Sundance at CTH sees it like this:
Anticipate Wallace beginning the debate thusly:
“There has been a lot of noise amid the election coverage with reports of groping, locker room talk, emails, WikiLeaks, investigations and such lately…. but what’s more important to the electorate are the specifics of policy and your skills to lead our nation…. as such, I’m going to ask each of you to stay away from the personal nonsense, drop the controversial gotcha talking points and speak directly to the American electorate”.
Or something similar and equally table clearing.
He’s then going to wonkify the debate, going directly to specific and intensely granular details about policy. This effort will be geared toward aiding the “expert government policy candidate“, Clinton.
Wallace will shroud and protect his (and Murdoch’s) objectives, by claiming the intellectual high-road; all-the-while the goal is to emphasize the low-minded, non intellectual, non-policy specific vulgarian, Trump.
Chris Wallace will use video(s), and visual aides to amplify his approach and contrast how the “intellectual professionals” within the various intellectual policy businesses (think tanks etc.), are diametrically opposed to any disruption in the order of things.
I agree with this fully. Make no mistake – Wallace is as Never Trump as they come. He’ll be different to the pro HRC moderators of the past by trying to stick it to Trump intellectually, as opposed to outright being hostile with him like Matha Raddatz and Anderson Cooper were. Expect obscure Middle East geography, and comments such as ‘483,493 Policy experts say your position on X is wrong, why do you hold it?’
It is all meant to make it look like Trump ‘doesn’t know what he’s doing.’ Trump has to emphasize two things, if he can:
- Appeals to the ‘experts’ well versed in the old, failing paradigm are irrelevant because their way has failed. I have new experts who validate my view that we need to go in the opposite direction
- The presidency is an executive, which is a position of leadership and direction more than anything else. Trump should make the case that he has been doing that his entire life, and is in many ways born for the role. The wonky stuff is best left to those chosen to be in the trenches. The key is choosing the right people, so as to be informed properly when decisions are made.
I doubt the second point will be made, but if it can be made, it will serve as a great jump off point to pivot into the scandals plaguing HRC, from her emails, to the shenanigans exposed in the Podesta emails. The fact that HRC surrounded herself with individuals of such poor quality and integrity highlights her judgement, and should count well against her with respect to the office of the presidency.
Personally, I feel that Trump will have an excellent night if he is able to draw a clear contrast between himself and Clinton. In particular, I’d like to see him highlighting the fact that he is the candidate of American sovereignty, both culturally and economically, while she ‘dreams’ of open borders and a hemispheric trade zone. He needs to highlight the fact that he is the candidate who wants diplomacy with the Russians, while HRC and the top brass of the Democrats, up to and including HRC have been agitating for war for several months now.
This, in particular, will score points and is a possible game changer. Trump to this point hasn’t done a good enough job outlining the fact that HRC is no different to a neocon in terms of warmongering, the same way he did with the rest of the Republicans in the primary. It is not enough to go over the Iraq war, and HRC’s failures in driving us into every Middle East skirmish imaginable since. A point blank assertion that this trend of HRC to preside over American combat will continue, with Russia, a nuclear power.
It doesn’t matter how it happens, with respect to tone. Trump must establish himself as the change agent, once and for all, and leave no doubt in the mind of the voter what substantive choice awaits.