Will a 2017 ‘peace­ful trans­fer’ be pos­si­ble?

7 Days in Dubai - - SPECIAL REPORT -

il­lary Clin­ton should be in jail. Don­ald Trump threat­ens Amer­ica’s very ex­is­tence. Th­ese are not fringe opin­ions. They are wide­spread views across Amer­ica’s bit­ter po­lit­i­cal di­vide.

That means that on Novem­ber 9, the morn­ing af­ter Elec­tion Day, mil­lions of Amer­i­cans will awaken to the re­al­i­sa­tion that someone they loathe will be the 45th US pres­i­dent.

The dy­nam­ics of the race leave many Repub­li­cans and Democrats wor­ried that many vot­ers will be un­will­ing to accept the out­come.

That could weaken the new pres­i­dent from the very first day in of­fice. In­tense, sus­tained op­po­si­tion di­min­ishes a pres­i­dent’s po­lit­i­cal cap­i­tal and em­bold­ens op­po­si­tion law­mak­ers who have to an­swer to their own sup­port­ers.

“Pol­i­tics has never been gen­teel... but gen­er­ally both par­ties and their lead­ers have recog­nised the le­git­i­macy of the process, and that seems to be fray­ing,” said Repub­li­can Steve Sch­midt, top strate­gist for John McCain’s 2008 pres­i­den­tial cam­paign.

The GOP mood was on dis­play at their na­tional con­ven­tion, where del­e­gates in Cleveland erupted daily into chants of “Lock her up! Lock her up!” - a ref­er­ence to Clin­ton’s use of a pri­vate email server while sec­re­tary of state. Clin­ton was in­ves­ti­gated, but not charged.

Clin­ton’s cam­paign an­swered with fundraising pitches, telling would-be donors: “We have to stop him.”

Each can­di­date has de­clared the other un­qual­i­fied for the pres­i­dency. Trump talks of “crooked Hil­lary” and says she’s a “puppet” of spe­cial in­ter­ests. Clin­ton calls Trump “un­fit” for the Oval Of­fice.

The next pres­i­dent could also run into trou­ble from an un­likely source - the win­ning party.

Trump has yet to se­cure the en­dorse­ment of Ted Cruz, while Clin­ton has earned the sup­port of Bernie San­ders but many of his back­ers aren’t fol­low­ing along.

Sch­midt said the cam­paign’s ten­sion makes it much harder, but also more im­por­tant for the loser to con­cede gra­ciously. They said that’s the first step in the “peace­ful trans­fer of power” seen on In­au­gu­ra­tion Day.

“The first per­son to call Barack Obama ‘Mr Pres­i­dent-elect wasn’t staff’,” re­called Sch­midt. “It was Sen­a­tor McCain.” THURS­DAY JULY 28, 2016

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