According to a new story in the Wall Street Journal, Hillary Clinton is having a lot of trouble preparing for the first presidential debate on September 26. With only a few days to go until one of the most anticipated debates of all time, Clinton is still wrangling with one question: Which version of Donald Trump is going to show up?
David Axelrod, a former top adviser to President Barack Obama, said Mrs. Clinton faces a challenge in debating Mr. Trump, because “he is unpredictable and can be volatile.” He likened the unknowns to those in 2008, when then-Sen. Joe Biden debated the little-known governor of Alaska, Sarah Palin, in a vice presidential matchup. Mr. Biden benefited from multiple mock debates that prepared him for the unexpected, Mr. Axelrod said.
“I don’t know who’s playing Donald Trump,” he said of Mrs. Clinton’s practice sessions. “That person has an enormous responsibility to expose her to the reality of what Donald Trump might be.”
According to Clinton insiders, the Democratic nominee is preparing for one of two scenarios: A disciplined Trump and a no-holds-barred Trump who could say or do anything to throw Hillary off her game.
Protip for Hillary: Prepare for the latter. Trump isn’t going to have a teleprompter, so there’s no reason to think we’re going to see the “presidential” version of the Republican nominee. He’s going to bring the same unpredictable flavor to Hofstra that we saw in the primaries – the same flavor that eventually made him the clear winner. Yes, he’s going to make some mistakes. Yes, he’s going to say something that will send the media into a tizzy. But he’s not going to go out there in front of the biggest television audience in modern memory and pretend to be somebody he’s not.
That’s what Hillary really needs to prepare for. On Monday night, we’re going to get the clearest comparison yet of a polished, overprepared politician and a unique, says-what-he’s-thinking business tycoon. And for all the talk about America voting a reality TV star into the White House, we’ll see the actual difference between a real person and a manufactured phony.
If Hillary really wanted to secure her lead, she would stop studying the intricate, wonkish details of every policy and realize that Americans really want one thing out of her: A little hint of sincerity. Something to make us believe that there’s a human heart beating behind that pantsuit. Something to convince us that she’s not the lying, manipulative shrew we all think she is.
But something tells us that Trump isn’t wasting any time preparing for THAT version of Hillary, seeing as how it doesn’t exist.