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11 Cues the Presidential Debate Took from Real Housewives Reunions

The two are eerily similar

Sadie Gennis

There has never been a presidential debate quite like Sunday's, when Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump faced off for the second time. However, fans of Bravo's Real Housewives franchise likely found the entire affair eerily similar to the end-of-season reunions, when all the stars are forced into a room together in order to rehash offensive comments that were previously made, defend their controversial behavior, or, in many cases, do their best to avoid discussing important topics altogether.

Sound familiar? Keep reading to see all the ways the second presidential debate was basically the worst Real Housewives reunion of all time.

1. The most basic niceties were avoided.
Much like Bethenny Frankel when she refused to get in on the group hug in the most recent New York reunion, Trump and Clinton refused to even shake hands before the debate. If we didn't have a sinking feeling already, this moment made it clear that this debate was going to go off the rails - and fast.



2. Bullying and name-calling weren't out of bounds.
Nothing shows less maturity than name-calling, which is why we can't say we were surprised when Trump took a cue from Teresa Giudice's handbook and called his opponent "the devil." But a reminder here: one of these people is an ex-con reality star and the other is a presidential candidate (and former reality star).



3. So much time was wasted on fact-checking.
Rather than be a platform for intellectual discussion of the major issues, the debate was more about fact-checking, because the sad truth of the matter is no one trusts our presidential nominees to be honest for 90 straight minutes. This was a huge burden on Clinton in particular, who was forced to spend a good portion of the debate fact-checking Trump. She often did this simply by directing viewers to visit her website, instead of bringing physical receipts like Ramona Singer. Although, a gesture as dramatic as Singer's wouldn't have felt too out of place during the over-the-top debate.



4. Horrible threats were made.
Trump, the potential future leader of the United States of America, threatened to elect a special prosecutor and get Clinton thrown in jail. But unlike Caroline Manzo's threatening remarks to Danielle Staub, we doubt much will come from Trump's threats against Clinton (or at least we can hope).


5. Hypotheticals were treated as fact.
When asked about his call to ban Muslims from entering the United States, Trump answered by saying Capt. Humayun Khan, the Muslim soldier whose family he previously criticized, is an American hero and declared that "If I had been president he would be alive today." It was a completely ridiculous statement that 1) didn't answer the question, and 2) had no basis in fact. In short, Trump spent a good portion of the night sounding just about as grounded as Sonja Morgan, whose claims about her "international fashion lifestyle brand" have more likelihood of coming true than much of what Trump posited.



6. It was filled with lies.
Trump threw out a lot of lies throughout the debate, but the one that stuck out the most was when he was asked about encouraging people to check out Alicia Machado's sex tape. Trump denied ever saying such a thing, despite having tweeted that verbatim. It's this kind of blind commitment to lies in the face of undeniable evidence that gave us terrible flashbacks to Vicki Gunvalson, who infamously helped her ex-boyfriend cover up faking cancer and who still insists that he truly was sick.


7. Straightforward answers were avoided at all costs.
Trump made such a habit of evading clear answers that the moderators was forced to repeatedly follow up with the GOP nominee to demand he actually answer the question at hand. Whether he was supposed to be discussing Syria or his tax returns, Trump's confusing explanations were straight out of the Housewives school of evasion. But the key difference here is that women on Housewives are avoiding discussing topics like their sex lives, whether or not they called a friend a pedophile, and their decision to wear wigs three years after they thought they might have cancer -- not how they would handle international affairs and terrorism threats if they were elected to the most powerful office in the country.



8. Interruption was par for the course.
Like the screeching harpies of Housewives, Trump couldn't seem to wait his turn, constantly interrupting Clinton and talking over her. He claimed that Clinton was going over her time, when in actuality Trump wound up speaking little over a minute more than Clinton.



9. Remorse was a rarity.
Clinton once again profusely apologized for her use of a private email server, but Trump expressed no contrition regarding how he bragged about sexually assaulting women. He once again dismissed the comments as "locker room talk" and did his best to change the subject in a way that reeked of Teresa Giudice, who -- to this day -- refuses to take any blame for the crimes that landed herself and her husband in prison.



10. Personal attacks were fair-game.
Instead of focusing on the issues facing our country currently, Trump did his best to divert attention to Clinton's alleged scandalous past. He made up accusations of Clinton's alleged poor treatment of women and brought up allegations about her husband Bill Clinton's past behavior. While these tactics were either false or irrelevant as to how Clinton would fare as Commander-in-Chief, that didn't matter much to Trump, who knew, like so many Housewives do, that these below-the-belt comments are an easy way to rattle your opponent.



11. In the end, they were both forced to play nice.
In the most Housewives move of the night, the final question asked for both candidates to name something they respect in one another, aka Andy Cohen's go-to move to end reunions with. Clinton went with complimenting Trump's children, whereas Trump pulled a Dorinda Medley and gave a somewhat patronizing answer about how Clinton is a "fighter" and "doesn't quit."