Revolted Colonies

U.S. Politics and Culture

Tag: Donald Trump (Page 1 of 3)

Maverick: The Legend of John McCain

  John McCain is the most unusual political character of our time, President company excluded. He has been a conscientious conservative, a rank-and-file Republican, an across-the-aisle kind of bipartisan, and a zombie presidential candidate. McCain was a prisoner of war in Vietnam, withstanding five horrendous years in captivity. He is a genuine hero and an American legend.   This week, after receiving the awful news that he has a fatal brain tumor, he boarded a plane and returned to Washington, D.C., to play assassin to the Republicans’ calamitous effort to unravel the Affordable Care Act. McCain again played the hero in preventing his beloved Senate from shooting itself in the head.  

 McCain is one of the few big-name politicians who keeps things interesting by keeping us on our toes. His willingness to buck party leadership earned him the nickname, “Maverick,” a sobriquet he embraced.  His political story will be an interesting one to tell. Unquestionably, he is a hawk and a fiscal conservative. He also believes in  tolerance and respect for the beliefs of others.  Nevertheless, he caucuses with many politicians who do not.  One of his signature moments occurred in the late days of his unsuccessful 2008 Presidential campaign.  When an ignoramus called Obama an Arab during a town hall event, McCain quickly reclaimed the microphone and extolled his opponent’s decency.  Yet this is the same man who put an obviously unqualified Sarah Palin on his ticket – one long, lingering look from the Bering Strait and  a single heartbeat from the Presidency.  McCain is the person responsible for letting loose the hounds of nativist amateurism on Presidential politics.

After losing the 2008 race and despite his civility toward Candidate Obama, McCain became a constant critic of the President.  In 2012, McCain won a tough race for a sixth term in the Senate, He made the repeal and replacement of Obamacare a prominent plank in his platform.

McCain is the son of a soldiering family, one of whose members fought alongside George Washington.   An Annapolis graduate, he served as a navy pilot in Vietnam.  After his plane was shot down, he was a long-term guest at the Hanoi Hilton, As a high value POW, he had a chance to be released, but he wouldn’t trade on the status  of his Admiral father. He refused preferential treatment.  After five years of physical and mental torture, solitary confinement and abuse that eventually broke him, he was released in 1973. This is the man belittled by Candidate Trump, who prefers his heroes not to be captured.  

McCain held his water, though.  He would never have been a Trump supporter in any normal time but the 2016  election was anything but normal. He threw his support beyond the military school brat who kicked dirt on his reputation, while the only thing to capture the Hypocrite-in-Chief was an Access Hollywood microphone.  

Two weeks ago, McCain flew home to Arizona to have eye surgery, during which it was discovered that he has an inoperable brain tumor, the same type of cancer that killed Ted Kennedy.  The Senate faced the threshold vote on its healthcare bill, a bill so bad it was kept out of sight for as long as possible.  With two certain GOP defections (Collins, Murkowski), an absence by McCain would have doomed the opening gambit, called a motion to proceed.  Earlier this week, McCain returned to the Capitol, struggling physically but resolute to attend the roll call.  McCain joined his party’s vote, ensuring that debate on a bill would take place.  However, Majority Leader McConnell struggled to find common ground between his party’s conservative and alt-right factions.  Two proposals failed to garner enough votes.  On Thursday night, he called for a vote on the so-called skinny repeal, a rollback of Obamacare so marginal that it was only a placeholder to get into a conference with the House over its own odious bill.

When called to vote on the skinny repeal – no replacement, McCain voted no.  He remained consistent with his position that the law was insufficient because it failed to repeal and replace.  But the no vote gave the Maverick the added pleasure of driving  a retaliatory ice pick into the neck of the future ex-president. Trump’s plan to repeal healthcare died with McCain’s vote. He trumped the President at his own game of political theater. To say the President was enraged doesn’t begin to tell the story. The White House Chief of Staff was found the following day floating in the Potomac.

 McCain issued a statement explaining his position.

While the amendment would have repealed some of Obamacare’s most burdensome regulations, it offered no replacement to actually reform our health care system and deliver affordable, quality health care to our citizens.

McCain hasn’t talked about whether he drew any personal satisfaction from defeating one of the cornerstones of the Trump agenda.  But he exhibited the kind of grit that his hosts at the Hanoi Hilton would recognize.

The Bully’s Pulpit

Bully

On Wednesday, June 28, at 9 a.m., Future Ex-President Donald Trump was watching TV when he should have paid attention to – take your pick: the environment, jobs, health care, Putin and the upcoming  G20 summit, the Middle East, North Korea, to name a few top-shelf issues. Instead, he washed down his breakfast with a cup of Morning Joe. Feeling ill, then he disgorged it via Twitter.

I heard poorly rated ‪@Morning_Joe‬ speaks badly of me (don’t watch anymore). Then how come low I.Q. Crazy Mika [Brzezinski ], along with Psycho Joe [Scarborough] came..to Mar-a-Lago 3 nights in a row around New Year’s Eve, and insisted on joining me. She was bleeding badly from a face-lift. I said no!

Media outlets, the political establishment and women and men of all ages have responded with outrage, disappointment and, of course, resignation. They’ve scolded Trump but there are no consequences. In fact, the public’ s impotent rage emboldens him.  Trump won’t or can’t change his bullying behavior. Why should he? It’s worked for him so far. His perception is that Mika and Joe should be kissing the tip of his long, red necktie after all he has done for them. Instead of fawning, they are critical. Worse than disrespectful, they are disloyal. There is no greater crime in Trump Nation. Just ask James Comey.

A billionaire, even a pseudo-billionaire, answers to no one. He can buy loyalty or he can coerce it. A billionaire as President, this one at any rate, is not a public servant. He serves himself, not the citizenry. He approaches his office as he approached his business empire, Trump 24/7, surviving on instinct, impulse and intimidation.  Not only is Trump unrepentant; he remains indignant. He sent forth his new de facto spokesperson, Sarah Huckabee Sanders, to pistol-whip an infuriated press corps.

I don’t think you can expect someone to be personally attacked day after day, minute by minute, and sit back…When the president gets hit, he’s going to hit back harder.

Her message is that Trump was elected because he is a fighter. He answers to no one. He is a victim, and he will visit retribution on those who seek to question anything he says or does. When asked if she would point to her misogynistic boss as a role model for her children, Sanders sidestepped the question, citing only the Almighty as worthy of emulation.

Mika has urged her colleagues at MSNBC to treat the contretemps as a news story – search engine optimization to be sure. Let’s take her up on it. Morning Joe tripped over itself during the campaign to deliver airtime to candidate Trump, prospering from the ratings spike that came with it. They weren’t alone. Many political/news shows fed at the trough. Trump capitalized on the feeding frenzy, getting free coverage while his Republican opponents remained invisible.

After the election, the media took a big hit for helping elect this case of arrested development. As for Trump, the tiny gloves were off.  He complicated matters by spurning his newsy chums, people like Mika and Joe, whose backs served as stepping stones for his way to Washington. He attacked the industry, trivializing  their reports as fake news and countering their stories with his own version – what he calls alternative facts, formerly known as lies.

The conventional wisdom is that his tweets are part of a distraction and deflection strategy, drawing attention away from the crippled Healthcare Un-Initiative. That’s probably true, but Trump’s renewed personal attacks – low IQ, psycho, bleeding from a bad face-lift – are disgusting in a way that sickens his erstwhile allies.

In a model of understatement, House Speaker Paul Ryan said, “What we’re trying to do around here is improve the tone and civility of the debate, and this obviously doesn’t help to do that.” Of course, it is vital to maintain a civil tone while stripping 20 million or so citizens of healthcare –  a kiss before dying.  Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell did not comment on the brouhaha. He tweeted about his Stealthcare bill but otherwise was hiding under his desk.

My suggestion is that we move on now that our collective outrage has been vented. There are existential issues before us, and we’re well-advised to pay attention to those we may influence, instead of continuing to wring our hands futilely over our national embarrassment.

©  2017 Revolted Colonies ™

 

Beltway Media, Are You Listening?

Despite all the self-flagellation over  missing the story of the 2016 Presidential election, the pundits of the Beltway still don’t seem to get it.  Last night, the President gave a speech to – or past – a joint session of Congress.  Past, because it was not really intended for the members.  He spoke of American greatness and American destiny, which have been forfeited by the Obama administration.  Trump, in effect, gave an update of his stump speech. Then, former Kentucky Governor, Steve Beshear, followed with the Democratic response, from a diner in Lexington, Ky. Surrounded by a few customers presumably or hostages, perhaps,   Beshear, elderly, dressed in a cardigan, a Mr. Rogers for the People, peered at the camera with his pale blue eyes and grandfatherly smile, telling the President and the audience that, in spite of the Presidential breast-beating, in the first month of the new administration, nothing has been done to help working families.  

The pundits pounded away on both Trump and Beshear. Trump brought nothing new, no detail.  Apart from a Justice Department task force on violence, which is not targeting hate crimes, he proposed no steps to curb the racial and anti-Semitic violence he finally condemned.   The rest of the speech was aspirational, laying out his agenda and asking for a bipartisan Congress to act on it.  “Act on what?” cried the pundits, who pointed out that Trump peppered his statement with 51 misstatements of fact during a 60-minute speech.  

Beshear, they complained, was a dumb choice; a Bobby Jindal moment for the Democrats, who should have pushed forward one of their young Turks: Christopher Murphy, one of the Castro brothers, even Chuck Schumer for crying out loud!  Beshear is a slow, old tub, when what they need is a turbo-charged speedboat.

As Archie Bunker would have said, “Wrong again, Maude!”  Beshear and Trump were both speaking over the heads of the pundits and politicians, going straight to the heart of mid-America.  Beshear won’t be running for President, but he was there to remind folks that Democrats also live in the heartland, and they are watching out for their neighbors and fellow worshippers.  Before rolling out Democrat 2018, they are trying to claw back some of what they lost in 2016.  Beshear was there to say that the Democrats care, just like a friendly Grampa, not like that Wall Street-loving plutocrat in the White House.

The Beltway media need to get out a little more and talk to somebody besides each other.  The two parties know where control of power lies, and they are reaching out to connect to Uncle Henry and Auntie Em.  The pundits are fact-checking when they should be minding the storm-cellar.

Bring Your Daughter to Work

Presidents are parents too.  In addition to his duty of attacking the media and the judiciary, insulting America’s allies and threatening its adversaries, the current officeholder is the latest daddy to defend the honor of his daughter. Yesterday, he took to the cybersphere after Ivanka’s fashion line was dropped by Nordstrom, the prominent national retailer.

Give ’em Hell, Harry!

Le Grand Orange follows in the tradition of Harry Truman. First Daughter Margaret Truman received generally negative reviews of her professional singing engagements. Washington Post reviewer Paul Hume wrote in 1950 that Margaret Truman was “extremely attractive on the stage… [but] cannot sing very well. She is flat a good deal of the time. And still cannot sing with anything approaching professional finish.”

Papa Harry, rising to the defense of his daughter, wrote to Mr. Hume. “Some day I hope to meet you. When that happens you’ll need a new nose, a lot of beefsteak for black eyes, and perhaps a supporter below!”

 

 

A Matter of National Security

From his personal account, the President pro tem tweeted, “My daughter Ivanka has been treated so unfairly by ‪@Nordstrom‬. She is a great person — always pushing me to do the right thing! Terrible!” A few minutes later, the blast was retweeted from his official government account, sparking a debate about over ethical violations.

The tweet hit the internet at about twenty minutes into a national security briefing. It would seem that his concern for protecting America from radical Islamic terrorism competes for time with his daughter’s fashion accessories line, a business she had supposedly dropped.

The Rack Fights Back

A Nordstrom spokesman responded by stating that the decision to drop the Ivanka line reflected poor sales, nothing more. Its publicly traded shares wobbled just after the Presidential tweet. By the end of the trading day, the stock had risen 4%.

Many shoppers, mostly those associated with the  #grabyourwallet boycott, have attacked retailers carrying Trump lines. Many other tweeters attacked Nordstrom and backed the President and his daughter. They pledged to boycott the retail giant for yielding to the pressure of liberal shoppers.

The Trump clan views the White House as the world’s greatest branding opportunity. So far, Donald, Daughter Ivanka, First Lady Melania and Son Eric have experienced recoil from the Law of Unintended Consequences. Much to Daddy Donald’s chagrin, there is no judge to blame.

Hoosier Daddy? Carrier Will Keep Half of Jobs Slated to End

CarrierLater today, P/E Trump and Carrier will announce that 50% of the 2,000 jobs set to be outsourced to Mexico will be retained. There are no details available yet, but there appears to be a defense-budget stick used on United Technologies, the corporate parent, and some Hoosier carrots, delivered by Indiana. VP/E Pence remains the Governor. Kudos to Trump for saving these jobs.  

There are special factors at play here: the defense contract tie-in, Pence’s ties to the state, and the fact that keeping the jobs will mean only $.02 on Carrier’s profits of $6.50, less than half of 1%. In other words, the Carrier “deal” is a one-off. 

The jobs saved are high-paying, with hourly rates in excess of $20.00. Even with high-paying labor costs, Carrier shares are earning $6.50. Carrier is profitable without moving any of the jobs. 

 So why the impetus to move?  Wall Street earnings, competition, the lack of effective collective bargaining.  All but forgotten is the fact that disappearing jobs mean disappearing consumers. But that is beyond the horizon of the next quarterly earnings forecast. No need for this manufacturer to think about it. 

 

 

 

The Unmaking Of The Celebrity Apprentice

A politician must have either the hide of a rhinoceros or, if you are an apprentice, you have to grow one. The movement to stop Trump is working in part because  of his thin-skinned, instinctual reaction to the attack on his character. He’s shown his vulnerability to personal attacks in what for him is a predictable way: threatening to sue the media outlets reporting the accusations and countering with similar charges against his opponent or rather against her husband. He’s also responded in some unconventional and unpredictable ways, such as threatening to jail his opponent if he wins the election. Trump can’t contain his rage. He’s taken the bait by focusing exclusively on these attacks and in how the world is out to get him.

Tit-f0r-Tit

He’s legitimizing the accusations by striking back the way he has.  Responding to a female accuser by saying that she was, in effect, not attractive enough for him to grope, is a spectacularly wrong answer. He’s also drawn from the “what not to do” section of the political playbook by threatening to bring down his Party, his political opponents and the nation. Some of his supporters are empowered by Trump’s anger and turned on by his brand of insult politics. Most would stop short of dismantling the country or setting themselves on fire, which is why his fair-weather supporters have deserted him. 

No Country for an Old Apprentice

Being President is hard.  

apprentice

Four Tough White Guys

It’s harder than running for President. The skill set is different, one more reason the Never Ending Campaign is staggeringly wrong for the country. Until recently, Trump was having fun playing Candidate. Lately, the high has worn off. Faced with the far less desirable possibility of being President, Trump should be relieved that he has no hope of winning. His scorched earth strategy ensures his defeat, at the same time laying the groundwork for the rumored Trump cable network. 

Donald, Ignore the Squirrel!

adhdIf Trump wants to win the election instead of the headlines, he needs to get back to the business of politics and away from the politics of personal destruction. If we change the rules with NATO, will the NATO allies draw a tight circle, excluding the U.S. and its trade? Same question for the Pacific Rim. Can the U.S. thrive without reaching the world market of greatest potential? What in the Middle East are we fighting for and why? I’m not satisfied with any stance he’s taken. Yet it would be better if he got back on the subjects.

A Dish Best Served Cold

No one is in a hurry to get Trump back on substance, least of all his opponent. The media are having a field day, even better than when he shamed the Gold Star mother.  This time it’s Trump vs. the media, mano-a-mano, as they say in Trump’s locker room of the mind.  They have their own scores to settle with him.  David MacCraw, VP and Assistant General Counsel for the New York Times, issued a blistering reply to Trump’s Demand for Retraction (letter by Marc E. Kasowitz,Esq.).   

Take Him to the River

Despite Hillary Clinton’s statements to the contrary, she is in no rush to bring the campaign back to core issues, not as long as Trump is flailing like  a landed walleye thrashing in the bilge.  

Only three more weeks, then Trump can be returned to his natural habitat. 

© 2016 The Revolted Colonies

Things That Go Tweet In The Night

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Donald Trump’s stock is slipping. His 3 a.m. tweets are like Nixon talking to the White House paintings. When I first heard about his Insomnia, I thought it must be a daughter from a prior marriage. Alas, now is the Autumn of the Megalomaniac, and it’s feeling like an early Winter. However, Trump refuses to give up although “even if he doesn’t win” has crept into the campaign chatter. For a final assault on his opponent, Trump has threatened to play the adultery card. Whose — his?

Donald Trump peddled himself at one-time as the playboy billionaire. From a guest appearance in a soft-core erotic film to his days of loitering with Hef at the Playboy mansion, from producing Miss Universe pageants to surrounding himself with beautiful women, Trump’s persona is based in part on his lothario image.

Why then would he decide to go after Clinton for siding with husband former President Bill for his infidelities, including most pointedly Monica Lewinsky? The argument against Clinton is multi-faceted. The left criticizes her for attacking the women for preying upon her husband, rather than denouncing him as a philanderer and predator. The right attacks her for defending him because his affair took place while he was President and in the White House. The Stand By Your Man crowd called her stupid for staying, just as the Stay At Home crowd had condemned her for saying in 1992 that she wasn’t the kind of woman to bake cookies.

As a calculating politician, she might have stayed in the marriage until after her election as Senator. In the middle of her first term, with Hillary in Washington and Bill in Westchester, a press release announcing the decision to part and a private separation agreement would have been the best way to walk. But she didn’t do it. Rumors of Bill prowling the estates of Chappaqua did not provoke her to leave. Bill’s expurgated telling of their story at this year’s nominating convention made only passing reference to the bumps along their road. Although the Clinton team has wisely minimized Bill’s role in the campaign, they and Chelsea remain a tight family unit. Someday, the story of the Clinton marriage will be told but that will be after they have receded into history. For now, they are the nation’s most prominent power couple (condolences to Brangelina) in an unconventional marriage.

Trump has nothing to gain by going after the Clinton marriage. It won’t hurt Clinton; actually will probably push more fence-sitters in her direction. Mainly, Trump needs what he does not have: a convincing reason for putting him in the charge of the American government. He hasn’t come up with anything yet, but I will continue to check the tweets over my morning cup of joe.

 

Trump 1600: Plan to Dismantle the White House

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Trump 1600 – Artist’s Rendering

The Plan

It’s either brilliant or the height of arrogance. Six weeks ahead of the election, the Trump Organization has submitted a building plan to the D.C. Department of Housing and Community Development to repurpose the White House. Eric Trump has taken the lead on project code-named Trump 1600, which is part of the overall the Trump Office Administration Development (TOAD). The plans call for the ground floor to stay “commercial.” The upper floors will be left intact, and they will raise the roof. A 25-story penthouse tower will soar above the existing residence, with views of Virginia, Maryland, and the “Historic District Skyline.” The northern wall of the tower will boast enormous bay windows to echo the famous portico. Eric Trump indicated that he “knows a guy” and has been promised that the plan review will go ahead so that “we are shovel-ready on day one.”

Cease and Desist

The National Park Service has taken immediate steps to halt review of the plan. It’s filed for a cease and desist order against the D.C.H.C.D. However, the Superior Court denied the motion, ruling that the Park Service had no standing for any development above the top of the White House.

“The owner of air rights over the said dwelling, be it publicly or privately owned, is vested with an interest superior to that of any other party, including the federal government,” said Superior Court Judge Bertha Denier in a brief opinion. “This is especially the case when the holder of those rights has submitted plans that are terrific and will make the location the biggest and most spectacular Presidential Resort in the world. It will be huge,” the court concluded.

Judge Denier refused to comment on her ruling. It is reported that she declined to stay review pending appeal, as she was en route to Mar-a-Lago for her reelection fund-raiser.

 Compounding Interest

At the same time, Trump Organization lawyers have filed for eminent domain of Lafayette Park and Blair House. They also have filed an unsolicited sealed bid to buy the Eisenhower Executive Office Building for private development. The proposed name is the Trump District District. It will offer a high-rise of sixty-four floors of “the world’s most amazing condominiums, overlooking the Trump Marquis de Lafayette Golf Club, consisting of a clubhouse and the most challenging three-hole course in the Western Hemisphere.”  A draft prospectus certifies that the bunkers will be “100% American sand.”

The present West Wing would become a museum dedicated to the memory of the Presidency with the Oval Office becoming a virtual reality exhibition. Customers will experience the feeling of being President by playing one on TV.

The Rest of the Plan

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The proposed Florida White House

If elected, Trump would keep one of the penthouses available for his occasional visits. Trump will open his primary office in Mar-a-Lago, his Florida residence, with the rest of the West Wing operation in a nearby strip mall leased from a Trump donor. The rest of the executive branch will work out of an existing government building a few minutes by air from the putative Florida White House. Rather than bring in private contractors, the Trumps will use a government labor force to convert the existing prison at Guantanamo Bay into a warren of executive offices with overflow for rental. Acres that have been neglected for decades would be put out to bid for beach front development under a 99-year lease. The plan includes an elaborate common area provisionally named the Bertha Denier Clubhouse.

guantanamo

Site of the new Executive Branch

Universal Backlash

Almost everyone in the country is outraged by at least some part of TOAD. In addition to the Park Service  lawsuit, the A.C.L.U. plans to file to stop the loss of Lafayette Park as a site for assembly and protest. The National Heritage Conservancy has fast-tracked recognition of the White House as a landmark of historic significance. Many groups have joined in a mass filing with the D.C. Zoning Commission to limit the redevelopment of the White House to five stories. This would make TOAD unprofitable.

The proposed relocation of the Presidential headquarters has drawn international scorn as well. Trump is the first private citizen to be censured by the United Nations General Assembly. Al Qaeda and ISIS have threatened reprisals if a Trump-led U.S. follows through on the plan to recast the Cuban prison as a government enclave and pleasure palace. Eric Trump uncharacteristically tried to appease those enraged by his plan.

guantanamo-bay-shaker-aamer-609755

Happy Government Laborers

“All workers will get first-class meals and comfortable lodgings as long as the project lasts. Their efforts will be recognized,” said Eric Trump.  Then he held up the sign to be affixed to each building: “This House Was Built by Enemy Combatants.”

 

Release of Trump Prostate Exam Result Delayed

On the advice of his attorney, accountant and urologist, Donald Trump will not release the results of his prostate examination. Dr. Seymour Hair performed the examination in June 2016, shortly before the Republican National Convention. He confirmed that he performed the exam and was paid for his services. He has no knowledge of an issue with regard to the EOB. When Dr. Hair was asked about the exam result, he would only say, “What a hole!”

Campaign Manager Kellyanne Conway responded to a barrage of questions as to why Trump has reversed his promise to release this report.

“Mr. Trump never promised to release this record, but he will once the Explanation of Benefits review of the insurance claim has been fully reviewed and addressed. Mr. Trump’s health insurer reportedly issued a four-page statement as to payment for the digital examination.”

Conway could not say when the EOB results would be available or if he had gotten his reimbursement.  Conway said that Trump would release his prostate results when Hillary Clinton releases hers.

The insurance carrier, Trump Blue Cross, could not be reached for comment.

When It Comes to Health, The Cure Is Worse Than The Illness

health

People have made too big a deal about Hillary Clinton’s health. If so, it’s because the candidate has done that by her own handling of the weekend health scare. On Sunday, Clinton did a half-gainer into her SUV after swooning at the 9/11 Remembrance. It was captured on video, and it looked like she was unable to stand up. True to form, her campaign was spinning the story about her health before the car doors closed. “It’s the flu.” “No, it’s dehydration.” “She’s fine.” “Her doctor told her to stay home.” The health reports wiggled and waggled while the candidate was driven to her daughter’s apartment nearby. After a brief recuperation, she came out for an unassisted walk, as if to say, “false alarm.”

Disclosure

Hillary has been open about her health history, disclosing medical information earlier in the campaign. Yet her management has been criticized for failing to disclose immediately after the incident that she had been diagnosed with pneumonia. At first her staff reported dehydration as the cause. Maybe it was, but maybe she was more vulnerable due to pneumonia. The view here is that it would have been better to announce the bug last Friday and then emerge briefly on Sunday.

Voters have a real concern about a President’s health, unlike much of the junk a candidate gets lambasted for. When the issue affects Hillary, she takes a second beating for “lack of candor.” She concealed that she had been diagnosed with pneumonia last Friday. Of course, not every tick is newsworthy. If so, she might have found a less perilous way to observe Sunday’s long and solemn event. The follow-up stroll was absurd once the diagnosis was revealed.

Long in the Teeth

Clinton and Trump are the two oldest people to run for President. The winner will probably not run for reelection in 2020. They are at an age when medical issues happen. It’s a legitimate concern for voters. The readiness of running mates takes on a greater importance because of the ages of the candidates. Sixty is not the new forty. Maybe it’s the new fifty-two. Both of these folks are geezers. Trump handed out a one-page ghostwritten statement signed by his one-time gastroenterologist. Clinton disclosed her medical history but was coy about her current, albeit temporary, condition.

“No Big Deal” is The Big Deal

To explain her reason for not disclosing the pneumonia, Clinton said that it was “no big deal.” But it turned into a big deal precisely because it had been concealed. She could have announced having a bug, made a brief appearance and departed while she was still upright. It could have been handled better, which is the criticism even her friends and allies level at her. David Axelrod, a master campaign strategist, tweeted, “Antibiotics can take care of pneumonia. What’s the cure for an unhealthy penchant for privacy that repeatedly creates unnecessary problems?”

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