Posts Tagged ‘Michelle Obama’

Being a White House kid comes with pluses and minuses

Saturday, February 11th, 2017

If it’s tough being a kid, try being a “first kid” — the child of an American president.
Just ask President Bill Clinton‘s daughter, Chelsea. Or President George W. Bush‘s twins, Jenna and Barbara. And now, President Donald Trump‘s youngest child, Barron, is finding out.
Ten-year-old Barron was the target of a poorly received joke tweeted by a “Saturday Night Live” writer on Jan. 20 as the new first family reveled in Inauguration Day events. Separately in Chicago, comedian Shannon Noll played the title character in “Barron Trump: Up Past Bedtime,” which had a recent run at a theater in Hyde Park.
Both instances have revived age-old questions about the sometimes less-than-kid-glove treatment of presidential kids.
“I think the children are off-limits,” said Lisa Caputo, who was White House press secretary when “Saturday Night Live” made fun of then-13-year-old Chelsea Clinton. “They didn’t run for public office, they don’t hold an official role.”
“SNL” cast member Mike Meyers sent the Clintons a letter of apology after the incident.
The teenage Chelsea Clinton also was mocked by talk radio host Rush Limbaugh, who called her a dog.
Katie Rich, the “SNL” writer who tweeted about Barron, was suspended indefinitely. After deleting the tweet and deactivating her Twitter account, she reactivated the account, saying she wanted to “sincerely apologize” for the “insensitive” tweet and that she deeply regretted her actions.
“It was inexcusable & I’m so sorry,” Rich said. Fellow comedians have risen to her defense, but Noll told the Chicago Reader that she has been the subject of a social media backlash, including death threats, as well as homophobic, transphobic, anti-Semitic and racist comments directed at her. The theater also has been harassed.
All presidents and first ladies seek a life outside the spotlight for minor children who live in the 132-room mansion, except when they themselves put their kids

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Promises, pomp and protests as Donald Trump sworn in

Friday, January 20th, 2017

Pledging to empower America’s “forgotten men and women,” Donald Trump was sworn in as the 45th president of the United States Friday, taking command of a deeply divided nation and ushering in an unpredictable era in Washington. His victory gives Republicans control of the White House for the first time in eight years.
Looking out over the crowd sprawled across the National Mall, Trump painted a bleak picture of the nation he now leads, lamenting “American carnage,” shuttered factories and depleted U.S. leadership. President Barack Obama, the man he replaced, sat behind him stoically.
Trump’s address lasted just 16 minutes. While his inauguration did draw crowds to the nation’s capital, the numbers appeared smaller than for past celebrations.
Demonstrations unfolded at various security checkpoints near the Capitol as police helped ticket-holders get through. After the swearing-in, more protesters registered their rage in the streets of Washington. Police in riot gear deployed pepper spray and made numerous arrests after protesters smashed the windows of downtown businesses, denouncing capitalism and Trump.
The new president’s first words as commander in chief were an unapologetic reprisal of the economic populism and nationalism that fueled his improbable campaign. He vowed to stir “new national pride,” bring jobs back to the United States, and “eradicate completely” Islamic terrorism.
“From this day forward, a new vision will govern our land. From this day forward, it’s going to be only, ‘America First,’” Trump said.
His address lasted just 16 minutes. While Trump’s inauguration did draw crowds to the nation’s capital, the numbers appeared smaller than for past celebrations.
In a remarkable scene, Trump ripped into Washington’s longtime leaders as he stood among them at the U.S. Capitol. For too long, he said, “a small group in our nation’s capital has reaped the rewards of government while the people have borne the cost.”
For Republicans eager to

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Christian Ulvert: A presidency remembered for tearing down walls of injustice

Friday, January 20th, 2017

As I traveled back from Thailand to the United States earlier this month, I watched “Southside With You” and was once again in awe on the deep-rooted bond between our now former President, Barack Obama and first lady, Michelle Obama. The movie also depicts the devoted love President Obama has for his community and his sense of urgency to move strategically on solving problems.
The movie was as a reminder of why so many of us feel a deep connection to this president. I never worked on his campaigns, but was moved to volunteer often. Every one has a personal story on how President Obama has marked their life in a positive way. In Miami-Dade, you hear stories of families reunited with their Cuban relatives, residents who have insurance because of the Affordable Care Act, Dreamers who feel their government is on their side and couples like Carlos and I who were able to marry because this President believed in us.
You see, this President looked to his heart every day to find ways to make this country better and stronger. President Obama governed with a bold agenda that was guided by his belief that government should tear down the injustices in our country that held back so many from achieving their full potential.
In many ways, my ability to live by our nation’s credo, “in the pursuit of happiness,” was fully realized when President Obama declared that marriage equality was going to be his fight and one that he was not going to back down from, regardless of who stood in his way. I am able to live a life full of love, joy and complete happiness because our government didn’t stop me from marrying the person I love.
Like so many, I have watched the final days of President Obama’s presidency with

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@POTUS gets a fresh start with Donald Trump inauguration

Thursday, January 19th, 2017

Much has been said about the peaceful transition of power, but what about the peaceful transition of the presidential Twitter account?
Don’t worry, there’s a plan for that.
The POLITICO Morning Tech email reported this morning that a plan is in place to transition all of President Barack Obama’s tweets from the @POTUS account to @POTUS 44, an “archived Obama-era version of the account. The account will retain all of the current followers, while also attaching those same followers to the account that gets handed over to President-elect Donald Trump.
“That is, if you follow the presidential account now you’ll eventually, automagically, end up following both @POTUS44 and @POTUS,” reported POLITICO Morning Tech.
The White House issued a memo in October, outlining how it would transition the president’s social media presence. According to the memo, @POTUS will be made available to Trump and maintain its more than 11 million followers, “but start with no tweets on timeline.” The White House said the social media accounts of @WhiteHouse, @FLOTUS, @PressSec and @VP.
On Instagram and Facebook, the memo explained, the incoming White House gains access to the “White House username, URL, and retain the followers, but will start with no content on the timeline.”
“An archive of White House content that was posted to the Obama White House Instagram and Facebook will continue to be accessible to the public at Instagram.com/ObamaWhiteHouse and Facebook.com/ObamaWhiteHouse. Facebook accounts for President Obama and the Vice President and the Instagram accounts belonging to the First Lady and Vice President will be moved to new “44” usernames and preserved by NARA,” according to the report.
“We’ll follow a similar approach with other official accounts on platforms including Medium, Tumblr, and YouTube. These presences will be made available to the 45th White House, including the “White House” username, /WhiteHouse URL, and the followers, but start

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Americans say Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton most admired in 2016

Saturday, December 31st, 2016

President Barack Obama is the man most admired by Americans 2016.
In a new Gallup Poll, 22 percent of respondents mentioned Obama in response to the open-ended question. Coming in second was President-elect Donald Trump at 15 percent. This marks Obama’s ninth consecutive time at the top of the most-admired list, but with a margin of only seven percentage points, it was his narrowest victory yet.
Often, incumbent presidents are ranked highest — in the 70 times Gallup asked the question, the president has won 58 times. Twelve exceptions came mostly when the sitting president was unpopular, such as 2008, when President-elect Obama was named over sitting President George W. Bush. The only other president-elect was Dwight Eisenhower in 1952, later finishing first 12 times, more than any other man in history. Gallup notes that Obama is now second all-time with nine first-place finishes.
Rounding out the year’s top 10 most admired man list: Pope Francis, Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, the Rev. Billy Graham, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, The Dalai Lama, former President Bill Clinton, Bill Gates and Vice President-elect Mike Pence.
Americans also named Hillary Clinton as Most Admired Woman, her 15th consecutive year and 21st time overall. Her first one was in 1993 as the first lady, after which Clinton has topped the list every year but 1995 and 1996 (finishing behind Mother Teresa) and 2001 (Laura Bush). Eleanor Roosevelt holds the second-most No. 1’s among women, with 13.
First lady Michelle Obama finished second this year on the Most Admired Woman list. The remainder of the top 10 includes German Chancellor Angela Merkel, former and current talk-show hosts Oprah Winfrey and Ellen DeGeneres, Queen Elizabeth of England, human rights activist Malala Yousafzai, former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren, and former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin.
The poll — taken since

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Donald Trump says Michelle Obama’s ‘no hope’ comment about the past

Sunday, December 18th, 2016

President-elect Donald Trump said first lady Michelle Obama “must have been talking about the past” when she said there’s no sense of hope after his election.
Trump, speaking Saturday at the final rally of his postelection “thank you” tour, then resisted escalating the spat further, suggesting “she made that statement not meaning it the way it came out.”
But as Trump praised the Obamas for treating him so nicely when he visited the White House shortly after the election, many in the Mobile, Alabama, crowd booed the first family.
Michelle Obama, in an interview with Oprah Winfrey set to air Monday on CBS, said she was now certain that her husband’s victory had inspired people because “now we’re feeling what not having hope feels like.”
“What do you give your kids if you can’t give them hope?” she added.
Trump’s comments about Michelle and President Barack Obama was one of the few conciliatory notes he sounded during a victory tour in which he showed few signs of turning the page from his blustery campaign to focus on uniting a divided nation a month before his inauguration.
At each stop, the Republican gloatingly recapped his election night triumph, reignited some old political feuds while starting some new ones, and did little to quiet the hate-filled chants of “Lock her up!” directed at Democratic rival Hillary Clinton.
At the tour’s finale at the same football stadium in Mobile that hosted the biggest rally of his campaign, Trump saluted his supporters as true “patriots” and made little attempt to reach out to the more than half of the electorate that didn’t vote for him.
“We are really the people who love this country,” said Trump.
He reminisced about his campaign announcement and his ride down Trump Tower’s golden escalator. His disputed a newspaper’s account of the size of the crowd at one

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Ahead for Michelle Obama? Figuring out what comes next

Monday, December 12th, 2016

It’ll be one of the most watched midlife career changes in recent memory. What does Michelle Obama do next?
After eight years as a high-profile advocate against childhood obesity, a sought-after talk show guest, a Democratic power player and a style maven, the first lady will have her pick of options when she leaves the White House next month.

In this photo taken Oct. 18, 2016, President Barack Obama and first lady Michelle Obama waits to greet Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi and his wife Agnese Landini on the North Portico for a State Dinner at the White House in Washington. What does Michelle Obama do next? After eight years as a high-profile advocate against childhood obesity, a sought-after talk show guest, a Democratic power player and a style maven, the first lady will have her pick of options when she leaves the White House next month. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

Just as the first lady’s role is undefined, with each woman molding it to her personality, interests and comfort level, there is no script for what comes after the first lady finishes the job.
The widowed Jacqueline Kennedy remarried and became a New York book editor. Laura Bush continues her advocacy for literacy, women in Afghanistan and preservation issues. Hillary Clinton launched her own political career with her bid for the U.S. Senate, even before her family left the White House.
Here’s a look at what Mrs. Obama is likely to do, or not do, when at 53 years old she becomes a private citizen again on Jan. 20.
LIKELY TO DO:
R & R
President Barack Obama says he’s taking her on a “really nice vacation, because she deserves it. She’s been putting up with me for quite some time.” (Twenty-four years of marriage, to be exact.)
WRITE A MEMOIR

FILE — In this Oct. 27, 2016 file

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Donald Trump takes triumphant tour of Washington, has cordial meeting with Barack Obama

Thursday, November 10th, 2016

President-elect Donald Trump took a triumphant tour of the nation’s capital Thursday, holding a cordial White House meeting with President Barack Obama, sketching out priorities with Republican congressional leaders and taking in the majestic view from where he’ll be sworn into office.
Trump’s meeting with Obama spanned 90 minutes, longer than originally scheduled. Obama said he was “encouraged” by Trump’s willingness to work with his team during the transition of power, and the Republican called the president a “very good man.”
“I very much look forward to dealing with the president in the future, including his counsel,” Trump said from the Oval Office. He’ll begin occupying the office on Jan. 20.
While Trump noted that he and Obama had never met before, their political histories will forever be linked. Trump spent years perpetrating the lie that Obama was born outside the United States. The president campaigned aggressively against Trump during the 2016 campaign, warning that his election would put the republic at risk.
But at least publicly, the two men appeared to put aside their animosity. As the meeting concluded and journalists scrambled out of the Oval Office, Obama smiled at his successor and explained the unfolding scene.
“We now are going to want to do everything we can to help you succeed because if you succeed the country succeeds,” Obama said.
From the White House, Trump headed to Capitol Hill for meetings with House Speaker Paul Ryan of Wisconsin and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky to discuss the GOP legislative agenda. Ryan, who holds the most powerful post in Congress, was a sometime critic of Trump and never campaigned with the nominee.
Emerging from the meetings, Trump sketched out priorities for his presidency.
“We’re going to move very strongly on immigration,” he said. “We will move very strongly on health care. And we’re looking at

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Michelle Obama goes on Tampa hip hop station to make last hour pitch for Hillary Clinton

Tuesday, November 8th, 2016

Michelle Obama went on Tampa hip-hop station 95.7 The Beat Tuesday afternoon, where she encouraged listeners to go to the polls to vote for Hillary Clinton. 
“We need people to be as enthusiastic as they were for Barack in this election, because the stakes are just as high, probably higher because of who her opponent is, and what he stands for, or doesn’t stand for, on so many different levels, and that’s one reason why we’ve been working so hard for Hillary,” the first lady told DJ Anjali “Queen B.”
Michelle Obama’s appearance on 95.7 follows previous appearances in recent weeks on the same program show as both President Obama and Mrs. Clinton, and showed the urgency that the Democrats are putting in getting out the black vote in Florida.  Early voting amongst African-Americans has been lower in the early voting than in 2008 or 2012 in Florida, which shouldn’t be too surprising considering that Obama was on the ticket.
Mrs. Obama went on to boast about her husband’s record, and why Clinton needed to be elected to keep up his work.
“There’s still criminal justice reform,” she said. “We need common sense gun regulation. We need common sense immigration reform. All of that was stuff that couldn’t be done with a congress who had an agenda to obstruct everything that this president was trying to do.”
She went on to talk extensively about the importance of combating climate change in Florida, and how Donald Trump doesn’t believe in it (without mentioning his name).
Mrs. Obama emphasized the personal touch, saying that it wasn’t just because Clinton was the Democratic candidate for president that she’s backing her. No, she said, it’s because she is the right person for the job right now.
“We know her. We know her family. We know her values. We know her work ethic. We know her intellect,” Obama said. “So

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Mitch Perry Report for 11.2.16 – Hillary Clinton returns to the oldie but goodies in Dade City speech

Wednesday, November 2nd, 2016

Remember when Hillary Clinton would invoke Michelle Obama‘s phrase when dealing with Donald Trump that, “When they go low, we go high?”
That was so, oh, I don’t know, October-like.
In Pasco County yesterday, the Democratic presidential nominee spent considerable time tearing apart Trump, invoking his greatest hits of insults as she tries to rally the base in the final week of the campaign.
Clinton dug deep, referring to how The Donald boasted on Howard Stern’s show about how he used to go backstage at beauty pageants to barge in on the women while they were getting dressed.
“He said he did that — he said he did that to ‘inspect’ them. That was his word – and he said, ‘I sort of get away with things like that.’  And sure enough, contestants have come forward to say, ‘Yes, that’s exactly what he did to us.’ Now, as bad as that is, he didn’t just do it at the Miss USA pageant or the Miss Universe pageant. He’s also been accused of doing it at the Miss Teen USA pageant. Contestants say that Donald Trump came in to look at them when they were changing. Some of them were just 15 years old.We cannot hide from this. We’ve got to be willing to face it. This man wants to be president of the United States of America and our First Lady, Michelle Obama, spoke for many of us when she said Donald Trump’s words have shaken her to her core.”
Obviously, talking about policies has never been at the forefront of this campaign, but undoubtedly this will probably be the nature of her rhetoric over the next six days. Not exactly the soaring rhetoric that her team could have intended to be her message in closing out this interminable campaign.
There are reports this morning that Team

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For Hillary Clinton, struggle to change public perception persists

Sunday, October 23rd, 2016

Hillary Clinton bested Donald Trump in three debates. She leads in many preference polls of the most competitive states. Barring a significant shift in the next two weeks, she is in a strong position to become the first woman elected U.S. president.
But Clinton will end the campaign still struggling to change the minds of millions of voters who don’t think well of her, a glaring liability should the Democratic nominee move on to the White House.
While many see her as better prepared to be commander in chief than Trump, she is consistently viewed unfavorably by more than half of the country. Most voters also consider her dishonest.
Clinton’s advisers have spent months trying to erase that perception. They’ve set up small events where she had more intimate conversations with voters. They’ve tested a seemingly endless stream of messages aimed at assuring the public that the former secretary of state was in the race to do more than fulfill her own political ambitions.
As Clinton starts making her closing argument to voters, her team appears to have come to terms that the mission remains unfulfilled.
“Honest and trustworthy has become our most talked about metric because it’s not great,” said Jennifer Palmieri, Clinton’s communications director. “But we’ve never thought it’s the metric people make a decision on.”
If Clinton wins, that theory may be proven true.
Just 36 percent of voters believe Clinton is honest and trustworthy, according to a recent Washington Post/ABC News poll. That’s compared with about 60 percent who believe she has the qualifications and temperament to be commander in chief.
The public’s perception of Clinton has bounced up and down throughout her time in public life. Her favorability rating fell below 50 percent at times during her years as first lady, but rose to its high water mark then and while she was

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For Hillary Clinton, struggle to change public perception persists

Sunday, October 23rd, 2016

Hillary Clinton bested Donald Trump in three debates. She leads in many preference polls of the most competitive states. Barring a significant shift in the next two weeks, she is in a strong position to become the first woman elected U.S. president.
But Clinton will end the campaign still struggling to change the minds of millions of voters who don’t think well of her, a glaring liability should the Democratic nominee move on to the White House.
While many see her as better prepared to be commander in chief than Trump, she is consistently viewed unfavorably by more than half of the country. Most voters also consider her dishonest.
Clinton’s advisers have spent months trying to erase that perception. They’ve set up small events where she had more intimate conversations with voters. They’ve tested a seemingly endless stream of messages aimed at assuring the public that the former secretary of state was in the race to do more than fulfill her own political ambitions.
As Clinton starts making her closing argument to voters, her team appears to have come to terms that the mission remains unfulfilled.
“Honest and trustworthy has become our most talked about metric because it’s not great,” said Jennifer Palmieri, Clinton’s communications director. “But we’ve never thought it’s the metric people make a decision on.”
If Clinton wins, that theory may be proven true.
Just 36 percent of voters believe Clinton is honest and trustworthy, according to a recent Washington Post/ABC News poll. That’s compared with about 60 percent who believe she has the qualifications and temperament to be commander in chief.
The public’s perception of Clinton has bounced up and down throughout her time in public life. Her favorability rating fell below 50 percent at times during her years as first lady, but rose to its high water mark then and while she was

Vote on this story -->>>

For Hillary Clinton, struggle to change public perception persists

Sunday, October 23rd, 2016

Hillary Clinton bested Donald Trump in three debates. She leads in many preference polls of the most competitive states. Barring a significant shift in the next two weeks, she is in a strong position to become the first woman elected U.S. president.
But Clinton will end the campaign still struggling to change the minds of millions of voters who don’t think well of her, a glaring liability should the Democratic nominee move on to the White House.
While many see her as better prepared to be commander in chief than Trump, she is consistently viewed unfavorably by more than half of the country. Most voters also consider her dishonest.
Clinton’s advisers have spent months trying to erase that perception. They’ve set up small events where she had more intimate conversations with voters. They’ve tested a seemingly endless stream of messages aimed at assuring the public that the former secretary of state was in the race to do more than fulfill her own political ambitions.
As Clinton starts making her closing argument to voters, her team appears to have come to terms that the mission remains unfulfilled.
“Honest and trustworthy has become our most talked about metric because it’s not great,” said Jennifer Palmieri, Clinton’s communications director. “But we’ve never thought it’s the metric people make a decision on.”
If Clinton wins, that theory may be proven true.
Just 36 percent of voters believe Clinton is honest and trustworthy, according to a recent Washington Post/ABC News poll. That’s compared with about 60 percent who believe she has the qualifications and temperament to be commander in chief.
The public’s perception of Clinton has bounced up and down throughout her time in public life. Her favorability rating fell below 50 percent at times during her years as first lady, but rose to its high water mark then and while she was

Vote on this story -->>>

For Hillary Clinton, struggle to change public perception persists

Sunday, October 23rd, 2016

Hillary Clinton bested Donald Trump in three debates. She leads in many preference polls of the most competitive states. Barring a significant shift in the next two weeks, she is in a strong position to become the first woman elected U.S. president.
But Clinton will end the campaign still struggling to change the minds of millions of voters who don’t think well of her, a glaring liability should the Democratic nominee move on to the White House.
While many see her as better prepared to be commander in chief than Trump, she is consistently viewed unfavorably by more than half of the country. Most voters also consider her dishonest.
Clinton’s advisers have spent months trying to erase that perception. They’ve set up small events where she had more intimate conversations with voters. They’ve tested a seemingly endless stream of messages aimed at assuring the public that the former secretary of state was in the race to do more than fulfill her own political ambitions.
As Clinton starts making her closing argument to voters, her team appears to have come to terms that the mission remains unfulfilled.
“Honest and trustworthy has become our most talked about metric because it’s not great,” said Jennifer Palmieri, Clinton’s communications director. “But we’ve never thought it’s the metric people make a decision on.”
If Clinton wins, that theory may be proven true.
Just 36 percent of voters believe Clinton is honest and trustworthy, according to a recent Washington Post/ABC News poll. That’s compared with about 60 percent who believe she has the qualifications and temperament to be commander in chief.
The public’s perception of Clinton has bounced up and down throughout her time in public life. Her favorability rating fell below 50 percent at times during her years as first lady, but rose to its high water mark then and while she was

Vote on this story -->>>

For Hillary Clinton, struggle to change public perception persists

Sunday, October 23rd, 2016

Hillary Clinton bested Donald Trump in three debates. She leads in many preference polls of the most competitive states. Barring a significant shift in the next two weeks, she is in a strong position to become the first woman elected U.S. president.
But Clinton will end the campaign still struggling to change the minds of millions of voters who don’t think well of her, a glaring liability should the Democratic nominee move on to the White House.
While many see her as better prepared to be commander in chief than Trump, she is consistently viewed unfavorably by more than half of the country. Most voters also consider her dishonest.
Clinton’s advisers have spent months trying to erase that perception. They’ve set up small events where she had more intimate conversations with voters. They’ve tested a seemingly endless stream of messages aimed at assuring the public that the former secretary of state was in the race to do more than fulfill her own political ambitions.
As Clinton starts making her closing argument to voters, her team appears to have come to terms that the mission remains unfulfilled.
“Honest and trustworthy has become our most talked about metric because it’s not great,” said Jennifer Palmieri, Clinton’s communications director. “But we’ve never thought it’s the metric people make a decision on.”
If Clinton wins, that theory may be proven true.
Just 36 percent of voters believe Clinton is honest and trustworthy, according to a recent Washington Post/ABC News poll. That’s compared with about 60 percent who believe she has the qualifications and temperament to be commander in chief.
The public’s perception of Clinton has bounced up and down throughout her time in public life. Her favorability rating fell below 50 percent at times during her years as first lady, but rose to its high water mark then and while she was

Vote on this story -->>>

Donald Trump belittles accusers as more turn up with sordid stories

Saturday, October 15th, 2016

Donald Trump acted out onstage an accuser’s allegations and suggested another wasn’t worthy of his attention the same day two more women came forward with years-old stories of unwanted sexual encounters with the Republican presidential nominee.

With eight women accusing Trump of unwanted kissing, groping or more, the New York businessman maintained his innocence and his denunciation of opponent Hillary Clinton and an international media conspiracy aimed at denying him the White House.
“100 percent fabricated and made-up charges, pushed strongly by the media and the Clinton Campaign, may poison the minds of the American Voter. FIX!” Trump tweeted on Saturday morning.
Clinton maintained a relatively low profile as Trump stormed, but more hacked emails from WikiLeaks raised anew questions about her private versus public pronouncements. Those released Friday showed her campaign had asked former President Bill Clinton to cancel a speech to an investment firm last year because of concerns that the Clintons might appear to be too cozy with Wall Street just as she was about to announce her candidacy.
Such revelations were no match for the sordid new accusations against Trump. Summer Zervos, a former contestant from Trump’s NBC show “The Apprentice,” said the series’ star became sexually aggressive at a Beverly Hills hotel in 2007. He kissed her open-mouthed and touched her breasts in a private room, she said during a news conference.
Late Friday night, the Trump campaign released a statement in which a cousin of Zervos said he was “shocked and bewildered” by her account. John Barry of Mission Viejo, California, said Zervos “wishes she could still be on reality TV, and in an effort to get that back she’s saying all of these negative things about Mr. Trump.”
In response, Summer’s lawyer, Gloria Allred, said in a statement that Barry worked at Zervos’ family restaurant until several months ago,

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Donald Trump aggressive, Hillary Clinton steady in tense debate

Monday, October 10th, 2016

His candidacy spiraling out of control, Donald Trump faced Hillary Clinton on the debate stage Sunday night in the most critical moment of his political career.
Questions about Trump’s preparation, policy knowledge and temperament all were overshadowed by the political fallout from Friday’s release of a video that captured the Republican presidential nominee making predatory sexual comments about women a decade earlier.
With tensions high, the candidates refused to shake hands at the start of the debate at Washington University in St. Louis, then tangled repeatedly for 90 minutes.
___
TRUMP GOES AFTER BILL CLINTON
After threatening for weeks to bring up Bill Clinton‘s sexual scandals, Trump finally went there.
Even before the debate began, Trump appeared alongside several women who had accused the former president of unwanted sexual advances decades earlier. It was a risky move that threatened to damage Trump’s already poor standing with women. But with his campaign in virtual freefall and his party in revolt, he may have had nothing to lose.
Once on stage, Trump pointed out the four women he had invited to attend the debate — among them Paula Jones and Juanita Broaddrick, who accused Bill Clinton of sexual impropriety decades ago. He called Bill Clinton’s actions “far worse” than Trump’s own words on the 2005 recording, where he bragged that he could “do anything” to women because of his fame.
“There’s never been anybody in the history of politics in this nation that’s been so abusive to women,” Trump said.
Trump also tried to link Hillary Clinton to her husband’s actions. “Hillary Clinton attacked those same women and attacked them viciously,” he said.
___
CLINTON TAKES THE HIGH ROAD
Clinton ignored Trump’s attacks on her husband’s infidelities, saying she was taking first lady Michelle Obama’s advice: “When they go low, we go high.”
The Democratic nominee stayed focused on her message, stressing Trump’s history of

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Despite harsh reviews, Donald Trump resists new debate approach

Thursday, September 29th, 2016

Unmoved by harsh debate reviews, a defiant Donald Trump renewed his attacks against a former Miss Universe winner on Wednesday, showing no sign of making big changes to his message or debate preparation before his second face-off with Hillary Clinton. The outspoken Republican nominee instead pressed ahead with an aggressive strategy focused on speaking directly to his white, working-class loyalists across the Midwest.
Democrat Clinton, meanwhile, pushed to improve her standing among younger voters with the help of the president, Sen. Bernie Sanders and other key allies, 48 hours after a debate performance that seemed to spark badly needed enthusiasm.
Those closest to Trump insisted the Republican presidential nominee was satisfied with Monday night’s debate, even as prominent voices within his own party called for more serious preparation next time following an opening confrontation marked by missed opportunities and missteps.
“Why would we change if we won the debate?” former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani, a key Trump ally and traveling partner this week, told The Associated Press.
The next debate is 11 days away.
While his plan forward is far from set, Trump is not planning to participate in any mock debates, although he is likely to incorporate what one person described as “tweaks” to his strategy.
Specifically, Trump is likely to spend more time working on specific answers and sharpening his attacks after spending much of the first meeting on defense, said that person, who spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss internal campaign strategy.
That may not be enough to satisfy concerned Republicans.
Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich said Trump should have been better prepared and he recommended that the candidate work harder with skilled coaches. He said, “What you need is people who are professional debaters.”
South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham said simply, “The only advice I could give him, and take it for what

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Mitch Perry Report for 9.29.16 — Congress is free to go home. Again.

Thursday, September 29th, 2016

First of all, congratulations to the uber-hip readers at Creative Loafing who, in their Best of the Bay voting for Best Reporter in 2016, selected a columnist who retired two years ago.
Congratulations also to our U.S. Congress who, by voting for a budget bill last to avoid a government shutdown, now gets to skip town for another two months before returning for an inevitable lame-duck session.
Wait a minute, some of you might think — didn’t they just have a seven-week summer break? Hey, that ended more than three weeks ago, silly.
Actually, let’s look at the details: Part of the deal includes passing a $1.1 billion Zika funding bill, as well as $500 million to Louisiana and other states facing natural disasters.
One of the hangups with why Congress hadn’t previously passed a Zika bill was that the GOP wanted to strip money for Planned Parenthood to combat the mosquito-borne virus. But they lost that gambit, as PP does get funding in the new bill.
Not that all of the Democrats were gracious in victory.
“It is deeply disappointing that until now, Republicans have insisted that the most appropriate response to a virus that overwhelmingly affects pregnant women was to place a politically motivated ban on funding for reproductive healthcare providers,” said Debbie Wasserman Schultz. Indeed, there’s nothing like a deadline. Government funding is scheduled to run out tomorrow. And, of course, there are elections to campaign in. You know, elections for the 435 members of the House where 96 percent of them are expected to win re-election.
Conservatives, meanwhile, are pissed again, saying Republican members sold out — again. POLITICO reports Heritage Action’s Dan Holler is blasting the deal, saying “House Republicans accept being jammed and essentially sit on the sidelines” and Hill Republicans “negotiate behind closed doors with Democrats, essentially giving them what they want.”
In other news …
After several disasters and many attempts,

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Michelle Obama makes the case for Hillary Clinton in new ad

Wednesday, September 28th, 2016

The Hillary Clinton campaign is airing a new television commercial featuring Michelle Obama making the case for election this November. In the thirty-second ad, the First Lady makes the case that Clinton would be a good role model for children.
“Our children watch everything we do and the person we elect as president as the power to shape their lives for years to come,” Obama says at the beginning of the ad.
She goes on to say that Clinton has spent her whole career “bringing folks together on behalf of our kids.”
“She believes that every child deserves a chance to succeed,” Obama says.
This is Mrs. Obama’s first TV ad for the campaign, and comes off a radio ad she cut for Clinton that currently is on the air in Florida, North Carolina, Ohio and Pennsylvania.
Later on Wednesday,Obama campaign for Clinton in Pittsburgh and Philadelphia.

The post Michelle Obama makes the case for Hillary Clinton in new ad appeared first on Florida Politics.

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