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What to expect from the first US presidential debate

(Xinhua) Updated: 2016-09-25 15:23


"When I watch her in the debate, she just seems somehow slimy and can just wiggle out from any question or situation," said Brian Grasso, a sophomore at Duke University.

To gain an upper hand, Clinton has to find a way to change the public's reception of her as a dishonest and untrustworthy establishment politician, which is a difficult job to do.

The expectation for Trump to emerge as the winner of the debate is relatively low. People don't expect him to speak with lots of substance. He just needs to show voters that he can handle the job as president, and not someone who cannot control his mouth from speaking outrageous things.

The debate will also be a clash of views on whether the country is in decline. Trump had painted America as a dark and desperate place, and Clinton will have to challenge it.

The three major topics announced by the Commission on Presidential Debates are "America's Direction," "Achieving Prosperity" and "Securing America," which are translated to economy, national security and the candidates' vision for the country's future.

Recent bombing attacks in New York and New Jersey, tensions between police and African Americans in Charlotte, North Carolina and Tulsa, Oklahoma, and shootings in Burlington, Washington could all fall in line with Trump's rhetoric, as he had benefited before from inciting fear among the American public after similar incidents.

"For all his lack of substance, Trump's showmanship, as ex-TV star, makes him a formidable debate foe," wrote Brian Fallon, a spokesperson for the Clinton campaign.

Trump's team had urged the candidate to hold his own and stay focused on important themes like economy, anti-terrorism and protection of the country's borders.

"A man you can bait with a tweet is not a man you can trust with nuclear weapons," Clinton said during her Democratic convention speech.

How Clinton would attempt to get under Trump's skin in the debate and bait him into losing his temper will be a scene to look out for.

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