As the Trump campaign is surrounding itself with strong, anti-Hillary voices from well established conservative media — Stephen Bannon and Roger Ailes, to name but two, WNYC’s All Things Considered host Richard Hake last week said that “the Clinton campaign has been looking for a surrogate to play Trump so she can practice and they are bringing in the well-known criminal and constitutional law attorney Alan Dershowitz.”
Hake was interviewing former New York City Public Advocate Mark Green, who said that of the two components required to win a presidential debate, knowledge and the ability to react quickly and sharply, Hillary possessed the former to a degree close to her own husband’s and to President Obama. But how should she react to an offensive criticism from her attacker in real-time?
“With Roger Ailes and Stephen Bannon advising Trump, Hillary’s team has to guess at what off-the-wall questions, attacks, about her or Bill are coming her way, and how to response with one phrase, one over-arching ribbon,” Green said.
Green, who used to be a student of Dershowitz’s at Harvard, said “Alan Dershowitz is quick-talking, New Yorkish, loud, of course a liberal, and he can mimic Trump pretty well.”
Green said the Democratic candidate should have one overall debate manager, one surrogate, and a team of ten advisers who would micro-analyze her answers during the practice bouts, and remind her to remain poised and, most important and “cheesy,” as Green put it, smile a lot.
“If you’re ideologically neutral and you see Trump yelling and angry, and self-centered, he never smiles, he never laughs, he’s too self-referential,” Green said, and then you turn to Hillary, and “Hillary is the tough mother you want, and if she smiles periodically and is always poised, she conveys empathy. Remember, Kennedy beat Nixon not on points but on appearance.”
So far, Dershowitz denied the story about his playing Trump, writing “Not that I’ve heard,” in response to a Jewish Insider email asking if he’ll do Trump in Clinton’s debate prep.
The first presidential debate is scheduled for Monday, September 26 at Hofstra University in New York.
A pizza parlor in the Old City of Jerusalem is running an election tip poll.
Trump seems to be a tiny bit ahead of Clinton, but the truth is, the tip jars were all pretty empty – could that be indicative that people don’t plan to vote? Or just that they don’t like leaving tips in pizza parlors?.
‘America is already great,’ U.S. President Barack Obama told a packed house at the Wells Fargo Arena in Philadelphia Wednesday night, taking a direct swing at the GOP presidential contender.
“America is already strong. Our strength and greatness does not depend on Donald Trump.
Boos filled the hall of the Democratic National Convention, as Obama began to double down on the Republican opponent.
“Don’t ‘boo,'” he advised. “Vote.”
That advice was a recurring theme throughout his 45 minute speech — the importance of getting out to the polls to vote — because the apathy that has affected the American voter over the past several elections has made the difference more than once. “If you’re serious about our democracy, you can’t afford to stay home,” he said.
As for Clinton, the words “steady and strong” were threaded throughout the speech. He admitted she had made mistakes, as he had.
Obama talked about all the “different shades of humanity” that are seen in the United States due to the great mix that is America, and who are seen in the American military. He said that is why “fascists and jihadists and homegrown demagogues will always fail in the end.”
The latter was again another shot at Clinton’s opponent, Donald Trump.
Obama also gave a ‘shout out’ to the supporters of Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders, some of whom still remained outside the hall, demonstrating against the exposed bias of the leadership that had rigged the primary vote against their candidate.
“We all need to be as organized and as persistent as Bernie Sanders’ supporters,” Obama said.
“We all need to get out and vote for Democrats up and down the ticket, and then hold them accountable until they get the job done,” he said.
Cheers from the hall. “That’s right,” he nodded. “Feel the Bern!”
Through all the talking points, the barbs fired at Trump, the praise of Clinton’s persistence, there was the acknowledgement that America is on the right track but the grudging acknowledgement there was still work to be done.
Hillary Clinton is the right candidate for the job, he said. “She’s been there for us, even if we haven’t always noticed,” he said, and affirmed there has “never been a man or a woman more qualified than Hillary Clinton to serve as president. She is fit and she is ready to be the next Commander-in-Chief.”
As for the now-metastasizing Islamic State (Da’esh/ISIS) terrorist organization: “I know Hillary won’t relent until ISIL is destroyed.”
He also insisted her geopolitical credentials would stand her in good stead — perhaps an oblique reference to Benghazi — and an affirmation of her experience in foreign affairs. “Hillary Clinton is respected around the world, not just by leaders, but by the people they serve.”
But it was the echo of former President Bill Clinton’s speech the night before that seemed to get the loudest laughter and cheers: “No matter how daunting the odds, no matter how much people try to knock her down, she never, ever quits.”
Obama made it clear that he knows it’s not “all good,” that there is plenty still left to be done.
“My time in this office, it hasn’t fixed everything,” Obama said. It was clear that the stress of the office had finally caught up to him — perhaps had caught up to him long before, in fact.
“For all the places where I’ve fallen short …. I told Hillary and I’ll tell you, what’s picked me up has been you,” he said, with eyes just slightly wet.
“I am so proud of all the change that YOU made happen… Time and again you’ve picked me up and I hope sometimes I picked you up too, and tonight I ask you to do for Hillary Clinton what you did for me.
“It was you 12 years ago I was talking about when I was talking about hope,” Obama said, thanking Democrats for eight years of faith in the “audacity of hope” for the “change” he had promised in the days of his own campaigns.
“Thank you for this incredible journey, let’s keep it going.”
The new WikiLeaks Democratic National Committee e-mail dump seems certain to keep alive the issues of Hillary Clinton’s illegal use of a private server while secretary of state, the probability that her e-mails were hacked by those acting for foreign governments, her dubious responses to investigators, her failure to provide subpoenaed documents, and the extraordinary non-prosecution pass she nevertheless received from the FBI.
Not only did the 20,000-plus e-mails sent or received by top committee officials contain information about attempts, despite committee neutrality rules, to scuttle Bernie Sanders’s campaign for the party’s presidential nomination, but they were apparently obtained through hacker penetration of the DNC computer system.
In addition, the FBI announced on Monday that it is investigating whether hackers had penetrated or tried to penetrate the e-mails of senior Clinton aides. This, despite the statement by FBI Director James B. Comey last month that there was no “direct evidence” that any foreign power had “successfully hacked” Mrs. Clinton’s computers – although there was evidence that attempts had been made and that highly skilled hackers would not have left any traces.
Among the released e-mails were some messages that describe the efforts of DNC chairwoman Debbie Wasserman-Schultz to run interference for Hillary Clinton at the expense of Sen. Sanders. But what was particularly intriguing was a somewhat garbled discussion about using Mr. Sanders’s faith – or lack thereof – to dilute support for him.
The discussion went as follows in an e-mail exchange involving DNC CFO Brad Marshall, Mark Paustenbach, a DNC communications official, and Amy Lacey, DNC CEO:
Mr. Marshall initially said,
It might may [sic] no difference , but for KY [Kentucky] and WVA [West Virginia] can we get someone to ask his belief. Does he believe in a God. He had skated on saying he has a Jewish heritage. I think I read he is an atheist. This could make several points difference with my peeps. My Southern Baptist peeps would draw a big difference between a Jew and an atheist.
A few minutes later, Mr. Marshall e-mails Ms. Lacey: “It’s these [sic] Jesus thing.”
Several hours afterward, Mr. Dacey responds with “Amen.”
Unclear though the exchange may be, it seems they wanted to somehow make the “Jesus thing” work for them in terms of how the “peeps” would view Sen. Sanders – preferably through the prism of his perceived atheism (for the record, he denies being an atheist) but at the very least by putting, however subtly, the issue of Sen. Sanders’s Jewishness on the table.
The possibility that Mr. Sanders’s ethnic background might become a public issue for at least some of Mr. Marshall’s “peeps” did not seem to suggest to the DNC officials involved in the e-mail exchange that perhaps they should abandon the effort.
We would think that Mrs. Clinton, with all her talk of diversity, freedom of thought, etc., would quickly condemn the very notion of attempting to capitalize on a candidate’s alleged atheism. She has yet to do so.
My thoughts…mine alone. Not meant to interfere. No money was distributed, no attempt is being made to infiltrate the US to undermine any campaign (as compared to what the Obama administration did during the last Israeli elections).
I’m smart enough to know that if we were stupid enough to attempt this, America…or what is left of it…would respond to us as we responded to Obama (A Message to America).
So, I offer my thoughts…and mine alone…on the choice between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton:
I am more amazed by the endless need to attack the other person that typifies almost all Facebook posts. And the only posts I’ve seen the have been positive about either candidate are usually lies. The best single post I’ve seen is quite simple “We’re Screwed, 2016.”
I have been accused of being interested in only one aspect of the US elections – how the candidate relates to Israel. I can’t totally deny this because while I believe which candidate you choose will impact on your future economic situation and perhaps some personal freedoms, I don’t think the very lives of most Americans hangs on the balance of how the next election goes.
Potentially every Israeli life, including and especially the soldiers of Israel, could be on the line. I am proud of my country, Israel, for taking the necessary steps and cultivating other relationships outside the one with the US. This will be needed if Clinton is elected.
But I will also tell you that again and again, I see that what happens to Israel first, spreads to the rest of the world. We lived through terrible days of suicide bombing attacks, now they are very rare in Israel (thank God and the IDF). While terrorism is still a reality in Israel, far more attacks are averted or mitigated by our strong and constant attempts to fight it. We watch as horrible things happen in Brussels, Orlando, London, San Bernadino, Paris, Nice, and now Munich. Left unchecked, terror will spread and spread. And who the US chooses in this election, will likely have a direct impact on how the US fights terror (or even if it fights terror), in the coming years.
What boggles the mind is how many of you now agree Obama was a disaster, just as we here in Israel said he would be, but are prepared to go with Clinton when we say the same thing about her and the policies she will implement, the people she will empower. Fool us once, shame on him…and Obama did. Fool us twice even, shame on him…and Obama did. Fool you three times, and Clinton will, shame on you.
At some point, however, you can’t fight stupid. Do what you gotta do, America. The world is watching. Your society is imploding. It is horrible to watch from outside. Those of us who live in Israel by choice still care deeply for the US and it is very painful to sit here and watch you choose between two such horrendous options. Worse, to watch as you pick the worst of the worse.
Clinton has now picked a Vice President who has a clear anti-Israel position. Oh yeah, he’ll mouth the words about supporting our backs…just like Obama did. But like Obama and Clinton, they despise the Israeli government, and the vibrant Israeli democracy that brought it to power.
I firmly believe that in four years, if you elect Clinton, America will be weaker and more isolated, thousands more will have died in terror attacks. As for Israel, you may not believe this next statement, but I do…we here in Israel will be fine. We are strong. We love this land and will defend it.
Four years ago, when Obama was re-elected, I wanted Israel to send the US a message, “God bless you and keep you safe…see you in four years.”
Well, it’s four years later. If Clinton is elected, I hope we’ll send that message because there will be no reason to attempt a closer relationship. Israel gets financial aid…yeah, we do…and we paid for that aid right back in many ways. It is not at all clear that Israel needs the US more than the US needs Israel – ask your military…or what is left of it after Obama has systematically worked to destroy it.
Look at the innovation coming out of Israel. I’ll tell you a secret…ready? What you see is nothing compared to what is happening here. You’ve seen pieces of it – Iron Dome – that WE developed, to meet and knock missiles out of the sky to protect our people, and now a Tunnel Discovery technology that is finding and destroying Hamas tunnels.
What else is there? Don’t worry – there’s more. We’ll deal with what we have to, no matter who you elect. With great disgust and sadness, I hope it will be Donald Trump.
I hope it will be Donald Trump, because I’d rather stand with the United States before the Russians, the Germans, Asians and Africans.
I hope it will be Donald Trump, because a united stand against Iran is the only way out of the dangers ahead that would (and will) be presented by a nuclear Iran. My country will fly alone if it has to but it would be better for the west if it wasn’t Israel alone.
I hope it will be Donald Trump, because I don’t think the US military can survive another years of Obama under a new name.
I hope it will be Donald Trump, because he is a Washington outsider and it’s time to bring in someone from the outside to change the corruption that has robbed America of so much of its greatness.
I hope it will be Donald Trump, because Israel is an important ally and deserves better treatment than it got from Obama or will get from Clinton and Caine, who supported Obama’s ongoing attempts to humiliate and insult Israel’s leaders.
I hope it will be Donald Trump, because the alternative is so much worse and because the next few years will force America to deal with very similar problems that Europe is struggling with right now…in places like Paris, Nice, Brussels, London, and Munich.
I hope it will be Donald Trump…
I hope it won’t be Hillary Clinton. I hope it won’t be Tim Kaine.
Whatever you think of either candidate running for president, Chris Christie definitely put on quite a performance yesterday at the RNC.
Below are Christie’s full remarks, as prepared for delivery and provided by convention officials.
I am here tonight not only as the Governor of New Jersey, but also as Donald Trump’s friend for the last fourteen years.
We are about to be led by not only a strong leader but by a caring, genuine and decent person.
I am proud to say that the voice of the people of our nation is being heard in this hall and those voices want Donald Trump to be the next President of the United States. But this election is not just about Donald Trump.
It is also about his Democratic opponent, Hillary Rodham Clinton.
In the past few weeks we have seen this Justice Department refuse to prosecute her.
Over the last eight years, we have seen this Administration refuse to hold her accountable for her dismal record as Secretary of State.
Well, tonight, as a former federal prosecutor, I welcome the opportunity to hold her accountable for her performance and her character.
We must present those facts to you, a jury of her peers, both in this hall and in living rooms around our nation.
Since the Justice Department refuses to allow you to render a verdict, let’s present the case now, on the facts, against Hillary Clinton. She was America’s chief diplomat. Look around at the violence and danger in our world today every region of the world has been infected with her flawed judgment.
But let me be specific so you can render your verdict. In North Africa, she was the chief engineer of our disastrous overthrow of Qaddafi in Libya.
Libya today after Hillary Clinton’s grand strategy? Libya’s economy in ruins, death and violence in the streets and ISIS now dominating the country.
Hillary Clinton, as a failure for ruining Libya and creating a nest for terrorist activity by ISIS guilty or not guilty? In Nigeria, Hillary Clinton amazingly fought for two years to keep an Al-Qaeda affiliate off the terrorist watch list.
What happened because of this reckless action by the candidate who is the self-proclaimed champion of women around the world? These terrorists abducted hundreds of innocent young girls two years ago.
These schoolgirls are still missing today.
What was the solution from the Obama/Clinton team? A hashtag campaign! Hillary Clinton, as an apologist for an Al-Qaeda affiliate in Nigeria resulting in the capture of innocent young women guilty or not guilty? She fights for the wrong people.
She doesn’t fight for us. She doesn’t get the real threats America faces. In China, Hillary Clinton praised the Chinese government for buying our debt to finance President Obama’s bloated stimulus plan.
So desperate for Chinese cash, she promised to oppose the Buy American provision in the stimulus bill in exchange for the cash to finance his huge expansion of government spending.
Hillary Clinton, putting big government spending financed by the Chinese ahead of jobs for middle class Americans guilty or not guilty? In Syria, she called President Assad a “reformer” and a “different kind of leader.”
With 400,000 now dead…think about that.
At the hands of the man Hillary defended.
We must ask this question: Hillary Clinton, as an awful judge of the character of a dictator-butcher in the Middle East guilty or not guilty? In Iran, she led the negotiations that brought about the worst nuclear deal in history.
Let me be clear: America and the world are measurably less safe and less respected because of the Iran deal Hillary helped cut.
Period. After she launched those negotiations, she became the biggest cheerleader for it at the end.
A deal that will lead to a nuclear Iran, an Israel that will be less safe and secure and much more dangerous Middle East.
Hillary Clinton, as an inept negotiator of the worst nuclear arms deal in American history guilty or not guilty? In Russia, she went to the Kremlin on her very first visit and gave them the symbolic reset button.
The button should have read, “delete” she is very good at that because she deleted in four years what it took 40 years to build. The next year, she said our goal was to strengthen Russia.
Strengthen an adversary led by a dictator who dreams of reassembling the old Soviet empire? What a dangerous lack of judgment.
Once again, as a flawed evaluator of dictators and failed strategist who has permitted Russia back in as a major player in the Middle East is Hillary Clinton guilty or not guilty? In Cuba, Hillary Clinton supported concessions to the Castro brothers and got almost nothing in return for ending the embargo.
She supported a deal that didn’t even require this murderous regime to return a cop killer, JoAnne Chesimard, to face justice.
Chesimard murdered a New Jersey State Trooper in cold blood, fled to Cuba and lives there to this very day.
How do you live with your own conscience when you reward a domestic terrorist with continued safety and betray the family of fallen police officer waiting for decades for justice for his murder? Hillary Clinton as coddler of the brutal Castro brothers and betrayer of the family of fallen Trooper Werner Foerster guilty or not guilty?
Finally, here at home, in one of her first decisions as Secretary of State, she set up a private e-mail server in her basement in violation of our national security.
Let’s face it: Hillary Clinton cared more about protecting her own secrets than she did about protecting America’s secrets.
Then she lied about it over and over again.
She said there was no marked classified information on her server.
The FBI Director said that was untrue.
She said that she did not email any classified information. The FBI Director said that was untrue.
She said all work related emails were sent back to the State Department.
The FBI Director said that was untrue.
As to Hillary Clinton, putting herself ahead of America guilty or not guilty? Hillary Clinton, lying to the American people about her selfish, awful judgment guilty or not guilty? Time after time the facts, and just the facts, lead you to the same verdict both around the world and at home.
In Libya and Nigeria guilty.
In China and Syria guilty.
In Iran and Russia and Cuba guilty.
And here at home on risking America’s secrets to keep her own and lying to cover it all upguilty.
Her focus group tested persona, with no genuineness to be found, is a sham meant to obscure all the facts and leave you able to vote for her. We cannot promote someone to Commander-in-
Chief who has made the world a more violent and dangerous place with every bad judgment she has made.
We cannot make the Chief Law Enforcement Officer of the United States someone who has risked America’s secrets and lied about this to Congress and the American people.
We didn’t disqualify Hillary Clinton to be President of the United States the facts of her life and career disqualifies her. We in this hall agree with all of this.
But I want to talk to all of you at home, in your living rooms. You are the ones who will decide this election. We have an alternative.
We have a man who is unafraid.
We have a man who wants to lead us.
We have a man who understands the frustrations and the aspirations of our fellow citizens.
We have a man who judges people based on their performance regardless of your gender, race, ethnic or religious background. We do not need to settle for less.
We cannot reward incompetence and deceit. We need to demand more than what Hillary Clinton offers for America.
We know exactly what four years of Hillary Clinton will bring: all the failures of the Obama years, but with less charm and more lies. It is our obligation to stop Hillary Clinton now and never let her within 10 miles of the White House again.
It is time to come together and make sure that Donald Trump is our next President.
Well, it’s beginning to happen. It seems that my unwelcome (even by me) prediction that Donald Trump will be the next President of the United States is not as remote as many people believe.
Conventional wisdom has long ago ‘left the building.’ The idea that a self-centered, erratic, megalomaniac like Trump would have even the remotest chance of being nominated by a major political party for President of the United States is now the reality of our time.
His comments on a whole host of issues are so repugnant that at any other time in history he would have been laughed out of contention in very short order. The media and just about every political pundit has been relentless. He has been ridiculed extensively by comedians on late night TV. He has been condemned by prominent politicians in his own party. He managed to alienate past Presidents and Presidential candidates of his own political party. Many of whom will be boycotting the Republican National Convention. And even those that have reluctantly endorsed him have vehemently disagreed and even condemned many of his statements and proposed policies. Including Mike Pence, the man he has ostensibly chosen as his running mate.
I do not recall anything like this even remotely happening in my lifetime. And yet the latest poll shows Donald Trump in a dead heat with Hillary Clinton in the general election with 40% of the electorate saying they will vote for Trump and 40% saying they will vote for Clinton. With Trump leading among independents!
When I made this prediction I said then that it didn’t seem to matter what Trump said or did. Republican voters voted for him anyway… as if he never said or did anything wrong. This is the mood of the country, or at least a majority of it.
The counter to that was along the lines that it is only unenlightened Neanderthal Republicans that voted for Trump. The general election will include a much smarter electorate that will overcome that voting element.
Well, that is not what is happening. Trump started out well below Clinton in initial polls just after his nomination was assured. But now that Clinton has been proven to be a careless and sloppy liar she is deemed less trustworthy the Trump. Which I believe is the reason for Trump’s recent bump in the polls.
Now many people will say that this bump is temporary. Perhaps. But I wouldn’t bet the farm on it. Sure, Trump will continue to be his unpredictable boorish self. But as I have been saying, that doesn’t seem to matter in this strange political year. What does matter is the impact of radical Islam on the world. And what happened yesterday helps Trump. He does not speak softly and carry a big stick. He roars! His ideas may not be realistic. But this is what a lot of people want to hear right now. They want to hear tougher talk about terrorism – and its Islamic source. A lot tougher than what has been coming out of the administration and the Democratic candidate.
Yesterday in what seems to have become a weekly affair, over 80 people were killed in Nice, France while they were celebrating Bastille Day (France’s equivalent of our Independence Day). Mohmaed Lahouaiej Bouhlel, a Muslim citizen of France drove a huge truck at high speed into a crowd watching fireworks at a beach. The truck mowed people down in its path. He then exited the truck and started firing a gun at people until he was shot and killed by the police.
Islamic terrorists have managed to murder masses of innocent people in Nice, Paris, Belgium, San Bernardino, Pakistan, Orlando, and Netanya. All in a relatively short span of time.
The response of the administration and Mrs. Clinton is to ignore the ideology and combat the terrorists. As though terrorism is the problem and killing terrorists is the goal. But terrorism is not the problem. It is the means of a radical religious ideology that wants to take over the world by any means necessary. You don’t fight an ideology by killing their adherents that commit these attacks. You have to devise a way to fight the ideology. And the first order of doing business is to identify the source of that ideology. You have to identify the enemy, not only the means they use.
Clearly Islam is what motivates them, even as it is being called a perversion of Islam by many Islamic clerics. It is not a perversion. It is a version. An ancient version that is militant in pursuit of its goals. And more than a few Muslims believe in it. It has been resurrected in our time by radical Muslim clerics. These are religious ideologues that are willing to die for what they believe is a ‘Kiddush HaShem’ screaming Alahu Achbar! They are not perverted lone wolves but a theological movement where terror is a legitimate tool in seeking a world Islamic Caliphate. Which is the ideology of ISIS, Al Qaida, and every other Islamic Jihadist group.
This is why people like hearing things like banning all Muslims. Even-though most Muslims are not terrorists and in many cases themselves victims of Islamic terror. And even though it is racist and unconstitutional to ban people because of their religion… the American electorate sees Muslim religious fanatics perpetrating violence all over the world inspired by an ideology being promoted worldwide via the web. And they like hearing what Trump is saying – even if they will not publicly say so.
Among the collateral damage from terrorist attacks like this is the boost in Trump’s poll numbers. There is little doubt in my mind that Trump is seen as tougher on terror than Clinton, whose policies are more or less the same as Obama’s. Which is not surprising since she was his Secretary of State.
People want change. The more terrorist attacks we have like this in the world… the more impotence the world seems to have. This then makes Trump – with all of his flaws – very attractive. What about all that erratic shoot from the hip behavior? What about his diarrhea of the brain? I don’t think the majority of the electorate cares about that anymore. They simply want change and Trump is unquestionably change. An unprecedented one.
Which is why the selection of a Vice Presidential running mate is so important. Because in Trump’s case, he knows deep down that he has no clue about how to govern. He is going to rely more on his VP than George W. Bush did on his VP, Dick Cheney. Which makes his choice of Governor Mike Pence an important one. As a religious Evangelical Christian Pence will solidify the support from the social conservative base of the Republican Party. He also was known as a consensus builder when he was a member of the House of Representatives. He was well liked among his peers and has an even keeled temperament, which is something that Trump doesn’t know the meaning of.
My prediction is that in the next poll, Trump will take the lead. Especially if he can shut up for five minutes! Which he needs to do. He’s already established his bonafides as an attack dog who does not care where the chips may fall. Now it’s time to win over the more level headed voter that is turned off by such disgusting rhetoric. Maybe the soft spoken Pence can accomplish that.
Clinton on the other hand does not have all of Bernie Sanders supporters on board yet. All the enthusiasm he generated during the primaries has dissipated. I’m not sure all the support Bernie got will now accrue to Clinton. She may get most of it. But she needs all of it – and the enthusiasm that goes along with it. I don’t think she will get it. And her negatives are higher than Trump’s!
As far as I am concerned, I will still hold my nose and vote for Hillary. I prefer a continuation of the status quo – as bad as it is – over the uncertainty and possible chaos that will ensue from a Trump Presidency. Either way, God help us all.