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Teflon Donald Trump vs Calcified Hillary Clinton in final hours of campaigning

WASHINGTON: Nothing sticks to him — not his own admission of groping women, not videos of him mocking the disabled, not demonizing immigrants and minorities, not boasts of avoiding taxes, and not his consistently falsifying facts.

Everything sticks to her: charges of endangering national security, allegations of corruption, rumors of marital compromises, with little regard for her well-chronicled record of public service.

Teflon Trump v Calcified Clinton battle for the White House has entered its final week of exertions after nearly a year of campaigning, with the two candidates separated by the narrowest of margins+ in numerous polls. The big question some 48 hours before Election Day Tuesday is whether Hillary Clinton has managed to stall Donald Trump’s momentum that wiped out an 8-10 point lead – and reduced it to just a point or two — in just two weeks after the law enforcement insiders muddied the political waters with damaging leaks.

There is no precedent in modern US electoral history for such a meltdown in so short a time; Michael Dukakis blew an 18-point lead of over George Bush sr in 1988, it was early in the campaign and over a longer period of time.

Much of it is because Clinton has been portrayed as an establishment candidate who will not bring anything new or fresh to the table in an America where disenchantment reigns.

Broadly, everything that Trump says+ is presented as being refreshing and different — including idiotic statements+ such as Hillary Clinton will bring in 650million immigrants into the United States in just one week if she is elected.

The Republican candidate has set the bar so low that the most daft claims are greeted with joyous roars in crowds in Middle America that clearly bigger than what Hillary Clinton is able to attract.

Clinton, on the other hand, sounds utterly rehearsed and practiced, as she indeed is by her own admission.

Because her experience in public life, political corridors, and executive decision making is so long, she come across as a calcified fossil of the old establishment, incapable of new thinking or fresh ideas — not that Trump has presented anything profound or insightful or brilliant.

Topping the handicap of being seen as a continuation of an incumbent administration, Hillary Clinton has had to face residual sexism and misogyny+(particularly from conservative white males) in a country that is yet to elect a female to the White House, notwithstanding the claims going back to the 1960s (from Virginia Slims, a cigarette manufacturer which cheered women smoking) that ”You’ve come a long way, baby!”

Indeed, American women have come a long way, but right-wing, ultra-conservative, evangelist American males haven’t: Some of them have threatened violence and physical harm if Clinton is elected, including a Republican lawmaker who said she should face a firing squad for treason.

 

Although the pro-Republican media recanted stories it aired that the FBI was going to indict Clinton, the damage was done – something Trump aides gleefully celebrated on Friday. Some polls showed Pennsylvania, Michigan, and Colorado, states that were leaning Democrat, now tied, giving Trump a realistic chance of getting to the 270 electoral votes needed to win.

 

Aware that she has not been able to generate the kind of enthusiasm among millennials and black voters that Barack Obama did, the Clinton campaign on Friday drafted singer-entertainers Jay-Z and Beyonce for a massive concert in Cleveland, Ohio, a battleground state that has historically been a bellwether for the final result (who wins Ohio wins White House most times). The concert venue was located conveniently near polling stations allowing early voting.

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