FBI Director James Comey turned Presidential Campaign 2016 into even more a free-for-all 10 days ago when he announced he was reopening the investigation of Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email server during her time as Secretary of State for President Barack Obama.
Then he shut the door Sunday by notifying Congress that the discovery of emails on the laptop of a computer shared by a Clinton aide and her estranged husband provided nothing new and he shut the investigation down — again.
Republican Presidential candidate Donald Trump did another about face, declaring the FBI director he called a “true American” is once again the “stooge” he claimed before after Comey initially shut down the investigation and recommended no charges or further action this summer.
Comey’s announcement came as Trump’s chaotic team were also shaking their heads in collective dismay because of massive numbers of Latin Americans turned out in droves for early voting in Florida, Nevada and other places to cast their ballots against the man who spent nearly off the campaign calling them rapists and whores.
Daily tracking polls from The New York Times, The Washington Post and Politico began to show Clinton rebounding over the weekend after the race tightened dramatically earlier after news from Comey’s on reopening the email investigation.
Trump has been hammering claims of an investigation “greater than Whitewater” and predicted indictments and prison in Clinton’s future. With that exaggerated claim destroyed by Comey’s latest announcement, Trump had to return to his other exaggerations and lies that the election is rigged and controlled by a giant “global conspiracy” against him
Trump’s campaign went on the air in Virginia and around the country this weekend with a cutting ad calling Clinton a criminal, liar and worse. Like most Trump ads it was bloated with false claims and riddled with outright lies.
In another typical move, Trump’s legions swamped social media with clips of the ad and declared it “the truth that has gone viral” and the thing that would force voters to make Trump the next President of the United States.
“Going viral” in the social media world means sharing time and space with YouTube videos of pet tricks and Facebook posts about good recipes and blurry photos of creatures in the woods.
Daily tracking polls as Campaign 2016 goes into its final day before the election show Clinton’s lead is either holding steady or increasing incrementally and Trump is headed for a well-deserved defeat.
According to election models, I should be a Trump supporters because I’m a mostly-white man, approaching age 69, lack a college degree and living, currently, in the rural South.
Not a chance. I’m also part Seminole Indian, have most of the college education needed for a degree and have a brain that is not driven by anger or hate or bigotry. I also worked, for a time, for the National Republican campaign committees, served as chief of staff for one Republican Congressman, press secretary to another and ran the political programs division of The National Association of Realtors for five years.
I watched politics up close during 53 years working, mostly, as a newspaperman, including 23 years of those years in Washington. As a newspaperman, I seeTrump for what he is: A con man, a megalomaniac, a self-admitted sexual abuser, a developer whose fraudulent claims left small businesses stuck with his unpaid bills and a man who diverts funds from others to support his lavish and buffoonish lifestyle.
Trump played on America’s lingering racism, exploited the sufferings of others and fanned hatred among the uninformed to build his cult-like following. Sadly, the hate and angered he cultivated will remain with us after he is gone.
Under most conditions, Hillary Clinton would never be a best choice to become the first woman President of the United States. Her lapse in judgement led to the use of a private email server as Secretary of State and that mistake led to most of the difficulties that clung to her campaign.
But the rabid right that controls the GOP started going after her as soon as husband Bill won his first of two terms as President. I saw it first hand as one of the consultants brought together in a conference room of the old Railway Express building near Union Station in Washington, DC, in 1993 to be part of “The Arkansas Project,” which helped derail her efforts to establish a national healthcare system.
The Arkansas Project, funded by right-wing billionaire Richard Mellon Scaife, had just one goal: Destroy Bill and Hillary Clinton. It used innuendoes, information from partisan sources and other misinformation to destroy her healthcare plan. The groundless charges that became the Whitewater Investigation came out of that project.
My participation in the Arkansas Project was a primary reason why I left the political world in 1994 and also walked away from the bottle to take the first step in Alcoholics Anonymous, a program that, along with the support of my wife and good friends, has kept me from touching a drink for 22 years, five months and one day as this is written.
I owe Hillary Clinton an apology for anything I did as part of The Arkansas Project that began to create the false impressions that dog her today as she stands on the verge of becoming part of a history that she has affected for much of her life.
She has shortcomings. We all do. But her accomplishments far outnumber her faults and she stands head and shoulders over a threat to America named Donald J. Trump.
Trump must not become President. Hillary Clinton should.
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