Trump’s ability to act presidential could determine whether we see him in the second debate on September 16 in Simi Valley, California. Acting presidential could also blunt what will undoubtedly be the primary mode of attack on him by the other candidates — emphasizing his hostile and acerbic communication style.
The debate presents a rare opportunity to simultaneously meet the public’s demand for substance and shock the audience by doing the unexpected. It is almost inconceivable that these two rhetorical strategies can be executed together, and yet Trump finds both available to him for the upcoming debate.
If news is truly about reporting on what is new and noteworthy, the most newsworthy thing Trump could do is to focus on issues and not people. He could put forth policies instead of propaganda.
The other candidates will likely not expect to debate with Trump about sound and cogent policy proposals, which will leave them awkwardly adjusting their debate strategy with little time to do so. Trump will monopolize the media coverage by doing what no one expects he is capable of doing — acting presidential.