Fall is officially in the air today with cooler weather just around the corner. The winds of change will greet us soon. This upcoming presidential election is a forecast for a typhoon in the eyes of many. But ready or not, we will be witnessing history on Tuesday, Nov. 8.
These elections seem to get longer and longer. That’s because they are longer. The only way candidates who don’t have glossy resumes have a chance to defeat well known and wealthy figures is jump in the race as early as possible. Not too many people knew who Bernie Sanders was before this race started. But the Independent Vermont governor, who refers to his views as socialist, ran as a Democrat.
Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton dismissed him in the beginning, believing that she was the anointed choice of the Democrats. But Clinton forgot that the opposition could resonate with a changing electorate. State Sen. Barack Obama of Illinois became that choice in 2008 and Clinton was unable to recover.
Now Clinton has the support of Obama, the first black president, and other Democratic leaders in her bid to become the first female president. While there is no denying her intelligence and experience gained as secretary of state, Clinton has not made a convincing argument of why she should be our next president. She often plays it too safe and attempts to straddle the fence. That is why many college students and Independents began to follow Sanders. While Clinton first said Sanders’ ideas were a pipe dream, he continued to win caucuses and primaries.
Clinton eventually prevailed but she received a valuable lesson. Do not take possible younger voters for granted and become a little more passionate about subjects you support. Clinton’s mistrust of the media began during her husband Bill Clinton’s presidency. Some of the stuff being said about her or implied were off base, like linking the Clintons somehow to Vince Foster’s suicide.
She is not always comfortable in the public eye and that probably led to her separate personal email account, which, quite frankly, I did not know initially was considered improper. Her use of the emails was careless and could have created headaches if someone sabotaged her computer.
She also had a rough week when during a recent fundraiser said that half of the followers of Republican candidate Donald Trump were “deplorable” and racist and so on. I knew what she was trying to say but it did not come out right. It was not a good idea to say half. The word some would have been better. Then a couple of days later after a Sept. 11 ceremony, she stumbled going into a car but was caught and led into the vehicle quickly. Turns out she had pneumonia. Suddenly her health becomes an issue. I thought that was nonsense. People get sick. A few days of rest and she was fine.
Clinton had been mostly silent up until her screw up. She has been reportedly preparing for the upcoming debates.
And then there is Trump. Regardless of what anyone thinks about this race, the only thing I’m convinced of is that Donald Trump only cares about Donald Trump. With Clinton literally stumbling and dropping in the polls, the best advise aides could have given Trump is to be quiet. Instead he holds a press conference to essentially promote his new hotel in Washington, D.C. and had veterans who support him lined up behind the candidate as props and told us that President Obama was born in the United States. Of course, this was never an issue for most of us except for Trump, who continued to question Obama’s birthplace since 2011, event after the president’s birth certificate was posted.
Look, there is no use continuing to go over this stuff. Trump has his supporters and they are not all deplorable. Some of them are average middle class people who are frustrated with politicians who they feel do not listen to their complaints. Some of these voters are going to support Trump regardless of what he says.
So, when Trump says at the press conference that the president is born in the U.S., period, and turns around and states that it was Hillary Clinton who was one of the leaders of the birther movement in 2008, many of his followers are not concerned.
This is where we are at right now. But I’m encouraged that the debates are going to take place because Trump will actually have to talk about issues, and Clinton has an opportunity to outline why she should be the next president. The debates will most likely be watched extensively even with NFL games and the Cubs in the playoffs.
The winds of change are coming. We will find out soon in what direction.