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Republican Debate Without Trump: Problem or Solution?

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I'm hearing a bit of angst from some Trump supporters that he will not be able to point out his opponent's flaws by not participating in the debate.

I'm hearing a bit of angst from some Trump non-supporters because they think that he should have to answer for his record and face the other candidates.

Yet the one thing I honestly believe about this hullaballoo is that we are lucky that he will not be there tonight.

Now, some of you are cringing right now. Some of you are angry. Some of you are nodding along. But before you let loose with your gut reaction, hear me out, okay?

The one thing that some of you may have forgotten from Trump's last debate performances is that he has a hard time sitting on his hands. He interrupts, no, not interjects, interrupts.

He calls names, he distracts, he cuts people off, he railroads them, he throws red herrings all around, and lashes out at people if they turn around the try to do the same to him. He's the opposite of Reagan who handled it all with class and still managed to make his opponents look like fools. Instead Trump looks like a bully every single time he gets on the stage.

Which leads me to why this is a win-win for us.

Trump's biggest negative is his bombastic personality and inability to keep himself from being snide, rude, and pompous. It does not play well with most of the population, and his handlers have known that for a while now. Keeping him out of the debates keeps his policies and results front and center WITHOUT highlighting his single greatest weakness. His opponents are going to have to give him credit for his polices, which they all want to copy, but then try to attack him on his personality, which will be FAR more difficult without him being there.

Honestly, it is quite a brilliant move by Trump's team, and if one of them takes off like a rocket, he still has plenty of time to get to the next one and keep the sky from falling on his campaign.

It is also a big win for the non-Trump people because this means that the other candidates are actually going to be able to speak about their platform and ideas. It'll spark from time to time, but it should not burst out of control like it did at times when Trump was last there.

Every second that Donald Trump is not on that stage is that much more time that another one of these people can talk about why they are the better choice.

Which leads me to an interesting observation. There is a wildcard in the mix, and that is the Carlson/Trump interview which is tentatively planned to be released at the same time as the debate. Yet this is pre-recorded, it will be left up afterwards, so I honestly do not think it will impact the debate viewership very much.

Those who already know they are voting for Trump in the primary are unlikely to watch it anyway, they will find the Carlson interview and just watch that.

Those who already know that they are not voting for Trump will watch the debate and ignore the Carlson interview until they see footage of it on a news outlet show.

For those who might be persuadable, I think the fact that it is recorded and will be available after the debate will mitigate the damage that might come if they skipped the debate to see what the former President had to say. They know that they can still see both, so why would they not?

So all around, I think this is the best move for everyone involved.

Trump gets his record highlighted while being in a protected environment as opposed to a public affairs battle on live television, and the others get a debate stage that will actually look and function like a real political debate as opposed to some kind of wild west fisticuffs.

Honestly, it works out so well for everyone that I almost want to wonder if they all got together and planned it...

But no, that is not Trump's style.

Maybe he has actually learned to trust his handlers just a bit...

One can always hope.

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