Tonight’s 2016 Presidential debate is being moderated by NBC Nightly News anchor Lester Holt at Hofstra University in Hempstead, New York. It’s scheduled to begin at 9 p.m. ET (6 p.m. PT) and will feature six 15-minute segments over the course of 90 minutes with no commercial breaks. (One of the many reasons to drink Scotch instead of beer.)
Here are all the ways to watch it. I recommend CSPAN not because their commentators are better than anyone else’s (they aren’t) but because their commentators don’t get to commentate during actual events. They play the whole thing raw, start to finish. That being said, the moment it is over, shut them off. Do not listen to any callers. (I warned you.)
No matter how it gets spun or even how it looks, the fact is, Hillary already won this debate. She is the only legitimate candidate. There is only one professional. Only one competent nominee. Only one presidential candidate. She beat the purity trolls of the far left, she’s beating the racists, sexists, and xenophobics of the right, and she’s beating the gawd-awful media (who decided they were in this race back when she was still doing her book tour).
Today there is more advice swirling around the Interwebs about what Hillary needs to do to win. She needs to smile. She needs to show she’s likable. She needs to tell us what she plans to do. (Because, if you’re in the media in 2016, you have NO idea what she plans to do and no way of finding out. It’s just not possible. You are literally forced to speculate.) What Hillary needs to do is tell these people to STFU. I was going to link to some of them, but they’re stupid.
This is not a normal year. Donald is not a normal person, much less candidate. The fact is, he blew away 16 of the GOP’s best and brightest by playing Political Apprentice while they were following The Establishment Book of Rules & Norms. If she follows the book too (likely), Mom and Pop won’t get freaked out but the Pundit Class will say she’s risk-averse, boring, wonky, (you know the rest—sing along with me). If she does something unexpected (perchance bold), the media Kewl Kidz will make fun of her, like they did with Naeing on Ellen, Pokemon Go Vote, and even this Kinney selfie pic. Because Hillary is not allowed to have any fun with this. None. Maybe her best bet is to play it straight, just up to the edge of baiting-with-plausible-deniability, and then let him Lazio himself. That kind of thing polls well.
Frankly, I don’t know what to tell her about debating a buffoon. I did this Tweet storm, but it has no answers. Just one request.
If you do Facebook, you can enjoy some pre-game discussion with Jon Favreau and Friends. (Yes, I have made my peace with Favreau because he wrote this. No, it’s never going to happen with Axelrod; he can rot in hell.) In fact, Favreau and friends have a really decent bi-weekly podcast going. No matter what you do, do not watch any pre-game commentary on cable news channels. Unless you feel like getting pissed–then go for it. I look forward to your Tweets!
After it’s over, we will be treated to clips that favor him, focus groups where people claim to have converted to him, and all other kinds of bullshit. We’ll have to wait until later in the week to see what SamBee does to get a real assessment. But know this: Hillary already won this debate.
Out of solidarity with the people traveling with Hillary’s campaign, spend from now until it begins listening to this on a loop.