Ross Douthat on the Debates

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Ross Douthat, who has the unenviable task of scattering pearls of conservative wisdom before the New York Times readership, has this prediction on the debate:


A series of debates between a man proudly unprepared for the office of the presidency and a woman of Clinton’s knowledge and experience should produce a predictable outcome: She should win, and he should lose.

This is not a hot take. It is a cold take, a boring take, a take that assumes that the political world, even now, is still relatively rule-bound and predictable.

And if I’m wrong, if Hillary manages to throw the debates and the election to Donald Trump, it will be the last such take I offer for many years to come.

Go here to read the rest.  I will miss the predictions of Douthat over the next few years.  I think he is incorrect for the following reasons:

  1.  Based on past performances, Clinton isn’t a very good debater.
  2. Clinton, due to her mystery malady, will probably be medicated up to the gills to avoid coughing fits and collapses over the 90 minute period.  Watch her requesting an emergency bathroom break.
  3. The debate is about who would be the better President, not policy wonk in chief.  Carter found that out in 1980 in his debate with Reagan.
  4. Trump has shown in the campaign that he is adaptable and does learn.  He is much better at this game now than in his early debates.
  5. This is a Change year with a capital C and the normal political rules simply do not apply.
  6. Expectations are so low for Trump that he will find it almost impossible not to exceed them.
  7. I believe that a humorous brawler will make a better impression on the American people than a humorless pol.

We shall all find out tomorrow.


More to explorer

PopeWatch: Uncle Ted

 “Yeah, five years. If we had five years, the Lord working through Bergoglio in five years could make the Church over again.”

Requiescat in Pace: Pat Caddell

  Pat Caddell has passed away at age 68.  He went from being Jimmy Carter’s wunderkind pollster in 1976 to supporting Trump


  1. #5 and #7…yes …that does fit.
    #2…does that mean she’ll use the men’s room? I’m so confused as to the gender deal and bathrooms…oh…where is 1950?

  2. Re #7 – Trump humorless? I have been cackling with glee for months at a self-appointed establishment class that can’t tell when it’s being trolled. The Donald might be a really good prez or a not-so-hot one, but in either case the next four years will be wildly entertaining.

  3. Most people will stick with the candidate they already have chosen. The undecideds are totally unpredictable according to reason.
    I can understand people saying they don’t want to vote for either one, but how anyone could be undecided now is beyond me. The differences between the two candidates are very well known.

  4. “And if I’m wrong, if Hillary manages to throw the debates and the election to Donald Trump, it will be the last such take I offer for many years to come.”
    I hope this does not come back to haunt Ross, but I think he is wrong also.
    Maybe he’s just trotting the NYT party line.
    Two very poor choices, but from an outsiders view, it has to be Trump – with Hillary bringing four more years of Obama, believe me – the outside- of- the- USA world really believes that the USA as we know it, will be destroyed.

  5. Good thinking Donald. Trump is the one in control of the debate not the moderator and certainly not Hillary. Hillary will, like a good student, be ready to answer the teacher’s questions. Trump may just tell the teacher that he is asking the wrong question, answer the question or answer a different question. Trump be da’ man!

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