“Clinton has to be careful -- she could get everything right and still potentially lose the debates if she comes off as too condescending, too much of a know-it-all.”I don't think he's being sexist -- I thik he's acknowledging the reality of sexism (and American anti-elitism). This is a challenge for Clinton.
I have one quibble I have with the Times story -- I don't agree with this:
Mr. Trump said in the interview that he would “rather not” attack Mrs. Clinton on personal grounds, including Bill Clinton’s extramarital affairs.Trump's fellow Republicans didn't struggle in debates with him because he was unpredictable. They struggled because they couldn't attack him on issues or style, for the obvious reason that his approach to issues (simple-minded, alternately punitive and grandiose) and style (bullying, vindictive) were precisely what Republican primary voters craved. Voters in the GOP primaries wanted to believe that all of America's problems could be solved by a hostile guy at the end of the bar just making stuff up, and intimidating anyone who challenged him. They wanted to believe that everything in America will be fine if evil, mostly darker-skinned people are just ground into the dust under a strongman's boot -- and they enjoyed watching Trump play the role of that strongman, imagining that every time he was cruel to a fellow candidate he was modeling how pitilessly he'd treat terrorists or Mexicans. Trump's opponents couldn't beat him because he was precisely what their party wanted.
“If she hits me, though -- you have to see what happens,” Mr. Trump said.
It was this unpredictability that often made Mr. Trump an elusive target for fellow Republicans in the primary debates....
Trump isn't what America as a whole wants -- maybe 45% of America (if we're lucky), but not a majority -- so that's an advantage Clinton will have. But she knows he'll be a bully in the debates. Everyone knows that. It's just not clear precisely how, or what her best response will be.