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Presidential Appearance: Trump Lowers the Bar

Obama

Last week Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump met with Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto. After the meeting the two men addressed the assembled media. The immediate reaction on both sides of the border was that Peña Nieto had missed an opportunity to publicly challenge Trump on his promise to build a wall along the border at Mexico’s expense. Some mention was made to Trump’s demeanor and lack of his usual firebrand approach. Some even claimed he looked presidential.

Trump then returned to Phoenix and delivered a fiery address outlining his stance on immigration. Many feel that any gains he made in Mexico were almost immediately erased in Phoenix.

Trumo_MimicBut what many people continued to remark upon was Trump’s presidential appearance in Mexico. You often hear people stating that a candidate does or does not look presidential. Can you imagine so-and-so as president? How would they do in meetings with foreign leaders? Do they instill confidence? What about in a crisis?

In my opinion looking presidential requires, among other traits, the appearance of strength with understanding. The ability to smile with genuine warmth, but only at the appropriate time. A deep sense of self-confidence, but not cockiness.

JFKAbraham Lincoln was presidential, or perhaps we have come to believe that from his stately pose in his roost in his memorial in Washington. Jack Kennedy, in fact many of the Kennedys, were presidential in stature. Charismatic, toothy smiles, poise and that great hair. JFK was very presidential when he calmly debated Richard Nixon on television. Nixon was not. In fact Nixon was never presidential, even when he was the president. Ronald Reagan could look presidential, but then he was an actor so I suspect he was just putting it on.

NixonGiven some of the over the top things Trump has said during the electoral process thus far he tends to come off as anything but presidential in appearance. It would seem as though the bar that determines what is presidential in 2016 has been drastically lowered. Evidently as long as a candidate does not drop the F-bomb, mimic a disabled person, or threaten to punch someone in the face, he or she is said to have come across as presidential. Not great standards.

By dragging the campaigning process to perhaps never before seen lows, when Trump does not do or say something ludicrous he, in contrast, is deemed to be presidential. A very sorry state of affairs.

DCMontreal – Deegan Charles Stubbs – is a Montreal writer born and raised who likes to establish balance and juxtapositions; a bit of this and a bit of that, a dash of Yin and a soupçon of Yang, some Peaks and an occasional Frean and maybe a bit of a sting in the tail! Please follow DCMontreal on Twitter and on Facebook, and add him on Google+
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Candidate Background Checks: Everything Sticks, or Does It?

Those who aspire to public office in the United States are subjected to stringent background checks. Opposition staffers rake muck in an attempt to uncover a nugget of negativity that can then be sprung on the candidate. Like those folks with metal detectors on the beach, systematically covering every square inch, researchers delve deep into the pasts of opponents.

In essence everything sticks… As if no one has ever changed their mind as they matured.

In our world, where everyone has a camera and twenty-four hour news channels abound, so much is committed to record that would have once gone undocumented. But even before the technology explosion, there was much to be dug up. Evidently many who are interested in public office have long histories of college politics or social action, providing searchable records.

In essence everything sticks. A candidate may find him or herself confronted with a statement made in university that goes against their current position. As if no one has ever changed their mind as they matured.

(If) Trump starts coming off as someone worthy of the Office of President, the things he has already said won’t go away. It may already be too late to reel him in.

This brings me to the GOP and their Donald Trump conundrum. As Trump, the presumptive presidential candidate, continues to pull away from the pack the party establishment is trying to get him to act presidential. Assuming they are successful, and Trump starts coming off as someone worthy of the Office of President, the things he has already said won’t go away. It may already be too late to reel him in. Do the powers that be believe that people will just forget some of the egregious things he has said? Especially when the Democrats will be broadcasting them 24/7.

If I understand correctly, the same people who ‘drill down’ into a candidate’s past seeking any kind of slip, perhaps a brush with a campus communist party in college or a little league suspension for spit balls, now want the electorate to forget about statements made mere weeks ago. Very odd.

DCS_Grad_2 DCMontreal – Deegan Charles Stubbs – is a Montreal writer born and raised who likes to establish balance and juxtapositions; a bit of this and a bit of that, a dash of Yin and a soupçon of Yang, some Peaks and an occasional Frean and maybe a bit of a sting in the tail! Please follow DCMontreal on Twitter and on Facebook, and add him on Google+
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Trump Tapes; More Grist for the Media Mill(er)

PR

The latest chapter in the love-hate relationship that has developed between presumptive GOP presidential candidate  Donald J. Trump and the media (he loves to hate them) involves twenty-five year old audio tapes. Trump allegedly posed as his own publicist, calling himself John Miller, and conducted a phone interview with People magazine.

The world of publicists and public relations is often seen as being a bit dodgy at the best of times.

The world of publicists and public relations is often seen as being a bit dodgy at the best of times. These folks are often referred to as flacks or flaks, depending on which origin you believe: on the one hand it is said to be after Gene Flack, a movie publicity agent, on the other a flak, as in anti-aircraft fire, used to shield the subject from the press. 

These tapes have come to light, some even claim Trump himself leaked them to stoke the media feeding frenzy, and have been played countless times. Some say it is him, but he denies it outright. Trump’s detractors have been all over this as evidence of his untrustworthy side. Very un-presidential to string along a journalist.

I’m certainly not a Trump supporter, but I find this latest example of how Americans love to nitpick to the nth degree those who run for office, to be a little over the top.

We are supposed to admire this bit of harmless skulduggery all in the name of entrepreneurship. It shows ingenuity, chutzpah, determination.

There is an ad running on most networks, the company name escapes me – the sign of a bad ad –  in which a guy is trying to start up a business in his garage. He answers the phone then ‘transfers’ the call to the sales department. Of course it is him posing as the sales department to create the impression of a larger company. We are supposed to admire this bit of harmless skulduggery all in the name of entrepreneurship. It shows ingenuity, chutzpah, determination.

This is not an original concept, people have been ‘letting on’ or misleading others in the early stages of company development since commerce began. Usually it is seen as hustling; an admirable trait. So why is it that Trump’s attempt to be his own publicist under an assumed name is being met with disdain? There is no shortage of egregious statements and actions in his past more suitable to outrage. But the logic behind this one eludes me. Big deal.

DCS_Grad_2 DCMontreal – Deegan Charles Stubbs – is a Montreal writer born and raised who likes to establish balance and juxtapositions; a bit of this and a bit of that, a dash of Yin and a soupçon of Yang, some Peaks and an occasional Frean and maybe a bit of a sting in the tail! Please follow DCMontreal on Twitter and on Facebook, and add him on Google+
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GOP Convention and Guns

Guns

It has been said and written countless times: this US political season is unprecedented. Just when you think the race for Republican Party presidential candidate cannot get any stranger, it does. Usually these twists revolve around something one of those vying for the candidacy has said or written. Mud slung at an opponent’s wife or dirt dug up from the past. Good strong character traits not exactly showing the potential candidates in a presidential light.

Just when you think the race for Republican Party presidential candidate cannot get any stranger, it does.

But today it was the delegates and convention attendees who took a turn spotlighting the asininity of the current GOP.  With the potentiality of a hotly contested ‘brokered’ convention on the horizon for Cleveland next July, one that is sure to get both hackles and dander up, a proverbial powder keg, some 45,000 people have signed an online petition calling for guns to be allowed into the convention site.

The petition signatories state that as the GOP is against gun-free zones in general, to determine the party’s convention site gun-free flies in the face of party policy.

Excuse me for chortling, but if I have this right, a substantial number of Republicans want to be permitted to bring firearms to a gathering of fellow Republicans, one that could very well erupt into a knock-down-drag-out fight. One that will be held in a great big concrete and steel building. A convention that could turn very ugly. Seems to me just the type of environment you would normally not want to be exacerbated by armed attendees. However as a left-leaning liberal Canadian, the thought of a bunch of right-wingers inside a huge arena shooting at each other over disagreements as to which candidate is wackier would be must see TV. Talk about fish in a barrel.

If watching the GOP implode on a daily basis was not fulfilling enough, the possibility of an armed standoff at the convention is too much to ask for.

Those police forces charged with the security of convention goers and the general public maintain that a perimeter will be set up some distance from the Quicken Loans Arena to ensure no guns get into the convention.

“Only authorized law enforcement personnel working in conjunction with the Secret Service for a particular event may carry a firearm inside of the protected site,” the Secret Service said.

If watching the GOP implode on a daily basis was not fulfilling enough, the possibility of an armed standoff at the convention is too much to ask for.

The whole world is watching!

DCS_Grad_2 DCMontreal – Deegan Charles Stubbs – is a Montreal writer born and raised who likes to establish balance and juxtapositions; a bit of this and a bit of that, a dash of Yin and a soupçon of Yang, some Peaks and an occasional Frean and maybe a bit of a sting in the tail! Please follow DCMontreal on Twitter and on Facebook, and add him on Google+
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Is Chris Christie Really That Desperate to be Veep?

From Fort Worth Star – Telegram/Getty Images.

Just when I thought I was getting a grip on the Republican Party presidential candidate selection circus they added another ring. Former GOP hopeful, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, has endorsed front runner Donald Trump. I suspect in return for his kind words, Christie has wangled a Vice Presidential role should Trump win.

I first noticed Chris Christie during television coverage of Hurricane Sandy when he cozied up to President Barack Obama while seeking federal assistance for the devastated New Jersey coast. He came across as a genuine, down to earth guy who was concerned for his constituents well being and rose above petty party politics. He was criticized by fellow Republicans for being too palsy with the president, but claimed he was just looking after his people.

(Palin) was all over cable news channels for a day or two, screeching on and on about Trump, sending chills – think fingernails on a blackboard – up the spines of anyone with an appreciation of the English language.

I admired him for his approach, evidently putting partisan politics aside at a time of disaster. Then some of his luster was tarnished when he annoyed motorists and endangered lives by having aides arrange sham construction work that caused five days of traffic standstills on the George Washington bridge to Manhattan. It is assumed he was attempting to punish Fort Lee’s Democrat mayor, Mark Sokolich, who had opted not to endorse Christie’s re-election bid. It was a very tacky, dangerous and unpresidential tactic.

One of Trump’s first ‘star’ endorsements was former Alaskan governor Sarah Palin. She was all over cable news channels for a day or two, screeching on and on about Trump, sending chills – think fingernails on a blackboard – up the spines of anyone with an appreciation of the English language. But lately she has disappeared, no doubt with a sizable cheque in hand. I think Trump made it clear that no ‘running mate’ clause was included in their agreement.

On the other hand Christie has hitched himself to the Trump wagon, he has gone all in. For a man who has political aspirations that exceed his governorship, he has shot himself in the foot. If he thinks his presence on a ticket with Trump will lend credibility to their White House run I think he vastly underestimates the American electorate, not to mention Trump’s penchant for asininity.

Once out of the friendly confines of the GOP, I think a rude awakening awaits Trump and those associated with him.

Trump is currently the cat’s pajamas with the Republican rank and file, if not with the establishment. But should he, as it looks now, win the party’s nomination, he will have to convince voters of all stripes that he is the best choice. Enter Christie, a seasoned politician with proven skills. Will he balance out Trump’s bombastic character? Can he sell the idea that a Trump and Christie ticket features both moxy and administrative acumen?

I think not. Rather, I believe governor Christie has made a huge mistake with his endorsement of Trump. Once out of the friendly confines of the GOP, I think a rude awakening awaits Trump and those associated with him. While I would love to see Bernie Sanders win the Democratic nomination, I am not gullible enough to think there are sufficient voters within the party to elect a man who admits to being a socialist. So we are looking at Trump vs Hillary for the Oval Office. In one of life’s odd moments I find myself in complete agreement with the establishment of the Republican Party; I think Hillary will chew up Donald Trump and spit him out. Does Governor Christie really want to be part of that?

Among the numerous comic portrayals of the pair, reference to the sophomoric movie Dumb and Dumber is very popular. I hope it does not come back to haunt Governor Christie. 

DD

DCS_Grad_2 DCMontreal – Deegan Charles Stubbs – is a Montreal writer born and raised who likes to establish balance and juxtapositions; a bit of this and a bit of that, a dash of Yin and a soupçon of Yang, some Peaks and an occasional Frean and maybe a bit of a sting in the tail! Please follow DCMontreal on Twitter and on Facebook, and add him on Google+
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Tweets From History

Capture

DCS_Grad_2 DCMontreal – Deegan Charles Stubbs – is a Montreal writer born and raised who likes to establish balance and juxtapositions; a bit of this and a bit of that, a dash of Yin and a soupçon of Yang, some Peaks and an occasional Frean and maybe a bit of a sting in the tail! Please follow DCMontreal on Twitter and on Facebook, and add him on Google+
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Trump and Palin: Cartoonists’ Dream Comes True

I have a hunch that editorial cartoonists in North America and beyond spent some time in their local church, synagogue, mosque, temple or Stonehenge last night. The reason for this was to give thanks for a cartoonist’s dream come true. What more could an editorial cartoonist ask for than Sarah Palin and Donald Trump on the same stage?

More teeth than a dog fight.

You could not come up with a better pair of people who provide so much fodder for cartoonists. I imagine we will see countless drawings of large sets of teeth with Trump and Palin fitted into them.

It was interesting to watch the two onstage together for the first time. While she rambled on, raking the GOP establishment over the coals, he stood just off to the side. Jonesing for the oh-so-close microphone Trump looked like a heroin addict within reach of a fix. You could almost see him drooling as Palin went on and on. He doesn’t strike me as a guy who is comfortable sharing a stage.

Having two ranters of questionable intelligence together is really more than critics could ever ask for.

DCS_Grad_2 DCMontreal – Deegan Charles Stubbs – is a Montreal writer born and raised who likes to establish balance and juxtapositions; a bit of this and a bit of that, a dash of Yin and a soupçon of Yang, some Peaks and an occasional Frean and maybe a bit of a sting in the tail! Please follow DC on Twitter @DCMontreal and on Facebook, and add him on Google+
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Dr. Ben Carson Takes the Low Road

In the current Republican race to elect a presidential candidate for the 2016 election, it appears nuttiness is the key to success. First there was Donald Trump who set the tone and was all over the place with his ideas, including the erection of a wall along the US/Mexico border that, of course,  Mexico would pay for. He is big on ideas, but not so good at explaining just how he is going to achieve these things.

He has shifted from his cerebral, sane anti-Trump stance, the composed witty neurosurgeon, to a media-basher who volunteers lurid details about his past, then chastises reporters who delve into the details.

The other candidates seemed to sit back and wait for Trump, who had a large early lead, to go too far and fizzle out. But that is not happening. So I believe Trump’s closest challenger, Dr. Ben Carson, decided to go down the nutty route himself. He has shifted from his cerebral, sane anti-Trump stance, the composed witty neurosurgeon, to a media-basher who volunteers lurid details about his past, then chastises reporters who delve into the details.

Why would a potential presidential candidate essentially flaunt his ‘violent’ past, something most people in his position would go to lengths to keep undisclosed? It makes no sense, except in this GOP race that has been hijacked by nuttiness. Carson has realized that rising above Trump’s asininity will not cut it with Republicans who are lapping it up. So he is trying a little bellicosity of his own. If you can’t beat them, join them.

As for lowering himself to Trump’s level of debate, shame on you Ben Carson

And should that fail, you can always fall back on the good old practice of media-bashing. It is absurd that someone can refer to the kind of events from his past that Dr Carson has, then whine when the media follow up. Drill down as they like to say. Trump so far has been able to avoid being caught-out by being Donald Trump. Dr. Carson looks silly blasting the media for doing their job. As for lowering himself to Trump’s level of debate, shame on you Ben Carson.

DCS_Grad_2 DCMontreal – Deegan Charles Stubbs – is a Montreal writer born and raised who likes to establish balance and juxtapositions; a bit of this and a bit of that, a dash of Yin and a soupçon of Yang, some Peaks and an occasional Frean and maybe a bit of a sting in the tail! Please follow DC on Twitter @DCMontreal and on Facebook, and add him on Google+
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Republican Hopefuls Trump and Walker: Wall to Wall Nonsense

Border

With no wall in place we obey the rules, so there is no need for a concrete structure.

Republican presidential candidate hopeful Donald Trump has said repeatedly that when elected he will erect a wall along the Mexico-US border. Not only will he have it installed, but Mexico will pay for the project. As is the case with most of his promises, Mr. Trump is a little sketchy on the details of just how he will get the Mexican Government to pay for the wall,  but don’t worry about that….

Is it possible Governor Walker is suggesting a wall be erected to protect an influx of Canadian brewers who might introduce alcohol to the process of brewing American beer?

Mr. Trump seems to have adopted the Frito Bandito approach to Mexico and Mexicans. In the sixties and seventies the Lays potato chip people marketed their Fritos corn chips with a cartoon character of what they evidently assumed was a typical Mexican; a bandito. The association of Mexican Americans finally succeeded in having the mascot changed.

But now fellow GOP hopeful, Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker has trumped Mr. Trump by suggesting a wall be constructed along the Canada-US border. That’s 5,525 miles, almost three times the length of the Mexico-US border which is 1,989 miles.

Before I continue let me go on the record as but one solitary Canadian and state that I’m not paying for any wall!!

Cross-border shopping is a multi-billion dollar – yep, that’s billion with B as in Boston – industry annually. Even with our small Canadian dollar many folks dash across the border (at the appropriate crossing points) to spend. We share the longest unprotected border in the world (although I imagine anyone who has been caught with an extra package of Freihofer’s Chocolate Chip cookies stashed in the trunk may argue the “unprotected” claim).

Governor Walker is a well-known union-buster. Could he be concerned that the leaders of Canada’s heavily unionized labor force will infiltrate the U.S.?

I believe that the vast majority of cross border shoppers enter and exit the U.S. at legal crossing points. No doubt with a border of such great length, there are some crossing at unmanned places. But what are they doing once they cross? Most likely buying gas. In an era when many borders are being erased, perhaps that would be the way to go here.

So I can’t help but wonder why Governor Walker would want to tamper with that flow of cash into his country, especially given his state’s location so close to the Canadian border?

Governor Walker is a well-known union-buster. Could he be concerned that the leaders of Canada’s heavily unionized labor force will infiltrate the U.S.? Does our way of life including socialized healthcare, grain pools and no-fault car insurance make him nervous?

The largest city in Wisconsin is Milwaukee; long a centre of beer brewing. Is it possible Governor Walker is suggesting a wall be erected to protect an influx of Canadian brewers who might introduce alcohol to the process of brewing American beer? What’s that you say? There already is alcohol in American beer? C’mon … you’re teasing!

Alas if Governor Walker is elected president and follows through on his plan may I suggest the wall be made of orange traffic cones. Anyone who has tried to get around a Canadian city during the summer knows that we have an abundance of these markers. Just string them out along the border. With no wall in place we obey the rules, so there really is no need for a concrete structure.

Me DCMontreal – Deegan Charles Stubbs – is a Montreal writer born and raised who likes to establish balance and juxtapositions; a bit of this and a bit of that, a dash of Yin and a soupçon of Yang, some Peaks and an occasional Frean and maybe a bit of a sting in the tail! Please follow DC on Twitter @DCMontreal and on Facebook, and add him on Google+
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Donald Trump’s Support and Pork Chops

Yahoo news

For many Canadians watching US politics gives us an insight into the thinking of our southern neighbours. In comparison to us, the left-right continuum picks up much more to the right in the States. But nonetheless there are many similarities.

It’s safe to claim how you would vote, when there is no chance of actually voting for some while.

The current Donald J. Trump phenomenon is providing great entertainment, but it also brings to my mind a local occurrence. You are, of course, no doubt aware of Trump’s growing lead in the race to be the Republican nominee. I suspect you also familiar with his bombastic, over-the-top approach, shoot from the lip style. This seems to be striking a chord with many members of the electorate. At least for now, with the election a long way off.

Here in the Canadian province of Quebec there are those who long for a separate country. They would like to see the province declare independence from Canada. On two occasions we have had special votes – or referendums – on the issue and both times the independence-seeking side has been defeated.

An interesting observation is that when there is no referendum impending, no provincial election on the horizon, pollsters find that support for independence rises . It’s safe to claim how you would vote, when there is no chance of actually voting for some while.

Think of the old joke where a woman asks how much pork chops are and is told 79 cents a pound. She is taken aback and says that the store across the street sells them for 59 cents a pound. The butcher asks her why she doesn’t just buy them across the street.. To which she replies that they are all out of them The butcher then says “Oh I see … Well, if I didn’t have any pork chops they’d be 59 cents a pound too.” It’s easy to claim you would sell something that you don’t actually have for a very low price. You are safe. (Rain-checks aside …)

“Oh I see … Well, if I didn’t have any pork chops they’d be 59 cents a pound too.”

In telephone surveys and street corner interviews it is easy to express support for The Donald. But it is my belief that when push comes to shove, and the casting of votes takes place in primaries, Republican voters will choose a candidate based on logic, rather than sensationalism. Just my community service. In the meantime Mr. Trump provides much fodder for discussion and good old entertainment.

DCS_Grad_2 DCMontreal – Deegan Charles Stubbs – is a Montreal writer born and raised who likes to establish balance and juxtapositions; a bit of this and a bit of that, a dash of Yin and a soupçon of Yang, some Peaks and an occasional Frean and maybe a bit of a sting in the tail! Please follow DC on Twitter @DCMontreal and on Facebook, and add him on Google+

 

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