US Opinion and Commentary

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Clinton: Trump Foreign Policy Ideas “Dangerously Incoherent”

Posted June 3rd, 2016 at 4:58 pm (UTC-5)
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Hillary Clinton’s foreign policy speech was more of an evisceration of Donald Trump, using the presumptive Republican presidential nominee’s own words to make the case that he is “temperamentally unfit” to be president.
Trump countered Thursday evening, telling an audience “My temperament is so much tougher, so much better than hers.”
Standing in front of 15 American flags, Clinton used her 35-minute speech to tout her experience and successes as Secretary of State while reminding the audience of Trump opinions and statements. She made a point of saying “America is an exceptional country” while criticizing Trump for his “Make America Great Again” since, in her words, “America is great, just like we’ve always been.”
Clinton still has unfinished business in her quest for the Democratic nomination. She and Bernie Sanders will face off in six primaries next Tuesday that should deliver the requisite number of delegates for Clinton, barring overwhelming victories for Sanders.
If Thursday’s speech is any indication, a Clinton-Trump presidential match-up will be no holds barred.

Can Americans Unite Without Tragedy?

Posted May 31st, 2016 at 10:19 am (UTC-5)
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by Barbara Slavin At a dinner this Memorial Day weekend, guests reflected on the moments when Americans had been most united. For the older folks, the 1963 assassination of President John F. Kennedy was the unifying trauma. Everyone remembered where he or she was when Kennedy was shot as he rode in an open convertible […]

A Third Choice?

Posted May 24th, 2016 at 6:05 pm (UTC-5)
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In a presidential race where the likely nominees of both major political parties have major disapproval ratings, is there room for a third choice?
New polling says maybe.
An NBC-Wall Street Journal survey this week shows 47 percent of registered voters would consider a third party candidate if the Republican and Democratic choices were Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton.
This weekend, the Libertarian Party will hold its convention to nominate a candidate. Front-runner Gary Johnson, the former governor of New Mexico, is polling at 10 percent in some recent surveys that include his name with Trump and Clinton.
While Americans have not elected a third party president, there have been some strong attempts: George Wallace won almost 14 percent in 1968. Ross Perot got 19 percent in 1992 and eight percent in 1996. Ralph Nader in 2000 got more than two percent of the vote, but that was enough to keep Al Gore from winning Florida, giving George W. Bush the presidency.
With the election still about six months away, talk of a viable third party candidate is still remarkably strong. But is there action behind the talk?

Hillary Clinton: Eyeing Trump While Sanders Tries to Close

Posted May 16th, 2016 at 4:23 pm (UTC-5)
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Voters in Kentucky and Oregon get their chance Tuesday to choose a candidate to run for president of the United States. Donald Trump is the last Republican standing in what once was a 17-candidate field. And the Democrats still have Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders going at one another.
The delegate math is tilted heavily against Sanders. Democrats allocate pledged delegates proportionally to the popular primary vote. That means Sanders has to overwhelmingly win most, if not all the remaining 11 contests to overcome Clinton’s current 283 pledged delegate lead.
Then, there are the “superdelegates” — 712 elected officials and Democratic party leaders who are not bound to any candidate. Right now, Clinton has support from an overwhelming number of those superdelegates.
The Clinton conundrum: positioning herself to take on Trump without burning bridges to Sanders supporters.

Trump’s “Madman” Foreign Policy Strategy

Posted May 10th, 2016 at 11:39 am (UTC-5)
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by James Kirchick Perhaps the secret to Donald Trump’s presidential campaign is that he actually wants the world to believe he’s crazy. The presumptive Republican nominee’s promise of a return to an “America First” foreign policy isn’t the only aspect of his worldview hearkening back to the past. He also appears to be mimicking the […]

Trump and the Republicans

Posted May 9th, 2016 at 4:02 pm (UTC-5)
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Mainstream Republicans have had 11 months to defeat Donald Trump. 16 candidates, 12 debates and 47 primaries or caucuses later, Trump is on the precipice of winning the party’s nomination. And the Republican Party is facing an identity crisis.
Jeb Bush and Lindsey Graham are among Trump’s former presidential rivals who say they will not vote for him. Marco Rubio, Rand Paul and Bobby Jindal are among the former candidates who are backing Trump because they say the option of voting for Hillary Clinton is worse. We have yet to hear directly from the last of the vanquished, John Kasich and Ted Cruz.
Both living Republican former presidents of the United States, George H.W. Bush and his son, George W. Bush, reportedly will not endorse Trump. Nor will the most recent Republican presidential nominee, Mitt Romney.
The top elected Republican, House Speaker Paul Ryan says he could not support Trump…yet. The two will meet this Thursday, and the outcome may determine whether the ideological fault line that is Donald Trump will continue to split the Republican party. Or, can enough common ground be found to bring together the leaders of the Grand Old Party and the man who would be its new standard bearer?

Sadiq Khan vs. Donald Trump

Posted May 9th, 2016 at 8:28 am (UTC-5)
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In his victory, a triumph over the slurs that tried to tie him to Islamist extremism, Khan stood up for openness against isolationism, integration against confrontation, opportunity for all against racism and misogyny. He was the anti-Trump.

Indiana Drops the Starting Flag on the Trump v. Clinton Race

Posted May 4th, 2016 at 4:36 pm (UTC-5)
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Rarely have so many eyes been on Indiana this early in May. But the results from Tuesday’s presidential primary race will have far more impact than whoever wins the Indianapolis 500 later this month. Donald Trump lapped his closest rival, Ted Cruz, who emptied his tank in an effort to win in Indiana. The other Republican in the race, John Kasich, has now joined Cruz in idling their campaigns. With a win in Indiana, Bernie Sanders continues to try to push past Hillary Clinton for the Democratic presidential nomination. But short of a total Clinton collapse, Sanders will remain in her rear view mirror. Polling shows both Trump and Clinton would be the most unpopular presidential candidates in recent history. With so many feeling so negative about both candidates, are voters rooting for a clean race or one full or crashes?

Trump’s Foreign View

Posted April 28th, 2016 at 5:03 pm (UTC-5)
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Foreign policy is one of few places where a U.S. president has wide latitude to make a strong imprint. It is the responsibility of the president to develop, and with the help of the secretary of state, execute the strategies to project and safeguard national interests. Hillary Clinton’s ideas and perspectives have been on display during the four years she served as Barack Obama’s Secretary of State. Wednesday we got our first glimpse of how Donald Trump would shape foreign policy if elected president. He’s dropped clues throughout the campaign, such as being tougher China regarding trade, making Mexico pay for a border wall, calling NATO “obsolete” and “bomb the (expletive)” out of Islamic State. His speech to the Center for the National Interest knitted many of these themes together into a more cohesive form. Supporters say Trump has changed his tone, laying out a vision for America that challenges the status quo. Critics say he’s re-packaged his ideas and question where he’s getting his foreign policy advice.

Campaign ‘Cuisine’ Isn’t Always Presidential

Posted April 26th, 2016 at 2:31 pm (UTC-5)
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Political pundits have already decided the outcome of today’s five-state presidential primary contests. It goes something like this: Republican Donald Trump and Democrat Hillary Clinton will widen their leads, leaving their competitors (Bernie Sanders, John Kasich and Ted Cruz) that much further from securing their party’s nomination. Election season in America is a taxing months-long, 24/7 exercise, requiring a lot of stamina, and fuel to keep on keeping on. Sampling corn dogs, milkshakes, burgers, five-alarm chili and apple pie in state after state is a campaign must for every candidate. Why? Because breaking bread with the locals, whether in a small Idaho town or the big city of New York, is a sure way to connect with the voters. Today, we offer you a glimpse of American campaign “cuisine.” We check in on the latest thinking about the candidates, and Trump’s alleged pivot away from his raw and rowdy campaign style.

Mideast Peace Takes a Back Seat in Race to White House

Posted April 20th, 2016 at 2:26 pm (UTC-5)
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By Barbara Slavin With the results of the New York primary in, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton once again seems to be the inevitable Democratic nominee, and Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders is back to being a longshot. Before he fades into campaign history, however, Sanders deserves credit for pushing uncomfortable truths about the American […]

Trump & Hillary Solidify Frontrunner Status

Posted April 19th, 2016 at 12:30 pm (UTC-5)
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As predicted, New York voters granted Trump, its “native son,” and Hillary, the state’s adoptee, electoral victories by wide margin. The takeaway? Trump confirmed that he is indeed a “winner.” And Hillary, who has the loyalty of New York Democrats, sent a strong message to her iconoclastic contender, Senator Bernie Sanders. The presidential ticket seems set for both parties, even if Trump is likely to arrive at the GOP convention without the necessary majority of delegates. The #StopTrump movement isn’t going away, but “The Donald’s” renewed momentum may mean establishment Republicans will not be able to #StopTrump no matter what.

Many Democrats Want to Face Trump in November. They’re Wrong.

Posted April 17th, 2016 at 5:06 pm (UTC-5)
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Cruz is often dishonest, and he takes extreme and sometimes appalling positions. But he has shown an inclination to play by the rules — and that’s a safeguard Trump doesn’t offer.

In the Republican Primary: Donald Trump for President

Posted April 17th, 2016 at 4:51 pm (UTC-5)
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What every pundit’s platitudes missed was simple: they failed to recognize that Mr. Trump’s success is the result of one thing—optimism. Mr. Trump was tapping into the pent-up desire of millions of voters to make America great again.

The GOP Must Stop Trump

Posted April 11th, 2016 at 8:51 am (UTC-5)
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The Republican Party’s standard deserves to be hoisted by an honorable and decent man, like Romney or Ryan, elected on the convention floor. It is better to lose with principle than to accept a dangerous deal from a demagogue