Anyhow, what do I hope for, besides Clinton wiping the floor with Donnie's hair?
- Despite being a person who studies foreign policy and international relations, I think I would prefer more discussion of domestic policies. Why? First, we have actually had a surprising abundance of discussion of foreign policy in the campaigns, crowding out discussions of how to fix social security and medicare, how to rebuild US infrastructure, regulation of banks, education, and on and on. Second, Trump doesn't know much about things like facts and details, so this would be fun to watch him struggle. Third, and, most importantly, history/political science tells us that people care about/vote on domestic stuff--the things that they think affects them most directly.
- Here's where I get idealistic: I'd love it if the media used as a basis of comparison for Trump's performance not the low bar of his regular Trumpiness but the performance by past candidates, losing and winning. That is, how about considering whether Trump performs better than Gore or Romney or Bush or McCain or Obama? Does Trump perform as well or as poorly as candidates that were seen as qualified, whether they went on to win or lose the election?
- Even less realistic, it would be great if the discussion afterwards discussed not just the horse race but the policy stances, fact checking them and analyzing their likely impact/meaning on/for voters.
- That Hillary Clinton will "win" the debate by having a greater mastery of the facts, having greater composure, and all the rest.
- That the media will focus on a few key lines
- That Trump will probably do better than the expectations his campaign has set, but probably will still fall short of the Dan Quayle standard and probably even the Sarah Palin standard.
To be clear, I am still confident that Clinton will win the election because the fundamentals are still fundamental: Trump is a detestable person, has a very poor team and weak organization, far less money, while Clinton is actually better than how she is perceived, has a very smart team and very sharp organization and far better surrogates. Oh and Pence really doth suck. One more thing: our October surprise might have come early--the Trump campaign might have worked with the Russians on messing with our election.... So, there's that.