August 9, 2016

Will Hillary Clinton skip the debates?

That's a question I have, but when I Google it — to see if others are asking this question — what I get is:



Why would Trump skip the debates?! These articles were, it seems, mostly prompted by Trump's own statements — statements about the chosen dates (conflicting with football games). But it seems to me that Hillary is the one with the motivation to skip the debates. She's the one who's been avoiding exposure to challenging questions from the press by holding no press conferences. She did allow questions from the National Association of Black and Hispanic Journalists, presumably an unusually friendly group, and that event yielded up her "short-circuited" remark that's dogged her ever since.

If Hillary can maintain her lead in the polls, why would she want to subject herself to the kind of treatment we've seen Trump deliver in debates? He's been free-wheeling and brutal, even when he was fighting for the nomination and still had everything at stake. If she's on a clear path to victory, what would he do to her when he's got nothing left to lose? She might think that just standing there solidly allowing him to be offensive in her presence would make a powerful implicit argument in her favor — a reprise of the old Lazio debate. But it's still risky. There are now attacks on her physical and neurological fitness, and any flubbing of lines or seeming shakiness will be used against her.

How could she bow out? Don't the American people expect a debate — demand a debate — from our presidential candidates? Won't an attempt to avoid the debate be used against her as more of evidence/"evidence" of her physical and neurological unfitness?

She would have to handle the bowing out carefully. Get proxies to float the idea. Smoke out the arguments against it, see who picks up the idea and expands upon it. Choose some things Trump says and act like these things are the last straw making it inappropriate for her to stand beside him on the stage. He's the one that essentially forfeited the debate. And so on.

Whatever hits she may take for bowing out, they're a known risk, and they pale in comparison to the unknowns of the debate. She might make blunders. She might falter in her stamina. Trump may get off some brilliant hits that leave her reeling. Her verbose, flat, evasive style of speech might seem especially awful next to the pithy, entertaining Trump. His presence on the stage with her may catapult him into a newly presidential appearance. And how can she prepare? He likes to surprise. He might take any number of approaches, while she has only her usual, boring presentation. People may think: Is that what we want to look at and listen to for the next 4 years? Why give Trump that opening?

139 comments:

tim in vermont said...

Her verbose, flat, evasive style of speech

You mean she's a prolix liar? That's always a risk with Hillary, that she will tell a lie even if she doesn't need to. BTW, the best way to handle all the blowback from the constant lying? Obsessive secrecy!

mockturtle said...

She would like to avoid any venue where she might experience a petit mal on national television.

Comanche Voter said...

Trump has game. Hillary doesn't.

ngtrains said...

We always tape the games anyway.
(Hate the time spent watching the Commercials.)

Debates will be interesting this year.

Bob Ellison said...

If Hillary wins the election, we will be in for a Nixonian presentation.

If I were advising her, and if I were a cockroach, I would say, Hillary, no debates. You're gonna have to get to the presidency, and through the presidency, if you really want to do that, with as little public appearances as possible. Sorry, but you look and sound bad. You're not Meryl Streep.

Original Mike said...

Not football games, a Packer game!

Unknown has been here regurgitating this meme from the lefty press for weeks now. Not sure what they hope to gain.

PB said...

I've maintained for over 6 months that Hillary won't particpate, claiming that Trump is illegitimate and unfit and won't dignify him by participating.

tim in vermont said...

Funny how everybody is giving Trump the exact same advice that Hillary is following to the letter. Avoid the public at all costs!

Luke Lea said...

Interesting. I bet you are right. Maybe the NFL could reschedule.

eric said...

She will debate. Of course she will debate. The debates have always been a chance for the Democrats and the media to collude together to mock and undermine the Republican. It's a tag team affair to make the Democrat seem more acceptable to the voting public.

She won't skip the debates.

But Trump needs to bring his negotiation skills to the table here. I watched a documentary many years ago where they interviewed James Carville and George snuffolophogous and they talked about the debates. And they were very proud of the fact that they were able to get really high stools for George Bush and Ross Perot and Bill Clinton to sit on. And they said they did that because it made Ross Perot look like a small child. Very clever.

These dirty tricks are going to be pulled on Trump in collusion with the media. He better bring his A game.


Eric the Fruit Bat said...

I'm not so sure you can skip an event unless it's been scheduled and you have a duty to attend so how about we ask whether either of the candidates will chicken out?

Sebastian said...

What difference, at this point . . .

"she will tell a lie even if she doesn't need to" Yes. A telling one: she initially explained her felonious email arrangement by saying she preferred the convenience of a single device.

hawkeyedjb said...

"Yeah, that'll work, ann.
A political analyst, you are not..."

It will work exceedingly well when 98% of the nation's press will be pushing the story for Hillary. After a little while it will only be excited ultra-right-wingers who ever thought debates were a good idea, and the only ones quoted will be the ones making Nazi salutes or wearing Confederate regalia.

David Brooks will tut-tut and go with the flow. He will be the designated Respectable Republican.

mikee said...

Why debate, when she has the election stolen already?

Why debate, when Trump might say something mean to her, invade her personal space, mansplain something publicly, call her what she is (liar, corrupt, greedy, unethical, incompetent, criminal, irresponsible, the list is endless), or explain in a few short sentences that

Trump's opening statement:

"Hillary Clinton is responsible for the deaths of more people, American and foreign, responsible for the chaos and violence in so many countries, responsible for the successes of Russia and China and Iran in destabilizing the world, through her corrupt, incompetent tenure as Secretary of State, than anyone should be able to stomach."

"Her self-serving, serial lying to the American public about her emails, and the existence of her private emails as a means of hiding her actions from public scrutiny required under law, should have ended with her up in front of a federal judge. She isn't being prosecuted solely because of her special privilege as the cheated upon, abused wife of a lying, cheating hound dog who happened to be president."

"Hillary Clinton leads a corrupt organization, the Clinton Foundation, that exists solely to coordinate payments from domestic and foreign sources that want and get special treatment from her and her party."

"Hillary Clinton should be no closer to any position of authority, responsibility and trust than the defendant's chair in a federal courtroom. Her entire past history is one of public lies, official corruption, selling of office, and skirting the laws for personal profit. Vote for her at your peril."

Wilbur said...

Maybe Google is manipulating search results ... again.

tim in vermont said...

Did Comey ever explain why Hillary burned her personal schedules in a CIA type 'burn bag'? - -Nope.
Does anybody care that she was talking about an Iranian scientist in her unsecured email and now the Iranians have hanged him?
Nope.

It is now clear that I was never cynical enough.

Nonapod said...

My guess is if Hillary maintains her current commanding lead, there's a very good chance that she'll skip the debates. From her perspective and risk/reward ratio, there's little benefit in debating him and far greater risk that he may make her look bad. If she skips, of course Trump will make all sorts of noise about how she's afraid, but I doubt it'll gain him many new supporters.

Brando said...

It's not so difficult--to bow out, you simply fight over the details and then claim the other side is being unreasonable because they really don't want to debate. All your own supporters will think you're the reasonable one.

Bruce Hayden said...

I guess that I can see why the Crooked Hillary people would try to set up the debates against football. They had decent success before doing that, with fairly low ratings, and few bothering to tune in. But I see Trump calling her out if she (or her minions, sycophants, or surrogates) try to completely ditch the debates. It just isn't going to work. We have had televised debates since JFK and Nixon in 1960, and it is just one of those things that you need to do to get elected. She shouldn't worry (except to have the Diazepam injector nearby), because I expect the Trump people so desperate for televised debates that they would agree to having Candy Crowley moderate all the debates. Or, maybe trading off with George Stephenopolis.

MadisonMan said...

If she skips the debates (Shame on her if she does!), I predict a lot of trying press written saying Trump withholding tax returns is just the same as Hillary not appearing before the public.

Mike said...

Ah I see Google is continuing their manipulation of results. Of course Hillary has every reason to fear debates. And the "non-partisan" debate schedule has been released and can only be compared to Debbie Wasserman-Shulz's improbably primary debate schedule in its inanity. So when people, naturally curious, want to ask the question about Hillary -- will she or won't she debate, OF COURSE what you get is Trump stories obfuscating the issue.

Google and FB both should be the subjects of long and painful government probes after Trump is elected. Just fact-finding of course!

[edited for spelling errors @ 8:15 PDT]

cubanbob said...

Whether or not Trump wins I don't know but not debating Trump helps Trump. All he has to say is the eminently blackmailable felonious traitor won't debate because she can't and she can't because she is so flawed and why would anyone assuming that a candidate who runs away from a debate will be able to deal with reality?

Darrell said...

The poll makers will guarantee that Hillary maintains her phony lead.

sunsong said...

Clinton will debate! The question is: will Trump?

Jim Gust said...

The Hillary camp has announced acceptance of the debate schedule, per the WSJournal. http://blogs.wsj.com/washwire/2016/08/08/hillary-clinton-accepts-presidential-debate-schedule/

The article claims the schedule was set a year ago, before the NFL schedule was known.

Even the WSJ spins the question to whether Trump will participate.

Brando said...

"I watched a documentary many years ago where they interviewed James Carville and George snuffolophogous and they talked about the debates. And they were very proud of the fact that they were able to get really high stools for George Bush and Ross Perot and Bill Clinton to sit on. And they said they did that because it made Ross Perot look like a small child. Very clever."

JFK's team did something similar--they insisted on a much warmer temperature to screw with Nixon who was more sensitive to heat (or maybe I have it backwards, and he was more sensitive to cold). They can play all the angles, and you have to make sure you have it down cold.

In the '76 debates, the two sides got it down to the point that the candidates were wearing the exact same clothing.

Nonapod said...

All he has to say is the eminently blackmailable felonious traitor won't debate because she can't and she can't because she is so flawed and why would anyone assuming that a candidate who runs away from a debate will be able to deal with reality?

I don't doubt that he'd say all that or something similar, I just doubt what difference it would make.

At this point, voters have a ton of information on both candidates and for the most part voters have a pretty good idea of these candidates. For most voters this election is coming down to 2 bad choices, either corruption or instability (I personally don't think that Trump is crazy or unstable, but this ain't about what I think). More people are going to choose known corruption over perceived instability. Everything else is just superficial noise.

I'd like to be proven wrong though.

tim in vermont said...

The article claims the schedule was set a year ago, before the NFL schedule was know

So they are playing on some other days that Sunday, Monday, and Thursday nights? Or is that just one more Clintonian dodge? Like "I was truthful.... when I spoke off the record with the FBI where I wasn't recorded and no notes were kept." Or "it depends on what the meaning of "is " is?

Unknown said...

Of course she wouldn't skip the debates, it gives her a chance to make a fool of Trump and boosts her poll numbers even higher. She wont skip the debates, that's a ridiculous notion. She has nothing to lose from debating Trump, she can only benefit from debating. Trump however has a history of skipping difficult debates. His performance at debates were no more than getting angry and making faces. Who knows maybe he'll feel inspired to show his big hands again, in the event he feels emasculated.

tim in vermont said...

Even Sunsong is going for the warmonger!

Notice that the Washington Post, in the same way it never mentions that the scientist that the Iranians just hanged, was mentioned in the insecure emails on Hillary's server, doesn't mention that Hillary started the war that led to those refugees, in the boat that is caught on camera capsizing, to flee Libya in the first place!

"We came, we saw, he died" - Hillary.

She forgot to put in the part where they sodomized Qaddafi, probably with Obama's Nobel Peace Prize.

traditionalguy said...

They need a red button for each contestant to answer the question first. Hillary will win when she hits second, because it is rigged.

But when Double Jeopardy comes up, Trump will get to hit the Nuclear War button.

readering said...

They'll debate for the same reason King and Riggs played--money. The debates will drive fundraising. The question is will Trump try to find a way to personally monetize as he did in the primaries. (I'm sure he would have claimed a personal tax deduction for anything the networks paid a charity.)

tim in vermont said...

She has nothing to lose from debating Trump, she can only benefit from debating.

So you are a true believer. The thousands of refugees from her wars that have drowned in the Mediterranean in leaky, listing ships, don't bother you a bit then?

The millions of refugees flooding Europe from her disastrous intervention in a civil war in Syria, which has destabilized Turky and the EU as unintended consequences, they don't bother you?

The fact that a letter from fifty architects of the Iraq debacle are pitching in to get Hillary elected doesn't bother you?

What would bother you? Nothing, it seems.

tim in vermont said...

readering doesn't care if Hillary personally monetizes the US foreign policy, with which she was entrusted, then destroyed the records involved, including putting her personal schedules in burn bags and destroying them, but a hypothetical tax deduction! The horrors!

Milwaukie guy said...

Just another sign of how the media is in the tank. As Tim in V pointed out, if it's a Sunday, Monday or Thursday evening during what regular Americans call "football season," NFL football is being played.

And so we are being played by the media. What? How could one possibly know that two of the debates conflict with football?

Unknown said...

Clinton did an excellent job in the 11 hour long Benghazi hearing, you think she's afraid of debating Trump? She will make him look like the know nothing he is. Maybe he knows by now what the nuclear triad was.

tim in vermont said...

BTW readering, what your hypothetical tax deduction would mean would be that Trump would not pay taxes on the money that, in your scenario, he would never see anyway.

But there is a reason that the expression "Dumb as a Democrat" has been around for so long.

Unknown said...

reprise of the old Lazio debate


In hindsight, her panicked reaction to Lazio probably shows that she was symptomatic even then. Given a free/fair press, she should never have been elected to the Senate. If GWB had reacted like that to Gore's little act, say hello to President Gore.

But women are not equal to men, I guess.

I sure hope she debates Trump. Unknown said he would dump her if she didn't. Besides, that handler/svengali fellow will look good onstage. Keep that pen handy!

Virgil Hilts said...

Oh man, I have been waiting for this discussion (see my post yesterday). I say she does not debate. If she does'nt, what is the impact -- are a small percent of independents going to witch their votes to Trump or the third party candidates? What is the maximum calculable damage - is it even a 5-10% possibility that the damage could elect Trump? If no, then what are the odds that a disastrous debate occurs - she faints, freezes up or wilts or Trump comes off better than anyone has ever seen and she looks dishonest and shifty in comparison - and could that swing the election to Trump? She only cares about winning, not by how much. Playing out all of the scenarios with the only concern winning (and not margin), doing the debates is riskier than refusing to debate with the unworthy insulting lunatic.

tim in vermont said...

Maybe he knows by now what the nuclear triad was.

Does Hillary know yet that she shouldn't discuss classified information through non classified channels? It could get somebody killed, but what difference does that make at this point?

Kevin said...

BINGO! "It's not so difficult--to bow out, you simply fight over the details and then claim the other side is being unreasonable because they really don't want to debate. All your own supporters will think you're the reasonable one."

And now you know why all the "Trump doesn't want to debate" chum has been thrown in the water since immediately after the conventions. It's setting the public up for Trump to take the fall when Hillary pulls out.

By the time Hillary walks away, it will be that "everyone knows" Trump never wanted to debate her.

tim in vermont said...

Remember she said that she discussed nothing classified? I guess her use of Pig Latin created an impenetrable cloak around the information, and only bad luck allowed the Iranians to deduce who the spy was, even though she described actions he was taking in enough detail to finger his identity and value to the US.

Unknown said...

Jeez, people can record either the debate or the football games. How difficult is that? The debates were scheduled over a year ago by a non partisan Commision on Presidential Debates. The nominee who is complaining about the dates is Trump, hmmm, I wonder why? Chicken?

Brando said...

"Oh man, I have been waiting for this discussion (see my post yesterday). I say she does not debate. If she does'nt, what is the impact -- are a small percent of independents going to witch their votes to Trump or the third party candidates? What is the maximum calculable damage - is it even a 5-10% possibility that the damage could elect Trump? If no, then what are the odds that a disastrous debate occurs - she faints, freezes up or wilts or Trump comes off better than anyone has ever seen and she looks dishonest and shifty in comparison - and could that swing the election to Trump? She only cares about winning, not by how much. Playing out all of the scenarios with the only concern winning (and not margin), doing the debates is riskier than refusing to debate with the unworthy insulting lunatic."

The chance of her not debating boils down to (a) if she has a comfortable lead in the polls and (b) the debates only really present a possibility for Trump to change that. Now, how does she get out? She's already agreed to the debate schedule, so she can't really say those dates don't work for her. But she could say that she and Trump can't agree on room temperature (women prefer it warmer?) or a moderator ("he won't accept Candy Crowley!") and let it all break down.

What she CAN'T do is say she won't debate because Trump is too nasty--that'd be weakness!

Of course, she may also believe that if she's well prepped (and she would be well prepped--she is like Nixon!) she can hit Trump hard in the debates and put him away. The thing is, unless she slips in the polls by that point, there's no "putting anyone away" in the debates. Trump may have a ceiling but he also has a floor.

Virgil Hilts said...

I agree with Kevin. All of the noise about Trump waffling on the debates sounds like Scott Adams inspired mind strategies being employed by journolist-types to plant the early seed that the cascade of events leading to debate cancellation started with Trump. . .

SteveR said...

Hillary's terrible public persona gets full exposure in a debate format. Of course the moderators will try very hard to Candy Crowley things and will work very hard with her campaign to know what to ask, and what not too. She will get a very favorable set up.

Unknown said...

My prediction: Trump will refuse to debate based on some trumped (lol) up complaint that the election is rigged, oh yes he's already said the election is rigged. So now what?

Brando said...

"And now you know why all the "Trump doesn't want to debate" chum has been thrown in the water since immediately after the conventions. It's setting the public up for Trump to take the fall when Hillary pulls out."

Yeah--that's the narrative in the news right now, that he's the one trying to get out of it. As for the NFL conflicts, the time of the debate doesn't matter that much since anything noteworthy in the debates will be all over the news and YouTube the following week. I'd have just said "No Candy Crowley!"

Virgil Hilts said...

Brando, as to using Trump's nastiness, HC already used this approach in March, threatening not to do another debate with Bernie unless he "changed his tone." Some suspected that HC's argument that Bernie's "tone" disqualified him from being worthy of debating was a trial balloon for a later similar argument to avoid debating Trump. But you may be right. http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2016/mar/28/hillary-clinton-threatens-no-more-debates-unless-b/

CJ said...

Ann Coulter is right when she says that whatever the Left accuses the Right of doing is actually what the Left is doing themselves. If Hillary is accusing Trump of scheming to skip the debates, she is absolutely scheming to skip the debates.

Very interesting find, Professor.

mockturtle said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
narciso said...

non partisan, that was funny, or you're serious,

dbp said...

Hillary will skip the debates but she won't come out and say, "I won't debate that man, Donald Trump". She will make ever shifting and excessive demands and it will come down to Mrs. Clinton claiming that the sides could not agree to the terms for the debates. She will lie and blame it on The Donald. The press will run with it and claim Trump is evading the debates.

Limited blogger said...

Lazio was a late in the game replacement for Rudy Giuliani, who was suffering from prostate cancer.

Man, I really wanted to see a Hillary/Giuliani debate back then. May have changed the course of history.

narciso said...

the democratic debates were scheduled on weekends during march madness, or increasingly niche
outlets like fusion and bet,

Mike said...

The article claims the schedule was set a year ago, before the NFL schedule was known.

Yeah who coulda prdicted NFL games on Sunday night in the Fall? Of course the Hildebeast has accepted the DWS-like schedule. It assures low viewing numbers.

Brando said...

"Brando, as to using Trump's nastiness, HC already used this approach in March, threatening not to do another debate with Bernie unless he "changed his tone." Some suspected that HC's argument that Bernie's "tone" disqualified him from being worthy of debating was a trial balloon for a later similar argument to avoid debating Trump. But you may be right. http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2016/mar/28/hillary-clinton-threatens-no-more-debates-unless-b/"

I wonder how they think that trial balloon worked. She'd give Trump a big gift if she said something like "I won't debate him if he's nasty" or "there's no point in debating a jerk like that"--he'd immediately call her out for being cowardly and unwilling to face harsh questions (and it dovetails with her lack of press conferences or interviews with tough journalists). That would hurt her more than being humiliated in a debate.

It would have to be something that makes it look like Trump was trying to weasel out of them--pump up some argument over logistics. The only way to evade that for Trump would be to give in on any logistical demands--but it's not really in Trump's nature to give in. So, she has an almost foolproof out.

Mike said...

The lame Unknown says this a lot: Clinton did an excellent job in the 11 hour long Benghazi hearing

If you think perjury is "great" then yeah she did. If you think evading responsibility for being the first cabinet member to run their own email server in a secret location is "excellent" then yeah she did. If you think any of her voluminous word clouds offered the committe ANY help in solving the questions of why we had a consul in Banghazi, what Stevens was doing there, who sodomized Stevens before turning his body over to authoritees, why no military assets were dispatched to help our people during a fight for their lives -- then you saw a different performance than I did.

Her disdain for her "good friend Chris" and the others is disgusting. Her imperious bearing while telling lies about them and to their familied marks her as a dark souled wretch. When life and death are on the line you DON'T want to be in the position of relying on Hillary to answer that 3 p.m. phone call.

"Vote for the incompetent crook!"

Unknown said...

Trump will claim the debates are for the "Washington insiders" and he won't perform for their benefit, just watch...and wait.

Mike said...

Trump will debate Stein and Johnson and draw millions to the TV if she pulls out. Trump won't pull out. She's the weak one with a lot to lose.

Peter said...

Trump needs the debates to be about Hillary. Is he capable of not talking about himself, of relentlessly answering everything with a list of how Clinton's flaws relate to whatever the topic is?

Hillary just needs to stay on-script: whatever the question, just deliver the carefully prepared, canned speech. Robotic though it may be.

AReasonableMan said...

Clinton agreed to the debate schedule a while ago. Not sure what post is about.

Will said...

Polls, Schmoles. People have stopped responding to the polls. I see it and you see it.

Hillary realizes the debates may be her final chance. She is an incredibly banal and uninspiring candidate. Furthermore, nothing in her public history suggests that she can do the job competently.

All of us have amazing women in our lives. We do not need an unethical liar like Hillary Clinton to validate the concept that women can do anything. In fact. electing her based on gender, despite her incompetence and clear lack of character, sends precisely the wrong signal to our nation's women.

Doing the debates offers her at least a hope that a friendly partisan like Candy Crowley or George Stephanapolous can put a finger on the scale in her favor. Sure they might ruin their career, but the Clinton Foundation would reward their treason with a sinecure (see Debbie Wasserman Schultz)

She is in serious trouble and needs a Hail Mary

buwaya said...

"Maybe he knows by now what the nuclear triad was."

WAS - finally someone applies some of the truth. Some.

More to the point, not only is this, by now, an irrelevant historical question, even back in the day it was usually used as a marker of knowledge, not actual knowledge. It was a set of highlighted words in ancient budget arguments that had an air of being significant.

Its like citing Derrida or Nietzsche without having read them.

Its a journalists idea of substance.

Unknown said...

Trump will refuse to debate if a third party candidate is included. He knows they all think he is incompetant, or worse. He will claim it would be two against one, he would cite fairness, watch and wait.

Unknown said...

"She is in serious trouble and needs a Hail Mary."

Hillary Clinton now holds a 10-point lead over Donald Trump, 51 percent to 41 percent, according to results from the latest NBC News|SurveyMonkey Weekly Election Tracking poll.

Alternate reality dweller.

Bob Boyd said...

Maybe the narrative that Trump is different than all the other people who ever ran for president and therefore subject to different treatment, like the NYT article discussed here yesterday, will give Hillary the excuse she needs to avoid debating.

Yancey Ward said...

I have been positing this since the FBI decided to carry Clinton's water and she was confirmed as the nominee.

She would like to have the debates cancelled, you can be sure of that- she cancelled the last debate with Sanders just before the California primary. The best method, and the one they appear to be going with is to make the debates so stacked against Trump that he refuses to show up himself. You do this by making sure the television audience is minimized, you do this by inviting Gary Johnson but not Jill Stein to participate, and you invite DNC operatives in the media as the only moderators appointed by the "unbiased" organizers. I can't say how Trump is going to respond to this- he may take the bait.

The Google results were interesting. No bias there!

Shawn Levasseur said...

If the NFL conflict is one of the Thursday night games, then it's no big deal. Outside of the season opener, Thursday night games tend to suck.

AprilApple said...

Tim In Vermont - May we send you in to debate Hillary instead!?!

It would be awesome.

AprilApple said...

Will the Stephanopolis press do all they can to help her?

(yes)

Will Trump be prepared? Will Trump take advantage of all her weaknesses/ lies/corruption for personal enrichment?

(?)

mockturtle said...

I think Trump should pivot regarding Hillary. Rather than emphasizing her lies, corruption and felonious behavior--all of which are well recognized--he should use an almost pitying tone and refer her ill health, seizure disorder and lack of stamina for the job. He could even air ads showing her public lapses. Cruel? Yes, of course. This is politics.

Unknown said...

Yes mockturtle, he should continue to make insinuations about her mental and physical health. I think that's a good idea. That will really bring in the white suburban women voters. Keep hammering away at her Trump!

cubanbob said...

Mike said...
Trump will debate Stein and Johnson and draw millions to the TV if she pulls out. Trump won't pull out. She's the weak one with a lot to lose.

8/9/16, 11:32 AM"

If Trumpy is sharp he will go for a debate with the third party candidates. Stein will be so left that he will appear Conservative. Johnson will inevitably say some hippy-dope things and make Trumpy look more middle-of-the-road. If Hillary shows up in a debate with the third party candidates it is a win-win for Trumpy.

Fabi said...

Hillary would like to a avoid getting throttled by Trump in the debates, but she can't. She'll be labeled "Cowardly Hillary" and people will ask "If she's adraid to debate Trump, how will she stand up to Putin?"

AprilApple said...

MockeryTurtle - are you serious? That would be a disaster for Trump.

Nonapod said...

So Clinton has agreed to all three debates. Of course that doesn't absolutely guarantee that she won't later back down with some sort of carefully crafted excuse, but it does indicate a degree of confidence on her part. She's put the ball in Trumps court and given the nature of his appeal I don't see how he'll be able to refuse and save face.

One things for sure, if they happen they will probably be the most watched presidential debates in history.

Fabi said...

Will Hillary! be allowed to have the fat guy with the Lorazepam injector stand next to her at the debates? Don't want her seizures to ruin the entertainment.

Unknown said...

Trump is now saying he wants to "renegotiate the conditions" of the debate. LOL! What did I tell you? The conditions won't meet his "standards" and he has found his "out". What a coward.

DCPI said...

Hillary = Venal

It starts and ends there.

mockturtle said...

That will really bring in the white suburban women voters.

I happen to be a white suburban [at least in background] woman voter. That doesn't make me stupid enough to vote for Hillary.

Yancey Ward said...

Wait until the moderators are announced, then see what happens.

Unknown said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Unknown said...

Mockturtle, if you're stupid enough to vote for Trump, you're a lost cause anyway. You're no loss to the Clinton campaign. She doesn't need your vote.

mockturtle said...

Mockturtle, if you're stupid enough to vote for Trump, you're a lost cause anyway. You're no loss to the Clinton campaign. She doesn't need your vote.

My bad! I don't usually respond to cowardly 'Unknown' trolls. Slipped up.

hombre said...

Blogger Unknown said...
"Mockturtle, if you're stupid enough to vote for Trump, you're a lost cause...."

So says the Althouse blog's number one amoral grifter enabler.

AprilApple said...

Trump knows he will be walking into the same pro-democrat hack moderator traps set for Romney and others. I hope so, anyway.

tim in vermont said...

Mockturtle, if you're stupid enough to vote for Trump, you're a lost cause anyway.

Calling people stupid is what Democrats do these days, isn't it? Calling people stupid losers who can't make it in the new economy competing against millions of imported workers who will live ten to a house and work for almost nothing, or who compete against H1B visas because tech deca-billionaires like Gates don't want to pay the going rate for Americans. That kind of stupid loser. Message: The Democrats don't want or need you! Well, message received!

1d95f80c-baf6-11e5-9174-5b40f96fa10e said...

http://thehill.com/blogs/ballot-box/presidential-races/290812-clinton-accepts-three-debate-invitations

hombre said...

There is no reason to believe Hillary will get any tough questions at the debates.

eric said...

Blogger AprilApple said...
Trump knows he will be walking into the same pro-democrat hack moderator traps set for Romney and others. I hope so, anyway.

8/9/16, 1:10 PM


I thought trump did well during the gop primary debates. I also thought the press was hostile to him during those debates.

The one area I thought he did poorly was on having a trump cheering section. Bush, Kasich, Cruz and Rubio all had large cheering sections.

Trump needs to change that for these debates.

Unknown said...

Mocked turtle,

Want a cookie? How about a hug?

FleetUSA said...

If Trump backs down it will look bad for him as his enthusiasts want to see HrC shredded. If HrC backs down the lofo's and MSM will still back her as long as she isn't in a coffin .... and maybe even then.

Alex said...

Gently bow out.

Alex said...

Unknown said...
Mockturtle, if you're stupid enough to vote for Trump, you're a lost cause anyway. You're no loss to the Clinton campaign. She doesn't need your vote.

8/9/16, 1:04 PM


If you're stupid enough to vote for Shrillary, you deserve whatever hell is coming your way.

eric said...

Blogger mockturtle said...
I think Trump should pivot regarding Hillary. Rather than emphasizing her lies, corruption and felonious behavior--all of which are well recognized--he should use an almost pitying tone and refer her ill health, seizure disorder and lack of stamina for the job. He could even air ads showing her public lapses. Cruel? Yes, of course. This is politics.



I don't think Trump is much of an actor and it would come off as cheap, or as a joke. And it would backfire.

I do think his surrogates should do that though.

Unknown said...

"That will really bring in the white suburban women voters."

mockturtle said...
"I happen to be a white suburban [at least in background] woman voter. That doesn't make me stupid enough to vote for Hillary."

T in V,
This isn't beanbag buddy, if "mockedturtle" throws out insults some of them may come back and land on her instead. She's a big girl and has a choice as to whether she wants to engage or not.

bbkingfish said...

Prof. Althouse, if you think Hillary would be afraid of Trump, you should google video of her 11-1/2 hour grilling at the GOP's Great Big Benghazi Hearings last October. They never laid a glove on her.

Trump knows she would make him look foolish and unprofessional in a debate setting, and if he goes through with them, I will be surprised (and pleased). The thought that Hillary would duck debating him is risible.

You should re-title this blog Political Analysis for Dummies.

Yancey Ward said...

If I were offering advice to Trump, I would say to him that he needs to get out in front of this with the following offer as a way to put himself in the strongest position regardless of what Clinton decides to do:

1-All debates have an even number of moderators with half selected by one campaign, half by the other. No more of this single "non-partisan" moderator bullshit.

2-Each moderator gets equal time asking questions to each candidate.

3-Same applies to the Town Hall format- with each moderator getting equal opportunity to select from the audience who asks the questions.

I can guarantee you this- if Trump makes this offer, it will be declined by the Clinton campaign as a change in a long standing format. If Trump stands firm, the Clinton campaign will then declare Trump is pulling out and that will be that.

LawGuy5000 said...

There is no indication that Hillary Clinton has any desire to skip the debates, and plenty of evidence to the contrary:

http://thehill.com/blogs/ballot-box/presidential-races/290812-clinton-accepts-three-debate-invitations

Ann Althouse said...

Having accepted doesn't mean she can't bow out.

It's only a question of how to put it.

Tim said...

Surveymonkey is an internet poll company. Totally representative, I'm sure.

Yancey Ward said...

LawGuy,

She skipped the last debate with Sanders. She does have a history of skipping debates same as Trump, and they both seem to do when they are ahead far enough that they think it can only hurt them.

rehajm said...

The article claims the schedule was set a year ago, before the NFL schedule was known.

They didn't realize what day Monday Night Football is on but they want to run the country...

rehajm said...

Political strategy dictactes running the four corners offense when you're way ahead. Whattaya think that entails for Hillary?

Unknown said...

The Polls Aren’t Skewed: Trump Really Is Losing Badly. 538.

Unknown said...

She didn't skip a scheduled debate with Sanders. Sanders wanted an extra debate, she declined. Sanders wanted to debate Trump, he declined. Trump skipped out of the later debate with Megyn Kelley as the moderator.

eric said...

Blogger Unknown said...
The Polls Aren’t Skewed: Trump Really Is Losing Badly. 538.

8/9/16, 1:46 PM


Guys? Guys! I'm super serious guys!

Look guys, look!

Guys? Guys?!

hombre said...

Blogger bbkingfish said...
"Prof. Althouse, if you think Hillary would be afraid of Trump, you should google video of her 11-1/2 hour grilling at the GOP's Great Big Benghazi Hearings last October. They never laid a glove on her."

While this is not necessarily true, all Hillary needed to do there was what she does best, lie and rely on the mediaswine to sort out the details. That's always the downside of debating Democrats.

The evidence of major foreign policy screwups, Libya, Syria, Afghanistan, Iraq, ISIS, Russia is still in the public eye and not so easy to spin. There is also her dismal Senate record including the vote for war and her huge acquisition of wealth since leaving the WH dead broke.

There is fodder there that she will have to struggle to lie her way out of.

mockturtle said...

All four candidates should be included in the debates and should be asked the same questions. How else do we compare and contrast?

CJ said...

Correct the Record is here! Hi fellas! Include me in the screencap of your daily activity you submit tonight, please.

Unknown said...

Ah, Eric the Trump sycophant strikes again. Here is Eric at his Auntie Edna's:

"Auntie, oh Auntie, believe me, Mr.Trump will make Uncle Elmer get his job back! Mr.Trump promised to give everyone a tax break, but don't worry if you don't itemize, he will give poor folks a tax break too someday! He promised! Believe in him Auntie! All your troubles will be over!"

BN said...

Nobody's skipping any debates. This is a nonsense post with a lot of nonsense comments.

And lots of whistling past the graveyard.

Unknown said...

I do not expect Trump to "k.o" Hillary or for her to collapse on stage or any of these ridiculous scenarios. The one concrete way that this will help trump and its a pretty simple test, is to show people he is not the koo koo crazy everyone says he is. Reagan "won" the debates against carter by showing he wasn't a risk. That's all Trump has to do and the main reason he will accede to the debate forma,t no matter how skewed they try to make it in the democrats favor. He has a low bar to get over.

Darrell said...

Hillary will be there for the debate. She's trying out doubles right now.
Trump should insist on DNA testing.

Unknown said...

Trump doesn't want any other candidates at the debate, haven't you heard, mockturtle?

gadfly said...

Somehow, it has been forgotten here that Donald Trump is a liar and that he is practiced in the art of putting his opponents in a bind with twisted untruthful arguments that Republican opponents were never able to turn against him.

Her speech handlers know this well, just as they knew that Bernie's principles were fleeting and easy to steer to the other side, they also know that Donald doubles down, even when he is obviously wrong. If Donald cannot induce a panic-attack seizure or two during each of the debates, I would be very surprised.

If she goes through with the debates, she will be forced to do a Ross Perot bailout in the end, and a whole mess of powerful Democrat supporters will abandon the Clinton dynasty forever. That means that the authorities-that-be will suddenly have an intense interest to pursue criminal charges.

Unknown said...

From WaPo interview transcript:

RUCKER: What would you negotiate for? Do you want for example Gary Johnson and Jill Stein?

TRUMP: No because they’re not getting any . . . I’d rather have head to head and right now they’re not getting any numbers. She’s doing better than he is, but right now in some polls she’s actually not doing badly.


https://electionlawblog.org/?p=84867

Matt said...

Twisted logic Althouse. Trump is the one complaining about the debate schedule so it seems HE may not want to debate and yet Hillary very much does - even inviting a third party candidate. Yet you turn it around to say Hillary doesn't want to debate? Are you working for Drudge now?

Also, I love all the comments about the media 'colluding' to beat Trump. News for you all: Trump is almost 100% a media personality with regards to this presidential run. If he can't handle the media in his own realm then that is his fault. If you can't stand the heat....

Original Mike said...

"Whatever hits she may take for bowing out, they're a known risk, and they pale in comparison to the unknowns of the debate."

This is exactly the calculus she did when she set up her private email server. She knew she would be able to go through her emails and hide anything she didn't want out. She knew she'd take heat for doing so, but nothing compared to the likely career-ending outrage over her behavior if it became known.

And it looks like she calculated correctly.

Jonathan Graehl said...

Another craven 'Unknown' shill calling Trump 'chicken' for wanting more people to tune in live. All part of the Hillary-drops-out-of-debate preemptive flak gameplan.

You probably really are that dumb, Unknown.

Unknown said...

Wow, Trump just puts his foot in his mouth again. I'm giving him the benefit of the doubt, even he can't be this stupid. The RNC must be pulling out their hair, lol.

Donald Trump Floats 'Second Amendment' Remedies To Stop Hillary Clinton

At a campaign rally today in Wilmington, North Carolina, Donald Trump said that if Hillary Clinton is elected president, she will “abolish the Second Amendment” and “if she gets to pick her judges,” there’s “nothing you can do.”

“Although the Second Amendment people, maybe there is....” he continued in his usual, cryptic fashion. “I don’t know.”

Trump, who in the past has raised suspicions about the circumstances of Justice Antonin Scalia’s death, said that the late justice’s passing “wasn’t supposed to happen” and will give Clinton an opportunity to “abolish the Second Amendment,” something she has never proposed.


Unknown said...

Jonathan Grool,
You impress me as a quintessential Trump voter.

Big Mike said...

Will Hillary Clinton skip the debates?

Is there any upside for her to participate?

No.

So yes.

Unknown said...

Regarding Trump's comment today about using 2nd Amendment solutions against Clinton to keep her from picking SC Justices:

Ex-CIA director Michael Hayden, on Trump’s comment:
"If someone said that outside hall, they’d be in a police wagon being questioned by Secret Service."

gadfly said...

From Zero Hedge comes the unthinkable answer as to where the Presidential campaign is headed. Here comes "The Deep State."

Few would dispute that Hillary Clinton is the Establishment's candidate. It's widely accepted that the Establishment hews to a neoconservative (neo-con) foreign policy that is fully supported by America's Deep State, i.e. the centers of state power that don't change as a result of elections.

I suspect major power centers in the Deep State are actively sabotaging Hillary because they've concluded she is a poisoned chalice who would severely damage the interests of the Deep State and the U.S.A.

The consensus view seems to be that the Establishment and the Deep State see Trump as a loose cannon who might upset the neo-con apple cart by refusing to toe the Establishment's Imperial line.

This view overlooks the possibility that significant segments of the Deep State view the neo-con strategy as an irredeemable failure and would welcome a president who would overthrow the remnants of the failed strategy within the Establishment and Deep State.

To these elements of the Deep State, Hillary is a threat precisely because she embraces the failed strategy and those who cling to it. From this point of view, Hillary as president would be an unmitigated disaster for the elements of the Deep State that have concluded the U.S. must move beyond the neo-con strategic failures to secure the nation's core interests.

For these reasons, elements of the Deep State might sabotage Hillary's campaign as the greater threat to American interests. Trump is as unpopular as Hillary, but his sense of self-aggrandizement and narcissism is of a different order than Hillary's. Elements of the Deep State may view Trump as more malleable (or more charitably, as more open to much-needed changes in U.S. policies) and a better salesperson than Hillary.

Although it's difficult to identify specific evidence for this, the Deep State is not as monolithic as the alternative media assumes. An increasingly powerful sector of the Deep State views the neo-con agenda as a disaster for American interests, and is far more focused on the Long Game of energy, food security, economic and military innovation and a productive response to climate change.

Trump is less wedded to the neo-con agenda than Hillary, less concerned with looking weak and more willing to cut new deals to clear the path for U.S. soft power (diplomacy, cultural influence, energy, food security, economic innovation and successful responses to climate change) rather than the neo-con obsession with hard power and the old-style Great Game of geopolitics.

So how could the forward-looking elements of the Deep State sabotage Hillary? I can think of several ways:

1. Engineer a protracted stock market decline that hits American voters in their pocketbooks before the election by gutting the "wealth effect." A plunging stock market would make a mockery of the claim that the economy is "recovering."
2. Continue to leak dirty laundry on Hillary, her health, the Clinton foundation scams, etc.
3. Put the word out to the corporatocracy, top-level media, etc., that the Deep State would prefer a Trump presidency, despite the widely held assumption that Clinton is the shoo-in Establishment candidate, and that those who cling to Hillary will pay a price later on . . .

Van Wallach said...

I'm not too concerned about Hillary's performance. The respectable media will declare her the winner even if she looks and sounds like Linda Blair in "The Exorcist."

EMD said...

before the NFL schedule was known

Laughable. I can tell you when the NFL will play games in September 2020. The only thing I won't know is the matchups.

Original Mike said...

"before the NFL schedule was known"

Yeah, who said this? The press? Hillary's campaign? Unknown? It's painfully stupid.

tim in vermont said...

zerohedge is fun to read, kind of like the X Files was fun to watch, but don't take it seriously.

tim in vermont said...

will give Clinton an opportunity to “abolish the Second Amendment,” something she has never proposed. - Unknown

I will give you that Trump is a clueless idiot a lot of the time, and says things that might be OK to say at a poker game on Thursday night with drinks on the table, but Hillary would like to see the 2nd amendment mean as little as the fascists viewed the right to private property, a hollow privilege that could be revoked at any time.

Nothing outside the state, nothing against the state! Kind of like your own little crusade to ensure that no blog exists outside the Clinton noise machine.

tim in vermont said...

Her views on free speech are troubling as well. She and the Democrats put an artist in jail for making a film, twice! Sure they had pretexts, but not pretexts that have seen others in similar situations go to jail. And she has made a crusade about Citizens United, whose major crime was making a film critical of her.

Citizens United is to Clinton what Pussy Riot was to Putin.

Unknown said...

Unknown said...
Regarding Trump's comment today about using 2nd Amendment solutions against Clinton to keep her from picking SC Justices:

Ex-CIA director Michael Hayden, on Trump’s comment:
"If someone said that outside hall, they’d be in a police wagon being questioned by Secret Service."

8/9/16, 3:44 PM



That's exactly what is wrong. Politicians should go in fear of their lives.

Unknown said...

I mean, doesn't lese-majeste require a majeste?

Dr Weevil said...

Unknown (11:46am) quotes an NBC poll as saying Clinton is leading 51-41. He does not note that it is a poll of registered voters. The first thing anyone who knows anything about polling learns is that polls of likely voters are far more accurate than polls of registered voters, so much more so that the latter are essentially useless. Is Unknown so ignorant that he doesn't know the first thing about polling? Or so dishonest that he doesn't mention it as a caveat when quoting the poll? The latter must be true: the fact that he doesn't link to the poll is itself dishonest - perhaps the quotation was linkless when it arrived with the latest talking points in his inbox. But the former may also be true: ignorance and dishonesty are not incompatible.

Francisco D said...

I suspect that the Althouse participants know better than to engage the delusional "Unknown."

It almost makes me long for the days of the idiots Garage and Amanda/Inga.

... Almost!

We still have Cookie, ARM and ... Freder has come out of hibernation.

AprilApple said...

Tim in Vermont for President.

cyrus83 said...

The downside to Hillary skipping the debates is that it allows Trump to offer to debate Gary Johnson and/or Jill Stein instead. The last thing Hillary needs is to legitimize any of the third party opposition this year, particularly since both Johnson and Stein appear at a glance to be alternatives that might resonate with some of the disaffected Bernie and undecided voters.

I do not think she is far enough ahead that she can simply ditch the debates without risk. Brexit should be the caution here - Remain held the lead for virtually the entire 2 years leading up to the vote, with the undecided voters remaining close to 10% until the very end. Leave ended up doing 6 percentage points better than its polling average and shocked virtually the entire British political establishment. She should assume she can lose and retain that attitude until November 8 and her campaign staff had best have the same mindset.

There's also the side factor of events. Nobody knows what's going to happen in the next 90 days. Dumping the debates based on today's state of the race may become a very bad thing by the time the debate season rolls around if the race dynamics change, and there is no way Hillary can hit an "undo" button on debating if once she cancels.

Joe said...

"Clinton did an excellent job in the 11 hour long Benghazi hearing"

Bullshit. She did terrible. The media edited those parts that made her look passable, which is all they could manage.