How Donald Trump Prepares For Debates Is How He’s Preparing To Be President
Months after sitting down for a deposition in a lawsuit relating to the opening of his oft-plugged new Washington, D.C. hotel, GOP nominee Donald Trump is now facing reality as videos of that deposition have just been released to the public. No matter what the content, that's not a sentence any presidential candidate wants to hear just weeks from election day. But that didn't make him care much about this deposition, which is clear if you watch the videos, as Trump revealed that he didn't prepare for it. In this way, Trump's debate prep and his deposition prep were exactly the same, in that they didn't happen.
In the run-up to the first presidential debate, the Trump campaign was eager to put out the message that its candidate, (unlike the over-prepared Hillary Clinton) was taking a more low-key, low-effort approach to preparing for, you know, the single biggest moment of his political life. And it showed, as you probably saw if you were part of the record-setting audience that watched that debate.
In the opening minutes of his June deposition, Trump made it clear that he takes much the same approach to his legal events as his political ones. When defense attorney Deborah Baum asked him what he'd done to prepare for the deposition ― and this is under oath, mind you ― his answer was pretty unsurprising: "I would say virtually nothing. I spoke with my counsel for a short period of time, I just arrived here, and we proceeded to the deposition."
Trump went on to say he didn't review any documents ahead of the deposition, which, let's be honest, tracks pretty tightly with the expectations he's set for himself to this point in his campaign. Trump's aversion to preparation was the subject of some post-debate reporting, as sources within the campaign conceded that Trump simply didn't put in the work. That led to perhaps the most effective debate rejoinder of the night for Clinton, when Trump needled her for taking time to prepare for the debate.
Clinton replied that she did prepare, and that she's also prepared to be president. It was a punctuation mark on what had already been a nightmarish evening for the Republican standard-bearer, and, as such, it's more than a little funny to see him conceding months prior that he basically didn't prepare for a deposition, either.
It all works to build a pattern, one that might not be all that reassuring to undecided voters ― no matter how big or important something might be, it seems like Trump simply assumes he can wing it. That's a cavalier attitude to take to one's own business and legal dealings, sure, and even more so for a presidential candidate. And what if he actually gets elected president? Let's just say this is a reputation that Trump sorely doesn't need.