Mr. Holt has been reviewing moderator performance over the decades and studying whether he is obliged to call out falsehoods or let them slide.
If Mr. Trump says there is no global warming, for example, should he bother to indicate the considerable scientific evidence to the contrary, or simply turn to Ms. Clinton, with “Ah, Ms. Clinton, what do you think?”
He is spending a lot of mirror time in the bathroom with a range of responses to such upcoming intricacies.
Meanwhile, Ms. Clinton is busy honing her debating skills with research into Mr. Trump’s activities, particularly in the area of international business affairs and possible conflicts of interest there.
Bill has been advising her this is a way to thwart conflict of interest questions on The Clinton Foundation and their speaking fees to corporations in exchange for administrative favors.
Instead, hound after Mr. Trump’s business connections, particularly in Russia.
She will take any opportunity to link Trump with Putin and–the proper tone is essential here–link the two as enemies of America, “the one indispensable nation.”
Mr. Trump, on the other hand, is ruminating on various responses likely to get audience murmuring or applauding–or even better, screaming.
He will call for a chair to be brought forward to Ms. Clinton’s rostrum so that she may sit, while he continues to stand.
And he will do so in solicitous tones, including, “We are all very concerned about your health, Hillary.”
At another point Ivanka will suddenly appear on stage to deliver him a message, and in the process kiss him on the forehead.
The notion to have a small group of children run on stage to kiss him on the forehead is under consideration at this time.
Mostly, however, his handlers believe, “His mouth will get him through this. He doesn’t even have to think.”
And whereas Mr. Holt has indicated he couldn’t possibly allow children to run onto the stage, Mr. Trump has answered him in an email:
“No problem, Lester. You and I will get along fine. And you know it doesn’t matter what’s said anyway. It’s all about who is most amusing, who is most likeable.”
Mr. Holt was beginning to respond in an email with “Well . . .”
But Mr. Trump immediately shot another message to him with, “And we already know whothat is, Lester–ahead of time.”