Monday night's debate was a ego-bruising smackdown for a man who is essentially a walking, talking, unrestrained ego. And like most egomainiacs, Trump is already plotting his revenge on mean ol' Hillary for publicly humiliating him by being more prepared that he was. His strategy? He's going to hit her where he thinks it hurts: Bill's various extramarital affairs.
Donald Trump said Monday night he didn't pursue a line of criticism he could have during the debate, out of respect for Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton's daughter, Chelsea.
"I'm really happy I was able to hold back on the indiscretions in respect to Bill Clinton. Because I have a lot of respect for Chelsea Clinton," he told CNN's Dana Bash, who then asked what he would have said.
"Maybe I'll tell you at the next debate. We'll see. But I'm very happy," Trump said.
In the closing minutes of the debate, Trump insisted that "I was going to say something extremely rough to Hillary, to her family, and I said to myself, I can't do it. I just can't do it. It's inappropriate. It's not nice." He was clearly talking about Bill Clinton and tried to play it off as if he were voluntarily holding back. But since Trump has no respect for anyone, it's obvious his debate prep team hammered home the importance of not going there. Ever.
The reason is obvious: It's a winning strategy with people who hate Hillary already but the single worst strategy with everyone else, including crucial undecided voters. It makes her look sympathetic and makes Trump look like a sexist jerk.
Also, Trump has spent decades bragging about all the women he's slept with while married and he's currently on his third wife. This makes him an easy target for a brutal riposte. If Trump thinks Hillary doesn't have a highly polished and devastating answer already prepared, he's certifiably insane.
If we're all very lucky, Trump will show up to the next debate, get so angry that he ignores his handlers and proceeds to attack Hillary's marriage. After she drops an atomic elbow from 30,000 feet, we can all enjoy the smoking ruin that used to Donald Trump's run for the White House.