BOSTON (CBS) – What should you be watching for in tonight’s debate if you are that highly sought-after commodity, a truly undecided voter?

First, look for signs of competence.

We’ve seen the pitfalls of stubbornness and inexperience in recent presidencies. No human takes on the presidency knowing everything they need to know to do the job properly.

Related: 5 Facts About Moderator Lester Holt

So which candidate is most persuasive about their credentials, and best conveys an ability to know what they don’t know, seek guidance from those who do, and respond wisely to their advice?

Second, look for empathy.

If you were in dire need or under fire from the federal bureaucracy, which candidate would be more likely to run an administration where your plea for help or relief would be heard? If you were at their mercy for whatever reason, would they show you any?

Thirdly, watch for poise.

At the heart of every anti-government grievance is the complaint that government overreacted, overreached, didn’t act calmly and deliberately. Which candidate better models that behavior?

Competence, empathy and poise. Aren’t these the core elements of a great teacher, cop, manager, journalist, or leader of any kind?

They don’t seem like too much to ask of a president. And if both of these candidates seem lacking in certain ways, no one said being a voter was a no-brainer.

It’s up to you to watch, listen, and decide which one has more of them than the other.

Listen to Jon’s commentary:

Jon Keller

Comments (34)
  1. mstarvin says:

    What for coughing, sputtering and fainting from Hillary when she realizes she is losing the debate.
    I noticed Jon left out trustworthy and honesty from his list… Is this because Hillary has neither or because he tried to lump journalists in with leaders??

  2. mstarvin says:

    That was watch not what…lol

  3. mstarvin says:

    Watch for the fact that Hillary’s podium is smaller than Trump’s to make her look larger…along with a huge platform behind hers to make her taller. Watch for the moderator to intervene when Trump presses her regarding any one of her scandals.

  4. paul dowd says:

    Like the majority of the audience, I am already sure of who I’ll cast my vote for. I’ll be watching for an abundance of competency from my candidate and an embarrassing lack thereof from the other. One candidate will be banking on charm while the other will be displaying a deep understanding of the issues the next president will face. One will be spouting superlatives and self praise while the other calmly demonstrates what “presidential” really should look like. Tonight voters will start to see what has been obvious to those who have been paying attention. A choice between a TV clown and an experienced public servant.

    1. The Owl says:

      All I’ve heard from Hillary is “I, I, I” for the past few months, and a whole lot of screaming…She does that, and she’s toast.

      If Donald does his usual shoot from the lip, he’s just being Donald. He may or may not be toast.

      If they are both toast, which is quite possibly going to be the result, this nation is in a world of hurt…

      Added on to the world of hurt that Obama has left us in.

      1. Big Birther says:

        Gee you and I must watch different channels. All I’ve heard from Hillary is he, he, he (referring to Trump).

    2. bees_knees_6 says:

      Well hasn’t it been a fun day on Jon’s blogs.

      Rowdy, it will be hard to tell who does well. After all, according to Trump….

      “You just watch, folks,” Trump told supporters in Toledo, Ohio. “Crooked Hillary is going to slip in little facts all night long, and that’s how she’s going to try to rig the thing.”

      “It’s a disgrace,” he added.

      Although, I am not sure if his campaign manager has topped that comments with “He Didn’t ‘Lie’ About Lester Holt, He Spoke Without Knowing the Truth.”

      Perhaps the most amusing is seeing his following justify these comments.

  5. Francis Landry says:

    Competence, Empathy, Poise and RESPECT!

  6. jerry2286 says:

    What people should watch for is the liberal media desperately trying to prop up aged, corrupt Hillary Clinton, just like those people who tossed her in that van like a sack of potatoes on 9/11.

    1. paul dowd says:

      The deplorables are getting their accuses ready. “It’s rigged”, “The liberal media asked Trump hard questions when they knew how ignorant he is”

  7. Bengals2 says:

    What to watch for:

    Falcons @ Saints at 8:30

  8. Bruce "Bernie" Wayne says:

    To be brutally honest, if Donald Trump “wins” the National Election, I might need to start kneeling during our National Anthem too. In protest of what this country has become. And the alt-right, Nationalist, quasi-Fascist dictatorship this country will likely become with Trump’s hate-mongering and overtly racist kabal in power.

    There will be a brazen attack and crackdown on First Amendment rights, particularly a right to free press and the right to peaceful protest. Innocent people will be illegally deported or denied entrance to this country on the sole basis of their religion, ethnicity or skin color. Things like downloading copyright protected movies (and other petty offenses) will become felonies. Trade agreements will be shattered. Trump will declare war on Silicon Valley, sending this country into another deep recession, all while allowing Wall Street corporations to fleece, enslave and swindle the middle class into bankruptcy. There will be more wars for big oil and other special interests Trump deems appropriate, while the National Guard will be deployed to our city streets to crack down on growing decent and civil unrest. This is not greatness, it is a dystopian nightmare.

    For the record, I do not like Hillary either. Not unlike Harvey Dent, she is highly corrupt and her policies will not go nearly far enough. Yet, at the same time, they are still a start and have a perceived greater good in mind. And I’d gladly tolerate 4 years of Hillary’s Two-Face presidency over anything her Bane-like opponent will do to burn this country to the ground.

    Anyone but Trump. And I’d vote for Hillary 1000 times over instead of him.

    1. mstarvin says:

      Maybe you can catch a ride to Canada with Alec Baldwin and Barbara Streisand after Trump wins…

    2. mstarvin says:

      By the way you ignorant fear monger…the National Guard has already been deployed in NC…come out of Mommy’s basement and jump into real life.

    3. paul dowd says:

      Unfortunately Bruce I think you paint too rosy a picture of the disaster that would befall America if Trump won. There would be an enormous “Trexit” brain drain from the country resulting in a plummet in property values and an economic crash.

    4. kek says:

      After Trump wins if you do leave the USA please choose Mexico vs Canada. I notice there is a progressive liberal racist trend of picking the white country.

      1. mstarvin says:

        LOL!! Now that is a great and accurate observation and recommendation…build a wall…not for Mexicans but to keep liberals out!!

    5. Bengals2 says:

      Do you have any actual facts to back up your assessment or are you getting your news from the lies that the Occupy Idiots are spewing?

    6. The Owl says:

      If you read more than a comic book, Brucie-Bernie, you would see how ridiculous your comment actually was.

  9. kek says:

    Don’t forget stamina. Sick Hillary will need to stand for 90 minutes without coughing, bathroom break or petit mal siezure. Her retired secret service doctor handler is not allowed on stage to help; she’s on her own.

    1. Trump loves uneducated inbreds says:

      Trump is the man with feet so bad he said he had to dodge the draft.

      1. paul dowd says:

        I wouldn’t want to be his podium. By 9:30 or so he’ll be leaning on that thing so hard it may collapse like his university and casinos did. What a mess.

      2. drwatson says:

        Last time she was thrown into her scooby ambulance head first this time she’ll need a stretcher to get off the stage. #seizures #braindamaged

  10. Trump loves uneducated inbreds says:

    Nobody lies more than draft dodging, charity stealing, Putin sucking Trumpler. He should be executed for treason.

    1. mstarvin says:

      Seems to me that there is an admitted draft dodger who fled to Canada during the Vietnam war…mmm…who was it….oh yeah Hillary’s lying, cheating husband..Slick Willy Clinton!!

      1. Tom says:

        Bill Clinton isn’t running for President.

      2. mstarvin says:

        Except Trump didn’t dodge the draft….Clinton’s husband did which shows she has really bad judgement skills.

  11. Chris Christie's Belt says:

    Trump could admit he is only in it to steal money from taxpayers and send secrets to his butt buddy Putin and his idiot followers would declare him the winner.

    1. mstarvin says:

      Et Tu Hillary??? She doesn’t need to send anything to Putin…he just hacks her email servers and she denies it all…

  12. Donald, beat her like a baby seal.

    My favorite comment………stolen & reposted. No baby seals were harmed for this comment

  13. sceesic says:

    Orange head’s goose will be cooked.

    1. mstarvin says:

      I haven’t heard Hillary called that before….

  14. mikey says:

    I’m thinking this Gong Show of a presidential election boils down to >>> Pick Your Poison.

  15. I know the Trump Vs. Holt debate is tonight… When is the Trump Vs. Clinton one again?

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