Trump needs to pull out a miracle tonight, a Hail Mary pass into the end zone that is caught. He needs to be spectacular. Not likely.
Tonight’s Town Hall debate, beginning at 9:00, is not in a good format for Trump but a great one for Hillary. Trump doesn’t do well in small groups. He is at his best in front of YUGE raucous crowds who adore him. Hillary likes the small group interaction where she can relate to audience members. She has much practice in town hall debates because that’s where she shines. Tonight’s format is perfect for her.
CNN has announced they are changing tonight’s format to allow the moderators to bring up Trump’s disgusting tape at the beginning of the debate. And Hillary gets the first chance to respond. Already Trump’s in trouble.
Trump is indicating he will bring up Bill Clinton’s past in tonight’s debate. We can assume Trump will again apologize for his own disgusting behavior in 2005 and the crude comments made over the years on the Howard Stern radio program. Bringing up Clinton’s infidelities can quickly backfire on Trump because he too has had affairs while married and insulted women in many other ways too. Trump is likely to bring up Juanita Broaddrick’s alleged rape by Bill Clinton. Earlier today Trump was busy tweeting about Broaddrick. Trump is likely to accuse Hillary of being her husband’s enabler in his assaults on women. Trump could argue that while Bill Clinton raped a woman, Trump only talked about such things. Some defense! This too will backfire on Trump because former President Clinton is adored by many. NBC News is suggesting that children be put to bed prior to the debate. How low we have sunk in Presidential politics!
Because Trump is a classic narcissistic, all of his bravado and inflated since of self results from deep feelings of inferiority that he cannot allow to get close to the surface. That makes him extremely vulnerable to any criticism. Hillary was able to ‘trigger’ him in last debate and I suspect she will again tonight. It is extremely difficult for Trump to withstand any criticism as we’ve seen time and time again. Another characteristic of narcissists is the inability to apologize. Tonight Trump cannot avoid apologizing, and it can’t be an apology where he puts it back on the audience “IF I offended anyone, I apologize”. That simply isn’t good enough. He has to completely own his past behavior. Can he do that? Since the Presidency is on the line, he may, but I wouldn’t expect it. He will try to ‘prove’ that what he did wasn’t all that bad because, look over there, Bill Clinton was worse. That won’t fly either.
Tonight is Trump’s last chance with the party leadership. National committee chair Reince Priebus has put a hold on all mail going out on Trump’s behalf. Anything short of a stunning victory by Trump will result in Priebus canceling all efforts to help Trump and redirect the RNC’s money to the down ballot candidates with the hope of saving the House and the Senate. In addition, the calls for Trump to step down will reach a crescendo.
More on tonight’s debate here.