Sounds like she’s got this…

From an article on debate prep in today’s NYT:

The Clinton camp believes that Mr. Trump is most insecure about his intelligence, his net worth and his image as a successful businessman, and those are the areas they are working with Mrs. Clinton to target.

Bingo. Trump, meanwhile, isn’t doing much prep at all, according to the Times piece. He’s convinced it’s not necessary since he easily vanquished the Republican field.

Do y’all enjoy watching presidential debates? I do in the primaries, but I dread them during the general election season. There’s just too much at stake, and I’ve seen too many debates turn on stupid and meaningless soundbites and media spin, so I watch them much as I’d view a slasher movie — peeking through my fingers and muttering, “Dear God, what are you thinking?!? No! Don’t go into the basement!!!”






242 replies
  1. 1
    Patricia Kayden says:

    I didn’t enjoy watching Romney Gish Gallop over President Obama in 2012 during their first debate but I’m going to love watching Secretary Clinton egg The Donald into uncontrolled blind rage. There is no way that Trump doesn’t get so provoked that he storms off the stage since his skin is so thin that it’s translucent.

  2. 2
    Woodrowfan says:

    so I watch them much as I’d view a slasher movie — peeking through my fingers and muttering, “Dear God, what are you thinking?!? No! Don’t go into the basement!!!”

    same here. especially as the press plays the whole “sure the republican is lying and we know it, but let’s pretend he’s not” game

  3. 3
    Matt McIrvin says:

    I dread the embarrassment-squick of them and don’t watch them at all, in primary or general-election season. I read liveblogs and watch highlights after the fact if they seem interesting. I don’t regard them as actually conveying important information that I don’t already know, so the interesting story is all about how other people react. But it does mean that I forfeit the ability to make independent judgments about the candidates’ demeanor and body language.

  4. 4
    Yellowdog says:

    I was seriously traumatised by the first Obama/Romney debate. I don’t know if I’ll even be able to follow this one on a live blog without Xanax or similar.

  5. 5
    Jeffro says:

    Well as long as Clinton doesn’t sigh, she should be fine, right?

  6. 6
    germy says:

    and those are the areas they are working with Mrs. Clinton to target.

    But why reveal that? What ever happened to the element of surprise?

  7. 7
    JMG says:

    If Trump does not actually call Clinton a dirty name or break into random sound babbling for his conclusion he will be named the “winner” of the first debate by all media and those focus groups of nitwits all the cable nets love to convene. There is literally nothing Clinton can do to win, because if she does “win” the election is over and that cannot be allowed.

  8. 8
    germy says:

    Do we know yet who the debate moderators are? Hugh Hewitt? Hannity? O’Reilly?

    Jon Karl?

  9. 9
    Matt McIrvin says:

    @Patricia Kayden: Josh Marshall was really disturbed by the report that the commission on debates hadn’t yet settled on moderators, because they were trying desperately to find someone the Trump team wouldn’t regard as biased. That pretty much means the moderators are going to have to be entirely in the tank for Trump, which could make this more difficult than we think. The subjects will be Hillary Clinton’s emails, Anthony Weiner’s wiener and optionally Bill Clinton’s wiener.

  10. 10
    Betty Cracker says:

    I think the first GWB-Gore debate scarred me for life — or rather, the reaction to it. It was so damn obvious that Gore was miles away the more qualified and knowledgeable candidate, and yet the media went gaga over Bush because he managed not to soil himself.

  11. 11
    waspuppet says:

    In short, she’s going to contest the privileged assumption that a white guy who has been in business for some years and managed not to blow his entire inheritance is inherently qualified for the presidency and anyone who challenges that needs to explain why they maybe could be considered just as qualified. Excellent!

  12. 12
    Kay says:

    Preparation is very cold and aggressive and calculating, don’t you think? I guarantee that if she excels at this it will be due to her she-devil-ness. They’ll lower the bar for Trump to “stands upright” and turn something she is very good at into something bad.

  13. 13
    Baud says:

    Nothing about his small hands. Am disappointed.

  14. 14
    germy says:

    @Betty Cracker: Poor W was the victim of “the soft bigotry of low expectations”

  15. 15
    JMG says:

    There is a not insignificant percentage of men who will be both enraged and terrified if Clinton dominates Trump during the debate. So they’ll just deny it happened.
    Oh, I just thought of something. Is Sully going to live blog these? His 2012 ones were amazing examples of hysteria.

  16. 16
    JPL says:

    @Betty Cracker: What about Ms., I want to talk about oil and can I call you Joe, Palin. I’ll watch as long as I have wine in the house.

  17. 17
    El Caganer says:

    @Matt McIrvin: Email and wiener? An internet sausage fest?

  18. 18
    ChicagoPat says:

    @Patricia Kayden: I believe 2012 would have been a blowout if Obama had been more on his game during that first debate. RMoney was cratering, and that debate gave the Teabaggers just enough fire to justify turning out. If you look at the poll trends during that time, that debate had a HUGE impact on the race. I don’t think these debates will be nearly as pivotal for Clinton, but if she does well and shows him up, it could further demoralize those R’s with some pretense to self respect…

  19. 19
    El Caganer says:

    @Baud: Maybe that’s being saved for the knockout punch.

  20. 20
    Kay says:

    I noticed the moron wears the ball cap all the time now, like a 6 year old. Can we have a President who dresses like a grown-up while he’s working or is that too much to ask?

  21. 21
    MattF says:

    I’m standing by my recommendation for giving the moderators tranq dart guns.

  22. 22
    Kay says:

    @JMG:

    There is a not insignificant percentage of men who will be both enraged and terrified if Clinton dominates Trump during the debate. So they’ll just deny it happened.

    No they won’t. They’ll say she wasn’t warm and personable and humble enough. It’s a code. “Hard working” means she’s not a “natural”. They just devalue what she has and elevate something else.

  23. 23
    Peale says:

    @Kay: I’ll g e him credit for wearing it properly. Not tucking his ears inside like I see so many kids do these days. He wears it formally. He’s really speaking the truth with that cap.

  24. 24
    Betty Cracker says:

    @Kay: Elizabeth Warren was right about that stupid hat — he does look like a goofy bastard in it. Maybe he’s covering up a hair crisis. He looks puffy as hell too lately. Could be this unaccustomed level of activity is getting to him. He talks about Clinton’s “stamina” all the time now, and as we know, it’s all about projection with Crooked Donald.

  25. 25
    JPL says:

    The only prep Donald will receive is a glass of water and a x.anax.

  26. 26
    Baud says:

    “Secretary Clinton, exactly how many men have you killed?”

  27. 27
    dmsilev says:

    @Peale: Perhaps his next ‘campaign pivot’ will be to turn the cap around and face it backwards.

  28. 28
    Peale says:

    @Betty Cracker: well he’s the one canceling events, so clearly she lacks stamina. And he is covering up his last dye job. It turned his hair bluish green. I can not imaging what would happen if she showed up with blue green hair.

  29. 29
    Kay says:

    @Peale:

    The bill looks too big. They made the cap wrong. There’s something off about it. It’s probably him. He probably exaggerates his head size. His suits are too big, too. It’s a pattern. I love those people because it’s as if the size in their delusional heads is an actual measurement. We can see.

  30. 30
    dmsilev says:

    @Baud:

    “Secretary Clinton, exactly how many men have you killed?”

    [pulls out throwing knife; pins moderator’s notes to desk]
    “There’s always room for one more. Next question?”

  31. 31
    Just Some Fuckhead says:

    If Danger Monkey with a hump on his back can “beat” Al Gore in a debate, Trump can certainly win. There will be a lot of interest on behalf of the chattering class in making this a close race.

  32. 32
    Stacy says:

    It’s already being played as Clinton being the know-it-all girl because she’s going to use facts and stuff. He, of course, is going to use bad words loudly which will prove he’s more aggressive and therefore more presidential.

  33. 33
    MomSense says:

    @JPL:

    Do they sell wine kegs? I’m thinking it will take that much to get us through this.

  34. 34
    Peale says:

    @Baud: “not as many as you’d think.”

  35. 35
    Tilda Swinton's Bald Cap says:

    @Kay: This will be a golden opportunity for the MSM to stick a shiv into Hillary and they will do it for the reasons you mention. Also, pantsuit !

  36. 36
    Kay says:

    @Baud:

    I saw on Twitter that they said “emails” 27 times on Meet the Press. The email line of inquiry may never end. If I were her I would come out and say “you know what? I’m done with emails. No more sending those, ever. You’ll all receive a letter on it w/in 3 days”.

  37. 37
    debit says:

    @MomSense: You can always go for a wine box. FSM help me, I may need one too to survive this election.

  38. 38
    Anonymous At Work says:

    1. His greatest insecurity is something else but doubtful it’ll come up, ever.
    2. Trump’s “standard to beat” is not calling her the c-word on live national television.

  39. 39
    cmorenc says:

    @Betty Cracker:

    I’ve seen too many debates turn on stupid and meaningless soundbites and media spin

    For example, in addition to “le Sigh” in the 2000 Bush v. Gore debate, there was also the phenomena that the Bush team was so successful in implanting such low expectations for Bush’s performance and such high expectations for Gore’s performance, that Bush’s grade-school level simplistic, syntax-challenged performance was received by the media as an unexpected success, and Gore’s sometimes visible annoyance with having to respond to such a dumbly fact-challenged performance by Bush was received by the media as underwhelming. Clinton is much better on her feet than Gore was, but nonetheless, she risks a similar dynamic if Trump’s campaign team manages to slip him just-enough Xanax to desensitize his temper and insecurities, without turning him into a zombie.

  40. 40
    Kay says:

    @Tilda Swinton’s Bald Cap:

    I’m genuinely interested, because there is a double standard on “aggression” and it’s rigorously enforced. The first pundit who says she didn’t smile enough should drop thru a trap door on the set. I need a foot lever.

  41. 41
    cmorenc says:

    Where is the list of magic words or subjects that auto-steer one’s comment into moderation? I cannot fathom what possibly got a comment I made on the upcoming Clinton v Trump debate into moderation, but somehow I stepped on one of those automated buttons. ?????

  42. 42
    Peale says:

    @Kay: she should. Maybe include a spritz of perfume if she likes the recipient. Let them spend time trying to sniff letters all day to look for signs of influence peddling.

  43. 43
    Just Some Fuckhead says:

    @Kay:

    They’ll lower the bar for Trump to “stands upright” and turn something she is very good at into something bad.

    I think their standard will be Trump wins if he doesn’t insult Clinton. And that may be doable if at least two of the moderators are providing Clinton insults with the nature of the debate questions.

  44. 44
    MattF says:

    @Kay: Yes, but there’s also a line male debaters mustn’t cross with women– Hilz’s NY opponent in her Senate race crossed it in their debate, and that was that.

  45. 45
    Eric U. says:

    @germy: I think it might be a head fake. They should probably tweet about the areas he’s sensitive so he is sure to see it. Then he’ll bring it up, just like he did with the hands

  46. 46
    shomi says:

    My guess is that the Drumpster is going to come up with some lame excuse to cancel as many debates as possible. Probably will wait for one moderated by Fox New or Brietbart or whatever.

    Clinton will absolutely annihilate him as long as the moderators let her. I am positive about that. They know he will come out swinging like some schoolyard bully and have some talking points ready about her nontroversies. Doesn’t matter. There is nobody I can think of that is more capable of handling someone like the Drumpster than Clinton. She will have him figuratively curling up in the fetal position by the time it’s over.

  47. 47
    NCSteve says:

    What a weird story. Barely an allusion to even the existence of a source. And assuming the NYT didn’t just hallucinate it all into existence out of thinly sourced snippits, I can’t for the life of me figure out whether we’re looking at a reversion to Old Clinton Hands blabbing to reporters out of school to emphasis their own importance or whether there’s some sophisticated psy-ops purpose for the leaks I’m not smart enough to grasp.

  48. 48
    artem1s says:

    I’m tempted to not watch at all. I will probably only follow a live blog. It’s time we stopped rewarding the media for treating this like a football game or the Olympics or something. It should be staid. It should be serious. And dare I say it, boring. They should not be live broadcast. Why are these things live broadcast in front of a live audience? There will be no valuable information gathered or covered. Instead the media will spend the whole 90 minutes trying to manufacture dramatic moments that they can breathlessly mull over for a week. It is ruining our country and I’m sick of it.

  49. 49
    MomSense says:

    @debit:

    Seriously. By the end we will be lying on the floor holding the wine box over us with the spigot open over our mouths.

  50. 50
    gogol's wife says:

    @Betty Cracker:

    Yes, that was it for me too.

  51. 51
    artem1s says:

    @NCSteve:
    well, the Clinton campaign has been pretty good at trolling Trump from the get go, so I’m going with strategic leak. On the other hand the NYT does seem to make shit up from time to time to try and mess with Hillary, so 50/50

  52. 52
    hovercraft says:

    @Jeffro:
    Or look at her watch, or sound shrill, or condescending, or get bogged down in the weeds (which I take to mean not bore the media with her knowledge), or look to stern. So basically as long as she just stands there and takes it she will come off well in the medias eyes.

  53. 53
    I'mNotSureWhoIWantToBeYet says:

    I still think that Trump won’t debate her. He’s too much of a coward. He’ll find some excuse about how “unfair” it is and will hold a Yuuge™ rally instead.

    There’s no upside for him debating her, so he won’t do it. Yeah, it’ll make some people upset for a while – he won’t care and it’ll blow over soon enough (as far as he’s concerned).

    How much has it hurt him that he hasn’t released his taxes? The lack of debates will be the same way. (Pence probably won’t debate either, because it would raise too many questions (“Why is the process fair enough for you to debate, Mike, but not for Donnie?”.)

    Cheers,
    Scott.

  54. 54
    gogol's wife says:

    @Kay:

    I think you hate him just about as much as I do. I didn’t think that was humanly possible.

  55. 55
    What Have the Romans Ever Done for Us? says:

    Y’all are a little too worried. A large chunk of the press is already starting to cover Trump as though he’s beyond the pale. Even the Washington Post is pretty much calling his candidacy an unprecedented fiasco for the GOP and American Politics. Besides which, Hillary wiped the floor with the best and brightest minds in the GOP during the marathon Benghazi hearing. Those guys all had plenty of time to prep and she torched them. If Trump isn’t preparing she’ll torch him so bad in the first debate he’ll back out of the rest of them out of sheer embarrassment. It’s going to be awesome.

  56. 56
    aimai says:

    @germy: I think the element of surprise is greatly overrated. Trump’s biggest enemy is right in Trump’s head and they are seeking to conquer him there, before he ever steps foot on the stage. Its already been shown that a self concious Trump is awkward, low energy, and very much disliked by his fans. The few speeches where he has gone on script and on teleprompter, or tried to appeal to the non troglodytes in the electorate, have been disasters.

    I think the very thing that Trump’s people said about Hillary after her Reno speech is very important. They said “He’s living rent free in her head.” This, by the way, is something that people who are wrestling with family dysfunction and trying to cut off abusive family members say–Ann Landers used to say it to her readers. “Don’t let someone live rent free in your head.” But its obvious that its not Trump who is living rent free in Hillary’s head, it is quite the other way around.

    My feeling is that he and his managers are extremely anxious about the debates and hearing that Hillary is prepping makes them even more frantic. Trump doesn’t have it in him to study or to prepare. He just doesn’t. Its not in his nature and he hasn’t been able to hire anyone, other than possibly some out of work insult comic, to coach him. So there’s nothing he can do but get more and more tense as the debates get close. He’s his own worst enemy. And they are playing him like a fish.

  57. 57
    gogol's wife says:

    The New York Times (print edition) is really making me furious. Hillary’s important speech on Trump’s racism was buried on page 12 at the bottom. But today Weiner’s dick pics are on the front page, as a problem for the Clinton campaign. I haven’t seen the front-page article on Bannon’s voter fraud and domestic violence yet. I guess I won’t hold my breath.

  58. 58
    shomi says:

    CNN was obsessing over Weiner and playing the Drumpster fire desperately seizing on that as some sort of reflection on Clinton. Couldn’t help but laugh when they quoted Drumpster as saying “there is something wrong with him mentally and she knows a lot of classified information”. Like there is a direct line from her and every whack job that could have any possible connection to the campaign. As if the Drumpster campaign isn’t filled to the rafters with whack jobs who actually have direct access to small fingers himself.

    The amount of projection the Drumpster camp is doing is quite amazing. Wonder if they are doing that on purpose. Like maybe there is some wingnut zen master that thinks it’s an “I am rubber and you are glue, whatever you throw at me bounces off and sticks to you” type deal or whatever.

    Low info voters are hopeless but I have to believe nobody is stupid enough to buy any of it.

  59. 59
    Punchy says:

    This is going to be a DINO. Trump is not going to answer the questions; he will simply bloviate nonsense, repeat “Crooked Hillary” at least 20 times, and then snarl at the questioner when the follow ups inevitably follow. He’s the hockey “enforcer” who has no real hockey skills other than to bash others to the delight of the fans and coaches.

    And not puking on his shoes will be considered a resounding Trump victory. In fact, I suspect the debate reviews will be written the day before the debate takes place.

  60. 60
    skyweaver says:

    I normally can’t stand debates for the same reason you cite here. I am feeling like I might make an exception this year, simply because the dynamics are too interesting.

  61. 61
    hovercraft says:

    @Kay:
    They’ll say he managed not to soil himself, she was knowledgeable, but he came off as warmer and more personable so he won. As long as he entertains, he will be declared the ‘winner’, and then we’ll have two weeks of the sky is falling she’s going to lose.
    Am I being too pessimistic?

  62. 62
    MattF says:

    @I’mNotSureWhoIWantToBeYet: I think the chances are about 50/50. Trump’s lagging in the polls, so that motivates him to debate– the risk/benefit tradeoff changes when you’re behind. At the same time, that tradeoff works against Hilz, since she’s already ahead. So, we shall see.

  63. 63
    aimai says:

    @Anonymous At Work: My guess is that he brings up Bill and sex thinking that it will shut her up. All of his experience is as a bully, not as a debater, he doesn’t know what to do if there is a real topic under discussion or if the audience thinks he needs to respond to a policy or discussion topic. He also thinks he wins the more vicious he is but that just plays differently with different opponents. He has only two lines–to accuse men of being women and to accuse women of being men. But hillary’s fans like her just fine so that won’t have the desired effect, and Trump has to appeal to middle of the road/anxious republicans and attacking her in a way that is gross, offensive, sexist, or just plain mean is not going to go over well with them. They want to know that he’s presidential, they want to be reassured that he’s not crazy. If she provokes him into anything really ugly she wins, hands down. But he will think he is winning if he does something unforgivable, that’s the way he sees the stage and the way he sees women.

  64. 64
    raven says:

    Another chance to freak out.

  65. 65
    Peale says:

    @skyweaver: thankfully I’ll be out of the country. I don’t think the debates will resolve anything. For people who think “presidential” means “gets to have a temper tantrum whenever he wants”, a trump meltdown will be considered a win. For those who think not having tantrums in public is the hallmark of presidential behavior…well they’ll just blame Clinton for being a manipulative bitch and causing his tantrum.

  66. 66
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @germy: I have read they are having a hard time coming up with an “unbiased” moderator.

  67. 67
    hovercraft says:

    @Kay:
    The jacket thing has been explained as him wearing a bullet proof vest. Which I find odd because our Muslim president wears shirtsleeves all the time and doesn’t appear to be wearing one, and since he’s the most threatened ever, it would seem logical that he would. Plus the media has told me repeatedly that she is the most hated person in American history, so where’s hers?

  68. 68
    amk says:

    I want to see ‘seriously, this guy?’, NMFTG Hillz.

  69. 69
    shomi says:

    @hovercraft: Yes you are. So basically your average Democrat.

  70. 70
    Face says:

    @Kay: No offense, Kay, but you’ve been exceptionally gloomy, glass-half-full-means-someone-will-spill-the-damn-glass lately. I realize this blog trends to the negative (perhaps “realistic”), but you seem especially despondent the last couple of days. You do see that Hillz can get to 270 without really breaking a sweat, right?

  71. 71
  72. 72
    MattF says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: David Broder says he prefers to stay dead.

  73. 73
    shomi says:

    They are saying that 90% have already made up their minds. Those 10% are pretty much in the bag. Normally that wouldn’t be the case but normally you do not have a qualified person running against a circus clown.

  74. 74
  75. 75
    Olivia says:

    @Kay:
    Those baseball caps are a city boy imitation of cheap seed corn and livestock feed caps that are given away to farmers in the midwest. Farmers have dozens of them and just throw them away when they are dirty and grab another. There are much better ones but the Trump cap style is cheap, ugly and disposable. He could have used a classier, better made baseball cap style but they are more expensive. It looks to me like someone on his team saw guys in worn, dirty clothing wearing this style cap and Trump’s guy decided that this is what the working man prefers.

  76. 76
    cleek says:

    the debates will be 90 minutes of Trump doing his free-associative lying shtick while Clinton fails to keep from looking exasperated.

    though they will acknowledge that he was incoherent and dishonest, the press will give Trump the win because he made her look bad. they will question her temperament – “can she stand up to the pressure of the job if she can’t handle Trump?”

  77. 77
    Martha says:

    Regarding the inevitable slam against her about her email issue: Am I the only one who thinks she should sweetly use the fact that he never sends emails against him? Take the Karl Rove approach. I think there’s an effective joke about joining the 21st century there–make him look foolish and defuse the slap at her. A major percentage of people have or do use emails for work or in their personal lives. We know what it’s like to slog through our in boxes. Him? Not so much, out of touch. Emails are going to be a baseball bat that’s used against her, so she might as well get in a few swings herself.

  78. 78
    JMG says:

    I believe that the Reno speech, accurate though it was, cost Clinton votes. The white Americans (not insane Republicans and low info independents) who were its target audience cannot abide even discussing white racism as a fact in our society. The need to deny its existence is too great. Their thought process will be, I’m not a racist, and I thinking about voting for Trump, so he can’t be a racist. Shame on her for saying so.

  79. 79
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Baud: “More than a few. You could be next.”

  80. 80
    hovercraft says:

    @cmorenc:
    So far as far as I can tell, references to games of chance and the places where they are played.
    References to the male sexual organ using the p…. term.
    And something to do with medications and the place most of us purchase them from.
    This is by no means comprehensive, these are just areas that have landed me in the penalty box.

  81. 81
    Uncle Cholmondeley says:

    @germy:

    Do we know yet who the debate moderators are?

    I think maybe it’s John Miller.

  82. 82
    Waldo says:

    @artem1s:

    the Clinton campaign has been pretty good at trolling Trump from the get go, so I’m going with strategic leak.

    Yeah, you have to think they wouldn’t open the whole playbook to the opposition before the big game — just the parts that might rattle ’em.

  83. 83
    MattF says:

    @germy: I’d assume the Sunday news show hosts are all on the A-list. And it would look bad if all the Fox News actors are excluded.

  84. 84
    rikyrah says:

    This is where Hillary being a grown up Tracy Flick works to our advantage. Ferret head isn’t a smooth liar like Willard, who can seem credible while lying through his teeth. Hillary will confront him, and her being a self-assured wonk will help cut through the bullshyt.

  85. 85
    waspuppet says:

    @shomi:

    Couldn’t help but laugh when they quoted Drumpster as saying “there is something wrong with him mentally and she knows a lot of classified information”.

    1) Maybe he just gives out info from his classified briefings to, I dunno, Ivanka and Katrina Pierson, but I don’t think Huma Abedin has a clearance.

    2) Well, you know, my wife has a Ph.D, and I am now competent to lecture in her subject field. That’s just science fact.

  86. 86
    Dork says:

    Pretty depressing to realize that there’s almost nothing Clinton can do to “win” a debate, absent Trump literally shitting himself and then wiping it all over the dais. Trump’s “victory” is assured as long as he refrains from the “c” or “b” word (and only minor damage with the “b” word) and remains upright the whole evening. Nary a single cogent policy take will be proffered by the Orange Asshole, but “winner” nonetheless.

    We’re screwed.

  87. 87
    Ceci n'est pas mon nym says:

    There was a character, I think it was Martin Short’s Ed Grimley, who I read was originally created for a sketch involving a job opening. The female candidate is obviously a superstar, Nobel Prize winner, whatever. The male candidate is s complete moron. And the interviewer keeps saying “I just can’t decide, you’re both so qualified…”

    Would this get a laugh after we’ve seen it now in so many presidential debates? A bitter one, I guess.

  88. 88
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @JMG: You can’t lose what you never had.

  89. 89
    shomi says:

    @ChicagoPat: Lol. That debate was just a blip. I remember it well. You are basically acting the same as drama queen Sully did at the time. Just like him you are wrong.

    The debates do not make that much difference. The polls are designed to over react because nobody cares about polls that show nothing changing….like most polls did when properly interpreted.

  90. 90
    hovercraft says:

    @What Have the Romans Ever Done for Us?:
    The editorial boards been done with him since July, the reporters are almost there, with a few exceptions like Robert Costa

    Donald Trump is a unique threat to American democracy

    Donald Trump addressed the GOP convention in Cleveland, Ohio, July 21. The Republican presidential candidate spoke for more than one hour, we broke it down to less than five minutes. (Deirdra O’Regan/The Washington Post)
    By Editorial Board July 22

    DONALD J. TRUMP, until now a Republican problem, this week became a challenge the nation must confront and overcome. The real estate tycoon is uniquely unqualified to serve as president, in experience and temperament. He is mounting a campaign of snarl and sneer, not substance. To the extent he has views, they are wrong in their diagnosis of America’s problems and dangerous in their proposed solutions. Mr. Trump’s politics of denigration and division could strain the bonds that have held a diverse nation together. His contempt for constitutional norms might reveal the nation’s two-century-old experiment in checks and balances to be more fragile than we knew.

    Any one of these characteristics would be disqualifying; together, they make Mr. Trump a peril. We recognize that this is not the usual moment to make such a statement. In an ordinary election year, we would acknowledge the Republican nominee, move on to the Democratic convention and spend the following months, like other voters, evaluating the candidates’ performance in debates, on the stump and in position papers. This year we will follow the campaign as always, offering honest views on all the candidates. But we cannot salute the Republican nominee or pretend that we might endorse him this fall. A Trump presidency would be dangerous for the nation and the world.

    Why are we so sure? Start with experience. It has been 64 years since a major party nominated anyone for president who did not have electoral experience. That experiment turned out pretty well — but Mr. Trump, to put it mildly, is no Dwight David Eisenhower. Leading the Allied campaign to liberate Europe from the Nazis required strategic and political skills of the first order, and Eisenhower — though he liked to emphasize his common touch as he faced the intellectual Democrat Adlai Stevenson — was shrewd, diligent, humble and thoughtful…………..

    There’s more here.

  91. 91

    @cmorenc: @hovercraft: Also, there was a troll on here using names that started with the letter R. A lot of those R words will put you in moderation too. I recently used the word r eal ity, and the post vanished.

  92. 92

    I don’t remember much about the 2000 ones.
    The 2004 debates were pretty boring but I remember when Edwards mentioned Cheney’s daughter being gay.
    The 2008 ones were pretty boring. Remember the (second?) one that ended with them just squabbling about school vouchers? But the VP one was great.
    The 2012 debates were amazing. I skipped the foreign policy one but opened up Twitter about halfway through dinner randomly and everybody was tweeting about horses and bayonets so I knew I must have missed something.
    I’m assuming debates have got more exciting over the years as our politics has gotten insaner-er.

  93. 93
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @waspuppet: I would be very surprised if Huma does not have a security clearance. She was Hill’s CoS at State.

  94. 94
    Redshift says:

    @cleek:

    the debates will be 90 minutes of Trump doing his free-associative lying shtick while Clinton fails to keep from looking exasperated.

    I think you underestimate her ability to avoid looking exasperated. Remember the Benghazi hearings? She managed to look bored or slightly bemused for eleven hours of outrageous insinuations; I think she can handle ninety minutes of Trump repeating canned insults.

  95. 95

    Clinton really is Hermione Granger, the hard-working smart girl whose hand shoots up when the teacher asks a question. Lots of people seem to resent that girl. She’s Miss Smarty Pants (Suit).

  96. 96
    rikyrah says:

    @I’mNotSureWhoIWantToBeYet:

    I still think that Trump won’t debate her. He’s too much of a coward. He’ll find some excuse about how “unfair” it is and will hold a Yuuge™ rally instead.

    Not that he won’t try, but I just don’t see how he can do it.

  97. 97
    hovercraft says:

    @gogol’s wife:
    Chris Hayes and his panel basically acknowledged last night that the reason for all the Weiner attention, is that he gives them an opportunity to discuss a titillating story with out shame, it really isn’t relevant to anything that’s happening in either campaign, but by pretending it is they get to talk about it and not let just the tabloids have all the fun. Everyone is talking about it off the air anyway and now they get to add their two cents on TV. Gossip girls and boys each and every one of them.

  98. 98
    cmorenc says:

    @hovercraft: (thanks also to Iowa Old Lady)

    So far as far as I can tell, references to games of chance and the places where they are played.
    References to the male sexual organ using the p…. term.
    And something to do with medications and the place most of us purchase them from.
    This is by no means comprehensive, these are just areas that have landed me in the penalty box

    Thanks – that advice will help me with future post composition.

  99. 99
    one_particular_harbour, fka Botsplainer says:

    What nobody gets is that there’s going to be to be a firehose of lies spewing from Trump’s gob. There will be a plethora of smirking statements of “I never said that, crooked Hillary”. Without an projector and a top flight IT team instantly accessing the videos right there, right then for projection, the village idiots will drone on about narrative and message, intentionally avoiding doing an Edward Morrow while declaring it a draw.

    It is a very real problem.

  100. 100
    rikyrah says:

    I and I Alone: Donald Trump’s Campaign and the Arrogance of White Privilege

    Trevor LaFauci
    August 28, 2016

    Campaigns are a reflection of their candidate.

    With the current 2016 presidential election cycle, we’ve seen this time and time again. Whether it was Bernie Sanders and his campaign’s increasing negativity once it became apparent he wouldn’t be the Democratic nominee or Ted Cruz and his campaign’s willingly getting down in the gutter against his Republican opponents, we’ve seen multiple campaigns take on the true personality of their candidate once those campaigns faced adversity. With both the Sanders and Cruz campaigns, this increased negativity came at a time where they were being beaten on the policy side by their opponents so they felt they had no choice but to lob baseless attacks as a last-ditch Hail Mary effort. Not only did these efforts fail, but the general public was left with a lasting impression of two bitter, defeated candidates who would go on to become a simple footnote in the annals of presidential campaign history.

    The current contrast between Hillary Clinton’s and Donald Trump’s campaigns can be simply explained by the candidates themselves. For Hillary Clinton, she has truly learned the lessons of 2008 and have applied those lessons to her 2016 campaign. She has surrounded herself with young, talented advisors and campaign staff. She has prioritized the swing states, fully staffing those states beginning in April with hundreds of field organizers and has already gone ahead with a full ad blitz nearly five months before the election. At the same time, she has not written off any states and has numerous staff in the suddenly competitive states such as Georgia, Arizona, Missouri, North Carolina, and Utah. All of these efforts in conjunction with a 50-state strategy has made the Clinton campaign a reflection of the candidate: a methodical, detailed, and driven enterprise geared at not only winning the White House but also flipping control of the Senate and making significant gains in the House as well.

    Compare all this to The Donald.

  101. 101
  102. 102
    ...now I try to be amused says:

    @Patricia Kayden:

    I’m going to love watching Secretary Clinton egg The Donald into uncontrolled blind rage.

    Ah, the Captain Queeg moment. I thought W came close to it in the first 2004 presidential debate, but it didn’t happen.

    I loved watching Joe Biden laugh in Paul Ryan’s face in the 2012 VP debate. Uncle Joe as a presidential candidate would make the debates must-see TV.

  103. 103
    one_particular_harbour, fka Botsplainer says:

    @cleek:

    Yep. He can’t help himself – he is a slickster developer, and free associative lying is how they keep the refrigerator full.

  104. 104
    burnspbesq says:

    Primary day in Florida.

    Hopefully after today we won’t have Alan Grayson to kick around any more.

  105. 105

    @…now I try to be amused: My most favorite tweet from all of 2012 was during that debate. Something like “Hello, 911? There’s an old man beating a child on my television.”

  106. 106
    Ceci n'est pas mon nym says:

    @Iowa Old Lady: My original nym (R a n d y P) somehow made it onto the banned list, which is why I now go by “This Is Not My Nym”.

  107. 107
    Anonymous At Work says:

    @aimai: I think you hit a great point. Trump’s experiences with debates have been in primaries, where the audience could cheer, clap, holler, etc. One of the rules in the general election debates is no audience reaction, or they’ll kick you out.
    So, what happens when Trump tries to play for an audience reaction and gets nothing? That’s the worst feeling in the world, that you want a reaction but get blank stares in return. For someone like Trump, it’ll make him try harder and harder to get a reaction. He’ll flail for one. If Hillary can add to his discomfort, he might snap.

  108. 108
    hovercraft says:

    @OzarkHillbilly:
    Yesterday while wadding through the muck out there about Huma, I saw a big glaring headline at Breihtbart, shouting that she’d gotten security clearance, whilst having been the editor for some Muslim Brotherhood magazine, or some such bullsh*t. Level of clearance who knows, remember even Bill and Michelle didn’t know about the Bin Laden raid until it was over. Though I guess if someone pointed that out to Trump, he’d say they’re both lying liars who are lying.

  109. 109

    @rikyrah: Thanks for the link. That’s an interesting article, particularly the way it talks about Trump feeling entitled to the presidency. Remember when everyone was making disapproving noises about how Clinton thought she was entitled to it? You don’t hear that any more, possibly because she’s obviously working her butt off.

  110. 110
    pamelabrown53 says:

    @burnspbesq: #104
    Speaking of Alan Grayson, I just got a robocall for Grayson from Martin Sheen. I was shocked that Sheen would lend his voice to that “progressive” charlatan.

  111. 111
    burnspbesq says:

    @JMG:

    Your belief is duly noted, and will be given oh so serious consideration.

  112. 112
    Kay says:

    @Face:

    It doesn’t feel as solid to me as it does to you. I don’t believe 8 or 10 points of Republican-leaners are voting 3rd Party. I think some of them come home. I would have to see her at or above 50% to be as confident as you are. It’s different than 2012 (where Obama was actually always ahead), riskier. There’s more play within the same 100%. I talked to two canvassers last weekend, one of whom I know really well and absolutely trust. He said they were still hearing what a great businessman Trump is. He’s not a “handwringer”- he’s plodding along canvassing and he’s telling me what people say.

  113. 113
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @one_particular_harbour, fka Botsplainer: I just can’t worry about much ado about nothing. Trump will look like the complete ignorant ass he is. Hillary will look like the competent, knowledgeable person she is. Those who care to, will watch it. Those who don’t, won’t. And neither will listen to anything much the press says about it unless it confirms what they already believe.

  114. 114

    @Ceci n’est pas mon nym: Now that would be annoying! LOL

    @Anonymous At Work: That’s when you say, “Please clap.”

  115. 115
    hovercraft says:

    @Redshift:
    The Morning Joe crew said that there is talk of bringing in Jon Stewart or Alec Baldwin to play Trump. If true that would be awesome, talk about being able to produce that special blend of NY attitude and on your face. I’m a New Yorker/ Jersey girl so I know from what I speak, no one does it quite like we do.

  116. 116
    Matt McIrvin says:

    @Major Major Major Major: I remember people saying in 2004 that even if Kerry lost, they’d appreciate the way he stuck it to Bush in the debates. My impression is that he did well and the debates helped him, but he was trying to come from behind in the polls, and in the end it just wasn’t quite enough.

  117. 117
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @hovercraft:

    I saw a big glaring headline at Breihtbart,

    You Sir (or Madam), are a glutton for punishment.

  118. 118
    JMG says:

    @Kay: Again, as far as I can tell, the polls indicate the majority of losses to Johnson and Stein come from Clinton, not Trump. The Stein totals continue to amaze me. It would be a depressing thing to learn that as many as five percent of the people theoretically on our side are in fact idiots.

  119. 119
    Matt McIrvin says:

    @hovercraft: Stewart couldn’t be Trumpy enough. Baldwin, he could do it. He’s the right kind of asshole and probably willing.

  120. 120
    FlipYrWhig says:

    I predict the debate coverage will be like this: “Sure, Hillary was more informed and had better command of facts, details, and policy, but she didn’t CONNECT with the regular people she’ll need for the election, while Trump had some memorable zingers that will make for water-cooler conversation tomorrow, and for him that counts as a win.”

  121. 121
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    @cmorenc:

    I cannot fathom what possibly got a comment I made on the upcoming Clinton v Trump debate into moderation, but somehow I stepped on one of those automated buttons. ?????

    FYWP doesn’t allow “Xanax” or, indeed, the trade names of many pharmaceuticals. (It also doesn’t allow “pharmaceutical.”)

  122. 122
    burnspbesq says:

    @Matt McIrvin:

    Baldwin just has to do “Glengarry Glen Ross” again to play Trump.

  123. 123
    The Other Chuck says:

    @Iowa Old Lady: I’m going to troll the shit out of this blog someday with the nym of “the”.

    Dumbest fucking antispam system I’ve ever seen, and I’ve seen some doozies.

  124. 124
    JMG says:

    My guess is that the bulk of post=debate coverage will be on Trump’s performance with Clinton as a bit player. He’s the one making money for the TV news operations, not her. This could be either good or bad for him, depending on if policy enters into the postgame shows at all.

  125. 125
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @hovercraft: I see now that “Madam” is the correct salutation :-)

  126. 126

    @The Other Chuck: I keep offering to write them one…

  127. 127
    DesertFriar says:

    @Kay:

    Kay says:
    August 30, 2016 at 8:52 am

    I noticed the moron wears the ball cap all the time now, like a 6 year old. Can we have a President who dresses like a grown-up while he’s working or is that too much to ask?

    Hey those caps aren’t gonna sell themselves.

  128. 128
  129. 129
    amk says:

    Plenty of preemptive bed wetting here. That too over a carnival barker. Sheesh.

  130. 130
    JPL says:

    LePage said he might not finish out his term as Governor of Maine. Mom Sense must be ecstatic.

    Press Herald

  131. 131
    NorthLeft12 says:

    @Punchy: I agree with you. I believe that Trump will employ the “Palin strategery” and basically ignore the questions asked and just blather on about whatever he feels like talking about. His rebuttals to Sec. Clinton’s answers will consist of “she didn’t answer the question” and emails/Benghazi/liar.

    That could be challenging to deal with. I have had discussions with people about political issues and it is difficult to respond meaningfully to someone spouting lies, insults, and more lies. Although in this case Hillary just needs to highlight the fact that der Trump does not know what he is talking about/lying through his teeth.

  132. 132
    Kay says:

    @JMG:

    Again, as far as I can tell, the polls indicate the majority of losses to Johnson and Stein come from Clinton, not Trump.

    They’re basically theoretical though, so who knows? I think it’s nice that liberals are like “my friends on the other side of the aisle will never vote for Donald Trump because he’s not a real conservative” but I have my doubts. :)

    We just saw this in action. They don’t care what he does or says on immigration. These long earnest policy screeds? “Trump is not serious on immigration!” No shit. He’ll still get 40% and it’s the exact same people who who leaning his way last week. I was told in 2012 that religious conservatives would never ever vote for Mormon Romney and the base would never vote for him because of Romneycare. They all fell in line. They don’t care.

  133. 133
    The Other Chuck says:

    @Major Major Major Major: They don’t need to write one, they just need to use the suitable ones that are already available, stop fucking it up with spyware plugins that make akismet go crazy, allow for (optional) logins to protect a nym and bypass moderation, and maintain the blacklist so common english words don’t trigger it.

    In short, it’s a maintenance problem, not a true technical problem.

  134. 134
    Matt McIrvin says:

    @Kay: Romney had the “great businessman” reputation too, and arguably deserved it to a greater extent than Trump.

    I do not believe that the current situation is softer than 2012. There’s more volatility, but it’s all on the upside for Hillary, and her relative floor is higher. In 2012, Romney actually led for large chunks of the year in national polls with likely-voter screens, though a lot of that was just because of Rasmussen. We now know that those screens were probably biasing the sample toward Romney, and he was not really ahead at all. But this year it hasn’t even been close enough for that to be an issue, except maybe for a fleeting moment during Trump’s single weekend of convention bounce.

    With regard to third-party votes, a telling thing to me is that in national aggregates, explicitly including Johnson and Stein in poll questions brings the non-major-party responses up by several points, but only seems to reduce Clinton’s margin over Trump by about one point, if that. I don’t think third-party people disproportionately jumping to Trump is going to be a big deal. I think they might vote slightly more for Clinton, but allocating whatever chunk of them fifty-fifty will not be far off.

  135. 135
    JMG says:

    Ninety minutes is a long time to be one of two people filling that time on national TV. There is a very real possibility Trump will contradict himself in the course of one or more of the debates, since his policy positions are so, uh, fluid.

  136. 136

    @The Other Chuck: spyware plugins?

    I know that it’s damn easy to do in a typical blog situation but I always assumed there was a GOOD reason it was dumb here.

  137. 137
    Bitter Scribe says:

    I’ll never forget Gerald Ford asserting that there was no Soviet domination of Eastern Europe. He barely lost to Jimmy Carter, and that may very well have cost him the election.

  138. 138
    Kay says:

    @Matt McIrvin:

    Thanks. I have no problem with how Hillary Clinton is handling this or her campaign, BTW. I feel like some things are beyond their control. I think she’s done a great job, it’s just that isn’t always enough.

  139. 139
    mellowjohn says:

    strategic leak? maybe. but is there anyone who’s been paying attention who hasn’t figured out the exact areas of attack to go after il Douche?
    my own feeling, however, is that unless he breaks out in flop-sweat and starts speaking in tongues, a large portion of the punditariat will call it at best a draw.

  140. 140
    NorthLeft12 says:

    @Kay: Frankly, that ball cap is a good look for the Donald. He looks like an effing idiot…..especially when he smiles/grins/leers/smirks.

    Oh my dog, this guy is awful. Please for the sake of all humanity, please ensure you crush him and all his supporters with votes.

  141. 141

    @Kay: IMO the Clinton support that’s bleeding off into Johnson was never really hers. A lot of it is #neverTrump and a lot of it is the sort of 35-year-old white dude demo that came out for Bernie but isn’t a very reliable D vote anyway. In my anecdata they tend to vote libertarian, or not at all, at the top of the ticket.

  142. 142
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @JMG: I’ll bet he can’t go 15 minutes without contradicting himself.

  143. 143
    CONGRATULATIONS! says:

    Abolish the debates. I’m serious. They accomplish nothing.

  144. 144
    hovercraft says:

    @amk:
    Have you forgotten 2012, yes Sully was the biggest bed wetter, but the entirety of the democratic universe was Chicken Little. I for one welcome the fact that the polls have tightened and democrats are scared again. Lack of fear was part of what went wrong in that first debate, we need fear to keep us on our toes. The only chance we have at taking back the House is with high turnout, and we need fear for that. So I will preach doom and gloom till the last poll closes on November 8th. Okay maybe not Alaska and Hawaii, but at least the West Coast.

  145. 145
    ruemara says:

    @ChicagoPat: no one can challenge your beliefs, even though they’re wrong.

    I shan’t be watching. I don’t know who is on the fence but I find this year contest to be especially ridiculous. It’s a choice between a statesman and an orange dyed strip of neonazi leather. Let’s just vote now against it and it’s party.

  146. 146
    hovercraft says:

    @CONGRATULATIONS!:
    Ratings, they accomplish the most important thing in politics, ratings.

  147. 147
    The Other Chuck says:

    @Major Major Major Major: OK, “spyware” is a bit hyperbole: I believe it’s just “link tracking”, which just counts outbound clicks (at least I think it’s just a counter). It’s kind of necessary in that it makes bare URLs clickable and truncates them if they’re too long, but this particular one is utterly shoddy and interacts poorly with the spam filter (I assume it’s akismet), causing it to flag everything with a single bare URL as spam. The behavior seems to come and go, so maybe it’s a configuration item that won’t stick. FYWP.

  148. 148
    jacy says:

    @Kay:

    Maybe that’s to cover up the fact that his “hair” has that weird fluorescent highlighter tinge now — perhaps it’s becoming sentient or has been imbued with some alien consciousness from a parallel universe…..

  149. 149

    @The Other Chuck: I assumed the naked link thing is because spammers use naked links. I see it all the time in other comment sections. It’s almost never an HTML-ified link.

  150. 150
    I'mNotSureWhoIWantToBeYet says:

    @rikyrah: There weren’t televised debates between the major party candidates until 1960. Jimmy only had one with Reagan in 1980. While it does serve a useful public purpose, there’s nothing written in stone that there have to be debates. I really don’t think there’s that much of a downside in him chickening out – in his mind, anyway. Who’s it going to upset? Most people have already made up their minds. Those who are on the fence or unconvinced – will not being able to see them debate really hurt Trump?

    Dunno.

    He was afraid of Megyn Kelly and ran away from a debate that she was to moderate, for crying out loud.

    But we’ll see.

    Cheers,
    Scott.

  151. 151
    The Other Chuck says:

    @CONGRATULATIONS!: The idea of debates is fine. Meaningful questions known ahead of time, more than a couple minutes allotted for answers, with extemporaneous rebuttals following, and then there’s at least a hope the debates could be relevant again.

    But not as entertaining. Ergo, it’s only going to get worse. I stopped watching TV entirely at least a year ago, it’s all Netflix all the time for me now.

  152. 152
    magurakurin says:

    @Kay: No reason to take this lightly, I’m sending money every other week at this point. I’m not rich, so this is the most money I have ever sent to any candidate ever. But the odds are really strong that she is going to win. The Electoral College map is just too daunting for the Shitgibbon. Start with Obama 2012. Give the Shitgibbon FL, OH, IA, and NV. Clinton 273. He has to turn one more. And the odds are she will win all of those and add NC back into the mix. But, yeah, no sound sleep until this is done and dusted in November. Losing isn’t an option this cycle.

  153. 153
    hovercraft says:

    @Kay:
    Hey look Hillary has a new Ad featuring the hat.

  154. 154
    shomi says:

    @waspuppet: Actually I think the quote about “her” was referring to Clinton. They did not even try make a connection to the wife knowing anything. Their only use for her in all this is just to make a connection to Clinton. Apparently, if anyone is working for Clinton it automatically means family members get classified info. Even if the person who works directly for the campaign doesn’t get anything.

    It’s a pretty desperate statement when you think about it. How many people who work for Drumpster have family members with embarassing personal problems. There must be hundreds. If they all suddenly become fair game the sky is the limit. Of course most family members don’t have the same political notoriety as Wiener.

  155. 155

    @shomi: also democrats tend not to try and drag people’s families through the mud, unless they’re being hypocrites.

  156. 156
    hovercraft says:

    @I’mNotSureWhoIWantToBeYet:
    The media would bitch about it, but all of the focus groups I’ve been seeing keep saying that the thing they are waiting for to make their decision is the debates, so I think it would hurt him with the undecided voters. His supporters would love his stickin’ it to the media.

  157. 157
    SFAW says:

    @MattF:

    David Broder says he prefers to stay dead.

    Take a number

  158. 158
    shomi says:

    @NorthLeft12: That can work both ways. I have absolutely no doubt Clinton will explore all the angles and come up with an effective strategy.

    Everyone gives the Drumpster too much credit like he is some kind of idiot savant rather that just a garden variety idiot. He is not that smart and unlike Palin, has ZERO experience as a politician. Clinton has been doing this for decades and has been attacked from all angles. They have thrown everything at her.

    I don’t see her having any trouble dealing with Drumpf. My guess is that she will try push his buttons and just sit back and let America watch him spew insults and lies. It will cement what everyone already knows about him. She already telegraphed that strategy awhile ago in a speech about how easy it is to set him off.

  159. 159
    germy says:

    Needle? Why not use the words “successfully debate” in the headline?

    NY Times: Hillary Clinton Piles Up Research in Bid to Needle Donald Trump at First Debate By PATRICK HEALY and MATT FLEGENHEIMER

  160. 160
    The Other Chuck says:

    @Major Major Major Major: Yes, spammers do use naked links, as do normal people trying to just share a link. Spammers tend to use a whole lot of links, which is one of the things akismet flags. I’m led to believe — and this is all taken secondhand from the days of the update so it might not be accurate — is that one of the things the “naked link rewriter” does is produce a lot of extra links internally, which trips up akismet and throws you into moderation. It could also just be the repeat nature of the link text and the link target that akismet doesn’t like — either way, it’s the rewrite plugin’s fault for putting its hooks in the wrong place.

    Allowing commenters to log in could let them bypass moderation entirely after a grace period of time+posts, but I am definitely sympathetic to the arguments against that, especially as long as BJ is self-hosted. FYWP is a blog platform, not a “proper” forum, and it shows. But I prefer it that way … I don’t want this place to be Reddit.

  161. 161

    To a large extent I think Obama got caught off guard in the first debate in 2012 because he believed in the fundamental goodness of his opponent. Hillary labors under no such misapprehension.

  162. 162
    SFAW says:

    @shomi:

    If they all suddenly become fair game the sky is the limit.

    “All”? Hell, if they just focus on Trump. that would take us into November, 2020. Borderline pedophile (not really, but he is pretty creepy re: Ivanka), two asshiole sons doing their best to out-asshole their father, a wife whose immigration status is “interesting,” his business practices (so to speak), a racist father who taught him well.

    Thank FSM the MSM is on this. I’m sure we’ll see a ton of exposes on the Networks any day now.

  163. 163
    The Other Chuck says:

    @Major Major Major Major: Romney was also much better at projecting an air of respectability and affability. Trump has no such talent, to say the least.

  164. 164
    O. Felix Culpa says:

    @magurakurin:

    Losing isn’t an option this cycle.

    Nor is it likely to happen. Clinton has been holding steady and climbing in the state-by-state polls, barring a few outliers. At least as important, she has an actual GOTV structure on the ground. Even in New Mexico, which rates as purple to blue and offers only 5 electoral votes, we’re taking nothing for granted. We’ve been building an extensive volunteer network over the summer in anticipation of switching to active GOTV after Labor Day. I imagine that activity is even more intense in actual swing states. The marching orders from Brooklyn are anything but complacent. And, I have seen no evidence of a Trump ground game, not even in deep red Wyoming and Idaho, where I vacationed recently.

    So – with all necessary caveats about shunning complacency – I think she’s got this.

    ETA: Driving through Wyoming, we saw lots of Liz Cheney (spit!) for Congress signs…and NOT ONE for Trump. Interesting.

  165. 165
    wvng says:

    @Matt McIrvin: Another subject will be how the Clinton Foundation kills people.

    More seriously, there is no possibility that the moderator won’t bring up the CF in a negative light.

  166. 166
    SFAW says:

    The Clinton camp, if they haven’t already done so, should start talking up about how skilled a debater Deadbeat Donnie has shown himself to be. “He destroyed the Republican field in their debates; many of his opponents were highly skilled debaters — take Ted Cruz, for example — and he bested all of them! We don’t know why the Press has been acting like he just fell off the cabbage truck — Donald Trump is a formidable presence on a debate stage, and Mrs. Clinton is rightfully concerned!She’s just hoping to remain competitive in a debate.”

    Say variants of that enough times, and it may eventually have an effect. (Normally, I’d say “will have an effect,” but the intellectual dishonesty of the network talking heads is so pervasive, that it’s unlikely there would be a complete flip in their thumb-on-the-scale schtick.)

    ETA: I think if they really want to annoy Deadbeat Donnie, someone should refer to him as a “master debater.” Of course, then the hand-size thing comes into play.

  167. 167
    JMG says:

    I know that in boxing if I learned that one fighter refused to engage in sparring practice or roadwork, he wouldn’t get my bet to win.

  168. 168
    cleek says:

    come on. don’t be fooled. yes, Trump is going to prepare.

    saying he’s not going to prepare is just a taunt.

    he’s pretending to be so good he doesn’t need to prepare; and he’s telling Clinton that he’s not at all worried about her. it’s just pre-fight boasting. (and maybe even a little bit of trying to set expectations a notch lower)

  169. 169
    EuniceCycle says:

    I think Hillary should agree right now on Sean Hannity being the debate moderator for the first debate. She can handle him; he’s not on his own show so he has to at least pretend to show some objectivity. Trump would have to agree to it.

  170. 170
    The Ancient Randonneur says:

    @shomi: Clinton spent 13 hours testifying in front of Congress over the emails and they didn’t lay a glove on her. She isn’t going to let this carnival Barker get away with the things that worked for him in the primary debates. Clinton and her team are far more skilled than any of his primary opponents. The real tell will be the Three day tweet storm coming out of Trump after the debate . Even if the press has anything favorable to say after the debate he will stomp all over it in a fit of rage because Clinton questions him on anything. It’s going to be epic.

  171. 171
    West of the Rockies (been a while) says:

    @cmorenc:

    I despised Bush then and do more so today, but I still cringe when I see video of Gore stepping over to Bush to try to intimidate him. Epic Fail.

  172. 172
    Jeffro says:

    @cleek:

    the debates will be 90 minutes of Trump doing his free-associative lying shtick while Clinton fails to keep from looking exasperated.

    LOL

    For every question from the moderators/panel, I’m sure she plans to lay out as much of her detailed policy plans as she can in the two minutes, look poised and sane, and then turn to Trump and ask “can you share with us some details of your plans for America, Donald? Any details at all?”

    It’s going to be a loooong 90 minutes for the Yam, that’s for sure.

  173. 173
    catclub says:

    @hovercraft: Yes, I have also referred to this often. They are doing good (non both-sides-do-it) editorials.

  174. 174
    NorthLeft12 says:

    @Major Major Major Major: Agreed. And I think the concern about creating sympathy for der Donald by embarrassing him often during the debate is also misplaced. Trump is the bully who the vast majority of people want to see humiliated, and his supporters will just end up being upset and angry with Trump because he will have allowed that to happen to him.

  175. 175
    Mary G says:

    It’s Hermione Granger vs. Rita Skeeter all over again. She’s got this.

  176. 176
    catclub says:

    @Jeffro: It is notable that when her mental health proposal came out, there was not much mention that Trump
    has nothing on any topic that has actual details.

    I want her to point out in the debates that her mental health proposals are designed to help people like Donald.

  177. 177
    cleek says:

    @Jeffro:
    how’d that work out for the dozen or so ‘serious’ GOP candidates ?

    they tried to talk policy, but Trump completely flattened them with his shameless but charismatic lying. because, in the end, debates really aren’t about policy: they’re about presentation. it’s entertainment, not education.

  178. 178
    catclub says:

    I also thought that the NPR section on ISIS failed to mention one thing. 2014 was (as far as we can tell) the high water point for ISIS.
    So in spite of all the things Obama did wrong, things are getting better as far as ISIS is concerned.

  179. 179
    Jeffro says:

    Meanwhile, “Lil Marco” just told reporters he can’t even commit to serving a full term (you know, the term he said he wasn’t going to run for anyway?) should he be re-elected to the Senate this fall.

    Marco, babe, I hate to tell you…nobody’s thinking “Rubio for Prez 2020″…no. bo. dy.

  180. 180
    burnspbesq says:

    This will either be comic relief, or make you vomit. It’s roughly 50:50.

    Stein WaPo Interview

  181. 181
    catclub says:

    @cleek:

    they tried to talk policy

    They tried to talk policy to an audience of GOP true believers. The audience for these debates will be different. Which is why Trump campaigning as if he is still in the GOP primaries is not working. It will not work even more in a debate.

  182. 182
    Gin & Tonic says:

    In other news, the burning question of the day in Central Asia: Islam Karimov – dead or not dead? Opinions differ.

  183. 183
    Steeplejack (tablet) says:

    @NCSteve:

    Yes, it’s an odd story for several reasons. The writers don’t mention the venue (Hofstra University) until way down, and they never mention the date (September 26). Even in an “inside baseball” meta-analysis that should be given, especially a month out.

    I think sometimes these high-level analysts get their heads so far up the meta that they assume their readership is right there with them. “Yes, of course we know when it is, but which debate prepper sneezed today?”

  184. 184
    Jeffro says:

    @cleek:

    how’d that work out for the dozen or so ‘serious’ GOP candidates ?

    they tried to talk policy, but Trump completely flattened them with his shameless but charismatic lying. because, in the end, debates really aren’t about policy: they’re about presentation. it’s entertainment, not education.

    They tried to talk policy?! The “deep bench”??? I must have missed that. From what I saw, we had 10 folks shouting over one another for two hours straight, usually about whose manhood was bigger, whether or not someone was robotically repeating himself, or who was going to take HRC to the woodshed. Don’t remember much policy, that’s for sure.

    And he won’t be considered ‘charismatic’ acting like a jerkoff in a general election debate…

  185. 185

    @cleek: Trump’s GOP opponents could not go after him because they were courting the same voters, Hillary does not have the same problem.

  186. 186

    @burnspbesq: She is weapons grade stupid. I saw a five min segment when she was interviewed by Judy Woodruff on the Snooze Hour.

  187. 187
    Patricia Kayden says:

    @Kay: Sigh. I’ve noticed that Clinton is not over 50 % in most national polls so you’re right to be cautious. Clinton’s ads need to focus on Trump’s bankruptcies, sleazy business connections, huge debt to foreign creditors and refusal to release his tax returns (what is he hiding?). Since so many people think he’s a great businessman, Clinton needs to impugn his biz cred.

  188. 188
    Shell says:

    Couldn’t help but laugh when they quoted Drumpster as saying “there is something wrong with him mentally and she knows a lot of classified information”

    Do the Weiners own a pet? How come the Donald didn’t accuse them of giving their dog classified information?

  189. 189
    Trentrunner says:

    These debates have the potential to be the most consequential in election history. They will be watched by more people, and among a voting population with a higher number of undecideds than at the same stage in recent elections.

    Also, for those fretting about the media’s idiotic post-debate coverage and knack for focusing on the wrong things, remember now we have viewer instapolls done right after the debate whose results thankfully take precedence over what Cokie or Peggy say. That’s proven to be lifesavers in the past two election cycles’ post-debate coverage.

    Finally, can anyone remember watching Hillary in any debate over the past 17 years and concluding anything else other than “Wow, I forgot how good she was at this. She knows her shit”?

  190. 190
    Amir Khalid says:

    @burnspbesq:
    Stein doesn’t seem to understand that a President must work with Congress, let alone how. I wonder what people see in a candidate as clearly frivolous as she.

  191. 191
    cleek says:

    @Jeffro:

    I must have missed that.

    yes, apparently so.

    pick a debate, read its transcript: http://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/debates.php

    most of the candidates were trying to do policy (as much as anyone can do so in a debate). and they even tried going after Trump’s insult-comic approach to debating. didn’t work for them.

    @catclub:

    It will not work even more in a debate.

    Trump’s entire shtick is alpha-male domination. and it works because there’s an audience for it – currently about 42% of the voters. (and it’s been a while since either of them had a debate).

    but he’s going to try to minimize, steamroll, and gaslight her. and she needs to find a way to deflect him without looking exasperated (ex. Al Gore) and petty (Rubio). i’m sure she’ll come up with something. i hope it works.

  192. 192
    The Ancient Randonneur says:

    @Trentrunner: This. Trump’s post debate tweet storm will be epic.

  193. 193
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    @Steeplejack (tablet):

    Yes, it’s an odd story for several reasons. The writers don’t mention the venue (Hofstra University) until way down, and they never mention the date (September 26). Even in an “inside baseball” meta-analysis that should be given, especially a month out.

    Whatever happened to the inverted pyramid? Whither the Five Ws?

  194. 194
    Brachiator says:

    There’s just too much at stake, and I’ve seen too many debates turn on stupid and meaningless soundbites

    This is often the best part. The debates are like The Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show. You are watching the candidates on display, going through artificial paces to show off their coats, their personalities, etc. The debates are at best secondarily about “the issues.”

    Clinton’s debate prep is understandable. And she obviously has conventional debate prep down already. It may work.

    The only caution is that Trump loves to fight in the sewer, and he probably has a lot of filth (a lot of it old and used before by the GOP) to use against Clinton. But again, Trump loves dirty fighting, and he loves to counter punch.

    Ideally, Clinton would find a strategy like the one used by Miyamoto Musashi to defeat Sasaki Kojirō. She seems wisely to plan on getting under Trump’s skin. Now she must also neutralize every skill that he has and defeat him before he even knows that he has been beaten,

  195. 195
    hovercraft says:

    @schrodinger’s cat:
    Exactly, just like Hillary tried to be as gentle as possible during her debates with Bernie, the other republicans tried not to be too harsh on Trump until it was much too late. Remember initially only Jeb! attacked him, then as he knocked them off one by one he started attacking them. Cruz was the most fawning for the longest time, but the scorpion still stung him. Hillary will not be gentle with Trump, she doesn’t tolerate fools.

  196. 196
    geg6 says:

    @JMG:

    He did all the primary debates over at New York Magazine. I imagine he’ll do these ones, too.

  197. 197
    nonynony says:

    @Patricia Kayden:

    Since so many people think he’s a great businessman, Clinton needs to impugn his biz cred.

    I don’t expect this to work, actually – anyone who thinks he’s got “good biz cred” will think that the fact that he’s had multiple failures but is “still rich” is a mark that he’s an exceptional businessman. I’m related to people like that – they think they understand “business” but they don’t. Even the ones who were laid off from companies with poor management that went bankrupt don’t get it.

    I think the people on the fence for Trump already know he’s a clown. They just are trying to weigh the fact that he’s a clown against the items on their own agenda that he’ll pass while in office that Clinton will set back. All of the hardcore anti-abortion folks I am related to are all-in for Trump despite anything at all about his character because they know that a Clinton presidency will set the Court back to what it was pre-Reagan and wipe out 30 years of gains (which by itself is enough for anyone who calls themselves a liberal to vote for Clinton – a Court that gets set back to what it was before Reagan would be a godsend these days).

  198. 198
    p.a. says:

    My neighbor has some sort of terrier rat-dog. Our urban hellhole is trad 100×60 lots. If he’s in the yard the motherfucker even barks (goes berserk) at me if I’m in the house on the side of their yard, even with the windows shut. If I’m in my yard forget it. All that happens is “Otis shut up. Otis be quiet”, for 5 minutes. Then they (usually) force him into the house. I’ve tried giving him dog biscuits. He just got madder. My only psychological relief is hearing him go nuts in his own house as I come and go from my car.

    Any advice? One of my bucket list items now is outliving Otis ( he’s about 4/5). Saddest thing is he’s a replacement for a runaway Boston terrier who was a sweetheart.

  199. 199
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    @Steeplejack (tablet):

    The writers don’t mention the venue (Hofstra University) until way down, and they never mention the date (September 26).

    Actually, they do, in the sixth paragraph. (Admittedly, I might have read a more recent version than you did.)

  200. 200
    hovercraft says:

    @nonynony:
    The way to after his business record is to do it the way they did it with RMoney. Show what he left behind, run commercials with all the small business owners how were bankrupted when Trump stiffed them for services rendered, just run Ad after Ad of these people to show that they aren’t one offs. Here in Jersey and in neighboring PA there are plenty of small business owners who got stiffed in his Atlantic City fiasco. I agree his ‘failures’ look like savvy moves, but when faces of the little guys who were screwed are shown it will hurt him. They shouldn’t show Union workers who lost their jobs, they should focus on the Mom and Pop places that were driven out of business.

  201. 201
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @Amir Khalid:

    I wonder what people see in a candidate as clearly frivolous as she.

    I’m pretty confident in saying that no one actually thinks Jill Stein would be a good or even competent president, including the people who will actually vote for her. What they get out of it is the cachet of demonstrating clean hands (“I just couldn’t bring myself to vote for someone I don’t respect”) and a niche taste (“Oh, me? I voted for Jill Stein. You probably haven’t heard of her”).

  202. 202
    🌷 Martin says:

    Young Conor has an interesting bit looking inside the brewing GOP media war.

    Said a final commenter on that Red State post, “We had a golden opportunity to defeat Democrats this year and you along with Hannity, Ingraham, Drudge, and others built up Trump throughout the entire primaries. You folks had that magical tingle up your leg every time he uttered his immigration nonsense. The Wall is also another Trump made up fantasy just like the deportation of 11 million illegals. You clowns made him and now you clowns own him. Conservative talk radio is gone.” If only that were so—it would be the best thing to happen to the conservative movement in years.

    I’ve argued that what befell the GOP started in the 90s with the original assault against the Clintons. Republicans couldn’t resist the opportunity to take up the charge when the fairness doctrine fell and they went all-in on the lies and smears, and 25 years later they honestly can’t tell reality from the Clinton dystopia they fabricated. Against that backdrop Clinton must be defeated by a character of equally implausible proportion. You need a Republican kaiiju to defeat a Democratic one, and that’s why Trump had to be the nominee. You think low-energy Jeb Bush could take on a nation destroyer like Clinton?

    But not all conservatives fully bought into the Clinton dystopia. They were happy to watch others weave it and profit off of it, and they are complicit in sitting back and watching Rush and Hannity and Beck all grow in power (and now Brietbart turning the knife on them as they dial the fantasy up even higher) but some of them now seem to realize just what a problem they’ve created. They’re trying to push forward a policy agenda that is at least within eyeshot of reality on a Republican media market that is only interested in orcs and magic and a voting base that believes the orcs and magic are actually real. I don’t think anyone expects the GOP base to get clean before November, given they’ve been mainlining this stuff since Rodney King, but post-Trump this is going to be a real mess. How do you convince these voters to not put up a mecha-Trump in 2020 to take on Clinton?

    I think Josh has it right that the Republican party is now just a play-thing to Conservative Media. Fox and Rush and Brietbart are the ones that set the agenda, designed to generate loyal viewers and ad-clicks, and the elected Republicans are expected to deliver on that agenda or get swept away. The GOP voter base is really just an ad base first and a voting coalition as a byproduct of that.

    Fun times.

  203. 203
    Josie says:

    @p.a.: My mother lived next door to a similar dog for five years until we put her in assisted living for advanced dementia. She really hated that dog and, when no one was watching, she delighted in spraying him liberally with the garden hose. I often wondered if the people ever questioned why the dog would come in sopping wet.

  204. 204
    Brachiator says:

    @catclub:

    I also thought that the NPR section on ISIS failed to mention one thing. 2014 was (as far as we can tell) the high water point for ISIS.

    So in spite of all the things Obama did wrong, things are getting better as far as ISIS is concerned.

    Sadly, I don’t think this is true at all. ISIS may be gaining strength because its opponents have been distracted. And Obama’s policies in the region have been blunted.

    Syria is using Putin’s support to shore up its position in the civil war. And they have been doing more to defeat the US supported rebels than to defeat ISIS. Meanwhile, the US cannot do more without risking direct conflict with Putin.

    Meanwhile, Turkey is double dealing, helping refugees and exploiting its position as a NATO ally while using a supposed terrorist attack to lead an assault on Kurdish forces, including US backed Kurds.

    Both Syria and Turkey seem to believe that they can deal with ISIS later, or come to some kind of arrangement with them. And there seems to be some evidence that ISIS is strong enough to involve itself more in Yemen, which has previously been pounded by the Saudis.

    And yet you have so-called progressives in the purity brigade who think that the only issue is how soon Hillary the war hawk will send troops to the Middle East. US involvement, or non-involvement, is merely a fraction of the powder keg that may yet explode in the region.

  205. 205
    HRA says:

    I have watched a good number of presidential debates. I don’t think of who won the debate at the end. I think of who lost the debate and why they lost it.
    Once it was thought a 5 o’clock had sunk a candidate. They failed to understand the compelling story of the opponent had already enchanted a nation.
    I read how a candidate in the past had been pictured with a worn hole in the bottom of his shoe did not fare well with the people.
    Gore/Bush debates consisted of lecturing like being at the head of a classroom. It led to focusing on GW who sat quietly and grinned while waiting his turn and turning a deaf ear to Gore..

    FYI Lazio was not going to win before or after the debate. He was the weakest of fill ins for Giuliani.(sp)

    These upcoming debates will be very important in the choice for some people to pick their candidate. Yes, some people do use the debates to make their final choice even after all the past months of the campaigning.

  206. 206
    CONGRATULATIONS! says:

    Hillary’s opening line really needs to include the words: “and I’d just like to start tonight by thanking one of the Clinton Foundation’s biggest supporters – I mean, just yoooge support for years – my esteemed opponent, Lord Dainty Hands. Erm, I meant Donald Trump. Sorry.”

  207. 207
    catclub says:

    @🌷 Martin:

    Republicans couldn’t resist the opportunity to take up the charge when the fairness doctrine fell and they went all-in on the lies and smears, and 25 years later they honestly can’t tell reality from the Clinton dystopia they fabricated.

    Well put. I just want to add that the november 2000 Onion headline: “Our long national nightmare of peace and prosperity is ended”, was the real truth to some of them.

  208. 208
    catclub says:

    @Brachiator:

    Sadly, I don’t think this is true at all. ISIS may be gaining strength because its opponents have been distracted.

    Then why have they lost territory and cities they captured in Iraq? Also losing captured cities in Syria.

    ISIS claiming responsibility for soft target terror attacks is a sign of weakness.

  209. 209
    JosieJ (not Josie) says:

    @amk:

    Plenty of preemptive bed wetting here. That too over a carnival barker. Sheesh.

    Thank you! We’re all soiling our trousers here, over debates, which have never proven to be pivotal, ever. Meanwhile, the Trump “campaign” is losing every demographic that he needs to win, and he’s purged his staff of anyone who might do something other than polish his knob. And the Clinton campaign is quietly registering new voters, making phone calls, gathering volunteers, refining their GOTV plans, analyzing data, and letting Trump bury himself.

    She’s got this, folks.

  210. 210
    Peale says:

    @hovercraft: And she is not trying to win over Trump’s core supporters. The leaners, maybe. But she’s not concerned that those people who voted in the primary are going to stay home in November like the Republicans were. She’d actually be thrilled if they did stay home.

  211. 211
    SFAW says:

    @JPL:

    LePage said he might not finish out his term as Governor of Maine.

    Yeah, and I have a bridge I’d love to sell you for low dollah. Oh, I believe he said that he was considering it, I just don’t believe he’d ever do it. As the math nerds might say, the Venn diagram of the “wingnut” and “integrity” sets is disjoint.

    Mom Sense must be ecstatic.

    She wouldn’t be the only one, were it actually to happen.

  212. 212
    Keith G says:

    @Major Major Major Major:

    To a large extent I think Obama got caught off guard in the first debate in 2012 because he believed in the fundamental goodness of his opponent. Hillary labors under no such misapprehension.

    Obama sucked at that debate because he hates the theater that those events have become and he slacked off on preparation (despite the pleas of his staff who have said that it was no fun trying to corral the reluctant president and put up with his prickly temperament).

    I imagine that these debate will go on show the differences in temperament and practical knowledge and that will help HRC with some of the uncommitted. Hopefully her team can also use the debates to claw back some of the voters who claim to be going elsewhere. The one caveat being how HRC answers questions about The Foundation, emails, and Libya/Benghazi. Hopefully she has a few, very direct three sentence answers already worked out.

  213. 213
    SciNY says:

    the day before the first debate, she should release her Wellsley & Yale Law a School transcripts and say “I got my degrees the old fashioned way — by earning them with hard work and smarts. How about you, Donnie?” Then at the first debate, she should demand Trump release his transcripts to prove that he was the smartest person ever. Meanwhile surrogates wonder if maybe Trump didn’t really go to college and thus didn’t really earn his initial deferments from Vietnam. This line of attack will get under Trump’s skin, especially because of the irony of his failed and false efforts to disqualify POTUS on similar grounds.

  214. 214
    Eric U. says:

    @SciNY: heh, I like the implication that Trump didn’t earn his first deferment. And which foot was it again?

    It’s hard for me not to catasrophize at this point, the coverage Clinton is getting has been absolutely ridiculous.

  215. 215
    Steeplejack (tablet) says:

    @SiubhanDuinne:

    Huh. I see that in the story now, but earlier I specifically searched for “Sept” and found nothing. (Computer search, not just my lying eyes.) Mea culpa.

  216. 216
    Aleta says:

    @SFAW: Either way I predict he’ll be backed to run for King’s Senate seat, if King retires. If LP does by some miracle resign, somehow I suspect it will still bring bad news of some godawful mess he is fleeing. And maybe a job on the new Trump Network TV ?

  217. 217
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    @Steeplejack (tablet):

    Well, it’s equally likely (more likely, actually, in light of your computer search) that the date really wasn’t included in earlier versions of the piece. Some subeditor must have noticed and made the correction. Or maybe was goofing off reading Balloon Juice, saw your comment #183, and said “Ah shit!”

  218. 218
    sinnedbackwards says:

    @ChicagoPat: Obama had just spent the preceding double-digit of hours on the phone defusing a crisis involving Turkey, as I recall. Very few Fs left for Rmoney.

  219. 219
    jharp says:

    Can’t watch the debates. Primary or general election.

  220. 220
    sinnedbackwards says:

    @MomSense: Called a Melchizedeck, I believe.

  221. 221
    MomSense says:

    @sinnedbackwards:

    I better order two of them because there is no way I will be able to pronounce it after drinking the first one.

  222. 222
    Turgidson says:

    @Matt McIrvin:

    Agreed. They’re the politics version of a championship game (or 3 game series if you will), in that the pressure is as high as it can be and it will be before the largest possible audience. But as far as demonstrating who is best-suited for the job, they don’t tell us much. This year might be different, just in the sense that Hillary might be able to bait Trump into some sort of epic tantrum that demonstrates once and for all that he’s a lunatic who shouldn’t even be allowed in the White House on a group tour, and drives away droves of soft supporters. But even here, it would only be reinforcing a well-known dynamic in front of an audience that may not be paying as close of attention and isn’t yet totally repulsed by Trump.

    I scanned live-blogs of the first 2012 debate. Glad I didn’t watch it, though I ended up watching a decent amount of it in news recaps later. I mean, we learned after the fact that Obama really did mostly blow it by not engaging in his prep and taking Mittens as seriously as he needed to, but ultimately that debate was decided in Mittens favor because he was allowed to jettison most of his platform and lied his plutocratic ass off with extreme confidence, neither of which Obama was ready to deal with in the moment. Obama lulled into thinking the debate would be a straightforward contest of ideas, honestly explicated. Oops. He was ready to call Romney a f’ing liar in the next 2 debates, and the results were much better. Trump will try the same things on Hillary, but I’d be shocked if she wasn’t ready to deal with it, and indeed, armed with a handful of jabs meant to send him into a shit-fit.

    On the bright side of 2012 Debate #1, Sullivan had perhaps his most humiliating meltdown ever as it unfolded. And those are good for a few laughs.

  223. 223
    sinnedbackwards says:

    @aimai: I really wish she could just say something like: “Bill is a hunk and really good in bed. I understand why all those other ladies like him. But, you know, I wear the ring. Thank you and good night.”

  224. 224
    Turgidson says:

    @dmsilev:

    The media would gush for days about his minority outreach.

  225. 225
    rikyrah says:

    @Iowa Old Lady:

    Clinton really is Hermione Granger, the hard-working smart girl whose hand shoots up when the teacher asks a question. Lots of people seem to resent that girl. She’s Miss Smarty Pants (Suit).

    Resent her in class – maybe.

    But, this is the real world, and I’ll take the wonk over the intellectually lazy, con man grifter ANY DAY OF THE WEEK.

    Have any doubt that she’s got the mental capacity to be President of the United States? Never.

  226. 226
    D58826 says:

    Why don’t we just call it a day and give the G-D election to Trump.

    One of Trumps surrogates puts out a cartoon of Hillary in blackface and then said he didn’t realize it would offend people. Can you imagine how long that story would play if one of Hillary’s people did that. And the guy who did it was African-American, so would seem like he should know better.

    The NYT thinks the Clinton’s should shut down the CF. The writer said that it’s true there is no fire but there is smoke. She then asks where is the smoke coming from – a smoke generator? Well yes and the smoke generator has a name it’s called Judicial Watch. People are behaving as if they never heard of the fact that the rich and powerful can pick up the phone and get a meeting with S-o-S or POTUS, while the rest of us get switched to voice mail.

    In the meantime no one is demanding the Trump shutdown his business interests.

    The FBI playing by Clinton rules has given in to the GOPERS and will release the e-mail interview notes.

    One of the Sunday talk shows had 3 Trump surrogates and one Clinton surrogate. The e-mails were the main topic of conversation.

    And now Hillary is somehow guilty of bad judgement or something because Anthony Wiener love to flash his wiener on Twitter. Of course maybe it appropriate given the topic of wieners came up in the GOP primary.

    And while the polls will change many times between now and November, KOS has Hillary’s odds as down to 75% from almost 90% two weeks ago. What did Trump do to convince that big a chunk of the electorate that he is fit to be POTUS? Other than maybe having his smart phone taken away from him. I guess if the media labels Hillary getting coffee at a local coffee shop rather than Starbucks ‘a scandal’ her numbers will suffer.

  227. 227
    rikyrah says:

    @EuniceCycle:

    I think Hillary should agree right now on Sean Hannity being the debate moderator for the first debate. She can handle him; he’s not on his own show so he has to at least pretend to show some objectivity. Trump would have to agree to it.

    That would be hilarious.

  228. 228
    Peale says:

    @D58826: It will be a close election if e-mails, immigration (both from Mexico and from Islamic countries) and racism continue to be the top issues. Sorry, but I see those issues being a vote draw for the republicans but only certain segments of the democratic base. it will be like mid-terms. I’m glad that Hillary has her GOTV team in place and that should count, but she is going to need every one of those votes if we are going to take senate seats.

  229. 229
    sinnedbackwards says:

    @D58826: Read Sam Wang at PEC. Study his method. You will feel better. But still volunteer like we are behind by 2!

  230. 230
    Origuy says:

    @sinnedbackwards: A Melchizedeck is 30 liters; only champagne comes in that size. You can get Burgundy or Bordeaux in sizes larger than a magnum, but not that big. Wiki

  231. 231

    Do y’all enjoy watching presidential debates?

    I prefer to be eaten by wolves.

  232. 232
    catclub says:

    @Peale:

    It will be a close election if e-mails, immigration (both from Mexico and from Islamic countries) and racism continue to be the top issues.

    I think the opposite is true. as long as these are the topics for debate, Trump will say something outrageous. And things will get worse for him.
    I think if Trump had quietly (yeah, right) complained that the economy is just not as good as it could be after 8 years of Obama,
    he could make it much closer. “We need a change from the tired policies of the past that have not helped us.”
    A much more believable lie.

  233. 233
    sinnedbackward says:

    @Origuy: Thanks for the elucidation. Back when I was the dude Friday for a retired American couple near Colle Val D’ Elsa in Tuscany, when Grove bought 30 liter barrels of Chianti, it was my job to decant them to flasks. (Fiasco – I always loved that word.)

    That’s when I learned the words about container size. Back then and there Melchizedek just meant ” the biggest”.

  234. 234
    JR in WV says:

    @cmorenc:

    Guys, don’t forget, you can use any “banned” word by inserting a text control command, then the end command by clicking either the b button twice or the i button twice inside the word. The two commands with nothing between them do nothing, but they throw off the forbidden word scanner tool completely.

    Like talking about a casino where they play poker and sell viagra to the older guys. **

    Now I’m going to type a little of that sentence using [] instead of the “greater than” and “less than” symbols that HTML uses. …talking about a cas[em][/em]ino where they play pok[strong][/strong]er and sell….

    But those two buttons, for bold and italic clicked twice in the middle of a forbidden word, will make it magically fit to appear in your posts.

    ** see, here is a mistake, I put the end italic command after the rest of the word “viagra” so the last two letters ARE in italic.

  235. 235
    sukabi says:

    @Baud: the reply to that should be “That number is significantly less than the number of girls you’ve raped.”

  236. 236
    Spinoza Is My Co-Pilot says:

    @JMG:

    The Stein totals continue to amaze me. It would be a depressing thing to learn that as many as five percent of the people theoretically on our side are in fact idiots.

    I don’t know, man. Prepare to be depressed then, I guess. Been working for over 45 years for “our side” (mostly campaign canvassing stuff like phone banking and door knocking at all levels from city council – I began as a teenager by working for my dad’s union helping Kucinich’s first run – to president in every election from ’72 till now). Your five percent number for “our side idiots” is way too low.

    The saving grace, however, is the “other side” (the fascists as I shorthand label them, including kindly old grandmothers and actually-successful while fair and honest businessmen and all) has a set of idiots that absolutely dwarfs ours. Saving grace when they lose, that is. When they (all too often) win, not so much.

  237. 237
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    @JR in WV:

    Guys, don’t forget, you can use any “banned” word by inserting a text control command, then the end command by clicking either the b button twice or the i button twice inside the word.

    Exactly. That’s how I managed to get three forbidden words in my earlier response @SiubhanDuinne. One of the most useful tricks I’ve ever learned.

  238. 238
    D58826 says:

    @sinnedbackwards: Oh I understand that the polls will sjip around more than a cat on a hot roof, its just depressing that so many folks still plan on voting for this guy. And the media seems to intent on playing the ‘both sides’ do it narrative when that is not the case. Here we have the FBI doing something in releasing these notes that seems almost unprecedented. I can’t imagine they would be doing it with out Comey’s approval and his Starr- which hunting track record goes back to 1996. It just keeps the e-mail story alive. Judicial Watch will continue to dribble out e-mails that are the most damaging even if they are largely devoid of any real news. But the media will continue to talk about the ‘e-mail scandal’ and why doesn’t Hillary have a press conference. Well stupid things like the e-mails are one of the big reasons. We could be on the verge of nuclear war with Russia and all the media would want to ask her about is the latest batch of e-mails or why her personnel schedule hasn’t been released. The non-news junkies will at some point, if they haven’t already, buy into the if there is smoke then there must be a fire somewhere.

  239. 239
    sinnedbackward says:

    @D58826: Appreciate your angst.

    That’s why GG and I are doing a fundraiser for Hillary on 10 September.

    (She has otherwise wisely closed down outreach in CA in favor of directing resources to competitive states,)

    We may end up working for Doug Applegate in CA 49 to help win the House back.

  240. 240
    MarySNJ says:

    @FlipYrWhig: I predict your prediction is right on the money.

  241. 241
    Brachiator says:

    @catclub:

    Then why have they lost territory and cities they captured in Iraq? Also losing captured cities in Syria.

    Cities reduced to rubble, and populations displaced. I’m not seeing much here except the perpetuation of instability, and a power vacuum filled by bad actors.

  242. 242
    hugely says:

    @Kay: lol I use “hard working” to describe Sec. Clinton and I mean it as a positive. Man I so dont get the CDS…

    signed a pale fat bitter white guy (kinda like cole)

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