Not that Clinton needs my advice, but if her goal is to get CNN to say she won, no way can she touch Trump's white supremecist tweets et. al.

Look how that basket of deplorables thing went. She made an entirely reasonable observation and everybody acted like she dipped a crucifix in piss. White Identity Politics inhabit the safest of safe spaces.
Since the trend (or perceived trend) is that the race is getting tighter and moving in the direction of Trump, I think a tie in the debate will mean, or will be spun as meaning, a win for Trump, because it doesn't change the "momentum" (whatever that is). Trump seeming reasonable is enough for him to "win".
Orange Hitler could literally shit his pants on stage and he'd still declare himself the winner. so will the cable news media. IOKIYAR.

Clinton has to be "likeable" & "unguarded" - but no sighs, no eye rolls, and no visible irritation with Trump's interruptions and insults. she can't cough. if she falls short of this impossible standard, she'll be crucified.

I recommend that she wears the white suit.

@2: the tide turned this week - she's trending up on 538. keep up.

@4, I guess I didn't refresh the 538 page to see that little blip. Well, I'll believe in the tide turning when it's more than a blip.
I disagree: she should hammer him HARD on every lie, every flip-flop, every venomously racist utterance that's ever come out of his mouth or out of the mouth of any of the RWNJ supporters he's failed to denounce. We could start a pool to see how long his hyper-inflated ego can take that kind of pounding before he loses his shit and says something REALLY stupid. Maybe he'll try to hit back, or more likely, take the first shot (and boy-oh-boy, I can't wait for that!), and that would be okay: Clinton knows how to punch and counter-punch, and she has the experienced politician's ability to stay focused and on-point despite the jabs. It would be Trump's (and his base's) worst nightmare come true: to get his flabby, pasty-white ass royally handed to him by a woman he can't bully or cower into submission.
Presidential debates should open with a disclaimer listing all relevant terms and conditions the network had to agree to in order for their guests to appear.
Hillary Clinton's biggest weakness is that folks don't like her. She had a huge bump after the convention, because a lot of people got to know her a bit better. That seemed to fade away, and we are back to the bullshit "he is an asshole, she is a liar" narrative. Whether she does it during the debates or with TV ads, she needs to convince people to vote for her, not against him. Everyone knows he is terrible -- the TV ads she is running don't win a vote. But what a lot of people don't know is that she did more for humanity before she met Bill than Trump will ever do. Maybe it isn't the time to try and really appeal to people -- just put your game face on and appear presidential. We don't have to like the president (after all, people voted for Nixon twice) we just have to think that candidate is the best one to run the country. But at some point, she needs to describe her life story that makes her more sympathetic -- otherwise this stupid country might just vote for the dude.

As for the debate, a lot depends on what question is asked. If I was a moderator, I would ask Trump when America was great. I believe his answer is the 1980s, at which point, Hillary should counter punch that blowhard and knock the mother fucker out. 1980s, huh, when inflation peaked out at about 14%, interest rates came close to 20%, and unemployment was almost always over 8%. 80s, huh -- when the word "homeless" entered the vocabulary, crime and abortion rates (and the teen pregnancy rates that go with it) were way higher than today? Many of you don't remember the 1980s, but folks as old as Donald and me do, and unless your memory is fading, it really wasn't a great time for most of the country. Oh, to be clear, some people made a killing, but the average Joe or Jane was having a tough time. I think you may have confused decades, Donald -- I think you mean the late 1990s, when my husband was president. We are just about back to those times again (after a Republican caused recession) and with my help we'll get there.

Of course if he picks a different decade it is even easier (50s -- really, when African Americans were routinely lynched for no reason at all -- sorry if I think we are greater now). But for anyone to call bullshit on his (of course) racist slogan, the question has to be asked.

I think she did a very good job of doing just that in her acceptance speech at the convention, but at this point I don't see how "humanizing" herself any further is going to be of much use. Those who support her already know her story, and those who don't couldn't care less. What she has to show now is mettle: that she can handle criticism, that she can stand up to attacks, and that she has policy platforms to address the real concerns of voters. She doesn't have to be likable, as you suggest, but she does have to prove herself capable, and the most effective way for her to do that is to point out the glaring contrasts between herself and her opponent. Trump has a demonstrated inability to stay on-message, or even to maintain consistency in his messaging, and he's not going to be able to utter a single bloviated accusation she can't counter. So, IMO she should nail him to his own bloody Wall for his waffling and obfuscation.
Where, where, where to watch the debates in public with a teenager?

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