Clinton vs. Trump, 100 days out: A tight race, but why?

Policy wonk v. cheddar-faced crypto fascist: How can any American possibly be undecided?

Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton throws a balloon after speaking to there delegates during the final day of the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia, Thursday, July 28, 2016. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)

Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton throws a balloon after speaking to there delegates during the final day of the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia, Thursday, July 28, 2016. (Matt Rourke, AP)

For a sense of where the United States finds itself in the summer of 2016, let us turn to the words of a speech by former New York mayor Michael Bloomberg. Not all the words, just four of them—just the part where he urges Americans to elect as president “a sane, competent person.”

Bloomberg was speaking to the Democratic National Convention, but he is no partisan. In fact, the billionaire considered running for president himself as an independent. Instead he came to Philadelphia and announced to tens of millions of viewers that one of the two major candidates for the presidency of the most powerful nation on Earth is—and I’m barely paraphrasing here—an insane halfwit. By and large, the reaction of Americans was: “Yep, but what are you going to do?”

The campaign dynamic has been established. Hillary Clinton and her surrogates dismissed Donald Trump as “clueless” on world affairs. Trump responded by saying Clinton’s foreign policy would unleash “devastation” on the world. This from a man who until recently thought Belgium was a city.

Unaccustomed to being out of the spotlight, the Republican candidate gave a news conference during the Democratic convention. You may remember it for Trump’s decision to politely invite Russian hackers to initiate a cyberattack against the U.S. and help find Clinton’s deleted emails. Some called this treason. Trump called it sarcasm—though it took him almost 24 hours to say so, which suggests the candidate and his aides pondered other possible explanations.

Trump: Should I say I was drunk? No, wait—amnesia!

Aide: Sir, I don’t think we—

Trump: Hang on, we’ll tell them it was opposite day.

There were other moments to savour. At one point, a reporter asked Trump if he thought the Geneva Conventions were out of date. This is a bit like asking a jar of marmalade what it thinks about string theory, but let’s admire the reporter’s willingness to swing for the fences.

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump leaves a news conference at Trump National Doral, Wednesday, July 27, 2016, in Doral, Fla. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump, Wednesday, July 27, 2016, in Doral, Fla. (Evan Vucci, AP)

Trump’s response will be familiar to anyone who was ever called on to deliver a book report—but hadn’t read the book. “I think everything’s out of date,” he said. Got that? Everything. Rules that govern armed conflict. International treaties. Bolo ties. Everything is out of date. Mark the words of Donald J. Trump: America will never be great again until it gets rid of its high-waisted Mom jeans.

Meanwhile, a familiar refrain on the news channels was the need for Clinton to use her convention speech to win over undecided voters. I know what you’re thinking because I’m thinking it, too: How can any American possibly be undecided? How can a voter be torn between the dull but competent policy wonk and the cheddar-faced crypto fascist with the man crush on Vladimir Putin? Geez, I just can’t choose between Clinton’s plan to help the middle class and Trump’s plan to wage nuclear war because Katy Perry blocked him on Twitter.

In the U.S., one of the most important things you can do to improve your chances of becoming president is to seem presidential. The American media are obsessed with this. Did she sound presidential? Did she look presidential? Wolf, try to press up against her—does she smell presidential? (Presidents smell like sandalwood and coffee.) Clinton certainly comes off as presidential—smart, measured and confident. It probably doesn’t hurt that her opponent’s “plan” to make America great again appears to consist in equal parts of racism and magic.

Clinton also benefited from a convention that was professionally run and strategically cast. Few will forget the image of Khizr Khan—father of a fallen Muslim U.S. soldier—waving his copy of the U.S. constitution through the camera at Trump. “You have sacrificed nothing,” he said. Devastating. Republicans, by way of comparison, gave prime slots to TV’s Chachi and the lady who runs Trump Wine.

We’re 100 days out from the November election and still the insane halfwit has a legitimate shot at winning. The debates could swing the outcome. Clinton won’t want to talk about her email server. Trump won’t want anything to do with his tax returns. Or policy details. Or a pop quiz of world capitals.

Expect to hear a lot more about Trump Wine.

Day 4 at the DNC


Clinton vs. Trump, 100 days out: A tight race, but why?

  1. ‘An insane halfwit” Yeah that pretty well sums up Trump.

    But then again…..Hillary is a female…..so, you know……

    • Read GA Browne’s comment. This has nothing to do with Hiliary’s gender. This has to do with a disillusioned voting population who are planning a protest vote. The same thing happened in Alberta. People feel disenfranchised. They don’t care if the alternative to the establishment is a half-wit. Bill and Hiliary burned their bridges in the minds of many who cannot bring themselves to cast a vote for another Clinton. It is no different than Canada’s last federal election…anyone but Harper.

        • I prefer Irish cream in my coffee. Thanks for asking. No one can take you sober. Might smoke a doobie too if your PM ever gets around to legalizing it.

  2. Most Canadians are watching the US election in disbelief. It’s as if one of those traveling carnivals came to town and set up on your quiet residential street, specifically in your next door neighbour’s yard. What I keep coming back to, when confronted with it on a daily basis, is what statement is Trump’s early success making about the American people themselves? To deliberately vote for an offensive and crude moron surely makes a very disturbing statement about many millions of our “closest friends”. Have they dramatically changed, or did we just never really know them? Trump represents them, and their aspirations? There goes the neighbourhood.

  3. I was always taught ….You can’t be reasonable with an unreasonable person. I was also taught…To never lie down with pigs because you will get dirty. I was also taught …Not to let someone tease you and to just to walk away. (I remember getting so angry with my mother because I felt that the bully was teasing me, not me letting the bully tease me and she wasn’t understanding at all.)
    Unfortunately Trump has changed the name of the game (of getting elected) into skill at entertainment when we have been expecting the normal game of civil debate and discussion. And the media want entertainment. Big Business wants entertainment. DO NOT GIVE IT TO THEM.
    So the Democrats go around with their nickers in a knot pointing out how crazy he is, how unbalanced he is, how wrong he is, how dangerous he is………and as Nick Kouvalais used to say about Rob Ford….it is just wind in the sails of the Trump followers. All Trump has to do is come up with a perfect “put down” to score a WIN in their eyes. They have bought into Trumps game. The other guys are crooked, liars and cant be trusted in their eyes and the onus is on the democrats to prove they aren’t. Until then they won’t be satisfied. CHANGE THE RULES OF THE ENGAGEMENT
    As you have pointed out….How can these people be so stupid? But therein lies the problem. You just insult them and embolden them. The onus is on you to prove Hillary is not crooked, etc….and not just insult their guy.
    Why not change tactics.

  4. Who’s insane here? The candidate whose husband accepted $1.4 million in speaking fees from Nigerian oil baron Nduka Obaigbena just before Nigeria received its State Department waiver of USAID’s transparency blacklist, allowing Nigeria to get foreign aid Mr. Obaigbena would likely pocket a share of, or Donald Trump, who says a nation without borders is not a nation? Bill & Hillary Clinton have been in effective control of the Democratic Party since 1992, ruling it with a uranium fist. Dissenters like Bernie are quickly crushed.

    Trump has run a whistle-clean campaign, pulling no dirty trick on any of the 16 other GOP contenders. Trump speaks bluntly because suave talk no longer cuts through the PC smothering our rigged electoral system. This year, the nice Republicans, Rubio, Kasich, Jindal and Jeb, went down as Cruz would have shredded Trump, too, had the latter been so soft-spoken.

  5. Real people are sick and tired of the media BS that has been spewed for the last 40 years. Globalization has bankrupted USA because of the bad deals made. Clinton / Obama had eight years to fix the rust belt and do not care. They paid off wallstreet and no one went to jail for the frauds. Why is Trump the scary one? Clinton voted for Iraq war. Bill Clinton is a celebrated liberal predator of young women? What parents would want that man in the Whitehouse again? Ask yourself if you would leave your 20’s something daughter in the room along with this sex predator? Hillary absolved him by staying with him instead of doing the right thing and divorcing him. What does that say to his daughter Chelsea about men? Clinton and the DNC are incapable of securing their email servers. How is trump responsible for their failures? The best of two worst people is Trump. Clinton is more Obama do-nothing. We will see who is elected this fall. Ordinary people are pissed off. Clinton offers more of the same. Trump offers radical change. Middle class has been shafted for 30 years.

  6. Scot; One hundred days from now, you will hope that no one will be able to link your name to this ridiculous article. We aren’t fools. We recognize useless vitriol when we see it.

    If most citizens had a worthwhile job, a decent salary, and freedom from terrorism, then, this election would be different. But they don’t, and Mr. Trump is the only politician (He is now) who is prepared to acknowledge this. In this era of Islamist threats, what is wrong with saying, ‘If you can’t prove your ethnic identity, you can’t come in.’

    Probably, it would be a good idea to check all copies of the Qu’ran brought into the country. Copies containing statements of hatred must be confiscated (and burnt) and the immigrant deported. Additionally, would be a nationwide ban on all similar copies. Then, it is possible that we could accept the stated peacefulness of Islam.

    (Perhaps, before Emily refers me as a racist, I shall declare that the same rule must apply to copies of the Christian Bible.)

    By the way, it is rarely mentioned, but some Syrians are Christians.

    • Such a sad world we now live in. There are so few good journalists. The hidden agendas and wonderful spin masters of the media journalists. I hope God pukes on you when you pass over.

      • What kind of God do you believe in anyway??

  7. Unfortunately, the author of this article, and the multitudes like him, are the reason Trump is likely to be elected. SHUT UP ALREADY! Before it’s too late.

    Trump is the Anti-PC candidate… get it? The people that intend to vote for him aren’t voting for him, they are voting against you, your politically correct talk, and your passive progressive liberalism. Every time you call Trump an idiot, they will double-down and be sure to vote for him, just to smash said idiot in your face. Every time some writer calls Trump’s supporters a bunch of uneducated, racist half-wits… they are going to vote for Trump. Every time a foreigner says Americans are crazy to vote for Trump… they’re going to vote for Trump. Insulting people is a lousy way to make an argument, doubly so when the insulting person is a foreigner. Stop it.

    If you want to understand why Americans are considering Trump as President, then you need to look at Germany. Remember when a thousand women were sexually assaulted in one night? Where were the men and why didn’t they do anything to stop it? Have you even considered that question? A lot of Americans hold their traditional values very highly, like being a man, standing up for what’s right, and taking care of problems themselves. It’s part of the reason they’re so attached to their firearms. They’re wondering what went wrong in Germany; they’re worried their country is heading in the same direction. They think the politically correct speech, the progressive liberalism, the inclusiveness, and the passive response to confrontation have gone too far and are the cause of serious problems. And, yes, unfortunately they are probably linking Merkel and Clinton together for all the wrong reasons. They think Trump is their last chance to change course and are willing to live with him for 4 years if they have to.

    Trump stands a very good chance of being elected. If you view this as a problem, and I do, then the best course of action is not throwing around a bunch of insults. The correct thing to do is ask yourself why so many people are willing to elect someone like Trump even when all his faults are so publicly visible. The passive progressive liberal people need to start having a real conversation about what is going wrong. Deciding that the ‘other’ people aren’t ‘properly’ educated is not a conversation. They aren’t happy with your education either, and they get to vote just like every other American.

    • I guess a lot of these people don’t know that Scott is a satirical humorist. I’m just glad I live in Canada and only have simps like Justin and his “First Lady” to deal with. At any rate we can get rid of him in four or so years – maybe even sooner if the Canadian population wise up.

      • Canada is not conservative. It’s liberal.

        Unless Justin accidentally blows up NB, he’s there for at least another 4 years after this.

        • 60% of the Canadian population did not want the Liberals but preferred the Conservatives or NDP. Even the NDP would have been more fiscally responsible than the free spenders now bent on bankrupting the country. I am certain that another of Harper’s legacies that the man child will undo is to raise the HST by 3%.
          Harper lowered it to restrain the government by reducing revenue. Of course the Liberals want no restraint and more money that they can fritter it away.

  8. Would Canadians elect an ostentatious crook and sociopathic liar to national leadership?

    • Why would Americans ever choose Trump? Because the policy wonk is as Coleman has described her- a crook and a liar. In addition, she has the personality and charisma of a lizard!!
      In the end, it doesn’t matter who becomes President. The US governing system is so dysfunctional, as Obama has clearly shown, nothing ever gets done.
      Should Trump become President, however, and renegotiates NAFTA with our pansy in Ottawa, Trump will eat him for breakfast.

    • It’s a bit ironic that it’s Obama standing up at the DNC saying that Clinton is the most qualified person to run for President. Wouldn’t that have applied back in ’08? That was also the argument Harper used against Trudeau.
      The fact that Clinton has been in public life for the last 30 years while all the economic growth benefited the people on top is a disadvantage for her. Recently she has billionaires out attacking Trump but in a way it just makes her look more part of the establishment.
      Clinton supports the tech businesses that hire temporary Indians instead of American IT graduates. She is supported by the banks that are even now demolishing foreclosed homes while the families that lived there have to pay higher rents elsewhere. She wants to raise the minimum wage to $12/hour but the timeline is not defined. She won’t do anything for the American citizen who has to compete with undocumented workers for a job at a factory or in landscaping.
      The downside of Trump has been obvious from day 1. I don’t think Clinton can damage him much more than he damaged himself. And for that reason I think he has room to increase his support while Clinton will have a difficult time finding reasons for undecided voters to choose her.

  9. Clinton is the more presidential of the two candidates, no question. I also believe that she is much smarter than Trump. That aside, these are two terrible candidates and that is why people remain undecided. Even among those who have declared their intent to vote for one or the other lies a large number of people that are doing so reluctantly.

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