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Donald Trump will face a seasoned Hillary Clinton, in a much anticipated, crucible setting with a predicted audience of around 100 million. Dean Alger, a political campaign specialist, and former political analyst for MPR, predicted a few things that each candidate will try to do for success in the debates.
Alger said Clinton’s biggest problem is that she is perceived by too many as a standard politician. “She has to show that she gets it, that for so many people the political system does not work for them,” Alger said. “She must do that by having high praise for Bernie Sanders, and what he did.” He also added that she must speak about ways in which people have been disenfranchised by the political system, and provide specific examples.
Additionally, she has to be specific. Noting real plans, Alger said, will help prove how she will go about fixing the problems she outlined before. In doing so, Alger continued, she needs to walk a fine line in seg-waying from examples to policies. She needs to convey her extensive knowledge about policy in an understandable way, all while looking and acting, both verbally and visually, presidential.
“She needs to avoid getting into the mud with Trump,” Alger said. “This will not be perceived as presidential, nor can she get away with it like Trump can, at times.” Alger believes that Clinton’s staff has surely thought about ways to get under Trump’s skin as well, to show how un-presidential he can be.
“Trump needs to try to assure enough of the electorate that he is not reckless and dangerous as many. Including many former prominent republican high officials and so on, have stated,” Alger said. Alger also said Trump can’t act out, or flail around as he has done previously due to the high stakes and large audience the debate will draw.
“He needs to have some phrases, and use them to raise issues that do a good job of portraying and communicating that populist appeal,” Alger said. “Of course, on the other side of that coin, he needs to try and portray Hillary Clinton as a standard politician.”