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My prediction for the narrative, based on every election since 2000, is that Trump will be deemed to have improved substantially in the second debate, and then Clinton will be seen as pulling off a needed comeback in the third….In the second debate it is necessary that Trump be seen as redeemed, so if he spends the entire debate ignoring the moderator and yelling about his refusal to pay a bill he’ll be called “bold and unconventional” for doing so. In the third debate, if doesn’t matter if Clinton goes into a coma, the narrative demands a comeback, so she’ll be seen as “incredibly graceful as she soldiered on until medical personnel intervened.”
I’m not drawing an equivalence between the candidates, or arguing that one sort of problem is no worse than another. Rather, I’m saying that the media narrative is already decided. This is stage-managed democracy.
This sounds so, so plausible. I really want to sign on. But Trump is making it very hard. Can he really deliver even the minimal performance needed to allow the press to rally behind him after the second debate. I just don’t know….