Judging the debate winner on Monday

In 2004 George W. Bush, according to overwhelming sources, lost all three debates to Sen. John Kerry.  And yet, Bush won 286 electoral votes and winning re-election by three million votes.  So winning the debates is not the end all to anything.  However, this year it appears very likely to be a strong determining factor in who will be our next President.  But, winning the first debate, of three, normally determines nothing.  Romney trounced Obama in their first debate.   Mondale beat stumbling Ronald Reagan in their first debate.  Reagan won 49 of 50 States.

With Donald Trump’s strong momentum at present, winning the first debate could be the key to the Presidency.  It will keep and grow his steady gains.  Hillary has now pulled out of Ohio and sending reinforcements to Wisconsin.  The race is dead even.  No question.  One very important factor is the first half hour of the debate.

The question is who will win, in the public’s view, and your view.  First, forget all the pundits summations after the debate.  Depending on which channel you watch the pundits are bias.  The spin room post debate comments are meaningless.  All that matters is the voters view point.  In the past, likeability has been a key.  It is why Bush beat Kerry.  Not a good chance this time.  Mrs. Clinton has proven to be very unlikeable.  And Trump is no bargain either.  If either one can show any humor, it will be a major positive.  Not likely.  Trump must show composure, appear Presidential, avoid showing anger and seem in command.

Here is what either must NOT do.  For Hillary Clinton she needs to stay away from long answers.  It’s boring, wonkish and a turn off to the all important Independents and undecided voters.  They want simple and straight forward answers.  She absolutely cannot lie anymore. She cannot show any health issues.  And if she continues her main strategy of diminishing Trump, he wins.  That has been mostly her entire campaign.

For Trump, he cannot show any odd temperament. He must not be condescending. And he absolutely cannot exaggerate.  A continuous fault.

For Trump to win he needs to stay within his winning core issues.  Terrorism, immigration, the economy, the veterans and especially strong on law and order.  No insults or taunts, but hammer in on the miserable happenings of the last eight years.  This is his strongest argument.  Obama and Hillary’s record as Sec. of State are viewed as failure.   Almost 70% of Americans feel the Country is headed in the wrong direction. Even liberals admit they cannot point to anything of substance Mrs. Clinton accomplished during her four years as Sec. of State or as Senator.  Point in fact, things have gotten worse world wide.   Her willingness to add 50% more immigrants from Syria and other terrorist hot spots.  And, with another FBI email document dump Friday, overwhelmingly hurting her is THE EMAIL SCANDAL AND HER UNTRUSTWORTHYNESS.  The pubic simply does not trust her.

For Hillary to win, she must thrust her experience in government as a Senator, 1st lady and Secretary of State.  She must stand by what she views as accomplishments of the Obama administration.   Point to what she has done in the past to help minorities, women and imply the significance being the first female President.  What she believes needs to be done for immigrants.  She will clearly have an advantage of knowledge of world leaders and the structure of world events.

Summing up, Hillary’s task is much harder Monday night than Trump’s.  In a way she is stuck defending the indefensible.  During the campaign she has not clearly stated why she is running.  That is Trump’s strength.  Mrs. Clinton must prove her superior experience trounces anything Trump can say or do.  But, again, longer answers are generally harmful.

American’s want change.  Her problem is defending the past.  And handing out more of the same.  If “The Donald” can show he is no threat, act Presidential, show American’s positives for the future and appear Presidential, as her equal, he will win.  And a win here shall increase his very strong momentum at present.

Frankly, I would rather be in “his shoes” than hers.   More pressure shall be on Hillary.  She is supposed to be the far superior candidate.   But, her Achilles Heel is the email scandal and the voters awareness of her being untrustworthy.  From that there is no escape.  Or as they say in the boxing world…..”She can run, but she can’t hide.