... and I'm snarking over there...
So the "research" is into how to needle him. It's positively professorial....... and thinking I need to blog it. But I click through... and the headline is...
The headline makes HC look good and DT look bad, but why isn't it the opposite? This isn't about who's studying the policy issues more deeply.
Hillary Clinton Piles Up Research in Bid to Needle Donald Trump at First Debate... and I've got no problem with that.
As Mrs. Clinton pores over this voluminous research with her debate team, most recently for several hours on Friday, and her aides continue searching for someone who can rattle her as a Trump stand-in during mock debates, Mr. Trump is taking the opposite tack. Though he spent hours with his debate team the last two Sundays, the sessions were more freewheeling than focused, and he can barely conceal his disdain for laborious and theatrical practice sessions.I don't think we really know who's doing what and who thinks what. I think we only know what the NYT chooses to say about how 2 campaigns choose to frame their candidate's attitude toward debates. Both the NYT and the campaigns are trying to influence how we think about the candidates. Hillary's people want you to think she's a thorough and hard worker and that Trump has flaws that she's going to skillfully extract and display for us when the debate finally happens. And Trump's people want you to think he's efficient and direct and doesn't need to develop a special show for the occasion, like Hillary, so get ready to see honest, capable Trump and big phony Hillary.
“I believe you can prep too much for those things,” Mr. Trump said in an interview last week. “It can be dangerous. You can sound scripted or phony — like you’re trying to be someone you’re not.”
Let me collect 2 things that are spaced apart in the article (boldface added):
Mrs. Clinton, a deeply competitive debater, wants to crush Mr. Trump on live television, but not with an avalanche of policy details; she is searching for ways to bait him into making blunders....So "his belief" is the same as her belief.
Mr. Trump’s certitude — “I know how to handle Hillary,” he said — reflects his belief that the debates will be won or lost not on policy points and mastery of details, which are Mrs. Clinton’s strengths, but on the authenticity, boldness and leadership that the nominees demonstrate onstage....
These Clinton advisers agree with Mr. Trump’s belief that the debate will not be remembered as pitting a policy expert against a Washington outsider. Instead, her campaign is preparing ways for her to unnerve Mr. Trump and provoke him to rant and rave.Hmm. I don't think Trump is insecure about any of those things. But maybe those are just the areas they want him to think they are targeting, and they're really targeting something else. Or maybe provoking him to "rant and rave" is not the idea at all. Maybe they're trying to lure him into toning everything down, being boring, and not riveting the audience with the kind of attacks on Hillary that we haven't seen yet and that she can't predict and prepare for.
The Clinton camp believes that Mr. Trump is most insecure about his intelligence, his net worth and his image as a successful businessman, and those are the areas they are working with Mrs. Clinton to target.
So, who will play the role of Donald Trump in Hillary's practice debates? What friend of the Clintons will confront her with — for example — Bill's sexual offenses and her lies and enabling in the way that approximates what Trump might do?
Mrs. Clinton’s allies have floated several options: Representative Joseph Crowley of New York, who is from Queens, where Mr. Trump grew up; James Carville, Mr. Clinton’s chief strategist in 1992, who has a gift for lacerating banter; or Mark Cuban, another billionaire businessman... At least a few old Clinton hands have suggested enlisting professional entertainers, like Jon Stewart or Alec Baldwin.It's easy to ape Trump's bluster, but these sessions are not a comedy show for the public. And Trump has the advantage of knowing what they think of him and how they'll portray him. And he's flexible — or so he says — and likes to surprise. But Hillary's people know that, and they can try to get a step ahead. Still, Hillary is Hillary, and how can she change? What is she going to do but plant herself on the stage, maintain a steely but smiling demeanor, and deliver long flat lines that will wear most of us down to the grim realization that this is what we've going to get for the next 4 years?