debate: childish nonsense.
Kimberly (Satellite Beach FL)
Best. Column. Ever!
Dianecooke (Ct)
The best laugh of the day! You so eloquently wrote exactly what I was thinking with your defective keyboard.
John Dell (Portland, OR)
"But instead of boning up on the issues, reviewing past debates and crafting a few can’t-miss zingers, he just pumped air into his hair and more air into his head and sauntered into action as if the sheer, inimitable wonder of his presence would be enough."

Your keyboard betrayed you on this one. It produced a beautiful sentence despite itself.

Even a blind squirrel finds a nut every now and then.
Doug Terry/2016 (Maryland)
Trump's ego is bigger than any wall with Mexico but paper thin. Why can't people see through it? I assume it is just because they want to believe so badly that their judgement is clouded. The new premium in presidential candidates is to be more bold than informed, have more confidence than reason would impart and talk constantly about how wonderful you are and then, at the end, losing all contact with mother earth, to say how nice you are being by not smearing Mrs. Clinton to her face the way you have been doing out campaigning. Gee, thanks.

I am looking for two possible outcomes of last night: Trump humps himself up and says he isn't going to participate in any others or, next time round, what small glue is holding him in place comes loose and he goes ballistic. I favor the latter as being more likely. The real Trump is in waiting and last night was Donald's attempt to see if he could restrain the fellow long enough to win the White House. He can't and he won't and it is apparent that he would rather throw the election than to lose the debate stage to Hillary. This is personal. He thinks he has to win the insult battle even if he loses the election. That's the kind of guy he is.
hoconnor (richmond, va)
Absolutely hilarious ... and very smart.
Bob (CA)

Nail Head, meet Hammer.
Colenso (Cairns)
I too have much sympathy for Mr Trump. The at-all-times-A-grade Clinton who always does her prep came across as a superlative superpredator.

And wee Donnie Dimbo, the bumptious B+ student from a failed military academy?

The listless little lambkin just got owned in front of one hundred million viewers.
Thom Marchionna (Silicon Valley, CA)
Somewhere, Molly Ivins is smiling.
Irene (Denver, CO)
Fun to read. Thank you.
Norma Manna Blum (Washington, D.C.)
Frank Bruni for..... well, for SOMETHING!!
If Donald Trump didn't exist, Bruni would herin invented him.
Dams how I wish it didn't hurt so much to laugh!!
Barbara (Westlake, OH)
Westlake, a remarkably Republican burb (great mayor, I give him props regardless) where there is a yet-still-inexplicable Trump sign in one of the yards in my neighborhood, where most people seem more mentally balanced. Also two for Hillary in another pocket, but it's early days; I think people are trying to be polite and hold back about their colors. But... my doors have been painted blue since the Bush years.

I am impressed at the commentary. Frank, your column today rocks, but thank you to all the rest of you!! Hope remains.
Josef Granwehr (Clive, Iowa)
Interesting. It's all about form and content. There is definitely no lack of form. I would say there is plenty of people who write beautifully. As far as content, is pretty anemic.
syfredrick (Providence, RI)
Be careful, Frank. Playing a part too well can destroy you: Basil Rathbone as Sherlock, Vivien Leigh as Blanche (or was it Scarlett?), Faye Dunaway as Joan, Anthony Perkins as Norman. You can be typecast with everyone demanding that you play the same part every time. Or you can become so psychologically tied to the part that you can't separate yourself. Start checking out rehab before it's too late!
Michael (Muncie, IN)
Frank, please let me call you Frank, You have set a new bar! Aristophanes, Rabelais, Cervantes, Moliere, Swift, Voltaire, Thackeray, Twain, Wilde, Shaw, Rogers, Mencken, Parker ... all these, good, but they had nothing on you! Of course, they didn't have your subject upon which to build their masterpieces!
Isis (NYC)
Are you sure you didn't plagiarize this column from Michelle Obama? It was that good.
Virtually (Greenwich, CT)
Another winner from Frank Bruni. Thank you! So right. So true. So funny!
Curtis (Flowers)
Well donely.
Chris (Vancouver)
This is another liberal media conspiracy. Trump said "big league" not "bigly."

god help us if this idiot is elected
Kevin (North Texas)
When Donald loses the presidency he will cry like a baby, it was rigged, it was a sham, the news media is against me. It will be everyone's fault but the Donald's.
Cwolf88 (VA)
I don't know how you can satirize madness, but you did.

Just to be serious for a moment, it is useful to try and understand why so many are so angry.

Here are my hypotheses:

1. Automation, not foreign trade, accounts for lost jobs. Yet, at the same time, new technology jobs are going unfilled. Why? The education and training systems are still operating in the 18th century. Solution? Create ways for education/training systems to offer realistic job planning to students and focus incentives on new skills.

2. Although all the economic markers are up, they are very low resolution markers. Many men have dropped out of the job market. No really good data on that.

3. Rate of change. Lots of folks don't handle social change well. This is very threatening. Not sure there are good solutions, other than time.

4. The internet and associated technologies. Every new technology has advantages and disadvantages. The downside is that as media markets proliferate, the media empires have fought back with yellow journalism. The new chicken littles have made fortunes selling the sky is falling.

5. Never ending wars fought with borrowed money. Ten thousand dead and 50,000 wounded (RAND). No end in sight. Yet the politicians promise more war. $19T in debt.

Terrorism? Roughly 148,000 Americans die every year from trauma (the leading cause of death under 46 y/o)(NAS). So, train everybody on trauma first aid and improve emergency systems.

Jamie McKenzie, Ed.D. (Denver, CO)
One of your best ever! Evidently your keyboard is savvy enough to cloak your wit in irony and rampant parody. Hunt and peck has its rewards!
Kepler (Portland, OR)
I have to say this kind of thing is getting old. Four quarters of the NYT opinion columnists have done it; one hundred percent of talk show hosts have done it; twelve out of each dozen of other newspaper scribes or bloggers have done it.

It was funny the first three times.
OMgoodness (Duluth, GA)
LMBO hysterically! Thank you so much for writing this article. I have been crying a little lately because I can't believe people that I once respected (will always love irrespective) support a man that is so disrespectful and finds fault in everyone but himself. While I was going to write in a vote a few months back....after the debate I have decided to not throw away a vote. Please continue to write more humorous pieces like this. It is needed for individuals like me who have been shocked by the continuous actions and justification of his actions by loyal supporters. Thank God for you and cognitive behavior therapy....I needed this today:-)
YReader (Seattle)
Starbuck's pick-me-up - $4
Reader eye glasses - $20
NYTimes subscription - $ A lot
Frank Bruni column on Sympathy for Donald - $Priceless

Thanks for the awesome laughs today!
Alan Miller (Sacramento, CA)
The repeated "call Hannity" appeal over Iraq last night was among the most embarrassing moments for poor Donald. Many conservatives consider Trump's caddy to be a clown.
Deborah (Ithaca ny)
Yes yes!

Our adult son recently set up Bluetooth in my car, I don't understand the name, "Bluetooth," but did use it to call home from the Indiana Toll Road. And I sounded like a weary idiot. That much was clear.

I blame it on Bluetooth.
Janet (Florida)
It's all about the mic, 'bout the mic and trouble.
Aaron Ain (Montreal Canada)
Perhaps the problem lies not with your keyboard but with your bigly hands. Wonderful column.
kabumpous (storrs,ct)
global hoosier (goshen, IN)
LOL, Frank, great article. Trump has become the spectacle, an amusement without equal. But he refuses to be humiliated, in his bubble of unreality.
pgpalmer (Raleigh, NC)
So, so funny. Well written and definitely well though out Mr. Bruni. Are you sure you prepared for writing this article????
Vanine (Rocklin, Ca)
When did you start channeling Gail Collins, Mr. Bruni?
andrea (ohio)
Well done in a bigly way!
Jodi (Cambridge, MA)
Believe me, you can make your keyboard great again. Just ask. What have you got to lose?
Matthew Hughes (Wherever I'm housesitting)
"...he just pumped air into his hair and more air into his head ..."

And maybe a little something up his nose. The sniffing, the early aggression, the dehydration, the raggedness and fatigue after an hour, the last-stage incoherence.

Stephen Colbert said it first: Trump looked like a man who was fighting a cold . . . with cocaine.
Mr. Bill (Albuquerque)
Smoking great column; slightly braggadocious.
Terry (Basltimore)
You did good. Christie's arranging your ride home.
Chilli (South Texas)
Thanks for the laugh. Lovely parody. Well written, despite the keyboard.
flak catcher (Where? Not high enough!)
The absurdity of assumptions:
Don't like what you're hearing?
Assume the worst.
I call it "absurdhism".
You know, 'dhisms and 'dhosems? Hisms and hers'ms?
I'm a committed absurdhist. The only thing that makes sense in any conversation is the absurdity of communication.
You really think anyone understands you?
Are you so delusional that you you actually believe they do?
Do YOU understand THEM?
Now, just how absurd is that!?
NO one can understand anyone else.
Anne Russell (Wrightsville Beach NC)
Grump is the Repub court jester. Except when he's crying for his mommy.
Mark (Pennsylvania)
Watch out Gail Collins! Frank Bruni just saw your Seamus and raised it with an unbelievably yuge column today. I don't know, some might even call it bigly.
Lee Harrison (Albany)
Oh, such sweet, sweet schadenfreude -- watching the Donald, El Lider Boca Maximo, open his mouth time and again and destroy himself.

Keep ranting Donald. And then invent the dumbest my-dog-ate-it anyone has heard from an American politician.
did Alexander Hamilton write this one? It stings! poor poor Donald.
Elizabeth (Annapolis)
Here's the secret to always writing a beautiful column: manage expectations by setting the bar very low, very, very low, hugely low, in fact.
BoRegard (NYC)
Tremendous, tremendous.

Also tremendous is the silence coming from the GOP on this post debate bigly day.
Robbie (Las Vegas)
Donald choked.
Barb (Evergreen)
This was perfect. Thank you for capping these crazy 24 hours with good laugh—I needed that.
Andrew (NYC)
Still, all the leading republicans fell he is THE MAN, so they are all incompetent, insane, lying, thieves in my mind.
Truthtalk (San francisco)
Laugh out loud funny! Thank you...we all needed a stress relief!
Dr. Sabine Hiebsch (Amsterdam, The Netherlands)
I am just so glad you didn't have to end up in a nightmare :-)!
Representing a humanity that renders the elephants extinct for ivory and the bees for pesticide profit (E.U.)
Excuses. Excuses. Excuses.

Make America great in dumb excuses again.

After having almost an hour of speaking time to turn the discussion to his own God Emperor of White American Protest and Hell and Thunder prophecies and perceived to be pc fallacy takedowns, he has to send a tweet after the big league talking point gold rush opportunity that a debate is constituting, that his favorite concocted and twisted distractions were not addressed:

"Nothing on emails. Nothing on the corrupt Clinton Foundation. And nothing on #Benghazi."

Excuses. Excuses. Excuses.



In dumb excuses...

Johannes van der Sluijs
You know, there are people who wonder why Donald Trump has to return to his lair in Trump Tower to sleep every night. I'm not saying that there's anything wrong with him or that he needs some kind of secret medical treatment or anything but some people think that maybe there is some problem. I don't know but maybe there's something there.
Sergei (AZ)
If I were Donald Trump I wouldn’t participate in
any debate after being repeatedly called
a dog-whistler by the journalists. Sean Hannity knows that Trump is not a whistler, not even a dog. Nobody wants to call Sean Hannity.
Donna (California)
Excessive water drinking can be a sign of diabetes onset; Now, how about a Real Doctor with a real Donald Trump Physical & Mental health statement?
BuffCrone (AZ)
You people misunderstood: the microphone that didn't work was the one to his earpiece, where KellyAnne Conway was screaming, "Don't say that!"
Walter (San Francisco)
Mr. Bruni.......Do you need some love? Is this "they are against me" contagious? Well, I read you everyday you write. And you (frequently) make sense to me.....though I must fact check you (don't take offense, please). All that said, leave the funny stuff to Borowitz!
Vance (Charlotte)
I can relate. I write the best Times comments -- the best, bar none. Unbelievable Times comments. Unbelievable. People tell me how good I am at writing Times comments. I have 200 generals saying I write the best Times comments. They've said that. They're dear friends. I have many friends. I have thousands of friends saying I write the best comments.
But out of all the comments I write, I hardly ever get a Times Pick. Why don't I get a Times Pick? Something's going on here, folks. Something's not right. We should look into it. We're going to look into it. We're gonna Make Comments Great Again.
Nelson (California)
The GOP Circus now has two pathetic clowns, Trump and Sarah.
Larry (Garrison, NY)
Right on
Marin Martin (home)
Too many full sentences including subject and verb.
Robert Block (New York)
Too bad he is NOT the Rolling Stone.
Doug Broome (Vancouver)
Tony Schwarz. Now there’s a writer. Good fingers. Good keyboard. Wrote Art of the Deal. He said I can’t pay attention for longer than two minutes. Says I’m a constant compulsive liar and I probably haven’t read a book in my life. Yeah, well nobody remembers Obama from Harvard. Very strange. Tony said my masterpiece should be titled The Sociopath. I like it. It’s like the Socialite. Obama won’t release his transcripts. Very strange. I’ve got people looking into it and you won’t believe what they’re finding. Wait. I wrote Art of the Deal. Ice schwartz. You won’t believe how great I am. Number Two to the Bible, only the Bible. And My Struggle about how sicko losers don’t know how brilliant I am. And hey, it’s not bigly, it’s big league.
JAT (Brookline MA)
Funny, good wit! Loved it!
Vincent Corrado (Sayville NY)
Like I always say when you hit .180 it ain't the bat.
DJ (Oregon)
Some people might say that you are a loser, mostly because of that keyboard you continue to use. Clearly you don't know how to spell bigly, or even use it in a sentence properly. Everyone, or at least a few people have told me, that you have to use it twice for emphasis anyway.

In addition, you clearly deserve what you get, by using the keyboard you have. You had it coming. Anyone with a valid, long form birth certificate could see that. At least some people, I think. I'm using my brain here, because, if you recall, I have words. I know words. I don't need to lean on a keyboard to know words. Only losers use keyboards, anyway...

I think I'll finish this conversation now. Ya, I'm going to finish it, not you. I don't need a keyboard to do that, like you. Only losers use keyboards. I'll finish now. I'm not going to repeat myself. Again.
Boo (East Lansing Michigan)
Whiners whine.
Sally Larson (Hesperia CA)
L Wilson (Maine)
Unbelievably keyboarded.
Linda R. (Long Island, NY)
I was skeptical. I needed to get to the bottom of this, so who better to ask than Sean Hannity -- which everybody refuses to call Sean Hannity -- and Sean Hannity said -- he called me the other day! I spoke to him about it! Sean Hannity said, very strongly, to me and other people -- he's willing to say it ... he said you TOTALLY had a rigged keyboard. And that was BEFORE the article started! I don't know. Who knows. Maybe. Essentially.
Giskander (Grosse Pointe, Mich.)
Frank Bruni has already been amply praised for this column, but let me put it in historical perspective: Out of a Brobingnagian mass of commentary on last night's debate, Bruni has come up as a Jonathan Swift. (Spoilsport clue: Gulliver's Travels)
mellibell (Phoenix)
Eerily similar to the "battle of the sexes" tennis game between Bobby Riggs and Billie Jean King. Riggs didn't bother to prepare or practice either. He lost.
LUNDO1 (Indio, CA)
How does speaking at a grade 4 level resonate with so many people? I hate to ask, but is it because there are so many undereducated, or badly educated, people in this country? This column makes hilarious fun of the orange-headed Trumpet but it is sad too to think that this person might represent the USA. Doubly sad if it and he does.
KJ (Tennessee)
Heh, heh, heh. I like it.

Donald Trump thinks the system is rigged because he and his team of lawyers and accountants have been doing their own rigging in every possible circumstance for his entire business career. Fifty years of rigging. His private system is/was rigged against black people seeking housing, contractors seeking fees for services rendered, workers seeking honest wages .... and that's just the simple stuff. I'd like to see the rigging on his taxes and overseas business dealing. This is a man who thrives on rigging, even using imaginary rigging to excuse his own failures.

That frigging Donald Trump. Oops. My keyboard is rigged, too.
Mo (New England)
You're funny, Frank!
Cathy (Hopewell Junction NY)
If Trump's debate performance was the result of the failure of electrical equipment, it was either his synapses that failed, or the tin foil hat he needs to keep out stray negative ions.
big al (Kentucky)
This all would be funny if the consequences were not so serious. Over 40% of the electorate favors Mr. Trump and if by some chance he gets into office, one can't really imagine the consequences. I lay this problem squarely at the feet of the Republican Party leaders who probably are eager for Mr. Trump to win, thinking they can control him and his agenda. Republicans: take a look at Germany in the early thirties when all those rich aristocrats thought the guy with the funny mustache could be aimed like a weapon. Look where that got them - and us! Time for McCain, McConnell, and all these guys to stand up and say the unthinkable: they will be voting Democratic for President!
rainydaygirl (Central Point, Oregon)
I think it is refreshing to have someone so completely devoid of adult behavior running for the highest office in the land. How delightful to be able to view and listen to someone who isn't part of the system, who doesn't have a background in history and/or government. I am grateful to see someone with no qualifications get up and debate a person with the highest of bonafides for President.


I typed this out without laughing once! Not even cracking the smallest (like Donald Trump small hands)of smiles. I applaud myself on my self-control. And I applaud Secretary Clinton for her self control in last night's debate. Bravo!
charlie rock (Winter Park, Florida)
Super Frank
I'd like that keyboard for emailing a deal proposal for Mr. Trump (or you could forward this for me):
"Sir, if you release your taxes before the end of October, I will read them all and enjoy them, before the end of time, and pay you $1 million; if in agreement, let's meet and I'll get my 6 lawyers to get the contract ready."
John Evergood Trustworthy. #whendidanyonenotmakemoneyoffofME.
RajeevA (Phoenix)
" A wonderful triad of gestures, facial expressions and words, a born motivator! One could conquer the world with this man." Goebbels gushing about Hitler in 1926 or a Trumpista about Trump after last night's debate? Your column is exquisitely rendered, Frank, and you manage to drive the stake through. But that won't change anything in the Trumpworld. I almost think that a section of the population has been infected by a virus, a kind that induces changes in cognitive abilities and thinking and eventually produces total abandonment of rational thought. In my mind, I see nightmarescapes as if painted by Hieronymus Bosch, one of them titled- "Trump's grand entry into White House".
Chris Gibbs (Fanwood, NJ)
Ah, Frank. Hilarious. Thanks. God knows, I could use a laugh at this point. As for your computer, maybe a call to tech support?
Mark T (NYC)
Good times, Mr. Bruni.

I wish I'd hear more about how Donald claimed that "temperament" was a word that the Clinton campaign contracted "Madison Avenue types" to come up with to hurt him, and then segued straight into the fact that he had the best temperament. I know that's not substantive at all, but that was my favorite moment of ridiculousness in a debate that offered a great many to choose from.
Malebranche (Ontario, NY)
Bravo, Frank!
CWP (Los Angeles)
We all live in our own reality!
ACW (New Jersey)
Oh, how I needed this laugh.
Kevin (Columbus, OH)
Was the microphone born in America?
Aaron Jansen (Los Angeles)
Trumps wants credit for NOT discriminating against Hispanics and Muslims at a company he built in West Palm Beach, FL when it is illegal to do so? So now he wants praise for not breaking the law?

He wants credit for refraining from bringing up Bill's infidelity during the debate while simultaneously bring it up during the debate?
There is something seriously wrong with this man's mind.
vcbowie (Bowie, Md.)
The best thing that could have happened to Trump is that his microphone actually didn't work.
Kat IL (Chicago)
Frank, you got me in trouble. Reading your column, I involuntarily laughed out loud in the quiet car of the train.
Meg Flynn (Massachusetts)
Thank you!
Patricia (San Francisco)
Testing, testing, testing ... maybe this is all just a test. And if it is, only the well prepared and informed will prevail.
BarbT (NJ)
In times like these, we can all use a laugh from time to time. Thank you, Mr. Bruni, for presenting the Donald's strengths so clearly. Too bad many people don't understand that he is not someone who should ever be a candidate for president. And certainly not a president!
Ted A (Seattle, WA)
Very, very funny! Thank you.
"I could talk about the candidates’ marital histories. I could summon sexual scandal. But, see, I’m not doing that, because that’s beneath me, though I reserve the right to do it in my next debate column, because it might not be beneath me then."
- I might add his restraint to say things arises when the person he's heckling is not physically close to him. He prefers lots of distance to throw his grenades. Just like with the president of Mexico, Trump restrained his bluster and bullying until he left to go home. The man is coward. Hillary called him out on his craziness and toxicity while he was standing there a few feet away.
manfred marcus (Bolivia)
Funny and comical...if it weren't true. Trump is so full of lame excuses, some of us feel almost sorry for our 'schadenfreude'. This vulgar bully is a coward, with his vicious attacks on defenseless victims cowed into submission by his innuendos and insults; too bad Hillary wouldn't budge to his loud-mouth nonsense, which required him to drink gobs of water to recover. Even so , his incoherent flailing was fatal to his inflated ego, a frog pumping himself up, and exploding in front of us, a sad end for the "liar-in-chief", hammering the first nail in his political coffin. Sympathy for this "ugly american", you say? Please; there are limits even for that, especially when the wounds are self-inflicted. Good riddance.
David (Nevada Desert)
This is really a very funny article. However, we should take Mr. Trump more seriously. Someone very much like him set fire to the Reichstag and blamed the communist. He also blamed Jewish bankers for strangling the country's economy. And everything was unfair because of the treaty forced upon them at Versailles. The voters believed him to be their savior and elected him Chancellor. The rest is world history.
EvelynU (<br/>)
That made me laugh out loud.
Wcdessert Girl (Queens, NY)
Although hilarious and really having put a bright spot on a day that was getting off to a crappy start, their is a tragic reality to the humor of this column. In business and in life in general, many of us have come across character's like Donald Trump. The supervisor or boss who takes credit for their underlings work, but then hangs them out to dry when something goes wrong. The people who are always taking from the government or evading taxes, but yet always complaining about other people getting a handout. The people who become downright vicious when they are exposed for being wrong, or get caught in a lie. The people who think admitting failure or mistakes is a sign of weakness, rather than a reality of being human. The people who believe that the little people exist just to be a stepping stool for them on their way to the top.

Ironically, the people who support Trump don't seem to realize that they are supporting exactly the type of person at the heart of our nations decline. Welcome to the new Gilded Age.
zora (<br/>)
His mentor and role model was Roy Cohn. That explains so much.
pat steffens (Barefoot Bay FL)
That was great
Robert Rosenbaum (New York, NY)
I have to agree with Willy G. Tour column is bigly hilarious.
Michael Thomas (Sawyer, MI)
Donald Trump lecturing a bona fide Ms. Universe on her looks and her weight.
This is a man who does own a mirror.
Jackie (Missouri)
I thought it was interesting that the Lady wore red, like a bullfighter's cape. All that she had to do was calmly stand there smiling while the bull huffed and puffed and sniffed and charged on cue, and missed as she, like the expert matador that she is, deftly stepped out of the way. Well done, Lady President! Well done!
Hakim (University of Florida)
Yeah. I'll release my taxes when you find the 30,000 deleted emails. Are you kidding???
Charles Ynfante (Grand Junction, co)
Great and funny column. Really creative.
LHC (Silver Lode Country)
Great piece Frank. I L'edOL. Actually, I even guffawed.

Of all the fun-filled gaffes of the evening, the one I liked best was Trump telling us -- with a serious look on his face -- that he built a club in West Palm Beach and he did not discriminate against any patrons. Can you imagine anyone building a new club in America and admitting black people, Asians, Muslims, Jews? Wow! What's that you say? You mean that's the law? Oh. He complied with the law?
Geoffrey Anderson (San Jose, CA)
Well, of course he doesn't discriminate. Anyone who can pony up $100,000 to buy a membership, and afford the $14,000 annual dues (not to mention the minimum $2,000 spend for food and beverages) can join.

That seems to be a pretty, uh, "select" group...
Hakim (University of Florida)
What have you got to offer? This whole game is stupid. I'd rather have General MacArthur lead the battle. Are you still laughing?
Bruce Nash (New York)
Who edited Frank's junk to make it good? Frank is no good - everyone knows, so somebody must have stolen from someone amazing. Looks like the work of a genius!
What's his point,except to heap more contumely on Mr. TRUMP and his millions of supporters,including myself and parents if they were still here.Mr. Bruni's column is dripping with sarcasm, but many of us don't get the joke, and dismiss it as typical left wing tripe written by a prima donna columnist who believes that since he graduated from an elite school, U.of N.C.whose students r majority white, upper middle class, and whose parents r also college graduates, that he is superior to the rest of us, especially to us. "pequenos blancos."His belief in his own superiority,his intolerance of anyone who disagrees with his anti traditional views, shared by only a minority of the population, runs through every one of his columns.This most recent column tells us nothing we did not know already, that he bears an animus against Trump and his aficionados, and that he is extremely prejudiced against them, and like HRC and Obama,enjoys mocking us, holding us up to ridicule. Unfair and unworthy of Times op ed contributor.There r some profound problems in this country between the haves and the have nots, but Bruni is not adressing them.
Glen Macdonald (Westfield, NJ)
Well AlAlxander, if you can't recognize a well-written parody that illustrates, in a clever way, that Trump is a dangerous narcissist who believes that he and only he can fix things and that he never does anything wrong, then maybe your coffee doesn't work (or is too decaffeinated), because you are certainly not awake.

But you are right that this column doesn't tell us anything new. We all already knew that he and his deplorable "aficionados" -- mostly white males -- blame others for the problems they have brought onto themselves.
Tony (Woodbridge, VA)
I wish these comments could play music. I would play you the saddest tune on a violin.
tom (boyd)
Trump supporters who will support a man whose declared actions and beliefs when he is elected is to violate the 1st, 4th, 5th, 8th, and 14th amendments deserve to be held up to ridicule and even mocked. All federal office holders and members of the military take an oath of office to uphold and defend the Constitution of the United States from enemies both foreign and domestic. The domestic enemies should be dealt with by opposing them in this election.
MN (Michigan)
Your frustrations are indeed well directed and you have my complete sympathy.
Troy (Katy, TX)
What’s a man to do when all is rigged against him?
Run for President of the United States.
ZoetMB (New York)
While everyone here is congratulating themselves over understanding the humor and references in Mr. Bruni's column, please understand that you're all living in a bubble not unlike the bubble that Trump's supporters live in.

In spite of all the foolishness coming out of Trump's mouth in the debate last night, half of the country still supports this guy. Instead of laughing, we should be crying and wondering what happened to this country that anyone takes this guy seriously.

While Hillary will probably win, it will be with only 273 electoral votes (winning PA and CO, losing FL and NV). If any small state that normally supports Democrats goes for Trump, she can easily lose. We won't be laughing then. (I predict another collapse of the world economy if Trump wins.)
Maureen (Boston)
Because crying won't change the fact that this country has gone nuts. I have lost respect for a few people that I once had high regard for. Because they know very well that they are not victims in any way yet they are presenting themselves as somehow wronged by an imaginary combination of the government and the "elites". It's just an excuse to let out the bigotry they've been holding onto all their lives.
Spencer (St. Louis)
We are not living in a bubble. We understand completely that Trump is nothing but a misogynistic, bigoted clown who, somehow, won his party's approval to run for the highest office in the land. This is truly frightening, as is the fact that there are actually people out there who would vote for him. Sometimes we need the laughter to provide a respite from the horror that is Trump. And if he is the butt of the joke, the better.
GM (Concord CA)
Don't think you'll be laughing if Hillary wins either. Behavior speaks louder than words.
Bernardo Izaguirre MD (San Juan,Puerto Rico)
I got the impression watching the debate that Trump was scared . He looked very nervous to me with all that sniffling , grimacing and water drinking . I may be wrong but I think his hands were trembling when he raised the glass to drink all that water . Remember Humphrey Bogart in The Caine Mutiny ?
DrB (Illinois)
I'm glad he's nervous, but the rest of us have to be terrified until November. And after that--either way--we'll have the continued unease that a lot of our neighbors turned out to be racist, sexist xenophobes.
Ruth (France)
Great title! And great article. Thanks for the giggle.
splaner0 (New York)
This is hilarious! My sides are splitting.
Richard M. Waugaman, M.D. (Chevy Chase, MD)
Comments? From readers? As if they know anything. A bunch of losers!
Darker (ny)
Until Republicans wake up and GROW UP, we'll see them as conspiracy theory chasers and chronic liars. They handed themselves over to party publicists and turned into monolithic block-heads. Bad boys will cry. We'll make 'em. Enough of rabid GOP party politics and offering idiotic candidates that are an insult to voters!
Jonathan Baker (NYC)

Now just imagine him as Complainer in Chief of the armed services and how exhausting it would be for the nation.

I am not that much younger than Trump and I remember one of the hit songs of the 1960s was "Big Girls Don't Cry" - perhaps Trump should listen to it because he seems to be stuck on "It's My Party And I can Cry if I Want To."
Thinking, thinking... (Minneapolis)
And soon it will be Donald's turn to cry, Donald's turn to cry, Donald's turn to cryyyy...

God willing.
Louise (Boston)
Love this, Frank. But there is no way you or anyone could capture last night's descent from dog whistle to dog babble:
"The other day, we were deporting 800 people. And perhaps they passed the wrong button, they pressed the wrong button, or perhaps worse than that, it was corruption, but these people that we were going to deport for good reason ended up becoming citizens. Ended up becoming citizens. And it was 800. And now it turns out it might be 1,800, and they don't even know."
OSS Architect (California)
Mr trump's first, and only "job" was to be hired by his father. The immediate circle of executives around him are his children, If he "has a problem" he hires lawyers.

Thousands of them. This does not strike me as a man who is self-sufficient, or in any way, equipped to deal with the real world as most of us know it.
Alan Chaprack (The Fabulous Upper West Side)
Mr. Bruni: When your keyboard sprouts "irregardless," throw it against the nearest wall. And the sad thing here is that spell check considers it a word.
Mike P (Ithaca NY)
Thanks, Frank. Three days a go I was so dispirited I was going to post of photo of a monkey smoking a cigarette on my Facebook page simply because I thought it was funny. That's how down in the dumps this circus has made me. But you have me laughing again.
job (princeton, new jersey)
Your column's very funny and hits the nail on the head. One question: what if the guy wins? No typo there...
SherlockM (Honolulu)
Brilliant, thank you. And I'll bet you have a terrific property for us to invest in as well. A bridge, maybe?
Aaron (Ladera Ranch, CA)
And there are over 30 million Americans who think Trump won the debate.
Spencer (St. Louis)
They probably also think the earth is 6000 years old and The Flintstones series is reality TV.
Al (Valencia, CA)
Yuuugely funny! Humor has a liberal bias!
JK (Connecticut)
Best yet! Thank you for the much needed laughs after watching a tape of this morning's Trump call in to Fox&Friends for post debate analysis. He actually said MSNBC called him absolute winner, that almost every other pole except CNN gave him highest marks, etc etc etc. the man is truly delusional and inhabits a world entirely his own. Sniffles, delusional thinking, heighten uncontrolled speech, contradicting oneself in a single sentence - many times - because he is convinced no one will recognize the lies and call him on them ---former Governor Dr. Dean suggests are all typical behaviors of cocaine users. We should be looking into his possible drug use - it would explain a lot and if true, surely save the country from having a lying thieving immoral racist addict as president.
Spencer (St. Louis)
If you look at history, this is the same strategy employed by Martin Borman, one of Hitler's right hand men.
Long-Term Observer (Boston)
Yes, I know. These things happen to me when I open my mouth before my brain is fully engaged. It's all somebody else's fault though.
Atikin (North Carolina Yankee)
And you can bet that Trump Will sink lower than dirt in one of the following debates: I fully expect him to bring up Bill Clinton's fidelity issues ( yeah, and he's Snow White). I put nothing beneath him at his point. He is lower than low.
HDNY (New York, N.Y.)
When Trump makes money by putting his brand on someone else's work or investment, he takes all the credit. When his projects fail, others take the financial loss. When he can't pay his bills, he blames the people he's stiffing for not meeting his expectations, regardless of the fact that they performed as contracted.

The Trump Foundation takes credit for the donations of others. When he loses, he blames others, whether they be humans or inanimate objects.

I can't believe that so many people have been duped by this most obvious swindler.
Frank (Durham)
Some suggestions to make Trump a more credible candidate:
1. Before you charge that immigrants are taking jobs away, don't hire them to build your buildings.
2) Before you complain about our national debt, pay your taxes.
3) Before you criticize corporations for going abroad, don't have your products made in Vietnam or Bangladesh.
4) Before you accuse everyone of incompetence, don't declare bankruptcy six times.
5) Before you claim that you can deal with everyone, don't go to court 3,000 times.
6) Before you say that people love you, don't diss Mexicans, Muslims, women, and people with disabilities.
7) Before you create millions of jobs, don't shut off markets overseas by introducing high tariffs.
8) Before you claim charity donations, make sure you actually send them the money.
9) Before you start going into the sewer of sexual peccadilloes, look back on your life.
10) Finally, before you say anything about anything, make sure you look up the answers. A little knowledge won't hurt you.
peggym2 (Queens, NY)
This is concise and so well put!!! It should be used as a political ad.
ClearEye (Princeton)
Clinton landed a telling punch Monday night when she said ''Donald, I know you live in your own reality,'' which he of course does. And always has.

Trump has led a life of privilege, the son of a wealthy real-estate developer who called Donald a loser. His contact with reality is bounded by what he sees on TV and Twitter, and the sycophants who do his bidding. It is a very peculiar bubble.

His words make no sense when transcribed, as he often speaks in sentence fragments, spraying words while waving his hands and contorting his face.

His live audiences get the message from watching his overall performance, but, like the rest of us have little idea what he actually thinks.

If he does think. He demonstrates no capacity to learn about complex issues or to explain rational solutions.

NBC has kept track of his ''policies,'' finding 124 different positions on 20 issues.

He is the singularly least-qualified candidate for any public office I have ever seen. And the biggest threat to the American Experiment since at least Senator Joe McCarthy.
tom (boyd)
Trump has never had a "boss" or if you will, an employer. Maybe his Dad might qualify in this role but he's basically led a life where he's had to answer to no one. His first two wives may or may not agree with this assessment. We don't know do we.
Walter Rhett (Charleston, SC)
If Trump was ill prepared, so was the television audience, who can blame it on their sets. Hillary received way too little attention for her economic policy that looks forward and plans to lead in growth industries like green energy which Trump blithely dismissed. She's right! Green is hot! Green is here to stay! Sweden, Costa Rico, Germany get more than 50% of their energy from green sources; Canada is ahead of the US as a country and Rwanda and Zambia lead the way in Africa. Expanding exponentially, the market fits the US skill set of manufacturing and financing. Goodwill will flow forward (without war!) as jobs are created and the world benefits.

Yet all Trump could do was cite failure, with a disdainful dismal of the clearly expanding green future in an essential industry, energy. Plainly, his attacks on China show he has no vision. (China does!) Trump is not a forward thinker or innovator. His model is last year's—last century's—when racism rigged the economy and social order for the privilege of whites, high and low, and colonial exploitation ruled the day.

Do his voters know his programs are whines? He whines over moderator questions, over lies he can't admit, over racism he sprouts blindly; he fires off insults and put politics before grief and exaggerates without relief. His dark fears of murder and terror are his only path to voters; that and racist repression that looks ever backward and "turns tail" from America's challenges.
Trump pays no taxes, calls it smart, yet he claimed subsidies meant for small business owners hurt by 911.

Doesn't that make him a moocher? Isn't that "free stuff"?
Mugs (Rock Tavern, NY)
worst. it makes him a thief.
Al (Houston)
Donald Trump claims to be a winner...mmmm... a whiner would be a better description
sherm (lee ny)
Whining isn't everything, it's the only thing
SqueakyRat (Providence)
Was it just me, or did Trump's claim about his temperament being his greatest strength bring a burst of spontaneous laughter from the audience? I haven't seen it mentioned.
mike bergs (palm beach)
If his microphone was not working and the audience couldn't hear him, why were they able to laugh at that?
Linda J white (Cold Spring, KY)
I heard it and I was laughing.
Don Salmon (Asheville, NC)
Yes, you're correct. It's been mentioned quite a few times, but I hope many more people pick up on it.
Kathleen (Oakland, California)
Thank you. Laughter is the best medicine. Trump should be careful putting down hackers. Their reaction could be hugely bad for him.
penny8 (Ypsilanti, MI)
Wasn't Hillary Clinton responsible for the Lindbergh kidnapping?
Doc Who (San Diego)
That's debatable.
Sue K (Cranford, NJ)
No ... she was too busy planning Pearl Harbor.
Stuart Kuhstoss (Indianapolis)
And global warming. Which doesn't exist, by the way.
Michael Tyndall (SF)
Trump: "The microphone ate my homework.'
Miriamsdad (Brooklyn, NY)
what homework?
Shelley (St. Louis)
If I could send you a cookie, I'd send you a whole box.

With chocolate, and everything.
StanC (Texas)
All the world is coming apart, everything is wrong, and it's because of the stupid politicians in Washington -- they're really stupid --; Obama; and, of course, Hillary whose been around for 30 years and hasn't fixed anything. And I'm the only one that can fix it. Believe me. I'm really smart.
bob west (florida)
Yeah, Rudy says she is really 'stupid'
Pat Uelmen Huey (Decatur, GA)
There's something about politics, particularly this election season, that makes me fear for our continuation as a species. And then I come across a scintillating piece like this that tells me: No, humanity isn't on its last legs, we're still smart and funny and we're all going to be OK. Thank you.
Kira (Maryland)
Sarcastic but hilarious !
Wagner Schorr Ratzlaff (Denver)
No, sarcastic AND hilarious.
A. Stanton (Dallas, TX)
The best moment of the debate for me was when Hillary accused him of "hanging around" beauty contests.
Carson Drew (River Heights)
@A. Stanton: That caught my attention too. So much was implied by those two words.
Lisa Wesel (Maine)
Yugely entertaining!
Aristotle Gluteus Maximus (Louisiana)
I was watching Hillary for symptoms. I wasn't paying attention to what they were saying, just how they said it and if it indicated any pathology.
DR (New England)
" I wasn't paying attention to what they were saying" That explains your posts. Thanks for clearing that up.
GimmeSomeTruth (Austin)
Three of my favorite moments from the debate:
1. Donald questioning Hillary's stamina, punctuated by his own sniffles. Oh how I wish Hillary had found the spontaneity to look at him and say "speaking of stamina, Donald, that sniffle sounds very serious--you should see a doctor!"
2. Twice by my count, Donald desperately wants 'bigly' to become a real word. I remember a bumper sticker from 2008: "Barack Obama, bringing complete sentences back to the White House"
3. Donald dismissing Hillary's commentary, saying "talk, talk, talk, it's all just words" while he's spouting nonsense at 100mph.
richard pels (NY, NY)
You have a flair for bombastic writing. If you ever fall on your head and become a raving lunatic, you could probably get a job at Breitbart. Until then, satire suits you.
JMM. (Ballston Lake, NY)
I am so happy that Trump is finally a laughing stock. I have been so depressed with the polls lately and the "he looks presidential" schtick that I have been jonesing for Stewart and SNL.

Thank you Mr. Bruni - I so needed this!
Freedom Furgle (WV)
Very classy column. Very classy. That's what people are saying, not me, very important people.
I don't know why some people are saying you can't write a good column. Maybe they're deranged or mentally challenged or democrats and some I assume are good people.
Carsten J (Denmark)
Shut up and take my money.

(Thanks, I needed to cry laughing)
frazerbear (New York City)
Becoming apparent that Trump is the "Whiner in Chief." Whenever he does not perform well, it's the moderator, it's the microphone, it's someone in the crowd, anyone but him He has prepared us for when he loses -- it is because the system is rigged against him. Traditionally voters do not go for whiners. We'll see.
Stuart (Dallas, TX)
I misunderestimated you, Frank.
Mr. Bruni, you have outdone yourself. Thank you!

(Two sniffs? Mmm, ok. Nervous. Three sniffs? I was looking at his eyes and nose.)
Michael Frewer (Houston)
Today's column you created is a "beautiful thing!" ;-)
Sudeep (Chennai, India)
You have a mighty nice keyboard.
Dadof2 (New Jersey)
You left out how every critic of you is one or more of the 3:
1) A nasty person
2) incompetent and is lousy at their job
3)) stupid.
And, the bonus insult if the critic is female:
4) ugly (or some other pejorative).
Jeffrey (New York City)
Frank is ready to run for the GOP nomination in 2020! He's mastered the imitation of the petulance of a spoiled child, or Donald J. Trump!
Joseph (Ohio)
Bruni, you really have a gift for satire--please, never stop. In an election like this, especially after the tragic loss of Jon Stewart, God knows this country needs you.
Michael A. (Colorado)
Simply outstanding work Frank. I am stunned, though, that not a single Donald supporter has commented on the article.

Seriously though, despite his pathetic performance, I remain terrified that he will somehow prevail in November.
Jimbo (Sarasota, FL)
Donald supporters do notread the NYT.
John (Upstate NY)
To be fair, Trump did not say "bigly." It was "big league," which ought to be perfectly acceptable as a figure of speech. Your parody is otherwise right on.
dfokdfok (Philadelphia, PA)
To be totally fair he may have meant "big league" but he said and has in the past said "bigly".
Probably the sniffles that caused it, maybe the teleprompter - no, it was the microphone! Lester Holt made him say it!
Someone is twisting his words before he gets to say them. Mexicans? Chinese? Who knows?
Don Salmon (Asheville, NC)
It's a tough call, evidently (or is that "toughcul?)

But don' worry, Eric corrected it, bigly.
Word Maven (Berkeley)
Whether the Donald said, "I will lower your taxes [bigly or big league]," it's still incoherent!
Mary Kay Klassen (Mountain Lake, Minnesota)
Unfortunately, most males are given way too much sympathy by the average overeducated female, as the educated thought pattern is that a male's brain isn't fully developed until he is 30, and doesn't even know and can't help himself if he commits murder. I believe I read that recently in either the Times or the Washington Post. Was it a column or an educated commenter, I don't remember, except it was a female. I would think that these same women would jump for a chance to defend the Donald, I guess not. This should be education for everyone who believes that those who are born with faulty wired can be rewired. I would beg to differ!
Michael Tyndall (SF)
Trump went full Mussolini during the first debate. If his polls fall he might accept guidance from his handlers next time. However, there’s lots of noise that he plans to hit HRC harder at the next debate. (Harder is his euphemism for more crude, more in the gutter, and more AOWM - angry old white man.)

My bet is he’ll be scripted until his medication wears off, and then gradually more unhinged as he realizes he’s been outmaneuvered yet again by the ‘girl’ in the debate.
Sharon Salzberg (Charlottesville, va.)
In a very tense time for us Democrats, your column actually made me laugh out loud! Brilliant! Well done, Mr. Bruni!
Michael (Boston)
It is a tense time for Republicans who can still think straight too. Heck, it is a tense time for all humans who can walk and chew gum at the same time.
Edward (Dalton)
I am glad it is tense for democrats . GOP was no picnic, but democrats have wrecked cities , and violate federal law with their nonsense sanctuary cities putting American citizens at risk. But hey if some people die at the hands of a deported illegal (who returns again and again)it is just collateral damage in pursuit of an idiotic ideology .
FlaProf (St. Petersburg, FL)
It was Miss Universe's fault. She must have rigged the microphone to show me sniffling all night long. She also put all those incoherent sentences in my head.
Wilson1ny (New York)
Great piece - despite the low-energy keyboard.
Ernest Lamonica (Queens NY)
And Trump will bring Putin, Assad and ISIS to their knees?
Patrick (Ithaca, NY)
Mr. Bruni, yuge kudos for a great send up. Keyboard conspiracy, it is. Where's the birth certificate for this one? Made in China. Figures. See how they undermine us with lousy deals on keyboards? Back in the day they made keyboards solid enough a whack to the head with one of 'em would send you to the hospital, if not the morgue. now a mosquito would laugh at you if you hit it with one of these lightweights! Lousy deal. Dumbing down of keyboards.

But we can make keyboards better again. Law and order in our keyboards. When I press the key I want the one I meant to press, not the one I actually pressed. It should know these things. And it would if we'd kept the manufacture of keyboards here, instead of letting them go to China. And these keyboards aren't racist - they've got black letters on white keys, or white letters on black keys, why are people getting so hyper?
michael (sarasota)
Boycott Trump and his brands, his everythings, but we gotta KEEP FRANK BRUNI.
Agnostique (Europe)
I've been boycotting Trump my whole life. It's nothing new that he's a boorish loser
See also