How Trump Wins the Debates

Americans will be watching the presidential debates closely – not for policies or ideas, but for images and demeanor.  This creates a clear opening for Donald Trump.  Hillary has hidden behind flacks and party hacks and pandering and controlled media.  Trump has behaved exactly the opposite way, speaking for himself, attacking party machines, and acting often unscripted.

No one who watches the debates is really going to be interested in what Hillary says or does.  Even her supporters can turn on the mute button when she is answering questions.  In the last quarter-century, Hillary has never said anything new or original, and her strategy is to waddle behind the Obama presidency and hope no one pays much attention to her.

Everyone who watches the debates is going to be interested in Trump.  Is he going to say something outrageous?  Is he going to somehow “offend” some group?  Is he going to say something really dumb?  Clearly Hillary hopes so, but dreaming that Trump is dumb or does not understand media or cannot learn is a brainless strategy.

Trump has already learned how to command media attention while still doing really smart things like sharing the stage with Mexico’s president and visiting disaster scenes and going to blighted black areas with Dr. Carson – and, having supported police when they were clearly right, questioning what may be poor officer judgment in the Tulsa shooting.

Trump also is a much nicer person than he has been portrayed by the leftist establishment media.  People who actually know Trump like him, and when even your ex-wife has good things to say about you, that is saying quite a bit.  Donald Trump, comfortable in front of the camera, can and ought to protect a pleasant and relaxed persona during the debates.  He ought to recall that Ronald Reagan was smeared as an angry nut until Americans saw who he really was in the 1980 debates and came to really like who Reagan was as a person.

Hillary, of course, is as nasty and dishonest and spoiled as any political figure in American political history.  Not only is that image firmly fixed, but the image reflects reality.  Her screeching voice, her arrogant indifference to others, her crude lust for power, and every other unappealing aspect of her nature, which is to say every aspect of her nature, ooze from every pore.

Beyond all that, Hillary is clearly physically feeble, and if she has to sit down or if she wobbles on the stage or sweats like Nixon in 1960 or drinks too much water, then that will become the story of her appearance in the debates. 

Hillary is short, too.  People judge leaders by height even if they pretend not to do so.   Not only is the height difference between Trump and Hillary greater than between the major party presidential candidates in the last two hundred years, but Hillary, if elected, would be shorter than any president in more than two hundred years.  Moreover, in the era of television presidential politics, every president elected except Jimmy Carter was about six feet tall. 

If Hillary was elected, she would be the fattest president since William Howard Taft, the shortest president since James Madison, and the second oldest president in American history.  These very visible factors will quietly blend into the evaluation voters will make of her, whatever she says during the debates, especially as voters also try to figure out if she is really healthy or if she is lying about that, as she lies about almost everything.

Trump, in contrast, exudes energy and health, and while he is even older than Hillary and while he is chubby, too, the way he carries himself bespeaks a different sort of person from Mrs. William Jefferson Clinton. 

What all this means is that Hillary enters the debate with a profound optics problem, an inalterable appearance of meanness and dishonesty, and she will rely, almost entirely, upon staying on her plump, wobbly feet, mouthing dreary cant and waiting for Trump to do something stupid.  If he is smart (and he is smart), Trump will be confident, civil, strong, and clear...and if he does that, he will win.

Americans will be watching the presidential debates closely – not for policies or ideas, but for images and demeanor.  This creates a clear opening for Donald Trump.  Hillary has hidden behind flacks and party hacks and pandering and controlled media.  Trump has behaved exactly the opposite way, speaking for himself, attacking party machines, and acting often unscripted.

No one who watches the debates is really going to be interested in what Hillary says or does.  Even her supporters can turn on the mute button when she is answering questions.  In the last quarter-century, Hillary has never said anything new or original, and her strategy is to waddle behind the Obama presidency and hope no one pays much attention to her.

Everyone who watches the debates is going to be interested in Trump.  Is he going to say something outrageous?  Is he going to somehow “offend” some group?  Is he going to say something really dumb?  Clearly Hillary hopes so, but dreaming that Trump is dumb or does not understand media or cannot learn is a brainless strategy.

Trump has already learned how to command media attention while still doing really smart things like sharing the stage with Mexico’s president and visiting disaster scenes and going to blighted black areas with Dr. Carson – and, having supported police when they were clearly right, questioning what may be poor officer judgment in the Tulsa shooting.

Trump also is a much nicer person than he has been portrayed by the leftist establishment media.  People who actually know Trump like him, and when even your ex-wife has good things to say about you, that is saying quite a bit.  Donald Trump, comfortable in front of the camera, can and ought to protect a pleasant and relaxed persona during the debates.  He ought to recall that Ronald Reagan was smeared as an angry nut until Americans saw who he really was in the 1980 debates and came to really like who Reagan was as a person.

Hillary, of course, is as nasty and dishonest and spoiled as any political figure in American political history.  Not only is that image firmly fixed, but the image reflects reality.  Her screeching voice, her arrogant indifference to others, her crude lust for power, and every other unappealing aspect of her nature, which is to say every aspect of her nature, ooze from every pore.

Beyond all that, Hillary is clearly physically feeble, and if she has to sit down or if she wobbles on the stage or sweats like Nixon in 1960 or drinks too much water, then that will become the story of her appearance in the debates. 

Hillary is short, too.  People judge leaders by height even if they pretend not to do so.   Not only is the height difference between Trump and Hillary greater than between the major party presidential candidates in the last two hundred years, but Hillary, if elected, would be shorter than any president in more than two hundred years.  Moreover, in the era of television presidential politics, every president elected except Jimmy Carter was about six feet tall. 

If Hillary was elected, she would be the fattest president since William Howard Taft, the shortest president since James Madison, and the second oldest president in American history.  These very visible factors will quietly blend into the evaluation voters will make of her, whatever she says during the debates, especially as voters also try to figure out if she is really healthy or if she is lying about that, as she lies about almost everything.

Trump, in contrast, exudes energy and health, and while he is even older than Hillary and while he is chubby, too, the way he carries himself bespeaks a different sort of person from Mrs. William Jefferson Clinton. 

What all this means is that Hillary enters the debate with a profound optics problem, an inalterable appearance of meanness and dishonesty, and she will rely, almost entirely, upon staying on her plump, wobbly feet, mouthing dreary cant and waiting for Trump to do something stupid.  If he is smart (and he is smart), Trump will be confident, civil, strong, and clear...and if he does that, he will win.