The Debate Schedule Helps Trump

Who won the first debate on September 26?  Perhaps a better question might be which candidate performed worse.  Trump had several opportunities to score better in the debate than he did, and Hillary was her usual plastic phony self, but she avoided any real mistakes.  Give her a modest edge in this first presidential debate, but give Republicans a clear edge to do better and better in the next three.

Mike Pence is smart, pleasant, likeable, and experienced.  There is every reason to believe he will do better against Tim Kaine than Trump did against Hillary.  In fact, Pence will probably do better than Kaine on form because Pence was a successful conservative media personality on radio and television, and this experience shows in how he handles the media.

Because of the age of the two presidential candidates, voters may be more interested in the vice presidential debates than in a typical presidential election year.  Equally importantly, this vice presidential debate will give the Republican ticket an upward trajectory from the September 26 debate so that going into the second presidential debate on October 9, assuming that the format of this debate is more favorable to Trump than the first debate, Trump can push ahead of Hillary.

The October 9 debate has a town meeting format, which will allow questions to both candidates from ordinary voters.  This is the sort of format in which Trump has done well, while it should terrify Hillary.  No moderator is going to ask her about Juanita Broaddrick or Kathleen Willey or any other the other women raped or abused or terrorized by her husband while Hillary sat saying and doing nothing.  If Trump raises that subject, he could take flak, but if a woman in the audience asks about these, what can Hillary do?  Not much.

In the first debate, Trump faced the first female presidential candidate in her first debate and faced a "person of color" moderator who was clearly in Hillary's corner.  Lester Holt, predictably, asked Trump questions intended to show his imagined racism, and Trump could not effectively respond that Holt was focusing on those issues.  Hillary prodded Trump as a sexist (forget her husband as a rapist).  Reacting too strongly to either of these leftists could have backfired.

When ordinary Americans ask questions of candidates, this may be the first time ever that Hillary, while America watches, will have to explain the unexplainable offenses of Bill and herself against women or the obvious questions about the Clinton Foundation, the email scandal, and her endless lifetime of outright lies.  ("Mrs. Clinton, when you told America you were named in honor of Sir Edmund Hillary climbing Mt. Everest, you were lying, weren't you?")

Hillary, who could not have sweated too much imaging what Lester Holt would ask her, may sweat a lot imaging what ordinary voters in this sort of setting may ask her.  Trump, much more than Hillary, will be more in his element.  He doesn't need to shock, but simply be real and spontaneous, two qualities Hillary utterly lacks.  While the two moderators are both confirmed leftists like Holt, they cannot moderate how questions are asked and what is actually asked by participants.

Coming out of the second presidential debate and out of the only vice presidential debate a few days earlier, the Republican ticket could easily be seen as leading the debate series 2 to 1.  The last debate is the only one with a truly neutral moderator, Chris Wallace, whose father was an icon at CBS and whose credentials cannot seriously be questioned by anyone.

While Wallace will – and should – press Trump on things he has gotten wrong or fibbed about, Wallace will also press Hillary about the things she has gotten wrong or fibbed about.  Just the email scandal and the Clinton Foundation are enough to sink any candidate forced to really answer the questions.

Hillary's public record requires her to defend a ghastly legion of calamitous and hideous failures and tacitly to endorse the grand debacle that is Obama.  What about Trump's proposed policies?  Well, Trump's ideas have yet to be tested in the White House...and Trump ought to remind voters of that on every occasion.  So here, in the last debate, with some momentum going into the vice presidential and second presidential debates, Trump, like another New Yorker at bat for the Yankees many decades ago, can point into the stands and knock one out of the ballpark. 

Who won the first debate on September 26?  Perhaps a better question might be which candidate performed worse.  Trump had several opportunities to score better in the debate than he did, and Hillary was her usual plastic phony self, but she avoided any real mistakes.  Give her a modest edge in this first presidential debate, but give Republicans a clear edge to do better and better in the next three.

Mike Pence is smart, pleasant, likeable, and experienced.  There is every reason to believe he will do better against Tim Kaine than Trump did against Hillary.  In fact, Pence will probably do better than Kaine on form because Pence was a successful conservative media personality on radio and television, and this experience shows in how he handles the media.

Because of the age of the two presidential candidates, voters may be more interested in the vice presidential debates than in a typical presidential election year.  Equally importantly, this vice presidential debate will give the Republican ticket an upward trajectory from the September 26 debate so that going into the second presidential debate on October 9, assuming that the format of this debate is more favorable to Trump than the first debate, Trump can push ahead of Hillary.

The October 9 debate has a town meeting format, which will allow questions to both candidates from ordinary voters.  This is the sort of format in which Trump has done well, while it should terrify Hillary.  No moderator is going to ask her about Juanita Broaddrick or Kathleen Willey or any other the other women raped or abused or terrorized by her husband while Hillary sat saying and doing nothing.  If Trump raises that subject, he could take flak, but if a woman in the audience asks about these, what can Hillary do?  Not much.

In the first debate, Trump faced the first female presidential candidate in her first debate and faced a "person of color" moderator who was clearly in Hillary's corner.  Lester Holt, predictably, asked Trump questions intended to show his imagined racism, and Trump could not effectively respond that Holt was focusing on those issues.  Hillary prodded Trump as a sexist (forget her husband as a rapist).  Reacting too strongly to either of these leftists could have backfired.

When ordinary Americans ask questions of candidates, this may be the first time ever that Hillary, while America watches, will have to explain the unexplainable offenses of Bill and herself against women or the obvious questions about the Clinton Foundation, the email scandal, and her endless lifetime of outright lies.  ("Mrs. Clinton, when you told America you were named in honor of Sir Edmund Hillary climbing Mt. Everest, you were lying, weren't you?")

Hillary, who could not have sweated too much imaging what Lester Holt would ask her, may sweat a lot imaging what ordinary voters in this sort of setting may ask her.  Trump, much more than Hillary, will be more in his element.  He doesn't need to shock, but simply be real and spontaneous, two qualities Hillary utterly lacks.  While the two moderators are both confirmed leftists like Holt, they cannot moderate how questions are asked and what is actually asked by participants.

Coming out of the second presidential debate and out of the only vice presidential debate a few days earlier, the Republican ticket could easily be seen as leading the debate series 2 to 1.  The last debate is the only one with a truly neutral moderator, Chris Wallace, whose father was an icon at CBS and whose credentials cannot seriously be questioned by anyone.

While Wallace will – and should – press Trump on things he has gotten wrong or fibbed about, Wallace will also press Hillary about the things she has gotten wrong or fibbed about.  Just the email scandal and the Clinton Foundation are enough to sink any candidate forced to really answer the questions.

Hillary's public record requires her to defend a ghastly legion of calamitous and hideous failures and tacitly to endorse the grand debacle that is Obama.  What about Trump's proposed policies?  Well, Trump's ideas have yet to be tested in the White House...and Trump ought to remind voters of that on every occasion.  So here, in the last debate, with some momentum going into the vice presidential and second presidential debates, Trump, like another New Yorker at bat for the Yankees many decades ago, can point into the stands and knock one out of the ballpark.