How Trump Wins the Debate

By Pat Buchanan

Clinton and Trump
Clinton and Trump
Pat Buchanan
Patrick J .Buchanan

USA –  -(Ammoland.com)- On one of my first trips to New Hampshire in 1991, to challenge President George H. W. Bush, I ran into Sen. Eugene McCarthy.

He was returning to the scene of his '68 triumph, when he had inflicted the first crippling wound on Lyndon Johnson.

“Pat, you don't have to win up here, you know,” he assured me. “All you have to do is beat the point spread.”

“Beat the point spread” is a good description of what Donald Trump has to do in Monday night's debate.

With only a year in national politics, he does not have to show a mastery of foreign and domestic policy details. Rather, he has to do what John F. Kennedy did in 1960, and what Ronald Reagan did in 1980.

He has to meet and exceed expectations, which are not terribly high. He has to convince a plurality of voters, who seem prepared to vote for him, that he's not a terrible risk, and that he will be a president of whom they can be proud.

He has to show the country a Trump that contradicts the caricature created by those who dominate our politics, culture and press.

The Trump on stage at Hofstra University will have 90 minutes to show that the malicious cartoon of Donald Trump is a libelous lie.

He can do it, for he did it at the Mexico City press conference with President Pena Nieto where he surprised his allies and stunned his adversaries.

Ronald Reagan
Ronald Reagan

Recall. Kennedy and Reagan, too, came into their debates with a crucial slice of the electorate undecided but ready to vote for them if each could relieve the voters' anxieties about his being within reach of the button to launch a nuclear war.

Kennedy won the first debate, not because he offered more convincing arguments or more details on the issues, but because he appeared more lucid, likable and charismatic, more mature than folks had thought. And he seemed to point to a brighter, more challenging future for which the country was prepared after Ike.

After that first debate, Americans could see JFK sitting in the Oval Office.

Reagan won his debate with Carter because his sunny disposition and demeanor and his “There you go again!” airy dismissal of Carter's nit-picking contradicted the malevolent media-created caricatures of the Gipper as a dangerous primitive or an amiable dunce.

Even George W. Bush, who, according to most judges, did not win a single debate against Al Gore or John Kerry, came off as a levelheaded fellow who was more relatable than the inventor of the internet or the windsurfer of Cape Cod.

The winner of presidential debates is not the one who compiles the most debating points. It is the one whom the audience decides they like, and can be comfortable taking a chance on.

Trump has the same imperative and same opportunity as JFK and Reagan. For the anticipated audience, of Super Bowl size, will be there to see him, not her. He is the challenger who fills up the sports arenas with the tens and scores of thousands, not Hillary Clinton.

If she were debating John Kasich or Jeb Bush, neither the viewing audience nor the title-fight excitement of Monday night would be there. Specifically, what does Trump need to do? He needs to show that he can be presidential. He needs to speak with confidence, but not cockiness, and to deal with Clinton's attacks directly, but with dignity and not disrespect. And humor always helps.

Clinton has a more difficult assignment.

America knows she knows the issues. But two-thirds of the country does not believe her to be honest or trustworthy.

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As her small crowds show, she sets no one on fire. Blacks, Hispanics and millenials who invested high hopes in Barack Obama seem to have no great hopes for her. She has no bold agenda, no New Deal or New Frontier.

“Why aren't I 50 points ahead?” wailed Hillary Clinton this week.

The answer is simple. America has seen enough of her and has no great desire to see any more; and she cannot change an impression hardened over 25 years — in 90 minutes.

But the country will accept her, if the only alternative is the Trump of the mainstream media's portrayal. Hence, the strategy of the Democratic Party for the next seven weeks is obvious:

Trash Trump, take him down, make him intolerable, and we win.

No matter how she performs though, Donald Trump can win the debate, for he is the one over whom the question marks hang. But he is also the one who can dissipate and destroy them with a presidential performance.

In that sense, this debate and this election are Trump's to win.

 

Patrick J. Buchanan is the author of the new book “The Greatest Comeback: How Richard Nixon Rose From Defeat to Create the New Majority.

  • 8 thoughts on “How Trump Wins the Debate

    1. Trump needs to be cool headed and read between the lines. He will be attacked on 2 fronts HRC and the Media.. The Media will bait him to hopefully lose it…then HRC will inject the poison…HE needs to stay on point with what he has exposed both in the HRC/OBAMA camp and the LIBERAL Media in a Presidential manner……Show the People he can be cool under pressure because that has been what everyone points to as his MAIN Fault…Yes, peewee makes good points but we need as a Country to actually wake up to see what really is happening and address ourselves as well …You see through the LIBERAL INFESTATION has taken hold when YOUNG CHILDREN are WRITING to the Current ass to take in Syrian Refugees by the thousands without any vetting…this show how the TEACHERS are not TEACHING but espousing their LIBERAL AGENDA…

    2. THIS IS WHAT WE GET IF: TRUMP WINS; AMERICANS CAN REST EASY KNOWING THAT THE THINGS THAT MAKE US GREAT, OUR CONSTITUTION, OUR KNOWLEDGE OF HISTORY SO THAT WE DON’T FUCK SHIT ALL UP, WILL BE PASSED TO FUTURE GENERATIONS AND THEY TOO HAVE THE OPPORTUNITIES TO BE SUCCESSFUL AS WE DID. IF CLINTON WINS; WE GO TO OUR GRAVES A DESPAIRED AND DESPERATE PEOPLE THAT CAN NO LONGER FIGHT FOR WHATS RIGHT OR TO PROTECT OURSELVES, EXISTING ON A LAND MASS (DECAYED COUNTRY) WHERE THERE IS NO GOD, NO HOME FOR THE BRAVE OR LAND FOR THE FREE. THE DEMONSTRATION OF LEARNED HELPLESSNESS WILL BE SEIZED UPON BY THE ELITISTS AND THE GREATNESS OF AMERICA AND ITS PEOPLE WILL BE SQUANDERED BY THE ELITES UNTIL THEY TOO BECOME A PORTION OF THE LAND FILL

      1. @ Peewee, good thoughts and very true. However, the lamestream media will crucify Trump no matter how he performs including Faux news. They have become turn coats and are loosing their good anchors.
        It is up to us as voters, don’t listen to the media.
        This may not get posted because it calls a pig a pig.

    3. There are enough damming video clips out there,
      just run them back to back for a week before Nov.
      it will show just how stupid and deplorable we are.

    4. Trump can win if he keeps his “aggressive I am a contractor ways right” big mouth under control–don’t beat up the “girl.” Tweak the Hillarybeast a little and her voice will go shrill and just let her talk. She might even stroke out!

    5. Trump needs to get the video of her interviews where she stated “Democrat voters are stupid. They are very easy to manipulate.: and “Laws are for the little people.” and air them continuously until the election.

    6. Trump can win, by being “Trump” and using the skills he has used to win to date. Sure, he has to be more presidential and of course, Hillary’s crowd will play the “disabled woman” angle and bait him with it. But Trump is no fool…he just plays it to effect sometimes. That’s clear to anyone who has taken the time to analyze how he succeeds. I’m sure he’s prepping and will be ready to talk policy, procedures and records.

      She may “know the issues” but she doesn’t know the solutions.
      She’s, as Einstein pointed out “doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results”. That’s what she’s offering …doubling down on the Obama legacy.

      Not to mention the real threats she presents to our personal freedoms and liberties. Especially if she finishes the job that Obama has started of appointing Social Justice Warriors to federal benches, including the Supreme Court.

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