Be Sure to Catch Lambert’s Presidential Debate LiveBlog/Open Thread Tomorrow at 9 PM EDT

Yet again, Lambert is hosting a live blog as he watches the Clinton/Trump slugfest presidential debate tomorrow evening. Even with last week’s vice presidential debate being a spectacle, and not in a good way, Lambert provided recaps of the major talking points with running commentary. So you can either join the fun live and add your own takes, or visit later to get a good sense of how it progressed in real time.

As before, Lambert will be live blogging but in the Comments section, so that readers can react and follow the thread more easily. We found this to work far better than the usual approach of having the live blog be a post, and then having reader reactions be visually distant from the ongoing observations.

And some pre-debate questions: Trump is down again and seems to have a glass jaw. He’s not bad on the attack, but has been terrible at returning punches, and then doubles down on his bad responses.

First, is it too late for Trump to attempt to be Presidential, even charitably assuming he could stay more or less in character for a month? Second, has his inability to hide that he sees women as sex objects sunk him? Many people seem to see the Clinton charges of Trump’s other improprieties as the pot calling the kettle black, but the misogyny issue seems to be getting traction with a lot of women. Note that we have yet to have any evidence of actual misconduct (like pressuring subordinates for favors); if anything like that were to surface, all bets are off. Is there any rebuttal Trump could make on this issue that would change your mind? Before you say no (and it may be too late for Trump to try anything like this now), recall that when Arnold Schwarzenegger was running for governor, three women who had worked with him in movies from early in his career accused him of groping then on the set and pressuring them for sex.

Within 24 hours, Schwarzenegger held a press conference with Maria Shriver at his side. He said that he had done it, he was young and stupid and didn’t know that sort of behavior was deeply offensive to women and now he knew better and apologized.

Now I can’t imagine The Donald admitting to anything or apologizing, although he has just apologized for what he said in a 2005 recording that was leaked today, which included him saying that as a star, he could get away with anything, including kissing beautiful women and grabbing their pussies, and that he’s unsuccessfully pursued an unnamed married woman. (This sounds like teenage boy locker room braggadocio coming out of a man then pushing 60…ugh). Notice also how Team Clinton managed to get this story out the day of a Wikileaks dump that included excerpts from her Goldman speeches. And this also means The Donald will be preoccupied this weekend with damage control as opposed to debate prep this weekend. Nicely played.

If you are bothered by Trump’s trash talk about women, is there anything he could do to blunt your bad image of him on this issue?

Look forward to seeing you tomorrow night!

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  1. Kim Kaufman

    No, there is nothing Trump can do to redeem himself. Lots of anecdotal stories about Republican women saying they will not vote for Trump but not wanting to go public about it. I personally think somehow the media is making it seem like it’s more of a horserace than it really is because this is their $$$ time and they have to keep it going.

    As for Schwarzenegger, he bought off or simply intimidated the media. Even after he’s gone from office absolutely no one that I’ve seen has written or publicly said anything about him with the exception of one former state legislator who said plenty about how bad he was. She was totally not afraid of him.

    1. Yves Smith Post author

      I’m speaking about pre-election. He managed to make the issue of three women that he’d fondled in his acting days go away in a single speech. I’ve tried finding it on the Web but can’t. I was sure he was over based on that, which is why his speech stuck in my mind. But Schwarzenegger despite his affairs got where he got by having extremely good interpersonal skills and being willing to work hard to charm people, so it wasn’t beyond his abilities to give a credible apology.

  2. sleepy

    This sounds like teenage boy locker room braggadocio coming out of a man then pushing 60…

    That’s what bothers me and I have a concern that the lack of maturity and judgment carries over into areas of governance. I don’t want a 16 yr. old mind making national decisions. Nor do I want a mind saturated with American exceptionalism, imperialism, and market-worship such as Clinton’s making national decisions regardless of her views on women.

    The likelihood of my voting for either Trump or Clinton was always close to zero, and there’s little that Trump could do to change that even if he were to convince me that his views on women had changed.

    1. Brad

      My theory on the American male is that his emotional maturity halts in adolescence. Check out the giant Tonka trucks next time you are on the road. That’s Trump’s social base, and the social base of anybody else in the future, since American commercialism systematically breeds this personality.

  3. EyeRound

    As PhilU pointed out yesterday, the Wikilieaks email/HRC speeches dump exposed the fact that Hillary is two-faced. “You need both a public and a private position.” Trump campaigns as a “just me” / “up-front guy” “not another two-faced pol.” If Trump wants use the debate to consolidate his base–and even expand it–he will throw this at her repeatedly for two hours. I don’t think the comments about women will hurt him that much, sadly. The people who favor Trump really, truly, red-hot hate the government and pols who promise one thing and do something else are the very blood and bones of the government. I keep thinking there are a lot more of these types who may be voting than is generally acknowledged.

    1. nycTerrierist

      Agreed. It is clear: they’re both loathsome, but Hillary is also a hypocrite, and a smarmy one at that.

      At least Trump doesn’t insult our intelligence — as much as she does!

      If he is shrewd, he will hammer away at ‘two-faced Hillary’ like you say. He might even pick up some
      third party fence-sitters.
      If he doesn’t, he either wants to lose or he’s a moron. And for all Trump’s idiocy, I don’t think he’s that dumb.

      1. reslez

        It’s very simple. All Trump needs to do is promise to put the Wells Fargo execs in prison. That’s what would change my mind about him. If he does that in the debate he will win.

        How many people throwing shade on the Trump tape voted for Bill Clinton? Now there is some hypocrisy.

  4. Bev

    What might persuade Lambert to cover following to help sleepy and all of us:

    Coming Up: Expanding the October 9th Presidential Debate
    October 06, 2016

    On Sunday night Democracy Now! will air special live coverage of the second U.S. presidential debate. We will air the full debate between Republican nominee Donald Trump and Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton and give third-party candidates a chance to respond in real time to the same questions. Jill Stein of the Green Party has agreed to participate in our Expanding the Debate special. We have also invited Gary Johnson of the Libertarian Party. Our special broadcast will begin at 8 p.m. ET with a one-hour roundtable. Guests will include Katrina vanden Heuvel of the Nation, Melina Abdullah of Black Lives Matter.

    Ron Paul to independents: Vote Green Party

    Ron Paul about Jill Stein: “Certainly you could say, ‘Well, I like a lot of what she says about civil liberties.’ I like what she says about foreign policy. She’s probably the best on foreign policy.”

      1. Bev

        I am so thankful for the Green Party and Jill Stein.

        Catch the Democracy Now! broadcast on Facebook, Twitter, or cable TV.

        After the debate, don’t forget to watch
        Jill’s live Facebook Town Hall
        ( ) for an expanded Q&A session.

        Jill Stein supporters are using the hashtag

  5. Jim Haygood

    Well, there’s one thing he could do.

    If Trump would transition like Caitlin did, then she could hit on women to her heart’s content.

    Because it would all be taking place within the political safe space of the LGBT community. :-)

  6. allan

    From the official debate website:

    The second presidential debate will take the form of a town meeting, in which half of the questions will be posed directly by citizen participants and the other half will be posed by the moderator based on topics of broad public interest as reflected in social media and other sources. The candidates will have two minutes to respond and there will be an additional minute for the moderator to facilitate further discussion. The town meeting participants will be uncommitted voters selected by the Gallup Organization.

    How on earth can anyone with a functioning cerebral cortex be uncommitted at this point?
    I know Lambert disapproves of the phrase low information voter, but, if these people really are uncommitted,
    they’re not qualified to be posing questions for the candidates.

    But, on the bright side, MIC cheerleader Martha Raddatz will be moderating,
    so expect questions about Putin to be yuuge.

    1. ekstase

      “but, if these people really are uncommitted, they’re not qualified to be posing questions for the candidates.”

      I think at this point that’s probably true.

    2. sleepy

      I don’t know. Gallup calls me up and asks me which of the two I like. I say “they both suck”. I go down as undecided/uncommitted.

      I doubt if those at the debate will be that sort of undecided, but when pundits express surprise that there still are undecideds, that is my response.

    3. reslez

      If “uncommitted” means anything like it did in CNN’s post-debate focus group, it could mean 3rd party.

      What happened was they [CNN] asked us for the first time if any of us were now decided after having watched the debate. 5 said that they would vote for Clinton. 2 said that they would vote for Trump, and 12 said that they would vote 3rd party.

      They then said they were going to reshoot it, execept this time they changed “3rd party” to “undecided”. Some of uasked about the third party option, and they ignored us. They then said they were going to shoot it again, and still asked for “undecided” voteres and left out “3rd party”. A lot fo the members voted “undecided” becuase it was the only option other then Trump or Clinton.

      If you watch the one they aired live (when they asked us a 4th time, again leaving out the 3rd party option) you’ll notice that I refused to vote for any of the options. I just wish the other 11 had done the same and not changed their vote because of the options given us.

      CNN then reported that “21 of us were undecided”….

      (Typos as in the original.)

      It sounds like something out of Vietnamese POW propaganda, where the soldier forced to make the photo can’t do anything but display a middle finger to the camera…

    4. Fiver

      ‘But, on the bright side, MIC cheerleader Martha Raddatz will be moderating,
      so expect questions about Putin to be yuuge.’

      It’s going to make Putin go for that second bun, I expect.

  7. Fiver

    Is the Trump story actually anyone’s business? Isn’t there a difference between revealing a presumed private conversation about a public person’s personal life, and that includes sexual choices if I recall, and the leaking of information/conversations having a direct bearing on what is very likely the greatest insider deal-of-fortune personal enrichment political scandal of the past century (Clinton Foundation)? I recall thinking along similar lines when Bill Clinton was outed, nor would the private exploits of a woman President be my business.

    That aside, my take is that Trump gets the Oscar for best actor in a supporting role as cartoon character ‘Greater Evil’, alongside Clinton’s eerily Barbara Stanwicky (think Big Valley 40 yrs later) Russia-stomping ‘lesser evil’ playing herself as the tireless crusader in ‘The Exceptionalist – The Hillary Clinton Story’.

    Could Trump still turn it around? Actually, if he did his homework, and mounted a coherent and sustained attack on her conduct as a public office-holder and as an officer of the State, and he hit the policy buttons as follows:

    1) There is a mammoth stock, RE, corporate debt, bubble and the US is at the extreme tail-end of a lacklustre business cycle. It is virtually certain that when that bubble goes it will imperil a number of large US companies, possibly including banks (a systemic event in the EU could trigger something as bad or worse). Trump ought to throw down the gauntlet on this one and state unequivocally there will be zero tolerance for financial/corporate malfeasance – banksters and insiders are both put on notice this time it’s jail, and not overnight, either.

    2) Trade Deals. Not just that they cost jobs, though that is a big, big deal, but that these agreements aim to change the legal standing within these ‘zones’ between corporations and sovereigns to the extreme detriment of the ability of countries, therefore peoples, to remain independent and self-governing over critical aspects of their lives.

    3) Holster the rhetoric on Russia. Demand Clinton prove (she can’t) the claims re Russian State-sponsored hackers. Force her to acknowledge they (FBI etc.) have nothing concrete. When she does, turn it right back on her re just how reckless it is to be hurling around such highly charged accusations against a foreign Power you’re already deeply engaged with in (as is typical) a hopelessly lopsided (by virtue of the scale, scope and penetration of major US media) PR war that is going to get hot as surely as the sun rises in the east. Bombing another Syrian Army position just must do it.

    4) Instead of denial, go for the biggest, greenest infrastructure projects in US history – essentially re-engineering the transportation system, electrical grids, power generation, ensuring water availability for any future use is met by anything other than bulk water transfers from somewhere else. Fresh water is going to be the most valuable resource in huge regions of the US and world.

    But as I say, he’s an actor, and a good one, too.

  8. herman_sampson

    i still think there’s little difference between the two in policy: they are both in the same class (1 per cent). trump may tweak some noses in his class but he won’t hurt them. i simply cannot vote for someone less intelligent than me. hrc is also out of the question. democratic party lost it when they dropped sanders especially when every poll showed he’d kick trump’s ass in the election.
    no matter, i live in indiana, electoral preschool votes will go to trump and i will vote stein or kennedy.

    1. optimader

      they are both in the same class (1 per cent).
      So was Roosevelt, both of them.

      i simply cannot vote for someone less intelligent than me
      ? Define intelligence. Is Sanders more intelligent than you?

  9. optimader

    I’m starting to harden the protective shielding on my sensory input organs with a large, stiff, dark Barbados rum, tonic & lime for the upcoming “Rehabilitation” debate between Hillary Elizondo Mountain Dew Herbert Camacho Clinton and Donald Beef Supreme Trump
    -sponsored by Brawndo, the Thirst Mutilator and MC’d by Judge Martha “DNC” Hector “The Hangman” BMW Raddatz

    1. Skippy

      Even the MSM talking head commentators are now publicly bitch’en about the carny atmosphere….

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