If you have been living under a rock or have developed political campaign fatigue and thus quit paying attention, the following chronology with commentary will help you catch up.
October 5, 2016
Polls out on this date showed HRC with a steady (durable?) lead in national polls and small to significant leads in such battleground states as Florida, Ohio and Pennsylvania. Nothing there that Primadonald’s team or his supporters wanted to see.
October 6, 2016
The “hot mic” video-tape from the Access Hollywood bus surfaces revealing Primadonald as an out-and-out misogynist, and all in his own clearly recognizable voice and words. Social media quickly hit overload with condemning Tweets and Facebook entries. The mainstream media, cable news shows, and even some Republicans join the amen chorus. Team Trump dives into their bunkers and goes publicly silent as its members strategize on how to redeem the irredeemable.
October 7, 2016
Late this evening, Team Trump releases a video featuring their candidate making what is supposed to be an apology. The remarks are teleprompter-scripted, and delivered with flat affect which is to say without any overt signs of real remorse. About the first 1.5 minutes contain the apology to be followed in succession by pivots that included I’m (DJT) now a different person, the claim that Bill Clinton did much worse and HRC condoned it, and we have real problems to deal with as a nation so (implicitly) my character need no longer be an issue. It can all be summarized with this short phrase; i.e. “Yes, but….”.
October 8, 2016
A war of words ensues with critical analyses of the aforementioned apology met against the rallying of support for Primadonald that was structured to fir the candidate’s mea culpa; i.e. yes, it was bad, but Clinton did worse so can we move on? In drip, drip, drip fashion, Republican members of Congress, either began to put some distance between themselves and their party’s standard bearer or flat-out rescinded their endorsement of him. There was open talk of Primadonald voluntarily stepping down or being forced out with Mike Pence taking his place at the top of the ticket (1,2).
Sunday night’s debate
To reverse the polls (see above) and actually gain some ground, Primadonald is going to have to put on a superlative performance in which he lays out a positive, proactive plan for making America great again. The likelihood, however, is that he will try to recapture the moral high ground by attacking Bill Clinton as an even worse misogynist and HRC as his active enabler. If HRC is smart, she will respond with something like “Bill Clinton is not running for president and I am. Here are my plans to move our country forward”. In contrast, if she elects to slither into the “swamp” and join her opponent there, we will be witness to the ugliest, most toxic presidential debate in US history. In that case, watch for many uncommitted voters to subsequently be so turned off that they stay home on November 8th.
It would be wise to watch the debate with a “barf bag” handy.
- Removal of Primadonald from the GOP ticket by whatever means, is fraught with problems; e.g. what happens to the early voting support he has already received? How are the ballots on November 8th to be amended so as to remove his name and substitute his replacement’s?
- A surely as Pence won the VP debate on style, he lost it both on substance and veracity. The latter involved his repeated and provably dishonest denials of remarks that his running mate had previously made. These would surely be used against him.