Krauthammer: Debate Is Going To Be All About Trump
Krauthammer: Debate Is Going To Be All About Trump (RealClearPolitics)
MEGYN KELLY, KELLY FILE: An aide to Governor John Kasich (R-OH) came out and said [the upcoming FOX News Republican debate] is like a NASCAR driver mentally preparing for a race knowing one of the drivers will be drunk. You don't know what to expect.
CHARLES KRAUTHAMMER: Well, if you want to put it slightly more kindly, you could have just said erratic and unpredictable but everybody knows that in the lead-up to this debate it's going to be all about Trump. That will be the story, no matter what happens, otherwise in the debate that will be the story that's going to be carried out by the media. That's going to be the sound bite.
And the two questions are: will Trump act like a statesman or will he continue the anger and bluster show? And the second is: will anybody take him on, and who will it be? On the first I know he's getting advice from the media that he should play the statesman and that would propel him. I'm not sure that he's capable of doing that but assuming he is, I'm not sure that would be successful. He's had such incredible success with the bluster and the anger that he has tapped into that I suspect he'll continue on that.
The question is, will anybody challenge him? if you're a top-tier candidate, there's not that much advantage in doing that, particularly now early in the race. You get into a mud fight, the others will benefit rather than you. I suspect it could be somebody who is in the middle of the pack, say a number 9, 10, or 11 in any of the polls on the bubble of the debates, on the cusp, who might want to take him out in a way to be the dragon slayer and perhaps the candidate for that would be Rick Perry who took him on the most strongly after his remarks -- Trump's remarks about John McCain.