All eyes will be on Las Vegas Wednesday night as Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump face off in their third and final debate. The reality is people will watch not for the high level political discourse; not for a discussion of policy on trade, the economy or national security; and certainly not for a respectful discussion of the problems that face the country for at least the next four years. People will watch like many people watch NASCAR—because there is the potential for a fiery wreck.
Trump, who has embarked on a campaign of convincing his lemmings the election is predetermined, looks like he is trying to outdo himself when it comes to his “guests” at the debate. In St. Louis at the second debate, he rolled out women who accuse Bill Clinton of sexual misconduct or assault. This time, he’s bringing in President Obama’s half-brother from who the president is not close.
“I like Donald Trump because he speaks from the heart,” Malik Obama told The New York Post from his home in the rural village of Kogelo. “Make America Great Again is a great slogan. I would like to meet him.” Good lord.
But Trump is not just tweaking the president. Also likely to be in the front row is Pat Smith, the mother of one of the State Department employee killed in the Benghazi attack. Smith lays the death of her son right at the feet of Clinton. I blame Hillary Clinton personally for the death of my son,” she said at the Republican National Committee this past summer.
Clinton on the other hand, invited Trump antagonist Mark Cuban, he of Shark Tank and Dallas Mavericks ownership. Cuban and Trump have been battling it out for months. Cuban is a staunch Hillary supporter and has a decent chance of unnerving Trump.
Aside from the attempts to get in the other’s head with invited guests, there is real potential for this debate to plunge to a new low in American politics. The real pressure might be on Chris Wallace, the veteran journalist and current host of FOX News Sunday. Wallace does not fit the stereotype of the FOX News. He’s not a nutty conservative (see Sean Hannity) and will not twist himself into a pretzel to spin things to the right.
Will Wallace ask Trump for evidence that the election is “fixed,” “rigged” or otherwise predetermined as he has been claiming for the last few weeks? Will he explore Trump promise to jail Clinton if he wins? Does Wallace go hard at Clinton for what has been revealed in the leaked emails of her campaign manager (quid pro quo between State and the FBI; transcripts of her talks to Wall Street bigs; “doofus” Bernie Sanders, etc)?
Wednesday night’s forum is a straight debate not a supposed town hall format. The wild west has returned to Las Vegas, aptly nick named “Sin City.” Twisted metal, ambulances on the scene, we can’t look away.