Is this peak Chuck?I'm not sure either candidate can feel like they made progress tonight. Clinton was on the defensive and Trump lacked a lot of substance— Chuck Todd (@chucktodd) September 8, 2016
Clinton was certainly "on the defensive" as she submitted gamely to sustained machine-gun fire from all sides (left, right, and unlabeled) and the constant interruptions of the host, who had far too many questions, from the audience and his own, mostly about those pesky emails. She wasn't defensive in the sense of self-justifying and special pleading, at all, but the defense was the side she was placed on, and she played it as well as she could.
(There was only one question, I think, that she didn't answer—sadly, it was the hippie one, asking her how we could be sure she wouldn't be too belligerent, and I don't think she understood it at all. Her answer was not too reassuring, though she piously said force is always the last resort; on the Iran question, though, she finally convinced me that she has some appreciation of the value of the agreement.)
Trump, in contrast, simply didn't attract many questions—I think when we see a transcript that will be borne out—and didn't see any reason to attempt answering any of them, preferring to change the subject and talk about how great he is in a general sense, and how terrible the president and the Democratic candidate are. Lauer interrupted him only once, at the very beginning, to clarify that he would like it if Trump would lay off the personal insults, but Trump didn't listen to that either.
That's a funny expression, that Trump "lacked a lot of substance", as if you could weigh and measure how much substance he didn't have and it was a really big pile of the stuff. "There was so much substance in the event, and he lacked almost all of it!"