All of Donald Trump’s sleaziness is coming back on him, and now the Debate Commission has to change its rules to ensure Trump doesn’t try any funny business.
At previous debates, Bill Clinton has shaken the hand of Melania Trump — and sometimes the hands of Trump’s children — as part of the predebate protocol. It provides the audience in the room, and the people watching at home, with a moment of graciousness and a touch of celebrity.
But for the final debate, Hillary Clinton’s campaign wants a different setup, because at the previous debate in St. Louis, the Trump campaign had an elaborate plan to parade three women who accused Bill Clinton of sexual assault and rape into the family seating area and force Bill Clinton to shake their hands as he crossed the room.
Had the Trump campaign succeeded, Bill Clinton would have come face-to-face with the women on national television, a potentially humiliating and excruciating encounter. However, the Commission on Presidential Debates intervened, and the women — Juanita Broaddrick, Paula Jones and Kathleen Willey — never came close to the former president.
But the Clinton side is not taking any chances at the final presidential debate, on Wednesday night in Las Vegas, and has gained approval of a different protocol for the entry of the candidates’ spouses and families into the debate hall.
The new arrangement calls for the candidates’ spouses to enter the hall closer to their seats, rather than crossing the room, and each other’s paths. That would avoid any potential for confrontations, given Mr. Trump’s penchant for dramatic stunts.
On Tuesday, an aide to Mrs. Clinton declined to comment on the change, and aides to Mr. Trump did not respond to an email seeking comment.
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