Archive for the 'Donald Trump' Category

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Never forget that the vast majority of those who voted for Trump are happy with their President

Monday, January 15th, 2018

And the betting continues to point to his survival

Mike Smithson




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UKIP voters are the only ones who think Donald Trump is more intelligent than average

Monday, January 15th, 2018

I doubt if the occupant of the White House reads the Observer or actually look at polling that is anything other than flattering him. But if he did he is his current apparent anger with the UK would have been reinforced.

One of the questions was whether British voters thought that Mr Trump was above or below average intelligence. The findings by party splits are in the chart above.

As can be seen overall there was an extraordinary low view of Mr Trump’s intelligence almost across the board. Just 18% of those polled thought that Trump was above average intelligence and even UKIP voters, the most favourable to the president, it was just 34%.

This is the context in which British politicians have to be aware of as they deal with Trump and US related issues. I thought it was wrong, for instance, for Boris Johnson to attack Labour over the cancellation of Trump’s visit.

Mike Smithson




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Tonight’s Trump news – the payoff just before WH2016 and the Donald urinal

Friday, January 12th, 2018



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How Britain should play the Trump card without folding or upping the ante

Friday, January 12th, 2018

A guest slot from Julian Glassford

The vertiginous rise of the new champion of the alt-right in 2016 prompted a palpable blend of bafflement and consternation among the political elite right around the globe. Few dared even imagine that Donald Trump would triumph over his wily, experienced, and altogether far more internationally acceptable rival in the US presidential election. Indeed, most appeared caught almost completely off-guard and, a year on, none have yet managed to figure out quite how to tame the beast (if such a thing is possible).

Before “the Donald” had even taken the oath analysts were mourning the end of the age of Atlanticism, and who can blame them? He has, after all, labelled NATO obsolete, characterised the EU a defunct vehicle for German hegemony, and now added an unedifying Twitter spat with the British Prime Minister to his growing collection of controversies. Other commentators speculated that the reality TV star turned statesman was just posturing during the presidential campaign and would reign in the headline-grabbing stunts once in office. If they were banking on 2017 being a year of relative tranquillity on that basis, well then they miscalculated, bigly.

Resurgent populism and the nationalistic upending of the Washington Consensus has left (neo)liberal internationalists the world over with their heads in a spin. “They that sow the wind, shall reap the whirlwind”, and boy has the global political climate become blustery on their watch! Enter brash Trumponomics, rash social policy, and decidedly undiplomatic rhetoric scarcely seen in the West since The War.

Major domestic and international protests sparked by the Trump travel ban saga, followed by calls for the man himself to be barred from visiting countries like the UK – which have only grown following his far-right retweets – place governments in an awkward position. Few leaders can risk appearing to accept socially divisive ‘alternative facts’ or to condone his incendiary politics. Fewer still can afford to turn their backs on the largest and most advanced economic and military power on earth, however. And, given our role as a bastion of ‘soft power’ and human dignity vs. the need to nail‘The Art of the Deal’ with the US ahead of post-Brexit trade talks, this tension applies to the UK in spades.

Public figures have every right to voice their discontent, and relevant politicians and diplomats are of course duty-bound to make appropriate representations to their stateside counterparts. But, at the end of the day, whilst we do not have to respect the views and policies that President Trump espouses we cannot deny anyone’s right to hold or state them. Instead, we must trust in modern democratic institutions, our values, and unity. If we cannot place our faith wholly in these things then surely this says more about the state of our society and fragility of our principles (e.g. free speech) than it does about the vulgarian at the centre of the storm.

Far from deterred, Donald – like many an ‘echo chamber’ dwelling ‘keyboard warrior’ – appears buoyed by his latest fracas, even if most Americans clearly disapprove of his Twitter antics. As it dawns on remonstrators that the egotistical and intransigent showman is, figuratively speaking at least, sat in the Oval Office with his fingers in his ears and his direct line unplugged, many governments will be tempted to disengage completely. The UK must not do so. “Keep Calm and Carry on”, as the saying goes.

Britain can ill afford to sacrifice the special relationship as a knee-jerk reaction to political incorrectness or, indeed, in the name of tokenistic ‘virtue signalling’. Whatever the likes of German Chancellor Angela Merkel may say about Europe going its own way, Western interests are not well served by marginalising the United States or its capricious commander in chief. The recent announcement regarding the relocation of the American embassy in Israel to Jerusalem offers a timely reminder that, left to his own devices, the cocksure neophyte is liable to land us all in a world of trouble.

For all his characteristically provocative and bolshie behaviour on social media, the President is a self-confessed Anglophile with Scottish roots. He shares a close affinity with a number of British public figures, actively seeks their advice, and was of course keen to invite the PM to be the first foreign head of state to visit him in office. Slightly uncomfortable, and recently diminished, though this association has been, the spirit of such acts has value and should not be disregarded.

Rather than cancel the much maligned US state visit outright, as others have pointed out the government can just as well kick it into the long grass. With a little quintessentially British composure and savvy, it should be possible to sustain cordial relations and continue to productively engage with our friends across the pond without compromising on matters moral integrity or social stability.

Strong leadership entails embracing difficulty, acting with level-headed stoicism, and leading by example, and we are in the business of building bridges, not walls. To abandon the current US administration at this juncture would be no more flattering on the UK than the reverse proposition i.e. Blair-Bush style fawning. Instead, we must live up to the long tradition of being America’s faithful, if not uncritical, old friend and ally. This means underscoring shared pluralistic values and being the pragmatic voice of reason: ever ready to administer a helping hand and, where necessary, the odd slap on the wrist.

 

Brief Bio: Julian Glassford is a UK-based multidisciplinary researcher and social entrepreneur.



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First Winfrey – Trump polling has Oprah 10 points ahead

Wednesday, January 10th, 2018


Boondocks

And she’s a favourability rating of 55%

New polling just out this afternoon from the right-leaning pollster Rasmussen has a big boost for TV personality, Oprah Winfrey who has now entered, though not the race, the frame for WH20020. This is from the pollster:

“TV personality Oprah Winfrey is the likely winner over President Trump if the 2020 election were held today, but there are a lot of undecideds.

The latest Rasmussen Reports national telephone and online survey finds that 48% of Likely U.S. Voters would opt for Winfrey, while 38% would choose Trump. But a sizable 14% are undecided.

Winfrey has the support of 76% of Democrats, 22% of Republicans and 44% of voters not affiliated with either major political party. The president earns 66% of the vote from Republicans, 12% of Democrats and 38% of unaffiliateds.

Twelve percent (12%) of both Republicans and Democrats are undecided given this matchup. One-in-five unaffiliated voters (19%) aren’t sure which candidate they would support.

Fifty-five percent (55%) of all voters view Winfrey favorably, including 27% with a Very Favorable view of the longtime media personality and entrepreneur. That’s little changed from 2011 after Winfrey announced she was ending her TV talk show after 25 years on the air. Thirty-four percent (34%) share an unfavorable view of her, with 18% who have a Very Unfavorable one.”

Clearly at this stage there is a novelty element but Oprah, like Trump as WH2016 has high level of name recognition simply because she’s is a high profile TV star.

Whether these sort of numbers would survive an actual run for the nomination and the cut and thrust of a campaign we do not know.

She is second favourite, behind Trump, on Betfair to win WH20120.

Mike Smithson




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Tonight’s cartoon on Trump and the North Korean leader Kim Jong-un

Tuesday, January 9th, 2018

    Trump versus Kim: Fake News or The Day After Tomorrow?

Thank you again to Nicholas Leonard and Helen Cochrane.



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Betting on the year of Trump’s impeachment

Sunday, January 7th, 2018

The Democrats might not have the votes to convict but politically it might be helpful for them if the GOP vote to clear Trump.

Paddy Power have a market up on the year that Donald Trump is impeached. The Paddy Power terms are very clear, this bet doesn’t require the Senate to vote to convict, just the House of Representatives to vote to successfully impeach

The current polls indicate that the Democrats are on course to take the House later on this year, and I’m struggling to see how they don’t take the House, barring the tensions with North Korea escalating leading to a patriotic Trump surge as Americans back their Commander-in-Chief.

So what happens if the Democrats take back the House formally in January 2019? Given what has already happened I suspect the Democrats in the House will come under a lot of pressure from their own supporters to begin impeachment proceedings, ‘Lock him up’ might even be a campaign slogan.

There might also be an attractive proposition to screw up the primary process and 2020 election cycle by tying GOP Senators to Trump, with 22 of 33 of the Senate seats up for re-election in 2020 being held by GOP Senators. Those Senators if they voted not to convict Trump might face an electoral reckoning shortly thereafter for clearing Trump and he maintains his current dire personal ratings.

Very rarely does an incumbent President face a credible primary challenge. With an ongoing impeachment, I can see a primary challenge from a very credible GOP challenger. That would eliminate one of the great strengths an incumbent President has. Only twice in the last year 85 years has an elected incumbent President lost in a general election.

If Trump is impeached it might not be for things that happened before he became President but things he had done in office. His mental state, as evidenced by yesterday’s tweet storm, coupled with the potential to illegally obstruct Robert Mueller’s investigations you can see how Donald Trump is impeached for things that haven’t happened yet.

That’s why I’ve backed impeachment happening in either 2019 or 2020, the latter is a lot better chance of happening than the 33/1 odds imply.

Hat tip to Tissue Price for alerting me to this market.

TSE



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The Trump stories come thick and fast – this is the latest on what makes his life worth living

Wednesday, January 3rd, 2018