White house race: The 2 year roller­coaster

Kuwait Times - - INTERNATIONAL -

WASH­ING­TON: Does any­one re­mem­ber when the seem­ingly ever-present 2016 US pres­i­den­tial cam­paign ac­tu­ally be­gan? Well, nearly two years ago. The fol­low­ing is a sam­ple of the ma­jor stages, developments and sur­prises of a race like no other as Hil­lary Clin­ton and Don­ald Trump bat­tle for the White House.

2014 De­cem­ber 16

An­other Bush-Clin­ton matchup: po­lit­i­cal com­men­ta­tors and junkies drool with glee as Jeb Bush, son and brother of for­mer pres­i­dents, jumps into the race for the White House.

2015 March 2

The New York Times scores a big scoop with news that Clin­ton used a pri­vate email server while work­ing as sec­re­tary of state from 2009 to 2013. Her team is caught off guard. “We brought up the ex­is­tence of emails in re­search this sum­mer but were told that ev­ery­thing was taken care of,” Clin­ton’s fu­ture cam­paign man­ager Robby Mook wrote in a re­cently hacked email. “I did not email any clas­si­fied ma­te­rial to any­one on my email. There is no clas­si­fied ma­te­rial,” Clin­ton said at a tense news con­fer­ence.

April 12

Clin­ton for­mally an­nounces her can­di­dacy. At the time, Trump was not even in­cluded in polls of hope­fuls who might take on the Demo­crat see­ing to be­come Amer­ica’s first fe­male pres­i­dent. A bevy of Repub­li­cans start com­ing for­ward to join the race, in­clud­ing Ted Cruz, Marco Ru­bio and Ben Car­son. The num­ber would even­tu­ally swell to 17.

June 16

In a grandiose ap­pear­ance at Trump Tower, Trump shows he is not bluff­ing and an­nounces his can­di­dacy. And he makes a com­ment that is now etched in the po­lit­i­cal an­nals. “When Mex­ico sends its peo­ple, they’re not send­ing their best,” Trump said. “They’re send­ing peo­ple that have lots of prob­lems, and they’re bring­ing those prob­lems with us. They’re bring­ing drugs. They’re bring­ing crime. They’re rapists. And some, I as­sume, are good peo­ple.” On July 14, a poll puts Trump in first place look­ing ahead to the pri­maries. His pop­ulist wave is now a force to be reck­oned with. “He’ll be a Ron­ald Rea­gan plus plus,” Alice But­ler-Short, a 72-yearold Trump sup­porter, told a rau­cous rally in Oc­to­ber.

De­cem­ber 7

Trump calls for a to­tal ban on Mus­lims en­ter­ing the United States “un­til our coun­try’s rep­re­sen­ta­tives can fig­ure out what is go­ing on.” Con­dem­na­tion of his idea pours in from around the world, but most Repub­li­cans wel­come it.

2016 Fe­bru­ary 1

Trump shows he is no pushover. He fin­ishes sec­ond in the Iowa cau­cuses, and first in New Hamp­shire, South Carolina and other states.

Fe­bru­ary 20

Bush drops out of the race af­ter a poor show­ing. His bid for the nom­i­na­tion cost $152 mil­lion.

May 3-4

Trump’s last sur­viv­ing ri­vals, Cruz and John Ka­sich, throw in the towel and Trump emerges vic­to­ri­ous. His next tar­get is Clin­ton. He points to the con­tro­versy over her email prac­tices and says she should not even have the right to run for pres­i­dent. “Never Trump” Repub­li­cans try to mount a re­sis­tance move­ment, as the bil­lion­aire real es­tate mogul pledges to unify the party.

June 7

Clin­ton man­ages to clinch enough pri­mary del­e­gates for the Demo­cratic nom­i­na­tion, de­feat­ing Bernie San­ders. At a New York rally buzzing with en­thu­si­asm, she trum­pets that it is “the first time in our na­tion’s his­tory that a woman will be a ma­jor party’s nom­i­nee for pres­i­dent of the United States.”

July 5

Democrats heave a sigh of re­lief as the FBI rec­om­mends that no charges be filed against Clin­ton over her pri­vate email server. But FBI Di­rec­tor James Comey dis­misses Clin­ton’s han­dling of her email as “ex­tremely care­less.”

Later that month, Trump ac­cepts the Repub­li­can nom­i­na­tion at a con­ven­tion in Cleve­land that is marred by mis­steps, while the Demo­cratic con­ven­tion in Philadel­phia chooses Clin­ton as the first women pres­i­den­tial nom­i­nee of a ma­jor party.

Au­gust

Trump has a very bad month: he again reshuf­fles his cam­paign staff, and is ex­co­ri­ated for crit­i­ciz­ing the par­ents of a Mus­lim Amer­i­can sol­dier killed in Iraq.

Septem­ber 11

Un­der a hot sun, Clin­ton falls ill at a cer­e­mony hon­or­ing the vic­tims of the 9/11 at­tacks. She stum­bles while try­ing to get into a limou­sine and is forced to an­nounce that she is suf­fer­ing from pneu­mo­nia.

Septem­ber 26

The first pres­i­den­tial de­bate draws 84 mil­lion TV view­ers. Trump loses his tem­per with Clin­ton, who comes across as well pre­pared and col­lected. She boosts her lead in the polls.

Oc­to­ber 7

“And when you’re a star, they let you do it. You can do any­thing. Grab ‘em by the p **** y. You can do any­thing.” That’s Trump talk­ing in a just-re­dis­cov­ered au­dio from 2005 about what he sees as the perks of fame. Amer­i­cans are out­raged. Dozens of Repub­li­cans de­clare them­selves fed up with Trump and with­draw their sup­port.

Oc­to­ber 28

In a gift to Trump, the FBI di­rec­tor an­nounces a probe into pre­vi­ously undis­closed emails that he says might be per­ti­nent to the probe into Clin­ton’s server. “This is the big­gest po­lit­i­cal scan­dal since Water­gate,” Trump said as he latched on to what would be the main theme for the clos­ing stage of his cam­paign.

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