The 2016 Presidential Race – Where are We Now?

The Political Great Whine is finally back after a longer than anticipated hiatus. My apologies for such a long delay and I promise to provide new material at least once a week. After all, there is never a dull moment in the world of politics!

A lot has happened in the world of U.S presidential politics, so we are going to just jump right back into the midst of things by assessing where things are now for both Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump (Isn’t he like on his third campaign manager?). So hopefully, you have been keeping track on things…but if not, I will try to get us both up to speed!

Hillary Clinton’s Presidential Campaign
Well, so far, her campaign still has the same leadership but she continues to be plagued with the whole email scandal where she was using her own personal server for work email which contained sensitive information. Now interest has turned to the blurred line between her role as Secretary of State and personal involvement in the Clinton Foundation is under intense scrutiny. Donald Trump is alleging that foreign entities and large corporations were “paying to play”. That means they made large donations to the Clinton Foundation to get access to her as the Secretary of State. While there is no proof that a crime took place, things are definitely heating up on that issue despite the fact that the Clinton Foundation does a lot of good work. The argument is that “the optics” do not look for her and adds fuel to the argument that she is untrustworthy and beholden to corporate interest groups.

According to recent polls, Hillary still has a sizeable lead over Trump with most voters favoring her to win the election. It is important to remember that things can indeed change the closer we get to election day.

Hillary Clinton and Those Darn Emails!
First it was discovered that she was using a private server to read and write work emails when she was Secretary of State. Next, thanks to the WikiLeaks searchable email databasethe content of some emails suggest that wealthy foreign officials may have been granted access to her after donating large sums of money to the Clinton Foundation. While it seems to be undisputed that the Clinton Foundation provides much needed services with the funding it receives, it just plays right into the hands of her opposition. WHY couldn’t she have just used the server everyone else at the State Department used? If she had, there would never have been an “email scandal” and wiki-leaks would not have been able to develop a searchable archive for the public to read such emails.

It is becoming increasingly difficult to watch her supporters try and make light of the email controversy. If it weren’t for those darn emails, her path to the White House would have been smooth sailing. Trump would probably have attacked her decision to support her husband through those sexual misconduct allegations and reminded everyone about the Clinton’s involvement with the Development Corporation scandal. However, given that she is the one now running for office and not him, it would have been much easier for her supporters and surrogates to squash those attacks and defend her. They insist that, in the grand scheme of things, the email controversy does not have anything to do with the fact she is more than qualified to be president and has the right temperament to handle the stress that comes with being the Commander-in-Chief. Unfortunately though, Hillary’s unwise decision to use a private server for work emails is “low hanging fruit” for the Trump campaign and one cannot blame them from using it.

Donald Trump’s Presidential Campaign
Donald Trump is on his third campaign manager and this time it is a woman! Her name is Kellyanne Conway and she is a very well known and highly respected Republican pollster. After Trump’s poll numbers took a dive, he figured it was time to make a change and so far, we are seeing a different side of the, oftentimes, blunt candidate known for never having to say he’s sorry to anyone. Soon after Ms. Conway was put in charge, Trump gave a speech at a rally in North Carolina where he actually expressed some regret for saying the wrong things. In the same speech, he even reached out to African-Americans asking them what they had to lose by giving him a chance. If you did not catch that speech and happen to have a lot of time on your hands, then you can watch it below.

The Softening of Donald Trump: Outreach to African-Americans and Change of Tone on Immigration
As stated previously in this post, Trump seems to be changing his tone a little. First he asked African-Americans “What in the hell do you have to lose…?” by voting for him and he cited some stats on crime and poverty to prove that the Democratic Party has let them down. It was pointed out by political pundits that he posed this question at a rally where the audience was predominantly white and that he needs to speak TO African-Americans and not AT them. It will be interesting to see whether his plea for the  Black vote has an impact. Imagine if your spouse or significant other first approached you by asking “You should go out with me. You’re unemployed, living in poverty, and your surroundings are horrible. What in the hell do you have to lose?! Give me a chance!” They probably would NOT be your spouse or significant other!  Most importantly, Trump has made the unfortunate assumption that African-Americans are a monolithic group who blindly vote for the Democratic Party regardless of the issues at hand. However, at least he is trying and he and his supporters seem to think that African-American’s should show some gratitude. Wow.

Finally, Trump recently changed…ur…uh...softened his tone on immigration and instead of proposing to deport a flat amount of 11 million immigrants, he now says that things would be more focused. That wall, however, will still be built and Mexico is still going to pay for it. Trump’s supporters and surrogates believe he is wise to soften his position, but his opponents believe (or hope) that it hurts him with base voters who are expecting him to be very hard on immigration. It is doubtful that there is anything that will scare away base voters, in fact they understand that Trump cannot win without at least some minorities voting for him. Anything that will help get him elected, is probably fine with them.

WAIT!!!…I paused for 18 hours and Donald Trump has changed. He now says that he WILL deport all 11 million immigrantsThis truly is a race…but it seems more like a race to keep up with Trump’s ever changing “tone” on the issues!

The first presidential debate will be held on September 26 which is a month from now. I wonder if Trump will call Hillary a “bigot” to her face and if she will tell him that he has racially divisive policies to his face? Will they answer the questions or just fight it out? I am in favor of the latter. I think they need to just get it out of their system. So long as no punches are thrown (The Political Great Whine does not support violence) and good, old-fashioned verbal altercation may be needed to clear the air.

At the end of the day, it is the opinion of this blogger that most voters have already made up their minds on whether or not they are voting and who they are voting for. However, the concern is that more people may not vote because they are disappointed in the choice of candidates. The Political Great Whine encourages you to watch the debates and to vote.

Thanks for “listening” to me whine. Hopefully my whining has made you think. If so, tell your friends/family/colleagues that you heard it through the Political Great Whine!

 

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