Published at 20:57 on 30 September 2016
I was about to retract what I had posted earlier about the leopard (Trump) not being able to change his spots (lack of self-control). Trump has, up until the debate, managed what is for him an extraordinary streak of self-control.
While that was contrary to what I had predicted, I had also alluded that if he could do that, his chances would improve markedly. And true to that claim, Trump rose in the polls.
Now it seems to be over. Hillary Clinton calculated — correctly — that she could use Trump’s lack of self-control to her advantage in the debate.
It will be interesting to see how the two next debates play out. My instinct is to doubt that Trump will ever cease to be so easily provoked, but my instinct also doubted he’d be able to stay on message as much as he did the past month or so.
Ms. Clinton needs to start strategizing what to do if her baiting fails to achieve the desired result in the next debate. It’s foolish to assume that one’s enemy is incapable of learning from experience and thus will remain vulnurable to what previously proved a successful tactic.