What the First Debate Taught About the Candidate's Positions on Cities

Urbanists and their ilk might have been disappointed in the first presidential debate's lack of focused attention to affordable housing, infrastructure, and other issues of importance to cities.

September 28, 2016, 12:00 PM PDT

By James Brasuell @CasualBrasuell


LBJ Library / Flickr

Daniel McGraw provides a critique of the first debate between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump, focusing on the "several exchanges that might resonate with Americans who spend their days thinking about and working on challenges facing U.S. cities."

McGraw starts with the moment that Clinton "accused Trump of cheering for the housing market collapse 10 years ago," too which Trump replied, in his own words, "That's called business."

According to McGraw's evaluation, "the fact that a presidential candidate sees housing as little more than a commodity without any other economic or cultural implications is very telling in many ways." The fact that many American's probably agree with Trump on this point, according to McGraw, is "why this race has been so hard to figure out."

Among the other subjects that were briefly considered, but without much detail, McGraw lists infrastructure (with Clinton mentioning clean energy and Trump discussing the shortcomings of La Guardia airport). Beyond that, the candidates discussed inequality and racism, but from the frame of policing practices, not affordable housing, environmental justice, or public health. While Clinton suggested criminal justice reform and asked Americans to consider their biases, Trump touted "law and order" and stop-and-frisk.

Tuesday, September 27, 2016 in Next City

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