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October 24, 2016 / 22 Tishri, 5777

Posts Tagged ‘presidential’

Presidential Debate #2: Trump By A Knockout

Tuesday, October 11th, 2016

{Originally posted to the author’s website, The Lid}

As people prepared to watch the Sunday evening debate there was an undercurrent that America was about to see something ugly, and perhaps it was but it was also very necessary. In the end the debate was as ugly as predicted, and Donald Trump may have done what was needed to right his campaign.

If there is any question about how Donald Trump handles pressure that was answered during the second debate. He faced greater pressure going into the debate than any candidate in presidential debate history.  He not only handled the pressure but was exceptional and won the second debate by a knockout.

In the first debate Donald Trump seemed to have missed every opportunity to go on the attack, Trump corrected that mistake in Debate number two. The two candidates threw everything but the kitchen sink at each other, and everything that Hillary didn’t throw, the moderators picked up an threw at Trump also.

It was interesting that the moderators began the debate with asking about the 800-pound gorilla in the room, the eleven-year-old audio where Trump said disgusting things about women. Yet Hillary’s scandal, the WikiLeaks release of parts of her Wall Street speeches was given a lower priority relegated to later on in the contest.

That eleven-year-old Trump video dominated the early stages of the debate. Anderson Cooper of accused Trump of bragging about sexually assaulting women, which Trump argued was a mischaracterization. The first few times Cooper asked about the tape, Trump expressed regret about his remarks and said he was deeply embarrassed about it, then pivoted to real issues like ISIS and crime. After the moderators asked about the tape three times, and Clinton had a go at it, the moderators picked a “civilian” question about the tape, making it four questions. That’s when Trump “went there,” talked about Bubba’s sexual assaults, and Hillary’s attacks on those women (three of they were in the audience, along with a woman who was a rape victim of a man Hillary defended in court then mocked years later).

It was locker room talk, as I told you. That was locker room talk. I’m not proud of it. I am a person who has great respect for people, for my family, for the people of this country. And certainly, I’m not proud of it. But that was something that happened.

If you look at Bill Clinton, far worse. Mine are words, and his was action. His was what he’s done to women. There’s never been anybody in the history politics in this nation that’s been so abusive to women. So you can say any way you want to say it, but Bill Clinton was abusive to women.

Hillary Clinton attacked those same women and attacked them viciously. Four of them here tonight. One of the women, who is a wonderful woman, at 12 years old, was raped at 12. Her client she represented got him off, and she’s seen laughing on two separate occasions, laughing at the girl who was raped. Kathy Shelton, that young woman is here with us tonight.

The presence of the four Clinton victims seemed to throw Hillary off a bit. But it was this exchange that really threw her back on her heels.

Hillary Clinton said Trump should apologize for birtherism, and Trump pointed out that birtherism began with Hillary’s buddy Sid Blumenthal, and then segued into talking about the deletion of Hillary’s emails after receiving a congressional subpoena promising if elected he would appoint a special prosecutor to investigate her emails and other lies. That’s when to use a boxing term, Ms. Clinton stuck her chin out.

CLINTON: … I told people that it would be impossible to be fact-checking Donald all the time. I’d never get to talk about anything I want to do and how we’re going to really make lives better for people.

So, once again, go to HillaryClinton.com. We have literally Trump — you can fact check him in real time. Last time at the first debate, we had millions of people fact checking, so I expect we’ll have millions more fact checking, because, you know, it is — it’s just awfully good that someone with the temperament of Donald Trump is not in charge of the law in our country.

TRUMP: Because you’d be in jail.

Ouch, that had to hurt.

When asked about her speech to Wall Street where she implied that politicians needed to be two faced, Hillary in part,” As I recall, that was something I said about Abraham Lincoln after having seen the wonderful Steven Spielberg movie called “Lincoln.” It was a master class watching President Lincoln get the Congress to approve the 13th Amendment. It was principled, and it was strategic.”

Again she left herself open for a Trump jab.

WikiLeaks that just came out. And she lied. Now she’s blaming the lie on the late, great Abraham Lincoln. That’s one that I haven’t…

OK, Honest Abe, Honest Abe never lied. That’s the good thing. That’s the big difference between Abraham Lincoln and you. That’s a big, big difference. We’re talking about some difference.

A question about his 3AM tweet about the former Miss Universe Hillary used to attack Trump, he pivoted perfectly to Benghazi:

TRUMP: By the way, just so you understand, when she said 3 o’clock in the morning, take a look at Benghazi. She said who is going to answer the call at 3 o’clock in the morning? Guess what? She didn’t answer it, because when Ambassador Stevens…

COOPER: The question is, is that the discipline of a good leader?

TRUMP: … 600 — wait a minute, Anderson, 600 times. Well, she said she was awake at 3 o’clock in the morning, and she also sent a tweet out at 3 o’clock in the morning, but I won’t even mention that. But she said she’ll be awake. Who’s going — the famous thing, we’re going to answer our call at 3 o’clock in the morning. Guess what happened? Ambassador Stevens — Ambassador Stevens sent 600 requests for help. And the only one she talked to was Sidney Blumenthal, who’s her friend and not a good guy, by the way. So, you know, she shouldn’t be talking about that.

There were more, but those were the three best.  The bottom line is that Trump did what he had to (and what he didn’t do during the first debate). He put the 11-year-old tape aside and discussed issues even more than Hillary. And in the meantime he was able to throw in a few great zingers.  I predict that the “you’d be in jail” line will be shown for years to come.

Now we have to see how the voters see it. That will become apparent in another week or two.


Jeff Dunetz

The First Presidential Debate 2016 [video]

Tuesday, September 27th, 2016

1) The Parody:

2) The Real Deal:

Video of the Day

Presidential Conundrum

Thursday, June 23rd, 2016

Confronted with the choice of Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump for the presidency of the United States, many Americans see themselves as being caught between Scylla and Charybdis – two monsters with no good option for salvation.

While no doubt there are some voters who can look dispassionately at Clinton and Trump and acknowledge the shortcomings of both, most of us tend to think about candidates for office the way we think about most things in life – from the perspective of an already confirmed bias. In other words, we interpret all the evidence in a manner that confirms our preset convictions.

Given that all-too-human tendency, those who cannot see themselves voting for Hillary Clinton view her as a scandalous liar, someone who can never be trusted and who just might end up in jail.

Those who are against Donald Trump, meanwhile, view him as a blowhard with racist tendencies and no diplomatic panache; someone who is deeply antagonistic to the democratic realities of a country like ours.

These are simplistic notions and belie the underlying problems of how we got to this place and where we go from here.

It is easy to dismiss, as some politicians and pundits have, this presidential election cycle as a mere four-year diversion. The next election will offer a better choice, they say. We just have to get through the next four years and all will be well.

I could not disagree more. It is clear the U.S., if not the world, has become increasingly bifurcated, divided as never before along political lines. The right blames the left for fostering societal unrest and racial animosity with policies favoring certain groups over others, and the left blames the right for intransigence and insensitivity in ignoring the needs of large swaths of the population.

All this blame leads to rigidity and an inability to negotiate compromise, much less accommodation. There is no reason to believe this will change after four years

It is in this climate that we are stuck with such poor choices: A master media manipulator with seemingly little regard for facts versus someone whose record as secretary of state was far from stellar and who ranks at least as low on the trustworthiness scale as her opponent.

Bernie Sanders, who might have been the only other option, strikes many as a playground bully who asserted himself only in order to change the rules of the game. Having served in Congress for decades without accomplishing much of anything, Sanders suddenly gained a large and vocal following. Where was he hiding all those years and why did he never turn on the charisma in the past?

Too far to the left as a candidate, he has made it clear he has no interest in the art of compromise and enjoys the kerfuffle just a little too much.

And so we are left with Hillary and “The Donald.”

An argument can be made that it takes a swollen ego, a large measure of narcissism, and quite a dollop of chutzpah to run for political office, especially the presidency of the United States. There is no question these two candidates have these traits in excess. There is also no question they absolutely want to be president. But who is best?

The perception that Hillary has a longstanding tendency to cover up potential liabilities – her speeches for Goldman Sachs, her private e-mail server, etc. – are problematic for someone who aspires to lead a country where transparency is valued.

As a woman with the very real possibility of becoming the first female president of the U.S., she has a feminist chip she can cash in. Nevertheless, she still has a great deal of work to do to convince the electorate she can be believed.

Trump has a different and, to my mind, a more serious problem. While he has attracted many alienated voters and portrayed himself as a voice for the “everyman,” his extremism marks him as a threat to unity and more. His style is to create a bogeyman and then double down with anger and controversy.

His comments about U.S. District Judge Gonzalo Curiel – a man born in the U.S. with a long and distinguished record – being a “Mexican,” and therefore not fit to adjudicate a case in which Trump is a central figure, sound to me a little too much like the Hitlerian claim that Jews in prewar Germany could not be trusted because of their background.

Franklin Roosevelt said that “The real safeguard of democracy…is education.” If we have candidates who are too egocentric to be educated, we will, as the actor Kevin Spacey recently remarked when asked about this year’s presidential campaign, “get what we deserve.”

Abraham Lincoln probably said it best. “Elections belong to the people. It’s their decision. If they decide to turn their back on the fire and burn their behinds, then they will just have to sit on their blisters.”

Dr. Michael J. Salamon

Great Presidential Campaign Reading

Thursday, June 23rd, 2016

Of the taking of polls there is no end, particularly in a presidential election year. And while it’s considered the better part of wisdom to feign at least a healthy disregard, if not an active disdain, for the preponderance of polling, the truth is that political junkies couldn’t live without a steady dose of polls.

The more obnoxiously pretentious a pundit, the more likely he or she is to routinely decry the ubiquity of polls. The common lament from the smugly high-minded is that the media’s fascination with polls gives too much weight to the horse-race aspect of a campaign, at the expense of the important and weighty discussions of policy for which voters presumably hunger.

Too much weight to the horse race? What utter nonsense. Give us more of the horse race – please!

Imagine for a moment a presidential campaign bereft of polls and the horse-race atmosphere they so helpfully foster. The mind reels at such a dreadfully dreary prospect. And since the subject at hand is books, would anyone even pretend to read campaign accounts like Theodore White’s Making of the President series if they were simply compilations of stump speeches and position papers?

Richard Ben Cramer wrote what is arguably the best book ever on presidential politics, a thousand-page opus on the 1988 campaign called What It Takes: The Way to the White House (Random House, 1992) and it’s such a great read precisely because he knew better than to indulge in detailed analysis of tax plans and trade initiatives. (The book has remained remarkably fresh nearly 25 years after publication thanks to Cramer’s deftly detailed portraits of such late 20th-century political heavyweights as George H.W. Bush, Bob Dole, Gary Hart, and Joe Biden.)

All the books worth reading on presidential campaigns are heavy on the drama and blessedly light on the kind of stuff that keeps policy wonks up at night. The interest is in the narrative, the story line – the plot, if you will.

Sure, readers of the best campaign books come away possessing a not-insubstantial acquaintance with the candidates’ positions on at least some the major issues of the day, but the story is driven by the personalities, the gossip, the constant and obsessive polling by news organizations, and the campaigns themselves.

In other words, it all comes down to the much-maligned horse race.

In addition to Cramer’s What It Takes, the following are some other highly recommended books on presidential campaigns:


The Real Making of the President: Kennedy, Nixon, and the 1960 Election by W.J. Rorabaugh (University Press of Kansas, 2009) – A much needed counter to Theodore White’s iconic The Making of the President 1960 (the first of White’s series of books on presidential campaigns). Rorabaugh convincingly shows how White got many important things wrong due mainly to his shameless worship of John Kennedy, which makes one wonder why White’s book is still held up as a classic by people who should know better.


1960: LBJ vs. JFK vs. Nixon by David Pietrusza (Union Square Press, 2008) – Another corrective to the flaws in White’s work. Pietrusza, like Rorabaugh, wrote his book decades after the 1960 election, so he had a more expansive and dispassionate perspective than White, as well as access to information the Kennedys and their toadies worked long and hard to keep from the public.


An American Melodrama: The Presidential Campaign of 1968 by Lewis Chester, Godfrey Hodgson, and Bruce Page (Viking, 1969) – A finely textured account of the pivotal 1968 campaign by three distinguished British journalists – and far superior to Theodore White’s Making of the President 1968. Although some of the authors’ assumptions have aged badly (such as, for example, their thoroughly condescending view of then-California governor Ronald Reagan, who would be elected president twelve years later), their view for detail and their deeply reported narrative have stood the test of time.


American Maelstrom: The 1968 Election and the Politics of Division by Michael Cohen (Oxford University Press, 2016) – The fact that this is the newest book on the list and the book directly preceding it is the oldest should tell you something about what a seminal year in politics 1968 was and how the divisions that came to the fore during that presidential campaign resonate across the decades. Events came at a non-stop pace: the decision by a sitting president not to seek reelection; the assassinations of Martin Luther King and Robert Kennedy; the political resurrection of Richard Nixon; the sudden emergence of Ronald Reagan as a presidential possibility; the angry, racially charged campaign of Alabama governor George Wallace; and the rioting at the Democratic National Convention in Chicago. In Cohen’s hands the story reads like a richly imagined novel.


Maoz-062416-NixonThe Greatest Comeback: How Richard Nixon Rose from Defeat to Create the New Majority by Patrick Buchanan (Crown Forum 2014) – Not a campaign book in the usual sense, this superbly written (one would expect nothing less from a veteran speechwriter, columnist, and author) behind-the-scenes story of Richard Nixon’s 1968 victory is a gold mine of insider anecdotes and information. The candid depictions – some biting, others moving – of prominent public figures of the day add to the appeal of one of the best political books you’ll ever read. And given that some of Buchanan’s views are widely perceived to be anti-Israel and even anti-Semitic, his poignant recounting of a visit he and then-private citizen Nixon made to Israel in June 1967, shortly after the conclusion of the Six-Day War, reveals a side to him that many readers will no doubt find surprising.


The Boys on the Bus by Timothy Crouse (Random House, 1973) – There are several books that cover the 1972 presidential campaign, among them Hunter S. Thompson’s On the Campaign Trail 1972 (a compendium of the author’s trademark idiosyncratic and drug and alcohol-fueled reporting for Rolling Stone magazine); Bruce Miroff’s The Liberals’ Moment: The McGovern Insurgency and the Identity Crisis of the Democratic Party (a solid if somewhat wonkish account); and Theodore White’s Making of the President 1972. But if one had to recommend a single book about the 1972 race, that book would be Timothy Crouse’s no-holds-barred look at the newspaper, newsmagazine, and television network reporters (the “boys on the bus”) whose power and influence in the days before the Internet and social media cannot be overstated. By reporting on the journalists who covered the campaign, Crouse tells the story of the campaign itself.


Marathon: The Pursuit of the Presidency 1972-1976 by Jules Witcover (Viking, 1977) – Witcover’s occasionally plodding prose spread out over 700 pages notwithstanding, the book is as in-depth a report as one could ask for, with the longtime political journalist guiding readers through four of the most eventful years in the country’s history and the election that gave us (yikes) the Jimmy Carter presidency.


Rendezvous with Destiny: Ronald Reagan and the Campaign That Changed America by Craig Shirley (ISI Books, 2009) – The inside story of Ronald Reagan’s epic 1980 victory over Jimmy Carter, told by a historian and veteran political consultant whose earlier work, Reagan’s Revolution: The Untold Story of the Campaign That Started It All (Thomas Nelson, 2005) focused on Reagan’s nearly successful 1976 battle with incumbent president Gerald Ford for the Republican nomination. Although it’s a fact that has been obscured with the passage of time and Reagan’s steadily ascending historical ranking, the election’s outcome, let alone its landslide proportions – 44 states and 489 electoral votes for Reagan, six states and 49 electoral votes for Carter – was far from a certainty through much of the campaign, which was actually a nail-biter for most of the year.


Game Change: Obama and the Clintons, McCain and Palin, and the Race of a Lifetime by John Heilemann and Mark Halperin (Harper 2010) – Purists lamented the book’s all-out gossipy tone, but no one challenged its accuracy. Heilemann and Halperin seemingly got everyone of note in both the Obama and McCain campaigns to dish freely – and often far from flatteringly – on the candidates and their families. The chapters on then-senator John Edwards (whose campaign for the Democratic nomination disintegrated amid scandal and family tragedy) and Republican vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin are particularly devastating. The book was such a sensation that the authors were immediately paid a hefty sum for a book on the 2012 campaign. That book, Double Down: Game Change 2012 (The Penguin Press, 2013) has its moments and is a good read, especially for political junkies, but it isn’t nearly the eye-opener Heilemann and Halperin produced about the 2008 election.

Jason Maoz

Will Israel be ‘Trumped’ by the US Presidential Elections?

Thursday, March 10th, 2016

There is a great deal at stake for Americans voting in this year’s U.S. presidential elections — but at least as much is riding on the results for the State of Israel.

GOP frontrunner Donald Trump has been one of the few candidates in the race to insist he would maintain neutrality when dealing with Israel and the Palestinian Authority from the White House.

Israeli Jews surveyed so far have nevertheless expressed more faith in his ability to deal fairly with Israel than any of the other candidates.

This may be due to Trump’s blunt, “in your face” style – the very characteristic that so alienates some of his American audiences – but which is similar to a large percentage of Israelis in the Jewish State.

It is far easier to deal with a person who is “up front” about their intentions, one might say, than a smiling politician who hides the weapon. Moreover, Trump pulls no punches about dealing with tough situations in a like manner – a necessary Middle Eastern attitude.

But probably the biggest factor in his popularity has to do with his willingness to simply say he will be neutral in dealing with both sides.

At an MSNBC town hall meeting in South Carolina on Feb. 17, Trump described a peace agreement between Israel and the Palestinian Authority as “probably the toughest deal in the world right now to make.” What he did promise was that if he were elected president, he would “give it one hell of a shot.” This was a deal in which he would act as “sort of a neutral guy,” he said. Wisely, when asked whose fault it was that no agreement had been reached so far, he deflected the question – and did not blame either side.

That is the mark of a real negotiator, one who has the seasoned skills of someone who has been at the table for a very long time. It gives the lie to those who claim Trump lacks foreign policy experience; they forget that Trump has been dealing with political leaders around the world for years while cutting deals in nations on different continents for his various business interests.

Israelis have too often heard American politicians claim their undying support of Israel only to throw the Jewish State under the bus as they try to “bring peace” to the Middle East.

However, at a Republican debate held on CNN, Trump did comment at one point: “It doesn’t help if I start saying, ‘I am very pro-Israel, very pro, more than anybody on this stage… With that being said, I am totally pro-Israel.” But he was unwilling to go farther, and made no promises whatsoever. Certainly no promise to ‘bring peace to the Middle East.’

Nearly every single U.S. presidential candidate has vowed to move the American embassy to the Israeli capital of Jerusalem – and not one has done it once taking office.

Every American president swears up and down about the “unbreakable bond” between the two countries – but that didn’t stop President Barack Obama from freezing the supply of basic military equipment and ordnance in the middle of Israel’s defensive counter terrorist war with Hamas in the summer of 2014.

Promises are one thing and action is quite another, and if Israelis have learned anything, it is to know not to depend on fancy promises. So when a guy like Trump says he will be neutral, after flowery vows of endless support – that gets the attention of Israelis who are really sick of making that run for the bomb shelters.

Trump’s style and substance is straightforward, simple and different. He’s making no promises and no pretensions to expertise. He is an executive who says he’ll run the country pretty much the same way – by hiring top experts to do what they do best, in the areas of their specialization.

Hana Levi Julian

Kahneman Awarded Presidential Medal of Freedom

Friday, August 9th, 2013

President Obama awarded Daniel Kahneman, a Princeton psychologist known for his application of psychology to economic analysis, the Presidential Medal of Freedom.

The White House release Thursday naming Kahneman and other recipients notes that the Princeton University scholar, who shared the Nobel Price for Economics in 2002, escaped Nazi Europe and served in the Israeli army.

Among the 16 people receiving the award this year are Gloria Steinem, the feminist pioneer, and the late Sen. Daniel Inouye (D-Hawaii), who was for decades a pro-Israel leader in Congress.

The awards will be presented later this year.

The Presidential Medal of Freedom, established by President John Kennedy in 1963, is with the Congressional Gold Medal the highest civilian honor in the United States.


Tanks Deployed Outside Morsi’s Palace as Bloody Confrontations Are Raging (Video)

Thursday, December 6th, 2012

According to Aljazeera, Egypt’s army has deployed tanks outside the presidential palace after a night of deadly clashes between opponents and supporters of President Mohamed Morsi.

Four tanks and three armored personnel carriers were stationed metres from the front gate of the palace in northern Cairo as hundreds of Morsi’s partisans chanted slogans in support of the president early on Thursday.

At least five people have been killed and over 440 people injured in the Egyptian capital as pro- and anti-government protesters clashed near the presidential palace on Wednesday evening, the health ministry said.

Fighting continued into the early morning on Thursday with fires burning in the streets where the opposing sides threw stones and petrol bombs at each other.

“No to dictatorship,” Morsi’s opponents chanted, while their rivals chanted: “Defending Morsi is defending Islam.”

Riot police were sent in to break up the violence on Wednesday, in which about 350 people were injured.

As of 11:20 last night, bloody clashes near the presidential palace were still on and off, gunshots heard intermittently, at least 126 injured in the bloody confrontations and unconfirmed reports of two deaths, while President Morsi and the presidential office have yet to comment on the ongoing turmoil.

Thousands of pro and anti-Morsi forces clashed into the night outside the presidential palace as the Egyptian opposition forces are saying the leader’s legitimacy is in “jeopardy,” Al Ahram reported. Two Morsi aides have resigned to protest the Muslim Brotherhood’s “narrow-mindedness.” Two Islamist Freedom and Justice Party buildings have been torched.

Jewish Press Staff

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/tanks-deployed-outside-morsis-palace-as-bloody-confrontations-are-raging-video/2012/12/06/

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