First presidential debates are a lot like Super Bowls — most years they don’t live up to the pregame hype. How could they?
The difference between debates and Super Bowls is that at kickoff, the score is even, 0-0. Tomorrow night at 9, Hillary Clinton starts with at least a 14-0 lead, maybe 17-0. That’s her built-in mainstream media advantage.
Vegas wouldn’t touch this one with a 10-foot pole. It’s fixed.
Whatever happens on Long Island, Hillary will immediately be declared the winner by 98 percent of the press. The headlines are already written, the phony-baloney polls and focus groups are ready to roll.
Hillary has to accomplish only two feats in Hempstead. The first one is to get off a couple of canned zingers for her adoring fans in social media to run with Tuesday morning.
What’s the over/under on how many minutes it will take her to say, “I’m a grandmother”? Comrade Chris Matthews and Andrea Mitchell will lap it up with a spoon. Oh, she so humanized herself, blah blah blah.
Hillary’s second task may prove more daunting: She has to remain vertical for 90 long minutes, with no oxygen mask or iron lung up there on the stage.
As we all know, there’s something wrong with Hillary, and I don’t mean her cirrhosis of the soul. There’s that hacking cough, and her tendency to collapse in sweltering 78-degree heat waves. Delivering prepared remarks, she sometimes blanks out in mid-sentence. And now there’s that thing with her eyes.
Still, she’s got it a lot easier than Donald Trump. Think about it — if he interrupts her, he’s a misogynist bully. If she interrupts him, she is woman, hear her roar. She is powering through. They’ll put the blast on him if he calls her “Hillary.” How dare he not respect Madame Secretary!
With Democrats, if it weren’t for the double standard, there would be no standards at all.
Remember Hillary’s first run for the Senate in New York, back in 2000? Her opponent was a Republican congressman, Rick Lazio. He wanted her to sign a pledge not to take dirty money — obviously a non-starter for anyone named Clinton.
So, on the debate stage, in front of the TV cameras, he politely approached her with the pledge card and a pen. Lazio got inside her, what do they call it, personal space. OMG. The New York Times demanded his extradition to The Hague to stand trial in the World Court for crimes against humanity.
Trump can’t get down in the weeds with her. He’s got to hammer away with a few catchphrases — what the Clinton News Network in the post-debate analysis will describe as “dog whistles.”
“Fivefold increase in immigration of ‘unvetted’ Syrian refugees … emails … law ‘n’ order … Make America Great Again.”
Maybe throw in an oldie-but-a-goodie: “Are you better off than you were eight years ago?”
Unless you’re an illegal alien or a Muslim terrorist on welfare, there can only be one possible answer to that question.
Then there’s the moderator, Lester Holt. They say he’s a registered Republican, but then so are the Bushes, Colin Powell and Susan Collins. He’s seen his NBC colleagues Matt Lauer and Jimmy Fallon excoriated for committing the ultimate heresy — declining to spit in Donald Trump’s face when they had him on their shows.
Guaranteed, Lester won’t make the same mistake. He doesn’t want to be shipped back to the Palookaville known as MSNBC.
Two on one is Democrat fun. So whatever happens, here’s your headline for Tuesday morning:
Hillary Wins, Election Over.
No, she doesn’t, and no, it isn’t.
Listen to Howie 3-7 on WRKO AM 680.
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