We Need to Talk About the Winner of Sunday Night’s Presidential Debate

By Matilda Douglas-Henry

Aside from Friday Night Lights’ Tim Riggins, there are few men in the world who leave me in awe of their beauty, complexity, and general charisma. Anderson Cooper, however, is one of them, and always has been. It’s something about the flawless combination of his alluring and unique aesthetic (who else has hair that white and eyes that blue?) and his sharp intelligence that leaves me desperate to track him down and request that he be the father of my hypothetical children.

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The second presidential debate was held at Washington University in St Louis on Sunday night. It was an embarrassing charade of Hillary Clinton grinning manically, Donald Trump leering like an orange ghost and sniffling, lots of frustrated pacing, and many an intense zoom. It felt more like we were watching CCTV footage of a cage at a zoo than determining who was going to be the next American President.

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Anderson Cooper was moderating the debate alongside ABC News reporter Martha Raddatz. Cooper’s calm and measured interjections did nothing but viciously aggravate my love for him. In the first ten minutes, Cooper was already grilling Trump about the leaked video that surfaced last week, where he brags about not requiring consent to touch women because of how famous he is.

“You bragged that you have sexually assaulted women. Do you understand that?” Cooper said, without missing a beat. Of course Trump rebutted with the same “locker-room banter” excuse that’s become a broken record, but Cooper kept pushing – intent, it seemed, to make it clear to Trump that he is a repeated sexual abuser.

I don’t know whether, as a moderator, you’re supposed to remain relatively objective; if it’s seen as hot-headed or irrational to prove your personal views by making an interviewee feel uncomfortable. But I thought Cooper’s interrogation was professional, impressive, and an incredibly crucial step forward in attempting to convince the American people that Trump is nothing but a lewd predator who certainly cannot lead a country.

An incredibly intelligent gay man (and a bloody Vanderbilt) who uses his public platform to speak out against sexual assault, as well as humiliate Donald Trump in the process? Who else could have been the winner of the debate? Well, perhaps it was a tie between Cooper and Kenneth Bone – a guy in the audience who put a question to the candidates, and in the process unwillingly spawned what may be the most popular meme franchise of 2016.

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