Tuesday, October 11, 2016

The Donald Chronicles: It's Not All About Him

The Donald kept supplying headlines on Tuesday, dissing Paul Ryan via Twitter and an interview with Faux, "declaring war" on his own party, continuing to go off on various Clintons (although that this included funkster George Clinton is probably not literally true) with the idea (if there is one) according to the WSJournal, of motivating his voters while suppressing Hillary's.

The second part doesn't seem to be working, though.  And there is a sense that the campaign is turning from Total Trump to paying attention to the person most likely to be the next President of the United States.

Already on Monday Clinton was speaking to large enthusiastic crowds, including the largest of her campaign, in Ohio.

But as always her campaign is strategic.  On Tuesday she spoke in Florida, along with Al Gore, who has a lot of cred with Millennials on climate change.  He and Clinton both spoke on that issue--yes, an actual campaign event about the climate crisis!--but Gore also spoke authoritatively about how every vote counts, especially those votes for the person you really loathe by voting for third party candidates, especially in Florida.

Clinton also handled pro-Trump protesters effectively.  They shouted about Bill Clinton's alleged past, she reminded them of Florida's climate crisis future:
“Because this is what I want you to hear and understand,” she said. “At the rate we are going, one in eight homes in Florida could be under water by the end of the century.”

Somebody else with Millennial cred, the only person in political life more popular than Barack Obama at the moment, Michelle Obama, who took her swing state tour toNorth Carolina. Once again she gave a devastating critique of Trump's inadequacies for President without ever mentioning his name.

The second most popular, President Barack Obama, was also in North Carolina, and he expanded the argument beyond Clinton to defeating other Republicans, pointing out their venal hypocrisy: “You can’t have it both ways here,” he continued. “You can’t repeatedly denounce what is said by someone and then say, ‘But I’m still gonna endorse them to be the most powerful person on the planet and to put them in charge.’” NBC News suggested President Obama could be the key to a Clinton victory in NC.

All these appearances have as their prime strategy getting Dems to register (in Florida) and to vote (in NC, where early voting has started.)

Also in Florida, a federal judge has granted a one-day extension of voter registration due to hurricane Matthew, with the possibility of extending it longer.  He countered R gov Scott's objections as "poppycock."

Another national poll--NBC-- sees Clinton as up by 9 points in the four-race, by 10 v. Trump.  This one was taken entirely after the second debate.

Clinton's lead comes as early voting is underway, and her advantage in on the ground prep seems to be paying off.  According to the NYTimes: These results will have more effect than ever this year, as record numbers of people are expected to cast their votes early. So many Americans will have voted by Election Day — more than 40 percent in swing states, according to the Clinton campaign — that the winner could be all but settled before November."

But the Clinton campaign has expanded its reach with ads geared towards Independents and especially Republicans who've had enough of the Donald.
Another piece in the NYTimes begins:

Donald J. Trump's intensifying battle with his own party is tearing open the nation’s political map, pulling Republicans across the country into a self-destructive feud that could imperil dozens of lawmakers in Congress and potentially throw conservative-leaning states into Hillary Clinton’s column.

Democrats are moving swiftly to exploit Mr. Trump’s crumbling position in the presidential race, aiming to run up a big margin of victory for Mrs. Clinton and extend their political advantage into the congressional elections next month.

 Right now the Dems have the resources to look at multiple and simultaneous options.  The GOP has to look at how to use lesser resources.  But in the final weeks, it would not be surprising if both parties turn most of their attention to senatorial and congressional races.

On the sideshow that is likely to come center stage at some point, Clinton campaign chair John Podesta suggests that a Trump advisor had advance knowledge of his stolen emails, the theft of which is being investigated by the FBI.  As for what they purport to reveal, “If you are going to write about materials issued by @wikileaks, you should at least state they are product of illegal hack by a foreign govt,” Clinton’s press secretary Brian Fallon tweeted on Tuesday. “Media needs to stop treating Wikileaks like it is same as FOIA. Assange is colluding with Russian government to help Trump.”

In a later statement to reporters:“I’ve been involved in politics for nearly five decades,” Mr. Podesta told reporters aboard the Clinton campaign plane. “This definitely is the first campaign that I’ve been involved with in which I’ve had to tangle with Russian intelligence agencies,” he added, “who seem to be doing everything that they can on behalf of our opponent.”  He also suggested that Trump's foreign policy positions favored Putin.

The White House also affirmed that there will be further response to Russia's theft of emails in order to disrupt the American elections.  This is a serious threat to the integrity of the US process of government.  The NYTimes quotes White House press secretary Josh Earnest:

“There are a range of responses that are available to the president, and he will consider a response that is proportional,” Mr. Earnest said.  Whatever the president opts to do would probably not be announced in advance and may never be acknowledged or disclosed if it is carried out, Mr. Earnest said.

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