The second debate between Trump and Clinton starts at 8:00 PM Central Time tonight, and for lovers of political theater it promises to be exceptional. Any other politician would be dead meat now but Donald Trump is not “any other politician.” He isn’t a politician at all, as he has demonstrated time and time again in this campaign. What began, I suspect, as a vanity ride for him, has turned into a political movement that has been consistently underestimated by his foes, including me. Well, I am done underestimating Donald Trump. Tonight promises to be an epic disaster for him, but I would not be surprised to see him throw away the political rulebook yet again and snatch a victory from a debacle. We shall see. For a political junkie like me, it does not get any better than this.
Update: Trump has just held a news conference featuring Juanita Broaddrick, Paula Jones, Kathleen Willey and Kathy Shelton. It looks like he is taking the nuclear option unless this is a pre-debate headfake.
Update: Trump thus far, a half hour into the debate, is bringing his A game in the debate: Calm, articulate and on the attack. He has won most of the exchanges with Hillary.
Update: An hour in Trump is more than holding his own. Clinton came into this debate over confident and Trump came in knowing that he couldn’t afford another loss. Frank Luntz’ focus group is showing that 17 think Trump is winning, 4 think Hillary is winning and 9 think it is a tie.
Update: I called the first debate for Clinton and I think Trump is just as clearly the victor in the second debate. A bravura performance considering the pressure Trump is under.
Update: From the Luntz focus group:
Focus Group: Who are you willing to vote for?
BEFORE #DEBATE • Hillary: 8 • Trump: 9
AFTER DEBATE • Hillary: 4 • Trump: 18