As he prepared for the crucial first presidential debate, Donald Trump knew moderator Lester Holt would bring up the birther issue. He knew Holt would raise Trump’s tax returns. And his old position on the Iraq war. None are among the voters’ top concerns, but it was eminently predictable that they would be part of the debate — not least because if Holt had not brought them up, Hillary Clinton would have.
But Trump might not have predicted that Holt would leave some equally, if not more, important topics untouched. There was Obamacare, currently veering towards crisis. Immigration, including a proposed wall along the U.S.-Mexico border. The Clinton Foundation. Benghazi. Certainly a moderator can’t cover everything, but those were some pretty big omissions.
Holt deserves blame for not bringing them up. But on the other hand, that is where a candidate’s preparation comes in. If the moderator doesn’t raise a key issue, the candidate does. And Trump didn’t.