So last night, one of the most remarkable exchanges in the history of presidential debates flashed across millions of American TV screens:
Hillary Clinton: “It’s just awfully good that someone with the temperament of Donald Trump is not in charge of the law in our country.”
Donald Trump: “Because you’d be in jail.”
The Republican presidential candidate had preceded that remark with a promise to sic a special prosecutor on Clinton to look into her use of a private email server while secretary of state. Said Trump:
“I’ll tell you what, I did think I’d say this, is going to say it. I hate to say it. But if I win, I am going to instruct my attorney general to get a special prosecutor to look into your situation because there has never been so many lies, so much deception. There has never been anything like it. And we’re going to have a special prosecutor.”
But it was the jail line, a riff on the “Lock her up!” chants from this summer’s national GOP convention in Cleveland, that he was most proud of – if the above photo he sent out on Twitter and Facebook afterward is any measure. Watch here:
This morning, on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe,” Trump campaign manager Kellyanne Conway was asked if her candidate was serious. Said Conway:
“That was a quip, and I saw in NBC’s own reporting, it was referred to as a ‘quip,’ so I’ll go with NBC on it.”
“…I think that’s Donald Trump channeling the frustration he hears from thousands of voters out on the stump every day. And they’re very frustrated that she has a different set of rules for her. And he’s challenging the frustration he hears from people. How can she not have faced any type of penalty for doing something where people who do far less have faced a serious penalty?”
The good news, then, would be that those chants in Cleveland weren’t “Off with her head!”
Color us skeptical, but the Hillary Clinton campaign is pressing the case that the bombshell video of Donald Trump describing the liberty he takes with women could breathe new life into her effort to flip Georgia. From The New York Times:
With Mr. Trump sliding in the presidential race, senior Democratic officials had already been nudging Mrs. Clinton to rearrange her campaign schedule and advertising in ways that could help lift Democrats in close congressional races. Now, top Clinton advisers said they would consider doing just that.
The campaign was planning to survey an array of Republican-leaning states this week, including Arizona, Georgia, Missouri and Indiana, to determine how competitive Mrs. Clinton is with Mr. Trump, according to a senior Clinton adviser who spoke on condition of anonymity.
Sending Mrs. Clinton to those states may be of little assistance to the party’s candidates, but an infusion of money dedicated to voter turnout could ensure that she enters the White House with a solid Senate majority and help Democrats make substantial gains in the House.
The Dalton Daily Citizen became the latest conservative newspaper to back Hillary Clinton’s campaign. It opened thusly:
If you believe in keeping our country safe and stable through proven political experience and knowledge, you must look deeply at the issues and beyond the personalities of the choices for president in the Nov. 8 election.
We believe Democrat Hillary Clinton’s policies, plans and ambitions offer more balance and reliability for the nation than gambling on the risky promises of Republican Donald Trump. She has the political leadership competencies to steer a steady course in a time of increasing turmoil at home and around the world.
Significantly, Clinton has a record of bipartisan cooperation during her eight years in the U.S. Senate, a necessary quality to break the gridlock in Washington that stymies progress and frustrates voters of all stripes.
After that, not a single mention of Trump.
State Rep. Ron Stephens, R-Savannah, was one of the victims of looting from the chaos of Hurricane Matthew. Two of his Savannah-area pharmacies were robbed after the evacuation — and he had a message on Facebook for the thieves.
“We had massive looting in Garden City. Police can’t protect you at this point. Several stores have been broken into,” the Republican says in the video. “If you give me a call, I’ll tell you which one of those drugs that you took out of my pharmacy to take. I won’t be leaving again. Myself an my Colt .45 will be there to greet you when the police can’t protect.”
He added in a text: “After all that, we should get on our knees and give thanks for our lives.”
Democratic Senate candidate Jim Barksdale unveiled a new feature on his campaign website over the weekend that we’re sure Johnny Isakson won’t like so much: Not a countdown clock, but a count-up clock, noting the days that Trump has retained Isakson’s endorsement after that Trump video was made public.
Read the backstory here: Georgia Republican leaders slam, but stand by Trump
Former Libertarian Senate candidate Amanda Swafford is skeptical of Democrat Jim Barksdale’s claim this weekend that he’s the first U.S. Senate candidate in Georgia ever to march in a gay pride parade.