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The last debate – finally.

October 19, 2016

Some people are going to watch tonight’s third and final presidential debate of the 2016 season dutifully but with all the enthusiasm of a teenager being told to leave the phone in the car during Thanksgiving dinner at Gramma’s house.

Some are just watching for the entertainment value, while others will find a bar with no TV, a 2 for 1 happy hour, and nice fresh pretzels.

How many are going to watch because they haven’t decided who to vote for yet?

Ah, that’s the rub. The national polls say it’s a done deal for Clinton, some showing her as much as 12 points ahead, but then there are those annoying little state polls that don’t fit the narrative.

This the last time for the two contestants to have a truly national audience, and if they follow the format laid out by Fox News’ Chris Wallace, they would hold the “temperament” digs until about the last 15 minutes of the thing.

Fat chance of that. With no disrespect at all meant to Mr. Wallace’s ability as a moderator, these are tough cats to herd.

Trump, as the come-from-behind candidate, obviously has the most to gain or lose. If the soberly thoughtful businessman shows up, he could gain a lot. The man does seem to have a good instinctive grasp of those inconsequential little things like the economy, jobs, national security and the impact of the national debt.

If the adolescent Twitter addict goes to the Thomas and Mack, what happens there will definitely NOT stay in Vegas.

In spite of the media bias and the skill of the professional political operative organizations working for the Clintons, Mr. Trump’s slide of the last three weeks or so has been largely of his own doing,  assuming you believe that he is the prime architect of his own campaign strategy.

If there is any ground to be made up it’s going to be with independents, since Republican voters are already a statistical minority.

The trick for him to gain with that group is to show that he knows there is a time and a place for all things.

He largely tried to hit that note in his Colorado Springs rally yesterday, but it remains to be seen if he can maintain that posture when face-to-face with Mrs. Clinton.

As for Hillary Clinton, she doesn’t need to do anything but never, ever try to talk about her successful policies, promise a lot, and keep dissing Trump, the man.

At this late stage of the game with voting already underway, more people probably are looking for a reason not to vote for one of these people than are waiting to be pushed into one camp or the other.

One still committed Trump voter summed it up this way.

“It’s the Supreme Court for the next three or four decades. That’s not the only reason, but it’s the best reason for me to vote for him.”

A woman who says even her husband doesn’t know she will be voting for Trump said, “At least when he talks about policy, I think he believes in what he’s saying and he will at least try to keep his promises.. With her, you know she’s just trying to impress people long enough to get them to vote for her. One minute after the election she won’t be able to recall any of it.”

A Clinton supporter notes, “She’s put up with a lot to get to this point. She deserves it.”

Another Hillary fan says, “It’s time for a woman President, and she’s the only woman on the ticket.”

Many people are just praying for this thing to be over with before any substantial violence breaks out.

In view of the fire-bombing of the Republican campaign offices in North Carolina, it can’t happen soon enough.

At least after the debate, it will only be 19 days until the voting gets going in earnest.

The pollsters and the overseas betting line has Clinton as the prohibitive 4-1 favorite, so it should be all over but the shouting, right?


From → op-ed

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