Mem­o­rable – and cringe-wor­thy – mo­ments from the 2016 Cam­paign

Malta Independent - - US ELECTION - Nancy Benac

Ev­ery pres­i­den­tial race has its big mo­ments. This one more than most.

A look back at some of the his­toric, amus­ing and cringe-in­duc­ing events of Cam­paign 2016.

Go­ing down?

Don­ald Trump’s long ride down the es­ca­la­tor at Trump Tower to an­nounce his pres­i­den­tial bid in June 2015 wasn’t huge news at the time. It only mer­ited a men­tion on page 16 of his home­town news­pa­per, The New York Times. But his 45-minute speech laid out a road map for the next 500 days. It had de­nun­ci­a­tions of rapists from Mex­ico, the prom­ise to build a bor­der wall, com­plaints that the United States doesn’t win any­more, as­ser­tions that the US should have taken Iraq’s oil be­fore the Is­lamic State group got it, rants against “stupid” trade deals and many more themes Trump has ham­mered on ever since.

Raise your hand

Trump jolted the first Repub­li­can de­bate in Au­gust 2015 when he was the sole can­di­date among 10 men on the stage to raise his hand to sig­nal he wouldn’t pledge to sup­port the even­tual GOP nom­i­nee. The best he could of­fer: “I can to­tally make the pledge if I’m the nom­i­nee.” This was the same de­bate where Trump mixed it up with Fox News’ Megyn Kelly over his his­tory of in­tem­per­ate com­ments about women, fore­shad­ow­ing a run­ning cam­paign theme. Trump an­swered Kelly’s ques­tion about whether he was part of the “war on women” with a riff against po­lit­i­cal cor­rect­ness.

Those ‘damn emails’

Hil­lary Clin­ton got a gift from Bernie San­ders in the first Demo­cratic de­bate, in Oc­to­ber 2015, when he sec­onded her dis­may at all the fo­cus on her use of a pri­vate email setup as sec­re­tary of state. “The Amer­i­can peo­ple are sick and tired of hear­ing about your damn emails,” San­ders said. That took some air out of the con­tro­versy, but it never fully went away. Then in June, FBI Di­rec­tor James Comey an­nounced he would not rec­om­mend charges against Clin­ton over the email is­sue, but said she and her aides had been “ex­tremely care­less” in han­dling clas­si­fied in­for­ma­tion. The is­sue took on new life when the FBI an­nounced just 11 days be­fore the elec­tion that it was in­ves­ti­gat­ing whether there is clas­si­fied in­for­ma­tion in newly dis­cov­ered emails.

Small hands. Eww

A Repub­li­can de­bate last March strayed into cringe-in­duc­ing ter­ri­tory when Trump brought up GOP ri­val Marco Ru­bio’s mock­ing ref­er­ence to his “small hands” and then vol­un­teered some re­as­sur­ance about the size of his gen­i­tals. Trump told his de­bate au­di­ence and mil­lions of TV view­ers: “He re­ferred to my hands, if they’re small, some­thing else must be small. I guar­an­tee you, there’s no prob­lem, I guar­an­tee.” The ar­biters of good taste had a prob­lem with that.

Ceil­ing: shat­tered

She wore white, the colour of suf­fragettes. Clin­ton stood be­fore vot­ers at the Democrats’ Philadel­phia con­ven­tion in July and at last claimed the pres­i­den­tial nom­i­na­tion of a ma­jor party for women. “I’m so happy this day has come,” she told cheer­ing sup­port­ers. “Happy for grand­moth­ers and lit­tle girls and every­one in be­tween. Happy for boys and men, too. Be­cause when any bar­rier falls in Amer­ica, for any­one, it clears the way for every­one.” Clin­ton had fi­nally shat­tered that “glass ceil­ing” she cracked in the 2008 cam­paign.

The ‘De­plorables’

Clin­ton drew laugh­ter when she told sup­port­ers at a pri­vate fundraiser in Septem­ber that half of Trump sup­port­ers could be lumped into a “bas­ket of de­plorables” – de­nounc­ing them as “racist, sex­ist, ho­mo­pho­bic, xeno­pho­bic, Is­lam­o­pho­bic, you name it.” No one was laugh­ing when her re­marks be­came pub­lic. Clin­ton did a par­tial roll­back, say­ing she’d been “grossly gen­er­al­is­tic” and re­gret­ted say­ing the la­bel fit “half” of Trump’s sup­port­ers. But she didn’t back down from the gen­eral sen­ti­ment, say­ing, “He has built his cam­paign largely on prej­u­dice and para­noia and given a na­tional plat­form to hate­ful views and voices.”

A real stum­ble

There are al­ways stum­bles in a pres­i­den­tial cam­paign. Clin­ton took a real one in Septem­ber when she be­came over­heated while at­tend­ing a 9/11 me­mo­rial ser­vice in New York. It turned out she was suf­fer­ing from pneu­mo­nia, a con­di­tion she’d hid­den from the pub­lic and most of her aides. That gave Trump an open­ing to press his case that Clin­ton lacks the “stamina” to be pres­i­dent.

‘You can do any­thing’

Trump’s liv­ing-large per­sona is part of his ap­peal for many peo­ple. But the leaked re­lease in Oc­to­ber of a 2005 video in which Trump boasted about grop­ing women’s gen­i­tals and kiss­ing them with­out per­mis­sion threw his cam­paign into cri­sis. Politi­cians in both par­ties de­nounced Trump and some said he should drop out of the race. Trump apol­o­gized, but wrote off his video­taped com­ments as mere “locker-room ban­ter“. He de­nied en­gag­ing in the kind of preda­tory ac­tiv­ity he’d laughed about. But a string of women came for­ward to say he’d made un­wanted sex­ual ad­vances to­wards them.

He went there

Trump toyed through­out the cam­paign with bring­ing up al­le­ga­tions about Bill Clin­ton’s past sex­ual mis­con­duct. Trump went there in a big way in Oc­to­ber at the se­cond pres­i­den­tial de­bate, seat­ing three of the for­mer pres­i­dent’s ac­cusers in the front row for the face­off. “Bill Clin­ton was abu­sive to women,” Trump said. “Hil­lary Clin­ton at­tacked those same women and at­tacked them vi­ciously.”

He wouldn’t go there

As Trump’s stand­ing in the polls fal­tered, he cranked up his claims that the elec­tion was be­ing rigged against him. Asked in the fi­nal pres­i­den­tial de­bate if he would ac­cept the re­sults of the elec­tion, Trump re­fused to go there. Pressed on the mat­ter by the de­bate moder­a­tor, Trump said: “I will tell you at the time. I’ll keep you in sus­pense.” It was a star­tling state­ment that raised un­cer­tainty about the peace­ful trans­fer of power af­ter the elec­tion. Even the Repub­li­can Na­tional Com­mit­tee dis­avowed Trump’s state­ment.

In this 9 Oc­to­ber 2016 file photo, Repub­li­can pres­i­den­tial can­di­date Don­ald Trump, cen­tre, sits with, from right, Paula Jones, Kathy Shel­ton, Juanita Broad­drick, and Kath­leen Wil­ley, be­fore the se­cond pres­i­den­tial de­bate with Demo­cratic pres­i­den­tial can­di­date Hil­lary Clin­ton in St Louis Ev­ery pres­i­den­tial race has its big mo­ments. This one more than most Photo: Evan Vucci/AP

In this 28 July 2016 file photo, Demo­cratic pres­i­den­tial can­di­date Hil­lary Clin­ton gives her thumbs up as she ap­pears on stage dur­ing the fi­nal day of the Demo­cratic Na­tional Con­ven­tion in Philadel­phia. Photo: Carolyn Kaster/AP

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Malta

© PressReader. All rights reserved.