Thursday, September 22, 2016

The Hofstra Debate

History is about to be made at Hofstra University, and excitement is building to a crescendo among the school's nearly 11,000 students.  On Monday evening, Democrat Hillary Clinton will face Republican Donald Trump in a presidential debate that will likely be the most watched television program in U.S. history.   It will also be the first time in American history a woman presidential candidate from a major party will debate during a general election.   

Hofstra University 
The Hofstra debate will be a major turning point in the election.  While Clinton is ahead in the polls, her lead is fragile.  Meanwhile, Trump has shown some momentum recently, and he has even pulled ahead in polls from key battleground states, like Ohio and North Carolina.  Political advisors for both candidates are vigorously playing the expectations game so as to favorably position their candidate in advance with the press.   If expectations are low for Trump, a good debate performance by him may win him more supporters.

Each candidate has major hurdles to overcome in how they are perceived by Americans.  Trump is viewed as more trustworthy than Clinton by likely voters in an NBC/Wall Street Journal poll, but she outperforms him overwhelmingly in temperament, being a good commander-in-chief, and experience.  Trump holds an edge over Clinton in who would be best to handle the economy.   Clinton enjoys a strong lead among minorities, women and young voters.  Trump does well with men, white voters and those without a college degree.  Interestingly, half of Trump's likely voters say they will vote for him because they are against Clinton.   

A majority of Americans polled want a change in Washington, and that frustration with government gridlock and political bickering fueled the rise of Trump.  Trump has campaigned as the change agent while Clinton has had difficulty clearly articulating how she would change Washington.   Trump's loyal supporters don't care what he says and how he says it.  But temperament will be a big factor in winning over independent and uncommitted voters.  So Trump is likely to be on his best behavior Monday night in hopes of securing undecided voters.  Conversely, Clinton will not be able in a single debate to get more voters to think she is more trustworthy.  But she may be able to use her enormous experience to overshadow Trump on key issues.

This will be the third presidential debate held at Hofstra University, which is more than any other university.  During the 2012 Hofstra debate Governor Mitt Romney spoke of "binders full of women," and in the 2008 Hofstra debate Senator John McCain repeatedly brought up "Joe the Plumber."  This year's debate will be moderated by NBC News' Lester Holt.  There will be six 15-segments, for a total of 90-minutes.  The topics, chosen by Holt, will be "America's direction," "achieving prosperity" and "securing America."   The candidates will have an opportunity to respond directly to each other.  

To be sure, Trump and Clinton will try hard to avoid making gaffs that may change the course of the election.   But will Clinton look healthy?  How will she handle questions about her emails?  Will Trump be able to endure 90-minutes of tough questions?  Will he explain his positions on issues in-depth, like his "secret plan" to eliminate ISIS?  And how will the recent police shootings factor into the debate?

Hofstra took over the debate on short notice when Wright State University in Ohio pulled out in July for financial reasons.  Hofstra's president, Stuart Rabinowitz, said at the time, "We greatly appreciate the faith shown in us by the Commission on Presidential Debates."  Now, six weeks later, security around this 250 acre campus in Hempstead, NY, will be unprecedented. Monday's classes have been cancelled, many parking lots and some nearby major routes will be shut all day.  Meanwhile, hundreds of media outlets will take up positions on campus as Hofstra becomes the political epicenter of the universe for one day.  

As one student wrote in her blog, "I firmly believe that this debate is an incredible opportunity not only for the university, but for the students who dream of building and shaping these events in the future."   

Friday, September 9, 2016

Tsar Trump

Donald Trump's interview with host Larry King Thursday on RT, the English language Russian television news network, was embarrassing.  Trump's campaign was caught off guard by his comments and struggled for an explanation.  "A former CNN superstar, Larry King, has a podcast, and Mr. Trump went on his podcast," explained campaign manager Kellyanne Conway Friday on CNN. "Nobody said it would be on Russian TV." 

Trump has been under attack for his repeated praise of Russian President Vladimir Putin.   During a presidential forum on NBC Wednesday, Trump said that Putin has been a better leader that President Barack Obama.  "Certainly, in that system, he's been a leader, far more than our president has been a leader."  

Trump has repeatedly made in clear throughout his campaign that he admires Putin.  This has been especially true since Putin heaped praise on Trump at his annual press conference last December.  "He is a bright and talented person without doubt," Putin said, "an outstanding and talented personality."   Putin, a former KGB officer, knows how to manipulate egos, and no one has a bigger ego than Trump.  Trump's response, in the form of a statement, was, "It is always a great honor to be so nicely complimented by a man so highly respected within his own country and beyond."

Respected?  Putin's annexation of Crimea and military intervention of Ukraine led to international condemnation and the imposition of sanctions.  Russian intervention in the Syrian civil war on behalf of its tyrannical leader, Bashar al-Assad, has also drawn condemnation and prolonged the conflict. Russia is also looking to play a bigger role in Iran's nuclear program.

Putin rules Russia with an iron fist.  Human Rights Watch, a non-government organization advocating human rights, harshly criticizes Russia.  "The Kremlin's crackdown on civil society, media, and the Internet took a more sinister turn in 2015 as the government further intensified harassment and persecution of independent critics," the organization says on its website.  Putin has turned the country against the West, especially the United States, in an effort to keep tight control.  He has successfully shifted blame for Russia's struggling economy from government policies to Western sanctions.  Putin has rigorously maintained a corrupt system of government where he and his loyal supporters reap great personal reward.

Punditfact reported earlier this year that 34 journalists have been murdered in Russia since 2000.  The international watchdog Freedom House ranks Russia 180 out of 199 countries when it comes to press freedom.   Perhaps Trump, who regularly denounces the American media, admires how Putin handles the press.  Trump told King, "there's tremendous dishonesty with the media.  Not all of it, obviously, but tremendous dishonesty."   

Larry King has a regular program on RT, and RT billed the interview as an "exclusive."  RT, a Kremlin sponsored network, describes itself as, "an alternative perspective on major global events, and acquaints international audience with a Russian viewpoint."   General Michael Flynn, the former director of the U.S. Defense Intelligence Agency and now a national security advisor to Trump, attended an RT gala in Moscow last year, and has appeared on the network several times.   

In his RT interview, Trump told King that he doesn't think Russia is trying to meddle in the American election.  "I think it's probably unlikely.  Maybe the Democrats are putting that out -- who knows," he said.  "If they are doing something, I hope somebody's going to be able to find out so they can end it.  Because that would not be appropriate at all."  (However, last July Trump called on the Russians to hack Clinton's e-mails.) Nonetheless, Trump's views on the media and President Obama pretty much align with the Russian viewpoint.  

The website Talking Points Memo reported in July, "Trump's financial empire is heavily leveraged and has a deep reliance on capital infusions from oligarchs and other sources of wealth aligned with Putin."  Trump's tax returns might shed light on the extent of the investment, but he says he won't release them.  Both Trump and Putin have spoken out against NATO, although for different reasons.  TPM also reported that Putin has sought to prop up nationalist movements in Europe in part to sow discord in those countries.  

Trump is running a nationalist campaign positioning himself as a strong leader, and he is certainly sowing discord.  "I alone can fix it," he said in his acceptance speech at the Republican National Convention in July.  He has campaigned using bombast and bluster, while seldom offering specific answers to policy questions, like details of his "secret plan to eliminate ISIS."  In his Wednesday appearance on NBC, he said, "Under the leadership of Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton, I think the generals have been reduced to rubble."  He continued, "They have been reduced to a point where it's embarrassing to our country."  Of course, he would fire them.

On Wednesday, Trump praised Putin for "having great control over his country."   If elected in November, perhaps Tsar Trump will try to assert his control over this country.  

Thursday, September 1, 2016

Trump's Immigration Plan

Wednesday was a very good day for Donald Trump and his campaign.  He met with the president of Mexico, participated in joint statements that were carried live in the United States on cable channels, and he delivered an immigration speech in Arizona filled with plenty of red meat for his base.  

Sure, there were disputable statements.  For instance, near the end of their joint appearance, Trump said that he and Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto did not discuss who would pay for the wall in their private meeting.  Trump has made building a wall along the U.S.-Mexican border a centerpiece of his campaign since the beginning. And he has repeatedly told supporters that Mexico would pay for it. 

President Nieto, apparently unprepared for reporter's questions, did not attempt to correct Trump during their joint appearance.   But after Trump departed the presidential palace, Los Pinos, President Nieto took to Twitter to clarify the issue.  "At the beginning of the conversation with Donald Trump I made clear that Mexico will not pay for the wall," he tweeted.  The president is very unpopular in Mexico and he received much criticism for agreeing to meet with Trump, perhaps the only man more unpopular than he is in Mexico. Trump may have prevaricated, but he got a much desired photo-op with a world leader.

The Mexican trip was put together over the past few days by Trump's campaign team and then announced the night before he travelled to Mexico City.  The Mexican trip came on the same day he was scheduled to outline in detail his immigration policy in Arizona.   Over the past week Trump had been accused of softening his position on immigration in order to win back Republicans who were concerned about his extreme rhetoric on the issue during the primary campaign.   A Fox News poll released Wednesday found that 48% of Trump supporters would be more likely to vote for him if he "softened his position on handling illegal immigrants living in the United States."

A fiery Trump took the stage in Phoenix vowing there would be "no amnesty" for undocumented immigrants, that he would build a "beautiful" wall along the border, and that Mexico would pay for it.  Trump laid out a ten point plan that focused heavily on securing the border, crime by undocumented immigrants, reforming immigration laws, and cutting off federal funding to sanctuary cities.  His speech included attacks on his Democratic opponent, Hillary Clinton, President Barack Obama, and Washington for failing on immigration.   Trump fed off the wildly enthusiastic crowd.

But Trump's speech was filled with claims that are factually untrue. Illegal immigration has actually been declining in recent years, and more Mexicans are leaving the United States for Mexico than are coming to the U.S.  Also, numerous studies show that "immigrants--regardless of their legal status--are less likely than the native population to commit violent crimes or to be incarcerated."  And many studies have found that illegal immigrants do not takes jobs away from native Americans.   

Trump's plan for undocumented immigrants included an end to the catch and release policy, zero-tolerance for those who have committed a crime, a tripling of the number of deportation officers, repeal of President Obama's executive orders, no more visas for any country where "adequate screening cannot occur," and an "ideological certification" to ensure that immigrants share America's values.   While Trump said that all 11 million illegal immigrants would have to leave the country and apply for reentry, he did not specify a time frame for deporting them all.  

Trump told his supporters what they wanted to hear.  He also noted that the latest polls show he has closed the gap with Hillary Clinton.  Trump appeared to have his old mojo back, even though he used a teleprompter.  He was brash, strident and at times overly harsh.  Facts don't matter to Trump; rather the performance is what counts.  And his presentation played to those who are fearful, angry and frustrated with the federal government.    

Trump put on quite a show Wednesday.  More importantly, he dominated the news cycle for another day, and no one loves that more than Donald Trump.  eading the main story

Sunday, August 21, 2016

Clinton's Fragile Lead

Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton is a lifelong Chicago Cubs fan.  In 1969, the Cubs had a 9 1/2 game lead over the New York Mets in the middle of August, but ended the season 8 games behind the Mets after losing 17 of 25 games to close the season.  

The average of the latest national polls shows Clinton with about a 5 percent lead over her Republican opponent, Donald Trump.  But Trump has had a rough two weeks, and has now shaken up his campaign staff.   Gone is campaign chairman Paul Manafort, who was brought in to make the campaign more professional.  On Tuesday, Trump brought on Breitbart News executive chairman Steve Bannon as campaign CEO, and Kellyanne Conway as campaign manager.  

In an article last October, a Bloomberg Businessweek headline read, "This Man Is the Most Dangerous Political Operative In America."   Bannon is a former Goldman Sachs banker and documentary maker who took over Breitbert, a conservative website created in 2007, when its founder, David Breitbart, died suddenly in 2012.  "The recruitment of Bannon will release Trump to be the outsider that won a primary in historic fashion," wrote reporter Joseph R. Murray in The Hill. "Bannon will encourage Trump to be the very person the (Republican National Committee) warned against and, for that reason, Trump stands to win because this election is not about Republicans versus Democrats; it is about outside change versus insider corruption."  Murray's piece was entitled, "Trump's recruitment of Bannon means war and everyone knows it."  

Conway is a long time Republican operative and Trump friend.  Conway earlier ran a PAC for Texas Senator Ted Cruz.  She is a lawyer, a mother, and founded The Polling Company in 1995, which advised many Republicans, especially on women's issues.  Conway is an effective communicator who will work to focus Trump and his campaign on issues.   She reportedly was influential in getting Trump to express regrets last week for derogatory comments he has made in the past, although he was not specific.  

Bannon and Conway will work to turn voters against Clinton.  But reining in Trump may be difficult. And already he has taken many controversial positions that may be hard to clean up.  For instance, last October Trump said he would have a deportation force that would remove undocumented immigrants from the United States.  On Sunday, Conway said the creation of a deportation force by a Trump administration was "to be determined."   A softening of Trump's immigration position, which played a huge role in getting him the nomination, could alienate some of is most ardent supporters.

Nonetheless, Clinton has lots of baggage.  She has been dogged by scandals most of her public career.  Most recently, the Clinton Foundation has come under intense scrutiny for possibly trading favors for donations during Clinton's term as secretary of state.   Sunday's New York Times reported that, "The Clinton Foundation has accepted tens of millions of dollars from countries that the State Department -- before, during and after Mrs. Clinton's time as secretary -- criticized for their records on sex discrimination and other human-rights issues."  Because of the controversy, former President Bill Clinton announced Thursday that the organization would not longer accept foreign or corporate donations should his wife be elected in November.  But that will do little to quiet critics.  Several leading Democrats have called for the foundation to immediately stop taking donations.

Of course, the controversy surrounding Clinton's use of a private email server while at the State Department continues to trouble her campaign.   In July, FBI director David Comey recommended against prosecuting Clinton, but called her use of a private email server "extremely reckless."  Last week the bureau turned the case documents over to Congress, and Republicans are pressing that she be charged with perjury.  

Clinton has maintained a strong lead in recent polls, and has been pulling ahead in several key battleground states.  She is also doing well with women and minorities.  But likely voters view neither candidate favorably.  Clinton is most vulnerable on the trust issue, although Trump is as well.  And more that 60 percent of all Americans surveyed believe the country is on the wrong track.  

For sure, the team of Bannon and Conway will attack Clinton mercilessly on trust in an effort to disqualify her from being president while helping to improve Trump's position in the polls by keeping him "on message" as the candidate for "change."  Expectations for Trump doing so are low, so any improvement can build momentum.  Bannon and Conway know the media prefers a horserace.  

This year the Cubs are dominating major league baseball, and they are currently the favorites to win the World Series. But long-suffering Cub fans remember 1969, including Hillary Clinton.  She must do a better job of winning over uncommitted voters, and with addressing her weaknesses in order to prevail in November.  

Monday, August 15, 2016

Trump and the Press

A sure sign that a campaign is failing is when the candidate blames the press for his problems.   The latest example is Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump.   

Trump took to Twitter Sunday to attack the press for his sinking campaign.  "It is not 'freedom of the press' when newspapers and others are allowed to say and write whatever they want even if it is completely false," Trump wrote.  In the words of Khizr Khan, directed at Trump during last month's Democratic Convention, "Have you even read the Constitution?"   Apparently he hasn’t.    

The U.S. Constitution is clear: "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances."  The First Amendment was adopted in 1791 by the Founding Fathers to protect the rights of individuals to express themselves through publication without interference from the government.  

This is a founding principle of the United States, and it has withstood many challenges since its enactment more than 200 years ago.  Trump's assault on the Constitution is just another in his tirades against the press.  "I think the political press is among the most dishonest people that I have ever met," he told a press conference last May.  

Trump has regularly called the press "slime," "scum," "dishonest," "sleazy," and the "worst human beings" at his campaign rallies.  His supporters greeted his attacks with boos and hisses directed at the members of the press assigned to his events.  NBC News correspondent Katy Tur has covered Trump since the beginning of his campaign.  In an article this month in Marie Claire, Tur recounted how Trump singled her out harshly at a rally last December.  "It's unlikely, however, that any of Trump's future attacks will be as scary as what happened in Mount Pleasant (South Carolina), where the crowd, feeding off Trump, seemed to turn on me like a large animal, angry and unchained," she wrote.  "It wasn't until hours later, when the Secret Service took the extraordinary step of walking me to my car, that the incident sank in." 

Trump is the candidate of fear and anger.  He has sought to divide the country into winners, those who support him, and losers--all those who are against him.  He has insulted war heroes, the disabled, Muslims, Mexicans and women.  Rather than offering specific solutions he relies on schoolyard taunts to describe his opponents, like "crooked Hillary Clinton," "lying Ted Cruz," "little Marco Rubio," and "low-energy Jeb Bush."   His campaign has been chaotic and disorganized.  And now he is sinking in the in the polls, and many key Republicans are abandoning ship.  

Trump is desperate to reboot his campaign, but he has not changed his tune.  Instead, he continues to attack the press.  "If the disgusting and corrupt media covered me honestly and didn't put false meaning into the words I say, I would be beating Hillary by 20%," he wrote on Twitter Sunday.   Constitutional law expert Floyd Abrams told CNN Monday, "The very notion that the press can't say what it wants, or what it thinks is right about a candidate for president, is at war with the First Amendment."

Trump is at war with more than the First Amendment.  He is the man who masqueraded as publicist John Miller to brag about himself to reporters earlier is his career.  The thin-skinned Trump is at war with his advisors over his campaign tactics.  

It should come as no surprise that as Trump is losing ground in the arena of public opinion he blames the messenger.   Maybe it's time to bring John Miller back?  

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Trump Troubles

Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump had hoped that Monday would be the day he could reboot his failing campaign. Instead, it would be a day filled with more bad news and further setbacks.

The latest blow came in the form of a Washington Post op-ed piece by respected Republican Senator Susan Collins of Maine.  "I will not be voting for Donald Trump for president," she wrote, adding, "Donald Trump does not reflect historical Republican values nor the inclusive approach to governing that is critical to healing the divisions in this country."  Senator Collins is the latest in a growing list of Republican elected officials who have said they will not support Trump. 

Trump received another devastating blow Monday when 50 former national security officials, who all served under Republican presidents, released a harshly critical signed letter stating that, "(Trump) would be the most reckless president in American history."  The officials included Michael Chertoff and Tom Ridge, both former secretaries of homeland security, Michael Hayden, a former director of the CIA and the NSA, and John Negroponte, a former director of national intelligence and deputy secretary of state.  

"He appears to lack basic knowledge about and belief in the U.S. Constitution, U.S. laws and institutions, including religious tolerance, freedom of the press and an independent judiciary," the letter says.  The officials continued, "he persistently compliments our adversaries and threatens our allies and friends.  Unlike previous Presidents who had limited experience in foreign affairs, Mr. Trump has shown no interest in educating himself.  He continues to display an alarming ignorance of basic facts of contemporary international politics." 

Meanwhile, a Monmouth University national poll released Monday showed that Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton had opened a double-digit lead over Trump.  Clinton received support from 46% of those registered voters survey compared to Trump's 34%. Even more troubling for Trump was that 67% of the registered voters believe he does not have the right temperament to be president.   In contrast, 61% of those surveyed believe Clinton does have the right temperament to serve.  To make matters worse for Trump, he has fallen behind in polls in several key battle ground states that he must win if he is to be elected. 

Trump had hoped to get his campaign on track with a major economic address in Detroit Monday.  Reading from teleprompter, and holding his emotions in check during more than a dozen interruptions from protestors, Trump proposed major tax cuts and huge investments in infrastructure.   "My plan will reduce the current number of brackets from 7 to 3, and dramatically streamline the process," he said.  "We will work with House Republicans on this plan, using the same brackets they have proposed: 12, 25 and 33 percent.  For many American workers, their tax rate would be zero."  However, the rich will benefit the most from this plan, and Trump did not explain how he would pay for it.  Further, Trump said he would end estate taxes, but that would only benefit a few thousand families with multimillion-dollar estates.  And his proposal to allow parents to deduct the average cost of childcare spending from their taxes would most benefit families making more than $75,000 in reportable income.

Trump also promised to lower corporate taxes, and to reduce regulations on corporations, saying, "It is time to remove the anchor that is dragging us down."  However, he offered no specifics, and many regulations have been enacted to protect health and safety.  He also said he would renegotiate America's trade deals.  "I want great trade deals for our country that create more jobs and higher wages for American workers," he said.  But many Republicans, including House Speaker Paul Ryan, support trade deals.  And in calling for major investments in infrastructure, like roads and airports, he never explained where the billions of dollars needed would come from.  

Trump said, "There will be no change under Hillary Clinton--only four more years of Obama."  But Trump's "Make America First plan" sounded like a hodgepodge of re-cycled supply side GOP economics.  Some change!  If enacted, his plan would add trillions of dollars to the debt over the next decade.  But his plan would sure be great for the Trump family.  It would mean lower taxes, less regulation and more construction projects that they could manage. 

Trump's campaign is collapsing with just three months to go before Election Day.  And he alone can't fix it.  

Friday, July 29, 2016

Hillary Clinton: "Stronger Together"

Hillary Clinton accepted the Democratic Party's nomination as their candidate for president, a historic moment in American history. "When there are no ceilings, the sky's the limit," she promised convention delegates.   Her speech reflected the party's progressive platform in an effort to rally her base, but it offered little for Republicans uneasy about Donald Trump.

This was arguably the most important speech of Clinton's political career.  She has been plagued by concerns about her trustworthiness, and had overcome a difficult primary challenge from Senator Bernie Sanders, whose loyal delegates still had to be convinced about her candidacy.  

Speaking directly to Sanders' supporters, Clinton said, "Our country needs your ideas, your energy, and passion.  That's the only way we can turn our progressive platform into real change for America," she said.  "We wrote it together -- now let's go out there and make it happen together." 

Referencing the courage of the Founding Fathers in standing up to a king, she said, "America is once again at a moment of reckoning." She then asked for unity, "We have to decide whether we all will work together so we all can rise together."  The theme of her campaign is "Stronger Together" and much of her speech carried that message, which she described as a guiding principle for the country.  

Clinton's speech was filled with attacks on Donald Trump.  "He's taken the Republican Party a long way from "Morning in America" to "Midnight in America," she said.  "He wants us to fear the future and fear each other."   She asserted that, "We are clear-eyed about what our country is up against...but we are not afraid."   She continued, "We will not build a wall.  Instead, we will build an economy where everyone who wants a good paying job can get one."   She called for a clear path to citizenship for immigrants, and said she would not ban a religion.

"Don't let anyone tell you our country is weak.  We're not," she proclaimed.  "And most of all, don't believe anyone who says, 'I alone can fix it," she said referring to Trump's claim in his acceptance speech a week earlier.  "Donald Trump says he wants to make America great again-- well, he could start by actually making things in America again," she said of Trump's off shore manufacturers. 

Clinton attacked Trump's lack of temperament and experience.  "Imagine, if you dare imagine--imagine him in the Oval Office facing a real crisis.  A man you can bait with a tweet is not a man we can trust with nuclear weapons."

Clinton, who was affectionately introduced by her daughter Chelsea, talked about her upbringing, her family and her career.  It was part of an effort to re-introduce herself as genuine, authentic and a person committed to service.  President Bill Clinton, who was at times emotional, watched his wife from the seats below the stage.

Hillary Clinton covered many of the issues important to progressives.  She called for a constitutional amendment to overturn Citizen's United, expansion of voting rights, comprehensive immigration reform, Wall Street reform, equal pay, expanded social security and health care, and she declared climate change is real.  Declaring that Donald Trump is in the pocket of the gun lobby, she said she would not repeal the Second Amendment, but would enact common-sense gun reforms. 

Clinton's speech came on the final night of a convention that had heard from many impressive speakers over the course of the week.  Perhaps the most powerful moment in Thursday night's program was provided by the father of Captain Humayun Khan, a Muslim American soldier who was killed in Iraq in 2004.  "Have you read the Constitution?" Khizr Khan asked Trump while pulling a copy out of his suit pocket.  "Have you ever been to Arlington Cemetery?  Go look at the graves of brave Americans who died defending the United States of America." he said.  "You will see all faiths, genders and ethnicities.  You have sacrificed nothing."

In contrast, Hillary Clinton's speech was not powerful, it was not soaring, it was not inspirational.  It certainly did nothing to excite Republicans, and it failed to convert Hillary haters to her campaign. While she is the first woman to be nominated by a major party as their candidate for president, her speech will not standout in history. 

Clinton will almost certainly get a bump in the polls because of the highly polished Democratic Convention.  But she will have a fight to the finish in November against a flawed candidate who is promising change and that he alone can fix everything.