(NNPA)—There is no question that Hillary Clinton “won” the first presidential debate of this election cycle. She was knowledgeable, composed, unflappable, and occasionally even funny. Her opponent, who had the temerity to criticize her “stamina,” seemed to lack stamina of his own. By the time the 90-minute debate was over, the rude, sniffling, frequent water-sipping Mr. Trump looked like a candidate for enforced bed rest.

Mr. Trump was the loser, but he was not the biggest loser. The biggest losers were the unmentionables, the people who received scant attention, in the debate. There were 43.1 million poor people in the United States in 2015, more than 13 percent of the population. Yet, they were barely mentioned. To be sure, moderator Lester Holt started the conversation between Clinton and Trump by asking a question about economic inequality. But neither Clinton nor Trump mentioned poverty or hunger, which remains a problem in the United States. Both talked about shoring up the middle class.

Clinton and Trump aren’t the only ones who avoid highlighting hunger and poverty when issues of economic inequality are discussed. When Vice-President Joe Biden was charged with focusing on the middle class in his “Middle Class Task Force,” early in the Obama Administration, there was a conspicuous silence about the status of the poor.  While President Obama has lots of issues to deal with, the poor have not been a priority for him.

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