By Zeke J Miller
September 26, 2016

If you only read one thing: Good morning from New York on what may be the most important day in this entire campaign. At 9 p.m. Eastern Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump will take the stage at Hofstra University for the first presidential debate. With national and swing state polls showing an ever tightening race—though larger than normal shares of voters are undecided or considering third-party candidates—the debate will offer each candidate the opportunity to reintroduce themselves to voters who are just tuning into the race for the first time, and the stakes couldn’t be higher. Both candidates spent the weekend in debate prep, but like the two nominees, the processes could hardly have been more different. And after days of trying to game the expectations of the media, both campaigns are now seeking to pressure the press to be tougher on their opponent and more lenient on their candidate as they evaluate the performance.

Like every television event, the opening minutes will be crucial—serving to both frame the public’s impressions and those of the press that will magnify them. According to aides, Donald Trump is planning to be affable and presidential on stage, while trying to drive the argument that he represents the change that voters want. His campaign launched a Snapchat filter nationwide Monday to rally younger voters frustrated with his rival. Hillary Clinton is going to highlight her qualifications but stands the added challenge of having to counter Trump’s long list of exaggerations and misstatements. Her campaign released a video with some of those Monday morning, while an aide has been tweeting 189 lies from Trump.

How Donald Trump can legally make himself richer in office. The battle for Ohio. And mourning Arnold Palmer, the presidents’ man.

Here are your must reads:

Must Reads

How Donald Trump Could Legally Make Himself Richer In Office
And how his businesses could get him in legal trouble [TIME]

Inside the Final Hours of Debate Prep for Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump
One goes big on policy. The other focuses on sound bites [TIME]

Inside the Fight for Ohio
Without it, Trump has a tough time winning, TIME’s Philip Elliott reports

Trump Suffers Another Bout of Russian Amnesia
Campaign says campaign advisor isn’t advising Trump [ABC]

For Some, Bush-Obama Rapport Recalls a Lost Virtue: Political Civility
A touching photo for more rancorous times [New York Times]

Fiscal Constraints Await the Next President
Either Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump would have little latitude to spend money [Wall Street Journal]

Taking Trump Seriously, Not Literally
The press takes him literally, but not seriously; his supporters take him seriously, but not literally [The Atlantic]

Sound Off

“Start looking at the Twitter feeds of ‘objective’ reporters, particularly our embeds. These are not profiles in courage and this is not journalism. There are people who cover our campaign who actually just slander our candidate on Twitter.” — Trump campaign manager Kellyanne Conway on MSNBC’s Morning Joe

“This election cycle is like a Batman movie version of a campaign. Both candidates are from Gotham. You have this ‘weight of the world hangs in the balance.’” — Clinton communications director Jennifer Palmieri to Politico

Bits and Bites

Donald Trump Launches Debate-Day Snapchat Filter Against ‘Crooked Hillary’ [TIME]

Clinton campaign manager concerned “Trump may lie” during debate [CBS]

Difficult Questions: How Much the Clinton-Trump Debates Matter [New York Times]

Why the Timing Is Perfect for This Year’s First Presidential Debate [TIME]

A Week of Whoppers From Donald Trump [New York Times]

President Obama Will Meet With Leonardo DiCaprio to Talk Climate Change [Entertainment Weekly]

Donald Trump Campaign Now Says Gennifer Flowers Will Not Attend the Presidential Debate [TIME]

George W. Bush Asked President Obama to Take His Photo [TIME]

Debate commission chief: Candidates should fact-check each other [CNN]

A beer company wants to build a wall [YouTube]

Trump Campaign Manager Bashes Reporters Ahead Of First Debate [Huffington Post]


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