2 short, dark nights for America: Dramatis Personae Part II

by awindram

Two short, dark nights to go. 

Trump’s Daily Twitter Highlight: “Our American comeback story begins 11/8/16. Together, we will MAKE AMERICA SAFE & GREAT again for everyone! “

Clinton’s Daily Twitter Highlight: “This election is about you… your dreams, your aspirations, your hopes, your family, your community.

Daily election article of interest: FBI Chief Jim Comey Clears Hillary Clinton—and Puts Himself in the Crosshairs

Comey has written his second letter in nine days. This one to say that the FBI has found no new emails, no new information on Weiner’s laptop that merit reopening the case against Clinton. Of course, that means that whole issue is put to bed, doesn’t it?

Anyway, here’s the continuation of my dramatis personae for the 2016 election

Hillary Clinton    Former First Lady, Secretary of State, Senator for New York, and current Democratic nominee for the Presidency. First female Presidential candidate from one of the two major parties. A competent but not the most likeable of candidates, the Washington insider in a cycle that should favor the outsider.

Bill Clinton          42nd President of the United States and husband of Hillary whom he has numerous infidelities against her. Considered an asset for the Hillary campaign when running in 2008 this time out he is more of a hindrance. They were two occasions when he was a presence on this campaign, first when Trump brought up past sexual accusations by inviting women who had accused him of sexual harassment to attend the second debate and the second was an own goal of his own making when he went off message and decried Obamacare.

Chelsea Clinton Daughter of Bill and Hillary. Teenage years spent in the White House. Apparently she is friends with Ivanka Trump which must be awkward.

Tim Kaine            Senator from Virginia and Hillary’s running mate. For the most part has made little impact during the campaign. Gave a weak performance in the VP debate.

Barack Obama   44th and current President of the United States. Ran and won against Hillary for the Democratic nomination in 2008 in an often ill-tempered race. Expected not to be much of a presence in this election, but as the election has drawn on and it has become clear that his approval ratings are relatively high for a President coming to the end of his second term, he has been embraced more by the Hillary team and she has adopted more the position of effectively running for a third Obama term.

Michelle Obama               Current First Lady of the United State. From the Democratic Convention onwards she has made numerous impassioned speeches for Hillary. There have been times during this campaign where criticisms of Hillary’s generally poor stage performance were inherently sexist, a notion somewhat refuted by the fact that the most charismatic and impactful political speeches have been coming from the other First Lady. Her speeches are so good they’re even being plagiarized by the opposition.

Huma Abedin    A longtime political staffer of Hillary’s and Vice Chair of the Clinton Campaign and the now separated spouse of disgraced former congressman Anthony Weiner. And yet Abedin, who is clearly an influential figure, and whose relationships with her husband, her mother, and Clinton have been the source of so much speculation and innuendo, remains something of an enigma

Anthony Weiner               aka Carlos Danger. Weiner should not have featured in this narrative, but, like a tired joke of sitcom guest star he was trotted out again to do his usual sexting schtick, except this time it threatened to end up throwing the election to Trump as an FBI investigation into his compulsive need to send dick pics to underage girls on a laptop he shared with his wife revealed new Clinton emails leading to the FBI director James Comey to announce he was reopening the email investigation into Hillary.

Joe Biden             47th and current Vice President of the United States. Biden was said to be considering a run for the Democratic nomination but ultimately did not run citing the recent death of his son as a drain of his emotional energy.  Biden’s most notable moment in the campaign was following the reveal of Trump’s pussy grabbing comments when he said, “I wish we were in high school I could take him behind the gym.”

Bryan Pagliano  Little mentioned by name during the campaign, but Pagliano was Clinton’s IT specialist and the individual responsible for setting up her now notorious email server where he was paid off the books by the Clintons despite being a State Department employee.

John Podesta     Chairman of the Clinton campaign and former Chief of Staff to President Bill Clinton. His gmail account was hacked, the United States intelligence community blame Russian elements for the hack, and the resulting cache of emails have been published by Wikileaks revealing what Vox calls “the questionable relationship between the Clinton Foundation and its donors, Clinton’s ease with powerful interests on Wall Street, her ties to wealthy campaign contributors.”

Debbie Wasserman Schultz          US Congresswoman and former Chairperson of the Democratic National Committee. Emails published on Wikileaks showed that in her capacity as Chairperson she had shown bias towards the Clinton campaign over the Sanders campaign

Donna Brazile    Interim Chairperson of the Democratic National Committee following the resignation of Wasserman Schultz. The Wikileaks Podesta email dump revealed that Brazile in her capacity as a paid contributor on CNN had could supply in advance the Clinton campaign with a question before a planned Town Hall event during the Primary season against Saunders.

 

Bernie Sanders  Independent Senator from Vermont and self-described Socialist who ran for the Democratic nomination for President. Performed beyond expectations, competing strongly against Clinton. After question marks about whether many of his supporters would be prepared to cast their vote for Clinton, Sanders eventually came out for Clinton and stumped for her.

Jane O’Meara Sanders    Wife of Bernie Sanders, a controversial real estate deal she made when President of Burlington College and her subsequent resignation from there received some press attention during the campaign.

Jeff Weaver        Bearded campaign manager for The Sanders campaign who became something of a darling of the cable news networks. His previous position as a comic shop owner was constantly emphasized suggesting that the Sanders campaign was run by a bunch of wide-eyed naïfs, even though Weaver also has over three decades of experience as a political staffer

 

Martin O’Malley               Former Governor of Maryland who ran for the Democratic nomination of President. The bland, John Edwards-esque looks of O’Malley might have served him well in a Presidential contest ten years previously, but in a field of characters, many of them grotesques, he was the unwanted straight man – the Zeppo Marx of 2016 Presidential Candidate

Lincoln Chaffee Former Governor of Rhode Island as well as a former senator for that state, too who ran for the Democratic nomination of President. Chaffee served in the Senate as a Republican, he was initially elected Governor as an Independent and then changed his affiliation to Democrat. Cut a comically bemused presence in the Primary debates he featured on.

Jim Webb            Former senator from Virginia as well as former Secretary of Navy who ran for the Democratic nomination for President.

 

Jill Stein                Presidential Candidate for the Green Party. A somewhat peculiar political campaigner who seems more than happy to play up to the media’s stereotype of a kooky Green Party politician. Also some real question over her judgement in willingly going to Russia to attend a 10th anniversary dinner for Russia Today where she was seated at the same table as Putin. In an election that could, and indeed should have seen a third party candidate gain some kind of traction, Stein’s consistently poor performance should be seen as an utter missed opportunity by the Greens

Gary Johnson     Former GOP Governor of New Mexico and Presidential Candidate for the Libertarian Party. Like Stein, Johnson’s poor performance and polling represents a real missed opportunity as a third party candidate. He did, however, get to attend the Emmys with Triumph the Insult Dog and the memories of that they will never be able to take from him.

Bill Weldt            Former GOP Governor of Massachusetts and Vice Presidential Candidate for the Libertarian Party. In recent weeks, he has been appearing on TV making a compelling case as to why people should vote Clinton over Trump, which is for most people a fair enough position, but an odd one when you’re running on a third party ticket.

Evan McMullin  Independent Candidate for the Presidency who has gained impressive support in his home state of Utah. Utah normally leans heavily to the GOP but with its high Mormon population, Trump’s comments and perceived fitness for office have been badly received. Indeed, it is McMullin rather than Stein and Johnson who stands the better chance of receiving an electoral college vote this Tuesday.

 

Jeb! Bush             Former GOP Governor of Florida and member of the Bush family. Was considered the front runner for the GOP nomination and so received incredible financial support for his campaign – money that was ultimately flushed away. Trump described him as low energy, and in fairness to Trump, it wasn’t an inaccurate assessment. That low energy made the mockable exclamation mark – all campaign literature had him down as Jeb! – all the more risible. We did, however, get to see a tweeted picture of his glock

George H. W. Bush          41st President of the United States and father of Jeb! Bush. Family insiders have said that he will not be voting for the GOP nominee.

George W. Bush                43rd President of the United States and older brother of Jeb! Bush. Like his father also unlikely to vote for the GOP nominee.

Billy Bush             Nephew of George H. W. Bush and cousin of George W. Bush and George H. W. Bush. A former TV host with Access Hollywood and The Today Show. In a surprising move, it was Billy Bush who was the member of the Bush family who had the biggest impact on this election. Bush was in private conversation with Donald Trump on set where the now infamous “pussy grabbing” comments were made

 

Paul Ryan            GOP Speaker of the House. Has had something of a difficult time with his party’s nomination of Trump. Did not immediately throw his support behind his party’s candidate and then recently claimed that all his efforts would be going into helping the reelection of GOP members of the House and not the Presidential candidate.

John Boehner    Former GOP Speaker of the House who when viewing his successor’s travails is doubtless giddy at his current irrelevancy

Reince Priebus  Chairman of the Republican National Committee and unlike Ryan has been more effusive than Ryan in the GOP’s candidate.

 

Ted Cruz              GOP Senator from Texas and candidate for the GOP nomination. Nicknamed Lyin’ Ted by Trump. Going into the primaries popular with the Tea Party, he would have expected to be the natural candidate for many voters who instead flocked to Trump. Accused Trump and the National Enquirer of being a serial adulterer (a story that went nowhere and seems to have been entirely made up to benefit Trump), having Trump insinuate his father was involved in the JFK assassination, to having his wife’s looks denigrated by Trump on twitter, it is understandable why Cruz did not initially endorse Trump. Caused one of the most talked moments of the GOP convention by telling voters to vote with their conscience. Has since endorsed Trump.

Carly Fiorina       Former CEO of Hewlett-Packard and GOP candidate for the GOP nomination. After dropping out of the race she was announced as Cruz’s pick for VP in the event that he won the nomination.

Marco Rubio      GOP Senator from Florida and long seen at the young darling of the Republican party, he was expected to be a strong candidate for the nomination. Now better known for a glitch in his hardwiring in one debate and then a spat with Trump about the size of Trump’s penis in another debate.

Rand Paul            GOP Senator from Kentucky and son of Ron Paul. It was wondered if Paul could take the support that his similarly Libertarian inclined father had developed and broaden its appeal. The answer was no.

John Kasich         GOP Governor of Ohio and candidate for the GOP nomination. Kasich stayed in the race for a long time despite never being in a chance with winning. The Cruz campaign argued that he spoiled their opportunity to beat Trump in a head to head over the last few months. Kasich claimed that he was later offered the chance to run alongside Trump as his Vice President with the promise that he would be given control of most domestic and foreign policies once in power. He wrote in John McCain for President.

Scott Walker      GOP Governor of Wisconsin and candidate for the GOP nomination. An early front runner and said to be the chosen candidate of the Koch brothers, Walker’s chances vanished once the public at large got to know how dull he is. We now know that he brings the same sandwich of ham and cheese sandwiches on wheat every day to work.

Bobby Jindal       Former GOP Governor of Louisiana and candidate for the GOP nomination.

Rick Santorum   Former GOP Senator from Pennsylvania and candidate for the GOP nomination. Santorum had finished runner up to Romney in 2008 and yet four years later couldn’t even poll high enough to be allowed on the main debate stage.

Mike Huckabee Former GOP Governor of Arkansas and candidate for the GOP nomination. Like Santorum, Huckabee had performed well in previous GOP Presidential races, but performed abysmally this time.

Lindsay Graham                GOP Senator from South Carolina and candidate for the GOP nomination. Graham’s real contribution to this campaign hasn’t been his own pathetic attempt to gain the GOP nomination, but his sharp tongue. He compared the GOP’s final choice of Trump and Cruz as like the choice between being “shot or poisoned.”

 

Mitt Romney      Former GOP Governor of Massachusetts and 2012 GOP Candidate for President. Since Trump’s nomination, Romney has become something of a figurehead for the GOP’s Never Trump movement. There were earlier in the year rumors that he might run in the general election as a Never Trump candidate.

John McCain       GOP Senator from Arizona and 2008 GOP Candidate for President. A former prisoner of war in Vietnam for over five years in the notorious “Hanoi Hilton” who Trump considers a coward because he was captured. Following the recent pussy grabbing comments, McCain withdrew his endorsement of Trump.

Bob Dole              Former GOP Senator from Kansas and 1996 GOP Candidate for President. Dole is notable this election for being the only living GOP Presidential Candidate to still be publicly supporting Trump.

Captain Humayun Khan Captain in the United States Army killed by a suicide attack in Iraq in 2004 and who was posthumously awarded a Purple Heart. His parents appeared at the 2016 Democratic Convention to speak out against Trump’s call to ban Muslim immigration to the US. Trump writing on twitter criticized them for doing so.

Rosie O’Donnell                Actress who played Betty Rubble in the live action adaptation of The Flintstones. From the number of times she has been mentioned by Trump, Rosie O’Donnell would seem to be an important area of policy concerning a great number of Americans.

 

Megyn Kelly       Fox News anchor who early in the primaries feuded with Trump. Trump’s misogynistic response being very much not a low point, just a sign of things to come. “There was blood coming out of her eyes, blood coming out of her wherever.”

Bill O’Reilly          Fox News original hectoring head. His show not so much “no spin room” as “Trump’s space safe.” It is noticeable about Trump that for someone who decries political correctness and that he just tells it like it is, he personally seems to get triggered a lot.

Sean Hannity      Fox News host and Trump’s BFF, although as revealed in the Presidential debates nobody calls him.

 

Justice Scalia      Originalist Judge on the Supreme Court. An overweight 79-year-old so naturally his sudden death is immediate ground for suspicion that foul play may have been involved. Scalia’s death and Trump’s response to it was one of the first displays of outright conspiracy theorizing on Trump’s part in the campaign.

Merrick Garland Obama’s nomination for the Supreme Court that the GOP controlled Senate has refused to consider in the hope that they’ll have a GOP President in place to make Scalia’s replacement.

Vladimir Putin    Russian President. Accusations of Russian hacking in an attempt to influence the election and Trump’s own unrequited love for Putin have been a cause for alarm.

Nigel Farage       Former leader of UKIP. Brought out to speak at Trump rally after Trump started to style himself Mr Brexit.

Enrique Pena Nieto         President of Mexico. Held a joint press conference with Trump when Trump visited Mexico. The wall was not mentioned.

Julian Assange   Wikileaks founder and currently in asylum at the Ecuadorian embassy in London as he seeks to avoid extradition to Sweden over rape charges. Assange is not the darling of the American right as he has been supplying a steady stream of leaks against Hillary. The mutual appreciation society between Assange and Hannity is as bizarre as it is nauseating.

James Comey     Director of the FBI. Investigated Clinton’s misuse of classified information in her email server scandal. Outcome of the investigation was that Clinton was reckless with the classified information but that no prosecution took place. Wrote to Congress two weeks before the election to say that he was reopening the investigation in light of finding further emails on Anthony Weiner’s laptop – which had been confiscated in a separate investigation.

Ken Bone             This campaign’s Joe The Plumber, that breakout ordinary person who becomes momentarily famous. Ken asked a question at the second Town Hall debate that featured undecided voters. Ken’s fame seems to rest on the earnestness of his question and the unfashionable red sweater that he wore. He became a meme, and then he did a Reddit AMA and we discovered that he was really a bit of a perv.

Alicia Machado Former Miss Universe who Trump decried as Miss Piggy. In a 3am twitter frenzy Trump went on to claim that she was disgusting and had been involved in a sex tape. Machado has gone on to speak at numerous Clinton rallies.

 

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