It’s October 21, 2016. It is 18 days – or, expressing it the way it feels, e i g h t e e n   d a y s – until the election.

That all means it’s time for 20 Questions Friday. It’s a writing device that I thought would help me write Friday blog posts quickly and cleverly. The cleverly is subjective – you can decide. But it takes me just as long, if not longer, to come up with 20 questions as it does to write a 1,000-word screed.

Today’s title explained: Coach Dean Smith’s North Carolina basketball teams pioneered the idea of running out the clock with a lead. Smith, who passed away a few years ago, was a liberal Democrat in a place where that wasn’t especially cool. But I suspect if he had any idea of how to do it, he’d have figured out a way to tell Hillary Clinton.

Have a good weekend:

— To folks in Arizona, Georgia, Utah and Alaska, how does it feel to live in a swing state?

— Were Hillary Clinton’s debate beatdowns of Trump even more one-sided than the one Jed Bartlet administered to Rob Ritchie in season four of “The West Wing”?

— If Hillary Clinton really did have health and stamina issues, shouldn’t she get credit for how well she’s managed them and share any tips with the rest of us older people?

— How much pain are Cubs fans in knowing that their team is one win away from the World Series for the first time since 1945 – again?

— What do you think Steve Bartman is doing tomorrow and Sunday?

— Who in their right mind likes raking leaves?

— Did the strategists running the U.S.-backed Iraqi assault on ISIS in Mosul figure in the possibility that the thugs might counterattack in another place, like Kirkuk?

— When Trump invokes George Patton, why doesn’t he realize that Patton would have smacked his face for his ignorance?

— Should the Democrats run anti-Putin ads in an effort to seal the deal against Trump and the Republicans?

— Could the people who launched today’s distributed denial of service (DDoS) attack be categorized as terrorists?

— Has the Trump “Access Hollywood” tape revived any terrible memories in your life?

— Will AT&T buy Time Warner?

— Aren’t those electronic billboards on the sides of highways a dangerous distraction to drivers?

— Isn’t small print on any billboard a really stupid idea?

— Which of the 2016 debate moderators would you be pleased to see return for the 2020 debates?

— Are you already dreading the 2020 presidential debates?

— Once you read my former colleague Stacy Cowley’s compilation of statements from ex-Wells Fargo employees, would you agree that looking into possible criminal charges against the company’s management isn’t a bad idea? 

— Who’ll stop the rain? (eighth in a series of song-title questions)

— Aren’t you relieved that seeing Smokey Robinson trend on Twitter doesn’t mean what you feared it meant (and that he’s just launching a skin-care line)?

— Why is Smokey Robinson launching a skin-care line?


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