If you believe that Donald Trump won the debate on Monday night against Hillary Clinton, you’re either a die-hard supporter or you didn’t pay attention. He seemed completely unprepared. This appears to be a common problem that dates back at least to 1986 when he helped write Art of the Deal.
Multiple advisers claimed that Trump “found it hard to focus” during debate preparation sessions with his team led by former Fox News chief Roger Ailes. It showed during the debate as he butchered many opportunities to turn the tide on a two-pronged series of attacks from both his opponent and moderator Lester Holt. Instead, he appeared to be unhinged and defensive, as if he was trying to play his famous victim card for sympathy.
His ghostwriter for his most famous book produced a memo today detailing the same problem plagued him three decades ago.
1986 memo I wrote re: Art of the Deal. Trump couldn't focus for interviews. Can't focus now for debate prep pic.twitter.com/A3vz8lgOyV
— Tony Schwartz (@tonyschwartz) September 28, 2016
If this is a trend, it’s a terrifying one. Winning a party nomination or even winning the White House can be done by shooting from the hip, especially if you have the name-recognition that Trump has. However, a lack of focus could be absolutely disastrous as a character trait for an American President.