Chemi Shalev |

In Home Stretch, Clinton's Energetic Women Face Off Against Trump's Angry Men

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Michelle and Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, Chelsea Clinton and Bill Clinton at a rally in Philadelphia, PA, November 7, 2016.
Michelle and Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, Chelsea Clinton and Bill Clinton at a rally in Philadelphia, PA, November 7, 2016.Credit: Andrew Harnik, AP
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In home stretch, Clinton's energetic women face off against Trump's angry men

PHILADELPHIA, PA - In the last 48 hours of a grueling and trying election campaign, Hillary Clinton has hit her groove. The director of the FBI has removed the cloud of suspicion that he himself hanged over her 10 days earlier. The Democratic Party, scared stiff by the prospect of a Donald Trump victory, has united behind her. And while she may not be revered like Barack Obama, at her penultimate campaign rally in Philadelphia on Monday night, Clinton was cheered, admired, perhaps even loved. Read more here

Clinton is favored to win, unless the unthinkable happens

NEW YORK - Judging by all the signs, all the trends, almost all of the polls and most of the experts and analysts, Hillary Clinton is on her way to being elected president. She will be the first female leader of the United States and of the free world, a dramatic and historic watershed moment that may have gotten lost in the hubbub of a long and tedious election campaign that has been one of the most poisonous and divisive in American history. But the extraordinarily moment in human history will come shining through when the fog is cleared and the votes are counted and Clinton wins. Read more here

Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton greets members of the audience at a rally at the Cleveland Public Auditorium in Cleveland, Sunday, Nov. 6, 2016. Credit: Andrew Harnik, AP

After his October Surprise, Comey drops a November Bombshell

NEW YORK - After the October Surprise we now have the November Bombshell. FBI Director James Comey first giveth, at least to Donald Trump, and now he has taketh away, though not completely, as far as Hillary Clinton is concerned. Ten days after he informed Congress that new and potentially incriminating Clinton emails had been found, maybe, on Sunday Comey announced that no, not really, never mind, forget I said anything, move along, nothing to see here. Read more here

Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton greets members of the audience at a rally at the Cleveland Public Auditorium in Cleveland, Sunday, Nov. 6, 2016. Credit: Andrew Harnik, AP

The moment Trump is elected, America will stop being great

NEW YORK - America is a great country. Far from perfect, but great nonetheless, Other than Donald Trump and millions of Americans who have been bamboozled by the GOP into thinking otherwise, everyone knows America is great. The Chinese know it. The Russians know it. The Europeans know it. The Muslims know it. Even Israelis know it. ISIS certainly knows that America is great, which is why its hell bent on taking it down. Read more here

Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump appears at a campaign rally in Boulder, Colorado, U.S. November 5, 2016. Credit: Carlo Allegri, Reuters

Hispanics are coming out in droves - did Trump seal his fate by enraging them?

NEW YORK - The most talked about person in America in the past 24 hours is Jon Ralston. The columnist, blogger and TV personality from Nevada has become a shining beacon of hope for Democrats and a harbinger of bad news for the GOP. Ralston, widely considered one of the most astute observers of local politics, reported with increasing amazement the long lines of voters, mainly Hispanic, who waited for hours to cast their vote early in the elections before the deadline in Nevada on Friday. On Saturday, Ralston tweeted out his emphatic conclusions: Trump is dead, he wrote, and only a miracle can save him.

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A sign in Spanish which translates, "Don't Lose Your Voice, Vote!" is displayed near a polling place in a Cardenas supermarket in Las Vegas on Friday, June 10, 2016.Credit: John Locher, AP

The conspiracy theory about the FBI putsch against Clinton and democracy

NEW YORK - It sounds like a cross between John Le Carre and the Pink Panthers Inspector Clouseau, but the conspiracy theory about rogue FBI agents trying to interfere with U.S. elections in order to defeat Hillary Clinton is gaining ground and new adherents. The main protagonist in the alleged plot against America isnt, as you might expect, FBI Director James Comey, whose letter last week to Congress on emails supposedly found on the computer of disgraced Congressman Anthony Weiner shook up the Presidential race, but Rudy Giuliani, rogue FBI agents in New York, the alt-right mouthpiece Breitbart and the mysterious hedge fund billionaire Robert Mercer.

Giuliani surprisingly confirmed on Friday that the FBI agents had informed the Trump campaign of the suspicious emails before Comey's letter was made public. The former New York mayor confirmed Democratic suspicions of improper collusion between some elements in the FBI and the anti-Clinton camp and poured fuel on the simmering suspicions of an unprecedented plot to undermine the political process.

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Rudy Giuliani; James Comey; the Breitbart logo; Donald Trump.Credit: Ross D. Franklin / AFP; JONATHAN ERNST/ Reuters; CARLO ALLEGRI / Reuters

U.S. election down to fear of Trump vs. loathing of Clinton

FREDERICKSBURG, VA - In the Wikileaks trove published this week there was a June 2015 email from Assistant Attorney General Peter Kadzik to Hillary Clintons campaign manager, John Podesta. Kadzik informs Podesta that a senior Justice Department official is slated to appear that day before a congressional hearing and states the obvious by assuming that the issue of Clintons emails will also come up. He also informs Podesta that papers related to the investigation of the email affair that have been cleared for publication by Justice are slated to be put online by the State Department.

Its possible that the simple exchange between two acquaintances was technically improper under the circumstances, but it was nonetheless an innocuous message of soon-to-be public knowledge that did not give Clinton any legal advantage. That didnt prevent CNN from breathlessly announcing the discovery of the email as Breaking News of enormous importance on Wednesday night, to the extent that it shoved President Obamas speech in North Carolina to the sidelines. Its a very grave matter, a sober and unsmiling analyst said, which once again raises questions about Clintons honesty.

Donald Trump supporters during a rally in Pensacola, FL, November 2, 2016.Credit: Evan Vucci, AP

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Is Obamas drive and charisma a double-edged sword for Clinton?

CHAPEL HILL, NORTH CAROLINA - In the home stretch of the 2016 elections campaign, both sides are engaged in mutual defamation, political maneuvers and psychological warfare. Its like a simultaneous tournament of intense mud wrestling, multidimensional chess, all-in, high-stakes poker. The Democrats ace, ironically, is President Barack Obama who used to be known as a cool cucumber with rock-bottom approval ratings. Now hes not only enjoying a surge of popularity, he seems to be losing his cool as well, possibly out of growing concern that Donald Trump is catching up with Hillary Clinton.

Obama has already broken with precedent by actively campaigning for his partys designated successor more than any past president, but now hes accelerating his activities and dialing up his rhetoric. On Tuesday he asserted that part of the opposition to Clinton stems from the fact that shes a woman. On Wednesday he bluntly intervened in the FBI-Clinton email controversy that he had studiously avoided. And now hes putting his prestige on the line by urging African Americans to vote for Clinton with the same commitment that they voted for him in 2008 and 2012. Clinton, hes telling them, cest moi.

Barack Obama addresses a Hillary Clinton rally at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, November 2, 2016.Credit: Pablo Martinez Monsivais, AP

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Clintons in Trouble but Its Way Too Early to Cry Oy Vey

Judging by the people waiting in line to vote at Savannahs Civic Center on Tuesday, Hillary Clinton has nothing to worry about. About half of the 50 voters patiently waiting their turn were African Americans, most of whom, presumably, are voting for Clinton. Of the four who agreed to participate in my private poll, three said they supported the Democratic candidate. So its in the bag, no?

Most Savannah Jews will also vote for Clinton, though its unclear how emphatic that support will be, according to the engaging Reform Rabbi Richard Haas who presides over the exquisite Mickve Israel synagogue, Americas third oldest, in the towns historic section. Jewish southerners tend to be more conservative than their northeastern co-religionists, he believes, and this year people are more reluctant than ever to divulge their preferences, so who knows. The sense that Georgia might be a swing state for the first time since 1996 - which has probably dissipated in recent days - has galvanized early voting, Haas believes. One of the guides at the museum inside the synagogue tells me she waited for over an hour to vote. And whom did you vote for, I ask, and she looks at me as if I was an idiot.

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U.S. Campaign Is Like Reality Version of Alice in Wonderland

MELBOURNE, FL - A week before fateful elections for the American presidency, no one is talking about ISIS, Syria, Russia or China. Hardly anyone seems interested in the economy, social welfare or education and health only gets a nod because of the Obamacare label. Culture wars are obsolete, no one is skirmishing on abortions, climate change is gone and crime rates have been pushed to the sidelines as well. What we have instead are emails, lots of emails, that no one seems to know anything about: whats in them, what does it mean, and will they change anything.

Clinton takes the stage at a campaign rally at Kent State University in Kent, Ohio, October 31, 2016. Credit: Brian Snyder, Reuters

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If Women Voting for Trump Were Jews, Theyd Be Called Self-hating

MELBOURNE, FL - Donald Trump has mostly ducked outright accusations of being personally anti-Semitic but to many American Jews he does seem to be enabling it. It is one of the main factors driving many Jews to vote for Hillary Clinton, including those who dont really like her. But that raises the question why the same isnt true for women.

After all, if Trumps anti-Semitism can be a matter of debate, especially with the exonerating proof provided by his daughter Ivankas Orthodox conversion, his aggressive and demeaning attitude towards women is documented and irrefutable. But while women are voting against Trump in general, they arent doing so in numbers that in any way resemble the Jewish shift to Clinton. According to the latest L.A. Times/USC tracking poll, 40% of women are voting Trump nationally. In a survey of Florida published on Sunday, 42% of women say they will vote for Donald Trump. In Ohio, according to a Remington Research poll released last week, 48% of women support Trump. In Louisiana, according to a poll conducted by SMOR, Trump actually beats Clinton among women 46-41.

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Clinton's Stuck in a Moment That She Can't Get Out Of

Arriving in Miami late Saturday night, I saw young people outside my hotel holding small American flags. They had just returned from a "Get Out the Vote" concert starring Jennifer Lopez, salsa legend Marc Anthony and others, in which Hillary Clinton also spoke. So, are you going to vote for her? I asked a young couple. They looked at each other, burst out laughing and said, in Spanish-accented English: We dont know. But Anthony is the greatest.

Clinton and Jennifer Lopez during a 'Get Out The Vote' concert, October 29, 2016 in Miami, Florida.Credit: Justin Sullivan, AFP

Their indifference is one explanation why Clinton may be losing the slim lead shed held in Florida. Sundays NBC/Wall Street Journal/Marist poll of the state, which gave Clinton a statistically insignificant one-point lead, details the discouraging demographics. Voters aged 18-29, who generally prefer Clinton to Trump, comprise 20 percent of Floridas adult population, which is eligible to vote, but only 14 percent of likely voters. Latinos, similarly, are 21 percent of adults in Florida, but only 16 percent of likely voters.

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Clinton's Zombie Apocalypse

Technically speaking, the bomb detonated by FBI Director James Comey on Friday night when he announced the discovery of new emails that are pertinent to Hillary Clintons investigation turned out within a short time to be a dud, if not a stink bomb. Politically speaking, on the other hand, it might emerge as nothing less than a thermonuclear explosion that upended the presidential campaign and possibly determined its winner.

Whats clear is that the initial spin given to the letter sent by Comey to Committee chairmen in Congress spread fear and loathing among Clinton, her advisers and her supporters. Comeys October Surprise left them in shock.

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Thanks to Trump, we can better understand how Hitler was possible

American articles have ascribed the term Lügenpresse, recently hurled at reporters in some Donald Trump rallies, to the Nazi era. Thats partially accurate. The derogatory German term for lying press was already being widely used by German Catholics a century before the Nazis came to power to describe their opponents in the liberal and democratic newspapers. The term was back in vogue in the First World War to cast aspersions on the foreign media and their negative reporting on Deutschland. The term Lügenpresse was then exploited by the Nazis as catchphrase for Jewish-owned and other liberal media outlets, but it was no less prevalent over the past year among Germans who accused modern German media of covering up sordid crimes committed by Muslim immigrants. So it is a loaded term with deep roots in German consciousness that sounds detached and even ridiculous in an American context – except, possibly, if youre a Nazi yourself. 

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Obama's out for revenge, and a Trump loss isn't enough

Barack Obama is fired up and ready to go. He flies around from political rally to donors' events, stirring crowds, encouraging Democrats and enthusing voters with the intense rhetoric of a Baptist preacher. He pushes his audiences not only to vote but to take others with them, not only to support Hillary Clinton but to achieve victory for Democrats all down the line. And thats before we even mention his wife, the breakout mega-superstar of the election season who will hold her first joint appearance with Clinton in North Carolina on Thursday.

U.S. President Barack Obama speaks during a campaign rally for Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton at Cheyenne High School on October 23, 2016 in North Las Vegas, Nevada.Credit: Ethan Miller, AFP

Theres never been a presidential family that has committed itself so totally and unequivocally in favor of their partys presidential contender and, in Donald Trumps case, against the rival partys candidate. Such unequivocal intervention used to be considered unseemly and unpresidential, but like many other things that have changed since Trump appeared on the scene, the rules of presidential etiquette have been thrown out the window as well. Two weeks before his successor is chosen, less than three months before he finally leaves the White House, Obama is pulling out all the stops and going for broke. He doesnt look or sound like a president whose time has come but like an ambitious politician whos fighting for his own future.

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Refusal to Accept Results Could Deal Deathblow to His Campaign

Donald Trump may have performed better in Wednesdays third presidential debate than in his two previous appearances, but he blew it, big time, when he refused to commit to accepting the outcome of the November 8 elections.

Ill keep you in suspense, Trump said, proving once again that he doesnt play by the rules. He may have enthused his most die-hard supporters but he alienated the last remaining uncommitted voters, without whom he has no chance of overcoming Clintons daunting advantage in the polls. It was, in many ways, a self-inflicted coup de grace to his campaign.

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Why Netanyahu Is a Slick Version of Trump

While you were watching Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton duke it out at their third and thankfully final presidential debate in Las Vegas, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was busy waging war against the greatest of Israels sworn enemies. Who do you think that might be? Iran? Hamas? Abbas? God forbid. Its not even U.S. President Barack Obama, though Netanyahu has reportedly just described the remaining few months of the U.S. president who just gave Israel $38 billion as an existential threat to Jewish settlements, if not to Israel as a whole.

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The Toxic Leader: Trump Has Turned Into a One-man Demolition Crew

The term toxic leader was coined in 1996 by Marcia Whicker of Virginia Commonwealth University and popularized by Professor Jean Lipman-Blumen from Californias Claremont University. Her 2004 book is entitled The Allure of Toxic Leaders: Why We Follow Destructive Bosses and Corrupt Politicians - and How We Can Survive Them. Its probably a must-read for Republican leaders who may be pondering how they will survive the toxic leadership of Donald Trump.

Lipman-Blumens theoretical model of what makes a toxic leader sounds as if it was written for Donald Trump. Such toxic rulers - in business, in the army and in politics - achieve power by recognizing basic needs and basic fears," feeding on them and then fostering them among their followers. They are motivated by ambition, arrogance, avarice, desire for power and narcissism. And they are characterized by their destructive behavior, dysfunctional personality and the serious and enduring harm they create - and leave behind them.
skip - The Allure of Toxic Leaders

Trump, who apparently cannot cope with the increasingly likely prospect of defeat, is already sowing desolation and destruction. Instead of trying to overcome the damage caused by the incriminating recording uncovered by the Washington Post and the ensuing testimonies of his female victims, Trump is torching American politics and setting a light to U.S. democracy. He hypnotized white Republicans by pouring fuel on their simmering feelings of neglect, resentment, hate, racism and widespread belief in conspiracy theories and now he is egging them on to burn down the house altogether, if he doesnt get his way.

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