But that's not how the NYT writers — Patrick Healy, Amy Chozick, and Maggie Haberman — put it. To them, Hillary is deep and Trump is shallow:
Mrs. Clinton has a thick dossier on Mr. Trump after months of research and meetings with her debate team, including analysis and assumptions about his psychological makeup that Clinton advisers described as critical to understanding how to knock Mr. Trump off balance. Mrs. Clinton has concluded that catching Mr. Trump in a lie during the debate is not enough to beat him: She needs the huge television audience to see him as temperamentally unfit for the presidency, and that she has the power to unhinge him.There's a lot more detail in the Healy-Chozick-Haberman report.
Mr. Trump, in turn, is approaching the debate like a Big Man on Campus who thinks his last-minute term paper will be dazzling simply because he wrote it. He has paid only cursory attention to briefing materials. He has refused to use lecterns in mock debate sessions despite the urging of his advisers. He prefers spitballing ideas with his team rather than honing them into crisp, two-minute answers.
With Mrs. Clinton largely devoting the next four days to mock debate sessions and drills in New York, and Mr. Trump hunkering down only on Sunday....
There's a section headed "Preparations" — which includes Hillary's idea that she might be able to annoy Trump by calling him "Donald." That took me back to the old debate between Governor Scott Walker and his opponent in the recall election, Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett. (At the time, I said: "I was annoyed by Barrett's calling Governor Walker 'Scott' repeatedly. Barrett tried to goad Walker and annoy him, but Walker never took the bait. Walker never showed any disrespect.")
Healy-Chozick-Haberman have a section "Strategy": "Mrs. Clinton and her advisers have written out dozens of answers.... [Trump's team told him:] Do not pick stupid fights with her or with the moderator...."
Under the heading "Mock Debates," we learn that Hillary will "do at least one timed mock debate" and that she's "mindful of the importance of 'podium behavior,'" but Trump won't do "a full-length mock debate," and some of his advisers worry that "underestimates the difficulty of standing still, talking pointedly and listening sharply for 90 minutes" and that if Hillary "surprises him," he'll be "caught flat-footed."
As for "Strengths," Clinton is a "dutiful student" good at "absorb[ing] information," while Trump has studied video of Clinton and himself. I wondered why these 2 things were put under the same heading. Why isn't the statement about Trump up there under "Preparations." I think it's because there is a Trump strength there. Perhaps it was edited out, and it corresponds interestingly to Hillary's orientation toward absorbing information: Trump is a student of human behavior. His prep is studying video, because his strength is in reading other people. She may be able to catch him in a factual mistake of some kind, but will she get him to display bad temperament? But he's the one with the strength in seeing through the surface and the words to how she is really feeling. (By the way, that means that the usual sex stereotypes are flipped.)
Finally, "Vulnerabilities." For Clinton: "stiff... irritable... defensive..." Trump, on the other hand is "insulting" and has a "tendency to lie..." and he might not understand what it means to take on a woman. Yes, Trump might bumble into some Rick-Lasio-ish male-on-female faux pas.