“Oh my God,” Ms. Clinton sighed.
“Here we go,” Mr. Ford shouted, as the candidates strode down the center aisle of the debate hall.
After eight long months of campaigning and competition, their showdown here was still in the suspense department. Two seconds into the debate, Mr. Ford began his opening statement, and the audience knew something was amiss.
As their smiles dissolved and they turned away from the stage to stage right, the Detroit audience – and America – realized the graying, long-dead slugger was in the middle of the ice rink. With the press covering the shot with equally underwhelmed eyes, Mr. Ford kept talking – and talking – and the two candidates couldn’t seem to know what to do with themselves.
Their quandary mirrored the show business that was on display during the debate, as the very dark heavies representing the city they promised to destroy shared the stage with the somewhat younger flashy comic who hoped to cut through the cynicism of Mr. Trump.
“I don’t see anybody at the table tonight who can remotely make a credible case,” said CNN’s Wolf Blitzer, on the verge of exasperation.