BOSTON (CBS) – Let’s go over the debate party checklist for Monday night. TV set to WBZ? Check. Chips and salsa, the favorite snack of Hillary Clinton? Check. Steak sandwiches made from Trump steaks in honor of the GOP nominee? Check.

Looks like you’re good to go for the first showdown. But what can you expect to see?

For Donald Trump, this debate is all about appearing presidential. That is one of the biggest polling gaps between him and Clinton; she is perceived as having the temperament and experience to handle the job, he is not.

And with a yawning gender gap looming as a big hurdle for Trump, he has to be careful not to get too nasty with the first female major-party nominee. But no one expects Trump to recite the tax code from memory, or to morph into Mr. Rogers. He just has to display knowledge, poise and tact, more so than he has through long stretches of this race.

A little humor wouldn’t hurt, either.

No one expects humor from Clinton, but she’d better be ready with some good zingers to put Trump in his place if he gets fresh. And when he hits Clinton on some of her more glaring faults – her efforts to spin away her e-mail negligence, for instance, or her bungling of the Benghazi response – she needs to do more than just counterpunch by talking about Trump’s sketchy charity or his hidden tax returns. A touch of humility in the form of honesty about her flaws could help defuse them as campaign issues.

This has been an ugly campaign, and hard feelings are running high on both sides. So maybe there’s one other bit of prep needed for your debate party – a safe room with pillows where your guests can retreat to chill out.

Jon Keller

Comments (18)
  1. Sy Clops says:

    Debate party? Guests? … Seriously?

    How about a strep throat party instead?

    1. bees_knees_6 says:


      Seriously though, whatever you do, you might want to shrink wrap the TV so it will remain intact if you throw things at it.

  2. Chris Christie's Belt says:

    Trump will just keep saying, “no I am not, you are, people keep saying how great I am”.

    1. Miss Creant says:

      “I have some really good answers for that question … the “best” answers, trust me. Unlike my opponent, lyin’ Hillary, who has totally botched the subject matter of the question”

      Repeat as necessary.

    2. Trump's Jockstrap says:

      Mr. Belt: Thou art so large, and I am so small …

  3. kek says:

    Who cares my vote is already punched for Trump/Pence 2016. The only way I would watch is if I knew satanic Hillary is going to collapse on stage.

    1. American says:

      Hopefully the nursing home will turn it on for you to watch.

  4. Raylan12 says:

    I’ll prepare by not having a glass of milk. I don’t want to laugh and have it all come out my nose when Sickly Hillary has a grand mal seizure, followed by all the moderators having grand mal seizures because their hand picked candidate that they have been carrying along (In a figurative sense, not literally like her aids who have to carry her around like a sack of potatoes) is all done for.

  5. mstarvin says:

    She does not have the ability to be honest so Jon might as well forget that suggestion. My prediction….she will have a coughing fit or faint when cornered. What will Trump say??? The same as he always says…anything he wants. I don’t think these will go well for Hillary and I am willing to bet she will cancel the rest and hope she can float by with just dumping millions into anti-Trump ads.

    1. Malleus says:

      I wonder if Trump will bring his tax returns .. ?

      1. mstarvin says:

        Who cares?? Morons on the left couldn’t decipher tax returns done on the EZ form so his will be like gibberish to them.

      2. bees_knees_6 says:

        See how they get around the tax return thing or his racist, misogynistic comments? He was correct that if he shot someone, he wouldn’t lose voters. It is kind of like Pavlov’s dogs. You mention Trump and they salivate. Entertaining at least.

      3. mstarvin says:

        Mmm…bees I wouldn’t be flinging that load of poop around. Hillary supporters don’t care that she lied about the email servers and lied about having them wiped…which is a Federal crime. So accusing trump supporters of not being reasonable is really She can’t say a single honest thing so please look in the mirror….

  6. mikey says:

    Given the tone of this election, I’m thinking Clinton and Trump should compete in televised Jello-pit wrestling matches instead of debating(red,white and blue Jello would be a nice touch). On second thought, to even the odds Elizabeth Warren should join Clinton and tag team Trump. After all she’s Hillary’s attack dog and can’t seem to keep her insulting yap shut.

    When this election is over I imagine I’ll feel like I just got over the flu. Enough already.

  7. kek says:

    “The Clinton campaign asked the Commission on Presidential Debates to give her a step stool so she wouldn’t look much shorter than Donald Trump”

    Give it to her there’s no way that invalid can stand on a stool for 90 minutes without help.

  8. kek says:

    Clinton aides given immunity so they don’t shoot themselves in the back of the head. Immunity handed out like candy. Most corrupt person ever to run for president. HRC for prison. #dieplease

  9. The Owl says:

    We’ll take both of the snacks.

    And, well’s preview the debate by watching ESPN’s Monday Night Countdown, and watch the debate through the lens of the evening’s NFL games.

    Since the debate organizers have yet to figure out how to get the candidates actually to debate, we don’t think it’s worthwhile to tuning in to the scripted campaign speeches and obligatory humorous zingers.

    Neither candidate is particularly alluring. And I don’t think I can take a couple of hours of Clinton shouting and wagging her finger or Donald telling us how great he is.

    1. American says:

      Most Trump voters will watch WWE anyway, he loves you uneducated people though.

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