This isn’t politics. This is war — and it’s personal.

The second presidential debate was ferocious and nasty, a scorched-earth barrage that reflected the nation’s bitter political divisions and the animus between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton. There’s never been anything like it in modern politics.

Especially during the explosive first 25 minutes, the air was thick with rancor and even potential danger. Trump and Clinton don’t just dislike each other — they actually seem to hate each other.

His promise to prosecute her over the ­email scandal and private server perfectly captured his go-for-broke attitude.

Even before the debate, Trump answered the question of whether he would be contrite. By holding a late-afternoon public meeting with three women who accused Bill Clinton of sexual assault and a rape victim whose accused rapist was represented by Hillary Clinton, Trump did more than merely go on offense to get away from the uproar over his vulgar 2005 comments about women.

His point: I talk about it, Bill Clinton did it. He cited the four women during the debate as well, setting the tone that carried through the night.

To continue reading Michael Goodwin's column in the New York Post, click here.

Michael Goodwin is a Fox News contributor and New York Post columnist.