Tag Archives: Hillary Clinton

How might POTUS defend his record?

The 2020 presidential election campaign is taking shape. Democrats are lining up seemingly by the dozens to campaign against Donald J. Trump, the Republican incumbent.

I’ll have more to say about the contenders later. Today, I feel the need to explore the type of campaign this incumbent president is going to wage.

Donald Trump had no public service record to commend him for election as president in 2016. He relied instead on a phony argument that he was a self-made zillionaire who worked hard to build a real estate empire from scratch. It turned out that isn’t the case. Voters bought it anyway and he was elected.

Now he’s running for re-election. As the incumbent, the president has a record now on which he must run. He is going to be asked to defend his record. How in the world is he going to do that?

The nation already has undergone two partial government shutdowns on Trump’s watch; a third shutdown might occur at the end of the week. He has groveled in front of Russian strongman Vladimir Putin, refusing to acknowledge publicly that Russians attacked our electoral system in 2016. Trump has heaped praise on North Korean despot Kim Jong Un after threatening to blow his country to smithereens with “fire and fury” the likes of which the world has never seen.

He went to Europe and scolded NATO allies because they weren’t paying more for their defense; along the way he has hinted that the United States might withdraw from its most vital military alliance.

Trump campaigned in 2016 on a pledge to build The Wall along our southern border and said “Mexico is going to pay for it”; Mexico isn’t paying for it, period, meaning that he wants you and me to pay the bill. The president’s rhetorical clumsiness has revealed a host of frightening views, such as his assertion that the KKK/Nazi rally in Charlottesville rally and riot included “fine people, on both sides.”

Now that Trump has a record to defend, I am left to ask: How in the world is this guy going to sell it to voters? How does he reach beyond his base of supporters to ensure that he gets re-elected?

He has spent his term in office kowtowing to his base. He has done damn little to reach beyond that core 38 percent of voters who think he is the best thing to happen since pockets on shirts.

Just as Donald Trump defied conventional wisdom by being elected in 2016 with zero public service experience, he seeks to do it again in 2020 by defending a presidential term that has far less to show for it than he will trumpet along the campaign trail.

He savaged his Republican primary foes with insults and innuendo en route to the GOP nomination in 2016; he continued to toss grenades at Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton. I look for much more of the same from the incumbent this time around.

The 2016 presidential campaign was ugly enough. The 2020 campaign is looking like a bloodbath.

For heaven’s sake, Hillary Clinton, don’t do it!

This blog post is for you, Hillary Rodham Clinton.

The media are reporting that you haven’t shut the door on a possible campaign for the presidency in 2020. Oh, my. How can I say this delicately? I won’t.

Don’t run for president! You have had two chances to win the highest office. But you know that already.

Look, Mme. Secretary, I was proud to have supported your 2016 candidacy. You had my vote in Randall County, Texas, one of the most staunchly Republican counties in all of America. My vote was among the damn few you got in the county where I lived. I get that you did better in Texas than Barack Obama did in his two runs for the presidency, but it still wasn’t nearly good enough to win my state’s electoral votes.

I would likely vote for you again in 2020 were you to be nominated by the Democratic Party to run against Donald J. Trump.

My problem isn’t so much with you as a candidate. My problem lies with your chances of defeating Trump were you and he to run against each other a second time.

My goodness, he made mincemeat of you in 2016, even though you collected more votes than he did. You made some egregious tactical errors. You didn’t go to Wisconsin, one of those three states that Trump picked off to win enough Electoral College votes to be elected president. Are you any smarter this time around? I would hope so.

I want Trump out of office as much as you do. I maintain my belief that Democrats’ best chance of defeating this individual is to nominate a fresh face. I’m sure you heard that Sen. Kamala Harris announced she is running for POTUS in 2020. Someone such as Sen. Harris would be much more to my liking than a political re-tread . . . and I mean no personal disrespect to you by referring to you in that manner.

I am going to insist the same thing of other “veteran pols” such as former Vice President Biden and Sen. Bernie Sanders. Yes, I would vote for either of them, too, if Republicans are dumb enough to nominate the president. I just don’t want them to be the nominee any more than I want it to be you.

Stay out of it. Leave the fight to a newcomer. Let those with the new names and the fresh faces make their case.

Twitter use? Sure, why not? ‘Fake News’ epithet? Unacceptable

I have learned to accept that Donald Trump is going to use Twitter to express himself whenever he wants. I don’t like it, but that’s his way of communicating, so I’ll let that aspect ride.

What I cannot let stand is his continual use of the term “fake news” to describe media with which he disagrees.

He said this regarding the Davos economic summit, which he decided to skip  because of the partial government shutdown:

Last time I went to Davos, the Fake News said I should not go there. This year, because of the Shutdown, I decided not to go, and the Fake News said I should be there. The fact is that the people understand the media better than the media understands them!

C’mon, Mr. President! Knock off the “fake news” epithet.

He throws that term out whenever he describes media outlets that report news he finds objectionable, which is another way of saying he dislikes media that report the news accurately.

Moreover, the president of the United States is the uncrowned king of fake news. He foments lies continually. He has continued to speak untruths about current events, about his political foes, about the media. He promotes “fakes news” whenever he opens his trap and says things such as:

Barack Obama was ineligible to run for president because he wasn’t a U.S. citizen; he witnessed thousands of Muslims cheering the collapse of the Twin Towers on 9/11; millions of illegal immigrants voted for Hillary Clinton in 2016; the “caravan” of refugees fleeing Central America contained many “Middle Eastern” terrorists intent on killing Americans.

That’s just a sample of what I am talking about. The president is the master of “fake news.” For him to accuse the media of promoting “fake news” is just, well, another example of Donald Trump’s penchant for prevarication.

Take a few minutes and listen to this man

The video attached to this blog post is about 17 minutes long. It’s of Mitt Romney talking ostensibly about the “nominating process” for president of the United States.

In fact nearly all of it is a barrage of criticism leveled at Donald J. Trump, who in 2016 was the leading candidate for the Republican Party presidential nomination.

Buried deeply inside the middle of the speech is a brief, but equally scathing criticism of Hillary Rodham Clinton, the Democrats’ nominee in 2016. But it’s 2012 GOP presidential nominee’s critique of Trump that got all the headlines when he first delivered it.

Seriously, I urge you to take just a few minutes from your busy day and listen to these remarks. They are prescient and, in my view, so very accurate.

Fox media analyst needs a reality check . . . seriously!

I get that Howard Kurtz, who once worked for the Washington Post, now is a media analyst for a pro-Donald Trump cable news outlet, the Fox News Channel. Thus, he is inclined to speak more kindly of the president and those close to him than others who tend to look more critically at the Trump Era.

But, c’mon, Howard! Get a grip!

He told Laura Ingraham, another Fox News “contributor,” that first lady Melania Trump has gotten the worst media treatment of any first lady in modern times. He said: “Melania is subjected to a particularly brutal kind of treatment and mockery . . . No other modern first lady has been treated like this.”¬†

Kurtz cannot be serious. Can he? I guess he can — in his own mind.

Let me offer a couple of examples that I submit would contradict his view of Melania Trump’s media treatment: Michelle Obama and Hillary Rodham Clinton.

I’ll stipulate that first ladies as a rule deserve some cushion from the pounding that the media deliver to their husbands. To that extent, Melania Trump is no different from any of her predecessors.

However, do I really need to remind Kurtz of the hideous racially tinged, defamatory insults that those on the right hurled at Michelle Obama during her eight years as first lady? And, yes, the media reported it. I do not want to restate some of the monstrous epithets she endured. You know what they are. Michelle Obama damn sure does.

As for Hillary Clinton, has Kurtz forgotten how the media reported on the far right’s accusations that Hillary and Bill Clinton were actually living as husband and wife, or that the two of them actually ordered the murder of their political opponents in the years prior to President Clinton’s election in 1992?

Have the media gone that far in their treatment of Melania Trump?

I do not believe that is the case. Thus, Howard Kurtz needs to re-calibrate his media-analyst antennae. Dial it back, Howie, on your criticism of the media as it relates to Donald and Melania Trump.

Can you really blame Hillary for the snub?

I want to defend former first lady, U.S. senator and secretary of state Hillary Rodham Clinton for a moment, so bear with me.

The media have reported extensively on her refusal to acknowledge the arrival this week of Donald J. Trump at the funeral of former President George H.W. Bush. She sat in her front-row church pew seat, looking straight ahead while the president and first lady Melania Trump greeted former President Barack Obama and former first lady Michelle Obama.

Hillary sat next to her husband, another former president, Bill Clinton. To her left was former President Carter and his wife, Rosalynn Carter; the Carters didn’t acknowledge the president’s arrival, either.

So, why the hubbub? I guess it’s because the Obamas were able to muster up the courtesy of extending their hands to the Trumps. Many in the media have asked: Why didn’t Hillary Clinton do the same thing and pretend to make nice with a fake smile?

If only the president had won the 2016 election with a smidgen of grace. If only he had defeated Hillary Clinton and then kept his trap shut. He didn’t do that. He has continued to suggest that Hillary Clinton should be prosecuted for unspecified crimes and locked up. He has defamed her, insulted her at every turn, denigrated her service to the country (which far outstrips anything Trump has done or ever will do).

It’s helpful as well to ask: How would any of us act if we encountered someone who continually defames our character and suggests the things Trump has done with Hillary Clinton?

I give the Obamas credit for smiling and shaking the Trumps’ hands. They are better people than I would have been in that circumstance, given the things that Trump has said about his immediate presidential predecessor.

As for Hillary Clinton’s declining to acknowledge Trump, I am OK with that, too.

I am certain that every word all the former presidents and their spouses heard from the pulpit by those honoring the late President Bush — the descriptions of his decency, humanity and his decades of public service — drew immediate comparisons to the man sitting at the end of that church pew.

Flynn gets the leniency he would have denied others

The Robert Mueller Drama has taken an astonishing turn.

The special counsel today recommended that former national security adviser Michael Flynn receive zero prison time as payback for the “substantial” contribution he has made in Mueller’s investigation into whether Donald Trump’s presidential colluded with Russians who attacked our electoral system.

What we don’t know is what Mueller gained precisely from Flynn, the key Trump aide who quit after 24 days as national security adviser. He had pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI about what he knew about the campaigns contacts with the Russians.

Mueller, though, apparently has received a treasure trove of information from Flynn. Hence, the no-prison recommendation from the special counsel.

Think of the irony for a moment.

It was the same Michael Flynn who stood before the Republican National Convention in 2016 and led a chorus of chants to “Lock her up!” in reference to Hillary Rodham Clinton’s problems associated with her use of a personal email server while she was secretary of state.

Flynn had no problem yelling right along with the GOP faithful to throw Clinton behind bars. Due process? Who needs it? Not the Republican faithful or the retired Army lieutenant general who led their chants in Cleveland.

Flynn’s downfall after a distinguished career as an Army officer was shocking, but deserved. He did plead guilty to committing a felony, which was lying to the FBI about a criminal investigation.

I would give damn near anything to know what’s under the redaction marks in the sentencing memo that Mueller released today. For now I’ll settle for presuming that Mueller is still working on the details of what he has assembled for his final report.

Something tells me it’s likely to make the president squirm.

What if Trump had lost the election?

Chuck Todd, the moderator/host of “Meet the Press,” posed an interesting set of questions this week. Who would be happy had Donald Trump lost the 2016 presidential election?

He ticked off a series of folks who he said would have preferred a different electoral outcome:

Trump would be happy because he could have built his hotel in Moscow and no one would care; Melania would be smiling because she would be able to live in New York; several former Cabinet officials would be happy because their “reputations would be intact”; congressional Republicans would be happy because they would have gained seats in the midterm election instead of losing the House to the Democrats.

Hillary Clinton? Would she be happy? Probably not.

With a strengthened GOP majority in the House and Senate, a President Clinton would face the prospect of — you guessed it! — congressional hearings and potential impeachment measures taken against her. If you thought Democrats are on a vendetta against the GOP president, you wouldn’t have seen anything had the GOP been able to hound a Democratic president.

But let’s take note quickly of the biggest group of Americans who would be happy had Trump lost. That would be the nearly 66 million Americans who cast their ballots for Hillary.

I was one of them. I, too, would be happy had Trump lost.

If only . . .

Hating the political climate

Mom always taught me that hating anyone was a step too far. One shouldn’t hate, she said.

OK, Mom, but you won’t mind if I declare my unabashed, unapologetic hatred for the political climate that has infected the atmosphere. I’m glad Mom and Dad aren’t around to see what has happened to our nation . . . not that either of them were particularly political.

Who’s to blame for this? I’m going to lay most of it at the feet of the man elected to “unify” the country. The president of the United States promised to be a unifier once he took office. Donald Trump touts his “promises made, promises kept.” Mr. President, you have failed miserably at keeping this promise.

Trump doesn’t own this poisonous atmosphere exclusively. I’ll concede readily that his political foes continue to whip up the frenzy against him. I also will concede that many of them — I include myself — were stunned speechless Election Night 2016 when the TV networks and other news outlets declared Trump the winner over Hillary Rodham Clinton.

At one level, it’s hard to fathom that event happening. Thus, it well might be that we haven’t gotten over it.

So, Trump knows that. Has he done anything to reach out? Has he sought to mollify the concerns of those who opposed him at the ballot box, those who comprise a solid plurality of Americans who voted for the candidate who lost the Electoral College?

No. He hasn’t. Indeed, he has fanned the embers, whipping them into a firestorm. He speaks only to his “base,” the roughly 38 percent of Americans who stand by their guy. He fires ’em up! He speaks of waves of criminals pouring into the country to commit mayhem; he talks about building that damn wall across our southern border; he threatens to shut the government down if Congress doesn’t pay for it (he has given up trying to get Mexico to pay for it).

The president had the utter gall to say that there were “good people on both sides” of a riot in Charlottesville, Va., in which one of the sides comprised Nazis, Klansmen and white supremacists. How in the world does that unify anyone?

The debate atmosphere has become toxic to the max. There appears to be no end to it. Democrats and Republicans detest each other. The president detests Democrats, accusing them of wanting a nation full of lawbreakers, of wanting to take people’s guns away from them.

Donald J. Trump is largely responsible for fomenting an atmosphere of poisonous rhetoric.

It is worth every ounce of hate I can muster.

Pay attention to me, Gov. Kasich

Ohio Gov. John Kasich still wants to be president of the United States and says he is considering taking another run at the nation’s highest office in 2020.

I’m usually not in the mood to offer campaign advice to Republicans, but I believe Gov. Kasich, whose time in office ends in December, is an impressive fellow. I wanted him to win the GOP nomination in 2016. I well might have voted for him had the choice been Kasich or Hillary Clinton.

OK, now for the advice.

If he’s going to challenge Donald Trump for the GOP nomination, he needs to avoid the trap of being lured too far to the right. One of the more undersold aspects of Kasich’s 2016 candidacy was his role as chairman of the U.S. House Budget Committee in forging a balanced federal budget in the late 1990s.

How did he do that? He worked with the Democratic president, Bill Clinton, in crafting a balanced budget that actually built surpluses during the final three years of Bill Clinton’s presidency.

Yes, Kasich was a key player in achieving a stellar budgetary accomplishment. He chose not to tout that aspect of his public service career because it would have revealed his bipartisan tendencies. That ability to reach across the aisle is anathema to the hard-core, right-wing loony birds who call the shots these days in the Republican Party.

Are they going to keep calling the shots in 2020? I haven’t a clue at this moment in time. I hope not. Even if they do, though, I want to encourage John Kasich to shout it loudly and clearly: He believes in good government, which requires compromise and cooperation with everyone regardless of party affiliation.

I want this man to run yet again for president. He was one of the few GOP grownups running in 2016.