U.S. Politics and Culture

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Politics as Unusual: The FBI, The Bundy Verdict and The Comey Letter

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FBI director James Comey had a lousy week, and next week is not looking any better.  A trial jury in Oregon told him that his G-Men were off-base thinking that armed seizure of a federal bird sanctuary constituted a crime when the panel acquitted the Bundy Gang of conspiracy, gun and other charges. Comey took refuge in Anthony Weiner’s underwear, but they’re not fitting as planned.

Bad Day at the Bird Bath

img_1441The Bundy Gang didn’t walk away. There are other charges against them still pending.  The acquittal was not a blanket exoneration. Still, it will force the Bureau to reconsider its policy in dealing with armed anti-government resistance.  J. Edgar Hoover must be spinning in his grave. 

img_1443The shooting at Ruby Ridge, Idaho in 1992 and the siege and shootout in Waco, Texas in 1993 had previously put the FBI under scrutiny in its encounters with the Militia Movement, of which the Bundys are a part. The verdict handcuffs the Bureau in protecting federal land from armed opposition.  The next step, unfortunately, would be to call up the National Guard. which may be precisely what the Bundys want.

Rifling Through the Underwear Drawer

img_1448The day after the Bundy acquittal and without any apparent connection to it, Comey sent Congress a letter stating that the FBI was reading newly discovered Hillary Clinton emails from a cache recovered a month ago from a laptop it seized from Weiner.  The laptop was shared by the former Congressman and his soon-to-be ex-wife, Huma Abedin, a top aide to the President-in-Waiting. Weiner is under investigation for conducting an online sexual relationship with a minor.

Even though the FBI has had Weiner’s laptop for a month and presumably has known about the emails for as long, allegedly it hasn’t gotten around to reading them.  So, the FBI hasn’t determined if these emails are new discoveries or copies of emails previously recovered.

Nevertheless, Comey thought it necessary to inform Congress of the find. In July, Comey announced that the FBI had found no basis to recommend criminal charges against former Secretary of State Clinton, arising out of her use of a private email server. He then scolded her publicly for mishandling classified material.   Comey came under fire for this ex-officio comment.

Crossing The Boss

img_1447Now, Comey is on the hot seat again. He went against Attorney General Loretta Lynch’s direction not to issue the inflammatory letter adding nothing of substance to the case against Clinton, eleven days before Election Day. The FBI reports to Lynch’s Justice Department. Yet, Comey said that he felt obligated to inform Congress of this newish discovery. Comey’s action may well be grounds for dismissal. Given Lynch’s own political problem over her June  airport meeting with Bill Clinton, creating an appearance of impropriety in connection with the email server issue, she was in no position to block Comey and is in no position to fire him.  

Comey Unchained

Nevertheless, Comey’s feeling of obligation is badly misguided. The emails have not been examined. Right now, they are not evidence—they are data. It is against law enforcement policy to discuss on open investigation of any kind.If Clinton was not running for President in an upcoming election, you can bet that Comey would not even have thought about it. The FBI would continue its investigation and report its findings to DOJ, which then would make a decision as to prosecution.

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Even if he had an obligation to update Congress, his action was premature and knowingly prejudicial. It would be understandable if the FBI had determined that the emails were newly discovered material, containing a “Classified” marking and being sent to or from Clinton’s private server.  Then the Bureau could report something meaningful had been found and that further classification review by other agencies would be required. Until then, it should have remained an internal matter for the Bureau; especially because classified material might involve matters of national security.  

Comey has painted himself into a corner. If the emails are innocuous, he should not have raised it at all. If they involved  classified material, he can’t disclose them but clearly has opened that door. He’s prejudiced the election as well as a potential prosecution.  Clinton along with others accuses Comey of a political hatchet job.  Try as one might, the political aspect is impossible to dismiss.

© 2016 The Revolted Colonies

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.

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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.  

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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.

 

Here’s That The Ring of Fire You Told Me About

The political class holds the view that every successful candidate must go through a Ring of Fire, a test that can sink a campaign. The successful candidate will withstand the Ring of Fire. The candidate must confront a negative and neutralize it or turn it positive.

Clinton’s Struggle

Frontrunner Hillary Clinton has endured many trying moments in her campaign but has held on to a lead, now dwindling, from the day she declared. The lead withstood the Benghazi Inquisition, the Goldman Bounty, The Global Path to Power, the Email Enigma and even the Escape from Pneumonia. Can she surmount the final and ultimate hurdle: The Flight of the Millennials?
Over the past week, Clinton’s slipping numbers have not been Trump’s increase, but they have been his gain. There is evidence to support the view that, although Clinton beats Trump head to head among Millennials, her support drops substantially in a four-way race that includes Gary Johnson, the Libertarian candidate, and Jill Stein, the Green Party nominee.

Election 2000 Redux?

Ralph Nader’s Green Party candidacy siphoned off enough votes from Al Gore to turn a comfortable margin in Florida into a deficit of 537 and a calamitous recount. We learned about hanging chads and butterfly ballots, a wrongly announced time for poll closing by the five major media outlets, vote scrubbing – the wrongful removal of non-felons from the Florida voting rolls, vote pairing – a vote trade that is meant to altecarviller electoral college results, combativeness during the recount and finally the Supreme Court hijacking the recount process from Florida. The only election result that counted was 5-4, the court split in Bush v. Gore. But Nader’s participation made it possible.

Doing the Math

At this point, the “I’m With Her” team has lost its swagger and is grappling with the departure of Millennial support.millennialscollage Voters that abandon Clinton for Johnson or Stein are taking their votes off the board because only Clinton and Trump are competitive. The smaller total favors Trump. Those departing voters effectively are throwing their votes toward Trump.

Here then is Hillary Clinton’s Ring of Fire, the ultimate challenge to her bid to become President, the first female to hold the office. The challenge folds in the earlier crises that have come to represent a penchant for secrecy, deviousness and legalistic parsing of words. In one sense, she cannot meet the ultimate test without shutting down a lot of the other ones. In another sense, she must make her case to the young constituency directly and convincingly.
People don’t use logic in voting. They vote on emotion, personal attachment to a candidate or, in this year’s pageant, detachment from one or both. The logic is there for Clinton to make her case to the Millennials. She will need to deliver it with sincerity and passion, concern for the lives of our children and our children’s children. When she delivers her message, she ought to be thinking about her daughter Chelsea, who is a Millennial. She should speak to Chelsea or her friends find out how she’s letting them down and move quickly to persuade them – through acts, not words – that she can be trusted to carry out an agenda that holds promise for them. This is her Ring of Fire, the ultimate test of her candidacy. Hillary has always been a top student. Let’s see if she can ace the final.

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

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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?”

Texas Two-Step: DFW Morning News Endorses Clinton

Texas View of U.S.Texas is the hub of American Conservatism, and Dallas-Ft. Worth is its epicenter. Today the Dallas-Ft. Worth Morning News endorsed Hillary Clinton, a Democrat, for President. The endorsement comes one day after the News announced that it could not endorse Donald Trump, the Republican nominee.

Man Bites Dog

Clinton is the first Democrat to get the Morning News endorsement since the 1930’s!   However, the board determined that Clinton was the only “serious” candidate.The editorial board does not love the former Secretary of State but does respect her. Naturally, the endorsement comes with reservations.

“In Clinton’s eight years in the U.S. Senate, she displayed reach and influence in foreign affairs. Though conservatives like to paint her as nakedly partisan, on Capitol Hill she gained respect from Republicans for working across the aisle: Two-thirds of her bills had GOP co-sponsors and included common ground with some of Congress’ most conservative lawmakers.”

No Trump Bid

Trump was rejected as “hostile to conservatism He plays on fear — exploiting base instincts of xenophobia, racism and misogyny — to bring out the worst in all of us, rather than the best. His serial shifts on fundamental issues reveal an astounding absence of preparedness. And his improvisational insults and midnight tweets exhibit a dangerous lack of judgment and impulse control..”

Trump’s dismissal one day earlier sounded the alarm that the GOP candidate was a Republican in Name Only.

“We have no interest in a Republican nominee for whom all principles are negotiable, nor in a Republican Party that is willing to trade away principle for pursuit of electoral victory.

“Trump doesn’t reflect Republican ideals of the past; we are certain he shouldn’t reflect the GOP of the future.”

Morning News’ Message

Why the Texas Two-Step? The Morning News published two separate pieces to send a clear signal to its constituents. It denounced Trump as unworthy politically because he does not espouse traditional Republican or conservative values and lacks the integrity to stand by principled positions. Don’t vote for Trump, it cautioned.  But otherwise, Vote Republican!

It endorsed Clinton, because the nation needs a capable, serious person to occupy the Oval Office. Conservatives were encouraged to vote for Clinton for her ability to execute the job, not for her policies.

The unstated message, which is sure to follow, is that Republican/Conservative down-ballot candidates will be endorsed and should have their readers’ support. Furthermore, a vote for Clinton should not be read as a sign of reconciliation over policy differences.

A New Day Dawning?

The most encouraging part of the endorsement can be read as an undertaking to set aside personal attacks toward Clinton and instead to address the nation’s business on the merits.

We reject the politics of personal destruction. Clinton has made mistakes and displayed bad judgment, but her errors are plainly in a different universe than her opponent’s.

If Clinton prevails, which seems more likely with Dallas’ endorsement, the first test of a new cooperative spirit will take place before she takes office.  The Senate Republicans can create political good will and do the right thing for its constituents by confirming Merrick Garland, even if they hold their majority in the Senate.

The Spoils System – Like Apple Pie

The Spoils System
An interesting piece ran in today’s New York Times.  Richard Painter, the former chief Ethics Lawyer for George W. Bush and a former University of Minnesota law professor, wrote that Hillary Clinton has not violated any law in her dealings with the State Department and the Clinton Foundation.  Let’s have that again:  Hillary Clinton has not violated any federal ethics law.  None.  Not crooked. Not dirty. Not sordid. Not the Wicked Witch of the West. The Clinton Foundation at most is a product of the Spoils System, and to the victors go the spoils.

Playing Favorites

“Was there favoritism?” Painter asks, then the discourse trails off about something having to do with the woods and a wild bear. Of course, officials elected and appointed play favorites.  That’s probably how you got your first job – through somebody you know. I know I did.

“If favoritism by political appointees toward outside persons or organizations were illegal,” writes Painter, “the United States government would be quite different than it is today.”  In short, the answer to the question about favoritism is a resounding “Duh?”   We used to call it the spoils system.  Americans didn’t invent it. It’s been around at least as long as tribes have existed. Doesn’t everyone have a slow relative who needs a boost?  No?  Well, maybe that slow relative is you.

Or maybe some smart kid from your district applies, whose family has supported you since you first ran for Town Council.  Now that you’re a Congressman and the kid is a Senior at Excited State, he’ll be working as one of your aides. Believe me, that kid worked hard and deserves a chance. So do the other 10,000 kids whose letters went directly to the circular file.  Fair, it isn’t.  Painter’s point is that it’s how Washington has always worked and is not about to change, no matter who wins.

The Appearance of Impropriety

Painter addresses the tougher problem, that this Foundation is unconventional because its funds come principally from donations rather than family wealth. Those donors are not always disinterested people.  They have expectations.  Even without a smoking gun,  Clinton’s opposition will scrutinize every appointment, appropriation or award for a link to a donation and every donation to an appointment, appropriation or award.  That’s as it should be, because these transactions in parallel create the appearance, if not the fact, of impropriety.   

If even the appearance of impropriety is to be avoided, Painter argues, then Bill and Chelsea Clinton should step down, and Hillary should vow never to take part in the Foundation after she leaves office.  At this point, I’d be tempted to tell Mr. Painter that he is coloring outside the lines if it weren’t for the fact that the Clintons always paint so close to those same lines.  This gets us back to the beginning.  Nothing they have done is illegal, but that doesn’t make it a good idea.  If there is a hole, they’ve been known to slip through it.  Part of Clinton Fatigue was exhaustion of following them through their scrapes with law and ethics.  They’ve usually prevailed (except for Bill being disbarred for not knowing what “is” is).

For example, it recently – today –  came to light that some of Bill’s personal aides doubled up at the Clinton Foundation. They are being compensated with funds paid by the federal government under the Former President’s Act even though Bill Clinton could afford to pay his aides from the family’s  own funds. Plus, they were drawing pay from the Foundation. In addition, government funds were used to buy IT equipment for the fund, as well as for the Clintons’ private servers. Not illegal but sleezy, the kind of thing that Bill’s gotten smacked for in the past.  I suggest that Congress take another look at that statute because there is a hole Bill could drive a truck through –and did.

The Tradeoff

If Hillary is elected and all of the Clintons step away from the Foundation, and if they agree not to double dip out of the Former Presidents’ Fund, will that keep everybody quiet?   Of course not.  There will always be a new version of the Lincoln Bedroom, the Chinese contributors, the Bangladeshi banker, the aides with two pay checks, and the moving van backed up to the White House memoribilia room. Clintons will be Clintons.

Hillary, Spoils and All

 Will Hillary overreach?  Duh.  But she’s far less likely to lead us into financial disaster, global depression or another insane war than what’s-his-name.  

And in the end, I will go with someone who knows the political landscape and its complexities, even if some of the White House silverware’s gone missing. 

The Company She Keeps

 
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The State Department’s latest email dump outlines a dark, serious and subversive story.  Bill Clinton’s operatives and Hillary Clinton’s aides at State conducted a back-scratching arrangement from which the Clintons substantially benefited.
The Clintons were in middling financial condition upon taking office in 1993. Thanks to book advances, they were flush upon leaving it in 2001.  The Clintons were forced to return some government property taken when they left the White House. They did get to keep the “For Sale” sign they’d hung on the door of the Lincoln Bedroom. 
Now, they are truly wealthy. The wealth comes primarily through the Clinton Global Initiative (CGI), whose benefits are indirect as far as is presently known. and speaking fees, which often coincide with CGI business.  You don’t get rich on a government salary. 
On Bill Clinton’s last day in office, he issued a pardon to Marc Rich, a fugitive who had amassed great wealth by trading illegally with America’s enemies: Ayatollah Khomeini of the Islamic Iranian Republic, Muammar Gaddafi of Libya, Slobodan Milosevic of Serbia, and Kim-Jong Il of North Korea. Rich, who died in 2013, and his wife had donated almost $1.5 million to the Clinton campaign and Presidential Library.  Democrats and Republicans alike were scandalized by the pardon. 
Many suspected that cash from Rich and his friends continued to flow into the Clinton coffers long after the pardon. His colleague Gilbert Chagoury, convicted in Nigeria of money-laundering, surfaced in the emails made public yesterday.  In 2009, Doug Band, the former President’s body man and a Clinton Global Initiative aide, sought assurances from the State Department that  Chagoury would get special treatment, being introduced to a person of substance at State. The Clinton Global Initiative, now in its second decade of operations, collected at least $1 million from Chagoury over the years. It gets worse. There are other deals involving uranium assets and oil
The FBI requested DOJ investigation of Clinton, CGI and Dr. Muhammad Yunus over a year ago.  The truth as to the allegations against Yunus and his Grameen Bank are disputed.  What is incontestable is that the State Department facilitated a package of financial benefits for Dr. Yunus through an array of U.S. government agencies and that Dr. Yunus made a contribution of between $100,000 and $300,000 to the Clinton Global Initiative.
So far, there is no smoking gun or quid pro quo in these email revelations. Hillary Clinton has skittered along the edge of the law for nearly 25 years.  It’s no longer possible to dismiss all accusations of corruption as the work of a right-wing conspiracy. 
  
© The Revolted Colonies 2016


 

Bill’s Valedictory

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Bill Clinton appeared as the featured speaker on the DNC’s second night. He came after the official nomination and before the ceremonial shattering of the glass ceiling (I involuntarily shouted, “Mazel Tov” at the screen).  Bill is moving stiffly now, trembling slightly, his voice a bit hoarser and weaker than in his prime.

He took us on Hillary and Bill Clinton’s fabulous adventure from adolescence to the present. He went on for nearly an hour, holding our attention. He described in vital detail all of those moments of transition and growth in his wife’s life, how she got to be who she is and arrive at this moment.  He skipped over the rough patches, as expected. In the end, their marriage made for a one-of-a-kind story of two gifted and ambitious people, finding each other and together through life, reaching incredible political heights.

Bill made the case for Hillary as a force for social justice and for the improvement of the lives of the poor, capable of moving policy and people. He recounted several fascinating anecdotes, filling in a portrait with details not well known to many.

Before the glass crashed, with a bold, colorful image of Hillary following the black and white slide show of the forty-four Presidents, he withdrew, offering a final wave to the convention crowd. This speech was about Hillary, but it also was about Bill. It  had the feeling of a leave-taking.  Possibly, his presence on the campaign trail this fall will be limited; that this night, he truly passed the torch to his wife, whatever her fortune may be, and stepped away from the political arena.

 © The Revolted Colonies 2016

Sorry, Was That Your Bump I Stepped On?

While Hillary Clinton introduced Tim Kaine as her new running mate, he sat upstage, beaming past the TV camera and out into the firmament.  He clapped when the crowd did, out of habit, even when clapping for himself. Then he stepped forward to greet the crowd. “Bienvenidos a todos,” — Greetings to you all.  A roar arose from the Miami audience. The aftershocks can be felt in places as far away as Texas, Arizona and California. Picking Kaine was a very good opening move, even if speaking Spanish fails to answer the question,” ¿Y que?”  The Latin community is looking for more than lip service from the next administration.

U.S. Senator Tim Kaine is the retail politician this campaign has lacked. He is the new star attraction, a positive charge to offset the negatives. His smile and energy are infectious. And when in Miami, he speaks both its languages.  He will be a big help on the campaign trail in places where Hillary Clinton could use a lift. As a progressive, he has taken stands that he now may have to retract, like his opposition to Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu or the  Iran Nuclear Deal.

Nevertheless, it was clear as well that Clinton was buoyed by his presence, just as  Elizabeth Warren’s joint appearance made her appear less tense.  Hillary is better in a team than as a solo act. Kaine, somewhat like Bill Clinton, enjoys the public side of politics.  For Hillary, it seems a necessary part of the package.  When a true crowd-pleaser like Kaine takes the stage, she genuinely enjoys it, as well as she appreciates the attention shifting away from her. Unlike Bill Clinton, Kaine is there to play a supporting role, and no doubt he will.  But it’s not hard to see him soar to the best ratings of the four remaining prospects. Kaine is more than likeable enough.

It’s still Clinton’s race, of course. She will have to run smart wire to wire.     His well-received appearance took the spotlight away from the RNC. Whatever bump they hoped to get, if indeed there was a bump at all, would be overshadowed by the new bright, shiny object.

© The Revolted Colonies 2016

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