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Clinton campaign plans for boring debate

Clinton campaign aides are gearing up for Hillary Clinton’s first debate with Donald Trump. The candidate is “in the zone,” they say, but they’re throwing a little water on the idea that there will be any fireworks at this first contest.

In fact, aides are expecting a boring debate, in which Americans will see subdued, polite Donald Trump -- similar to the demeanor he showed at NBC’s “Commander-in-Chief” forum. But boring is good for Clinton, they believe, giving her the opportunity to talk about her agenda in front of potentially 100 million people, in the realm of a Super-bowl-sized viewership. That would be a substantially larger audience than she’s ever had for any speech, any ad or any interview.

In a tame debate, viewers can expect to see Clinton’s economic argument, which she’s been honing during her prep session. Later this week, she’ll hit some of the battleground states and focus on “kitchen table” economic issues -- the first stop will be North Carolina Tuesday.

If they’re wrong, and they see more fireworks on stage, Clinton, they’re sure, will be able whatever Trump sends her way. Longtime Clinton aide Philippe Reines has been playing the role of Trump​ as she prepares and, aides say that and he has gotten into character during the sessions, even donning cufflinks similar to those Trump wears. Clinton traveled to Long Island early Monday afternoon for final preparation for the debate.

The campaign is hoping that the moderator of the first debate, NBC News’ Lester Holt, will help fact check Trump. Clinton campaign manager Robby Mook said earlier Monday on “CBS This Morning” that the campaign is “concerned Trump may lie and throw misinformation out there and that Hillary will have to spend all her time trying to correct the record, rather than about the things she wants to talk about.”

Communications Director Jennifer Palmieri went further last week, suggesting that it would be unfair if Holt failed to fact check Trump.