It isn’t quite Ali v Frasier, but the first debate between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump is still incredibly compelling!
The 5-Ws About Tonight’s First Presidential Debate
Who: Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump
What: The First Debate of the 2016 Presidential Election
When: 9PM Eastern
Where: Physically speaking; Hofstra University in Hempstead, New York. Where you can watch it; on any major network; CBS, NBC, ABC, Fox, PBS, Univision, CNN, Fox News, C-SPAN, and ect. If you’re “super cool” and don’t own a TV, you can watch it online here.
Why: Because presidential debates help people choose a US President.
Broad Ideas vs Detailed Specifics
Tonight’s debate is very similar to having two different boxers with two completely different styles fighting each other. Donald Trump leans on broad ideas and doesn’t like to talk about specifics of his policy plans. Hell, as this video shows, he openly talks about how he isn’t a very policy oriented politician in stump speeches!
Hillary Clinton on the other hand is a person that LOVES getting into policy specifics. This makes sense considering the number of years she has under her belt working in government. Her greatest strength against someone like Trump is to talk about policy specifics, because doing so makes them seem unprepared.
But while people say they want specific policy ideas, in a nationally televised debate, policy specifics can get muddled and the nature of the 24/7 news cycles favor talking points that are broader. It will be interesting to see if Clinton tries to incorporate specific policy points early on to separate herself from Trump or if he can keep the debate talking points general enough to make it look as if they are equally knowledgeable when it comes to public policy.
Why You Wouldn’t Want to Be Lester Holt
Lester Holt, the host of NBC’s Nightly News, is in an unenviable position tonight. In one of the most heated (and let’s be honest, weirdest) presidential elections in recent history, Holt will be hosting tonight’s first debate! It will most definitely be a challenge in trying to wrangle two very different politicians and getting them on the same page. Tonight’s debate topics will include the themes, “America’s Direction,” “Achieving Prosperity,” and “Securing America.” While the debate topics themselves are very vague, you can generally guess the debate will revolve around questions regarding terrorism and the economy.
As for Holt himself, it isn’t too far off to say that he’s in a really tough spot here. After the criticism that Matt Lauer received for the way he moderated the Clinton/Trump Commander-in-Chief Forum some weeks ago, many are expecting Holt to hold both Clinton and Trump accountable for their answers. Which is easier said than done. To openly question someone like Trump in his many factual inaccuracies can give the perception that Holt is unfairly bullying him on stage. Yet at the same time, to let Trump get away with blatant inaccuracies would be ignoring his duties as a debate moderator. It’s a tough job and we wish Holt the best of luck. He’ll definitely be needing it…
The Trump Curve
This seems on the level. pic.twitter.com/cXOn9FyAVA
— Matthew Yglesias (@mattyglesias) September 26, 2016
Democrats for a while now have been worried about how the media will perceive tonight’s debate. While spin alley will be up and fully operation after tonight’s debate, many worry that the media will grade Donald Trump’s debate performance on a curve when compared to Hillary Clinton.
As the above tweet shows, this is highly possible…
For many political pundits and various other talking heads, they expect Clinton to have a very strong performance at the debates tonight. As for Trump, their expectations aren’t as high. So if Trump can somehow pull-off a decent performance on the debate stage, then the media might call it a Trump victory, even though Clinton had done more during the debate. If that happens, then a Trump win in November suddenly becomes more plausible.
(Photo Credit: Commission on Presidential Debates Twitter, Alex Navarro Twitter, Google Images)