At long last on Tuesday, Fox News released the 10 Republican candidates who will be participating in this Thursday's presidential debate in Cleveland, Ohio. This list doesn't come as much of a surprise, as various polls have been circulating for weeks that show who the top contenders are. Donald Trump has consistently been in the number one position, followed closely by Jeb Bush and then by Scott Walker. We now know the candidates who will face off in the primary debate on Thursday (drum roll, please): Donald Trump, Jeb Bush, Scott Walker, Mike Huckabee, Ben Carson, Ted Cruz, Marco Rubio, Rand Paul, Chris Christie, and John Kasich. This list is basically what we've all been expecting, and likely what the candidates have been expecting as well. And true to form, Donald Trump had had something ridiculous to say about the debate.
Appearing on The O'Reilly Factor on Wednesday after the lineup had been announced, O'Reilly asked Trump about his preparations going into Thursday's debate. Trump responded: "I don't know how you can rehearse for a debate." What?! Has he not seen Scandal or House of Cards? Prep is clearly the best part about the whole debate process. So much pointing and fist slamming and zingers.
Come to think of it, if those are key components to a debate, maybe Trump doesn't really need to rehearse. He rehearses those antics everyday in his real life. And he might say he's not rehearsing, but Jimmy Fallon has a good idea of how Trump would prepare.
Trump's comment at least clarifies that we can expect Trump to be himself at the debate (always a joy), and that, if he's really not doing any formal prep, he could flounder horribly. There's been a lot of speculation about how Trump will comport himself for the debates, if he'll be a jerk or if he'll be professional. I've got bets going with myself about whether or not he will try to muster a presidential air, or if he will be a complete bull in a china shop and run right over the other candidates.
His behavior is always odd, but given that presidential debates are a time-honored and at least kind of serious political event, I can't help but hope he will surprise us and be a little less... Trumpy. Trump is not a politician, but he's inserted himself in the biggest and most important political race in the U.S., so Thursday evening is his chance to show that he can really play with the big boys, and not just dis them and interrupt reporters.
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