And now, as we draw the curtain on what seems like Week 14,375 of the presidential campaign, it’s time to play another round of What Should Have Been News/What Was News:WHAT SHOULD HAVE BEEN NEWS
Donald Trump used a teleprompter to deliver a speech Monday about foreign policy and his plans to stop the Islamic State, which should have been a good indication to reporters that he’d present ideas, not just ramble about stuff.
And he did offer some specifics, including what he called an “extreme vetting” of immigrants who want to come here. Anyone who sympathizes with terrorists or thinks Sharia law should supersede American ideals need not apply. Trump also said he would create a Commission on Radical Islam to explain what radical Islam really is, and he’d keep Guantanamo Bay open for interrogating people.
As expected, the immediate reaction on “extreme vetting” fell into two camps: OMG, that’s so un-American, and well, actually, we kind of already do that to immigrants. But by Tuesday, we were onto other things. Namely:WHAT WAS NEWS
In what clearly must be some unwritten rule at Trump HQ (sort of like Moore’s Law, only not computer-y), some big other thing must happen within 24-48 hours of a teleprompter speech to divert attention and questions about said speech. So, we had another big Trump campaign shakeup, this time with a Breitbart news guy and a pollster joining the team and veteran GOP operative Paul Manafort saying, “Peace out.”
The new leadership – which is sort of like the old primary leadership -- was accompanied by a bombshell: Trump said he’s sorry for some of the things he’s said. What things? He’s not sure. But he’s sorry if he hurt people’s feelings.THAT OTHER THING WE’RE TIRED OF HEARING ABOUT
And, like clockwork, we were on to new revelations in the Hillary Clinton email scandal that Just. Won’t. Die. Congressional Republicans got a slew of additional classified documents from the FBI that they hope will contain enough ammo to reopen an investigation against Clinton.
We don’t know what most of the documents say – classified being the key word there – but we did get this nugget of a report: Apparently, Clinton told investigators that GOP former secretary of State Colin Powell told her to use private email during a dinner party hosted by Madeleine Albright.
Powell said in a statement that he didn’t remember that conversation (some dinner party, huh?) but that he had emailed Clinton about how much better life got once he went over to AOL. That’s right: As late as 2001, AOL was considered an improvement to the State Department email system.OTHER NEWS THAT IS SORT OF NEWS
With less than 80 days left until this whole thing is finished, we’re squarely into horse-race coverage. Which means there is practically a new poll every day, most of which show Clinton ahead of Trump. And there is no shortage of people prognosticating about said polls: Trump is in trouble because math! Trump isn’t in trouble because history!
Meanwhile, Clinton is spending beaucoup bucks on attack ads against Trump, and Trump is finally starting to do the same. Which means we have a whole new round of stories about those commercials we all mute or DVR out of our lives.MORE FROM THE CAMPAIGN TRAILWho says the candidates are ignoring Baton Rouge flooding? Clinton tweeted about it, and Trump is making a mystery visit (USA TODAY) If the earth’s gravity feels off in two weeks, it’s because Clinton and Trump are speaking at the same convention (Cincinnati Enquirer) No, your name isn’t REALLY Deez Nuts, and the FEC doesn’t find the joke funny (USA TODAY) Former Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer calls Clinton a “lying killer,” later says it was a “stumble of the tongue” (Arizona Republic) AND FINALLY, NEWS YOU CAN USE
Melania Trump's “Star Cookies” are made with egg whites and sour cream. (Photo: Family Circle handout)
For those 15 percent of Americans who say it’s “very likely” a Trump victory will make them move overseas, the kind folks at MoveHub have calculated the costs to buy a second citizenship and turned it into a fun infographic (hint: it’s roughly the price of a private island).
Also, if you’re not into traditional polls, Family Circle has a contest going between candidates’ family cookie recipes that has accurately predicted the winner in five of the last six elections. This year’s throwdown pits Clinton’s oatmeal chocolate chip drop cookie recipe against Trump’s rolled star cookies with egg whites and sour cream. Bake 'em both and let us know what you think.