I want to follow up the wishful thinking piece about Trump falling 20 points behind with some about wishful thinking Hillary thoughts. The first debate, moderated by Lester Holt (NBC News), is Sept. 26 so I’m thinking about how she’s going to trounce Trump in the debate and get a three point post-debate bounce from 17 to the magic number of 20.
In order to write this I've had to ponder seriously what her best strategy for the debate will be. I’m leaning towards her winning without any deliberate attempt to prompt him into revealing that he doesn’t have the temperament to be president.
I think she should ignore whatever says in order to challenge her with lies and distortions and respond by saying that she respects the voters to decide what’s true and what isn’t.
Of course, this will force the post-debate commentators to do the work for the voters.
She should fully answer every question, a walk in the park for her, without ever veering into talking points or comparisons between her and Trump.
I believe she’s had professional voice coaching and will come off speaking “lowly and slowly,” choosing carefully when she is going to raise her voice ever so slightly without increasing the pitch, for emphasis.
She won’t show any anger, irritation, or frustration.
She’ll have a few prepared sound bite phrases sure to be replayed which will expose Trump for the scoundrel and liar, the xenophobe and hate monger that he is, but they will be so well crafted that Trump won’t even know why the audience is laughing.
Trump will speak as if there’s no microphone and he has to shout so the people in the rear seats can hear him. Hillary will have made the audience ignore the admonition to be silent because they can’t help laughing at a Hillary line. Trump doesn’t know how to be funny.
The more Trump comes across as out of control the more Hillary will come off as in control.
My wish is that by the time of the debate Hillary will already be 17 points ahead of Trump (as described below). The more behind Trump is the more desperation he will feel, although being as full-of himself as he is he may not consciously accept this. I expect his sycophantic advisors will tell him the polls are wrong. They’ll tell him he’s really ahead.
If as I predict Kellyanne Conway has already bailed as the last truth-to-power advisor, all that will be left will be bootlicking toadies. So he may very well go into the debate trying to believe he is ahead in the polls, but his denial (as a psychological defense) will have become tenuous and brittle in the face of the reality being reported extensively in the media.
While we’ll all be watching MSNBC dissect the debate immediately afterwards (easy for me since Oregon is three hours earlier) I expect Hillary will be exhausted and just go to sleep. Savvy politico that she is she’ll slip easily into dreamland knowing she exposed Trump for the poseur that he is.
Hillary will wake up in the morning with the New York Times, Washington Post, and maybe the New York Daily News just for their front page (I can’t wait to see that one) on her breakfast tray, along with a mimosa (fresh squeezed orange juice and Cristal of course). She'll tune into Morning Joe, and relax and revel in her landslide in the making.
Yesterdays diary: Wishful Thinking Dept: Down 20 Points, Trump Phones It In
The first sign will be that when he’s another five points down in the polls Kellyanne Conway will throw a life preserver and leap overboard where the Florida billionaire Mike Fernandez, who supported Jeb Bush but just announced he’s going to vote for Hillary, will pick her up in his yacht.
Without her guiding hand, his campaign will begin to list like the Lusitania.
As the campaign begins to take on water he’ll desperately try to appeal to disparate sections of the electorate that he has no chance of winning. He will come across as so disingenuous that he’ll look like Al Jolson at the Apollo trying to convince Harlem that he’s really black.
Flailing about as the polls inch towards the big two-oh he’ll try the ultimate Hail Mary and find a psychic to channel Mary Tudor as a replacement for Kellyanne Conway.
Mary will convince him to do what he does best which is incite fear, trepidation, and loathing among members of his base.
As hate crimes increase Trump, with his hair taking on a darker hue and flop sweat slicked down over his forehand, will have a brilliant idea (all his own) that the problem is that the hats aren’t enough, and he will order tens of thousands of armbands to be given out at his fewer and further between rallies, and little American flags which his supporters, now sensing defeat, will trust upwards in the air while shouting “make America great” and “USA, USA.”
Unfortunately for Trump this will look more and more like a Reichstag rally.
By now the RNC will have cut off funds to him desperately sending them down ballot. All of his large dollar donors will have cut their losses. His own coffers will have been depleted. He just has no money left to put on rallies.
And then the day will come when Trump, mentally and physically exhausted, refusing to admit defeat and wanting to hang on to the bitter end has only his telephone to rely on to get his message out.
So get ready Jimmy Fallon (right), Dana Carvey, and Darrell Hammond.