Bill Clinton and daughter Chelsea are seen already seated, which is the first big news of the debate. Given Donald Trump’s flair for scorched-earth scenes at public appearances, and Team Trump’s promise that inviting President Obama’s Trump-supporting half-brother to the debate is just the “appetizer” of the banquet he’s got planned for tonight, it’s no wonder the Dems asked the debate commission to dispense with the quaint Presidential Debate Spousal Handshake.
At the launch of Debate 2, Trump tried to force Bill Clinton to shake the hand of several women who have claimed he or his wife had attacked them over the years. The commission put the kibosh on that stunt, though Trump seated the women near his family during that debate and staged a pre-debate photo op in which he was flanked by the accusers.
Candidates Hillary Clinton and Trump also dispensed with the formality, as they had at the start of Debate 2, two days after Trump’s Access Hollywood was published by the Washington Post. All that’s left here is to see if they shake hands at the end of this debate, as they had to close Debate 2.