The “October Surprise,” as reported in all manner of media.
We now have the tape of Donald Trump in a “locker room conversation,” proving for all time that yes, Donald Trump is a crude man.
This revelation was undoubtedly mined by the Clinton team for “discovery” on the eve of Presidential Debate II and, though it doesn’t reveal anything new (sadly) about Trump, it does reveal the absolute desperation of the Clinton campaign. And it demonstrates the craven partisanship of the Mainstream Media and Fox News.
Please spare me the horrified commentary by the media that the way Donald Trump talks about women disqualifies him from office. Hillary’s supporters and many other Americans would have elected Bill Clinton to the presidency again in 2000, if he had been eligible. Many would even vote for him today.
The Clinton Campaign continually reminds us that Hillary is the most prepared and competent candidate in this or any election. Her supporters and everyone I run into in a restaurant or store or party of friends tells me this.
Yet the campaign of this “competent” candidate, with a long track record of service, has made this campaign about Donald Trump and his foibles. Clinton has vilified Trump supporters as “deplorable” and Sanders’ supporters as fanciful “basement dwellers.”
Why is this necessary? That thought keeps coming back to me. Why are they running scared?
The recent charges against Trump’s character have included: failure to pay taxes for a period of time after a billion dollar write-off; disparaging remarks toward a former beauty queen; and, now, this tape of a crude, but, presumably, private and off-the-record conversation. One wonders – is that all you’ve got, Hillary?
Donald Trump didn’t spend his entire adult life aspiring to be commander in chief. If he had, his taxes would have been politically palatable and all past comments would have been massaged toward correctness. He would’ve had the experience to get in front of more issues and he also might have had the forethought to stay away from that new fangled invention – Twitter.
I believe that Trump had no idea that he could even compete for the Republican nomination until he was actually stomping the supposedly-excellent Republican field. He was running on one issue, immigration reform, and, along the way, he realized that he had tapped into a hugely-ignored part of America, who had been dismissed by the political establishment in Washington.
The last time these disenfranchised folks had a voice was during the Ross Perot Campaign of 1990, which probably paved Bill Clinton’s path to the White House by taking votes from President Bush the First.
But here’s the thing: Donald Trump has only words behind his presidential bid.
Hillary Clinton has given us a lot of actions as a First Lady, senator, and secretary of state, including:
1.She led a foreign policy effort that created a “lead from behind” strategy that left an enormous vacuum of power in the Middle East and North Africa. Not only did this enable the rise of ISIS that has increased world terrorism, but it led to a massive migration of people from that region to Europe. The result is a crippled Europe and the rise of the Far Right in Austria, France, and Germany. While at the State Department, it appears that she may have used her influence to get friends access to power. Recently, it was discovered that a friend of her son-in -law got a lucrative consulting contract with the Pentagon. Many donations to the Clinton Foundation came with with favors doled out from the U.S. Government. One example involves a uranium manufacturer who needed clearance from the government to sell his product to Russia. There are more.
2.The Clinton Foundation, like all foundations, was created for wealthy people in the tax code (just like billion-dollar real estate development write-downs). Theirs is just bigger than most. From 2009- 2012 they raised over $500 million in donations, many obtained through speaking engagement fees that the Clintons donated to the foundation. They then spent more than $400 million on travel, salaries, and “other expenses.” They paid out $75 million to the needy during that period. The Clinton defenders say that this just is a misunderstanding of the way charities work. Nonsense. Remember how the Red Cross was pilloried a few years back for high expenses, such as salaries and perks during the Hurricane Sandy emergency.
3.While secretary of state, she used an illegal private server with very questionable security and has been under FBI investigation. She has thus far been cleared of criminal wrongdoing, but FBI Director Comey referred to her actions as “extremely careless” and “negligent.”
4.She flat-out lied to the parents of the four U.S. soldiers killed in Benghazi, while they waited to collect the remains of their children. She continued to use the story concocted by the White House that some anti-Islam video had stirred up the violence.
5.Hillary Clinton led the attacks against women who accused Bill Clinton of sexual aggression when allegations of that nature arose before and during his presidency. Later, on the campaign trail for her own candidacy, she told her audiences that women who bring up rape allegations should be believed.
So enough of the histrionics and hand-wringing about Trump’s crudeness. All of that is well-known and documented. Enough of his words, because that’s really all we have. All of his words have taken place outside of public life, with no obvious preparation for the presidential political arena.
On the other hand, Hillary Clinton has a long record of public service. There are strong arguments that can be made about her lack of honesty and that her actions in public life have a shadow of corruption.
She can beat an amateur politician in the ring, stage or a town hall debate format – all day long. She’s a trained politician who can speak platitudes forever. But more than her words, her actions disqualify her from the job she has sought forever.
Her attacks on Trump are a defense against poor policy, both her own and President Obama’s. She dwells on Trump because she really does have nothing.
Jon Saltzman is the Publisher and Senior Editor of Political Storm
Photo Credit: Ricky Minton / Shutterstock