Baer: Lots of he said/she said and dancing

They didn't even need music.

No, sir. Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump danced and danced the night away and made 2016's first presidential debate a mirror of their campaigns.

What a pair.

He scowled. She smiled. He was forceful. She was firm. And, together, they likely changed nothing.

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They clomped around each other with no real rhythm, and no brass or strings, just percussion.

They tangoed over taxes, over emails, over tax returns, over race and more.

They traded a couple stingers, in what seemed like a dance of scorpions.

She called him out for calling women "pigs, slobs, and dogs."

She said he has a record of "racist behavior," from a federal lawsuit for housing discrimination in 1973 to challenging the birthplace of President Obama.

He said the lawsuit was settled without admission of guilt and that she and other Democrats have let "the African American community" down.

He stuck to his claim that he isn't the one who started the birther movement but that he's the one who ended it.

And he said she's been around for 30 years and has been unable to fix any of the nation's problems.

She said, "I have a feeling by the end of the evening, I'm going to be blamed for everything."

He said, "Why not?"

Oh, they tangoed all right. All night long.

She stepped hard on the issue of his tax returns, suggesting he's either not as rich as he says, or he isn't paying federal taxes, or "there must be something really important or terrible that he's trying to hide."

He said he'd release his tax returns "when she releases her 33,000 emails she deleted," a line that brought cheers from the audience. Ouch.

And when he teased about her taking time off the campaign trail, she said she prepared for the debate and also "prepared to be president," clearly implying Trump's not prepared to be president, a line that also drew crowd reaction.

But if a lot of what was said sounded familiar, that's because you've heard it before.

He stressed job losses to other countries, blaming politicians, including Hillary and husband Bill, and he pressed his plan to cut taxes so the wealthy can create jobs.

"They're going to expand their companies," he said.

Nope, she said, it's the same old trickle-down economics that drove us into recession: "I call it Trumped-up trickle-down."

She pushed raising the minimum wage, equal pay for women, paid family leave, and taxing the wealthy so they'll "pay their fare share."

He went all populist: "Typical politician. All talk. No action. Sounds good. Never gonna happen."

Trump certainly never backed down. Nor did Hillary. He kept interjecting. She kept talking. They both essentially did what has gotten them to this point, which, of course, is a close race because both are so un-liked.

And I don't think, postdebate, the needle will move much, because I didn't hear anything offered that hasn't been offered already. Not really much of anything new or inspiring.

At one point, Trump, trying to tag her, seemed to sum up both sides.

"It's all words. It's all sound bites," he said.

I heard about Trump's new hotel in Washington, built under budget and ahead of schedule, or, as he put it, "what this country should be doing."

I heard Clinton cling to the past: "I think my husband did a pretty good job in the '90s."

But did Trump address his temperament issue? Did Clinton address her untrustworthy issue? Did either make a case for change in Washington, in dealing with Congress?

That I didn't hear.

The first debate was like listening to two annoyances: he who knows nothing and she who knows all.

Yeah, it made history. First woman, big audience. But it could have used a little music.