09.25.2016 06:28 PM

My take on the debates

In today’s Sun:

• Warren Kinsella (Daisy Consulting Group) 

“I think Trump has the advantage. 

“He was created by TV, and made famous by TV. He understands TV better than just about any politician around. 

“Hillary needs to take him very, very seriously. If she gets down in the muck, she risks looking unpresidential. But if she doesn’t respond to some of his low blows, he will win the war of the clips. 

“I prepared plenty of leaders for TV debates, but never a debate with stakes as high as this one — and never with the traditional rulebook being so irrelevant. 

“It’s going to be the hottest show on TV this season.”


  1. CM says:

    I predict that Trump will be as sweet as honey. No histrionics and no low blows. He’ll smile a lot and speak in soft tones reminiscent of his press conference in Mexico. He’ll be nice during the debates so much so that he’ll actually compliment HRC. About 5 minutes after the debate he’ll blow up Twitter with an incendiary comment about HRC and just go after her mercilessly for one thing or the other. This is essentially Trump framing the narrative of how HRC performed. On SNL next Saturday the Trump narrative will be played out for all to see and laugh at. I suspect HRC will not be able to win this debate long term no matter how well she does. Trump will play the media like a fiddle … just like he’s done since June 2015. Sad!

    • Steve T says:

      Good analysis on The National tonight. Jon Kay said that Trump’s weakness is critique of his business ventures. If HRC can pick away at some of his (many) failed businesses, or Trump University, or similar matters – it may cause the real Trump to show up.

      Another panelist from Politico noted that Trump will not be in his element, which means in front of frenzied supporters. He is used to getting huge cheers of support for each crazy thing he says. Tomorrow there will be silence. We’ll see if he can handle it.

      • Warren says:

        Jon Kay is a fool.

      • MississaugaPeter says:

        An attempt was made attacking Trump for his failed business ventures during the Republican primaries. Didn’t succeed then and will probably not succeed now. Actually think that the fact that it was discussed previously it will not help. It’s almost like old news.

        It will be interesting to see if you are right CM, that he actually behaves himself tonight. With the trend lines going his way, would he and his new campaign managers risk the direction they are heading? The plan tonight for Trump is to loosen women’s support of Hillary. If you are right, I expect him to push his maternity leave plan all night. If you are wrong, Bill’s transgressions may be what everyone talks about tomorrow.

        • CM says:

          I think the perception of him by most people, especially his base, is that he’s a successful businessman. That’s a nearly impossible perception to break in just one debate. That’s been his brand for three decades. Even I, who can’t stand Trump, still enjoyed watching the Apprentice in its first couple of seasons. Many voters fantasize about having a guy like Trump come in and “clean house”. Most people who read this website and are political junkies know that things in politics are more complicated than just building a wall etc. But your average voter I suspect gets just enough politics from one or two sources. They don’t get into the weeds with this stuff. Most people operate on big narratives: Trump = Successful businessman who is gonna clean house and fix things. HRC = career politician who has been there forever.

          • Ron says:

            I often wonder if Trump’s success could be based on the same criteria as Harold Ballard’s.

            ie: bullshit and demand notes

  2. Steve T says:

    Trump also has the advantage because his supporters are blind to any foibles he makes. If he says something ridiculous, or an outright lie, his supporters simply blame it on the “biased media” (even though it was a verbatim quote – but that doesn’t seem to matter). His supporters also are not really looking for policy detail or substance. They are looking for someone to blame for their problems, and simple one-phrase solutions. There’s really almost nothing he can do on the debates that will sway his supporters.

  3. Ronald O'Dowd says:


    I expect to go into a depression when it’s finally over.

  4. monkey says:

    I hope this is not the case but fear it might be. Frank Luntz who is a former GOP operative but now runs focus groups gave an outline of what each needed to do and knowing their personalities I doubt Trump will follow what he suggested. Clinton really at this point needs to get those from the Obama Coalition who are thinking of sitting it out or voting for a third party to fall behind her. She is not going to pick up any of the 40-45% who are backing Trump, It’s the 10-15% who are either undecided, not sure if they will vote, or backing a third party which she needs to go after. If turnout is over 60%, she will likely win, but if under 50% Trump will likely win. Also if the third party candidates combine exceed 10%, Trump wins, but if under 5% than Clinton wins so that is her focus.

  5. MississaugaPeter says:

    Just sad that Johnson was not included. Would have shaken the whole thing up even more. Oh well.

    Hyped as one for the ages, it probably will not be. They usually never are.

    I expect Trump to knock Hillary down (she is such a flawed Democratic presidential candidate), but then I am reminded of Justin’s outstanding debate performance and realize predicting these kinds of things is plain stupidity. I just don’t see Hillary being able to learn new tricks. Trump on the other hand, has shown uncharacteristic control since the new folks came on board. I am sure they, like Justin’s folks, will have prepared Trump for tonight.

    All I can say is that I think the Democrats are idiots for using Tony Schwartz as a surrogate. He should have been used for a week, but now is everywhere. Last night, he successfully pushed the pole even lower for Trump to jump over. Claiming that Trump can’t change and has no attention span, is just ridiculous. While he may excite the Democratic hierarchy, he lowers the bar of expectation (which is not a good thing).

    Back to my original statement. I hope that somehow a few percentage points get shaken Johnson’s way after tonight, so a normal person is on that stage for the second debate.

  6. Greyapple says:

    Well, if it weren’t obvious that the stakes couldn’t be higher, several polls released today have them essentially tied nationally and in several battleground states, and Nate Silver has their chances of winning at 51.5% (Clinton) and 48.5% (Trump)! A decent performance by Trump tonight could easily put him over the top. We are staring into the abyss people!

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