The Slatest

Donald Trump Tweeted the Democratic Debate, and It Was Glorious

Donald Trump
Donald Trump on May 16, 2015, in Des Moines, Iowa.

Photo illustration by Lisa Larson-Walker. Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images.

Tweeting from his phone—possibly while golfing, no doubt from somewhere superlatively sumptuous—Donald Trump offered his real-time take on Tues night’s debate. How did the Donald size up the Democratic field?

His pregame breakdown demonstrated that Trump has zero time for losers on either side of the aisle:

As the debate got rolling, Trump whined that there were too many ads. Classic Sanders-style socialism from Trump. We all remember when The Apprentice ran ad-free on PBS.

The bulk of Trump’s tweets eschewed substantive criticism, instead tarring the slate of Dem candidates as a collective snore. But Trump did poke at Hillary Cllinton’s soft spots—Iraq, her private email server, and her flip-flop on the Trans-Pacific Partnership:

He also twisted Bernie Sanders’ response on the Black Lives Matter question (Sanders never said “only”), while chiding Hillary for ducking it (and blaming Anderson Cooper—first-name basis!—for letting her):

He later took the candidates—and by extension, I suppose, CNN—to task for not grabbing low-hanging veteran fruit:

But the highest crime in Trump’s kingdom is to seem anything less than off-the-cuff. Only nerds study and prepare! Cool kids wing it!

By the same token, in Trump’s world being the executive of an actual city (oh, and by the way, Martin O’Malley also ran a state) is a lesser qualification than building golf courses and appearing on a reality television program:

Trump spent lots of time retweeting sick burns from his millions of followers:

Including an elliptical “jabroni” reference to Trump’s past association with professional wrestling:

Trump paused, a bit more than an hour in, to take a quick, unscientific poll—asking who was winning so far:

To which, of course, countless minions replied, “Trump!”

Trump at one point accused Jim Webb of “not doing well!” This is a classic Trump insult technique, in that the besmirchment can’t be countered. What are you gonna say—“Am too doing well!”? (Trump employed the same tactic against Rand Paul in a Republican debate, firing off a “You’re having a hard time tonight” in Paul’s direction. How does he parry that? “Nuh-huh, I’m having an easy time tonight”?)

Trump’s only compliment was for Sanders. It appeared to be in reference to Sanders’ declaration that America was tired of hearing about Clinton’s emails. If so, was a nod to tactical acumen, not policy choice. And no surprise that Trump’s kind words were reserved for a move by Sanders that was, at its root, a dig at the media.

Trump’s final assessment had little to do with any of the candidates’ stated positions, or their internecine disputes. Leave it to the reality TV celeb to judge every contest as a battle of STAR power:

It’s like Trump thinks the election is American Idol, and he’s somehow both Kelly Clarkson and Simon Cowell at the same time.

Read more of Slate’s Democratic primary debate coverage.