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Monday, September 26, 2016

Tonight's debate

A friend recently wrote to say that his main interest in the upcoming debates was ghoulish: to see if Hillary would manage to make it through them. He concluded that she would be pumped full of drugs.

Hillary probably will be on something.

But the most interesting thing is going to be how they pick at each other's weaknesses.

You can be sure Hillary's camp has been brainstorming on things she can say to get Trump to blow his stack. Trump's Achilles heel does seem to be that if insulted, he will almost always take the bait. Trump has claimed that he hasn't practiced much for the debate; he seems to consider it beneath him, and doesn't want to come across rehearsed.

So what does Hillary have planned? What is Trump sensitive about? Will she talk about his businesses which have gone bankrupt? ("Donald, for someone who claims to be a successful businessman, you seem to have had an awful lot of businesses which have gone bankrupt. The Taj Mahal, Trump Air....")

Will she mention Trump University, possibly in a scathing aside? ("That sounds like something they'd teach at Trump University.")

Will she talk about his foundation? ("At least at the Clinton Foundation we never spent $6000 on an oil portrait of either Bill or me.")

Will she question his children's role in his campaign?

Will she mention that he had originally said he would spend a billion of his own money on his campaign but has only spent a small fraction of that? ("It makes people wonder if you're as rich as you claim.")

Will she make a remark about his appearance? ("I'm overweight and know it, and I never criticize anyone else's looks. Which is why I don't understand why someone as fat as you would feel as free as you do to criticize other people's appearance.") By mentioning her own weight, she would defuse his most stinging retort. And although it makes her look bad, it's almost sure to bring a response that would make him look even worse.

Will she refer, even obliquely, to his record with women? ("Judging a man like Mr. Putin is not as easy as judging the Miss Universe contest.")

Will Hillary reference Trump's lack of knowledge when it comes to foreign leaders and international politics? ("How can the Donald say he has a plan for resolving our difficulties in the Mideast when he doesn't even know the names of half the leaders over there?")

But Trump should have a counterpunch ready for this, as for many of these barbs. ("Where has all of your knowledge gotten us, Hillary? The Middle East is a far more dangerous place than when you started as Secretary of State. In fact, the entire world is. And it's because the Obama/Clinton team has been so weak.")

If she references his record with women, he can play his ace in the hole: Bill. ("But Hillary, you were in charge of the war room dealing with Bill's bimbo eruptions, as I think you called them. When Monica came forward, you said it was a vast right-wing conspiracy, and you called Monica a narcissistic loony tune. That doesn't speak very well of your record on feminism.")

Or, "Hillary, at least I made my money legitimately, not by taking back door bribes from countries which don't give women full rights and which prosecute gays."

Trump could point out that she would be nothing if not her husband. ("I'm a little surprised to hear you questioningly my business record given that you rode into politics on Bill's coattails.")

If she questions any of his views, Trump can reply, "Hillary, you flip flop more than those things people wear on their feet. You voted for the Iraq war, now you say you were against it. You were for the Trans Pacific Partnership, now you're against it. You were strongly against gay marriage, now you support it and call yourself a champion of LGBT rights. How can anyone be sure that you're not going to change your current positions depending on which way the wind blows?"

Or, "I'm just curious Hillary, when they talk about your platform, are they referring to your misguided attempts to side with criminals rather than cops, your burning desire to bring more potential terrorists into this country, or that stool you're standing on?" -- The Clinton camp has evidently requested a stool for her to stand on so that she looks taller.)

When she questions any of his views, he can reply, "I know it's complicated Hillary, but don't worry, I'll send you an email on it. Oh, wait a sec; maybe I shouldn't."

Of course, Trump doesn't want to appear to be too much of a bully, since he is dealing with a sick old woman. And no matter what insults he throws Hillary's way, the media will describe them as nasty and small-minded and a reminder that he doesn't have the temperament to be President. While simultaneously describing Hillary's insults to Trump as zingers that really hit the mark, or something to that effect.

So, maybe Trump should rein himself in. As Pat Buchanan recently said, all Trump really has to do to win the debate is to not appear the monster that the media has portrayed him as.

Refraining from hurling any insults be a tall order, though, especially if Hillary tries to provoke him.

Get your popcorn ready.


Mark Caplan said...

This was the first time I watched Trump on TV. Related to your recent posts on psychopaths who laugh and gloat at their own jokes, I noticed that Trump delivers his jokes without cracking a smile or in any way singling out the remark for special attention. No wonder the humor, especially the irony, sails over the heads of literal-minded libtards at CNN, The New York Times and The Washington Post. They are also probably the only ones who didn't fall off their chairs at "or a 400-pound guy on a bed."

John Craig said...

Mark --
Last night Trump did underscore the fact that he is relatively honest and not a sociopath, whereas Hillary underscored the fact that she is a lying sociopath. On the other hand, she gave the more polished performance. And if you don't know what to look for, as most people don't, her sociopathy remains invisible.

My big fear going in was that Trump was going to lose his temper and say something nasty, coming across like a bully (as I said this post). But now I sort of wish he'd gone after her in a more vicious way. He missed several opportunities on that. He obviously hadn't practiced for the debate the way she had; he's way too over confident in that regard, particularly since he or his camp should have realized that Lester Holt was going to be extremely biased, which he was.

Mark Caplan said...

I think twice Hillary called Trump a racist to his face. That's worse than calling someone a kike or a n----r, or, for that matter, a pig. She has a really foul mouth. I'm surprised the network didn't bleep it out, but I guess they weren't operating on a 5-second delay.

John Craig said...

Mark --
That was actually one of Trump's missed opportunities. Rather than be defensive the entire time, he should have gone on the offensive, and talked about how her husband campaigned on a law and order platform, just like he's doing. He could have referred to her fake black accent when she visited the black church in 2008, and how that was condescending and phony. He did talk about how the idea for birtherism had originated in her camp, and how Hillary had used the phrase "super predator," but I'm not sure that his points registered with the audience. And he could have talked about how she sided with the BLM and against the police, no matter what the facts of a case were, which is the most poisonous, condescending form of racism.

Hillary, of course, was right when she talked of super predators -- how many of these criminals have long, long records? -- but no matter, it was a Kinsley gaffe.

GT said...

Very hard to rattle a sociopath. Trump needed to connect to the American people via the debate. I did not feel captivated by what he had to say.

To be honest I could not watch the debate for every long. Every time I switched over to the debate I felt like I was watching an old married couple bicker over nothing important. Trump had the look of a angry old man that would yell at the neighborhood kids for stepping on his lawn; rambled and over talked everyone and Hillary came across as an old lady that would poison her husband for the insurance money; non stop fake smile and no real warmth.

John Craig said...

GT --
That's a fantastic impressionistic description. I hadn't thought of any of those things before, but they're all true, that's exactly what they looked like.

And you're absolutely right about how it's hard to rattle a sociopath. We differ slightly on the resonance of what Trump had to say. I think he said some important things about law and order, about keeping jobs at home, and about bad trade deals. But, yeah, he didn't express himself particularly articulately, and he did come across like an angry old man.

Steven said...

How are the debates going? I just saw a headline about a poll boost for Clinton.

John Craig said...

Steven --
The first one was two nights ago. Both of them pretty much acted like themselves. I saw a headline about a poll boost for Trump, but we won't really know for a couple more days.

Anonymous said...

I am watching the second debate. Everything coming out of Hillary's mouth are lies. As far as I'm concerned, Trump is doing better, standing up to Hillary with facts about her history, speaking the truth.


John Craig said...

Birdie --
I'm watching it too. Not sure what to think. I think Trump is doing okay, but I'm not sure. Agree that Hillary does nothing but lie, but how many people will see that? Enough? I don't know.

Anonymous said...

Trump isn't a great communicator. He did okay. I was praying for him. He stressed the fact that Hillary is a liar and that she displays poor judgment (repeating what Bernie Sanders has said about her). I liked when Trump said that Hillary is all talk, no action. She speaks out of both sides of her mouth. It wasn't all that bad of a debate. I had the thought that if she could get away with it, Hillary probably would have been capable of physically attacking Trump (treating him the same way that she's treated her husband, Bill). Glad it's over.


John Craig said...

Birdie --
I just wish he wouldn't repeat himself so much. And his advisers have to break out a thesaurus and find another word for "disaster,' which is how he describes absolutely everything. I thought he did better than the first time around, though.

He's right that she's a tough cookie though. But I guess that's to be expected from a sociopath.

Anonymous said...

I never watched the first debate. Hillary is unemotional, having zero anxiety, shame, or embarrassment over anything that she and slimy Bill have ever done in the past. The above commenter, GT, is right - it's hard to "rattle a sociopath.". Hopefully, things will work out for the best, meaning Hillary would lose the election (big time). She would be a disaster.