The Power of Faith: Mother Natures Gift, Introduction by Jane Goodall

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Either Hillary Clinton would show up on her own, for questioning by the moderator, or she would be joined by Gary Johnson. The lineups for vice-presidential debates follow those for the presidential nominees, so if Johnson participated, presumably so would his vice-presidential running mate, former Massachusetts Governor William Weld, against Tim Kaine and Mike Pence.

In July, Weld told me that he was preparing as if he and Johnson would be in the debates. TV history. In , 36 percent of the population watched the first Kennedy-Nixon debate. The same percentage now would mean nearly million viewers in the United States, plus countless more worldwide.

For comparison, this would be slightly more than the audience for the most popular Super Bowl, and significantly more than the 95 million who watched the O. Right brain versus left brain; gut versus any portion of the brain at all; impulse versus calculation; id versus superego; and of course man versus woman. But they took place in different cities at different times.

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The first debate will be a matter-meets-antimatter conjunction at a single point. Live sports, from the Olympics to the Kentucky Derby, differ from other TV programming and compel live viewership because no one knows beforehand how things will turn out.

The same is true of live presidential debates, above all any including Donald Trump. Depending on what else is happening when the debates begin, they could prove to be consequential as well as riveting. In his case that might involve revealing an embarrassing gap in factual knowledge. Or it might involve a rash overstatement on a topic where minute shadings of presidential language can have enormous effect, such as his suggesting that he was not sure the U.

It might involve a bullying word or gesture toward Hillary Clinton or toward one of the demographic groups he has criticized. Viewers may get a sense that something like this is in store if Hillary Clinton has the relaxed and even jokey bearing that shows her and for that matter, practically anyone at her best. If all or most of this happens, and if the sound-off image is of a calm, confident Clinton and a fuming Trump, she will have won the debates and moved that much closer to winning the election. But if Trump can seem easily rather than angrily in command, or if he can lure Clinton into joining him in an insult-for-insult exchange, or if she is beset by some new controversy for which she gives a hyper-legalistic rationalization, then the debates could be a turning point for Trump.

As a two-term governor of California, Ronald Reagan was a vastly more experienced public figure than Donald Trump is now. Still, it took seeing him toe to toe with an incumbent president for many viewers to imagine him as commander in chief. The stakes, the unpredictability, and the contrast are why we watch.

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A Prayer for World Peace

I believe that Donald Trump is by knowledge clownishly unprepared to be president and even less suited by temperament. As a voter, I hope that the effect of the debates, whether he participates or not, is to reduce his chance of victory. But as a onetime presidential speechwriter, and as a chronicler of the debates in these pages every four years since Bush faced Gore in , I have to respect what Trump has managed onstage so far, and take seriously what he might still do.

The more vigorous and imaginative the display, the faster the individual is likely to rise in the hierarchy, and the longer he is likely to maintain that position.

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She told me she would be thinking of Mike as she watched the upcoming debates. Me too! Sanders no doubt helped Clinton with this comment, and her reaction showed it.

May we have a moment of your time?

Donald Trump, by contrast, has not been through even one head-to-head live debate. These are entirely different experiences: facing one person, with a moderator, versus being part of a crowd. With three or more contenders onstage, each participant is mainly fighting for airtime and looking for chances to get in planned zingers. Participants are talking over one another; the moderator can rarely pursue an extended line of follow-ups with any one speaker; and overall the dynamics are like that of a pundit panel on a cable-news talk show.

In a head-to-head debate, participants know they will get enough airtime. The question becomes how they use it. Example of the difference: In several of the GOP debates, Trump went into a kind of hibernation when the talk became too specific or policy-bound, letting John Kasich or Marco Rubio have the microphone. The other two will consist of six minute blocks, each on a single topic. What Trump got from the crowded-stage debates was the perfect platform to display the kind of dominance Jane Goodall described. When he chose to be, he was always and easily the most interesting figure in view, and the only one with a background not in discussing policy or tailoring appeals to interest groups but in being a reality-TV star.

The one exception, to its credit, was Fox News Sunday. All the theatrics had a snowball effect. At the time of the first debate, Trump had less than 25 percent support among Republican voters, but in a candidate field, that gave him the lead and thus the central position onstage. At 6 foot 2, he happened to be taller than all the other candidates except Jeb Bush, which gave him another reason to look down on them with disdain.

And although Bush is more than an inch taller, he often held himself in a slump that convinced most viewers that Trump was looking down on him as well. In most of the debates, Trump also got more airtime than anyone else. In an member debate in September, for instance, Trump spoke for nearly 19 minutes—three minutes longer than the next-closest, Jeb Bush; five minutes longer than Carly Fiorina; and nearly twice as long as the likes of John Kasich, Mike Huckabee, and Scott Walker.

The pattern continued through the full debate season. After the fact, representatives of all the fallen candidates told me that none of it was inevitable, and that Trump could have been stopped if any of the others had imagined that he would go as far as he did. So our early strategy was not just to ignore him but actually to try hard not to offend his supporters, so we could be the alternative to him when he inevitably went down.

He largely got a free pass until it was too late. Before his humiliating loss to Trump in his own state of Florida, which forced him out of the race, Rubio was attacking Trump for his ignorance about policy and mocking him on hand size and blowhard traits. With Jeb and Rubio, it became like the Bosnian civil war—more into killing each other than winning. No one can say whether an earlier attack might have finished off Trump. When questions got into details of policy, he would set himself on pause until an opportunity for a put-down occurred.

Tapper said that fellow candidate Chris Christie had called it impractical. How would Trump respond? He did so this way:. Second of all, we have a lot of really bad dudes in this country from outside, and I think Chris knows that, maybe as well as anybody. They go. Gangs all over the place.

Meg Greene - Jane Goodall a Biography

Chicago, Baltimore, no matter where you look. Bad dudes. A wall that works.

In political language, plainness is powerful. People absorb and retain information in smaller increments through the ear than through the eye. Thus the classic intonations of every major religion have the simple, repetitive cadence also found in the best political speeches. But Trump takes this much further, as he does with so many other things. Decades ago, when I worked on presidential speeches, some news analyst made fun of me for saying in an interview that we were aiming for a seventh-grade level in a certain televised address.

But that is generally the level of effective mass communication—newscasts, advertising, speeches—and it is about where most of the other Republicans ended up when Shafer ran their transcripts through the analyzer.

The Secret Life of a Professional Statue

The transcript shows:. Our military is a disaster. We have no borders.