Alisdair Blackman

The ‘Weak’ in Politics: #USElections Wrap-Up December 20th 2015

The ‘Weak’ in U.S. Politics saw cat fights during the GOP debate, a data breach scandal, and Putin coming out in support of Trump.


The ‘Weak’ in Politics as seen by Alexandra Tselios

A super exciting week in the U.S. elections, full of Russian/U.S. bromancing, data breaches, and debates; it was the best Christmas gift I could have asked for!

When news came out that the Bernie Sanders camp accessed Hillary Clinton’s confidential targeted voter database, it brought great shame to the synagogue. Basically, the accusations meant that a “dropped firewall” allowed Sanders’ campaign staff to view privileged donation data with “24 intrusion attempts” resulting in a temporary halt on their own data access (data access to their own campaign data has since been restored by the Democratic National Committee). Clinton’s campaign manager, Robby Mook, was pretty disappointed with the way the Sanders camp tried to downplay the breach and said, “This was a very egregious breach, we had our data stolen.” Meanwhile, Bernie fired the staff member responsible for the “unacceptable” breach of access, but it has done some significant damage to his campaign with public animosity between his campaign and the Democratic leadership unfolding as the DNC will continue to investigate the breach. At the third Democratic debate, Sanders apologized saying, “This is not the type of campaign that we run, and if I find anybody else involved in this, they will also be fired.” I love it when Bernie is hardcore.

The third Democratic debate this weekend also saw Hillary promise no taxes will be raised, and when asked if corporate America loves her she responded, “Everyone should!” When Bernie Sanders discussed his proposals around extended medical and family leave, responded to criticisms to the pay hike, he defended his suggestions by saying, “$1.61 a week is a pretty good investment.” ISIS was also a big part of the debate with Clinton saying her plan to fight ISIS will coincide with growing the economy and proposals for a debt-free (not free) education.

Worth also mentioning is that Hillary made many laugh this week with her response to a question in Iowa regarding if she would “rather be President or Beyonce?” She chose, “President” and ended the night’s debate with a Star Wars joke. Hillary Clinton wins the 2015 pop culture award for a politician.

O’Malley was there too, etc. He interrupted twice and complained he wasn’t getting enough time.

Earlier in the week, CNN hosted the fifth GOP debate with talk of terrorism being the most obvious focus point. Ben Carson had some weird analogies (he compared removing a brain tumor from a small child to bombing Syria), while Rand Paul [Why was he there? He was this close to being at the kiddie table debate.] tried to take on Trump over his internet censorship comments and metadata laws. Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz really got stuck into each other with a number of catty comments flying between the two. Equally sparring was Jeb Bush and Donald Trump, with Bush calling Trump “the chaos candidate.”

Recently, I thought that Marco Rubio would start to truly soar, but Ted Cruz’s sudden popularity has put a halt on that rise. On reflection, it was actually a pretty bitchy and, at times, wacky debate, so I thoroughly enjoyed it. The public never truly got the answers they are desperate for from these GOP debates, it’s basically a display of showmanship, who can confront and outwit the other and a chance for some well-placed logos. I give an honorary mention to Carly Fiorina for her well-timed interjection calling out Donald Trump as a secret liberal saying, “That is exactly what President Obama has said, I am amazed to hear that from a Republican presidential candidate.” Zing!

The Morning Consult post-debate poll showed Trump as the clear winner of the night (36%), with Ben Carson (12%) and Ted Cruz (11%) following. A worthy observation from one of our writers at The Big Smoke USA, was noting that the real winners of the debate were the advertisers and CNN.

However, my favorite highlight of the week was the unexpected support for Trump’s candidacy from Russian President Vladimir Putin. Putin called Trump “bright and talented” with an “outstanding and talented personality” while the world tried to let that sink in. Russian punk band Pussy Riot weighed in, with Maria Alyokhina giving advice to American Voters that if they want their own Putin, someone who, like Putin, will “break all the rights that citizens have,” to vote for Trump.

Trump’s response to Putin’s praise? “I mean, I am brilliant actually …”


The ‘Weak’ in Politics as seen by Roger Pugh

Heard on 5th Avenue
“Can you imagine anything more outrageous than Trump’s attitude to Muslims?”
“Yes, the Islamic States attitude to Christians.”

Heard at Republican Party HQ
“What’s Ben Carson up to?”
I understand he’s trying for a new beginning in a manger somewhere.”

Heard in a New Jersey Bar
“Where does the bulk of Christie’s support come from?”
I’m not sure, but the support of his bulk comes from his legs.”

Heard at the Democratic Party HQ
“What will Trump’s next outrageous initiative be?”
Promoting a Black and White Minstrel Show.”

Heard at Ted Cruz’s Campaign HQ
“How do you think Bush will strive for greater impact over the festive season?”
Disguising himself as a Christmas Tree.”

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