A Strange Race

I’ve been a political junkie since the ’68 Democratic Convention in Chicago.  We had been in Vietnam over four years at that point with KIA already over 25,000 with no end in sight.  The solution (followed seven years later) was to declare victory and get out.  Thousands of young protesters came to Chicago to make that point and to state their case on national television.  Back then there were only three television channels and no cable.  All three carried gavel-to-gavel convention coverage; there was no escaping it.  We followed the CBS version and I still remember Walter Cronkite doing the play-by-play of the clashes between police and protesters.  In one scene a young guy stepped out flinging rocks, screaming “death to the pigs”.  He was cut off from help and quickly knocked down by several fellows wielding over-sized riot sticks.  Once down the kid tried to cover up but one boy in blue whacked him hard across the head and shoulders again and again.  The camera returned to Cronkite, watching the video with the nation.  Walter frowned and noted “That cop certainly had his eye on the target.”

A Few of the Wounded
A Few of the Wounded

There’s never been a convention like that one, and never a Presidential campaign like this one.

Walter Cronkite
Walter Cronkite

I was amazed to read this in the electronic version of The New Yorker.   “There are growing fears among supporters of the Republican Presidential nominee Donald Trump that his new focus on Muslims is distracting him from his campaign against Mexicans.

After the billionaire said he would consider shutting down mosques if he were President, supporters expressed concern that such signature proposals as a wall with Mexico and mass deportations were being lost in the shuffle.”


That was satire from The Borowitz Report.  Doesn’t it feel plausible?


Trump says so many things politically suicidal one must wonder whether he really wants the job.  To wit:  Once upon a time politicians, cigar breath and all, made a show of kissing babies.   Two weeks ago at a Trump rally he had his security remove a crying baby and her mother.  This week we heard him suggest “2nd Amendment people” might stop President Hillary from making any judicial nominations.  Also this week – despite military efforts to the contrary, and zero knowledge of Arabic – she and Obama founded ISIS.   Prominent Republicans are telling the RNC to spend all their money on the House and Senate races.  We’re still three months out – is the best yet to come?


Kat says Trump’s going to quit the race when he realizes he can’t win.  For fun, I checked the betting odds on that.  There is an international online service that entertains such possibilities.  It’s called PredictIt.  There the odds of The Donald’s quitting before September 1 are between 7 and 8%.  I can’t tell how long this proposition has been up for bids, but the probability of a dropout will decline proportionately with each passing day, all other things being the same.  PredictIt posts a graph of betting probabilities by day, but from August 4 to 12, the graph is basically flat-lined.  Trump’s unforced errors are keeping the September 1 Quit proposition interesting.

Trump's TIME Cover
Trump’s TIME Cover

I think Kat is onto something!

7 thoughts on “A Strange Race

  1. The Trumps and the Clintons have been friends for years.

    Not long after Trump entered the race, Bill Clinton was on The Late Show. Colbert was asking questions about Trump, and Bill said he didn’t want to say anything as Donald had been good to their foundation.

    One has to wonder if any part of Trump’s campaign was ever, or still is, about actually helping Hillary get elected.



      1. Not exactly a conspiracy theory. A political one.

        It is not that farfetched, and it is probably not the first or last time in history.

        You know the old adage about politics and strange bedfellows. 🙂


    1. But Trump’s success — without a real organization, without spending much money, without any plan to govern would have sounded to experienced pols such as the Clintons … impossible.

      Ah, but Garrison Keillor had something about that subject on his dearly departed show about 8 months ago. Trump hired Guy Noir, Private Eye, to find the fellow who bet Trump a million dollars that Trump could win the GOP nomination, just by being himself, which basically is a pompous ass and blowhard. Noir’s job was to find the other bettor, and then talk that fellow out of the bet. Noir learned who was behind the bet, arranged a meeting, and told Bill Clinton’s voice that “Things have become real, and Mr. Trump realizes it looks like he might become President, despite utterly no preparation or background for the job. He admits that all he knows about is real estate, eastern European models, and bankruptcy. He also knows that you, sir, are a patriot, and would never knowingly do anything to hurt our great country. So, what do say, Mr. President? Let’s just cancel this bet?” “Hah-hah-hah! Trump wants out now? You tell Donald ‘No way’: that’s gonna be the easiest million dollars I ever made!”


  2. In searching to see if I had before today posted something on Doonesbury and Trump, I came across this post again.

    As a fan of Keillor, and with thanks to Jackson for pointing out the Guy Noir ones on Trump, I thought I’d post the scripts and videos to which Jackson referred.

    We could all use some humor right about now.


    Here are the two I found.


    Scripts from 12/5/2015, and one from 4/2/16.




    Videos on the YouTube channel for “Guy Noir” on _A Prairie Home Companion_:




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