As America anticipates the presidential debates — televised on Channel 4 at 1:45 a.m. on Tuesday morning, September 27 — everyone wonders whether Hillary Clinton will show up.
Both she and Donald Trump will be standing. No breaks will be allowed during those 90 minutes. Nor will audience reaction be allowed.
As we know, this election is like no other, even to the point where voters are rejecting the traditional ads so necessary in previous campaigns. On September 18, the Washington Examiner looked at pollster Frank Luntz’s work with undecided voters. He showed ads from both campaigns to a group of 30. Nearly all fell flat:
“Almost all of the ads bombed because they weren’t authentic,” Luntz said afterward. “You cannot take clips out of context and expect voters to believe them any more because they’ve seen it again and again and again.”
Some men used four letter words when responding to the ads. However, the following exchange was more typical:
“He is not talking to you?” Luntz asked.
“He is not talking to me,” the woman said.
“Is Hillary talking to you?” Luntz followed.
“I’m not really listening to her.”
On Monday, September 19, Clinton spoke to a small group of students at Philadelphia’s Temple University. Her eyes are now moving oddly:
A surgeon writing for The Hill says she has a problem with her left sixth cranial nerve, which he explains in detail along with her previous illnesses. He concludes:
Her traumatic brain injury, transverse sinus thrombosis, subsequent symptoms, falling, passing out and now the obvious problem with eye movement are all fact, not speculation.
It would be very helpful if Clinton agreed to an independent exam and to have the questions raised here answered. It is too important not to get this right.
As the surgeon says, what was joked about in 2014 on the Conan show is now reality:
Moving on from Hillary to other Trump opponents, Ted Cruz finally endorsed him. On September 23, Cruz posted a long explanation on his Facebook page. Essentially:
After many months of careful consideration, of prayer and searching my own conscience, I have decided that on Election Day, I will vote for the Republican nominee, Donald Trump.
That same day, Bloomberg announced that Heidi Cruz returned to Goldman Sachs in Houston:
Cruz, 44, will concentrate on helping to win new clients, focusing on strategic relationships …
Ted Cruz drew boos at the Republican National Convention in July, when he stopped short of endorsing Trump. Security officers escorted Heidi Cruz out of the arena after the speech as at least one Trump supporter shouted “Goldman Sachs” at her, CNN reported.
Tyler Durden of Zero Hedge wrote:
The silver lining is that for anyone who may have doubted where the Cruz family allegiance lies, we now have the answer …
Whilst this might damage Cruz’s brand in 2018:
A loss of a brand … can be quickly made whole with several bonus payments to the former presidential candidate’s wife.
Trump issued the following statement in response to Lyin’ Ted:
I am greatly honored by the endorsement of Senator Cruz. We have fought the battle and he was a tough and brilliant opponent. I look forward to working with him for many years to come in order to make America great again.
The Conservative Treehouse made this observation:
There is no upside for Donald Trump from this endorsement, the only benefactor is Senator Ted Cruz. A Senator Cruz who is currently extremely damaged. A Senator Cruz who could, by reasonable review, lose his ’18 reelection bid. That is a reality which will not be lost on those political junkies who travel through the deep weeds.
Cruz had to endorse, because Reince Priebus is considering penalising primary candidates who do not honour the pledge to support the nominee. On September 18, he appeared on CBS’s Face the Nation:
Several of Trump’s former Republican primary opponents, including Ohio Gov. John Kasich, Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, and former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush have not endorsed Trump in the months since the GOP businessman secured the nomination. Asked explicitly whether that meant there would be penalties for the handful of 2016 Republican hopefuls who have not endorsed Trump if they opted to run again in 2020 or 2024, Priebus said nothing has been decided but that it’s something the party will “look at.”
A handful of Republicans are still in the #NeverTrump camp. Among them are Kendal Unruh and Erick Erickson. Their outlook defies description.
After Unruh’s contingent of anti-Trumpers in the rules committee failed to insert a “conscience” clause into this year’s rules package last week, an amendment that would have the effect of unbinding the delegates, they adopted a new tactic for the convention itself. The idea was that, when the rules report was brought up for passage by the full convention, anti-Trumpers would insist on recording the vote by roll call—rather than by voice vote, in which the power to determine whether the yeas or nays are louder resides with the presiding chair and his gavel. A roll call vote would be an arduous process, and it’d have the effect of emphasizing the internal discontent over party’s nominee (and of knocking the convention way off schedule).
She was a delegate from Colorado, which had a controversial caucus this year. NBC News has an in-depth profile of her, which they published before the convention in Cleveland:
She’s a high school teacher at a Denver Christian school and a conservative activist.
In the span of one month, she has built an organization, has attracted the support of donors and has raised $3.5 million for the effort. National and international media is demanding her attention as she’s the anti-Trump Republicans’ last stand.
Unruh, like all Colorado delegates, were supporters of Sen. Ted Cruz during the Republican primary and her opposition to Trump is fueling her effort.
She and her newly-formed group, Free the Delegates, teamed up with another group, Delegates Unbound, which is more focused on convention rules in general, regardless of who the nominee is. But this year, their agendas align. The two groups have pooled resources and rented offices in downtown Cleveland …
Following Cruz’s endorsement of Trump on Friday, Unruh tweeted:
Cruz is not my conscience. I will still be voting my conscience.
Gordon Klingenschmitt dedicated two recent episodes of his “Pray In Jesus Name” program to interviewing Kendal Unruh, a longtime Religious Right activist who is now leading a “Free The Delegates” effort aimed at changing the rules at the upcoming Republican National Convention in hopes of preventing Donald Trump from receiving the nomination.
When Klingenschmitt, a Colorado GOP lawmaker, noted that such a move would likely alienate the millions of voters who supported Trump during the Republican primaries, Unruh asserted that Republicans actually didn’t vote for Trump and that he only won because Democrats crossed over to vote for him as a “Trojan horse” that would destroy the GOP and that she has been raised up by God to stop this from happening …
“Trust God for the outcome of this,” Unruh declared. “I believe that God put me in this position to be here for such a time as this.”
It will be a happy day when Trump rebuilds the GOP and reduces the input of such people.
On August 21, she tweeted:
Many say God wants Trump in office to save America. If that is true, God can do it without me violating my conscience.
A response came her way on September 24:
@ConscienceVoter “If God wants to save the Ninevites, He can do it without me violating my conscience” – Jonah
The other person, Erick Erickson — formerly of Red State — published a long article in which he cloaked himself in religiosity and moral superiority to the extent that he has eyes into Donald Trump’s soul:
I have been actively reconsidering my opposition to Trump. I’ve done it in conversation with friends, in prayer, and in quiet time dedicated to considering the future …
How far a Christian must fall to justify the low morals of one man by tearing down the reputations of others in sometimes exaggerated manners. And I do recall God choosing Abraham, Samson, and David and all of them repenting of their sins. That repentance stands in studied contrast to Donald Trump who has three times said he never had to ask for forgiveness and only recently said his advance of the church, if he is elected, might be the only thing that gets him into Heaven.
That is a far cry from sola scriptura, sola fide, sola gratia, solus Christus, et soli Deo gloria …
I cannot in good conscience support anyone who bears the name of brother when he is unrepentant of sexual immorality or greed, or is an idolater, reviler, drunkard, or swindler.
It is not just because of my values, but for Donald Trump’s own salvation that I cannot embrace him …
If God wants Trump in the White House, he does not need my vote or a violation of my conscience to get Trump there. To think otherwise is to think God is not God …
I think Donald Trump will do lasting damage to the witness of the Church in America and I therefore cannot vote for him.
I am without a candidate. I just cannot vote for either one …
Breathtaking, just breathtaking.
Again, I look forward to the day Trump transforms the GOP. The religious right must lose their pre-eminence in the party, the undue influence they have had since 1980. A political party is a secular construct, not a religious one. Furthermore, as Trump pointed out months ago, it’s the Republican Party, not the Conservative Party.
In closing, the media — Trump’s biggest opponent after Hillary — made a big stink about the amount of money Trump charges the Secret Service to travel with him. LawNewz pointed out, however, that Hillary charges the Secret Service more. (This is because she does not own her own aircraft.) Yet, the media say nothing about that:
Clinton takes private jets and the Secret Service has paid a lot more to fly with her. Politico‘s report says that while the government has paid $1.6 million to Trump, they have reimbursed the Clinton campaign for $2.6 million in agents’ travel expenses ...
This isn’t exactly the first time that we’ve learned about Trump using his own properties for his campaign. The Politico report said that through August, Trump’s campaign has spent $8.2 million at the candidate’s hotels, offices, restaurants, and other businesses, according to FEC records. Unless he’s overcharging for the flights, I don’t see why this is news.
In closing, The Conservative Treehouse has a transcript of the ‘anti-establishment’ speech Trump gave yesterday, September 24, to a packed house in Roanoke, Virginia. Excerpts follow:
On November 8th, we are going to win this state and we are going to win the White House.
We are going to take on the big donors, and big business, and big media – we are going to take on the rigged system that has shipped America’s wealth to other countries.
We are going to replace our failed and corrupt establishment with a new government that serves you, your family, and your country …
Our massive, chronic trade deficits are destroying the middle class – and shifting money away from workers to large corporations who have no borders. There’s a reason hedge funds and Wall Street are giving tens of millions to my opponent.
Hillary Clinton is the voice for the global special interests.
I am running to be the voice of the forgotten men and women.
My opponent likes to say that for decades, she has been “fighting for women.” That she has been “fighting for children.”
Why then are 70 million American women and children living in poverty, or on the brink of poverty? Why has she provided no relief for the millions of Americans in search of affordable, reliable quality childcare? You know the old saying, “Watch what I do, not what I say” …
Every change starts with a conversation. Together, we will have this conversation. And we will make this change.
The changes will start immediately …
To those suffering, I say: Vote for Donald Trump. What do you have to lose? I will fix it. I will fight harder for you than anyone has before …
I am not running to be President of the World. I am running to be President of the United States. I Am For America – and America First.
Together, we will rebuild this country beyond our greatest dreams …
Unlike Erick Erickson, I pray that Trump succeeds.
Judging from that speech, he and Theresa May would get on like a house on fire. I hope it happens.
And, finally, the LA Times still has Trump up in their poll. Although it’s not by as much as last Sunday, he has been leading throughout the week. The September 25 result shows him at 46.4% to Clinton’s 42.3%.
Perhaps more interesting is that RealClearPolitics shows Trump leading in seven of the 14 states for which they show polling results. This has been the case for most of the past week.
If you do watch the first debate, I would be most grateful for your comments below. Many thanks!