This Summer In Politics

The summer was full of controversy for both presidential candidates promising an interesting election season. After the conventions, Trump and Clinton had a bump in the polls but each had plenty of issues and scandals both prior to the conventions and after.

hillary and donald

Clinton’s Troubles

On July 5, FBI Director Jim Comey gave a speech where he recommended that there be no indictment of Hillary Clinton over the use of a personal email system. Although he recommended there be no indictment, Comey did say that,

“although we did not find clear evidence that Secretary Clinton or her colleagues intended to violate laws governing the handling of classified information, there is evidence that they were extremely careless in their handling of very sensitive, highly classified information.”

Director Comey also said, “we assess that it is possible that hostile actors gained access to Secretary Clinton’s personal e-mail account.” During Director Comey’s speech it was also proven that Clinton lied to the American people several times regarding her emails. National Review, a conservative lining magazine, lists some of these lies. This helped Donald Trump move steadily up the polls. At one point, right before the Republican National Convention, Trump was nearly tied with Clinton.

The final week of July was the start of the Democratic National Convention, which began with many of the DNC’s emails being leaked. The chairwoman of the DNC, Debbie Wasserman Schultz, was forced to resign after the emails showed politicians conspiring against the campaign of Bernie Sanders. This goes to show that there is much evidence that the nomination was rigged against Sanders. Hillary Clinton did not help the situation by immediately hiring Schultz to work for her campaign  after Schultz’s resignation.

Trump’s controversies

Trump had far from a great summer . His problems truly began with the Republican National Convention in Cleveland.  It started with Melania Trump plagiarizing two lines from Michelle Obama’s speech at the Democratic National Convention in 2008.

The second problem occurred when former 2016 Republican presidential candidate Ted Cruz spoke but never endorsed Donald Trump, although he did say “to those listening, please, don’t stay home in November. Stand, and speak, and vote your conscience, vote for candidates up and down the ticket who you trust to defend our freedom and to be faithful to the Constitution”.

Trump’s problems did not end with the convention. Most of them were self-inflicted. The day after the Republican National Convention, Trump said that he would probably create a Super PAC   in order to hurt the future political careers of Ted Cruz, John Kasich and an unnamed third person. This gave more fuel to the fire for people to speculate on how Trump could possibly not have the temperament to be president.

Then there was the speech of Khizr Khan at the Democratic National Convention. Khan’s son, Humayan Khan was a United States Army Captain who gave his life for his country when he was killed by a suicide bomb in 2004 in Iraq.  Khan said that if Trump had been president his son would not have been allowed into the country. He then took out a pocket sized constitution from his suit and said,

Mr. Trump, have you even read the United States Constitution? I will gladly lend you mine.”

This became the biggest news story for over a week after the convention when Trump commented on Khan’s wife Ghazala who was on the stage with her husband but did not speak. Trump said in an interview with ABC News reporter George Stephanopoulos,

“If you look at his wife, she was standing there and had nothing to say. Maybe she wasn’t allowed to have anything to say. You tell me.”

This became a huge uproar overnight. Many saw Trump’s comments disrespectful to two gold star parents who had lost their hero son in battle and Trump showed no compassion whatsoever. Trump’s comments were seen as out of bounds. In fact, Ghazala Khan even said that she was too emotional to speak while she was on stage. The Khan comments have hurt Donald Trump more than any of his controversial comments. 7 out of 10 voters believe the comments were out of bounds.

If you look at his poll numbers right after the DNC and then look at his numbers after the Khan family comments, the change in his poll numbers is staggering. An August 1 poll showed Trump losing by 9 points to Clinton when only a week earlier they were nearly tied. An August 3 poll by Fox News shows Trump losing by ten points to Clinton. There was even a poll that showed Trump losing to Clinton by fifteen points nationally.

Trump’s comments on Paul Ryan’s reelection did not help him out either. When Trump was asked whether he would support Ryan he said, “I am not quite there yet”. Obviously mocking Ryan’s comments he made several months ago when asked the same question. It was looking as if the Republican Party was starting to come together and unite around Trump, but with his latest comments things are starting to go backwards again.

Where We Currently Stand

It seems as though Donald Trump was able to stop the bleeding, or at least slow it a little when giving his speech on foreign policy in Wisconsin, where he discussed his plan to battle terrorism in more detail than he ever has before. An August 18 poll by Pew Research shows Clinton’s lead has been dropped to four points and a Rasmussen poll shows that her lead has been cut to just two.

With all this being said, there is still plenty of time for things to change. Another Clinton controversy could easily send Trump back up the polls. Nothing is yet set in stone. We will just have to wait and see what these next couple of months bring us.