ELEPHANT CORNER: Debate a Draw; Trump Milks Marcellus Shale; State Committee Meets

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WHILE Donald Trump may have settled for a draw in the presidential debate, he cleaned up at the Marcellus Shale Coalition's event

WHILE Donald Trump may have settled for a draw in the presidential debate, he cleaned up at the Marcellus Shale Coalition’s event

The first presidential debate took place in Hempstead, N.Y., on Monday night.

I feel the 90-minute match was a draw. Yes, HILLARY CLINTON was more organized and had more details. But those attributes are among her strongest assets. While she was good, she did not knock it out of the park.

DONALD TRUMP remained Donald. But he was more restrained and kept on message – for him. If you were a Hillary fan, I am sure you thought she won. If you are a Trump fan, he won.

But the best news for a reluctant Trump supporter (going into the debate): You were relieved, as he did not really jump to the bait. When the moderator asked Trump about his comment that she does not look presidential, Trump only stated and repeatedly that a president needed “endurance” without mentioning her public demonstrations of health problems. I am sure Clinton thinks she nailed him when she came back at him with her extensive visits aboard (over 120). But she has not been Secretary of State for four years. CARLY FIORINA nailed Trump in her response to his comment about her face. Clinton did not.

I could talk about the debate for hours. However, the interesting thing for us in Philadelphia was the number of times Trump mentioned our city and pointed out the Clinton appearances here. Both have gone to North Philadelphia: Trump to meet with African-American groups and Clinton in an event at Temple University. Both groups are expected to be challenges for them. Trump is polling poorly with African Americans and Clinton is still struggling to energize young former Bernie supporters.

Trump was in Philadelphia last Thursday at the Ritz-Carlton for a fundraiser. Earlier that day, he was in Pittsburgh to give a speech at the Shale Insight Conference. The conference is sponsored by the Marcellus Shale Coalition, which holds the event annually, fluctuating between Philadelphia and Pittsburgh as locale.

Former CEO of S.W. Jack Drilling, CHRISTINE TORETTI, introduced Trump. Toretti sold the business a few years ago. She is also one of our three Pennsylvania representatives on the Republican National Committee.

His speech began by addressing the recent violence in Charlotte. He also stated Pennsylvania is important to his campaign and any eventual victory.

On energy, specifically the Marcellus and Utica Shales, he stated, “America is sitting on a treasure trove of energy.” He promised to lift the unnecessary restrictions placed on natural gas and crude exploration and development. Unlike the early Trump, he was specific on the restrictions he would lift and the potential economic befits of his proposal.

After the conference he went to a fundraiser at the Duquesne Club (Pittsburgh’s version of the Union League). The protesters outside of the club only amounted to about 100 people, but the police were nervous enough to have roughly 40 officers in full riot gear. One conference attendee who was staying at the Duquesne Club told me she could not enter the club during the protest and was advised by a police officer to come back in an hour because it may not be safe for her. The protestors intended to enter the club; at least one succeeded and was arrested. Trump, according to Toretti, raised $2.4 million between these two Pennsylvania fundraisers.

Toretti was also one of the speakers at the fall meeting of the Pennsylvania Republican Party’s State Committee. The keynote speaker on Friday night was Arkansas SEN. TOM COTTON. Cotton is the youngest serving Senator at 39 years of age. He is a strong supporter of Donald Trump, but he spoke more of his support of his friend PAT TOOMEY.

The business meeting on Saturday morning had no surprises. There were Pennsylvania political updates from State HOUSE MAJORITY LEADER DAVE REED and STATE SEN. SCOTT WAGNER. National political updates were offered by CONGRESSMEN SCOTT PERRY, MARK MURPHY and TOM MARINO. Marino had one of the more humorous comments when he reminded US HOUSE MINORITY LEADER NANCY PELOSI called him “insignificant” on the House floor and now Clinton thinks he is “deplorable.”

The Philadelphia delegation of the 350-member State Committee in attendance consisted of Republican City Committee CHAIRMAN JOE DeFELICE, RCC VICE CHAIRMAN MIKE CIBIK, RCC GENERAL COUNSEL MIKE MEEHAN and 66TH WARD COMMITTEEWOMAN CAMILLE McCOLGAN, as well as WARD LEADERS DENISE FUREY, LINWOOD HOLLAND, CALVIN TUCKER, JOSEPH SAMUEL, LAMONT FOREMAN, CHRIS VOGLER and WALT VOGLER.

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