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Presidential Horse Race 2016: Why Ivanka Trump may hold the key to this year’s election

While the news media continues to debate the extent to which Hillary Clinton is really sick – and also how much she and her Democrat cronies have lied about her health -- Donald Trump announced yet another major policy initiative on Tuesday night in Philadelphia. Whereas the Republican nominee had previously weighed-in with detail-laden speeches on subjects such as foreign policy and trade, this time he talked about measures to help families with childcare expenses and maternity leave through tax incentives and reforming the federal-state unemployment insurance program.

Ivanka TrumpAs would be expected, the ultra-liberal Democrats panned the plan.
T. Becket Adams of the Washington Examiner reports on a Clinton campaign statement that was released before Trump and daughter Ivanka even announced the plan later on in the day.

“Clinton policy aide Maya Harris said, ‘After spending his entire career — and this entire campaign — demeaning women and dismissing the need to support working families, Donald Trump released a regressive and insufficient 'maternity leave' policy that is out-of-touch, half-baked and ignores the way Americans live and work today’…

“’The lack of seriousness of this proposal is no surprise given his history of disrespecting women in the workplace and the fact there's no evidence he ever provided paid family leave or childcare to his own employees,’ the statement said.”

Harris’s statement also included bashing the maternity leave portion of Trump’s plan for leaving out fathers, specifically considering in doing so it would exclude “gay couples.”

What? Maternity leave for gay couples? Wow, how far we’ve gone as a society. I didn’t know same-sex pairings could have children (before the lefties bash me, I know there is such a thing as adoption and surrogacy, no matter how immoral it might be).

Without getting into the weeds on the concept of maternity leave, it was originally intended as a benefit businesses extended to mothers so they could recover from the physical strain of pregnancy and childbirth and also to help care for the needs of the newborn, which as everyone who’s been through it knows, can be a strain in the first few weeks.

Fathers traditionally don’t need as much “recovery” from the ordeal because, as my wife pointed out to me, she did all the work. My employer at the time my oldest daughter was born expected me back on the job the next day after her birth.

Whether that’s insensitive or not is a discussion for another time.

For what it’s worth, the Clinton welfare-for-all plan proposes to give 12 weeks paid maternity leave to mothers AND fathers. Republicans always lose when it comes down to whom can write the biggest assistance check, so they shouldn’t even try to compete with the Democrats on that one.

At the same time, it’s only natural that the Clinton campaign would trash Trump’s childcare proposals. For one, Democrats instinctively believe that any plan that doesn’t put some government bureaucrat in control of large swaths of the public is a bad one, and two, Trump’s moderate childcare provisions threaten to take away part of their power base.

Ah yes, this is where good old fashioned politics enters the picture.

Having daughter Ivanka Trump (who appeared on stage with the nominee) take the lead on this issue is sheer brilliance on behalf of the Trump brain trust. She’s widely liked by the public (with a 49-30 favorable/unfavorable rating according to Gallup, including 8 percent who’ve never heard of her and 13 percent with no opinion) and could be said to particularly appeal to the Republican constituency where her father is weakest: suburban, college educated white voters…and women.

These are the voters in big city suburbs of Philadelphia or the Virginia side of Washington DC, upper middle class regions where Trump’s past rhetoric has got him in trouble – with women especially.

Trump will need to improve his image to do better with these Republican-leaning voters and Ivanka will help him do it. As with other important voting blocs, Trump need only increase his support by a few percentage points and he’s improved his standing considerably in the overall election.

It just goes to show that whoever is steering the Trump campaign ship at this point is doing a superior job of not only keeping the candidate on message, they’re also targeting the right groups. Having already secured about 90 percent of the Republican base, Trump can now go after the remaining holdouts.

Crooked Hillary’s lies and corruption have to be helping him in this effort.

And while I’m not a big fan of federally mandating an increase in family leave I realize not all of Trump’s proposals are going to hit home with limited government lovers like myself. But once again, even in evaluating Trump’s versus Clinton’s childcare proposals, there’s no comparison in terms of which one is better overall for the economy and the country.

Still, some conservatives disagree. Radio host Mark Levin specifically mentioned on last night’s program…and criticized us for the pro Trump-policy point-of-view. You don’t have to agree with all of it, Mark, to know Trump’s a better choice than Hillary, as you pointed out yourself last week. And besides, we have to win the election before we get down into the nitty-gritty of policy anyway.

We all know Clinton wants to give away the kitchen sink to all of her pet constituencies; Trump appears to be trying to settle on some sort of compromise that won’t bankrupt the country but will also help people where they need it most. And again, for those with big childcare expenses (I’ve been there myself), tax relief is a big deal.

Score yet another point for Trump.

Crooked Hillary may have gotten Republicans to name who is “deplorable,” but her credibility is nil

Ever since Hillary Clinton uttered the line last Friday night that half of Donald Trump’s supporters are from her “basket of deplorables,” meaning they’re “racist, sexist, homophobic, xenophobic, Islamaphobic, you name it,” there’s been considerable debate concerning what might have motivated her to say such a potentially damaging thing.

Most people, including myself, have concluded Clinton’s gaffe was a huge, election-changing mistake on her part.

Not so, writes Byron York of the Washington Examiner. York speculates Clinton used the term intentionally to get the media focusing back on the Republican ticket and whether they’d renounce the most “deplorable” among Trump’s supporters.

In other words, get the media putting Republicans on the defensive as to whether they’re racists, homophobes, xenophobes…etc… again, just like they were a month ago when times were good for the Democrats and Hillary led in the polls by seven points or more.

York writes, “[N]ow, a few days later, the brilliance of Clinton's remark is becoming clearer. Yes, she got a few liberal commentators to take her side and defend the substance of it. But the far bigger benefit is that in the wake of her comment, some media figures decided to devise a ‘deplorables’ quiz for Trump supporters. Is Person X deplorable? How about Person Y? The effect was to pressure Trump supporters not only to agree with Clinton's larger point but with her precise terminology…

“Could Clinton have hoped for any better response? Donald Trump and his supporters could protest all they want. Mike Pence could make what in any other context would be accepted as a definitive statement — ‘We don't want [Duke's] support, and we don't want the support of people who think like him.’ It still didn't matter. Unless Pence adopted Clinton's exact word — and Clinton chose one that sticks in the brain and invites the question — Pence risked being aligned with Duke and others of his ilk.”

York gives examples of how VP candidate Mike Pence was covered in the press following his refusal to label David Duke as “deplorable” at the goading of CNN’s Wolf Blitzer on Monday. In the interview, Pence renounced Duke’s support for probably the hundredth time between Trump and himself, but still the media wants to talk about the obscure former KKK leader.

They don’t call CNN the “Clinton News Network” for nothing.

While I agree with York’s premise that there could be a positive potential outcome in Hillary’s “deplorables” remark, I would say the damage she’s done to her claim that she will “unite” Americans is much greater than any possible benefit derived. After all, isn’t her campaign slogan “Stronger Together”?

Maybe Blitzer should ask Hillary or Democrat VP candidate Tim Kaine if the “Together” part includes the people in the “basket of deplorables”?

The “deplorables” statement, when combined with Crooked Hillary’s other trustworthiness issues that have arisen just this week, make her look like one damaged, truth-stretching piece of goods.

Princeton conservative Professor Robert P. George said the video of Hillary’s stumble into her getaway van on Sunday (and the campaign’s subsequent attempts to divert attention from it) reminded him of another notorious Clinton cover-up that was initially denied but ultimately ended up destroying the family’s credibility.

George writes in National Review, “Now, of course, Americans are wondering whether even this story (about her having pneumonia) is something other, or less, than the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth. Pneumonia is a serious affliction, but might she be suffering from something even worse? Perhaps not. But Mrs. Clinton’s word, and the word of her campaign spokesmen, is not good enough. Just as Bill Clinton’s credibility was destroyed by the production of the stained blue dress, Hillary Clinton’s credibility — which, according to public-opinion polling, was never anything to write home about — was devastated by her physical collapse on Sunday.”

America – or at least some elements of it – moved on from Monica Lewinsky’s stained blue dress, largely due to Bill Clinton’s singularly unique ability to make it look like his evil deeds were really the fault of Republicans.

His wife doesn’t have nearly the talent for doing the same. People liked Bill even if they knew he was a philandering liar. They don’t cut Hillary the same slack.

I see nothing but continuing trouble for her unless the public focus gets back to Trump, right where the Democrats want it to be.

As Hillary stumbles, swing state polls appear to be moving in Trump’s favor

With much of the public’s focus on the presidential race directed at Crooked Hillary and her foibles over the past several days, it’s no surprise that new polls in crucial swing states are moving in Donald Trump’s favor.

The Trump campaign got some very good news on Wednesday.

Steven Shepard of Politico reports, “A new poll shows Donald Trump leading Hillary Clinton in Ohio by 5 points — a result that diverges from other public polling but could also indicate that recent controversies have taken a toll on Clinton’s campaign.

“The Bloomberg Politics poll, conducted by Iowa-based Selzer & Co., shows Trump leading Clinton among likely voters in Ohio, 48 percent to 43 percent. Six percent of likely voters said they would support another candidate, and 3 percent are undecided.”

Notably, the Bloomberg poll also shows Trump with a five point advantage in a four-way race, meaning there isn’t any great groundswell of #NeverTrump fever in the Buckeye State despite the presence of wishy-washy governor John Kasich and his refusal to endorse or help Trump.

In his article, Shepard also goes over some of the other polling data that contradicts the Bloomberg survey, including one that had Clinton with a seven point lead in the state. The Real Clear Politics average in Ohio shows Crooked Hillary with a microscopic 0.3 percent advantage, though it contains one survey that’s almost three weeks old now. That’s ancient history in this year’s race.

There was other good polling news for Trump on Wednesday as a Monmouth survey showed him taking a clear lead in Nevada as well.

Jonathan Easley of The Hill reports, “A Monmouth University survey released Wednesday finds Trump with 44 percent support to Clinton’s 42 percent in the state. Libertarian Gary Johnson had eight percent, and three percent chose ‘none of these candidates.’

“A July version of the same poll showed Clinton leading Trump by four points, 45 to 41 percent, with Johnson at five percent. Green Party nominee Jill Stein will not be on the ballot in Nevada.”

Trump leads by fourteen percent with Nevada independents, which accounts for a big part of his uptick in the Silver State.

Nevada is particularly interesting because of its large Hispanic population. If history is a guide, the Nevada Democrat party will be pulling out all the stops to make sure casino workers get to the polls. In past elections the party even chartered buses to get them there.

Lastly on polling, the USC/LA Times daily tracking poll showed Trump with a five point lead nationally on Wednesday. As Trump would say, that’s “Yyyyyuuuugggeeee.”

Of course polls taken two months from the election only offer so much predictive value, but they do measure trends in voter attitudes. It seems that Trump’s noticeable shift in strategy a month ago is starting to pay off in terms of more people seeing him as “presidential”. Equally important, it also appears as though Crooked Hillary’s lies might finally be catching up with her in the minds of the electorate.

If Trump can stay on message in the coming weeks, I see no reason why the trend would reverse. Hillary’s health as a campaign issue isn’t going to subside even if she is able to beat her pneumonia – if that’s truly what is ailing her. And then there’s her “basket of deplorables” remark that Trump would be smart to keep fresh in peoples’ minds.

It’s getting interesting, folks.

Trump visits Oz with results of health exam; will they put him over the rainbow?

Finally today, with so much make-believe talk of candidates’ health lately, it’s perhaps only fitting that Donald Trump chose to divulge his medical grades while talking to a TV physician named Oz.

Mark Hensch of The Hill reports, “Donald Trump revealed the results of his recent medical exam during a Wednesday taping of ‘The Dr. Oz Show,’ hours after his campaign said not to expect the results to be shown on TV.

“Trump, the Republican presidential nominee, handed TV personality Mehmet Oz a one-page summary of his physical that was conducted last week, according to CNN, as he discussed his health with Oz.

“The interview will air Thursday. A summary of the results was not released, and media members were not allowed into the taping.”

Trump’s campaign originally said the nominee would not be sharing the actual results with Oz, but would only talk about the healthy and positive lifestyle he leads. If the news reports are to be believed, it looks like Trump’s changed his mind. That strongly implies that the results are good.

Even with Trump talking about this intensely private matter on TV there will still be a lot of speculation about where the truth actually lies. Ronald Reagan endured much criticism that he was too old to be president at 69 years of age in 1980. Trump seems every bit as vigorous as Reagan in comparison – and he’s getting the same attitude from the press.

Hillary doesn’t match up with either of them regardless of her bout with pneumonia.

This health issue isn’t over and Trump would be smart to keep it in the news as much as possible. He appears to be in good health and by discussing his physical results in front of the whole country, he must be confident in his condition.

One way or another, we’ll find out today.

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Relevant Clinton Phobias

When the focus of the campaign goes to crooked Clinton’s list of niggling phobias that she finds deplorable in a large number of voters, it presents an opportunity to unveil crooked Clinton’s more relevant phobias: her fear of liberty for the people, and her fear of limited government for America. These are phobias that are truly deplorable and disqualifying for anyone seeking the Office of President of the United States.

Furthermore, her intentional dereliction of duty regarding state secrets, and her brazen flouting of the reasonable restraints placed on her to avoid conflicts of interest and corruption, while Secretary of State; that is deplorable, corrupt, criminal behavior by Hillary Clinton, which is more pertinent to the election than the foibles of some voters.