Goofus, doofus, who gets to be Potus? (Washington Diary)

Washington, July 2 (IANS) ‘The Donald’ had called her “goofus’, but he himself was goofier, said the woman in blue awkwardly raising the hand of Democratic nominee to be in a Hillary(ous) show of solidarity against Trump.

The Republican standard bearer was a “nasty” and “small, insecure, money-grubber”, said Elizabeth Warren, the darling of progressive movement, who herself once nursed presidential ambitions, joining Hillary Clinton on the campaign trail for the first time.

“I do just love to see how she gets under Donald Trump’s skin,” beamed Clinton dressed in another shade of blue as the two women clapped and embraced each other with cheering supporters in Cincinnati echoing her campaign slogan “I’m with her”.

But unmindful of the looming double trouble, the brash billionaire doubled down on the pair proclaiming “lying crooked Hillary” was unfit to be President of the United States or “Potus,” as the occupant of the White House is called in intelligence speak.

And her “Pocahontas”, as he dubs Warren alluding to her claimed partial American Indian heritage, was “a total fraud” and “very racist” said Trump as a supporter opened his rally in Maine by launching into a whooping American Indian war cry.

But there was more trouble brewing for the Manhattan mogul with some polls showing Clinton widening her national lead and far outstripping him in raising funds with many big time Republican donors hesitant to loosen their purse strings.

Yet the billionaire continued his tirade against some free trade agreements broadly supported by Republicans and going to the extent of accusing supporters of Trans-Pacific Partnership of wanting to “rape” the US.

He didn’t even spare the US Chambers of commerce suggesting in a speech at a shuttered manufacturing plant in Manchester, New Hampshire, that the trade body was “fighting” against his “messing with bad deals that we could make good.”

So much so that several big-name Bush administration officials announced they would support Clinton “all because Donald Trump is simply a bridge too far for them,” as the Washington Post put it keeping a count of their growing numbers.

“It’s almost-in some ways, like, I’m running against two parties,” Trump complained to a conservative talk radio host.

He also demanded that some “sore losers” of the Republican primary battle who have refused to support him in November presidential elections despite a pledge to do so should be barred from running for public office again.

Clinton had her own share of troubles. While a Republican House committee report on the deadly attacks on two US diplomatic compounds in Benghazi, Libya, in 2012 could find no “smoking gun” against Clinton, according to liberal media, conservatives differed.

The report slams Clinton “for her wilful indifference to her obligation to repel military-style attacks on American interests and personnel” and “for her repeated lies about the cause of the attacks,” thundered an opinion piece on Fox News.

But a bombshell came with revelations of a “chance encounter” Monday at Phoenix Airport between Attorney General Loretta Lynch and Bill Clinton in the midst of an ongoing FBI investigation into his wife’s use of a private email server.

Lynch told reporters they just talked about their grandchildren at a 30-minute private meeting on her plane after the former president asked to come over to say hello.

There was no discussion of Clinton’s email probe or the Congressional report that examined her response to the Benghazi attacks, she insisted.

But the meeting did raise many eyebrows from both Democrats and Republicans with Trump calling it “an amazing thing,” “terrible,” “really a sneak” and “so horrible” that it again typified Clintons’ “poor judgment.”

While White House press secretary Josh Earnest said Lynch had adequately addressed questions about the meeting, David Axelrod, a former political strategist for President Barack Obama, took to Twitter, saying it was “foolish to create such optics.”

With the controversy refusing to die down, Lynch pledged to go by the recommendations of career prosecutors and investigators on whether to bring charges against Hillary Clinton over her email use.

Meanwhile, a new USA Today poll suggested that Americans by an overwhelming 4-1 margin agree that the anger and dissatisfaction that fuelled Brexit smolders in the US too.

Pollsters and pundits are still hedging their bets whether it spells advantage for rank outsider Trump or trouble for the quintessential establishment politician Clinton.

(Arun Kumar can be contacted at arun.kumar@ians.in)

–IANS

ak/tb

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