POLITICAL WRANGLING: SPUNK, BLUSTER AND BACKBONE ON THE PRESIDENTIAL CAMPAIGN TRAIL

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By Buck Schott

September 15, 2015 (San Diego’s East County)--Who’s talking about issues people care about on the presidential campaign trail--and who's trashing whom?  Who’s showing some backbone, and who’s breaking from the herd?  Which candidate is trouncing Trump in a saucy new ad—and which climate-denying candidate got a science lesson from our own California governor?

Find these juicy details and more in this week’s column, as well as an update on who’s in, who’s out, and who will be onstage at the upcoming debates.

Debate Update:  The Republicans will stage their second presidential debate this Wednesday—and this time, Carly Fiorina will be added to the lineup.  CNN has announced the full set of participants here.  Meanwhile the first Democratic debate will be held on October 13th, over objections of several campaigns that had argued for more debates, starting sooner. 

A Field in Flux:  Rick Perry, the only candidate under indictment on felony charges, is now the first Republican to drop out of the race. Guess it’s tough to raise campaign cash when you’re out on bail. Meanwhile Vice President Joe Biden says he’s considering jumping into the race on the Democratic side of the aisle as Hillary Clinton’s popularity takes a tumble. 

Poll Shock:  Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders is now ahead of Former Secretary of State Hilary Clinton by substantial margins in the first two primary states, a new CBS poll finds.  The poll has Sanders leading Clinton 52 to 30 in New Hampshire and up 43 to 33 in Iowa. Clinton’s slide may be due in part to new revelations about classified e-mails on her private server and a five-month gap in the e-mails she did turn over to the federal government.  (Republicans have likened the latter to those missing minutes on the infamous Nixon-Watergate tape.)  Or maybe the change is due to overflow crowds turning out to hear Sanders’ populist promises.

Samders shows backbone:  Most politicians like to speak to friendly crowds. But Democratic candidate Bernie Sanders spoke at Liberty University, a Christian college founded by Rev. Jerry Falwell. There, he spoke to students about morality—pointing out the hypocrisy of conservatives who claim to be pro-life and family values while supporting budgets that hurt familes—drawing frequent cheers.

 "Do you think it’s moral that 20 percent of the children in this country — the wealthiest country in the history of the world — are living in poverty? Do you think it is acceptable that 40 percent of African-American children are living in poverty?” he asked. “In my view, there is no justice, and morality suffers, when in our wealthy country, millions of children go to bed hungry. That is not morality. And in my view, that is not what America should be about."

View his full speech, which starts around minute 46:  https://youtu.be/bLNt2_bChK0

Jeb bucks immigrant bashing:: Most Republican candidates seem to be vying to see who can make the strongest anti-immigrant statements, including front-runner Donald Trump who wants to deport all undocumented immigrants and outlaw citizenship for children of immigrants born in the U.S.  But now Jeb Bush is doing the opposite—reaching out to court Latino votes with a new bilingual campaign ad in his own voice, titled “Todos somos Americanos”  (“We are all Americans.”) While he stops short of  offering positions on key issues such as immigration reforms, the imagery of Bush with his Hispanic wife and children offers a crystal-clear contrast to the Latino-bashing rhetoric of other Republicans in the race.

California Governor Jerry Brown sends a thumb drive to Ben Carson, the prominent neurosurgeon running for President, after learning of Carson’s climate change skepticism.  Brown’s letter reads in part:

“Please find enclosed a flash drive with the complete United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) "Synthesis Report," the concluding installment of the Fifth Assessment Report, published earlier this year. This report assessed over 30,000 scientific papers and was written by more than 800 scientists, representing 80 countries around the world, who definitively concluded that: "…human influence on the climate system is clear and growing, with impacts observed across all continents and oceans."

The Governor’s letter continues, “This is just one of the thousands of reports authored by the world's top scientists on the subject, including a study published just last month by Columbia University, University of Idaho and NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies scientists that found climate change has intensified California's drought. These aren't just words. The consequences are real. Please use your considerable intelligence to review this material. Climate change is much bigger than partisan politics.” Thus far, Carson has reportedly not responded.

Fiorina trumps sexism with spunk: Carly Fiorina turned fellow Republican Donald Trump’s sexist insult on its ear with an upbeat political ad.  Trump, in a Rolling Stone interview, said of Fiorina derisively, "Look at that face! Would anyone vote for that? Can you imagine that, the face of our next president?. "I mean, she's a woman, and I'm not supposed to say bad things, but really, folks, come on. Are we serious?"  (Trump later denied that he was attacking Fiorina for her looks.)

Now Fiorina has come out swinging with a new ad featuring smiling faces of women,  celebrating women as the majority in our nation. "Ladies, look at this face and look at all of your faces, the face of leadership," Fiorina says on camera. "This is the face of a 61-year-old woman. I am proud of every year and every wrinkle!" 

(Fiorina herself has not been above taking a catty dig at her opponent’s looks, however, as she did when running against Senator Barbara Boxer. Fiorina derided Boxer’s hairstyle as “so yesterday.” Meow.

The opinions in this column reflect the views of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of East County Magazine.

 

 

 

 

 


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Comments

Sanders is now ahead of Clinton [whose] slide may be due to...

Buck, I don't follow this stuff as closely as you do, but don't you think it's possible that Sanders' gain isn't entirely due to Clinton's problems?..... I mean, most of the people believe that the US is going in the wrong direction, let's say the Clinton direction for simplicity's sake, and here is Sanders saying what people want to hear, that we need to re-orient away form the wealthy and do something for the majority of people. Isn't that possible? ....Hope and Change? ...oooops.....Anyhow I enjoy your narrative and your full coverage, which I guess comes naturally from your handle: Buck Schott