Tag Archives: Hillary Clinton

Avoiding the ‘horse race’

The coverage of the Joe Biden-Donald Trump race for president is testing my patience.

It is so heavily focused on the “horse-race” aspect of the effort. Who’s up? Who’s down? Trend lines? Statistical probabilities? Betting odds?

It’s making my head spin.

If the 2016 campaign taught us anything, it ought to have taught us to dive much more deeply into the issues driving the campaign than the horse race aspect of it. Hillary Clinton won more votes than Trump. But she lost the race. You know the drill: Trump won enough Electoral College votes to eke out a victory, only to lie relentlessly about his “landslide” victory over Hillary.

In fact, though, Hillary’s final vote total reflected almost exactly what the average of the polls showed on Election Day.

But we now have a new contest. Joe Biden is “ahead” at the moment. I just don’t want to get fixated on that part of the campaign. I want to call attention on this blog to the differences in the candidates’ stance on issues … although it is damn near impossible to determine what Donald Trump thinks about anything of substance.

I’ll just have to persevere through the rest of this campaign. I will do my level best to ignore the polls. If only the media would stop reminding me hourly of where the candidates stand in relation to each other’s standing.

I’m ready to vote. I am ready for this chapter to end. I am ready to get on with the rest of the story, wherever it leads.

Settle down, nerves

Am I allowed to express a bit of nervousness? Sure I am! This is my blog and I can say whatever I deem appropriate!

So, here goes …

I am getting slightly nervous that Donald Trump, on whose watch we have seen a pandemic rocket out of control and producing an epic economic collapse, could actually be re-elected to a second term as president of the United States.

Do not misread this nervousness. I am not predicting it will happen. Nor am I going to predict that Joe Biden will end our long national nightmare with an Election Night victory over Trump.

I just listen to Trump’s bellicosity, his anger, his in-our-face declarations that Biden will lead us straight to hell and I am filled with dread that Trump’s base of supporters is getting fired up. Worse, I am shuddering at the prospect of Trump persuading those few undecided voters out there that he’s their guy.

He is playing into many Americans’ fears about the unrest that is boiling up in cities across the nation.

Joe Biden can point to Trump’s abject incompetence in his early handling of the pandemic. Trump, though, is seeking to portray Biden as being soft on the violence that has erupted on many city streets.

Dare I remind anyone that all of this is happening … on Donald Trump’s watch? There. I just did.

Trump managed to trash Hillary Clinton in 2016 sufficiently to eke out an Electoral College victory. I am not going to suggest a similar event will occur this time, with Trump losing the actual vote by even more than he did four years ago but still winning the Electoral College.

I am going to express my fear that it could happen. The very idea of a second Donald Trump term is likely to cost me more than a few sleepless nights.

Who’s he calling ‘nasty’?

This mini-photo gallery showed up today on my Facebook feed and I thought it to be worth a brief comment here.

The three “nasty women” from the top down are Hillary Rodham, former first lady/U.S. senator/secretary of state/Democratic presidential nominee; Elizabeth Warren, a current U.S. senator and former presidential candidate; and Kamala Harris, another current senator and the pending Democratic nominee for vice president.

The guy on the left, of course, is … well, you know who it is. He has thrown the “nasty” epithet at all of those distinguished women.

Oh, the fourth woman? That’s Ghislaine Maxwell, former girlfriend/confidante/alleged “recruiter” of victims for the late millionaire Jeffrey Epstein, the pedophile and sexual assailant who hanged himself in a New York City jail cell.

Donald Trump said he wanted to “wish her well” as she faces charges of being an accomplice to Epstein’s hideous behavior with underage girls.

Where I come from, Maxwell’s (alleged) conduct is way beyond “nasty.”

However, this social media illustration does speak volumes about the principles and what passes for a moral compass that drives Donald J. Trump.

May we ponder this for just a moment while we think about who we want sitting in the Oval Office?

Why does he want this job?

(AP Photo/Jeffrey Phelps)

I have been pondering something privately that I now want to share publicly. It is this: Why does Donald J. Trump want to keep doing a job I believe he hates doing? 

I long have believed that Trump accepted the notion in 2016 that he was going to lose the presidential election to Hillary Clinton. The polls had him trailing all the way to Election Day; it turned out he lost the actual vote, but won the Electoral College by a narrow margin … but you know all that.

I do not believe in my gut that Donald Trump likes going to work every day. I long have thought that he detests the notion of answering to Congress, or even to voters, you know, the folks who are actually in charge of matters involving government. He isn’t wired that way.

Trump spent his entire adult life being his own boss. He pushed people around and bullied them. He keeps doing it today. Trump doesn’t grasp the limitations of his office or understand why the framers wrote the Constitution the way they did, giving Congress and the judiciary equal doses of power.

Forgive the psychobabble, but it appears to me — sitting out here in Flyover Country — that Trump merely relishes being at the center of attention. Even when it casts him in hideously negative terms. It’s a form of masochism, I suppose. He doesn’t like being told he’s an a**hole, but getting that kind of negative bounce means he has our attention.

So now he wants another four years in the hottest seat on Earth. How come?

He can’t speak intelligently or with any nuance or detail about legislation. Trump doesn’t study. He doesn’t read. Trump admits to being bored with “presidential daily briefing” papers. Watch him read from prepared text and you well might get the sense — as I do — that he sounds like a prisoner of war being told to read a propaganda statement.

I am totally, completely and categorically prepared to give this guy the boot from my White House. He doesn’t like living in the place he once called a “dump” and he damn sure doesn’t like doing the job to which he was elected to do.

He embodies mercurial temperament … or much worse

These three images of Donald Trump alongside other individuals of some note tells me plenty about why I consider him unfit for the office of president of the United States.

He wanted to toss former quarterback Colin Kaepernick “off the field” because he chose to protest police brutality by “taking a knee” during the National Anthem at pro football games.

Trump led rally crowds in “Lock her up!” chants when email controversy swirled around Hillary Rodham Clinton during her run for the presidency in 2016.

Donald Trump then spoke of Ghislaine Maxwell, the former girlfriend and confidante of the late sexual predator Jeffrey Epstein and wished “her well,” even as she stands accused of providing underage girls for Epstein to rape.

I should say that Kaepernick hasn’t been charged with a crime. Nor has Hillary Clinton. Ghislaine Maxwell? She could go to prison for the rest of her life if she is convicted of doing what has been alleged.

Do you get my point? It is that Trump’s presidential temperament is, shall we say, nonexistent. He doesn’t demonstrate an ounce of nuance. A pro athlete of color becomes the target of vulgar epithets; a political opponent who testified for hours before Congress should be locked up for reasons that Trump never specifies; a woman who’s a friend of Trump who has been accused of conspiring with a despicable sexual animal gets “well wishes.”

The man needs to get the boot from our White House.

Follow the Nixon lead, Mr. POTUS

Donald J. Trump just cannot commit to accepting the election results in November … if he loses to Joe Biden.

He sought to justify his skepticism of the results, casting doubt on their legitimacy, in an interview with Fox News Sunday host Chris Wallace.

Simply by refusing to accept those results, Donald Trump is seeking to undermine the work done at the state and local levels of government to ensure that our elections are safe, free and secure. That’s how the president rolls. He said the same thing prior to the 2016 election, that he might challenge the results if Hillary Clinton won that contest. It turned out that Trump won; I don’t recall Clinton holding out for a possible challenge after she conceded defeat to Trump.

This is part and parcel of Trump’s background, starting with the obvious lack of public service experience. He was bred on the notion that everyone in business is out to cut someone else’s throat; therefore, they weren’t to be trusted. Had he an ounce of public service experience, Trump might take a different, more magnanimous approach to election results.

I harken to the 1960 presidential election. Vice President Richard Nixon lost that contest by a whisker to Sen. John F. Kennedy. JFK’s plurality totaled 112,000 votes nationally. Questions arose about the vote count in Illinois, where Kennedy won that state’s 27 electoral votes by just a handful. Republican operatives urged the VP to challenge the Illinois vote count, to tally up the ballots all over again. Nixon chose instead to let the vote count stand, to allow the president-elect to begin his transition to the most exalted office in the land.

Nixon put the country ahead of any personal political gain. To be sure, had Illinois’ electoral votes gone to Nixon, he still would have lost the electoral vote. But my point is that the vice president didn’t want to subject the nation to additional and, to his mind, pointless turmoil. His eight years as VP in the Eisenhower administration and his time in Congress taught him something about the value of public service.

Donald Trump has zero understanding of that need and will do all he can to sow seeds of doubt and discord in an electoral process that we all cherish.

Wishing media could dial back Biden’s poll reporting

The media are having a field day reporting on Joseph R. Biden Jr.’s spectacular poll ratings against Donald J. Trump Sr.

Biden is leading Trump by double digits, the media tell us. Biden is leading Trump in virtually all the critical “swing states,” they report. Biden might already have enough Electoral College votes in the bank to assure his election in November, the reporting continues.

I want the media to dial it back. Why? Because it is beginning to fill me with a sense of hope that might not hold up as we head down the stretch toward Election Day.

My memory is vivid on some things. One of those matters involves what the media reported at this stage of the 2016 campaign. They said Hillary Clinton would cruise to an easy election.

I bought that narrative four years ago. I was so confident that I attended an election-night watch party with my wife at some friends’ house in Amarillo. We went there expecting Hillary Clinton to make a victory speech upon getting the concession call from Donald Trump.

Uhh, it didn’t happen. My worst political nightmare came to pass on election night 2016.

I am acutely aware that Joe Biden doesn’t carry nearly the negative baggage that Clinton did against Trump. I also am aware that much of Trump’s message that sold against Clinton is hitting the deck with a thud against Biden.

We have an economy in collapse, the nation’s response to the pandemic has been disastrous. Trump is campaigning against his own record as president, if you allow me to parse the rhetoric he keeps using.

I know the media have a role to play and a job to do. Part of all that is to tell us what the polling is telling us about the race as it develops. It’s just making me nervous.

Hoping for a President Biden … but not predicting it!

I learned a bitter lesson from the 2016 presidential election, which is that I am a terrible political prognosticator.

I predicted Hillary Clinton would be elected president. Late in the campaign I was foolish enough to think she’d win in a landslide. I couldn’t foresee the FBI reopening an investigation into that email non-story, nor could I predict that Clinton would ignore key swing Rust Belt states down the stretch.

Thus, the door was flung wide open for Donald Trump to traipse through. He won. I was horrified. I still am horrified at the prospect of this clown’s potential re-election.

Trump’s polling at this moment looks dire. He well might lose to Joe Biden, the Democrats’ presumed nominee. Biden is polling 10 to 12 percentage better than Trump. The president looks as though he is flailing.

However, I am not going to predict that this Biden advantage will hold up. I will hope for it. I might even pray for it.

Joe Biden was not my first choice to be the Democratic Party nominee. I wanted someone to jump out of the tall grass and surprise everyone, mimicking the way Jimmy Carter did in 1976. That never happened.

Biden’s campaign was considered so much road kill after the first two primary events. Then he got an endorsement from Rep. James Clyburn of South Carolina, the leading African-American member of Congress; Biden won the South Carolina primary on the backs of black voters.

Now he stands on the verge of being nominated. I am all in.

Biden pledges to restore “the soul” of the nation that has seen its soul captured and re-created in the hideous image of Donald Trump. He now is talking about immediately reversing Trump’s decisions: on immigrants who were brought here illegally as children; on removing the nation from the World Health Organization; on removing us from the Paris Climate Accords; on restoring our commitment to the Iran nuclear deal.

Biden got beaten up during Democratic primary debates when he boasted of his ability to work with Republican legislators. I want him to bring that ability with him into the Oval Office. I am a firm believer in good government, not necessarily big government. Donald Trump doesn’t know how to cobble together a good government coalition. Joe Biden has many decades of experience working within Congress and the executive branch as vice president for two successful terms with the Obama administration.

Biden is no wacky socialist. He is, as Republican U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham described him, “one of the finest men God ever created.”

I want Joe Biden to be elected president. I want to make that prediction, but I got burned in 2016. Therefore, I will rely on my hope that a better day will dawn once we count the ballots for president.

Please, please … no repeat of 2016!

All these public opinion polls showing Joe Biden trouncing Donald Trump in the November election for president of the United States are beginning to tempt me beyond my strength.

I have to keep reminding myself: The polling said Hillary Clinton would cruise to victory over Trump in 2016; she didn’t cruise to the victory circle, but ended up making the concession phone call to the celebrity TV host/real estate developer/beauty pageant operator/rich kid who got the stake from Daddy. He was the guy who won!

I look back on that fiasco and I keep having to remind myself about this, too: If Joe Biden repeats the mistakes that Clinton made in ’16, then Trump is going to thumb his nose at the country once more … and we get this Bozo for another four years!

It is my fondest political hope at this moment that Biden’s team is smarter than Hillary’s team. That it knows to put the candidate front and center in “battleground states” that Clinton ignored as the candidates headed down the home stretch four years ago. I recall watching the returns in 2016 when Trump was declared the winner in Michigan and Pennsylvania and Bill Clinton’s election guru, James Carville, telling the nation that he didn’t like what he was seeing. Neither did many others, James.

The RealClearPolitics average of the reputable polls puts Biden up by 10 points. He’s been inching up and away from Trump ever since the president blew the pandemic response to smithereens and then threatened peaceful protesters with “thousands and thousands of heavily armed troops” as they marched against police brutality. I need to mention here that the RCP poll average called Hillary Clinton’s margin over Trump accurately in 2016; it just didn’t figure the Electoral College trickery – albeit all legal and constitutional – that Trump pulled off to win the election.

Oh, how I hope we don’t see a repeat of that fiasco, disaster, fluke .. and profound mistake that the nation made when it cast its electoral votes for someone who is unfit for the only public service office he ever sought.

‘130 million to zero’? If only …

(Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

A Facebook friend — a gentleman I don’t know well, but likely will get to know better — put out a message that I found refreshing.

He wonders why the next presidential election won’t produce a vote result of “130 million to zero.” That would be with Joe Biden getting every ballot cast this coming November, with Donald Trump getting none of them. My friend estimates a nationwide turnout of 130 million votes being cast.

Man, that is a serious pipe dream, but as I survey the wreckage that Donald Trump has brought to the presidency, it does astound me that there could be any Trumpkin who voted for the carnival barker/con man in 2016 would stay with him this time around.

Of course they will. No one believes Joe Biden can pitch a shutout, although many of us — even those of us who live in Trump Country — certainly wish he could.

I keep seeing the polls that tell us Biden is leading Trump. Fox News has just published a survey that gives Biden a 12-percentage point lead over Trump. That lead likely won’t hold up, because the “smart money” suggests a close contest is on the horizon.

What does boggle my noodle, though, is how Trump continues to maintain the level of support he does. It stands at about 42 percent, give or take a point or two. How in the name of political incompetence can this guy continue to hold onto that support?

I wonder about all this recognizing fully — and acknowledge with all the candor I can muster — that I was terribly wrong about the outcome of the 2016 election. I was among those who believed Hillary Clinton would win. I wrote on this blog that I thought she’d win big.

What I must point out, though, is that public opinion polling that put Clinton up by 3 percent over Trump turned out to be correct. Trump, though, pulled what they call an “inside straight” by pilfering enough Electoral College votes to win the election. Therein lies the greatest threat to Joe Biden’s bid to oust the incompetent nincompoop who continues to demonstrate every single day that he presents an existential threat to the nation he governs.

130 million to zero? I wish.