THE LATEST THINKING
The opinions of THE LATEST’s guest contributors are their own.
This Campaign Is the Gift That Keeps on Giving
Bernie vs. Trump? I love it! Next thing you know, they'll be running together on the same ticket.
For every campaign going as far back as I remember (JFK vs. Nixon in 1960), I've watched just about every debate, read every poll read every newspaper article about the campaign.
I often play "armchair quarterback," advising candidates on what I think they should do next (not that anyone has ever asked or listened).
To me, political debates are like the Super Bowl.
I grab a beer and some pretzels and require anyone in the room to REMAIN SILENT and NOT BUG ME so I can take in every brilliant argument, every nasty put-down, every gaffe and -- on occasion -- a really good idea.
I like doing this in real time. I don't like seeing the "highlights" the next day.
I like watching the candidates, I like watching the moderators, I like listening to the post-show spin.
Once the debate is through, I flip through CNN, MSNBC, CBS and Fox to see how they're all playing it.
I REALLY don't like it when people in the room start booing, hissing, cheering, clapping, calling a candidate an idiot and the like.
I really want to hear what they all have to say.
This idea of Trump and Bernie debating is simply amazing -- maybe the coolest contest ever.
Hand it to Trump -- it was gutsy for him to agree to this. He remains the master of surprise.
And Bernie, fighting for air, maybe just got a big jolt of oxygen that can keep him alive, possibly positioning him for an upset in California.
And Hillary? What about Hillary?
She once again has been caught flat-footed. A week or so ago she said she wouldn't debate Bernie.
Is she now going to try and wiggle her way back onstage?
Or will she be marginalized and made to look lackluster to the more exciting Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders?
If the "business as usual" candidate doesn't show up, she will look all the worse (as will "business as usual" as a policy prescription).
I think Bernie and Trump have much more in common than most people realize.
They might come at things from different angles, but they are both tapping into the massivie frustration that exists with "business as usual."
I hope Trump doesn't now pull back on this debate proposal, as some are speculating.
But if he does, it will be a huge gift to Bernie -- for both Hillary AND Donald won't debate him! What are they afraid of?
And if Trump goes ahead with this debate -- which I really hope he does -- I think we're in for a fascinating discussion. Americans will hear plenty of stuff they need to hear, that's for sure -- things mainstream candidates would rather leave unsaid.
I think Bernie might tie Donald up in knots, we'll see. But Trump clearly has his moments. He has effectively picked off one candidate after another, much to the pundits' surprise.
I'm off to the store to stock up on beer and pretzels.
Sorry, I won't be inviting you to come watch with me. You might talk or something.
Looking ahead: Can anything top this debate?
Why yes: When Donald and Bernie decide to run on the same ticket.
THAT would make this race even MORE fascinating.
And in this campaign cycle, anything is possible.
Stay tuned. I know I will.
In the words of Will Ferrell in multiple Will Ferrell movies: That. Just. Happened. Donald Trump. Bernie...