(WALL STREET JOURNAL)
By Kimberley A. Strassel
Which Donald Trump will show up to Hofstra University on Monday night for the first presidential debate? The Oval Office may hinge on that question.
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Presidential debates always matter, but the stakes in this first Trump-Clinton faceoff are higher than most. Or at least they are for Mr. Trump. The billionaire’s biggest problem is that Americans remain unsure about what they would get with a Trump presidency.
Over the years they’ve seen Donald the reality TV star. They’ve seen Donald the one-time Democrat. They’ve seen Donald the unhinged. More recently, they’ve seen Donald the serious candidate. Yet Mr. Trump has no prior elected service from which to judge political or policy leadership. He has run only a few ads. For many voters, this first debate will be a (re)introduction, and at a critical time.
The matchup will provide an answer—one way or the other—to the central accusation against Mr. Trump.