Yesterday Was a Microcosm of the 2016 Presidential Race

We are just four months from election day in November. A lot of the groundwork for how this campaign will play out has been laid. What we’ve seen so far and what we are likely to see in the coming days was pretty well summed up by events yesterday.

Donald Trump came off the holiday weekend under attack for a tweet with an image that contained anti-semitic overtones.

His campaign tried to suggest that was a sheriff’s star rather than a Star of David over a backdrop of money claiming corruption, but his KKK supporter David Duke wasn’t buying it. Even more devastating was an open letter written by an employee of Trump’s son-in-law – Dana Schwartz – at the National Observer.

And now, Mr. Kushner, I ask you: What are you going to do about this? Look at those tweets I got again, the ones calling me out for my Jewish last name, insulting my nose, evoking the holocaust, and tell me I’m being too sensitive. Read about the origins of that image and see the type of people it attracted like a flies to human waste and tell me this whole story is just the work of the “dishonest media.” Look at that image and tell me, honestly, that you just saw a “Sheriff’s Star.” I didn’t see a sheriff star, Mr. Kushner, and I’m a smart person. After all, I work for your paper.

Edmund Burke once said, in times that are starting to seem more and more similar: “The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.” Well, here I am, and here we are. Both Jewish, both members of the media. And you might choose silence, but I’ve said my piece.

Meanwhile, the saga of Hillary Clinton’s email dominated the news as FBI Director Comey announced that there would be no indictment. Pearls were clutched all over the media about some of the things he said and once again, House Republicans are gearing up for hearings. Regardless of how you feel about this particular scandal, the plan of attack we’ve seen in the past will likely continue in the future.

On the heels of all of that, some news was actually made yesterday afternoon. The first African American president gave a barn-burner of a speech at a campaign rally for the first woman nominee. History was made.

No president has campaigned strongly for his chosen successor in at least 100 years.

Tuesday’s event, with President Obama campaigning for Hillary Clinton, his former secretary of state and onetime rival, in North Carolina is remarkable for that reason. It kicks off what is likely to be a season of vigorous campaigning by the president.

Hillary Clinton has an asset no presidential candidate has enjoyed in at least 100 years. Beyond that, this event followed one a couple of weeks ago with Sen. Elizabeth Warren and preceded one later in the week with VP Biden. The all-star line-up of Democrats who are proudly campaigning for their presumptive nominee is in stark contrast to those who are running from, criticizing or staying silent about the Republican nominee.

The day ended with Donald Trump doing what he does best – saying something ignorant and inflammatory.

Praising Saddam Hussein for how he handled “terrorists” (like how he used poison gas in 1988?) reminds us all of how Trump has promised to ignore international laws against things like torture as well as how he aligns himself with brutal dictators like Vladimir Putin.

So there you have it folks, a day in the life of the 2016 presidential race. This is exactly how things are lining up so we can expect a lot more days like this over the next four months.

Nancy LeTourneau

Nancy LeTourneau is a contributing writer for the Washington Monthly. Follow her on Twitter @Smartypants60 .