September 25, 2016

"Gaming out every potential permutation of what might happen in the 90-minute showdown helps a candidate calculate how to respond."

Really?

Then why didn't Mitt Romney know what to do when Candy Crowley propped up Barack Obama with the infamous "transcript" remark?

Just when you think you've got everything "gamed out," there's one more game, the one you didn't imagine. But even if you could know "every potential permutation" and you could figure out the ideal reaction to each one — which is obviously impossible — could you memorize all those things and in the heat of the moment call to mind the correct one each time and deploy it? Wouldn't you look weirdly robotic cranking through all the alternatives? It's hard enough to read a prepared speech off the teleprompter in a naturally human way. And there's already a meme that Hillary is a robot. More here.

The ideal response would have to take into account how the people respond on an emotional level. There's no perfect scripted zinger for that. There's no planned facial expression or hand gesture. We the People are very sensitive to what we see and hear. We feel that we feel whether a person is good and true. We are manipulable and we can be faked out, but I think we are more likely to be manipulated and faked out by Trump's I'm-being-myself approach than by Hillary's gigantic team gaming out every potential permutation of what might happen.

35 comments:

Michael K said...

The debate will be a circus with a front row of Mark Cuban (Invited by Hillary), Bill Clinton( of course), Gennifer Flowers (Invited by Trump in response to Hillary's provocation with Cuban) and maybe a few Monica lookalikes in the audience.

Hillary could have tried to play the adult but I guess her advisors think they can out-Trump Trump.

Birkel said...

These things are easier to recall when the moderator is ready with half the best available responses.

Sebastian said...

"We the People are very sensitive to what we see and hear. We feel that we feel whether a person is good and true. We are manipulable and we can be faked out." Who dat we? Most of us vote the party line. Most of us feel that our candidate is good and true. Most of us are sensitive to evidence that we feel confirms our preconceptions. Of course, there are some people who consider themselves "independent" or "moderate" or people who vote for the "best" person or, in this particular season, pro-Hill lifelong Republicans, who are indeed sensitive to the chimera of qualifications and experience. Those sorts of people are subject to manipulation and being faked out, as illustrated by the '08 election in which O manipulated quite a few into thinking he was the reasonable and pragmatic alternative. The experience makes no difference, of course, since "we" remain "very sensitive" to "what we see and hear."

SayAahh said...

Or you could do a Marco. Twist everything back to your preplanned robotic talking points. All surprises and variables are eliminated.

Lucien said...

One hopes that the debate will allow voters to observe the candidates in various stressful situations and see what personality traits shine through: the stress of masterfully delivering your own prepared positions on various issues, the stress of responding to hostile questioning and your opponent's statements, and the stress of dealing with the unpredictable and surprising.

If we get to see the candidates deal with those situations, we'll be lucky, and in a better position to evaluate them.

EDH said...

But even if you could know "every potential permutation" and you could figure out the ideal reaction to each one — which is obviously impossible — could you memorize all those things and in the heat of the moment call to mind the correct one each time and deploy it?

Question: Will Hillary's hairdo for the evening allow us to see into her ear canal?

bagoh20 said...

Hillary will amaze us all with her unexpected zingers and their surprising spontaneity as she ab-libs The Donald into a quivering dejected beta as he begs for compassion, decorum, and fairness.

What? It could happen.

bagoh20 said...

Will Hillary ridicule the size of Trump's hands?

Trump should come out in a really bad pantsuit with a giant prosthetic ass.

buwaya puti said...

Stoll hoping for an entrance by Milo Yiannopoulos on an elephant - what? You dont think that would be great TV?

rhhardin said...

The ideal response would have to take into account how the people respond on an emotional level.

Men's emotions go the logical direction. Women's don't.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

Gaming every possible permutation?

Practice is good, but, sometimes you can over think the situation and be so rehearsed that when something unusual comes up, you will vapor lock because it wasn't one of your rehearsed permutations. A true leader needs to be agile and able to counter even the most unexpected occurrences.

Rubio couldn't do it and continued to rely on his rehearsed talking points no matter what the question or situation was.

Hillary can't do this since she has the temperament of a robot.

Bill Peschel said...

I remember, perhaps imperfectly, that Lloyd Bentsen's "you're no kennedy" zinger to Dan Quayle was scripted.

IIRR, Quayle had been using that line for awhile, and Bentsen's advisers came up with that counter, hoping he'd use it again.

And he did.

rehajm said...

What? It could happen.

Hillary could call Trump a Poopiehead! and next morning WaPo and NYT will be memorializing it alongside Where's the Beef? and You're no Jack Kennedy in the Debate Zinger Hall of Fame.

readering said...

Trump needs the prep more than Clinton. She's done this before. He really hasn't. Lawyers do moot court. Although lawyers have to answer the judge's question and not dodge, while debaters rarely answer the moderator's question, in both cases they try to sound articulate on the subject which is easier with prep. The candidates have been given the topics, so with practice they can say something intelligent on the topic.

rhhardin said...

I'd use a magic 8-ball.

Darrell said...

Lloyd Bentsen's "you're no kennedy" zinger

I told Qualye to say "That's the nicest thing that anyone's ever said to me," but no. . .

John said...

Bill Peschel,

I thought that Quayle's response to the "You're no Jack Kennedy" line incredibly weak.

He should have said something like "Your are right. I have been faithful to my wife, I don't hang out with mobsters, I do not do drugs, I support civil rights for all Americans and I do not back down."

Might be a couple of other zingers he could have thrown in.

John Henry

Bruce Hayden said...

@rewadering - Crooked Hillary hasn't really practiced law in a quarter century, and most of her, rather short, legal career was spent on the civil side, legally papering and expediting criminal enterprises, such as Madison Federal, and not the trial side. You really need to go back to her getting the rapist off, which was before she moved to Arkansas. I am pretty sure that I have more recent (I.e. last quarter century) trial experience, and was a patent attorney.

Wilbur said...

The most effective, even decisive, planned response was Reagan's in '84 in the second debate to what was unsurprisingly the first question out of the box about his age.

It wasn't a zinger disparaging Mondale, but it immediately ended any real question about who would win the election.

Wilbur said...

"I thought that Quayle's response to the "You're no Jack Kennedy" line incredibly weak."

You could see in his eyes and body language that Bentsen's remark cut him to the quick and genuinely hurt his feelings. That undoubtedly affected his ability to respond in kind.

exiledonmainstreet said...

My guess is that the Clinton strategy is, first and foremost, to get under Trump's skin and make him overeact, and secondly to present her as a wonky policy expert, which Trump certainly is not.

Trump has to convince wavering voters that he is not a lunatic who is going to get us into WWIII. He can't outwonk her and I don't think he'll even try. If he remains calm,confident and positive, can play offense without looking too bullying, and doesn't put his damn foot in his mouth, he'll do OK.

To his advantage, he's got more of a sense of humor than she does. Hill will be fed zingers, of course, but having the lines and delivering them are two different things, and it's something she's really not good at.

Wilbur said...

I don't underestimate her potential to perform very well in this debate. Or at least well-enough to allow our friends at The New York Times and such to declare her the clear winner and the obvious choice for anyone not a racist, homophobe, et cetera.

mikee said...

It isn't the debate performances that will determine the public perception of this debate, it is the social media professionally manipulated by Hillary's camp that will make her the winner, even if she goes full Ozzy and bites the head off a bat live on stage. Similarly, her minions will produce and report enough votes for her after polls close on election day to insure she has won the election, no matter the actual results. AlGore tried to steal the election in 2000, Kennedy did steal the election in 1960, Senator Franken exists only because of this type of cheating, and Chicago does this every damn election. It is what Dems do.

Left Bank of the Charles said...

Mott Romney's Candy Crowley blunder could have been avoided with better prep. Candy certainly foresaw the Benghazi line of attack and was ready for it.

n.n said...

It's a constellation with knowns, unknowns, and unpredictables. Evaluating permutations will be as successful as prophesying catastrophic anthropogenic global warming. They would be more successful forecasting the progress of a green blight, trickle-up poverty, selective exclusion, planned parenthood, etc.

khesanh0802 said...

It seems the debate is going to revolve on a few things:

- Will Trump control his urge to slam Clinton? Worries the hell out of me. Whatever digs he delivers will have to be subtle or the howling mob of the MSM will have too easy a time claiming sexist , etc.

-Who demonstrates some charisma. We know that won't be Clinton who will try to substitute -supposedly - extensive knowledge and self-control for any leadership qualities.

- How well Trump handles being double teamed. If he is humorous and gracious in calling it out he will be well ahead.

Trump has been working on this run since 2012. At this point he should have a pretty good idea of what it takes for him to be ready. I think his knowledge of the important topics is better than anyone gives him credit for. He is certainly quicker on his feet than Clinton. Again, I dream that Clinton becomes catatonic and has to be wheeled out on a gurney!

southcentralpa said...

Meh, it wasn't enough for Romney to win, he would rather have lost than been "ungentlemanly", for lack of a better word. If he had stepped in and challenged her, it would've gone better.

Ditto when the usual suspects went to town about putting the dog on the roof (the incumbent President ATE dog, f'r cryin' out loud). Also, the effective ads he had should've been running one per commericial interruption during every college football game all Fall.

Romney had ONE job, get as many votes as McCain got. Rrrrr...

Wilbur said...

"Will Trump control his urge to slam Clinton? Worries the hell out of me. Whatever digs he delivers will have to be subtle or the howling mob of the MSM will have too easy a time claiming sexist , etc."

No matter what Trump says he'll be labeled sexist ... and racist and blah, blah, blah. So let Trump be Trump. Time will tell, but I have to trust him not to say something ... well, stupid? I think he'll be under control.

It'll be interesting to see if Hillary, or Trump for that matter, ups the ante and springs a surprise invitee on their opponent. I do think this whole business of audience members throwing off a debater is becoming a bit much. It should not be encouraged in the future.

Oso Negro said...

Fuck civility! I want to see Trump shaking his fist and screaming "what's my name?" at the prone Hillary Clinton. Float like a butterfly, sting like a bee!
'

Martin said...

Only if you already know the exact questions, in order.

Which, with Clinton involved, could be the case.

Jupiter said...

Trump needs -- needs! -- to have a plan for what he is going to do when Hillary falls twitching to the floor and a giant, carnivorous bat crawls out of her mouth and flies at the moderator. While it is unlikely this will change the minds of any of Hillary!'s base, a suitably restrained response may induce some fence-sitters to refrain from voting.

Extra points for wrestling the bat into submission, but watch out for those fangs!

Jupiter said...

Does she get to have that huge black guy with the syringe on stage? I'll bet he and Huma know how to handle that bat.

wildswan said...

Probably they have given Hillary the questions. And she could do a good solid debate job if ... her health is OK. But she has to try to say that everything is OK because she is going to continue the status quo and because creating the status quo is her "experience". BLM is saying that America suffers from systemic racism. Black families are poorer than they were in 2007. There's an opioid epidemic. America is more hated and weaker. And she will continue these trends. Obama has specifically asked people to vote for her because she will continue the trends.

But Trump is able to point out the need for change. Change is needed at home. Since 2008 manufacturing and building have stopped being the fields employing the most number of Americans. They used to be 1 and 2 but now are something like 7 and 13 in number of people employed. This is probably why Donald Trump is able to resonate - because his field is contracting in the building trade and he experienced the decline just like all the carpenters. He also knows what businesses have had to do in the way of bribes to people like the Clinton's. He knows what you have to do to get a waiver from the rules passed since 2008.

Change is needed in the cities where mayors and prosecutors responsible for systemic racism - if you believe what Black Lives Matter says - are being re-elected due to huge majorities in the poorest precincts in the cities. The very people most persecuted by the police - if you believe what Black Lives Matter says - are electing and re-electing those who control the police and hold the systemic racism in place. It's definitely true that the poorest people are electing Democrats opposed to school reform - the only hope of escape from the inner city is via the schools. And what are the schools under Democrats like Rahm Emanuel and Hillary? - traps, they are just traps. What has Hillary promised - more of the same.

Oh well, I'll stiffen up and be carried off like a side of beef if I don't stop ranting. Looking forward to the debate

Change is needed and Hillary has promised we will not get it. Except in the girls' bathroom, of course.

J. T. Bleu said...

Projected headlines following the debate: HILLARY DOESN'T CROAK,
Get it? Or how about this one?
TRUMP BRINGS FLOWERS, BUT HILLARY SLAPS HIM DOWN

protestmanager said...

You don't game out the predicted possible alternatives so you can memorize a response. You game them out so that if you hit them, instead of panicing you can think "I've seen this, i know I can deal with it."

And so you can remember your first three responses, and how much they sucked, so you don't do those again. :-)