Back in the mid-1980s, I attended a bachelorette party held at a sleazy male-stripper club just outside of Washington, D.C. To enhance the experience, the club featured female Jell-O wrestling. This spectacle involved two Amazon-like buxom blondes flailing about in an oversized tub of blue Jell-O.
The only reasonable explanation why this three-decade-old memory popped into my mind is the potential similarity between Monday’s first presidential debate and Jell-O wrestling. Having seen the latter and anticipating the former, descriptions like outrageous, slimy, absurd, hilarious, pathetic, riveting, and sickening seem appropriate.
However, my real expectations for the first debate between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton fluctuate between the greatest democracy show on earth and a national embarrassment. For those reasons, as a political junkie, I have been anxiously awaiting, and even wrote about, the first debate here in August 2015. (More on that later.)
My early anticipation is now shared by the voting population; according to a new Morning Consult poll of 1,861 registered voters, nearly 75% plan to watch the first debate. Watching probably has less to do with politics and more about why everybody watches the Super Bowl, including those with no interest in football. After all, both events are opportunities for socializing and national togetherness as we cheer our favorite team in hopes that they will demolish the opposing team.
Obviously, the debate stakes are much higher – potentially impacting the election of the leader of the free world. But in recent years presidential debates have resulted in more sizzle than steak, and shortly thereafter even the “steak” tends to be devoured by copious amounts of political spin.
So get ready for some head spinning as the first uber-anticipated debate showdown commences Sept. 26. It will be moderated by Lester Holt, the “NBC Nightly News” anchor and held at Hofstra University in Hempstead, N.Y.
Here is the format according to the non-partisan Commission on Presidential Debates:
The debate will be divided into six time segments of approximately 15 minutes each on major topics to be selected by the moderator and announced at least one week before the debate.
The moderator will open each segment with a question, after which each candidate will have two minutes to respond. Candidates will then have an opportunity to respond to each other. The moderator will use the balance of the time in the segment for a deeper discussion of the topic.
Let’s skip right to the best part:
Candidates will then have an opportunity to respond to each other.
Upon reading that, my mind conjured up old memories of those two wrestlers smashing blue Jell-O into each other’s faces.
Since the Trump vs. Clinton debate will not be as physically graphic, though the verbal jousting should compensate for the lack of staged violence. And let’s not kid ourselves, most Americans are tuning in hoping to see the political equivalent of battle scenes from “Gladiator.”
With those colorful scenes in mind, as previously mentioned, posted on this site on Aug. 21, 2015, was a “vision” by this writer of the first Trump/Clinton debate (and general election campaign) in a piece headlined, “Trump vs. Clinton: Potential celebrity battle royal.”
For the most part, I was half joking thinking that such a match-up would never occur, but serious when writing:
With the 2016 presidential election still 15 months away, and as a loyal Republican who places her country’s future ahead of her party, it is my fervent hope that neither of these extremely flawed candidates will appear at the top of the 2016 ballot.
So much for “fervent hope.” (For the record, I am reluctantly for Trump.)
Then the piece continued:
However, as a certified political junkie, I fantasize about the potential for this electoral “clash of titans.”
There is no doubt that a Clinton vs. Trump race to the White House would provide the greatest political entertainment in the history of the universe.
Just imagine all the hype and stratospheric ratings the first Clinton vs. Trump debate would generate. Forget even calling it a debate. Let’s call it what it would really be, the world’s most ferocious ‘Celebrity vs. Celebrity Smackdown Super Battle.’”
Then, as you will read below, I went a little off the reservation imagining the cultural, historic and entertainment magnitude of what will actually occur on Monday. (One ironic note: The third and final presidential debate will be “live from Vegas.”)
Naturally, it would be live from Vegas and sponsored by E! Entertainment Television. Debate moderators would include the editors of People, Star and Vanity Fair with Beyoncé and Tom Brady as masters of ceremonies. Half-time entertainment would be the long awaited Led Zeppelin reunion providing the background music for a Victoria’s Secret fashion show. In the end the Kardashian clan would determine the winner.
This August 2015 exercise in creative writing and political prognostication also included the following predictions about a Clinton vs. Trump general election campaign:
An intriguing aspect of a Clinton vs. Trump celebrity race is there would be no rules. This is because conventional, traditional, unwritten campaign rules dictate that opponents accord each other some respect (at least on the surface). But, the usual rules would not apply since these two don’t play by the rules! After all, rules are for “the little people.”
In fact, there have never been two celebrity rule breakers more equal, more similar, more opposite and perfectly matched.
Trump speaks truth while Clinton twists the truth.
Trump says we can trust him to solve our national problems. Clinton has a national problem with trust.
Trump represents wealth and success. Clinton generates wealth from past and future access to power.
Trump is worth billions from real estate. Clinton is worth millions from donations.
Thus far, and a signal of future fireworks, Trump and Clinton do not fear each other.
Trump is out of control. Clinton is too controlled.
Finally, this eerie August 2015 prediction is currently in the news and could be put into motion shortly after Election Day:
And if Trump does manage to capture the GOP nomination, who knows how the election would end. Considering Trump’s past litigious history, it is highly likely that he would find some reason to sue. (Voter fraud, perhaps?) Given his oversized ego, Trump would not accept the American people’s verdict at the ballot box that equated to “You’re fired!” before he was even hired.
A year later on Aug. 16, 2016, Trump adviser Roger Stone warned about voter fraud in The Hill in his piece headlined, “Can the 2016 election be rigged? You bet.”
Stone’s first sentence reads, “Trump has said publicly that he fears the next election will be rigged. Based both on technical capability and recent history, Trump’s concerns are not unfounded.”
With a tightening election less than 50 days away and looming potential wildcards such as terrorist attacks, health scares, IRS leaks of Trump’s tax returns and WikiLeaks email dumps, the only safe prediction is “expect the unexpected.”
Cross-posted at WND