If there was somehow any doubt that Hillary Clinton will be the next president (with a commanding six point lead in the RCP average and an 85% chance of winning at Five Thirty Eight) last night's debate all but slammed the door in Trump's orange face.
It’s over. There will be no more presidential debates between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump. (Hopefully.)
The final debate looked, at first, like it could have been pretty normal. At the start, there were some Trumpy moments — but for the most part, it appeared like both candidates, thanks to Trump’s slightly better behavior, were going to mostly stick to the issues.
Then Trump happened. By the end of the debate, Trump had insulted Latino immigrants in Spanish, continued to say that he would not concede the election if he lost, and called Clinton “such a nasty woman.”
In many ways, it was a fitting end to what’s been a very odd election season. But it also offered yet another reminder that we are living in very strange times.
But the real signal as to what Trump will do with all that anger when he loses big in November is as obvious as it comes.
Thirty minutes before the debate, Trump’s Facebook page went live with a video. It ran with the message: “If you’re tired of biased, mainstream media reporting (otherwise known as Crooked Hillary’s super PAC), tune into my Facebook Live broadcast. Starts at 8:30 EST/5:30 PST -- you won't want to miss it. Enjoy!” The ensuing show had its own anchors and guests.
For any other candidate, this may come off as unremarkable. But Trump’s wording, the original anchors and guests, and ongoing rumors suggest this is a tease of “Trump TV” — a business venture Trump might launch after his failed presidential bid.
Matt Yglesias explained for Vox:
While Trump and his team do not appear capable of winning a general election in the United States, they certainly have the right mix of skills and experience to operate a successful media company, folding the existing Breitbart and Hannity franchises together with the Trump brand to form Trump TV or Trump Media.
Trump’s people, for their part, haven’t done much to dispel the rumors. Here’s what Trump campaign CEO Steve Bannon said recently, according to CNN anchor Brian Stelter’s newsletter:
Bannon did not deny talk about a potential "Trump TV" network or streaming service. When asked if there is anything to the rumors, Bannon responded with a smile and said, "Trump is an entrepreneur." He repeated the answer again later. "Trump is an entrepreneur." He also pointed out Trump's social media prowess on Facebook and Twitter. "Look at the engagement. It's incredible..."
The Facebook Live video, however, suggests that Trump’s team isn’t even bothering to wait until after the election to pull this off.
Donald Trump: red meat salesman in the New Clinton Age. It's about the only job he's actually qualified for, frankly. But he'll ride that tornado through the American psyche doing as much damage as he can and will most likely profit from it.
Then again, this is a man that went bankrupt running casinos, a business model absolutely designed to part suckers from their money. If he can't even get that right, maybe Trump TV won't be long for this world.