The 2016 US Presidential election between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton has been particularly noteworthy in that it's been properly bizarre. Not like "huh, that's a bit weird..." bizarre, for instance if you saw one dog wearing a hat in the park. But properly bizarre, like if it became a legal requirement that all dogs must wear hats now or else their owners will be sent to prison.
It's also become awkward. Massively awkward - not least after the recently leaked audio of Trump's horrifyingly misogynistic remarks from 2005, which gave last night's latest televised showdown between the pair some added edge. Here are the most painfully cringe-worthy moments from Debate numero 2.
Here are the two potential leaders of the most powerful country in the West pettily avoiding a customary handshake as if they were former lovers who didn't realise either would be at the same house party. Extra awkward points awarded for the uncertain half-turn as they reach the front like they've been pulled onstage by a magician after being goaded by their pals and really don't want to be there.
No Kiss For Donald
Having your own family recoil in horror at the prospect of basic affection - especially when said family member is also aware that it will be captured on camera and then seen by millions of people, and still chooses to give you the swerve - is catastrophic political PR-gaffe in normal circumstances. Given that Donald Trump has previously insinuated that incest being a bit frowned upon is all that's keeping him from engaging in a relationship with his daughter, and in the wake of his recent misogynist and predatory soundbites coming to light, having his actual daughter dodge his puckered lips in utter disgust is, mildly put, a bad Look.
what a normal not creepy way to stand pic.twitter.com/X2id19SqcR— Ryan Broderick (@broderick) October 10, 2016
[whispers] the call is coming from inside the house pic.twitter.com/RRPfaZlYNv— Bradd Jaffy (@BraddJaffy) October 10, 2016
Having previously blamed his performance in the first debate on a faulty microphone, Donald Trump has now been undone by the rather more analogue tech of 'his own legs.' Choosing to ominously loom behind Hillary while she was addressing the floor, even appearing to almost literally be breathing down her neck like a Hitchcock serial killer-meets-panto, probably wasn't the most savvy decision from a man who made his name appearing in front of TV cameras.
Hillary Plugs Her Online Presence, Again
The Clinton campaign has been so heavily focussed on social media that you'd be forgiven for thinking running for President was basically just a pretence for launching a lucrative career as a vlogger. She Snapchats selfies, employs a team to own Trump on Twitter and makes mortifying references to popular apps. Here she is, eschewing talking about policy to drive traffic to her website which provides a stream of her opponents quotes for hits. Expect her to use the final debate to promote her Twitch, where she'll be playing GTA V online and taking dares from the comment section. Like, share and subscribe!
A Fly Lands On Hillary's Face
Things flies are known for landing in: spilled booze, gone-off food, bins and human waste. Things you don't want associated with your performance at a debate: spilled booze, gone-off food, bins and human waste.
Trump Threatens To Send Clinton To Jail
The alarming thing about this election is that it's not really possible to wholeheartedly support either candidate. Whatever you think of Trump, Hillary Clinton's email scandal and subsequent 'accidental' deletion of evidence is bad. 'Bad' as in: 'most people would go to jail bad'. From purely a spectacle point of view, you also have to admit Trump stating he wants to incarcerate his opponent if he wins does give the race an additional bit of jeopardy, like a sort of political WWE hell-in-a-cell match, only the winner gets nuclear codes instead of a plastic belt.
Round three awaits.