11:35 am ET
Based on watching presidential debates over the years, here are the biggest mistakes candidates can make:
- Coming in tired.
- Compounding an early error by getting distracted and making the same kind of error again.
- Unleashing a canned one-liner that bombs.
- Not knowing how to balance looking at the camera, the moderator, and the opponent.
- Answering ANY process question directly.
- Forgetting that bigness, graciousness, humor, and speaking to the aspirations of the American people trump everything else.
- Not making sure that the hair and makeup look good on TV.
- Forgetting that the mic is always on — and the cutaway camera is too.
- Forgetting that the more optimistic candidate wins most every time.
- Failing to live Alex Castellanos’ sage dictum: debates are about delivering big moments of strength.