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Sunday, October 08, 2017

On this date in 2016, they thought they killed Trump's hopes

One year ago today, David A. Fahrenthold of the Washington Post broke the story that forced Donald Trump to drop out of the race, and won Fahrenthold the Pulitzer:
Trump recorded having extremely lewd conversation about women in 2005

OK, the story did not do all that. Trump was made of sterner stuff. The only person to lose his job was Billy Bush. (Despite the headline in the New York Post: "‘Horribly embarrassed’ Billy Bush won’t lose job over Trump tape.")

But Fahrenthold got the Pulitzer as a consolation prize.

A year later I return to reminisce about that brilliant moment when the Wile E. Coyote media thought at last they had the Road Runner.

Remember the story?
Donald Trump bragged in vulgar terms about kissing, groping and trying to have sex with women during a 2005 conversation caught on a hot microphone, saying that “when you’re a star, they let you do it,” according to a video obtained by The Washington Post.
The video captures Trump talking with Billy Bush, then of “Access Hollywood,” on a bus with the show’s name written across the side. They were arriving on the set of “Days of Our Lives” to tape a segment about Trump’s cameo on the soap opera.
Late Friday night, following sharp criticism by Republican leaders, Trump issued a short video statement saying, “I said it, I was wrong, and I apologize.” But he also called the revelation “a distraction from the issues we are facing today.” He said that his “foolish” words are much different than the words and actions of Bill Clinton, whom he accused of abusing women, and Hillary Clinton, whom he accused of having “bullied, attacked, shamed and intimidated his victims.”
“I’ve never said I’m a perfect person, nor pretended to be someone that I’m not. I’ve said and done things I regret, and the words released today on this more than a decade-old video are one of them. Anyone who knows me knows these words don’t reflect who I am,” Trump said.
The tape was so scandalous that the Post posted it on its website.

But this was the first -- and as far as I can remember -- only time in Trump's political career that he apologized.

The reaction to the tape was the usual political opportunism.
After the video appeared online Friday afternoon, Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton wrote on Twitter: “This is horrific. We cannot allow this man to become president.” Her running mate, Sen. Tim Kaine (Va.), told reporters, “It makes me sick to my stomach,” while campaigning in Las Vegas.
Planned Parenthood Action Fund, which has endorsed Clinton, issued a statement from Executive Vice President Dawn Laguens saying: “What Trump described in these tapes amounts to sexual assault.”
Trump was also criticized by members of his own party. House Speaker Paul D. Ryan, who said he is “sickened” by Trump’s comments, said the Republican presidential candidate will no longer appear with him at a campaign event in Wisconsin on Saturday.
“Women are to be championed and revered, not objectified. I hope Mr. Trump treats this situation with the seriousness it deserves and works to demonstrate to the country that he has greater respect for women than this clip suggests,” Ryan said in a statement.
Robert Costa of the Washington Post wrote:
Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump said in an interview Saturday that he would not drop out of the race under any circumstances, following calls from several in his party to do so.
Nate Silver wrote "The Bottom Could Fall Out For Trump."
If Trump gets stuck at 40 percent of the vote, you could wind up with an outcome like Clinton 51 percent, Trump 40 percent, Gary Johnson 7 percent, Jill Stein and others 2 percent, or something of that nature. That is, a double-digit win for Clinton, which could potentially yield somewhere around 400 votes for her in the Electoral College, and make states as exotic as Texas and Alaska competitive.
That outcome might seem far-fetched. But in an election with high uncertainty, it shouldn’t be. Even before the “hot mic” tape, our model gave Clinton a 5 to 6 percentage point lead, and the error in the forecast is roughly symmetric. The polls could move by 5 or 6 points toward Trump, giving him a narrow win, or — equally likely, per our model — they could move by 5 or 6 points toward Clinton, giving her a double-digit margin. To put it another way, a Clinton landslide is no more far-fetched than a Trump victory — and given the events of the past 24 hours, probably less so.

What a maroon.

From the New York Times:
Republican leaders began to abandon Donald J. Trump by the dozens on Saturday after the release of a video showing him speaking of women in vulgar sexual terms, delivering a punishing blow to his campaign and plunging the party into crisis a month before the election.
Fearing that his candidacy was on the verge of undermining the entire Republican ticket next month, a group of senators and House members withdrew support for him, with some demanding that he step aside. Mr. Trump, however, vowed to stay in the race.
The sky was falling.

The media failed to understand what happened. They were people of words, not action. The words of Trump appalled them more than the actions of Bill Clinton.

Do not for a moment think that was not the back story. Trump had fouled the president out with an ad that January reminding everyone of his sexual predation.

The Clinton campaign thought this tape would foul Trump out.

As did the experts.

From Politico:
Hillary Clinton could become the first Democrat since her husband to win the vote of married women on Election Day -- a massive demographic realignment that would likely spell the end of Donald Trump’s White House ambitions.
The likelihood of that outcome was given a major boost Friday evening, when a video posted by the Washington Post showed Trump bragging about trying to “f--k” an unnamed married woman and trying to “move on her like a bitch.” The video was recorded on Sept. 16, 2005, on a bus on his way to a cameo on “Days Of Our Lives,” just eight months after he married his third wife, Melania.
Amid all this hysteria was calm and rationality from the grown-ups.

From the New York Times:
His running mate, Gov. Mike Pence of Indiana, brushed off the banter at a rally in Rossford, Ohio. “They’ll say, this time we got him,” Mr. Pence said. “This time we got another thing, another issue that’s come forward. Then they turn on the next television the next morning, and Donald Trump is still standing stronger than ever before and fighting for the American people.”
But Mr. Pence also telephoned Mr. Trump on Friday night and urged him to show humility, according to an adviser to the nominee who requested anonymity to reveal a private conversation. (Mr. Trump had already decided to apologize when Mr. Pence called, the adviser noted.)
Billionaire Conrad Black called it the "The Bonfire of the Hypocrisies":
The Billy Bush clip released on Friday was extremely crude and boastful, almost disgusting for the seeker of the presidency of the U.S., even though it was eleven years old. It was not as distasteful as the antics of a number of presidents, including JFK’s telling an intern to fellate one of his key aides in the White House swimming pool, and asking her to lie down in his official car so she would be invisible to the British prime minister (Harold MacMillan); Bill Clinton’s receiving oral sex in the Oval Office while ostensibly conducting government business on the telephone; or much of the routine conversation of Lyndon Johnson. 
I'll spare readers the rest of Black's list of presidential peccadilloes to skip to this point:
Teddy Kennedy was considered a serious candidate for president even after he drunkenly drove his car into a pond, drowning a female assistant, and left the scene of the accident. The Trump video from eleven years ago was tawdry and contemptible, as he has acknowledged, but has nothing to do with being president.
So much for never being caught with a dead girl or a live boy.

Black also walloped the Never Trump crowd. Black agreed with Laura Ingraham, who said, “They will go back to their think tanks and devise policies that will never be enacted unless those of us who are trying to defeat Hillary Clinton are successful.”

Donald Trump not only survived, but he prevailed.

More than 62 million Americans had no other choice.


Please enjoy my books on how the press bungled the 2016 election.

Caution: Readers occasionally may laugh out loud at the media as they read this account of Trump's election.

It is available on Kindle, and in paperback.

Caution: Readers occasionally may laugh out loud at the media as they read this account of Trump's nomination.

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  1. "Haha, what a maroon"

    It's not just the big insights but also the little touches that bring a smile when reading Don's writing.

  2. Isn't it simply amazing how small minded the liberal press really is. They were just "salivating" over the thoughts of destroying Donald Trump....any way they could! And this opportunity dropped right into their laps...kinda like the "dossier" thingy they are going on (still) even though it was proven fake months ago!

    So they gave Fahrenthold the Pulitzer prize for this story!

    Wow, that seems more like a "participation trophy"...kinda like giving the Nobel Prize to Krugman for being an idiot...and to Obama for being black.

    These people live, and work, in a parallel universe methinks.


  3. NYT states "Republican leaders began to abandon Donald J. Trump by the dozens". They were never with him and still aren't.

    Also, they are in leadership positions yet they are NOT leaders. To observe a real leader, watch our President.

    1. Shoulda been "Republican 'leaders' "; none could (or would) lead a horse to water.

  4. You know the world is changing when the only sane comment made from HoLieWood re Harvey Watch Me Take A Shower Weinstein has come from...Lena Dunham. Talk about Strange New Respect. Shine the spotlight on ourselves. You go, Lena. You go, girl.

  5. I figured he was toast. I voted for him knowing he was dooomed. And that Don is why I read you every time you post sir : ) . You had this figured out when I was completely clueless and wrong. So I figure you are a good one to keep tabs on re current events : )

  6. women are exactly the same as men, except “Women are to be championed and revered, ..."

  7. "Hillary Clinton could become the first Democrat since her husband to win the vote of married women on Election Day"

    Hahaha, grade-A stupid there. I predicted a win for Trump because I realized that married women would break for him yuuugely. It wouldn't show up in the polls, but it would on election day.

    Why would they do that? Because "when you’re a star, they let you do it". They sure do. His statement wasn't offensive; it was just fact.

    The weird thing is that if even I understand women better than the Dem strategists do, then they really don't know much.

    1. I'm a married woman and my first reaction when I heard the news was, "yeah, when you're a star they let you do it". Not all women, but we've seen enough in our careers to know they're are plenty that do. And if you work in entertainment, my guess is it's on steroids. Is any married woman surprised by the Weinstein story? Disgusted yes, surprised no! My experience is if you say no, men usually respect that and search for a better opportunity. We're more concerned about children being abused but you won't see any breaking stories anout that.

      - Tee

    2. I'm a married woman and my first reaction on hearing the news was, "yeah, they let you do it". I think most married women have seen enough of this sort of thing in their careers to know there are plenty of women who do. And in the entertainment industry, my guess is it's on steroids. My experience is that if you say no, the men respect you and move on to another opportunity. Are we surprised at the Weinstein story? Disgusted yes, but not surprised. We are more concerned with children being abused but you won't see a breaking story on that.

      - Tee

    3. Roman Polansky, and others.

  8. Compare the Enemedia's reaction to the perversions Harvey Weinstein has pulled to the clutching the pearls hissy fit they had over Trump saying "pussy".

    Well, I guess there is a slight difference.

    Trump was running for President.

    Weinstein OWNED two Presidents, Trump's opponent in the race, a good chunk of the Democratic party AND the Hollywood propaganda wing of the Enemedia.

    1. Yeah, exactly! Among Mr. T's many achievements thus far, the one I like most is basically luring out and then stomping on the longtime Lib belief that, "Well, it's OK when we do it or say it, but IT'S NOT OK when you do!" My pot was about to boil over before Mr. T came to town. Now, it's down to a nice slow simmer.

  9. Nobody in his right mind would pay Democrat media for information. They are wrong all the time and don't care.

  10. President Trump is the real Teflon Don and has nine lives to boot. He just has to be the original inspiration for Larry the Cable Guy. "Get 'er done!" - Elric

  11. Don, we did have a choice. Up until the general election we had 16 choices. In the general election we still had two choices. And, we choose Trump both times.

  12. The total hypocrisy and chutzpah of Crooked Cankles and the Dimocrats in trying to hang sexual harassment on Trump was astounding especially with the record of BJ harassing women and Thunder Rodent Thighs destroying his victims. I guess they hoped the American voters would forget all of that. I loved that Trump invited some of BJs' victims to one of the debates. - GOC