Election 2016: Dramatis Personae

by awindram

 THE TRUMPS

Donald Trump:  Real estate developer, author, reality TV star, purveyor of high quality steaks, GOP Presidential Candidate and demagogue (though someone called him that once and he misheard it as demigod). A large number of outside interests does not, however, a Renaissance man make, as Trump feels like someone who would be far better suited for the Dark Ages.

Donald Trump Jr: Eldest child of the Trump scion trinity that is made up of Trump’s children from his first marriage to Ivana Trump. Has a definite meatball-head quality to his features.

Eric Trump:  The youngest of the scion trinity. Often seen on stage when the Donald is making speeches nodding sinisterly along with a sado-masochistic grin.

Barron Trump: Trump’s youngest child. Looked absolutely miserable at having to attend the GOP convention which makes him the only Trump that people have been able to relate to.

Melania Trump:  Melania Trump  is a lawyer, writer, and the wife of the 44th and current President, Barack Obama. She is the first African-American First Lady of the United States. Through her four main initiatives, she has become a role model for women and an advocate for healthy families, service members and their families, higher education, and international adolescent girls education.

Ivanka Trump:  Middle child of the scion trinity. Has been utilized in an interesting way by the Trump campaign helping to try and soften Trump’s message and make him appear more appealing to female voters. It’s a useful trick as Jean-Marie Le Pen discovered in the 80s with Marine Le Pen.  Ivanka has done a lot of the campaigning that you would normally expect the candidate’s spouse to do. Donald loves his daughter, but not in a creepy way.

Fred Trump:  The Trump patriarch. His arrest in 1927 following a riot between supporters of Mussolini and the KKK was a controversial story early in the campaign.

Tiffany Trump: The forgotten Trump child, and all the more endearing for it. The daughter he hasn’t made creepy comments about.

Jared Kushner: Husband of Ivanka Trump and seemingly an influential figure in the Trump campaign. Reports suggest that it was he that linked the trump team with the data mining Cambridge Analytica team as well as pushing for the presence of victims of Bill Clinton’s sexual abuse being at the second Presidential debate.

THE TRUMP TEAM

Mike Pence: GOP Governor of Indiana and Trump’s running mate. His most notable campaign moments are performing well in the VP debate by boldly denying everything his running mate has ever said and for his plane running off the runway at La Guardia when landing. Whatever happens, it seems like he will leave the election with his reputation enhanced with the GOP base and the GOP establishment after the election which is impressive considering Trump’s running mate feels like it was a definite poisoned chalice. May be in a good position for a run at 2020 – an actual Trump win on Tuesday would fuck all that up.

Corey Lewandowski:  Trump’s former campaign manager and who ran the campaign with the motto “Let Trump be Trump,” thus allowing the Presidential candidate to regularly sound like your unhinged racist uncle shouting at the TV. Grabbed Michelle Fields, a reporter for Breitbart, by the arm when she tried asking Trump a question. Now provides guerrilla marketing for the Trump campaign in his guise as a CNN commentator.

Roger Stone: Feyly sinister and dandyish political consultant and lobbyist. Assisted Trump early on in the campaign cycle and introduced the candidate to conspiracy theorist Alex Jones whose show Stone has regularly been a guest on. Like Tom Wolfe, Stone enjoys wearing a well-tailored white suit, a move that leaves him permanently in danger from the splash back.

Paul Manafort: Sinisterly fey political consultant and lobbyist. Brought in to the Trump campaign to try and bring some discipline and strategy to it. Resigned from the campaign when The New York Times claimed he had been receiving illegal, off-the-book payments of over $12M from former Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych.

Hope Hicks:  Trump’s 27-year-old Press Secretary who for the most part doesn’t respond to the press. It has been claimed that her name is an accurate distillation of the Trump phenomenon itself.

Steve Bannon: Frustrated screenwriter, Breitbart executive and current CEO of Trump’s campaign. Introduced Trump to Farage so this is not a man doing God’s work.

Kellyanne Conway:  Trump’s latest campaign manager who is well remunerated for appearing on cable news trying to spin her boss’s latest bizarre statement.

Rudy Giuliani: Former mayor of New York and Trump’s attack dog on various cable news networks. Increasingly taking on the appearance of an egg shell that someone has drawn an angry face on.

David Borenstein:  Trump’s doctor and author of a risible health letter about the candidate

Chris Christie: Pinguid GOP Governor of New Jersey and candidate for the GOP Presidential nomination. Following his decision to drop out of the GOP race, he became an important member of the Trump team as well as taking delivery of Trump’s fast food orders. Currently managing their transition team in the event of a Trump victory. Americans got to watch in real time the demise of Christie’s soul as he stood awkwardly behind Trump during a Trump speech staring blankly into the middle distance. As a side note, Christie is also one of that intriguing group of right-wing politicians despised by their left-leaning music idol. In Christie’s case, Bruce Springsteen. See also, David Cameron and The Smiths.

Ben Carson:  Retired neurosurgeon, candidate for GOP Presidential nomination, somnambulist, and a man who has got a portrait proving he has a friend in Jesus. Like Christie endorsed Trump following his own decision to leave the race. Occasionally appears on cable news spouting ridiculous things at journalists, but his permanently tired demeanor is at odds with such a hyper environment as this election, so even when he is being ignorantly offensive it’s really hard to care about what he’s saying.

Roger Ailes: Former head of Fox News and sexual abuser. Helped Trump with debate prep about how to best grip the debate audience by the pussy.

David Duke:  Holocaust denier, former Imperial Wizard of the Klu Klux Klan and Trump supporter

THE CLINTONS

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.

THE CLINTON TEAM 

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.”

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.

THE THIRD PARTY CANDIDATES

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.

THE SANDERS TEAM

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

OTHER GOP NOMINEES

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.”

THE BUSHES

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

THE OTHER DEMOCRATIC NOMINEES

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.

THE GOP ESTABLISHMENT

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.

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.

THE SUPREME COURT

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.

THE EMAILS

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.

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.

THE FOREIGN ELEMENTS

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:  Dipsomaniac 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.

THE INSULTED

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.

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.

THE MEME

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.

THE MEDIA

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.

Wolf Blitzer: CNN News host, the world’s dullest man but possessing the world’s most exciting name

Jeffrey Lord: CNN’s sniveling Trump cheerleader and possibly one of the undead

Kayleigh McEnany: CNN’s other regular Trump supporter

Alex Jones: Austin based radio host, 9/11 truther who thinks the Sandy Hook massacre was faked. Jones has been a huge and increasingly influential presence in the conspiracy theorist world for over a decade. That Trump has been willing to align with someone like Jones is a remarkable development.

Anderson Cooper: CNN’s silver fox and a Vanderbilt, so you know he’s got the common touch.

Doctor Oz: Medical doctor with a daytime talk show about health related matters. His sycophantic interview with Trump about the latter’s health was an interesting moment around the time that Clinton’s health was being questioned.

Nate Silver: Statistician whose somewhat dry blog – Fivethirtyeight – is the go-to source for most people trying to fathom out the polls. Silver is responsible for the idiots in your social network who authoritatively tell you over drinks that Trump has a 32.07% chance of winning the election, which is a rise of 1.3% from yesterday.

Jimmy Fallon:  Trump’s hair ruffler in chief

Scott Baio:  Trump supporter who was roundly mocked for being the “celebrity” at this year’s GOP convention.

Howard Stern:  Legendary radio host whose shows Trump would regularly call in to in the 90s for off color conversations, many of them about women.

THE SEXUALY ABUSED (not a complete list)

Paul Jones:  Former Arkansas state employee who sued U.S. President Bill Clinton for sexual harassment. Invited by Trump to the second Presidential debate.

Kathleen Wiley:  Former White House aide who claimed Bill Clinton sexually abused her in 1993. Invited by Trump to the second Presidential debate.

Juanita Broaddrick: Former nursing home administrator who claimed Bill Clinton raped her in 1978. Invited by Trump to the second Presidential debate.

Jessica Leeds: Businesswoman who claims Donald Trump tried to touch her inappropriately on a flight.

Jill Harth: Businesswoman who claims Donald Trump grabbed her inappropriately in 1993.

Cassandra Searles: Former Miss Washington who claimed Donald Trump groped her.

Arianne Zucker: Soap actress referred to in the leaked Donald Trump – Billy Bush video

Summer Zervos: Former Apprentice contestant who claims sexual harassment by Donald Trump

Ninni Laaksonen: Former Miss Finland who claims Donald Trump groped her during a photo shoot.

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