Clin­ton leads Trump by over 2m vote

Chronicle (Zimbabwe) - - Worldwide -

cham­pion of al­ter­na­tives to lo­cal gov­ern­ment schools, as ed­u­ca­tion sec­re­tary, was an­other vic­tory for so­cial con­ser­va­tives.

Trump’s one-time pres­i­den­tial ri­val, retired neu­ro­sur­geon Ben Carson, ap­peared to be next in line for the nod — re­port­edly as hous­ing sec­re­tary — af­ter he posted on so­cial me­dia that an an­nounce­ment was im­mi­nent.

Trump’s choice of Ha­ley for the UN was an­nounced amid re­ports that Trump is con­sid­er­ing an­other vo­cal critic — for­mer Mas­sachusetts gover­nor Mitt Rom­ney — for the key post of sec­re­tary of state.

And it fol­lowed a cor­dial chat be­tween Trump and The New York Times, a news­pa­per he con­sid­ers hos­tile, in which he soft­ened his stance on cli­mate change, tor­ture and pros­e­cut­ing his de­feated ri­val Clin­ton.

The 70-year-old prop­erty ty­coon also told the Times that he is “se­ri­ously, se­ri­ously con­sid­er­ing” ap­point­ing widely re­spected retired Ma­rine gen­eral James Mat­tis as his defence sec­re­tary.

The UN am­bas­sador post is of cab­i­net rank and if Ha­ley — a staunch con­ser­va­tive with no for­eign pol­icy ex­pe­ri­ence — is con­firmed by the Sen­ate she will be­come a pow­er­ful fig­ure in world diplomacy, de­spite pre­vi­ously clash­ing with Trump. As one of two women tapped so far for Trump’s cab­i­net, the daugh­ter of In­dian im­mi­grants also in­jects a mea­sure of di­ver­sity in a group that un­til now con­sisted solely of men.

Last year, af­ter a white su­prem­a­cist mur­dered nine black church­go­ers in South Carolina, Ha­ley sup­ported a de­ci­sion by leg­is­la­tors to re­move the Con­fed­er­ate flag from the state house.

The de­ci­sion drew protests from racist groups. This year, while cam­paign­ing for Trump’s pri­mary ri­val Marco Ru­bio, Ha­ley called Trump out for his fail­ure to re­pu­di­ate the Ku Klux Klan.

“I will not stop un­til we fight a man that chooses not to dis­avow the KKK. That is not a part of our party. That is not who we are,” she de­clared.

Trump, true to form, re­sponded with one of his trade­mark Twit­ter in­sults, declar­ing: “The peo­ple of South Carolina are em­bar­rassed by Nikki Ha­ley!”

Trump’s choice last week of the self-de­scribed “economic na­tion­al­ist” Steve Ban­non, head of the right-wing news plat­form Bre­it­bart, as his chief strate­gist de­lighted white su­prem­a­cists. But on Tues­day, af­ter video emerged of fans of the so-called alt-right mak­ing straight-armed salutes and chant­ing “Hail Trump,” the pres­i­dent-elect dis­avowed the move­ment.

In a video ad­dress urg­ing Amer­ica to come to­gether on its Thanks­giv­ing hol­i­day, Trump ac­knowl­edged on Wed­nes­day that a “long and bruis­ing” pres­i­den­tial cam­paign had left emo­tions raw and ten­sions high.

“It is my prayer, that on this Thanks­giv­ing, we be­gin to heal our di­vi­sions and move for­ward as one coun­try, strength­ened by a shared pur­pose and very, very com­mon re­solve,” Trump said.

As he works with his ad­vi­sors in his lux­ury Mar-aLago golf re­sort out­side Palm Beach, all eyes will be on the ap­point­ments he makes for a sign of the di­rec­tion his ad­min­is­tra­tion will take.

When Trump’s Novem­ber 8 elec­tion vic­tory still seemed an un­likely prospect, many Repub­li­cans and con­ser­va­tive pol­icy ex­perts con­demned his anti-Mus­lim rhetoric, his affin­ity for Rus­sia or his iso­la­tion­ist and pro­tec­tion­ist po­si­tions.

Many of these fig­ures are now mod­er­at­ing their tone and looking for work, whether they are lured by the prospect of a pow­er­ful job or are keen to serve US in­ter­ests as a mod­er­at­ing in­flu­ence inside a Trump ad­min­is­tra­tion.

The for­mer Iraq and Afghan war com­man­der, retired gen­eral David Pe­traeus — who re­signed as head of the CIA af­ter he was caught shar­ing clas­si­fied data with his mis­tress — made his pitch on Wed­nes­day.

“If you’re asked, you’ve got to serve, put aside any reservations based on cam­paign rhetoric, and fig­ure out what’s best for the coun­try,” he told BBC Ra­dio.

In May, Pe­traeus de­scribed hard­line rhetoric like Trump’s threat to ban all Mus­lims from trav­el­ling to the US as “toxic” and “cor­ro­sive to our vi­tal national se­cu­rity in­ter­ests.” — AFP

Hil­lary Clin­ton

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