1. Quit. Barring a miracle, it’s all over.
2. If he stays in the race, he must open his debate performance with a statement so self-flagellating that Andrea Dworkin would beg him to shut up and move on, already. (I don’t see this happening.)
3. The pivot: point out that “while I say nasty things about women, Hillary Clinton kills them — with her votes for wars fought for fun and profit, with drones, with bombs, by supporting psychotic terrorists in Syria and Libya. I can become polite, but she can’t bring back her victims.” Leave Bill Clinton out of it. Nobody cares.
4. Show up so prepared that he runs circles around her on policy. Propose specifics that most Americans can get behind. Frankly, her policy chops aren’t that great. (I don’t see this happening either.)
5. Be direct. Respond to the audience questions respectfully and in detail. Don’t go off on tangents. View harsh questions as an opportunity to reveal that, actually, you’re a good person who’s misunderstood because your showmanship gets out of the way.
In the unlikely event that he can do this stuff, it probably won’t be enough to win. But it might save his personal reputation from further harm.
Then he should avoid mics and cameras for a year or two. Americans love a comeback story.