This iconic introduction from the glory days of phony wrestling in a steel cage is what the media paparazzi hope will be how the Clinton-Trump debate tomorrow plays out- two political gladiators needling each other over facts, scandals and past comments they regretted afterwards.
I for one don’t buy into the rumble imagery as both Clinton and Trump will spend the bulk of the evening on Long Island checking each other out, fearing a verbal mistake, and appearing earnest to the millions of viewers. Clinton will be an encyclopedia of policy and Trump will coin a few memorable quips. For those viewers hoping that verbal blood will spill will be disappointed. Debates are carefully planned exercises in playing defense, not going for broke Hail Mary passes that bring the crowd to their feet.
If I am right both Clinton and Trump will “win” the debate with little change in the polls and each camp claiming victory. If there is a noticeable breakthrough for either candidate it will be in the areas of posture, voice inflection, facial distortion and signs of boredom. Many pundits have suggested that viewers should turn off the sound and watch the candidates not listen to them.
For pure entertainment value I do hope that one of the two makes some outlandish comment or gets tripped up with the facts. But my request for entertainment shows how the debates and indeed campaigning in our democracy have sunk into the swamp. I wonder how many disappointed viewers will switch to the New Orleans-Atlanta Monday Night Football game in search of a real rumble.