Monday, September 26, 2016

Tonight's the Night

At long last, the day of the first debate has arrived.  Needless to say (so why say it - ed.), it comes at a time when the race is delicately balanced, and so the pressure on both candidates, particularly Clinton as the front-runner, should be all the more intense leading into the Hofstra matchup tonight. 

It has been more than seven months since my return from New Hampshire, in which I first appreciated the reality of the Trump phenomenon up close.  It was destabilizing enough then, when his path through the Republican field was by no means assured.  Now, as he continues to clear additional hurdles on this most unlikely path to the Presidency, the cold fear of his possible election is all the more real. 

Since February, Trump has continued to operate in the same clown-like fashion, pushing the absurdity boundary to ever new extremes.  And yet his combination of celebrity and brazen shamelessness is resonating, and he has drawn close enough that history may yet look back at the debate to be held in a few hours as a defining moment.

Who will win, who will lose, who will beat expectations, who will seem Presidential, who would you rather have a beer with, what role will the moderator play in it all?  All the questions can be distilled down to essentially the same one - what impact will these crucial 90 minutes have on the ever-changing narrative of this race?

There is so much to anticipate from a game theory perspective, how the candidates will treat each other as they make their case.  It is an utterly fascinating moment, given the stakes.  A moment that Hillary has been waiting and preparing years, if not decades, for.

Oh, how I wish her well tonight.  Game on.