Trump Is Better Positioned for the Next Two Debates Than the Pundits Dare Realize


In the first presidential debate Donald Trump achieved Job One: convincing independents that he is being mischaracterized and caricatured, that he really is a “normal” guy, just exuberant but essentially normal, under control, disciplined. To the point that he is a plausible choice.  I believe that at the suggestion of his handlers he drank water whenever he felt the urge to interrupt or insult or felt himself “losing it.”  (The irony, of course, is that he mocked Marco Rubio for drinking lots of water during debates.  But, as with “All Things Trump,” the alternative is Hillary.  So drink away!)

It seemed kind-of a draw.  I wanted him to hit her harder on the emails, the Clinton Foundation, the speaking fees, her 25 years of public scandals, even how she lied about her name.  But his most important job was to seem Presidential, no matter what, to seem plausible.  In that, he succeeded, much as he benefited when he shared a stage and podium with the Mexican President, with marble walls behind them as two world leaders. He was sharing the stage, split-screen with the Secretary of State, the Democrats’ candidate for President, and he managed to emerge plausible.  Despite the hundreds of millions spent on calling him a monster, the mere sight of him in a one-on-one with Hillary Clinton legitimized him for Independents as a real candidate.  In that sense, he won a split decision narrowly. – READ MORE

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