On Sunday October 9th in St. Louis, Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump will square off in the second of three scheduled Presidential debates. If a movie series like the Godfather has taught us anything, it’s that trilogies improve over time. Expect the second debate to build on the excitement and suspense of the first, culminating in an enthralling and exhilarating finale at the third debate. In the days prior to the debate Clinton has an atypically light campaign schedule, with most of the campaign’s events featuring prominent surrogates like Slick Willy and Bernie Sanders instead of the candidate herself. Instead, Clinton has devoted her schedule to debate preparation and mock debates with her inner circle of advisers. Donald Trump on the other hand has been much more secretive about his debate prep and is rumored to have Allen Iverson on hand who has been advising the candidate that any type of practice is unnecessary and a waste of time.
This second debate is a rare opportunity for the candidates to make their cases to the American public and put forth their policy proposals for making America great again and maintaining semi-complacent mediocrity, respectively. Other than commercial ad buys in swing states, there are no other venues for voters to learn about the candidates platforms or what they stand for. The four and a half hours of debates are must watch television for voters who want to learn more about the candidates or who are looking to see what former Miss Universes may or may not have made poorly filmed sex tapes. Sunday’s debate will offer a stark contrast between last week’s Vice Presidential debate between the notoriously electric pair of Tim Kaine and Mike Pence. Last week’s match up has been compared by beltway pundits as a clash between oatmeal and saltines, if oatmeal was really into tax deductions and saltines was pretty racist and spent his spare time going to funerals for aborted fetuses.
The VP debate was widely panned by critics who singled out the moderator, Elaine Quijano, for failing to hold the candidates accountable and not being able to separate them as they clinched up. However, Sunday’s debate will be hosted by Mean Martha Raddatz who has been on a rigorous bulking routine since the debate schedule was announced and will be able to step to the candidates if need be.
The format of the second debate will be a town hall meeting with half the questions posed by the moderator and the other half asked by everyday St. Lunatics in the audience who want to know which tax policies will allow them to procure the maximum amount of Air Force Ones. Immediately after the conclusion of the first debate Trump already began threatening to bring up Bill Clinton’s infidelities during Sunday’s debate and has even alluded to bringing up Hillary’s own alleged infidelities. In response, it is likely Clinton will attack Trump for his avoidance of federal income taxes and his appearance in multiple softcore Playboy videos during the 1990s. Many D.C. pundits have predicted that Sunday’s showdown will bear many similarities to the famous Lincoln-Douglas debates.
One major disadvantage Trump holds going into the debate will be Raddatz’s presence, as he has notoriously performed poorly in debates moderated by women. During the Republican primary debates, he infamously referred to Megyn Kelly has having “blood coming out of her wherever.” Although he clearly was referring to her well known battle with hemorrhoids, many in the mainstream media misinterpreted the comment as a reference to her menstrual cycle. A major key for Trump on Sunday will be to treat Raddatz no different than any male moderator, this means that if Trump can avoid commenting on her appearance in a sexualized manner he will score major points with the 14 people Frank Luntz found in line at Arby’s to make up his focus group. Life pro tip for Donald, just treat Martha Raddatz as if she were your daughter and you will be A-OK.
Clinton’s major goal coming out of the debate needs to be rallying support from her core constituencies, as she has not been able to siphon any support from Trump’s dedicated group of basement dwelling eugenicists and guys from Staten Island who aren’t afraid to tell it like it is. A major key to a Clinton victory will be promoting voter turnouts among millennials who helped Obama win in 2008 and 2012. She has not been able to connect with young voters the way Obama did, even with the help of hip young surrogates like Al Gore and Bradley Whitford. Clinton needs to stop telling millennials she understands them and show them. Congresswoman Loretta Sanchez used this past week’s California Senate debate to create a poignant moment where she connected with millennials on a visceral level, something Clinton could learn a lot from.