Over the recent past I have been learning to play piano. No recitals anytime soon–or probably ever. But the list of songs I enjoy playing has expanded and recently as election season has impacted my life Happy Days Are Here Again has repeatedly come to mind. Tonight as I watched the third presidential debate it was all I could do not to tap my feet to that music which was running through my mind.
When the 1932 Democratic convention was underway it was first thought that Anchors Away should be the prominent song. But as a political operative to Franklin Roosevelt noted that song would not do as it was used as a jingle for a cigarette company. That same operative suggested a song from the MGM film Chasing Rainbows. When she sang and sold the idea to others the convention was told to strike up the band and play it.
Democrats have been using the lifting melody for generations. With what took place at the Las Vegas debate there is no doubt that song will be heard in November.
With a determined and focused approach Hillary Clinton gave her best debate performance as she forcefully and tactically displayed facts and debate styling. When she artfully tied gun control and the safety of children into one powerful response near the start of the debate I had a sense she knew precisely who she was speaking to–those Republican women in the suburbs that my better half must surely be tired of hearing me talk about in our home.
She was able to take the fight to Trump and not back down. When pressed she never retreated or shied away but pointed out the flaws in his views along with the absence of facts in his statements.
The saddest part of the debate, and the point where one could instantly write the headline in all the morning papers in their mind, was when Trump would not state that following the results on Election Night he would commit himself to act with honor in the way that all presidential contenders over time have done. It was the most audacious remark that he has made on the debate stages this fall.
“I will tell you at the time. I will keep you in suspense,” Trump said, which was a most shocking statement that threatens to contradict the foundation of American democracy.
I do not want to sound flippant about the sad state of affairs that this creates for the nation, but at that moment I knew the election was completely over. There has been no doubt in my mind for months who would win the election. But I knew when Trump made that statement it would resonate in the media and every congressional Republican candidate will be asked to respond. I know in this land where fair play is an American tradition Trump’s statement will be met with shock and a deepening recognition that something is terribly flawed with the GOP nominee.
Clinton was able to stay long after the debate pressing the flesh and smiling as she knew she had not only won the debate but sealed the election. As the last hands were shaken and pleasantries exchanged I am sure Clinton–like any presidential candidate at this stage of the campaign–is mighty pleased to have just a short number of days left to rally and get out the vote.
But after what this nation witnessed tonight with the smallness of Trump’s character for all to see I suspect untold millions of Americans are even more pleased than Clinton that this dismal chapter is coming to a close.
Go long bad times
We are rid of you at last
Howdy gay times
Cloudy gray times
You are now a thing of the past
The skies above are clear again
So let’s sing a song of cheer again
Happy days are here again
Last evening President Obama held his last state dinner with the honor going to Italy’s Prime Minister Renzi. The menu for the event follows.
Sweet Potato Agnolotti with Butter and Sage … Warm Butternut Squash Salad with Frisee and Pecorino di New York … Beef Braciole Pinwheel with Horseradish Gremolata and Broccoli Rabe … Green Apple Crostata with Thyme Caramel and Buttermilk Gelato … Petits Four Display: Sweet Corn Crema and Blackberry Cup … Concord Grape Bittersweet Chocolate Leaf … Orange Fig Slice … Pumpkin Cranberry Tart Tiramisu.
Sounds perfectly divine!
Donald Trump said in a 2006 speech he wished former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice was a “bitch,” according to archived video reviewed by CNN’s KFile.
Tonight–perhaps more so than at the previous two presidential debates–the moderator will be a focal point for many in the nation. Even though Chris Wallace is respected in journalistic circles there is no way to dismiss the fact he works for FAUX News. In light of the tarnished image that network has this year in light of their role in Republican politics and the sex scandal with their former chairman there is also another matter that is in play.
The media was played too often by Donald Trump who used free airtime in the primary season and was not vetted in the same way other candidates are simply due to the fact he made for good ratings. The role of journalists has been much a topic this cycle and there is clear evidence that a robust and determined moderator who requires answers of Trump is what must happen at tonight’s debate.
Wallace has a job as moderator but he also has a duty as a journalist with this last major audience of the campaign to make sure the public is aware of the stakes in this election.
Months after the ouster of Roger Ailes, Fox’s longtime chairman, the network is seeking to move forward, even as sadness and anger linger over the revelations from multiple women who have come forward to accuse Mr. Ailes of sexual harassment. Unease remains: Sean Hannity and Megyn Kelly recently feuded on Twitter, the sort of friendly fire once considered a network taboo. Stars like Ms. Kelly have mused about leaving.
So for the team of Fox anchors and producers here this week, Mr. Wallace’s star turn is a welcome source of pride. And, maybe, some relief.
“It was something that was really positive in, you know, not the best of years,” said Bret Baier, Fox’s chief political anchor, as he relaxed in his hotel room after an afternoon taping.
Fox News is relentlessly promoting Wednesday’s debate, frequently broadcasting a photograph of a smiling Mr. Wallace in the corner of the screen. (Other networks use images of Hillary Clinton and Donald J. Trump.)
The selection of Mr. Wallace, a veteran broadcaster with a reputation for tough, mischief-making questions, was particularly bolstering for Fox’s news division, which has viewed itself as an unfairly maligned alternative to the network’s stable of conservative commentators like Mr. Hannity and Bill O’Reilly. The commentators provide opinion, the in-house mantra goes, while the news team deals in facts.
Mitt Romney won the South by 7.1 points over Barack Obama in 2012. Donald Trump is winning in the South too, but by a mere 1.2 points. This is typified by Texas, where Donald Trump is leading by a rather slim margin for a Republican. A University of Houston poll has him up a mere 3 points.
Election Day is still nearly three weeks away, but Paddy Power, an Irish bookmaker, announced that it is so confident that Hillary Clinton will win the U.S. election that it will pay out more than $1 million in winnings for bets made on her victory.
Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton will face one another in their final presidential debate tonight. But the debate comes too late to change the minds of at least 2,064,538 confirmed voters. Early voting has been going on for some time now, and more than 2 million Americans have already cast ballots.
Hat Tip to Doug.
Ross Perot, the third-party candidate who ran against Bush and Clinton, cost Bush that election. The people who voted for Perot got Clinton, and it’s pretty clear that the Republicans learned nothing from this, as the next winning candidate they nominated was… George Bush.
Ralph Nader, the third-party candidate who ran against Bush and Gore, cost Gore that election. The people who voted for Nader got Bush, and it’s pretty clear that the Democrats learned nothing from this, as the next person they nominated was… John Kerry.
[I’m calling it a ‘problem’ because I have such huge respect for people who care enough and are passionate enough to support change. The problem is that since Gus Hall, and then John Anderson and then the more recent candidates, just about all the changes that third parties have tried to bring to national politics have foundered. It just isn’t a useful way to market change in this country.]
If enough people spent enough time, day after day, dollar after dollar, we could fundamentally alter the historic two-party system we have in the US. But it’s been shown, again and again, that the easy act of letting oneself off the hook by simply voting for a third-party candidate accomplishes nothing.
The marketing of the third-party candidate is: Teach those folks a lesson, plus, you’re not on the hook for what happens. But…
No one in government is learning a lesson.
And you don’t even get who you voted for.
The irony is not lost on me. A small group of voters who care a great deal are spending psychic energy on a vote that undermines the very change they seek to make.
It’s a self-defeating way of letting yourself off the hook, but of course, you’re actually putting yourself on the hook, just as you do if you don’t vote at all