Hillary Clinton’s campaign believes the first presidential debate on Monday night will be the single most consequential event leading up to election day, CBS News’ Nancy Cordes reports. So Clinton is spending nearly four straight days off the campaign trail, holed up with her top advisors -- and one mystery participant.
There’s no shortage of people with experience playing Trump: actor Darrell Hammond has taken on the guise of the GOP nominee on “Saturday Night Live,” comedian Jon Stewart has played him on Stephen Colbert’s “The Late Show.”
But the Clinton campaign says the person playing Trump-- nor is it Sen. Al Franken of Minnesota, actor Alec Baldwin, strategist James Carville, or , all of whom were seen as likely suspects.
Find the right stand-in isn’t easy.
Secretary of State John Kerry played his fellow Massachusetts native Mitt Romney in President Obama’s 2012 debate prep. Strategist Paul Begala played George W. Bush for Al Gore in 2000.
Trump says he isn’t having anyone play Clinton, because he doesn’t want to over-prepare.
“I mean, I’ve seen some people do so much prep work that when they get out, they can’t speak,” Trump told reporters aboard his plane earlier this month.
On a flight from Nevada to Texas Thursday night, Clinton’s running mate Tim Kaine said he and Clinton have been trading debate tips -- but more on style than substance.
“Hillary Clinton does not need to know one more fact,” Kaine told reporters. “She is factually so far over the -- any hurdle you would set in terms of being prepared on the details.”
Like athletes preparing for a game, Trump and Clinton are already doing a little trash-talking.
“They say she’s been practicing for the debate,” Trump said at a Pennsylvania rally Thursday evening. “Some people think she’s sleeping.”
And Clinton exchanged some sharp comments about Trump’s debate wardrobe with actor Zach Galifianakis.
“Do you wonder what your opponent might be wearing?” Galifianakis asked.
“I assume he’ll wear, you know, that red power tie,” Clinton responded.
Galifianakis quipped: “Or maybe, like, a white power tie.”
“That’s even more appropriate,” she said.
Clinton says she likes to do her homework, so she’s been poring over briefing books for several weeks.
Trump, on the other hand, says he’s opting for more casual sunday prep sessions at his home or at his golf course. He says he’s going to take his cues from clinton on monday night and will behave respectfully if she does.