The first presidential debate is scheduled for September 26, 2016, at Hofstra University in New York. Since John F. Kennedy and Richard Nixon held the first presidential debate in 1960, they have occurred on a regular basis. The debates this year have the potential to be the biggest and most consequential of the last 60 years.
"It is being described as the political equivalent of the Super Bowl, World Cup final and Rumble in the Jungle rolled into one – or the smartest person in the room versus the class clown." - David Smith - The Guardian
Trump is comfortable on TV
Donald Trump demonstrated during the Republican debates that, love him or hate him, Trump is skilled in debating. He’s comfortable with the camera, knows how to play to his audience, and, perhaps most importantly, is widely unpredictable. The entertainment value will ensure a huge audience.
Hillary Clinton is a master policy wonk. Ms. Clinton will have the fine points to her policy positions nailed down to the letter. She will be able to talk knowledgeably about the hundreds of foreign leaders she’s met and how she been at the forefront of healthcare reform for the past 20 years.
The challenge for Trump will be not to get distracted down the alley of pointless distractions and come across as mean; the challenge for Clinton will be to come across as a warm and trustworthy person.
Will Laura Ingraham play Hillary in mock debate
Trump took a day off from campaigning last weekend to devote himself to debate prep, which consists of being asked mock questions that are considered likely to be asked during the debate. There have been suggestions that conservative talk show host Laura Ingraham has been asked to play Hillary in the debate. As Trump’s campaign manager, Kellyanne Conway said to Fox News, “He’s the unpredictable X factor. He’s an unconventional candidate.”
"I'm running against someone who will say or do anything ... and who knows what that might be. I do not know which Donald Trump will show up." - Hillary Clinton - The Washington Post
Clinton consults psychologists to find Trump’s weak points
According to The New York Times, Clinton’s camp has been getting input from such varied sources as psychologists and Trump’s co-author of The Art of the Deal, to gain insight into Mr. Trump’s insecurities. But, most of all, Hillary Clinton is going through the massive research that her staff has assembled on Mr. Trump.
What the millions of viewers who turn to the debates are likely to see will be a freewheeling exchange that will feature Donald Trump being unpredictable and raising questions that other candidates might consider ‘off-limits’, and Hillary Clinton demonstrating an amazing display of her ability to communicate facts and stay cool under pressure.