Friday, September 30, 2016

Kind, gentle Trump refuses to bring up sordid, disgusting Clinton

Smart like a Fox, losing the battle to win a war.

There is a word for what we are seeing:  Apophasis

The spell-check elf inside of blogger simply cannot believe I really want to use this word, apophasis,  which describes the rhetorical device of bringing up a subject by saying that one is not bringing it up.  Example:   "I refuse to discuss my opponent's drinking problems and DUI arrests, including the one last week."   It thinks I surely must mean "apophysis", which is a bony growth, but apophasis is the word we are seeing with Donald Trump's hints and threats and expression of his generous self control in not bringing up the case of Bill Clinton's sexual history.

“When she hit me at the end with the women, I was going to hit her with her husband’s women, and I decided I shouldn’t do it because [her] daughter was in the room."  

And later:

 “I was talking about the affairs — the many affairs that Bill Clinton had.  And because his daughter was in the room, Chelsea … I just didn’t want to do it in front of her.”

2:14 a.m.
The conventional cable patter is that Trump is making a huge mistake and that it is another example of Trump's bad impulse control.  It fits into the Hillary-narrative that Trump is temperamentally unsuited to be president.   

And then, incredibly,  in the early morning hours he began tweeting, defending himself in the issue with Miss Universe Alicia Machado.

Isn't this a major "win" for Hillary?   The pundit patter calls this a one-two punch of self destruction, showing Trump to be thin skinned, easily baited, distractible, self destructive, and foolish.   If a twenty year old story about a Miss Universe can distract Trump then think how easily a Putin or Kim Jong-un could do it.
2:19 a.m.

Hillary's team in Brooklyn must be happy.   And maybe they are right.

But not so fast.  Maybe not.

The upside for Trump

I start with the premise that Trump is undisciplined on the little things but very skilled on the big picture of how to win the support of the American people. 

It might be thought out strategy or it might be the practiced  gut instinct of a performer or maybe it is simply the "right man at the right time", but one way or another Donald Trump has caught a wave that happens to sync up with the electoral situation and time, and Trump is connecting.  So what is in it for Trump?

The fight with Machado isn't all bad for Trump--notwithstanding the near universal condemnation of the political commentariat.   My guess is that there are two kinds of people who have a back of the mind inclination to dislike the former Miss Universe.   One is men.  She represents a kind of universal threat that all people face: the ex returns.  And it can be especially troubling for men when what may have seemed very consensual at the time looks creepy or abusive in an entirely different context.

It can be a former employee, a former sweetheart, some past situation where situation and mores of an earlier era are examined closely against a new situation.  What was maybe just edgy--or even completely ok--twenty years before looks ugly twenty years later.  What was flirtatious and arguably ok when he was a beauty pageant impresario looks creepy or abusive when he is a presidential candidate.   Back then she was a young employee, putting up with a certain amount of work-unpleastness to keep an employer happy.   Now she is the angry woman.  A man says things to a wife or sweetheart that sound awkward at best when she is an ex.  And angry.  And litigious. 

(Bill and Hillary Clinton know this all too well.  Whatever happened between Bill Clinton and Paula Jones back in the 1980s, in private, repeatedly,  seemed very different when, in the late 1990s she emerged as the unhappy litigant.)

20 years later

The other group of people who may well bear some resentment against Miss Universe is women.  Women face the challenge and indignity of being judged on their appearance.  So do men, but it is worse and harder for women.   Maria Machado was the big winner and every other woman in the universe, supposedly, was judged less beautiful than her.  The whole setup of a beauty pageant is that women are judged against each other.  Everyone else was a loser.   My sense is that Trump is on pretty safe ground in saying that Machado was a difficult person, the worst, the most self indulgent.  

Is it all that unexpected that women might take a little quiet satisfaction in knowing that Miss Winner Take All is not so all-perfect after all.

The criticism of Machado fits the Trump model: an attack on self-centered elites who think they are better than other people.   Hillary may think she allied herself with a victim, but she simultaneously aligned herself with a woman who was judged to have made every other woman in the world a loser.   

It is complicated, but Trump may come out very well on this.  Hillary may have been the one to walk into a trap.   

But what about the Clinton adultery mess?   Can Donald Trump, of all people, slut shame the Clintons and accuse them of sexual scandal.   He stands there with his young trophy third wife.   Isn't this crazy for him?

Not necessarily, for two reasons.   

The prize for Trump adultery
One is Clinton Fatigue.   Trump is reminding people of scandal, accusations, and the endless misery of Republican opposition to everything Clinton, assuring another 4 years of Clinton criticism and rumors and investigations.  "The Clintons are the sordid past,” he said. “We will be the very bright and clean future."

Is it madness to call Trump a bright clean future?   Not necessarily.   Trump represents the voters pressing "reset."   He isn't bright and clean, but he is new.

The other is that Trump is a winner.  Hillary was the victim of sexual betrayal.  That does not make her "good".  It makes her the victim: weak.  

Trump was the adulterer, the one who "moved up" to Marla, then moved up again to Melania, third wife even younger and more beautiful.  Trump does not hide Melania.   He took the 5th Amendment multiple times to avoid admitting to adultery in court in his first divorce, but the fact of his adultery with Marla was paraded in the tabloids and she was quoted as saying sex with Donald Trump was the best ever.  

Trump is accusing Bill of being sleazy and Hillary of being weak.  Trump is a flagrant hypocrite but he isn't arguing that he is good.  He is showing that he is strong, virile, a winner.   Trump is showing his alpha.   He is showing he has big hands.  In a war of sexual conquest and domination he won.   Hillary, by comparison, was the pathetic loser.  She was the wronged and humiliated woman.  
Hillary accepts humiliation.  Loser.

Trump's purpose is humiliation and to remind voters that she endured humiliation.   Is this political?   Yes, indeed.

If she would accept humiliation for some "greater good" of her marriage then as president she might allow America to accept some form of humiliation for the greater good of world peace.  Or a "fair" trade deal.  Trump introduces this issue not to discuss sex and adultery, but to discuss American winning and losing, pride versus humiliation.    Trump represents America first, nationalist pride, and winning in love and war.   As he concludes his rallies:  You are going to win and win and win and win until you are so tired of it you cannot stand winning any more.

People who want a president who is a winner have their man.  Trump is saying Hillary took the short end of a deal.  Shame on her.

If you haven't yet listened to the podcast experiment I have going, check it out:

The podcast is a spirited conversation between me and Thad Guyer, an attorney who represents whistleblowing employees, with an international practice.   He watches the election from home base in Saigon.   This week we discuss Trump's rise in the polls, and Hillary's having messed up her message on crime.   We conclude by talking about the debate and what would be the best strategy for Hillary and for Trump.   What would Trump do to blow it, and the election?  My own view is for him to look like a bull in a china shop.

Thursday, September 29, 2016

Hillary: "Smug Know it All" or "Confident and Prepared"???

How did Hillary strike you?

I had an email exchange with a prominent local businessman, someone socially and intellectually sophisticated, someone comfortable with diversity and women in positions of power.

"You missed that Hillary came across as smug.  She was laughing at Trump and had a know-it-all attitude.   I bet the polls go up for Trump.  The media just hates him."  

I did not see it that way.   I thought Hillary looked calm and confident, like she knew how to handle a complicated situation.  

I know that feeling from the inside.  It was how I felt going into a meeting with a client, back in my working days as a Financial Advisor, when I knew I was thoroughly prepared, when I knew I was the experienced professional in the room, and I absolutely knew how to handle a tough situation.  It was a great feeling of confidence and empowerment.  Those meetings nearly always went well.   I assumed I appeared, to the client, calm, confident, experienced, and professional, which I assumed was a big part of why the meeting went well.  They believed my professionalism.
Know it all?

But, obviously, my impression of the debate was not universal.  Some people read Hillary's manner negatively.   This helps expose a significant fault line in this election.   Trump and Clinton are selling two very different things.

The website has become the semi-official media organ for the Trump campaign and more broadly Trump-ism and the whole Trump movement.   Their lead article this morning starts like this:

Clarifying the campaign contrast
"In a series of three campaign events post debate Republican presidential nominee Donald J. Trump rolled out a new campaign theme highlighting his populist nationalism and contrasting that with Hillary Clinton's elitist globalism."

Populist nationalism vs. elitist globalism.   Breitbart is signaling a kind of "swift boat" style attack, an attack on an opponent's point of greatest strength, turning the strength into a weakness.  There are two ways to look at Hillary's professionalism:  either it is a sign of strength and competence--as I perceived it--or it is a sign of unflattering and dislikable elitism--as some people perceive it and can be made to perceive it more acutely if the point is driven home in attacks.

The "nationalism" portion of the Trump attack is a clear contrast with Hillary.   Trump's warm up act at rallies is one of several mothers who have lost children to crime committed by an immigrant here illegally.  Trump's nationalism is we vs. they, inside the border vs. outside the border.   The mothers say Hillary is responsible for murdering their child.   Tough stuff.  Trump uses crimes by the undocumented as the weapon.

Trump's "populism" ties Hillary to economic elites (including most certainly the prominent man who wrote me to say Hillary struck him as "smug.") and a weapon available to Trump is to use Hillary's professionalism against her.   Trump accuses her of being in charge for thirty years.  Trump accuses her of having rich friends.  Trump accuses her of being what she most certainly is: elite, by way of education, socialization, and manner.   Hillary attempts to claim her mother's poverty and her father's small business background, but the result of a lifetime of preparation for the presidency is that Hillary has become, undeniably, professionally elite in the very tough business of politics.

Hillary considers that a strength.  Obama praised her by saying she was the most qualified person to run for the office in history.   

Trump calls it a weakness, a disqualifier.  And if people interpret Hillary Clinton as "smug"--and especially people who are undeniably well into the economic and social 1% see her as "smug", rather than "prepared and professional", then it shows this attack has more traction  and believability than I had understood.

Note to Hillary supporters:   I have suggested before that this election is far more favorable to Trump than today's polls suggest.  Take no comfort in some 2 percent supposed edge.  Indeed, I expect Trump to win.   One of Trump's assets is that Sanders revealed the anti-elitism divide in the Democratic Party, and some votes that Hillary's supporters logically think she should get on the left are lost to her.  Hillary is the enemy, period, more liberal than Trump but no better than Trump.The margin of loss will be the votes she loses to Johnson and Stein.  

Another of Trump's assets is that Hillary's great strength, her competence and professionalism, has a weakness built into it.  Some people find it smug.   

President Trump.

The podcast is a spirited conversation between me and Thad Guyer, an attorney who represents whistleblowing employees, with an international practice.   He watches the election from home base in Saigon.   This week we discuss Trump's rise in the polls, and Hillary's having messed up her message on crime.   We conclude by talking about the debate and what would be the best strategy for Hillary and for Trump.   What would Trump do to blow it, and the election?  My own view is for him to look like a bull in a china shop.

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

A Closer Look at the modern campaign: Moro and DeBoer

Campaigns are run differently now than they were 35 years ago.

First, let me explain "then", so we can better understand "now".  I assisted in running about a dozen campaigns for local and Congressional office back in 1975-1985.  I was good enough at it that local aspirants for office asked for my help.  Plus, I had a couple of campaign victories of my own and was elected to a local office.   Here is what you did back then:

   1.  You put up lawn signs, in the hope of raising name familiarity and demonstrating support.
   2.  You had someone in charge of encouraging Letters to the Editor of the local newspapers.   Nearly everyone who voted subscribed to the local newspaper.
   3.  You walked door to door, often carrying a big binder with names and party registration of people at each house.  You knocked, you chatted a minute, you handed them a flyer, you left.
   4.  You ran 30 second TV ads, describing yourself.  TV ads were the distinguishing difference between a winning and losing campaign.  They were expensive, so the person who raised the most money and had the most TV ads, won.
   5.  You covered your bases by having some display ads in the local newspapers.
   6.  You raised money from political supporters by holding fundraising events.  You got out the word to those events because your campaign located lists of former attendees to fundraisers which were kept on sheets of paper that were photocopied in the format of address labels, 36 to a sheet.  Plus you kept index cards with names, addresses, and phone numbers.   About ten days before any event you printed up an invitation, stuffed it into an envelope, then did a bulk mailing to the people on the often incorrect address label sheets.

Some things are the same, some different.

Plastic on U-Frame

People still put up lawn signs and go door to door.   The technology of lawn signs has improved.  Now they are plastic and they stick in the ground on a metal frame.  They used to be cardboard and they would wilt in the rain.  There are two varieties of lawn sign.  One is  a plastic sleeve over a U-shaped wire hoop (the Hillary sign) and the other is a stiff waffle board of plastic that sticks onto a wire wicket (the Bates sign).

Metal wicket style

Now campaigns have voter lists downloaded to I-pads, so after a visit the candidate can code how the visit went.

People still read Letters to the Editor but newspaper readership is way, way down.  But Letters to the Editor are free, so people do it.  Few people bother with newspaper display ads.  They are expensive.  Talk radio barely existed 35 years ago but now there are three different local AM talk radio shows in the morning, so people who want to vent on candidates and issues have places to do it other than the newspapers.

Free and easy to distribute by email
People still raise money, but invitations take place electronically.   List distribution is now much easier.  A candidate can create an invitation in ten minutes using Word, then send it as an attachment or screen shot to supportive groups like the local party or officeholder, who can then forward it to their lists.  Tonia Moro, a candidate for State Senate, sent out approximately 4000 email invitations--maybe more--to a fundraising event last week.  (For comparison, in 1980 in my largest mass mailing, I sent out a heroic 1000 invitations to an event.  It took 20 person-hours to create the invitation, get it printed, stuff the envelopes, address the envelopes, delete the duplicates, get stamps on them, and get them to the post office.  My memory is that it cost some $200, the equivalent now of $600.)

Moro's fundraiser had the classic elements of political fundraisers, which to my observation has remained unchanged over the past 40 years:   

***Food and drink at some host's home.

Sen. Merkley mingles
***The candidate mingles and visits and is available to be buttonholed by attendees with some pressing concern.

***The candidate speaks for ten minutes, then answers questions for another twenty minutes.

The "ask"
***Someone takes the microphone an does the "ask", i.e. reminds people that this is democracy in action, nice clean money, your chance to make a better community, etc.  The burden of the talk is:  please contribute.

***A campaign volunteer goes around to help attendees with a pen and envelope to write a check.

Networking by Facebook is new and important.   Both Democratic candidate Tonia Moro and Republican candidate Alan DeBoer have Facebook pages for their campaigns.   

DeBoer is using his Facebook account to advertise a fundraiser he is holding at Hillcrest Winery, a venue about 200 yards from my house.  The Hillcrest Winery is a high status venue, set up for events like this, with good setup for parking, and therefore much superior to a private home if the event has more than 150 or so attendees.   If the event has fewer than a hundred people it could have been done at a private home.

I doubt that there would be protesters or other problems at a DeBoer event, but one element for consideration is whether an event site can keep disturbances away.  Protesters do not hurt an event, if they are at the entrance and far enough away from the actual event that protesters aren't visible or audible while the event is taking place. 

 Protesters show interest in the candidate.   A fundraising event for Governor Kate Brown at the Hillcrest Winery last month had about fifteen Bernie Sanders supporters protesting Brown's fundraiser.  (Brown had supported Hillary.)  They were kept to the street, 150 feet from the Brown event.   Protesters can also attend private homes: mine.   In the Merkley event pictured above three protesters with a big sign stood on the street in front of my house.  They were condemning Merkely's endorsement of a fellow Democratic senator who supports fracking.   

In my experience and observation, candidates generally are sorry to see protesters, but I welcome them.  Protesters improve an event.   They demonstrate that the political figure is taking positions with courage and conviction, in the face of opposition.  Protesters show that the stakes are important and the political failure of the candidate would have consequences.

The Moro event was held at my house.   I hold events for Democrats and civic causes frequently. I know know to do them, I use an excellent caterer, the Jacksonville Inn, which makes it easy for me, and I am attempting  to fill an need unmet back when I was a candidate for local office: a Democratic businessman who said "yes" and then just did what he said he would do, plus write a check.  I sorely needed such a person back then, and wondered ruefully why I couldn't find him.  So now I am trying to be him. It makes me feel useful.
Click Here: 30 Second ad

Tonia Moro has a well produced campaign ad up on TV, showing her amid "regular" people, with a voice over.  If it is available on the internet I cannot easily find it, or else I would link to it.  She doesn't say anything particularly controversial, but she is in favor of good things and good people.

Alan DeBoer has his own well produced ad, which is being circulated on Facebook.  "I'll bring my work ethic, new ideas, and that special southern Oregon spirit to Salem," he says.   I don't consider the content surprising or controversial in the least, but I do not vote in the Republican primary.  What is interesting about the content is what it is not.  It is not critical of government or services.

It has been viewed some 2,700 times on Facebook, as of this moment.  It is being circulated by people of both parties, former office holder who are well known in the community and with big Facebook Friends lists.  The ad continues his "civic improvement" branding.  He speaks of "improved graduation rates" in Ashland schools rather than decry failing schools.   The ad says he will expand funding for education and for vocational and job training.  Yes, he says he will expand funding.   See for yourself by clicking above.

Pop up Advertisement

He is simultaneously running internet ads, one of which popped up within an article I was reading at, saying he will stop "out of control" spending.   This represents the needle-threading or tight-rope walking necessary to send the two messages:  expand services with more funding and stop out of control spending.

His branding allows people to find what they want and need to see, a Rorschach ink blot. Although his policies are open ended his tone is clear:  he is a "can't we all get along" candidate, not an angry-with-government Tea Party/Talk Radio candidate.

He is the Republican candidate, but he is presenting the resume and orientation of an Ashland Democrat: he supports civic improvement because the spending is worth it and provides results we like, illustrated by happy youth in graduation outfits. 

So far the needle threading is working.   Support spending for programs but criticize spending.  Of course it is a contradiction and makes no sense.   That is what makes it effective political marketing.  I see no evidence of criticism from the right and it would make no sense for Moro to object.   No doubt she, too, supports spending for education.   She supports spending for the local transit district.   They just passed a levy.   I would be surprised if DeBoer were to criticize the transit district, even though he sells cars.  I am sure most Republican voter voted against the levy, but DeBoer is unlikely to call it an example of "out of control spending". 

The "out of control spending" ad is there to assure voters he is a real Republican with common sense, not a profligate Democrat.  It is just meaningless posturing.  No one will call him on it--including me.   He is threading a political needle and meaningless posturing is how it is done.

The youth vote, and Twitter:  What I don't see,  I don't see.    Each campaign may well have a giant Twitter or Instagram presence, but I am unaware of it because I am not plugged into those media.   I am 66 and my media choices are predictable:   I watch TV, read newspapers, use Facebook, browse the internet, receive emails, get phone calls, notice lawn signs, and talk face to face with people.   

So I can't report on what people are doing within those media.  If there is a giant program to persuade and get out the youth vote, I would not know.  

The podcast is a spirited conversation between me and Thad Guyer, an attorney who represents whistleblowing employees, with an international practice.   He watches the election from home base in Saigon.   This week we discuss Trump's rise in the polls, and Hillary's having messed up her message on crime.   We conclude by talking about the debate and what would be the best strategy for Hillary and for Trump.   What would Trump do to blow it, and the election?  My own view is for him to look like a bull in a china shop.

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Debate: What really happened

Hillary was composed.   Trump had the sniffles.

First, what used to matter now matters less:  news analysis.   The second half of the debate is happening right now, on Tuesday morning.   Voters are hearing the analysis by the news analysts and campaign spokespeople.   People watching Fox are hearing Trump won--no surprise.  Elsewhere, including the "mainstream media", Hillary won.   Partisans found plenty of confirmation of their point of view and they saw their candidate do well.  This is called "confirmation bias".   You see what you want to see.   
Pro-Trump newspaper

Lightly-informed voters don't really know what to think about the debate until they hear the news analysts explain it for them.   Trump says the media hates him and has no credibility because it is part of the cabal of self-dealing elites, right along with Wall Street, lobbyists, and politicians: the lying media.
I have watched audiences erupt in cheers when people criticize "the media".   Trump inoculated himself against this phase of the debate.

What actually matters: the non-verbal communication.   Trump came into this debate as the strong dominant guy, the person who looks commanding, Goliath.  He has been the one who exemplifies "strength", in comparison with Hillary who Trump describes as "lacking stamina."   Trump is the commander in chief; Hillary needs bedrest.   Trump tried to sell this by what he said but the body language confounded him.

Hillary looked stronger than Trump.  She stood erect.  She didn't look tired in the least. 

Trump leaned on the lectern.   He had the sniffles.  He kept making faces.  This is little-boy behavior.  

Trump fed the meme that he is immature, especially in contrast to Hillary, who was composed and poised.   Trump made a succession of faces, which made him look engaged and interesting, but it simultaneously put him in the position of responding.   Hillary looked in-control.  

The first glance look at the debate was a contrast between the big but undisciplined junior high school boy talking with the principal.

That is Hillary's big message, that she is the grown up in the race,  and this is good for her.  

But not entirely good.   If this were a movie, who would the audience be silently cheering for?   Ferris Bueller or the principal?  Who do we like, Tom Sawyer or the teacher?  Do we want Cool Hand Luke Paul Newman to succeed, or the warden?   We like the underdog.  We like the kid.

Donald Trump spoke with emotion and he rambled through a series of complaints, focusing first of all about lost jobs.   He did not voice detailed solutions but he outlined complaints and problems.   He was the outsider, looking in.  

This helps Trump.  Trump solidified the positioning that he was the voice of change and Hillary was the authority figure and the voice of the status quo.  Trump was the regular guy.  And, she was a "politician," and as Trump said of her,  "Typical politician.  All talk, no action."  And she has been there for 30 years, he noted.  You had your chance.

Insofar as this is a contest between continuity of the country's existing political leadership versus "hope and change", then Trump had a good night.  

But not entirely good.   Hillary looked pleasant and likable.   She did not fit the image of the mean principal, the teacher with a paddle, or the sadistic warden.  We dislike the authority figure when authority hides hypocrisy or malfeasance.  Trump made that point with the emails and the "You've had thirty years" comment.  But she seemed unflappable.

Conclusion:  The importance of the debate is non verbal positioning and the big big picture.  The big picture was a reversal of roles.  Trump is no longer the dominant alpha commander in chief.  Hillary stood tall.  We always understood Hillary was "competent" but not that she was alpha, a leader, a person who can stand unafraid head to head.  Hillary looked like a trustworthy adult.  Trump looked like the young outsider, with some good points, but not presidential, not in comparison with Hillary, not last night.

In the next debate Trump will criticize harder.  In the game of political positioning each strong position has a vulnerability.   The vulnerability of being the outsider is that the incumbent authority figure looks like the solid trustworthy one in comparison, which is why Hillary won.  The vulnerability of being the authority figure (as we see in art and literature) is hypocrisy.  We will be hearing more about emails and flip-flops and Bill Clinton's sex life in the next debate.

The podcast is a spirited conversation between me and Thad Guyer, an attorney who represents whistleblowing employees, with an international practice.   He watches the election from home base in Saigon.   This week we discuss Trump's rise in the polls, and Hillary's having messed up her message on crime.   We conclude by talking about the debate and what would be the best strategy for Hillary and for Trump.   What would Trump do to blow it, and the election?  My own view is for him to look like a bull in a china shop.

Monday, September 26, 2016

Live Blogging the Debate

Live Blogging the Debate

You can participate.   If you are watching the debate with an I-pad or laptop in your hands, you can multi-task right here.  Watch.  Draw impressions and conclusions.   Hit the comment button and share them.

This will be more fun for you if you add comments of your own in the comment box.   I will copy and paste them and put them up into the blog post.

This is an experiment for both of us.   Let's try it.

5:42   We are hearing all about the rules.   No applause!  No cheering!    This is sort of like high school, when the assistant principal comes out.

5:47   We get a mini-ad for Hofstra.   I know someone who went there.  Ron Hren.  He played football and appears to have no brain injuries!   Indeed, quite the opposite.   Smart guy.    Meanwhile, Hofstra guy is telling us how hard it was to set up for this.

5:51  More ads for Hofstra and more acknowledgements for the big donors.  Hofstra gets big donations and stays prestigious,  "We have some of the nation's brightest . . . college students in America."   7,500 of the 11,000 students at Hofstra applied for the tickets.   It makes me wonder what the 3,500 other students are doing.   Homework?  Getting stoned?
He goes on.   Hofstra is great.

5:54  More housekeeping.   Turn off your cell phones.  

5:55.   Lester Holt comes out.    Every seat is filled he said.   

5:58   Kind of weird.   Silence.   We hear breathing and hands thumping the lectern.   "You're broken up.   You're broken up."    It sounds like a country western song lyrics.

6:00   He is getting re-miked, I think.   8 weeks of preparation and at the last moment they need a new microphone.    It makes me worry about the nuclear arsenal.  There is always some darned little thing.   We will probably all get killed because a AAA battery was put in backwards.   Never mind me.   I 'm just being antsy.   It is 6:01 and all I hear is a guy clearing his throat.

6:04  The come out and shake hands.  Cordial.  The first question starts by saying we have had job and income growth.

6:07  Hillary is listing programs.  I didn't count but I guess a full dozen.

6:08  Trump's turn.   "Our jobs are fleeing the country."   "We have to stop our jobs from leaving us.   We have to stop our factories from going to Mexico.   We cannot let it happen.   I am going to reduce taxes buy 30%.   We have to renegotiate our trade deals."   It was rambling but it was clear:  the problem in America  in jobs is jobs fleeing America to Mexico.

6:11   Hillary responds  by noting that Trump started with 14 million dollars borrowed from his father.   My father, she said, was a very small businessman. 

6:12  Lester Hold asks Trump how he is going to get the 25 million new jobs.  Trump is sniffling.  Trump says that the the jobs go to Mexico and China.   We need better trade deals.

6:14   Holt asks, again, how do we get the jobs BACK.  Trump said first you don't let them go.   Trump now answers:   tell them there will be a tariff on the goods that companies manufacture in Mexico.   They have a surcharge on our stuff and we should have one on them.

6:16   Hillary accuses Trump of being happy that there was a financial crisis.
         Trump interrups:   That's business!

6:18   Hillary mentions solar panels.   Trump says that the US invested in solar panels and it was a disaster.   Trump said he likes all energy.  We are losing jobs, he said.   "Hillary you've been doing this for 30 years!"

6:21   Trump criticizes NAFTA.  Your husband signed NAFTA!  It was the worst trade deal in the history of trade deals.   Trump accuses Hillary of having changed her mind on TPP.  

6:23  Trump:  You had 30 years and you don't have a plan!   Hillary:  I have a plan and its in my book.  Buy the book!

6:23  Trump:  you are going to raise taxes.  "You are going to regulate businesses out of existence.  You have regulations on top of regulations.  I am going to cut regulations.   I am going to cut taxes big league."

6:24  Hillary:   I would streamline regulations for small businesses.  I would pay for things by raising taxes on the very wealthy.  They have made most of the gains.

6:25  Trump:   look at her website.  She is giving away her plans.  General McArthur would never do that.   I am going to cut taxes, except I will get rid of the carried interest provision.  Businesses are keeping money outside of the US.  2.5 trillion, maybe 5 trillion would be brought back to America .

6:28.   Hillary:   I have a feeling I am going to be blamed for everything.   Trump said "Why not?"   Hillary:  join the debate by saying more crazy things.

6:30   Hillary:  trickle down doesn't work.  Top down doesn't work.  We should e helping middle class by refinancing college.

6:31:  Typical politician, Trump said.   All talk, no action.   "We are in a bubble right now. . . We are in a big, fat bubble.   When the Fed raises interest rates the stock market will crash."

6:32 Holt: You should show people your income taxes.   

Trump:  I have a routine audit but I am making 680 million dollars this year.   We have incompetent people doing trade deals.  I will release my tax returns when Hillary releases her 30 thousand deleted emails.

6:35:  Hilary:   This is Trump bait and switch.   Why not release his tax returns.   Maybe he isn't rich?  Maybe no charitable deductions?   Maybe he owes money to foreign companies.  Maybe he pays no taxes at all.

Trump:  That shows I'm smart.

Hillary:   There is something he's hiding.  

6:37:  I made a mistake in having a private email server, Hillary said.   It was a disgrace, Trump said.

6:39:  It's about time someone in government knows something about money!   I am not bragging, but I know something about making money.   Our airports look like a 3rd world country.  We need infrastructure but we don't have the money because of you squandered it.

6:40    Hillary:   since you bring up your business, lets talk about your business.  You stiff people and don't pay your subcontractors.   

Trump:   maybe they didn't do good work!

Hillary:   you are the king of debt.   You went bankrupt 6 times.

6:43.  I took advantage of the laws of the nation.  Yes I went bankrupt taking advantage of the laws of the country.  I am opening a hotel on Pennsylvania Avenue.   On time and slow budget.   The military expenses and road building expenses are way too high.  We need people in government who understand business.

Holt:   Lets move on to race.   Start with Hillary Clinton, how are you going to help the race situation in America?

6:45   Hillary:   We need police to be well trained and we need everyone to respect the law.   I support reform of the criminal justice system.   There are many police officers who want reform.    And we need to get guns out of the hands out of people who shouldn't have them. We need to handle the plague of gun violence.

6:47  Trump:  Hillary doesn't want to use the words Law and Order.  We need law and order in our country.   "I just got the endorsement of the Fraternal Order of Police"  "Our inner cities, our AfroAmericans and Hispanics are living in hell."   Thousands of shootings in Chicago.  We have to bring back law and order.   Almost 4,000 people have been killed in Chicago since Obama has been president.   Maybe we need stop-and-frisk in Chicago.   Illegal immigrants have guns!  Right now our police are afraid to do anything.  

6:49  Holt:  Stop and Frisk was declared unconstitutional.

6:50  Trump:  These are bad people who shouldn't have guns.   You need stop and frisk.  You need more police.  You need better relationships between the communities and the police.   The relationships were very good in Dallas, but 5 officers were killed.   "The people most affected by what is happening are Afro Americans and Hispanics.  It is really unfair to them."    

Observation:   Trump proposes stop and frisk as a way to help minority communities.

6:53  Hillary:   If you are black or Hispanic you are punished harder than whites doing the same crime.   I am glad we are ending private prisons in the federal prison system.    I support "common sense gun regulation."   "If you are too dangerous to fly you are too dangerous to buy a gun."

Hillary on race:   All of us have some racial presumptions and implicit bias.  Police want more support and training, since they deal with bad mental health.

6:56: Trump:  You said the words "superpreditor", a very bad word.   Stop and frisk works great and it brought crime down in NY City.

7:00  Holt:  Mr. Trump you pushed the birther thing on President Obama.  

7:01  Trump:  It was Hillary's campaign that started it.   Sidney Blumenthal got a reporter to go to Kenya.   Hillary was unable to get to the bottom of this, but I was able to get Obama to produce his birth certificate.  I solved the problem, I did President Obama a favor, getting him to produce a birth certificate.   

Hillary:   see what he just did.   He persisted year after year with this birther lie.  This was part of a long record of behaving in racist behavior.   It annoyed President Obama.  Hillary references Michelle Obama, when they go low, you go high.   

Trump:  you are trying to act holier than thou.  You disrespected Obama.

[Trump keeps sniffling]    I settled the lawsuit of the Justice Department  [sniff] which was a lawsuit that lots of real estate companies had.   I opened a club in Florida.  That is the way I feel about race.

7:07  Cyber security is an issue, Holt says.    Any comment, Hillary?

7:08  Hillary:   Russia is doing cyber attacks.  I realize Donald likes Putin but the Russian government is doing hacking.

7:10  Over 200 admirals and generals just endorsed me.   I was just endorsed by ICE.   I will take their endorsement any time one the political hacks who have endorsed Hillary.   What do we really know about who did the hacking.  Maybe Russia, maybe China, maybe someone who weighs 400 pounds sitting in his room.   Look what we found out from the hack of the CNC.   Bernie Sanders got screwed by the DNC.

7:12   Hillary:  I have a plan to defeat ISIS.  Some of this will be cyber.  But we also need air action along with our Kurdish and Arab allies.   Stopping ISIS requires going after its leaders and its on line propaganda.

7:16  Hillary:  Trump supported the war in Iraq.   [Trump says, "Wrong!  Wrong!"]  Hillary goes on, saying that the police in New York and New Jersey were great.  We need to work more closely with our allies to get our intelligence on bad actors.  We need to work with our Muslim majority nations because they are our allies on the front lines.  Trump has alienated and pushed them away.

7:17   Trump:  We've been working with these people in the Middle East and it is a mess.  And regarding NATO, I am a business person.  These countries are supposed to be paying in and they aren't    I said that NATO isn't doing enough on terror, but now they are going to do it.   We need NATO in the Middle East, with this mess that Obama and Hillary caused.   You were Secretary of State when ISIS was small and now it was good.

7:20  Trump:  I was against the war with Iraq.     Holt interrupt to say yes you were.   Trump: this is the mainstream media idea but it isn't true.  I was asked by Howard Stern in a vague way and I said it was maybe ok, but I quickly was clearly against it.   

Trump: I have much better temperament than Hillary.   I know how to win.  I have good temperament but you were talking to the AF:CIO behind a blue screen and you were totally out of control.

7:24  Hillary:   the only time article 5 has been invoked was after 9-11 when NATO backed us.   I voted for every sanction on Iran.  We drove them to the negotiation table.   I got a coalition together.   That is diplomacy.  Hillary cited the Trump story about about the Iranian sailors taunting American sailors, "I would blow them out of the water!"   That is a terrible temperament.  Caviler attitude.   "A man who can be provoked by a tweet should never have his hands on the nuclear codes."

7:27  Trump:  The greatest risk to the world is not global warning, it is nuclear weapons.   I said Japan may have to help us out and take more responsibility.

7:28  Trump:  We are not keeping up with Russia on nuclear arms.   I would not do first strike.   We have to be prepared.   North Korea is a problem.  China should go in there and fix that.   When America made that horrible deal with Iran we should have insisted that they put some control on North Korea.   The Iran deal is one of the worst deal in history.   In ten years they will have nuclear weapons.  Netanyahu isn't a happy camper.

7:30.   Hillary:   Words matter.   I want to tell people in Europe and Japan, we are not going to go back on our treaties and our word.     We put a lid on Iran's nuclear program.   Foreign countries look to what we are saying.   

[Hillary is sounding here like the Secretary of State, talking to foreign countries.}

7:32  As far as Japan is concerned, Trump says, they are doing very well, selling us cars.   

7:34  Holt:  What do you mean that Hillary does not have a presidential look?

7:35:  Trump:  She does not have stamina.  You need stamina.   You have to do many things.

7:35  Hillary:  He can talk to me about stamina after he has visited 120 countries.   

7:35. Trump:  She has experience, but it is bad experience.    

7:36:  Hillary:   Trump is switching his language from beauty, to "stamina".  Trump has said bad things about women.   Trump responded that he said these things as a businessman and an entertainer and he said bad things about Rosie O'Donnell in that context.

7:38  Holt:   Will whoever loses support the outcome of the election?

7:39   Hillary:  yes, sometimes you win, sometimes you lose.

7:39   Trump:  there may be funny business, but yes.