Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Protect the Football, Hillary

It's come down to this: one last debate; one last opportunity for Donald Trump to humiliate himself on a national stage. And if the first two debates are any indication, this might be the ugliest 90 minutes the nation has ever seen.

Unlike the first two debates, where I thought Hillary needed to go for the knockout, I actually think the best strategy for her tonight is to play it cool. She's ahead by double digits in the head-to-head polls and ahead by nine in the four-way polls; she's doesn't need to take any chances. If the election were held today, she'd win convincingly.

It's clear Trump is going to do everything he can to drag her down to his level, like he did with Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio. She cannot let that happen. When he blows a gasket, which he will, she needs to do what she's been doing since the conventions: act presidential, let it slide off her shoulder. If she could keep her composure during the second debate when Trump "invited" four of Bill's accusers to sit in the front row, she should be able to handle the half-brother of the President and the mother of a Benghazi victim.

The moderator, Chris Wallace, may try to pin her down on the email server, the alleged quid pro quo regarding the FBI and State Department and the Wikileaks hacks. Her best course of action is not to try and deflect. Own what's hers and above all else avoid getting into a pissing contest with Wallace. Trump will do his best to help her out anyway, so there's no need to overreact.

When you're ahead by two touchdowns with two minutes to go in the game, you actually don't have to score; you just have to make sure you don't turn the ball over. Trump will do everything in his power to force a turnover. It's his only chance - assuming he has any - to make this a horse race.

So my advice is simple: Protect the football, Hillary. The floor is literally caving underneath Trump's feat. Let gravity have its way and you'll be the next President of the United States.

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