Contributor Post Created with Sketch. Why Hillary Should Dodge the Debates — But Can’t

 

Writing in the London Spectator, the always astute Christopher Caldwell:

In the course of their political careers, Hillary has tended to lose ground in debates, and Trump to gain it. While one would not wish to be the aide who suggested she withdraw from a battle of wits with a man whose intellect she has ridiculed, it would have been the wiser course.

Her episode in New York makes that impossible. After her campaign’s alarming lack of transparency in the wake of it, people might decide they prefer Trump’s Putin to Clinton’s Brezhnev. They might use Hillary’s illness as a face-saving reason to vote for him. So Hillary now must travel the dangerous road to the debates, if only to show she is up to it.

The debates, the next and perhaps decisive act of this campaign.

Bring ’em on.

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  1. Kevin Creighton Contributor

    If she looks as unsteady on her pins in the debate as she did during her press conference on her plane last night, all Trump has to do in order to win is show up and have a pulse.

    • #1
    • September 18, 2016, at 1:33 PM PDT
    • Like
  2. Joseph Stanko Coolidge
    Joseph StankoJoined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Another coughing fit during the debate could sink her campaign. She’ll likely be on medication, but then there’s the danger of repeating the Rick Perry debate performance that he blamed on painkillers for his back. And did I read somewhere there will be no commercial breaks, and therefore no bathroom breaks?

    I almost feel sorry for her. Almost.

    • #2
    • September 18, 2016, at 1:33 PM PDT
    • Like
  3. Kozak Member
    KozakJoined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Hoping for a (figurative)…

    Knockout

    • #3
    • September 18, 2016, at 1:56 PM PDT
    • Like
  4. RushBabe49 Thatcher

    Rush Limbaugh has been saying all along through this campaign that the more she stays offstage, the better she does. The more often she is seen and listened-to, the worse the does. He is being proven correct.

    • #4
    • September 18, 2016, at 2:48 PM PDT
    • Like
  5. Peter Robinson Founder
    Peter Robinson

    Joseph Stanko:Another coughing fit during the debate could sink her campaign. She’ll likely be on medication, but then there’s the danger of repeating the Rick Perry debate performance that he blamed on painkillers for his back. And did I read somewhere there will be no commercial breaks, and therefore no bathroom breaks?

    I almost feel sorry for her. Almost.

    Joseph, I like you even more now that your new icon reveals you as a ‘Niners fan.

    • #5
    • September 18, 2016, at 2:50 PM PDT
    • Like
  6. KC Mulville Inactive

    Hillary’s whole candidacy is based on the assumption that she’s so obviously better, I mean so obviously better that she doesn’t have to even make the argument. It’s just so obvious, isn’t it?

    It’s like the Emperor’s New Clothes … if you assume it, you see what you assume. But if you didn’t assume it, it wouldn’t be obvious at all.

    But just as it did with the wacky socialist Bernie Sanders, Trump’s mere presence on the same stage with Hillary will equalize them. All Trump has to do is not blow it. All he has to do is not make it obvious that she’s better.

    Be dull, Donald. Remember the scene in Bull Durham where Kevin Costner tells Tim Robbins …

    Crash Davis: It’s time to work on your interviews.
    Ebby Calvin LaLoosh: My interviews? What do I gotta do?
    Crash Davis: You’re gonna have to learn your clichés. You’re gonna have to study them, you’re gonna have to know them. They’re your friends. Write this down: “We gotta play it one day at a time.”
    Ebby Calvin LaLoosh: Got to play… it’s pretty boring.
    Crash Davis: ‘Course it’s boring, that’s the point. Write it down.

    • #6
    • September 18, 2016, at 2:58 PM PDT
    • Like
  7. Thomas Parker Inactive

    I actually disagree.

    If Clinton were debating anyone else, I think this would be true, but she’s debating Trump. The way Trump loses a large amount of ground now is to make a significant error, giving the media all they need to bury him with it (rather than the media having to manufacture non-stories, like the birther thing).

    How is it that Trump is likely to err? He is most likely to err by saying something so ridiculous that the average American person will be repulsed by him, and that happens for Trump by being on the spot in a debate setting. We saw it in the Republican primary debates, so it’s not a stretch to assume he will say something self-destructive in the upcoming debates.

    To summarize, I think the opposite is true: Hillary must now win the debates to safely secure the job.

    • #7
    • September 18, 2016, at 3:07 PM PDT
    • Like
  8. iWe Reagan
    iWeJoined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Are the debates going to be while standing, or sitting?

    • #8
    • September 18, 2016, at 3:26 PM PDT
    • Like
  9. Joseph Stanko Coolidge
    Joseph StankoJoined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Thomas Parker: How is it that Trump is likely to err?

    I think he could also lose if he relies too much on his angry bully persona from the GOP debates. Despite the best efforts of the feminists to stamp out all remaining traces of chivalry in our society, I don’t think the perception that he’s bullying a sickly, frail grandmother will play the same way as the perception that he established himself as the alpha male among a group of younger male rivals who should’ve been able to defend themselves.

    • #9
    • September 18, 2016, at 3:30 PM PDT
    • Like
  10. Joseph Stanko Coolidge
    Joseph StankoJoined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Peter Robinson: Joseph, I like you even more now that your new icon reveals you as a ‘Niners fan.

    And season ticket holder! I was there for our glorious victory over Los Angeles Monday night. We won’t speak about this morning’s road game…

    • #10
    • September 18, 2016, at 3:33 PM PDT
    • Like
  11. rico Inactive

    iWe:Are the debates going to be while standing, or sitting?

    …or, maybe leaning against bollards?

    • #11
    • September 18, 2016, at 4:32 PM PDT
    • Like
  12. Profile Photo Member

    iWe:Are the debates going to be while standing, or sitting?

    Hopefully ice skates. Won’t have to worry about over heating.

    • #12
    • September 18, 2016, at 4:32 PM PDT
    • Like
  13. rico Inactive

    Joseph Stanko:

    Thomas Parker: How is it that Trump is likely to err?

    I think he could also lose if he relies too much on his angry bully persona from the GOP debates. Despite the best efforts of the feminists to stamp out all remaining traces of chivalry in our society, I don’t think the perception that he’s bullying a sickly, frail grandmother will play the same way as the perception that he established himself as the alpha male among a group of younger male rivals who should’ve been able to defend themselves.

    Why would he bring back the old playbook when the new playbook is working so well?

    • #13
    • September 18, 2016, at 4:34 PM PDT
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  14. Thomas Parker Inactive

    rico:Why would he bring back the old playbook when the new playbook is working so well?

    Because he’s Donald Trump and has shown an inability to control himself at times.

    • #14
    • September 18, 2016, at 4:50 PM PDT
    • Like
  15. Gazpacho Grande' Coolidge

    Joseph Stanko:

    Thomas Parker: How is it that Trump is likely to err?

    I think he could also lose if he relies too much on his angry bully persona from the GOP debates. Despite the best efforts of the feminists to stamp out all remaining traces of chivalry in our society, I don’t think the perception that he’s bullying a sickly, frail grandmother will play the same way as the perception that he established himself as the alpha male among a group of younger male rivals who should’ve been able to defend themselves.

    Don’t worry. She’ll power through.

    • #15
    • September 18, 2016, at 4:50 PM PDT
    • Like
  16. rico Inactive

    Peter Robinson: The debates, the next and perhaps decisive act of this campaign.

    I’ve argued that the race is clearly trending Trump’s way. Absent the debates, Hillary has no real opportunity to reverse that trend. She needs the debates more than he does.

    It’s possible that voters will be impressed by Hillary’s command of policy details (without considering the ineffectiveness of those policies) and her name-dropping of obscure prime ministers drawn from her impressive rolodex. But I think that Trump’s vision for a brighter future will win voters’ hearts, and likely, their votes.

    • #16
    • September 18, 2016, at 4:57 PM PDT
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  17. Marion Evans Inactive

    Bernie is a much better debater than Trump and Hillary held her own just fine. I wouldn’t assume anything.

    • #17
    • September 18, 2016, at 5:02 PM PDT
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  18. schubie Member

    Do you think anyone will notice the two people standing next to Hillary holding her up?

    • #18
    • September 18, 2016, at 5:06 PM PDT
    • Like
  19. rico Inactive

    Thomas Parker:

    rico:Why would he bring back the old playbook when the new playbook is working so well?

    Because he’s Donald Trump and has shown an inability to control himself at times.

    Many people, including those in the D.C. media are embarrassing themselves because of the “because he’s Donald Trump” mindset. They are well-versed on Donald Trump’s antics of an earlier stage of his campaign, but. they haven’t yet grasped the current Donald Trump campaign strategy. They’ve convinced themselves that Trump is by nature out of control.

    He’ll make mistakes along the way, but probably not the type of mistakes everyone is betting on.

    • #19
    • September 18, 2016, at 5:08 PM PDT
    • Like
  20. Kozak Member
    KozakJoined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    schubie:Do you think anyone will notice the two people standing next to Hillary holding her up?

    puppet

    • #20
    • September 18, 2016, at 5:16 PM PDT
    • Like
  21. The Reticulator Member

    Why couldn’t she use Sidney Blumenthal as a stand in? He’s quick, and does a lot of her thinking, anyway.

    • #21
    • September 18, 2016, at 5:25 PM PDT
    • Like
  22. Gazpacho Grande' Coolidge

    Kozak:

    schubie:Do you think anyone will notice the two people standing next to Hillary holding her up?

    puppet

    This is fantastic.

    • #22
    • September 18, 2016, at 5:49 PM PDT
    • Like
  23. rico Inactive

    Kozak:

    schubie:Do you think anyone will notice the two people standing next to Hillary holding her up?

    puppet

    I really wish you had provided a trigger warning.

    • #23
    • September 18, 2016, at 5:59 PM PDT
    • 1 like
  24. Doctor Robert Member

    Joseph Stanko: I almost feel sorry for her. Almost.

    Don’t.

    She wants to ruin your country, and she has no pity for you. Not a shred. You’re deplorable.

    • #24
    • September 18, 2016, at 6:01 PM PDT
    • Like
  25. Trinity Waters Inactive

    Thomas Parker:I actually disagree.

    If Clinton were debating anyone else, I think this would be true, but she’s debating Trump. The way Trump loses a large amount of ground now is to make a significant error, giving the media all they need to bury him with it (rather than the media having to manufacture non-stories, like the birther thing).

    How is it that Trump is likely to err? He is most likely to err by saying something so ridiculous that the average American person will be repulsed by him, and that happens for Trump by being on the spot in a debate setting. We saw it in the Republican primary debates, so it’s not a stretch to assume he will say something self-destructive in the upcoming debates.

    To summarize, I think the opposite is true: Hillary must now win the debates to safely secure the job.

    Time to catch up on the news. Trump has begun a new phase in his campaign since the primaries are over. And, even so, every “significant error” he made back in the primaries never hurt him. He’s going to trounce Thunder Rodent Thighs, and soundly. She has now trashed her brand, just like in 08.

    • #25
    • September 18, 2016, at 6:38 PM PDT
    • Like
  26. Bruce Caward Thatcher
    Bruce CawardJoined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Remember, Hillary will have the moderator, the in-studio audience, and all of the main stream analysts afterward massaging and reforming whatever she did into a great victory.

    Trump may be able to prevail anyway because he is still stubbornly unkillable. But any one of the other sixteen, nice guys all, would be destroyed. Even if she collapsed into unconsciousness on stage and they brought a muppet out to finish her performance, the impossibly well-entrenched Clinton Machine would make it work, no sweat.

    Remember, Barnum’s audiences wanted to be fooled; they booed anyone exposing the tricks. Clintons’ supporters want it too. That’s why Trump isn’t disagreed with, he’s hated.

    He is the unlooked for thing, the monkey wrench they hadn’t anticipated. God help us if they regroup in time and manage to take him out.

    • #26
    • September 18, 2016, at 6:56 PM PDT
    • Like
  27. Joseph Stanko Coolidge
    Joseph StankoJoined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    rico:

    Thomas Parker:

    rico:Why would he bring back the old playbook when the new playbook is working so well?

    Because he’s Donald Trump and has shown an inability to control himself at times.

    Many people, including those in the D.C. media are embarrassing themselves because of the “because he’s Donald Trump” mindset. They are well-versed on Donald Trump’s antics of an earlier stage of his campaign, but. they haven’t yet grasped the current Donald Trump campaign strategy.

    True, but he hasn’t been in a debate since the primaries ended. IMHO he was at his worst in the debates: bullying, mocking, angry, and lacking substance.

    He’s better at his rallies, where he seems more genuine and seems to be enjoying himself. He seemed genuinely modest and self-effacing when he let Jimmy Fallon muss his hair. He looked downright presidential standing next to the President of Mexico.

    All I’m saying is: if he behaves the same way in this debate as he did in all the prior ones, I don’t think it will play well. Does he know any other way to debate? We’ll find out soon.

    • #27
    • September 18, 2016, at 8:05 PM PDT
    • Like
  28. rico Inactive

    Joseph Stanko:

    rico:

    Thomas Parker:

    rico:Why would he bring back the old playbook when the new playbook is working so well?

    Because he’s Donald Trump and has shown an inability to control himself at times.

    Many people, including those in the D.C. media are embarrassing themselves because of the “because he’s Donald Trump” mindset. They are well-versed on Donald Trump’s antics of an earlier stage of his campaign, but. they haven’t yet grasped the current Donald Trump campaign strategy.

    True, but he hasn’t been in a debate since the primaries ended. IMHO he was at his worst in the debates: bullying, mocking, angry, and lacking substance.

    He’s better at his rallies, where he seems more genuine and seems to be enjoying himself. He seemed genuinely modest and self-effacing when he let Jimmy Fallon muss his hair. He looked downright presidential standing next to the President of Mexico.

    All I’m saying is: if he behaves the same way in this debate as he did in all the prior ones, I don’t think it will play well. Does he know any other way to debate? We’ll find out soon.

    I don’t disagree with you. I don’t believe he’ll revert to his primaries debate model because his purpose then was entirely different than it will be against Hillary.

    • #28
    • September 18, 2016, at 8:24 PM PDT
    • Like
  29. Jamie Lockett Inactive

    Peter Robinson:

    Joseph Stanko:Another coughing fit during the debate could sink her campaign. She’ll likely be on medication, but then there’s the danger of repeating the Rick Perry debate performance that he blamed on painkillers for his back. And did I read somewhere there will be no commercial breaks, and therefore no bathroom breaks?

    I almost feel sorry for her. Almost.

    Joseph, I like you even more now that your new icon reveals you as a ‘Niners fan.

    If either of you want to go to a game let me know, I have season tickets.

    • #29
    • September 18, 2016, at 9:06 PM PDT
    • 1 like
  30. KC Mulville Inactive

    Joseph Stanko: All I’m saying is: if he behaves the same way in this debate as he did in all the prior ones, I don’t think it will play well. Does he know any other way to debate? We’ll find out soon.

    I agree. This is different than the primaries. I also agree with the canard that if it’s about Hillary, Trump wins. If it’s about Trump, Hillary wins. Especially in the first debate, it’ll be important for Trump to not make it about him. Make Hillary answer for her record, but make sure to reinforce the idea that “travelling” and “advocating” are not really achievements.

    At some point, you can guarantee that Hillary will declare that she has been trying to advance her causes for four decades – but she’s all words, and she has no concrete actions to tout as successes. Trump has to be ready with a concise retort. I’d suggest “all words, no success” or something like that. She’s like the really hard worker who puts in lots of hours … but never makes a sale. As president, we need a closer. Hillary’s not a closer.

    In any event, please assure us that the Trump campaign is, at least, preparing for that sort of thing. Does Donald go into a deal meeting cold? This is the deal meeting.

    • #30
    • September 18, 2016, at 9:08 PM PDT
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