Between now and election day, November 8, a look back at the political circus during the prior week.
The second of three Presidential Debates took place at Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri last night.
Both Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump and Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton did what they needed to do to keep the state of the race where it is, but not much more.
My take: Second Debate Another Draw
A CNN/ORC poll, skewed toward Democrats, of debate watchers gave the night to Clinton 57% to Trump 34%.
“I think the market declared it a draw and has no more clue after debate then before, at least not in watching the S&P futures,” said JJ Kinahan, chief strategist at TD Ameritrade.
The defections have stopped for the moment by Republican elected officials following Trump’s performance in the debate.
A conference call of Republican lawmakers this morning kept the party faithful in line, but also provided cover to do what is necessary to keep their majority in the US House of Representatives.
House Speaker Paul Ryan, however, told lawmakers he would no longer defend Trump. Ryan also will not campaign with Trump.
The Republican National Committee are scheduled to talk at 5 p.m. today.
Will the party stop spending resources to get Trump elected President?
Prior to last night’s debate, Trump held a press conference seated with four women from the past – Juanita Broaddrick, Paula Jones, Kathleen Willey, and Kathy Shelton, all but Shelton have accused former President Bill Clinton of sexual assault. The fourth was a 12-year-old rape victim at the time (1970s), whom Clinton was defense attorney for her attacker.
GOP vice presidential nominee Mike Pence became enmeshed in a Wow! moment last night when Trump said he and Pence had not talked about Syria. Trump went on to say he did not agree with Pence on his position and comments on coming to the aid of the Syrian people in Aleppo, Syria.
In what came across as a joke to me, others found sinister when Trump said that Clinton would be in jail if he were President.
Trump prefaced this by announcing that if elected he would “instruct” his Attorney General to appoint a special prosecutor to investigate Clinton and her use of a private email server while Secretary of State.
As a point-of-fact, a President can suggest to an AG a special prosecutor, but cannot order or instruct it be done.
Clinton had heads spinning over her explanation of why she said to an audience of bankers that there is a public position and a private position, which was revealed by hacked emails from her campaign manager John Podesta.
Clinton said she had just watched the movie “Lincoln” and how the 16th President had to cajole members of Congress to pass the 13th Amendment to the Constitution.
Does that clear it up for you on being duplicitous?
Prior to last night’s debate, an ABC poll said 43% of Americans think Trump should drop out of the race for the White House.
Trump owned up to using the nearly $1 billion loss he claimed on his taxes in 1995 as a deduction to not pay personal federal income taxes for a number of years.
Clinton keeps saying she would target the head of the Islamic State if she is elected.
Does this mean that President Barack Obama is not going after the would-be caliph?
Russia and Syria should be investigated for war crimes, Clinton said last night.
Trump said that Aleppo has already fallen. The GOP wannabe also wrongly stated that the Syrian regime and Russia are going after the Islamic State.
In response to a voter question, Clinton and Trump actually addressed the issue of the Supreme Court last night.
Clinton wants a Justice who will overturn Citizen United, strengthen voting rights and uphold Roe V Wade and marriage equality.
Trump wants a Justice cut from the same cloth of the late Justice Antonin Scalia. He pointed to the list of 20 possible jurists he has put out already.
Pence told CNN today that he is sticking with Trump contrary to the rumors that he is ready to abandon ship. The Indianapolis Star, the Governor’s home newspaper, reports Pence is keeping his options open privately.
A poll from NBC News/Wall Street conducted Saturday and Sunday before the debate has Clinton with double-digit lead 46% to 35% for Trump.
The number of viewers dropped about 10 million from the first debate, but then NBC did not preempt Sunday Night Football for last night’s debate.
For those wondering about talking time, according to CNN, Trump spoke 40 minutes and 10 seconds. Clinton spoke 39 minutes and 5 seconds.
In other words virtually tied.
Following last night’s debate many may see the election as I do:
Voters Face Dilemma
The third and final Presidential Debate is nine days away on October 19 at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, Nevada.
“The Wrath of Khan,” no not the Star Trek movie, but the father of an American war hero who was slain on the battlefield.
Khazir Khan is back criticizing Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump for saying during Sunday night’s debate that if he had been President at the time, Khan’s son would not have been killed in battle.
Fighting back, fellow billionaire Warren Buffet is recoiling against Trump’s charge during the debate that he paid no income taxes. Buffet, unlike Trump, released his tax returns.
Buffett said he had paid federal taxes every year since 1944, and that in 2015 he paid $1,845,577 in federal income tax on $11,563,931 in adjusted gross income, donating more than $2.8 billion to charity without taking deductions.
House Speaker Republican Paul Ryan told members of his caucus to do what they have to do to be re-elected and keep control of the House of Representatives – even if it meant cutting ties with Trump.
The GOP defections have slowed, but continue.
Trump has declared war on Ryan. Yet Ryan has not withdrawn his endorsement of Trump.
Ryan is being pragmatic and doing what he can as Speaker to ensure the Republicans keep control of the House.
I wrote about all of this back in February: An American Revolution
With Trump continuing to sink in the polls, recall I wrote this in July of 2015: Trump Effect – Or How to Throw an Election
Trump tweeted today that the “shackles” are off so he can run his campaign the way he wants.
“It is so nice that the shackles have been taken off me and I can now fight for America the way I want to,” Trump said.
“I’m going to make three, four, five stops a day,” Trump said. “I may be limping across that finish line, but we’re going to get across that finish line.”
Does this make sense?
Trump fired his Virginia campaign manager for staging a protest in Washington DC outside the Republican National Committee office on Monday while Chairman Reince Priebus was on a conference calls with committee members to reaffirm support for Trump.
That fired Trump supporter is still a strong advocate for Trump as he told CNN today.
While Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton has to contend with more hacked emails being leaked.
The third batch of emails was released by Wikileaks of emails hacked from Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta.
The Clinton campaign has been in contact with the US Justice Department about the emails and how to handle the growing scandal.
Florida voters were given one extra day to register – tomorrow – over the protest of Governor Rick Scott by a federal judge. The plaintiffs wanted an extra week.
Will early voting hand Clinton the election before November 8?
It could happen.
In response to his running mate’s lewd comments released over the weekend, GOP vice presidential candidate Mike Pence said, “The other part of my faith is I believe in grace. I’ve received it. I believe in it. I believe in forgiveness, and we are called to forgive as we have been forgiven.”
The numbers are in: 66.5 million tuned into the debate on Sunday night.
That is a drop of about 18 million views from those who watched the first debate. Then again NBC did not air the debate, but stuck with Sunday Night Football.
About that “locker room talk“: Voters Face Dilemma
My take: Second Debate Another Draw.
“Your vote really, really, really matters.”
That was former Vice President and 2000 Democratic presidential candidate Al Gore to voters in Florida on Tuesday as he attempted to rouse Millennials to turn out and vote for Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton.
Gore was brought in to focus on climate change, which surveys reveal is a major concern of Millennials.
In spite of Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump’s statements from the past biting him in the back side, the election is not a given for Clinton.
It all depends on turnout of the vote.
Trump is continuing his war with the Republican Party – especially the elected leadership of the party.
Clinton is deflecting and ignoring hacked emails insinuating collusion with the US Department of Justice and favorable treatment and access by the US State Department while she was Secretary of State for “Friends of Bill“, donors to the Clinton Foundation.
Accusations swirl that Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin and coordinating attacks on Clinton.
Trump campaign manager KellyAnne Conway told Republican lawmakers today on supporting or not supporting Trump, “enough pussyfooting around.”
Most believe the wording was intentional.
Florida Republican Governor Rick Scott 0 – Clinton Campaign & Democrats 2.
As I noted yesterday, Democrats wanted an extra week to register voters in Florida due to Hurricane Matthew, but only received one day. Today, however, the same judge who granted the extension ordered another extension to make it a full week over the protest of Scott.
Trump picked up two point after Sunday night’s debate.
Clinton is no longer 11 points ahead, but only nine, 46% to 37%, per NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll.
Leaked emails from Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta reveal that Clinton picked Tim Kaine to be her running mate back in July, 2015.
After a woman at a rally in Newton, Iowa said if Clinton wins, she is ready for an actual revolution, GOP vice presidential nominee Mike Pence responded, “Don’t say that.”
A poll of Utah voters reveal that #NeverTrump independent candidate Evan McMullin pulling 22% of the voter versus Clinton and Trump each with 26%.
Now some 33 states have asked assistance from the FBI over concerns their election systems may be hacked.
Today it was revealed an election vendor in Florida was hacked.
Trump stands by his call for a return of the death penalty in New York and his position against the now exonerated Central Park 5, who were accused erroneously of rape.
Podesta claims the Trump campaign was given a heads up about the hacks of the Democratic National Committee and other Democratic targets of Russian hackers.
Twenty-six percent of Republican governors and members of Congress are refusing to endorse Trump, according to a survey by USA Today.
According to NBC News, some half a million votes have already been cast in the presidential race.
Did interim Democratic National Committee Chairwoman Donna Brazile leak a question to the Clinton campaign prior to a town hall back in March before Clinton squared off against Bernie Sanders?
Emails reveal a slur against Catholics by a top Clinton aide.
A Catholic group demands resignation.
From an email exchange from 2011:
“Friggin’ Murdoch baptized his kids in Jordan where John the Baptist baptized Jesus,” John Halpin at the progressive think tank Center for American Progress wrote. “Many of the most powerful elements of the conservative movement are all Catholic (many converts) from the SC and think tanks to the media and social groups. It’s an amazing bastardization of the faith. They must be attracted to the systematic thought and severely backwards gender relations and must be totally unaware of Christian democracy.”
“I imagine they think it is the most socially acceptable politically conservative religion,” Clinton’s communications director Jennifer Palmieri responded. “Their rich friends wouldn’t understand if they became evangelicals.”
“Make sure you get out and vote,” Trump told supporters on Tuesday at rally in Florida. “November 28th.”
Uh, Donald, the election is on November 8th, not 28th.
More than words?
Several women are accusing Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump of unwanted advances, which went beyond “locker room talk.”
Trump is also coming under fire for saying during a Florida rally, that Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton “has to go to jail.”
The election is boiling down to a gender war.
Trump may not be getting the feminist or metrosexual, urbane male vote, but he may have a lock on the bubba, jock vote and conservative women who cannot stomach Clinton.
He said he never touched them. Several shes said yes, he did.
The GOP presidential wannabe denies all charges.
The women who are talking say the only reason they are doing so is because Trump denied ever acting upon his words.
Clinton and her campaign continue to deflect that the hacked emails coming out almost daily on Wikileaks were stolen. People should ignore the content and focus on the fact the emails were purloined and result of a crime being made public.
Last night several CNN reporters and anchors stopped saying, “hacked” about the emails, and began referring to them as “stolen,” feeding into the Clinton story line.
First Lady Michelle Obama at a rally for Clinton in New Hampshire today said that Trump was guilty of violating basic human decency with his rhetoric and actions about women.
She went on to accuse Trump of being a bad role model for boys about what it is to be a man.
“Strong men do not need to put down women to be powerful,” the FLOTUS said.
The First Lady went on to note that women have “all the power we need” to win the election. She stressed this was an election of women versus men, of men who cherish women.
Trump supporters are starting to make the case to vote for the reality television star to ensure the Supreme Court does not turn decidedly left.
At a rally in Florida, Trump focused on the hacked emails and the content showing an apparent link to special interest influence on the Clinton campaign and links with the media.
Trump said this election would be last chance to save the nation.
Also being lashed out at was what Trump is now calling the “corporate media.”
Uncle Bernie Sanders is giving Clinton a pass on the hacked emails saying, “The job of the progressive movement is to look forward not backward. No matter what Secretary Clinton may have said years ago behind closed doors…“
But was that not a big part of Sanders campaign against Clinton during the primaries?
Politico reports the exact same wording in a question from TV One host to Clinton during a debate with Sanders in March as the same as in an email from interim Democratic National Committee Chair Donna Brazile.
Why in the world is the Trump campaign pulling out of Virginia?
The hacked emails reveal a plan by the Clinton campaign to go after “needy Latinos.”
“Needy Latinos,” Clinton campaign chariman John Podesta urged Clinton in a 2015 email to call former Energy Secretary Fedrico Pena, who is “close to committing but carrying some baggage,” and former New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson, “notwithstanding the fact that he can be a dick.”
In an interview with a Serbian magazine, Trump issued an apology to the Balkan nation for the bombing of the country during the Administration of President Bill Clinton.
“The bombing of Serbs, who were our allies in both world wars, was a big mistake,” Trump told the Serbian weekly magazine Nedeljnik for an article published on its website Thursday. “Serbians are very good people. Unfortunately, the Clinton administration caused them a lot of harm, but also throughout the Balkans, which they made a mess out of.“
Not happy with the choices for President?
Maybe this is a solution: Voters Only Hope
Men give it up.
As First Lady Michelle Obama said on Thursday, women have the votes.
Women have the power.
When it comes to Red State‘s Eric Erickson and his ilk, time to go back to the caves for suggesting repeal of the 19th Amendment, which gave women the right to vote.
That is one genie that will not be going back in the bottle.
Get over it.
This does not mean the election is over – but if this continues as a battle between men and women – men lose.
From the woodwork – seems now one woman after another is suddenly revealing allegations of unwanted sexual attention from Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump.
The question now becomes if Republicans can keep majority control in both the House of Representatives and the Senate.
The House will probably remain GOP, but the Senate is a real toss-up.
Trump is losing over his personal foibles.
Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton is winning as the public and media give only passing reference to her publicly known policy positions which are contrary to what she tells voters – open borders, open trade, one big hemispheric trade zone.
In a speech to supporters in North Carolina today, Trump provided wiggle room to those accusing him of sexual assault by saying the stories were “in almost all cases, nonsense.”
How none of this came out during the primary season is almost beyond belief.
How none of this never came out in the tabloids over the years is also bending credulity.
Do not misconstrue what I am writing. I am not defending Trump, nor am I a supporter of his nor of Clinton.
Speaker of the House Paul Ryan is sticking to his position of campaigning to maintain control of the House and presenting the GOP plan for the nation. Ryan is not mentioning nor defending Trump.
Trump was not mention nor did the subject of the scandals surrounding him come up during a question and answer between Ryan and college Republican students today in Madison, Wisconsin.
Billy Bush, at the center of the controversial remarks released over last weekend by Trump, is not going quietly nor gently into the dark night as NBC attempts to get rid of him.
The National Republican Senatorial Campaign has dropped Trump’s name from fundraising emails.
Clinton in a written deposition, as part of lawsuit by JudicialWatch over the use of a private email server while Secretary of State, denies knowing if she was ever told that use was a violation of or conflicted with federal record-keeping laws.
Vice President Joe Biden said that former President Bill Clinton’s sexual hijinx “shouldn’t matter” during the current election cycle.
Clinton is claiming Trump “stalked” her during last Sunday night’s debate in an appearance on the Ellen DeGeneres Show.
One Georgia county has had voter registration extended due to Hurricane Matthew while Democrats in North Carolina go to court to extend registration in their state.
Hacked emails reveal the Clinton campaign prepared for questions about the dalliances of former Prez Bill.
Other emails reveal that the Clinton campaign in 2008 did in fact consider polling voters about rumors involving then-Sen. Barack Obama’s cocaine use and about his late father’s Muslim faith.
What did the Clinton 2008 campaign consider?
* 1 Obama was the only candidate at a recent event not to cover his heart during the national anthem and he has stopped wearing an American flag pin.
* 2 Obama benefited from a land deal from a contributor who has been indicted for corruption.
* 3 Obama would personally negotiate with the leaders of terrorist nations like Iran and North Korea without preconditions.
* 4 Obama voted against allowing people to use handguns to defend themselves against intruders.
* 5 Obama plans to raise taxes by 180 (one hundred and eighty) billion dollars a year to pay for his government-run health care plan
* 6 Obama voted repeatedly against emergency funding bills for U.S. troops in Iraq and Afghanistan.
* 7 Obama’s father was a Muslim and Obama grew up among Muslims in the world’s most populous Islamic country.
* 8 Obama is ranked as one of the ten most liberal members of the Senate because of his support of issues like gay adoption.
* 13 Obama voted against requiring medical care for aborted fetuses who survive the procedure.
* 14 Obama supports giving driver’s licenses to undocumented immigrants.
* 15 Obama described his former use of cocaine as using “a little blow.”
Rigged, I tell ya. It’s rigged!
That’s the line of defense coming out of the mouth of Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump as woman after woman is suddenly recalling acts of sexual misconduct.
No, I agree with Speaker of the House Paul Ryan, the election is not rigged.
Is the timing questionable?
Then there are those hacked emails, which the campaign of Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton will neither confirm or deny authenticity.
Nothing to see hear. Move along. These were stolen – so ignore the content.
The latest ABC/Washington Post poll shows a statistical tie between Clinton and Trump.
What is going on here?
Last weekend everyone said Trump was toast.
The 47%-43% race is at the same numbers as prior to the party conventions in July.
That poll has noted that 2/3 of voters were not swayed by the obscene locker room talk video released a week ago of Trump.
The latest Electoral College poll has Clinton in a blowout 118 votes over Trump.
Hacked emails reveal that Clinton believes that environmentalists should “get a life.”
The Clinton campaign is pushing back on the emails being released by saying: “What did Trump know, and when did he know it?” asks a Clinton campaign essay that argues both circumstances should be seen as “effort[s] to steal private campaign documents in order to influence an election.”
Looking ahead to Wednesday’s third and final Presidential Debate, Trump told supporters yesterday: “Athletes, they make them take a drug test, right? I think we should take a drug test prior to the debate,” he said to cheers at a campaign rally. “Why don’t we do that? We should take a drug test, prior — because I don’t know what’s going on with her, but at the beginning of her last debate, she was all pumped up at the beginning, and at the end it was like, ‘Oh, take me down.’“
At a fundraiser, Clinton talked about how “painful” the election was and went on to say: “I take absolutely no satisfaction in what is happening on the other side with my opponent. I am not at all happy about that, because it hurts my country. It hurts our democracy. It sends terrible messages to so many people here at home and around the world.”
The leaks also uncovered $1 million offered to the Clinton Foundation by Qatar for five minutes of time with former President Bill Clinton.
Pay to play?
Scuttlebutt has it that former New York Mayor Mike Bloomberg is hankering to be Secretary of State in a Clinton Administration.
Trump surrogate and former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani is doing his imitation of one of the monkeys with his “see no evil” routine saying about Trump’s female accusers, the assaults “couldn’t possibly have happened.”
The Clinton campaign tried unsuccessfully to move back the Illinois primary this election season, according to hacked emails: “The overall goal is to move the IL primary out of mid-March, where they are currently a lifeline to a moderate Republican candidate after the mostly southern Super Tuesday,” Mook wrote. “IL was a key early win for (GOP presidential candidate Mitt) Romney” in 2012.
Clinton and staff thought the private email server scandal would blow over a weekend and be the end of it.
They were wrong.
“Goal would be to cauterize this just enough so it plays out over the weekend and dies in the short term.”
Not happy with the choices for President?
Maybe this is a solution: Voters Only Hope
Tune in next week for another Political Circus.