“Well, Donald, I know you live in your own reality”
- Hillary Clinton, first debate
Do you really expect Trump to come into tonight’s debate prepared after what has transpired between then and now?
I don’t think he is prepared for the upcoming second debate which is a town hall style debate made of undecided voters which 1) are probably unsure of a Trump presidency given his behavior since the first debate; and 2) do not live in a vacuum and are aware of the recent news of Trump’s 2005 sexual assault comments.
Trump tried to wing it with a staged town hall in New Hampshire where he was lobbed softballs. That will not cut it. A presidential town hall will ask a little tougher questions and will expect Trump to dive deeper in policy than just “build a wall and make Mexico pay for it” and “we’re going to ban all Muslims.”
Okay, HOW are you going to achieve those polices? What are you going to do when Congress says that your wall plan costs too much and they have to raise additional revenues? What are you going to do when the Supreme Court rules that your Muslim ban is unconstitutional?
Uhh… I dunno…
There are also the optics. In 1992, George H.W. Bush was looking at his watch during the forum. It made it look like he had better things to do than participate in the debate. Well, in the November election, the voters gave him the chance to do things other than being president.
I would watch for the ability of connecting with the people in the room during this debate. Clinton has that ability; Trump cannot.
As shown in the first debate and highlighted in her show the day after, Donald Trump does not have a basic command of the facts.
That was one of the problems Rachel Maddow had with Trump’s debate performance. It was not that he interrupted Clinton, but he did not have a basic command of simple facts that are easy to look up.
And that is one of the problems with the modern Republican Party is that they have chosen to substitute their own reality and become locked into their own little bubble. Four years ago that bubble grew because Republicans spun themselves up that Romney was going to win despite what the state polls in key states said.
They convinced themselves that 2008 was a fluke and that turnout would return to earlier election cycles that were more favorable to Republicans. What they failed to encounter was the superior Obama ground game that took into account the various demographics that the campaign relied on to win.
Here is a fun fact about the 2012 election: Obama’s tipping point state for the second consecutive election was Colorado. Obama would have won re-election without Florida, Ohio, Virginia, and non-binding THE POPULAR VOTE. The Romney campaign was a worthy opponent for the Obama campaign but it was no match for their ground operation.
Obama knew where to target their operations that is expected for the 21st century while the Romney campaign was still running a late-20th century operation. Again it was good, but not good enough to win.
But Republicans retreated into their bubble and convinced themselves that the polls were skewed, Nate Silver was only saying things to make liberals feel good, and they were going to win.
And then Ohio was called
And the bubble was popped
I sometimes watch her post-2012 election commentary, but I think what Rachel Maddow said then is true now specifically this part right here:
And if the Republican Party, and the conservative movement, and the conservative media is stuck in a vacuum sealed, door locked, spin cycle of telling each other what makes them feel good, and denying the factual, lived truth of the world, then we are all deprived, as a nation, of the constructive debate between competing, feasible ideas about real problems.
Unfortunately, the party might have to go through another humiliating loss to pop the bubble.
The humiliation is already taking place due to the real-time implosion of the Trump campaign.
One person is prepared for the job.