Alexandra Tselios

The “Weak” in U.S. Politics: August 15th 2016

The “Weak” in U.S. Politics: Trump hints at Clinton being killed, maybe, I don’t know; Clinton releases her tax returns to pressure Trump to do the same; and discerning Trump’s tweets from his team’s.


The “Weak” in Politics as seen by Alexandra Tselios

When Trump may or may not have suggested Russia should hack American databases in a bid to expose Clinton and the DNC, there was many tut-tutting by liberal Americans and excited media outlets ready to report and create mash-up videos of his comments that they would pray to the Internet gods would go viral. So, can you imagine the salacious smiles that occurred across the faces of journalists at their desks this past week when Trump “hinted” that Clinton could be killed? Hypothesizing at a rally last week that should Clinton win the Presidency there is not much anyone can do about it saying, “If she gets to pick her judges, nothing you can do, folks, although the Second Amendment people … maybe there is, I don’t know.” Immediately, the Internet blew up in condemnation at the insinuation that she could or should be shot. Twitter got excellent in response:

Meanwhile, there have been multiple jabs at Trump about his overstated business success; with ex-contractors coming out alleging that they were never paid, to the ongoing battle around Trump University, and scandals with Trump Insititute. During this time, Trump has been asked time and time again to present his most recent tax filing as an act of transparency, but every time he has refused claiming an ongoing audit is not complete. Every major presidential candidate since Nixon has released their tax returns while campaigning; and this week Hillary Clinton released hers as an act of cornering Trump into finally releasing the documents. Clinton’s tax return being released hasn’t done her too many favors though, highlighting her $1.5 million collected for making speeches and $1 million to charity (but the donations to the charity were almost entirely to the Clinton Family Foundation). While there are arguments around why Trump hasn’t released his returns, there are now also suggestions Clinton only released the tax returns now in an attempt to direct the conversation away from her private email server issue towards an attempt to be seen as “transparent” and “honest.” Despite the polls currently in Clinton’s favor by 6.8 points, Clinton still has work ahead of her in gaining the trust of voters, considering many Americans believe Trump is more likely to keep the country safe than Clinton.

It is worth noting that Jill Stein is still in the game, I am not entirely sure why, but she also has released her tax returns and then no one really cared with even Forbes calling the documents “pretty unexciting.”

My favorite piece of political analysis this week would 100% have to be the text analysis by David Robinson, a data scientist at Stack Overflow. David analyzed Donald Trump’s tweets, deciphering which tweets are sent from him (he uses an android and is way more combative) or his social media team (they use an iPhone and tend to be more PR-style tweets). The indication as to who sends which tweets is important as it provides a more realistic pattern when collecting the data around Trump when he actually responds on social media to the public and other candidates. The analysis also found that the top three phrases that were tweeted from Trump’s android were “Hillary,” “#Trump2016,” and “crooked.” Tweets from the iPhone were more likely to include hashtags and retweets, thank yous, and the inclusion of images indicating a more strategic use of social media, whereas the android tweets (Trump) were more likely to make statements like “the media is going crazy” or “will be talking about Hillary saying her brain SHORT CIRCUITED, and other things.” The piece is a fantastic and fun read if you can avoid being bored by the analysis of the data sets!


The “Weak” in Politics as seen by Roger Pugh

Heard at Hillary’s Campaign HQ
“I wonder who will end up being the Republican Party’s official candidate.”
“I still think there’s a chance it will be Trump.”

Heard at a Washington Insiders Cocktail Party
“If Hillary becomes President, she should soon feel at home again in the White House.”
“She’s been charging Obama and George W rent for the past fifteen and a half years.”

Heard at Republican Party HQ
“Do you think Mike Pence will make much of a difference to Trump’s campaign?”
“No, he’s just small change.”

Heard in a Hollywood Hairdressing Salon
“Can you think of anyone less suited to becoming U.S. President than Trump?”
“Yes, two of my ex-husbands.”

Heard in a Boston Bar
“Has Bernie given up all hope of becoming President?
“He still believes there’s a chance the Republicans will realize he’s a better option than Trump.”

Heard in Congress
“Why does Trump insult so many people?”
“He likes to make the pre-emptive strike.”




Alexandra Tselios

Founder and CEO of The Big Smoke, Alexandra oversees the leading opinion site in both Australia and the USA. As a social commentator, she is interviewed most days of the week on radio across the country in Australia as well as working with NFP think-tank, Plus61J, which explores the political and social ties between Australia and Israel.

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