Thursday, September 29, 2016

Will Trump shift and prepare for the next debate?

MSNBC's Katy Tur has been covering the Trump campaign since last fall  and has developed sources inside the Trump campaign.  She was able to confirm that he did not do practice debates.   His staff tried;  but he refuses and they cannot get him to stay focused on any subject for more than a few minutes.

Someone told Katy that he was willing to watch videos of his primary debates, but he would not take suggestions on how to improve his responses, claiming that he thought all of his answers were "perfect."

This is very much in line with what Tony Schwarz, his ghost writer for The Art of the Deal, said.   Rather than the long discussions he expected they would have, so Tony could write the book, he could never get him to focus on a subject for more than a few minutes.   That's how short his attention span is.

So . . . how would this work out in the Situation Room when there is an international crisis, and the president needs to be briefed by an array of military advisers and intelligence officers, then have meaningful discussion with these and other advisers?  This is time-consuming work that requires concentration under pressure.  Can he do it?   Will he even admit that he needs advice and processing of options?  Apparently, reading briefing books would be completely out of the question.

Decisions that will affect global security as well as international diplomacy will hang in the balance of an informed United States president.   I think he lacks the physiological capacity to stay focused long enough.   He just can't do it.   He's like a kid with attention deficit disorder who just cannot sit still.

The debate and preparation for it comprise one of the tests for prospective presidents.   The blogger "digby" noted that Trump's new campaign manager Kellyanne Conway has been able to get Trump to read speeches from a teleprompter.   So she thought perhaps there was actually some preparation going on.   But, as digby wrote:
"Last night Donald Trump demonstrated not only that he didn’t prepare but that he has no underlying knowledge of the subjects a president is required to know. He simply tried to bluff his way through with incoherent misdirection, hostility and sarcasm . . .  it may have been the worst debate performance of any political career.
"I wasn’t sure whether or not Hillary Clinton would be able to handle him. . . .  [But]  The simple fact is that Hillary Clinton dominated him. The debate was all her thrusting and him parrying over and over again. By the end he was visibly slumping and seemed confused. And since being a 'winner' is so central to his candidacy and his personality, the loss is even more devastating."
To make it even worse for Trump, as Chris Matthews so aptly put it:
   "He got beat . . . by a gu-urrl."


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