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Photos: top left: David Maril with the late Chuck Thompson, the voice of the Orioles and Colts, the summer he was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1993; top right: a perspective shot of Maril at Wrigley Field; featured photo: journalist Ken Decoste with the late, great Harry Caray and Maril.

Cavalcade of Columns

Don Rickles and Vladimir Putin would be good candidates for Hillary to select to portray Trump in her prepping for TV debates

Chris Wallace will be
the toughest and most effective
of the four chosen presidential debate moderators

Hillary should qualify
as the world record holder
for most prolific, and careless, use of emails

By David Maril

IF THE CLINTON campaign is looking for someone to play Donald Trump in preparation for the presidential debates, she should select comedian Don Rickles, armed with his full arsenal of insults and putdowns. Another half-humorous nomination they could consider is Russian President Vladimir Putin, a major-league bully on Trump’s level.

Even though Putin is obviously hoping Trump, a blustering fool he would hope to continually outsmart, will defeat Clinton, his love of the limelight would probably make him agreeable to playing such a role for Clinton. He’d also be hedging his bet, figuring she will probably win and it would be good for her to owe him a favor. This, of course, is not going to happen. Even with Clinton’s cavalier, careless and just plain old bad judgment, she’s not about to bring Putin, who is being accused of turning his team of hackers loose on her emails, in her election campaign.

Don Rickles, left, and Vladmir Putin: suitable Trump stand-ins

AT LEAST THE FIRST of the three scheduled nationally televised debates figure to draw, as Bernie Sanders would say, huge ratings. With such flawed and unpopular candidates trying to survive all the bad news continually dredged up from their pasts, this will give the undecided segment of the electorate a final chance to pick the lesser of the two evils.

In our world of scripted public appearances, the unpredictability of how the two candidates will perform is intriguing. Is Trump able to keep his cool, acting somewhat presidential, and not digress into his juvenile practice of name-calling and cheap-shot character assassination? What are the chances Hillary will be able to convince the audience she has ethics and is somewhat more trustworthy than a ruthless political hack? Will there be enough time in between the mudslinging to for the two candidates to discuss serious issues, offering detailed proposals and visions for the future?

THE SELECTION OF MODERATORS is interesting. Lester Holt, NBC anchor, is a stable, solid and professional choice to launch the debate series on Sept. 26. The second one, which is a Town Hall Format on Oct. 9th, figures to be chaotic, co-moderated by ABC alarmist Martha Raddatz and CNN journalist-entertainer Anderson Cooper.

If the two candidates survive the first two debates, they will need to be on the top of their games for the final, Oct. 29th, moderated by Chris Wallace. If Trump thinks he will get a break because Wallace is employed by Fox News, a PR machine for the Republican Party, he will suffer a humiliating experience. Chris Wallace, the son of the late Mike Wallace, is an old-fashioned hard-hitting interviewer who is a principled journalist. If the candidates avoid questions, Wallace will make sure the audience knows they are ducking the issues.

HATS OFF TO GOP Vice President nominee Mike Pence for not falling into the trap that the other major party male candidates have done, wearing stupid looking, cheap caps. Trump has achieved a new presidential fashion low by wearing ill-fitting hats that resemble a fishing cap, that was run over by a truck, with a suit and tie. Tim Kaine, Democratic VP nominee, has been following Trump’s lead, wearing caps on some speaking appearances that make him resemble the host at a Three Stooges convention.

THE GUINNESS BOOK OF WORLD RECORDS should put Hillary’s name down now as the all-time most prolific, and careless, user of emails. If she does the impossible and finds a way to lose to Trump, she could add to her personal fortune by signing as a pitch-person for one of the big companies related to email services. Blackberry, Google, Yahoo, AOL and other services should be bidding for her endorsement since she is obviously the most prolific emailer of all time. Who else can claim to having 13 different mobile devices at the same time?

IT SEEMS TO BE IMPOSSIBLE to keep money out of politics. According to a report in the New York Times, some Bernie Sanders supporters are upset over the financing for “Our Revolution,” the political organization the former presidential candidate has formed to address economic inequities and take on the power of special interests. With the tax status of the new organization, it is allowed to draw large donations from anonymous sources. This source of funding goes against what the Sanders people stood for in his campaign.

Charlie Chaplin, circa 1916 and the late Gene Wilder

THE GREAT GENE WILDER, who died recently at the age of 83, was a late 20th century version of Charlie Chaplin. Both were intellectual and complex comedians who had so much depth to their humor. At times deceptively simple and clownish, Wilder projected a Chaplin-type sense of vulnerability.

There are a number of movies he did, such as “Blazing Saddles” and “Young Frankenstein,” that receive impressive recognition. My personal favorite, however is “Silver Streak.” Besides having a number of memorable scenes with Richard Pryor, the comedy-thriller, which took place on a train from Los Angeles to Chicago, had a tremendous cast. Beside Jill Clayburgh, the romantic interest, Patrick McGoohan was a terrific villain and Ned Beatty a character as a detective.

CBS WILL BE CHALLENGED to find the appropriate person to replace the retiring Charles Osgood as host of the Sunday Morning program. The 83-year-old Osgood had the rare blend of quirkiness and depth of perspective to strike a balance between offering off-beat and relevant features at a relaxed but lively pace. Here’s hoping they don’t even consider Charlie Rose, who already wears too many hats.

BOSTON HAS SOME SEEMINGLY contradictory values when it comes to historic preservation. On one hand, panic sets in every time there’s talk, following real estate transactions and redevelopment that the commercial electronic CITGO gasoline sign in Kenmore Square may not be saved. Thousands of people step forward with tearful testimony about how nostalgic the gasoline sign is and what it means to them.

But on the other hand, a few miles away, at Harvard Square, there’s mostly apathy that a historic newspaper-magazine stand may be forced to give way to something more in line with bistros and coffee shops. Never mind, in this supposedly academic area, that Out Of Town News represents a period of history, supplying magazines, newspapers and other print reading material from all over the world.

WHATEVER HAPPENED to the driving principle “keep right except to pass’? It is a tossup as to which type of driver is more dangerous: the slowpoke going below the posted speed in the passing lane or the demolition derby race car driver who passes in the far right lane.

David Maril has been a columnist, sports editor and copy editor at three newspapers published in Massachusetts, winning numerous writing and section-design awards. As sports editor of the Milford Daily News, he covered the Boston Red Sox, Celtics and the New England Patriots. At the Brockton Enterprise he served as vice president of the newspaper’s guild, dealing with contract negotiations and workforce issues through difficult economic times. He also served on the board of the Boston Chapter of the Baseball Writers’ Association of America, where he is a lifetime member and voter in Major League Baseball’s annual Cooperstown Hall of Fame balloting. For several years was a columnist for Voice Of Baltimore. The son of the late artist Herman Maril, whose work is included in over 100 museum collections, David splits his time between Cape Cod, MA and Baltimore, MD. He currently serves as president of the Herman Maril Foundation, which supports curatorial projects, art education programs and exhibitions related to the study of his father’s work. The website, featuring his father’s artwork, is hermanmaril.com. A graduate of Park School in Brooklandville, MD, David majored in English at Clark University in Worcester, MA.

If you wold like to comment on this blog David can be reached at david@davidmaril.com.