One of the biggest ironies of the first presidential debate is that Donald Trump’s reluctance to aggressively attack Hillary Clinton has now given him the license to fully do so.
Going into the debate — his debut on the world’s biggest stage — everyone, including his closest aides, was telling him that he must achieve plausibility: That is, he needed to reassure voters by looking reasonable, confident and self-possessed….
Mr. Trump took his marching orders seriously and pulled his punches….
Many are now demanding that he truly go on the attack. Since it’s in the political bloodstream that he did not hit her proactively the last time, he now has a free hand to up the ante without being stigmatized as an unsuitable hothead.
An Arkansas source tells me that Mrs. Clinton’s debate prep crew has coached her to maintain an air of superiority around Mr. Trump while trying to provoke him: “We tell her never to answer the moderator’s questions except in the most general way, like repeating it. Attack the opponent and repeat your slogans ‘Stronger Together’ and the rest.”