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:
- Based on past performances, Clinton isn’t a very good debater.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- This is a Change year with a capital C and the normal political rules simply do not apply.
- Expectations are so low for Trump that he will find it almost impossible not to exceed them.
- 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.