Thursday, September 15, 2016

The Donald Chronicles: Hail and Farewell

A slew (as in slough of despond) of new polls show Trump benefiting from leaking support for Hillary and gains by third party candidates, especially Gary Johnson.  While not adding to Trump's actual numbers, these movements shove him closer or ahead in both battleground states and generally.  Polling for GOP senatorial and House candidates are likewise looking better for them.

So we got him just where we want him.

No sooner had Politico suggested Five Reasons why Trump has hit his high point and can falter, the Donald lit up #3 ("Trump is getting cocky again") by first trying to turn a church visit into slamming his opponent--which some church folks would consider sacrilegious--and then ridiculing the black female minister who stopped him.  Winning a lot of black votes there.  (Actually motivating black voters to go to the polls thinking about this, among other outrages.)

Trump then refused to say whether he believed President Obama was born in the U.S., followed by a prepared statement issued by his campaign that said that yes, he does believe this--but the statement, said the WPost, was otherwise riddled with falsehoods.

Trump, Jr. made a gaffe--by Chiat's definition--by telling the truth about why the Donald won't release his tax returns.  Because they would be politically damaging.

The Trump House?  Newsweek explains why Trump's international business dealings would cause nightmares of conflict of interest (at best), and Jonathan Chiat explains why Trump's announced "plan" for what he will do with his business interests if elected is somewhere between nonsense and a recipe for prime corruption.

Meanwhile, Hillary took a few days off and came back to the campaign healthy and renewed in purpose.  In what looks like the most brilliant move of her campaign so far, she turned the supposed issue of her illness into a story about the vulnerability of many voters who are one illness away from losing their income:

“I certainly feel lucky — when I am under the weather, I can afford to take a few days off. Millions of Americans can’t. They either go to work sick or they lose a paycheck,” Clinton said. “I have met so many people living on a razor’s edge, one illness away from losing their job.”

Clinton then articulated the principle behind her proposed expansions to social insurance, saying that losing one’s job due to sickness “goes against everything we stand for as Americans, because some things should not come down to luck.”

She'll probably have to repeat this several times though, before most of the media gets it.

Margaret Carlson suggests that things are already turning around for Hillary, partly because of her re-focus derived from her days off, and from the work of her surrogates in the meantime, Bill C. and especially President Obama, who drew some defining distinctions between the candidates in his speech in Philadelphia:

“You’ve got one candidate in this race who’s released decades worth of her tax returns,” Obama said. “The other candidate is the first in decades who refuses to release any at all.”

He compared Trump’s foundation unfavorably with the Clinton Foundation, which he said “has saved countless lives around the world” through its work."

“The other candidate’s foundation took money other people gave to his charity and then bought a six-foot-tall painting of himself,” Obama said, referring to a Washington Post report on the Trump Foundation’s activities. “He had the taste not to go for the ten-foot version.”

President Obama also scored Trump for his praise of Putin--since then made even more troublesome by the very likely Russian theft of Colin Powell's emails:

Trump has praised Putin for being a “strong leader,” Obama said, after the Russian president “invades smaller countries,” jails his political opponents, controls his country’s media and has driven its economy into recession.

“I have to do business with Russia,” Obama said. “That’s part of foreign policy. But I don’t go around saying that’s my role model.”

Which brings us to a quote that's a few days old but keeps getting better with age:“Trump has somehow combined the sensibility of Joe McCarthy with an ideology that would get him investigated by the McCarthy committee.” By a Republican strategist.

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