When Trump Meets Clinton, No TV Record in America Will Be Safe

Matthew Shields knows what he’ll be doing after work on the last Monday in September. “It’s going to be hilarious,” the Los Angeles hairstylist says. “I can’t wait.”

That may not be the appraisal a republic would prefer regarding any aspect of a campaign for the highest office in the land, but Shields speaks for many who are already breathless about the presidential debates. They’ll likely pit Donald Trump, the presumptive Republican nominee, against Hillary Clinton, who has sewn up the Democratic delegate count. He has called her a “fraud” with “zero natural talent” who should be in prison. She has said he is “temperamentally unfit” with “dangerously incoherent” ideas and “not someone who should ever have the nuclear codes.” That was all in about 24 hours. They haven’t even stepped onto the same stage yet.

“People are expecting a brawl,” says Allen Adamson, a former executive with the branding firm Landor Associates. “Nothing attracts viewers like a brawl.”