From The Washington Post:
Virtually tied in recent national polls, both Clinton and Trump enter the debate as the two most deeply unpopular presidential candidates in modern history. Both hope to discredit the other, and both hope to emerge from the debate having burnished the public’s view that they are better qualified to be commander in chief.
A roiling disagreement over the role of the debate moderator flared up Sunday, with Democrats arguing that a more activist fact-checker role is needed to rein in Trump’s well-established pattern of factual misstatements.
But Janet H. Brown, the executive director of the Commission on Presidential Debates, seemed to side with the Republican nominee, saying in a television interview that “it’s not a good idea to get the moderator into essentially serving as the Encyclopaedia Britannica.” She added, however, that ultimately it will be up to Monday’s moderator, Lester Holt of NBC News, to do the job as he sees fit.
Underscoring the unique nature of the combatants, Clinton’s debate preparations included a focus on Trump’s personality as well as the substance of what will be discussed onstage at Hofstra University in Hempstead, N.Y., according to several Democrats with knowledge of her campaign’s approach.
Clinton’s team convened a meeting last month at which longtime aide Philippe Reines, the stand-in for Trump in her mock sessions, deeply studied Trump’s personality to be able to parry with her as Trump might.
The meeting was one of several during which Clinton aides conferred for hours with outsiders who had been asked to offer advice about Trump’s temperament, according to people familiar with the gathering. The objective was to understand how a man who has spent most of his life in the business world and prides himself on being a dealmaker might behave in a debate setting.
After days of preparing for the debate at a …