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The Lid: A Tale of Two Debate Preps…

Welcome to The Lid, your afternoon dose of the 2016 ethos… A person of interest has been identified in connection with the theft of a naked Donald Trump statue that was publicly on display in southern Florida. We’re guessing authorities want to locate the potential suspect to thank him.

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‘16 from 30,000

How do you prepare to take on an unpredictable opponent? Well, if you’re Hillary Clinton, you begin by readying to take on all the different types of Donald Trumps you've seen throughout this campaign. “He may be aggressive or he may lay back. That's hard to game out," a senior Clinton adviser told reporters on Wednesday. The Democratic nominee has been hunkered down in recent weeks both studying briefing books and planning for whatever version of Trump that takes the stage at Hofstra University on Monday. The GOP nominee, at least publicly, also seems unsure of which version of himself he’ll put on display in what has become one of the most heavily anticipated political events of modern times. "If she treats me with respect, I will treat her with respect,” Trump said earlier this week.

About the only thing that is clear right now is that both campaigns are remaining tight-lipped about how they’re getting ready for the showdown. Clinton seems to be spending more time in prep mode and certainly has the experience advantage. (NBC’s Monica Alba notes that Clinton has appeared on a debate stage nearly 40 times throughout her career.) Trump, however, has maintained a busy campaign schedule and even added a rally in Virginia on Saturday. Asked how his debate prep was going while getting a cheesesteak in Philadelphia on Thursday, Trump smirked and said: “Well, I'm here at Geno's. I think it’s going fine.”

Bottom line: Get your popcorn ready. And for everything you need to know about the first presidential debate this Monday go to nbcnews.com/debates.

POPPING ON NBC POLITICS

FOR THE RECORD…

“I really regret doing this.”

  • Hillary Clinton during her appearance on comedian Zach Galifianakis’ show “Between Two Ferns.”

TOMORROW’S SKED

Tim Kaine campaigns in Houston.

Chelsea Clinton campaigns for her mother in Flint, Michigan.