Trump and Pay to Play

Donald Trump Showing Interest in Pay to Play foundation of Hillary Clinton

 

Donald Trump, Republican presidential candidate is now focusing on the operation ‘pay to play’, the Clinton Foundation.  The donations done to the foundation was to secure access and also to influence Hillary Clinton, the secretary of state, according to Mr. Trump. It is also done so that she may be used later to influence, if elected.

 

Trump appreciated the Clinton Foundations work as he checked it online. He said he was happy to see their website offering to help the poor, sick and disadvantaged people. The multiple initiatives taken by this foundation has pleased Trump. he was impressed by the Clintons initiative in Tanzania, Malawi and Rwanda anchor farm projects helping over 77,00 smallholder farmers by offering them access to markets and providing smart agronomic training to produce soya, maize and sunflower.

 

The Clinton Health Matters works to improve across the United States the wellness in communities. These partnerships reflect projects and investments reaching over 50 million people in the country. Trump also informed that he saw the annual reports, financial statements and IRS Form 990s that revealed the donations done and all the large donors. Their financial statement and reports had details of all the activities the foundation was related to and the entities details to the last dollar. He appreciated the transparency of Pay to Play.

 

The media is focusing on Donald Trump and his on campaign contributions. This also includes the Trump entities done contributions to Attorneys General in Texas, New York, Florida, California or anyone suing or investigation Trump University. However, the Attorneys General of New York and California are already in the news coverage for pursuing their investigations on the contributions of Trump U. However, Greg Abbott, the Attorney General of Texas, now the Texas Governor, discontinued his investigation as Trump U stopped in Texas.

 

Mr. Trump was questioned about the ‘Pay to Play’ transaction. The transactional facts of Bondi-Trump offer a clear basis for investigation. Now the investigation relating the Trump-Bondi connection will take place soon, or after the election, is an open question for all the contribution reasons. However, regardless of several inquiring minds, it has kept people wondering whether there are reasons to prosecute Ms. Bondi, Mr. Trump or his corporate entities for public corruption, bribery or both, under state or federal law, or both.

 

Though, the McDonnel decision narrowed the federal public corruption cases into official acts, yet there appears a potential criminal issue under at least three legal theories and federal statutes with Bondi’s and Trump’s

 

Hillary and Sanders

Bernie Sanders keeps pushing Hillary Clinton. He may never catch up and she may get the nomination, but he is giving it a valiant effort. While there has been absolute craziness and novelty on the Republican side, the Democrats have been more staid and conventional.

Will a Low Key Campaign Hurt?

The question is, will the low key Democratic primary hurt the Democrats in the long run. People aren’t as energized. The Republican primaries are seeing a lot of interest and getting a lot of new people involved in voting and taking part. Will the divisiveness hurt them or will the emotions and fervor carry over and help them in the general election.

Moving Away From the Middle

The Republicans seem to be racing further to the right and away from the middle. They were already pretty far that direction before the campaign started. Bernie Sanders has surprised Hillary Clinton and his popularity has forced her to move more to the left than she would probably like. She has co-opted some of his message and blunted his surge because of that. But perhaps that was what he was hoping for.

Sanders Successes

Currently Sanders has won 7 primaries versus 11 that Clinton has won. Clinton has tended to win in more populous states with more electoral votes than Sanders has. Bernie Sanders crushed Clinton in New Hampshire. Most recently, he also won Kansas and Nebraska in what some called Super Saturday. Clinton won Louisiana. Prior to that though, Clinton had taken most of the Super Tuesday states. She dominated in the South and also won Massachusetts which was thought would go to Sanders in a close vote before the primary.

Clinton won Iowa, then Sanders won New Hampshire. Not just won, but crushed Clinton. Probably not a surprise because he is from Vermont next door. Then Hillary won Nevada and South Carolina. Next up was Super Tuesday.  Sanders won Colorado, Minnesota, Oklahoma and of course Vermont, his home state. Clinton won Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Massachusetts, Tennessee, Texas and Virginia. Sanders has won in whiter states and dominates in more rural areas. Clinton has done better in urban and suburban areas and in places that have a greater ethnic mix. Most recently, Sanders won Nebraska and Kansas while Louisiana went to Clinton.

Currently Hillary has 1123 delegates compared to Sanders’ 484. She is about half way to the number she needs to win the nomination. But it will be interesting to see as the elections move to other states with different demographics how Sanders will do. He isn’t out of it yet, but it is getting more and more difficult for him to overcome her lead.

 

Hillary on Jimmy Kimmel Talks about Jeb

Hillary Clinton made an appearance on Jimmy Kimmel’s show recently and stayed on longer than most guests do. Kimmel asked her about what she thought of Bush’s struggles.

She was fairly gracious and said that she could identify and that running for President was tough and that there were bad days along with the good days. She said he was a very accomplished person and that he was trying to get his points across and make his case.

Then Kimmel asked her what she thought of Jeb Bush’s new campaign slogan, Jeb Can Fix It. In the clip she was obviously amused and trying not to laugh too hard. She said that running a campaign was hard and that campaign’s change all the time and that they won’t necessarily stick with the slogan.

Then Kimmel cracked her up by saying that it sounded like Jeb Bush was running a handyman business. Hillary Clinton said Bush had a number of options to fix things and then couldn’t resist and said maybe he could put his phone number on the side of a bus.

Kimmel then teased her and said he appreciated her leaving him for last after Steven Colbert and Jimmy Fallon. Then he started asking about Bill Clinton. He said that first ladies usually redecorated the white house. He asked if Bill would be picking out a new china pattern. Hillary said that she would use his expertise and ask for advice on increasing employment and raising wages.

Interestingly, she admitted that if it were possible, Bill Clinton would run for president again. Then Kimmel asked her if she had to run against Bill, who would win. Of course she said that she would beat him.

When asked about the Republican candidates she said that they seemed to be beholden to fossil fuel companies and that is why they were denying climate change. She wasn’t sure if they really believed it or if they just didn’t want to alienate a funding source.

Kimmel mentioned that Hillary had gone to Donald Trump’s wedding and asked what wedding gift she had given. She smiled and said “I went to the wedding”. She also pointed out that Trump supported her until he decided to run himself.

Then Kimmel spoke to 4 kids and asked them what they thought about a woman being president. The two boys were worried she would paint the White House pink and do other girly things. The girls liked the idea. Then he introduced the kids to Hillary. They chatted a bit and then he asked the boys if they had changed their minds. They said no. Hillary suggested that we needed a woman president so they would have some facts and insights to base their opinions on.

A Joe Biden Presidential Run?

Hillary Clinton’s poll numbers are inexorably sliding and sliding. This is leading Joe Biden to take a closer look at running for President.

Biden’s Possible Contributors

Mr. Biden has had some discussions with President Obama contributors and his own long time network of donors consisting of trial lawyers, Jewish leaders and Greek Americans. One of these is George Tsunis who helped raise $750,000 for the Obama-Biden ticket and has said he would be there is Biden needed him.

More worrying for Hillary is that some Hillary supporters have said they might switch allegiance if Biden enters the race. One is Tom Daschle, a former Senate leader. Then there is the Draft Biden group that has gone beyond fundraising to hiring staff and field operatives. Biden is likely to portray himself as upholding Obama’s legacy more than Ms. Clinton would.

Poor Clinton Poll Numbers

Beyond possible problems with contributors are the poll numbers. Recent polls in 3 key states, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Florida showed 60% of the people having an unfavorable view of Hillary and felt that she wasn’t honest and trustworthy. Only 4 in 10 had a favorable view of her.

Timing?

Biden would need to make a decision before the first Democratic debate which is October 13th. He realizes that if she bounces back from the email and other problems she will be hard to beat and it is unlikely that he would enter. But, if she continues to struggle or things get worse, there is a good possibility he would join the race.

Biden has also put out feelers to the gay and lesbian communities since he came out in favor of gay marriage before either President Obama or Hillary Clinton did.

Hillary Crash and Burn?

Some see Hillary Clinton crashing and burning, not only because of the emails but also the funding she and President Clinton have received for speaking engagements. According to an article in the US News and World Report,  a Russian company needed State Department permission to corner the world uranium market. Bill Clinton was paid $500,000 for a speech by the Russian Investment Bank that was rating the stock of the company buying the uranium.

In addition, of $500 million given to the Clintons’ foundation, only 15% has gone to charities and $300 million has gone to “other expenses”.

A Biden Run Helps Hillary?

Others feel that Biden running would help Ms. Clinton’s campaign. They said she is a terrible front runner but does quite well when she is in the middle of a race. They feel Biden running will force her to run a better, more competitive campaign and hone her for the race against the Republican candidate.

Unsurprisingly, they weren’t sure where Biden would get his support from since Bernie Sanders is exciting the liberals and Obama supporters are mostly backing Hillary Clinton according to this line of thinking.

So, there is obviously a wide range of opinion about a Biden run, but it should be interesting to watch and see what happens.

Hillary’s Challengers

Hillary Clinton has been the frontrunner and presumed favorite to win the Democratic Party nomination for President. So far several people have decided to run and challenge her.

Martin O’Malley

One is Martin O’Malley the former governor of the state of Maryland. So far he has not gotten any traction and it is our guess that his aim is for the Vice President position and later for President.

Lincoln Chafee

Another is Lincoln Chafee a former senator and governor of the state of Rhode Island. Interestingly, when he was a senator, he was Republican. Some have described him as a Nelson Rockefeller Republican. So far, he too hasn’t gotten much traction.

Jim Webb

Jim Webb, a former senator from Virginia was the first to anounce an exploratory committee but just decided to declare. However, he has little name recognition and has a long way to go on the fundraising front.

Bernie Sanders

The final challenger to Clinton could be formidable. He is Bernie Sanders, a senator from Vermont. He recently spoke in front of the largest crowd so far of any candidate running. Over 10,000 people showed up to hear him speak in Madison, WI.

Some say that Hillary Clinton is the strongest front runner of any candidate in history who wasn’t an incumbent. She has experience as a senator and then as Secretary of State, plus the unusual experience of having been married to a President. However, Bernie Sanders could pose problems for the following reasons. ( The Huffington Post had an interesting article on this.)

Because of Sanders length of service in the Senate, he has a more substantial legislative history than any of the Republicans he would have  to run against if he won the nomination.

A majority of  Americans are on the side of the Democrats on a majority of issues from economic to immigration to climate change to gay marriage. If the issues that Sanders has pushed for over the years such as trade, the federal budget and middle class economics, resonate with voters in this election, then he will have a good chance. If you count all the electoral votes of states that are leaning Democratic, or are likely or safely Democratic then only 23 out of 85 toss up votes are needed to win.

This means that Bernie Sanders can stay true to his pricipals and beliefs and doesn’t have moderate or change them to appeal to conservatives. People for a while have been saying the Democrats had to use realism instead of progressive values to be able to win. Because of changes in the electorate, this seems to be much less the case and could leave Clinton in an outmoded paradigm.

Sanders is on 6 committees in the Senate and on many issues has more experience than Clinton or any of the Republican candidates.

Sanders beliefs haven’t changed over the years based on polling. He has stuck to his beliefs and has been fighting for the middle class and the poor for many years.

Despite Hillary’s war chest and fund raising capability, any more emails on Benghazi or other issues could really cripple Hillary and boost Bernie Sanders position. It will be interesting to see how it all plays out.

 

 

Hillary Clinton and the Black Vote

We just wrote about Hillary and possible problems with a generational gap and appeal. But there is another audience that will be critical to her election, the black vote.

How do you follow up on a performance like Barack Obama’s in turning out the black vote. It will be hard to repeat.

Some people not only wondered whether she will get the black vote, but whether she enjoys it. F. Michael Higginbotham wrote and interesting article that makes the claim that she does deserve to be supported by blacks.

Police Relations

He points to her speech at Columbia University on April 29th. She spoke about a number of causes for the problems in Baltimore and other issues around the country and her proposed solutions.  She spoke about the racial inequities in the criminal justice system but just as importantly in the US in general and in the areas of politics and the economy.

Although it has become obvious to most Americans over the last year with Baltimore, Feguson and unfortunately many other incidents, she pointed out the poor relationship between the law enforcement and minorities. She also commented on the dramatic disparity in arrests, sentencing and imprisonment by race. Black men are much more likely to be stopped, searched,  and charged and they receive longer prison sentences than white men for the same crime.

One solution she suggested, which has been at the top of many people’s minds recently is body cameras for police. But, she said there were problems that were even more important than relations with the police. It was the lack of employment for black men. In Baltimore, the black unemployment rate is twice that of whites’. In the 20-24 year old age range it is 3 times as high. More disturbing is that the median net worth of whites in the US is 18 times that of blacks, which is higher than in South Africa during apartheid.

Economic and Educational Opportunities

She pointed out that more economic opportunities are needed and better education. She also suggested more support for poor families so they can better give a leg up to the children.

Voter Rights

In a speech last summer, she also condemned voter identification laws and restrictions that had a greater impact on the minority community. She was very critical of the Shelby County vs. Holder decision by the Supreme Court which invalidated part of the 1965 Voting Rights Act. She pointed out that the Voting Rights Act has done more democratization than almost any piece of legislation. Within 4 years of becoming law, 800,000 new voters registered, mostly black.

 

Hillary Clinton, David Letterman and Mad Men

What do Hillary Clinton, David Letterman and Mad Men have to do with each other? On the surface, not much. They are or are about Baby Boomers. So what?

Who is going to be voting for Hillary Clinton? Granted, there is a population bulge with the Baby Boomers, but they are beginning to die off and the Greatest Generation from World War II is rapidly fading.

David Letterman and Jay Leno were dominant during their long runs, but they have now handed things over to the next generation of Conan O’Brien, Seth Meyers and Jimmy Kimmel. Yes Letterman represented the Baby Boom generation and the attitude of Question Authority. But the irony and and sarcasm that he brought to the fore as a contrast to Rat Pack type cool of Johnny Carson, isn’t new and cutting edge anymore. Besides, everyone is doing it. The younger generations have grown up instead on The Simpson’s and South Park.

You also have a generation of news anchors turning over such as  Bill O’Reilly for Megyn Kelly and Diane Sawyer for David Muir.

Then there is Mad Men, which is quintessentially about the 60s and the beginnings of the Baby Boom dominance. But what younger group really wants to watch things like this or reminisce about Ed Sullivan or The Beatles or Edgar Bergen? They would rather focus on things that relate more closely to them.

This is the problem for Hillary Clinton. She is 67. Obama is 53 and was only 47 when elected. Hillary will be on the upper end of the age range for Presidents. Obama energized the youth vote who were excited about a change. Can she relate to this part of the population and can she energize them in the same way that Obama did?