Did you ever consider how much viewers, now stuck observing the final stretch (and stench) of this mightily dispiriting election on TV, might appreciate the occasional smile that a clever and surprising commercial could bring?
Though Donald Trump has repeatedly and publicly spurned the idea of "debate prep" as something weak that only a corrupt, upper-crusty woman who needs naps would indulge in, something changed by the third debate. That's when it became clear that the Republican nominee must have indeed done some prep work, because he clearly benefited from it.
"Why is Trump running commercials on CNN?" a friend asked me a couple of days ago. I wouldn't presume to speak for the Republican Presidential contender's media buying strategy, but my first guess was that his camp was running negative ads about Hillary on CNN for the same reason that every political campaign runs negative ads: because they work.
Donald Trump appeared offended by the notion that anyone might think his appearance at a town hall in New Hampshire was in any way preparation for the next debate. He seemed to react to the very idea of "preparation" as if it were somehow weak, female, and had cooties.