Donald Trump gave his first hint last night that he might try to get out of the Fall presidential debates. But I'd thought for months that he'd likely try to get out of them. I think he will be at a steep strategic and tactical disadvantage in any debate with Hillary Clinton - a point I'll expand on later. But from thinking he'd try to get out of the debates, I wasn't clear how he'd do it without facing crushingly bad publicity and exposure as a coward. The latter is something that cuts apart everything his campaign is based on. A few weeks ago, I figured out what I suspect that strategy will be.
As usual, Hillary & the Dems are trying to rig the debates so 2 are up against major NFL games. Same as last time w/ Bernie. Unacceptable!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 30, 2016
Good lord! It's still happening.
Trump campaign still hitting up numerous foreign pols for cash, in this case the former Prime Minister of Finland ...
— Alexander Stubb (@alexstubb) July 29, 2016
In spite of himself he can't help but taunt. Trump refuses to release his tax returns and says he's gotten "very, very little pressure" to do so. In other words, the press and voters are subject to the same 'dominance politics' theater as rivals.
He says there's been very, very little pressure.
I am not a big admirer of Hillary Clinton as a pure politician, but I thought she did very, very well last night. Her speech was brilliantly crafted -- a credit to her speechwriters -- but after some fits and starts, she delivered it superbly. No wooden laughs or phony heartiness. Yes, it was the usual list of "to-do's", but it fit how she had been presented to the convention: as someone who would know what to do, and would get it done. I have four observations, only one of which is critical: