The “Weak” in U.S. Politics: Entering into the final two months of the campaigns, what matters and what doesn’t? And should Clinton be worried about Wikileaks?
The “Weak” in Politics as seen by Alexandra Tselios
I hope everyone had a great Labor Day weekend. I expect to see everyone now no longer wearing white—as it is written. If you were trying to enjoy your BBQ and beers, Labor Day marks both Clinton and Trump really getting their teams into second gear as we now head into the final two months of the campaign. National Editor of The Cook Political Report, Amy Walter said, “Labor Day used to be this big, important marker in the campaign season, a kickoff, if you will. Today, it feels like the start of the third quarter instead of the kickoff. The candidates are well-defined, the ads have been running for months and TVs have been saturated with talking heads.” The arrival of Labor Day also meant closer scrutiny for the candidates around how they will fix the economy and, in particular, unemployment, with a close poll saying 44% of voters polled believe Trump will do a better job creating employment opportunities and another 44% saying Clinton will do a better job.
I still do not believe the polls are quite so significant at this time (as I have written about previously) with presidential forecasts likely to remain tight until the final month of campaigning and the Clinton versus Trump debates start to roll out. The New York Times recently reminded us that, “Bounce or no bounce, the history lesson remains: Polling averages tend to be volatile in the weeks after national conventions. As the election nears and the short-term effects of the conventions fade, the polling averages will rapidly become more precise.” The Presidential debate moderators have been released as Lester Holt, Anderson Cooper, Martha Raddatz, and Chris Wallace. The first debate is set to be moderated by Lester Holt on September 26th.
So, while Labor Day was exciting for both candidates (Clinton unveiled a new plane this weekend!), it is also an entirely nerve-wracking time and likely more so than usual for Hillary Clinton as Julian Assange vows to release more emails which he called significant, saying, “I think it’s significant. You know, it depends on how it catches fire in the public and in the media.” This is not the first time Julian Assange has come out against Clinton; with 1,258 emails from Clinton’s server being published on the WikiLeaks website back in July 2016. A recent tweet from WikiLeaks, for example, is around the discovery that Clinton emails show The New Yorker published an article in 2010 which was secretly written with chief Clinton operative Sid Blumenthal. I have seen a lot less on WikiLeaks on Trump than Clinton, but in saying that an interesting op-ed in The Washington Post unpacks Trump’s alleged history full of corruption, from illegal contributions to refusal of payment to contractors. Both sides of the coin have a very similar pattern emerging which is the alleged use of umbrella entities for monetary gain, whether that is the Clinton Foundation or Trump’s multi-level marketing ventures.
It is worth giving both Clinton and Trump’s alleged corrupt activity, as well as their policy claims, equal amounts of attention, rather than gliding over information provided depending on who you most align with.
The “Weak” in Politics as seen by Roger Pugh
Heard in an L.A. Restaurant
“How do you think Trump would fare in a TV series called The Presidential Apprentice?”
“He’d be fired during the first show.”
Heard at Hillary’s Campaign HQ
“Hillary wants to recruit someone just like Trump for Presidential debate rehearsals.”
“I’ll check to see if Jason Bourne is available.”
Heard in Congress
“Is the Republican Party now comfortable with Trump as their Presidential candidate?”
“Oh, certainly. We’ve always felt a misogynist would be competitive against Hillary.”
Heard at Trump Campaign HQ
“Do you think that Donald would close Gitmo?”
“Oh, no. He’d donate it to the Democratic Party as their HQ.”
Heard in a Chicago Pub
“How do you think you’ll be able to benefit from the next Presidency?”
“Either by joining the Ku Klux Klan or making a donation to the Clinton Foundation.”
Heard in the State Department
“What should I do with all these emails we received from Hillary?”
“Nothing, really. I leaked them last week.