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Just when I was thinking either Hillary or Bernie could beat Trump --- uh oh.

Gaius Publius: Comparing Debate Styles -- Trump, Clinton, Sanders

So let's look at debate styles. Trump has a style, as does Clinton, as does Sanders. What can be said about the various combinations? For an answer, let's turn to Nathan Robinson, editor at Current Affairs magazine. He writes (my bolded emphasis throughout):

   Unless the Democrats Run Sanders, A Trump Nomination Means a Trump Presidency

    ... If Democrats honestly believe, as they say they do, that Trump poses a serious threat to the wellbeing of the country and the lives of minority citizens, that means doing everything possible to keep him out of office. To do that will require them to very quickly unite around a single goal, albeit a counterintuitive one: they must make absolutely sure that Bernie Sanders is the Democratic nominee for President....

As if that is likely to happen! Sure hope he is wrong - Even though I agree that Sanders is the better candidate against Trump.

Again, all of Clinton's weaknesses play to Trump's strength, and all of Trump's weaknesses play to Sander's strengths. He then looks more closely at the paired match-ups, starting with Trump and Clinton.

Trump's Strengths versus Clinton's Weaknesses

His first point is that Trump is uniquely able to give Clinton fits, both on the campaign trail and in debates. The campaign trail first:

 Trump's political dominance is highly dependent on his idiosyncratic, audacious method of campaigning. He deals almost entirely in amusing, outrageous, below-the-belt personal attacks, and is skilled at turning public discussions away from the issues and toward personalities (He/she's a "loser," "phony," "nervous," "hypocrite," "incompetent.") If Trump does have to speak about the issues, he makes himself sound foolish, because he doesn't know very much. Thus he requires the media not to ask him difficult questions, and depends on his opponents' having personal weaknesses and scandals that he can merrily, mercilessly exploit.

    This campaigning style makes Hillary Clinton Donald Trump's dream opponent. She gives him an endless amount to work with. The emails, Benghazi, Whitewater, Iraq, the Lewinsky scandal, Chinagate, Travelgate, the missing law firm records, Jeffrey Epstein, Kissinger, Marc Rich, Haiti, Clinton Foundation tax errors, Clinton Foundation conflicts of interest, "We were broke when we left the White House," Goldman Sachs... There is enough material in Hillary Clinton's background for Donald Trump to run with six times over.

    The defense offered by Clinton supporters is that none of these issues actually amount to anything once you look at them carefully. But this is completely irrelevant; all that matters is the fodder they would provide for the Trump machine. Who is going to be looking carefully? In the time you spend trying to clear up the basic facts of Whitewater, Trump will have made five more allegations.

As I noted a week ago with a Trump sympathizer, Bill Root, on The Bill Maher Show. Root steamrollered the show and the best Maher and could do was give us a facepalm!? And his other guest panelests were not slouches either.

Well, maybe the debates won't matter...

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."

by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Mon Jun 6th, 2016 at 12:08:14 AM EST
I have to agree with you on this.  Trump is a professional TV entertainer who knows how to entertain. Facts don't matter.  Policies are for wonks. Details are for the little people.  If Hilary tries to play him at his own game she will lose, and humiliatingly so.  If she tries to "be herself" and talk policy earnestly and seriously, she will be perceived by the media/public to have lost the "debate", regardless of the fact that she will have won every argument.  

But that I don't think will matter, because most people realise a President needs to have other qualities than a TV entertainer.  Manners matter as well, and Trump hasn't got any. The moderator and rules of engagement will be key, and if I were a Hillary advisor I would refuse to attend the "debates" unless they rules were framed to my liking - e.g. no interrupting when the other speaker has the floor.

Insist beforehand that the moderator must end the debate if Trump repeatedly breaks the rules - as he will.  Trump thrives because he can break any rules he likes with impunity. Now he will lose his platform if he breaks the rules and he simply won't know how to handle that. She can do without the debates proceeding.  He can't.

My advice to Hillary would be to simply to ignore the presence of Trump in the room, other than a polite acknowledgement every now an again. Speak slowly and distinctly directly to the American people.  Answer every question asked on the merits getting in as many of her own talking points as possible. Ignore Trump's personalised counter attacks as you would an unruly teenager.  Quietly correct any factual errors he makes, but acknowledge why (some) people might feel that way. Demonstrate you know where people are coming from and address their concerns without being patronising or talking down to them. Honour people by paying due respect to their feelings but also by respecting their intelligence. People like to think their opinions matter. Make sure you quote them every time.

Index of Frank's Diaries

by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Mon Jun 6th, 2016 at 06:55:13 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I hope the DNC follows your advice! But, if the DNC and Hillary's campaign hold firm on the format Trump will accuse her of refusing to debate - oh, twenty times a day. I just hope that his poll numbers quickly drop into the low 40 with a downward trajectory. That is really the only way to silence him. He doesn't deal well with rejection. I would laugh my ass off if he dropped out AFTER winning the nomination - once his numbers drop below 40% and all Republicans are in a panic.

Turmp simply denies the reality of any criticism of his person or performance. I have noted before that denial is the strongest of all psychic defenses - until it fails. The problem is that, when it fails, it fails catastrophically. I would prefer that he not be the president when that happens. We are much more likely to elect a crazy president than to be able to survive that presidency.

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."

by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Mon Jun 6th, 2016 at 09:33:38 AM EST
[ Parent ]


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