Will the second presidential debate of the 2016 election see another moment in which Donald Trump’s past offers up an additional unexpected October surprise? As reported by AP, the only result of the Alicia Machado incident at the last debate, as well as Trump’s weeklong battle with the former Miss Universe, was the discovery of a long-lost Donald Trump porn video.
This meant even more problems for Trump’s endlessly harried staff as they prepared for the October 9 second debate. But is there even more to come in the next debate and can the Trump campaign possibly survive it? The answers are likely yes and maybe not.
The October surprise mentioned above was supposed to be all about Hillary Clinton and provided by Julian Assange. But over this last week the surprises, unpleasant or otherwise depending on your perspective, have all been related to the Donald Trump campaign.
But there are many potential political time bombs still waiting to go off in Donald Trump’s face at the second presidential debate. And Hillary Clinton will be more than happy to light the fuse if Trump doesn’t do so himself. If the Alicia Machado incident is any indication, the second the bell rings for the next debate and Trump and Clinton step out onto the stage, his supporters should brace themselves for almost anything.
One thing that Hillary Clinton focused on the first time, and that’s certain to come up in the next debate, is the issue of Donald Trump’s tax return and his unwillingness to release it to the public. Clinton almost certainly knows that this issue resonates with the American public, so if she could squeeze a gaffe out of Trump about his taxes, it might provide an even juicier moment than Trump’s slandering of Miss Universe.
If, as a recent CNN report suggests, Donald Trump has somehow avoided paying taxes for 18 years, this probably wouldn’t go over well with the blue-collar crowd that currently supports him. It’s one thing if he’s wealthy, but they will expect him to pay taxes.
Alternatively, Donald Trump’s adoring supporters would also be surprised to learn that the bloviating, bragging, and bullying Republican presidential nominee isn’t nearly as wealthy as he pretends to be. Perhaps, this is why Trump doesn’t want to officially release his tax returns.
The uncovering of further shocking aspects of Trump’s personal life in the second debate could also provide the Clinton campaign with the same opportunities it got from mentioning Alicia Machado. These could range from information about his wife’s immigration status to proof that Trump’s health problems are much more serious than he pretends.
Of course, when Trump and Clinton are on the debate stage, they can’t ignore the international situation. And this is another potential minefield for Donald Trump, whose expertise in this area is questionable at best.
Even worse, Trump has already said and done things in his campaign and in his prior history as a businessperson that have damaged his ability to act in a presidential manner on the world stage. His startling admiration for Russian president Vladimir Putin is one aspect of this problem for the Trump campaign.
If Donald Trump were to stand behind the podium at the next presidential debate and again express his profound respect for Vladimir Putin, it’s safe to say that Donald Trump’s election poll numbers might just drop like a stone. Which is why Hillary Clinton will probably bring up his bromance with the brutal Russian dictator.
Whether you’re a Democrat or Republican, the second presidential debate is likely to be exciting. But judging from Donald Trump’s prior record, and Hillary Clinton’s relentless determination to beat him senseless with that record, it’s safe to guess that another surprising Trump disclosure is highly likely.
[Featured Image by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images]