What to Expect from Tonight’s Presidential Debate
Tonight at 9PM Eastern, the Republican and Democratic nominees for president, Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton will be locked in the debate of the decade. This is the first of three presidential debates, and it is poised to be contentious, as the two candidates for president could not be more different in their approach to politics and communicating. Here is what I expect to go down on tonight’s debate stage.
1. Donald Trump is going to lie.
Of course, Clinton will likely lie as well, but the point is that Trump is going to lie much more. Last week, the Washington Post, the New York Times and the LA Times all called out Trump for his dishonesty, and PolitiFact has found that Trump lies significantly more than Clinton, with around 70% of his statements qualifying as false, to Clinton’s 28%. Further, much discussion has been had about whether the debate moderators should call Trump on his dishonesty. Likely, Clinton will be the one responsible for calling out Trump’s falsehoods.
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2. If Trump does not say anything disrespectful or outlandish, he will win the debate.
The expectations for Trump are abysmally low. All he has to do is not be caught in a blatant lie and not say anything horrible to Clinton and he will be praised for appearing “presidential.” This is a ridiculous double standard, as every word, action, and deed that Clinton has ever said or done in her 40 years of public service will without a doubt be deeply scrutinized. Clinton’s level headedness and calm demeanor will be closely observed and should she show any sign of weakness, everyone will pounce. Meanwhile, if Trump can get some policy details correct, he will be lauded as a budding policy expert.
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3. It’s going to get personal.
Donald Trump has scant policy positions and has demonstrated a lack of political prowess when it comes to the details of key issues. Clinton, on the other hand, is well-versed in the complexities and the important points of American political issues. So what will they debate over? Trump is likely to go for the jugular with Clinton–which means bringing up her email scandal, the Benghazi scandal, and (unfortunately for all of us) her husband’s infidelities. On the other hand, Clinton can bring up the myriad of outlandish, racist, sexist, and nativist (shall I go on?) statements Trump has made on the campaign trial, in interviews, and over the course of his highly public life.
So grab a friend and ready your Twitter fingers, friends. It is going to be a long night. You can watch the debate on CNN, Fox News, NBC, PBS and ABC. You can watch the debate online at the New York Times, Facebook Live, and YouTube.
Photo Credits: Flickr