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Jul 26th
Wacky and Wild PDF Print E-mail
Written by Jack King, BT Contributor   
October 2016

Musing along the campaign trail

IPix_JackKing_10-16t is beyond comprehension how we have ended up with a presidential race like this one. No doubt, Donald Trump offers something different, but how different -- and is it worthwhile? Yes, the Trumpians like him because he’s not like other political actors. Is that a good thing? I wonder because we have a unique political operation, and on many occasions it looks like it doesn’t work, especially if you’re on the wrong end of how it’s working.

Trump’s intellect, however, seldom shows up when he speaks, but his massive ego does. And that indicates his intellect is lacking, at best, or nonexistent at worst. When he introduces a new, and generally very foggy, claim or idea or program, it generally comes along with the caveat: “It’s a secret. I’ll let you know the details later.” Is this another variant of “Trust me. I will tell you when I think you need to know.”

Take my word for it: Don’t trust him.

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Republican vice presidential nominee Mike Pence tells ABC that he views former Vice President Dick Cheney as a role model he would want to emulate if he and Donald Trump are elected to the White House. “I frankly hold Dick Cheney in very high regard in his role as vice president and as an American,” says Pence. “Vice President Cheney had experience in Congress, as I do, and he was very active in working with members of the House and the Senate.” Pence says he wants to champion Trump’s agenda on Capitol Hill and be a very active vice president. What does that mean -- that he would lobby for a war in the Middle East?

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There has been much ado about who is telling the truth is this election cycle. No doubt, the truth can be fleeting when you get politicians on the campaign trail. And Trump has proved to be a master when it comes to lying, then squirming to get out of it. Then he immediately repeats the lie. It goes somewhat like this: Trump tells a bald-faced lie. There is outrage. Trump modifies his statement with some version of this: “Well, I heard someone say that, but I’m not sure who said it, but I did hear it. So it must be true.” And then if you don’t believe it, he repeats it again and again. It works well with old white guys from the Midwest.

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Politifact, the fact-checking arm of Tampa Bay Times, has been working overtime with Trump’s comments. Fortunately for the voters in America, that very good staff makes few mistakes. Up to now, they have fact-checked some 258 Trump statements and 255 Clinton statements. Obviously it’s difficult to rate some comments because they’re in the gray area. After all, this is a political fight.

Of the 258 Trump statements, 137 were rated “pants on fire” or “false.” That means more than 50 percent of everything that comes out of Trump’s mouth is a lie. Of Clinton’s 255 statements, only 33 rated at the bottom.

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Did you enjoy the soap opera leading up to (and during…and after) the first debate, brought to you by Donald Trump? First, Clinton supporter and Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban secured a front-row seat in the Hofstra University auditorium. Trump became incensed and threatened to invite Gennifer Flowers, who’d had an affair with Bill Clinton decades ago, to sit alongside him. It’s a move only someone like Trump would come up with. If he’s not getting even, he’s not Trump. The last time I checked, Hillary wasn’t the one who had the affair.

After the debate, Trump told reporters he’d held back from mentioning Bill Clinton’s affairs only because Chelsea Clinton was in the audience, but said he might not be so nice at the next debate. Rudy Giuliani, his surrogate and, like Trump, a paragon of marital fidelity, said Trump was too “gentlemanly” and Clinton “too stupid to be president” for staying with her husband. Giuliani also said Trump should just skip the next two debates if the moderators were going to insist on fact-checking.

 

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I was out of the country when we had our local primary election, and was surprised to learn that Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos Giminez had not received 50 percent of the vote against challenger Raquel Regalado. There were others in the race, so I guess they diluted the vote somewhat.

I still believe that Giminez is the better candidate. The county mayor’s position is one that actually manages Miami-Dade County. Yes, there’s some pomp and circumstance, but very little. It’s nothing like the City of Miami, where the mayor (Raquel’s father, Tomás) does just about nothing but shake hands and sign proclamations. Don’t get these positions confused.

 

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