1. It’s Wednesday, August 5, 2015.

2. Christmas is 142 days away. I say this because I just ordered my first Christmas gift online. Can’t say what I bought, since one of you readers might be a recipient. 

3. The 2016 U.S. presidential election is 461 days away. But the campaign started months ago, and tomorrow is an early pivotal moment, the first Republican debate.

Because this is a society that plays a lot of games, there has to be some kind of scenario for this debate. In this case, Fox has decided that only the ten leading candidates can participate in the primetime show. The other seven candidates will try to break through in a preliminary debate, or what boxing calls the undercard.

I’m sure Rick Perry, Bobby Jindal and George Pataki — guys who have been elected governor of their states multiple times — are thrilled with that. 

4. Of course the main attraction of tomorrow’s main debate is Fabulous Donny Trump. He leads the polls; does that mean he gets to stand in the best position on the stage?

This debate will determine how long the Fabulous Donny phenomenon will last. He’s running a campaign that focuses on his spit-out-something-and-see-if-it-sticks style, thinking that those kinds of pronouncements take the place of thought-out policy. His campaign is what he senses from his success in reality TV is how America works.

Over the weekend, friends wondered when he would get bored with this and go back to making New Yorkers crazy with his bad taste. This debate will say a lot about when or even whether that happens.

If Fabulous Donny has a good time tomorrow night, he might very well be in this for the long haul. And the people who would actually vote for him (instilling the scary thought that those people are among us) are looking for reaffirmation in their belief that this is the guy who’s the answer to whatever problem they’re trying to solve.

If they come away happy, and Donny comes away happy, it’s going to be a long campaign.

5. I don’t want to jump the gun on everything. For one thing, it’s still summer! Nothing better than that. Enjoy the day.


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