Meet Kamala Harris, Who Could Become The First Woman President

LOS ANGELES, CA - NOVEMBER 8: Kamala Harris celebrates winning her Senate race at her rally in downtown on November 8, 2016 in Los Angeles, California.  (Barbara Davidson/Los Angeles Times)
LOS ANGELES, CA – NOVEMBER 8: Kamala Harris celebrates winning her Senate race at her rally in downtown on November 8, 2016 in Los Angeles, California. (Barbara Davidson/Los Angeles Times)

California’s popular attorney general is headed to Capitol Hill. The White House might be next.

By Mollie Reilly/

One of the many, many consequences of Donald Trump’s victory Tuesday night is that the nation will have to wait at least four more years to see a woman elected president.

Hillary Clinton’s loss came as a devastating blow to many people across the country eager to see a woman take office. But among Tuesday’s winners is California’s new Democratic senator-elect, Kamala Harris, who may be the next best hope for shattering that glass ceiling.

She’s drawn many comparisons to President Barack Obama, who famously ran for president during his first term in the Senate. Her background and her polished yet personable approach to politics embody what many think the Democratic Party should aim to look like going forward. And even before her Senate win, her name was floated for roles including California governor, Supreme Court justice and vice president.

Here are some things you should know about the woman who could very well challenge Trump in 2020.

She’s spent six years as California’s attorney general.

Harris, a San Francisco Bay Area native, spent years as a prosecutor and was elected twice as San Francisco’s district attorney before she won the California attorney general race in 2010. That election placed her at the top of the most populous state’s enormous law enforcement system and gave her a platform to fight for the issues she cared about.

Among her more high-profile efforts: waging a statewide campaign to reduce school truancy, eliminating the state’s backlog of untested rape kits, successfully suing the for-profit Corinthian Colleges to the tune of $1.1 billion and negotiating a mortgage relief settlement on behalf of California homeowners (which some critics said made a nice headline but didn’t accomplish much).

She’s also emerged as one of the leading attorneys general standing in solidarity with Black Lives Matter. During a pen-and-pad session with reporters at the Democratic National Convention in July, she spoke at length about police killings of black men and women, arguing that states should take steps like keeping track of the data on officer-involved shootings and increasing training to reduce police bias.

Still, she’s been criticized by activists for not doing enough to investigate police shootings and for her opposition to statewide regulations on body cameras for police.

She’s campaigned on her criminal justice reform record.

Harris has run multiple races on the back of what she describes as her “smart on crime” approach to criminal justice. That approach is largely focused on keeping low-level offenders out of jail. As state attorney general, she has openly addressed the failures of the war on drugs and pointed to the importance of early childhood education in keeping kids out of trouble. In 2013, she launched an initiative to reduce recidivism via partnerships between the state’s Justice Department and local officials.

However, reform advocates have said Harris’ tenure as California’s top cop was too cautious, pointing out that many of the state’s strides over the last years toward reducing the prison population ― including the state’s prison realignment ― happened in the state legislature or via ballot initiative. She’s also been criticized for not taking a strong stand on prosecutorial misconduct, including her lukewarm response to a jailhouse informant scandal in Orange County.

She played a big role in the fight for marriage equality.

Harris refused to enforce California’s Proposition 8, a voter-passed initiative in 2008 that banned same-sex marriage in the state, and in 2011 she pressed a federal appeals court to allow weddings to continue as the court considered the constitutionality of the ban.

“I declined to defend Proposition 8 because it violates the Constitution,” Harris said in 2013, when the case against Prop. 8 made it to the U.S. Supreme Court, which set a process in motion that eventually ended the ban. “The time has come for this right to be afforded to every citizen.”

She’s remained a champion of gay rights, and in 2015 she specifically called out Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia for dismissing California as different from the rest of the country in his dissent of the court’s decision that legalized same-sex marriages nationwide.

Don’t hate the playa; hate the game,” she said. “Justice Scalia has caused many people to question the dignity of the court when he makes statements such as the statements he’s made in connection with this case. And that’s unfortunate.”

She’s already made history with her Senate win.

Harris is just the second black woman ever elected to the upper chamber. The first, Carol Moseley Braun (D-Ill.), was elected in 1992 and served one term. She’s also the first Indian-American ever elected to the Senate. (Harris’ mother immigrated to the U.S. from India.)

Breaking down these kind of barriers is nothing new to Harris. She was the first woman, the first African-American and the first Indian-American to become California’s top cop.

“My mother had a saying ― ‘you may be the first to do many things, make sure you aren’t the last,’” Harris told CQ Roll Call in June. “We need to work to ensure the leaders reflect the people they are supposed to represent, and until we achieve that full representation, I think we should understand we are falling short of the ideals of this country.”

She’s got friends in high places.

Chiefly, Obama and Vice President Joe Biden, who are on track to leave office with very strong approval ratings and who endorsed Harris over U.S. Rep. Loretta Sanchez, a fellow Democrat, in this Senate race. Obama is a longtime ally of Harris ― he also endorsed her in her first bid for attorney general in 2010. (He also praised her as the nation’s “best-looking” attorney general, a statement he later had to apologize for.)

She also has support from a deep bench of prominent and popular Democrats, including Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren, New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker, California Sens. Dianne Feinstein and Barbara Boxer (whom she’ll replace), New York Sens. Kirsten Gillibrand and Chuck Schumer, California Gov. Jerry Brown, California Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom and many House members.

These alliances could help boost Harris’ profile across the country should she choose to run for president in 2020.

Her first move as senator-elect? Denouncing Trumpism.

Harris’ Tuesday night victory party was overshadowed by Trump’s victory, giving what would typically be a jubilant event a rather somber tone. She took the opportunity to make a full-throated case against embracing the racist, xenophobic values espoused by Trump throughout his campaign, urging her supporters to continue to fight inequality.

“It is the very nature of this fight for civil rights and justice and equality that whatever gains we make, they will not be permanent. So we must be vigilant,” Harris said. “Do not despair. Do not be overwhelmed. Do not throw up our hands when it is time to roll up our sleeves and fight for who we are.”

♦ Culled from The Huffington Post 

International Guardian reacts to Trump’s election victory

Donald Trump, President-elect of the United States of America
Donald Trump, President-elect of the United States of America

Publisher’s Analysis

“Let us not seek to satisfy our thirst for freedom by drinking from the cup of bitterness and hatred.” ― Martin Luther King Jr. The 2016 Election has come and gone, and the time for healing and harmony must not be compromised.

Politics is a policy of managing resources, focusing strategically on “who gets what?” Those who are successful are those who voted and stood by their candidates based on their civic needs and interests.

Electioneering support should be based on distinctive necessities and aspirations. We do not support parties and candidates because we like or hate them but because their policies dovetail our interests. Likewise, we do not support candidates because they would win but because their proposals meet our communal needs.

Therefore those who supported or stood by Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton based on their interests have rightfully fulfilled their desires.

About the unforeseen consequences of Trump’s presidency, only time will tell. Yet, without qualms, we must accept the fact, that America has a new President called Donald Trump.

Publisher, Anthony Obi Ogbo, Ph.D.

Meet Trump’s Cabinet-in-waiting

Trumpworld has started with a mandate to hire from the private sector whenever possible. | AP Photo
Trumpworld has started with a mandate to hire from the private sector whenever possible. | AP Photo

By and  (Politico).

President-elect Donald Trump does not have the traditional cadre of Washington insiders and donors to build out his Cabinet, but his transition team has spent the past several months quietly building a short list of industry titans and conservative activists who could comprise one of the more eclectic and controversial presidential cabinets in modern history.

Trumpworld has started with a mandate to hire from the private sector whenever possible. That’s why the Trump campaign is seriously considering Forrest Lucas, the 74-year-old co-founder of oil products company Lucas Oil, as a top contender for Interior secretary, or donor and Goldman Sachs veteran Steven Mnuchin as Treasury secretary.

He’s also expected to reward the band of surrogates who stood by him during the bruising presidential campaign including Newt Gingrich, Rudy Giuliani and Chris Christie, all of whom are being considered for top posts. A handful of Republican politicians may also make the cut including Sen. Bob Corker for secretary of State or Sen. Jeff Sessions for secretary of Defense.

Trump’s divisive campaign may make it difficult for him to attract top talent, especially since so many politicians and wonks openly derided the president-elect over the past year. And Trump campaign officials have worried privately that they will have difficulty finding high-profile women to serve in his Cabinet, according to a person familiar with the campaign’s internal discussions, given Trump’s past comments about women.

Still, two Trump transition officials said they’ve received an influx of phone calls and emails in recent weeks, as the polls tightened and a Trump White House seemed more within reach.

So far, the Trump campaign and transition teams have been tight-lipped about their picks. (The Trump campaign has declined to confirm Cabinet speculation.) But here’s the buzz from POLITICO’s conversations with policy experts, lobbyists, academics, congressional staffers and people close to Trump.

Secretary of State

Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, a leading Trump supporter, is a candidate for the job, as is Republican Sen. Bob Corker (Tenn.), the current chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. Corker has said he’d “strongly consider” serving as secretary of State.

Trump is also eyeing former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations John Bolton.

Treasury secretary

Donald Trump himself has indicated that he wants to give the Treasury secretary job to his finance chairman, Steven Mnuchin, a 17-year-veteran of Goldman Sachs who now works as the chairman and chief executive of the private investment firm, Dune Capital Management. Mnuchin has also worked for OneWest Bank, which was later sold to CIT Group in 2015.

Secretary of Defense

Among the Republican defense officials who could join the Trump administration: Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.), a close adviser, has been discussed as a potential Defense Secretary. Former National Security Adviser Stephen Hadley and former Sen. Jim Talent (R-Mo.) have also been mentioned as potential candidates.

Top Trump confidante retired Lt. Gen. Mike Flynn, the former director of the Defense Intelligence Agency, would need a waiver from Congress to become defense secretary, as the law requires retired military officers to wait seven years before becoming the civilian leader of the Pentagon. But Trump’s chief military adviser is likely to wind up some senior administration post, potentially national security adviser. And other early endorsers like Rep. Duncan Hunter (R-Calif.) could be in line for top posts as well.

Attorney general

People close to Trump say former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani, one of Trump’s leading public defenders, is the leading candidate for attorney general. New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, another vocal Trump supporter and the head of the president-elect’s transition team, is also a contender for the job — though any role in the Cabinet for Christie could be threatened by the Bridgegate scandal.

Another possibility: Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi, though the controversy over Trump’s donation to Bondi could undercut her nomination.

Interior secretary

Forrest Lucas, the 74-year-old co-founder of oil products company Lucas Oil, is seen as a top contender for Interior Secretary.

Trump’s presidential transition team is also eyeing venture capitalist Robert Grady, a George H. W. Bush White House official with ties to New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie. And Trump’s son, Donald Trump, Jr., is said to be interested in the job.

Meanwhile, a person who spoke to the Trump campaign told POLITICO that the aides have also discussed tapping Sarah Palin for Interior Secretary. Trump has said he’d like to put Palin in his Cabinet, and Palin has made no secret of her interest.

Other possible candidates include: former Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer; Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin; Wyoming Rep. Cynthia Lummis; and Oklahoma oilman Harold Hamm.

Agriculture secretary

There are several names being considered by Trump aides for Agriculture secretary, according to multiple sources familiar with the transition. The president elect has a deep bench to pull from with nearly 70 leaders on agricultural advisory committee.

The most controversial name on the transition’s current short list is Sid Miller, the current secretary of agriculture in Texas, who caused a firestorm just days ago after his campaign’s Twitter account referred to Clinton as a ‘c—.‘ Miller said it was a staffer mistake and apologized.

Other names include Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback; Nebraska Gov. Dave Heineman; former Georgia Gov. Sonny Perdue; former Texas Gov. Rick Perry as well as Charles Herbster, Republican donor and agribusiness leader; and Mike McCloskey, a major dairy executive in Indiana, according to Arabella Advisors, a firm that advises top foundations and is closely tracking both transition efforts.

Bruce Rastetter, a major Republican donor in Iowa, and Kip Tom, a farmer who ran for Congress in Indiana this year but was defeated in the primary, are also among those being considered, Arabella said.

Other top Republican insiders expect that Chuck Connor, president and CEO of the National Council of Farmer Cooperatives, Don Villwock, president of the Indiana Farm Bureau and Ted McKinney, the current director of the Indiana Department of Agriculture in the Pence Administration, are also likely to be in the running for the post.

Commerce secretary

Trump is expected to look to the business community for this job.

Billionaire investor Wilbur Ross, a Trump economic adviser, could fit the bill. Dan DiMicco, the former CEO of steelmaker Nucor Corp and a Trump trade adviser, is another possibility.

Trump is said to also be considering former Texas Gov. Rick Perry, former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee and even New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie for the job.

Labor secretary

Like many Cabinet posts under Trump, the campaign and transition staff have been looking for a CEO or executive to lead the Labor Department. One possible name being bandied about is Victoria Lipnic, the Commissioner of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission since 2010 who also served as an an assistant secretary of Labor for employment standards from 2002 until 2009. The Romney transition team reportedly also considered her for a top Labor post back in 2012.

Health and Human Services secretary

Among the names receiving buzz: Florida Gov. Rick Scott, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich and Ben Carson, former GOP presidential candidate. Carson has received the most attention lately for HHS, even from Trump himself.

At a recent anti-Obamacare rally, Trump went out of his way to praise Carson by calling him a “brilliant” physician. “I hope that he will be very much involved in my administration in the coming years,” Trump said.

One longer shot would be Rich Bagger, the executive director of the Trump transition team and former pharmaceutical executive who led, behind-closed-doors, many of the meetings this fall with health care industry donors and executives.

Energy secretary

Continental Resources CEO Harold Hamm has long been seen as a leading candidate for Energy Secretary. Hamm, an Oklahoma billionaire who has been a friend of Trump’s for years, has been the leading influence on Trump’s energy policy during the campaign.

If Hamm passes, venture capitalist Robert Grady is also seen as a top candidate, though he could also be in line for Interior.

Education secretary

Trump has made clear the Education Department would play a reduced role in his administration — if it exists at all, as he’s suggested he may try to do away with it altogether.

The GOP nominee has also offered a few hints about who he would pick to lead the department while it’s still around. Among those who may be on the shortlist is Ben Carson, the retired neurosurgeon who ran against Trump in the primary but later endorsed the Republican presidential candidate. Education Insider, a monthly survey of Congressional staff, federal officials and other “insiders,” said in May that Carson was Trump’s most-likely pick.

Another possible education secretary under Trump is William Evers, a research fellow at the Hoover Institution who was worked on education matters for the Trump transition team. Evers worked at the Education Department during the Bush administration and served as a senior adviser to then-Education Secretary Margaret Spellings.

Veterans Affairs secretary

The name most commonly mentioned for Veterans Affairs Secretary is House Veterans’ Affairs Chairman Jeff Miller, who’s retiring from the House and was an early Trump backer.

Homeland Security secretary

One person close to Trump’s campaign said David Clarke, the conservative Sheriff of Milwaukee County, Wis., is a possible candidate for Homeland Security Secretary. Clarke has cultivated a devoted following on the right, and he spoke at the Republican National Convention in Ohio, declaring, “Blue lives matter.” Christie is also seen as a possible DHS secretary.

Environmental Protection Agency administrator

While Trump has called for eliminating the EPA, he has more recently modified that positions, saying in September that he’ll “refocus the EPA on its core mission of ensuring clean air, and clean, safe drinking water for all Americans.”

Myron Ebell, a climate skeptic who is running the EPA working group on Trump’s transition team, is seen as a top candidate to lead the agency. Ebell, an official at the Competitive Enterprise Institute, has come under fire from environmental groups for his stances on global warming. Venture capitalist Robert Grady is also a contender.

Other potential candidates: Joe Aiello is the director of the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection’s Division of Environmental Safety and Quality Assurance; Carol Comer, the commissioner of the Indiana Department of Environmental Management, who was appointed by Mike Pence; and Leslie Rutledge, the attorney general of Arkansas and a lead challenger of EPA regulations in the state.

Bryan Bender, Jeremy Herb, Connor O’Brien, Joanne Kenen, Marianne Levine, Michael Crowley, Doug Palmer, Nahal Toosi, Helena Bottemiller Evich, Zachary Warmbrodt, Ian Kullgren and Benjamin Wermund contributed to this report.

Polls – How did everyone get it so wrong?

Projections for the 2016 presidential race have been left in shambles. | Getty
Projections for the 2016 presidential race have been left in shambles. | Getty

Polls and predictive models failed to predict Trump’s strength.

Everybody was wrong. Again. When Election Day dawned, almost all the pollsters, analytics nerds and political insiders in the country had Hillary Clinton waltzing into the White House.

By the time polls had closed nationwide on Tuesday night, those projections had been left in shambles — just like the ones a year ago that all-but ruled out the possibility of Donald Trump winning the Republican Party’s presidential nomination.

Headed into Election Day, polling evangelist Nate Silver’s 538 website put Clinton’s odds at winning the White House at about 72 percent. By midnight, the site had more than flipped its odds making, giving Trump an 84 percent chance of winning.

Trump had notched hugely significant upset victories in Florida, North Carolina and Wisconsin — critical swing states where almost every public poll and most private projections had shown Clinton ahead.

The Republican nominee’s surprisingly strong performance, which left the race on a razor’s edge at the publication of this story, seemed to at least partly validate his claims that many polls “just put out phony numbers.”

And it left pollsters and operatives struggling to explain how everyone had been so far off.

Geoff Garin, a veteran Democratic pollster who worked for the pro-Clinton super PAC Priorities USA, said many surveys had under-sampled non-college-educated whites, a group that Trump appealed to. He also argued there had been on over-emphasis on the belief that the country’s rising demographic diversity would put Clinton over the top.

“There was too great a belief that demographics are destiny, and that demographics would lead to a certain outcome,” he said. “The reality turned out to be much different that.”

“The pollsters have lost a lot of credibility and won’t be believed on anything soon,” said Jonathan Barnett, a Republican National Committeeman from Arkansas who supported Trump. “The way they poll doesn’t work anymore.”

Some pointed to the possibility of “hidden Trump voters,” who were embarrassed to admit even anonymously to pollsters that they planned to support Trump.

“The very premise of polling is based on the idea that voters will be completely honest with total strangers,” said veteran GOP operative Ned Ryun, who runs a grassroots group called American Majority and had announced his intent to run for Republican National Committee chairman if Trump lost.

Others pointed to the surge in momentum Trump received when the FBI announced 11 days before the election that it was reviewing new evidence related to its investigation into the handling of sensitive information by Clinton and her aides at the State Department.

While FBI Director James Comey on Sunday announced the agency had completed its investigation and would not pursue charges.

But operatives on both sides of the aisle agreed the damage was done.

They pointed out that Trump was out-performing projections in states that had minimal early voting, such as New Hampshire, Pennsylvania and Virginia.

“The bad headlines hurt her this past week,” said conservative operative Brendan Steinhauser, a staunch Trump critic. “Trump had the momentum and the enthusiasm at just the right time.”

And the Republican National Committee’s investment over the past three years in its ground game, once regarded as a significant liability, was getting renewed attention as Trump’s electoral vote count mounted.

While Trump’s campaign lacked anywhere close to the field staff and offices maintained Clinton’s operation, the RNC had worked to make up the difference, funding 315 field offices staffed by 6,012 paid employees and fellows.

The “GOP ground game was outstanding,” tweeted RNC chief strategist Sean Spicer.

Robert Blizzard, a veteran Republican pollster who had been an outspoken Trump critic, tweeted “Where the heck is the vaunted Democratic turnout machine? The RNC crushed this.”

Pro-Trump operatives argued that even when some polls hinted at Trump’s strength, it was ignored or explained away by the media and analysts.

“Most of the press and folks in DC were science deniers when it came to this election,” said veteran GOP operative Curt Anderson, an adviser to a pro-Trump super PAC. “Even in the face of polls that showed it very close, they all said that Trump had almost no chance. It was because they couldn’t imagine it happening.”

He added that “they are in a bubble, and that bubble has just been burst.”

Presidential Election Live: Donald Trump’s Victory


Donald J. Trump’s victory in the presidential race on Tuesday night capped a remarkable election in which several Democratic Senate candidates fell short and Republicans retained their majority in the House of Representatives. Here are some key takeaways from a stunning result that upended conventional expectations and set the stage for a drastic reordering of politics in Washington:

• Mr. Trump took the stage at the Hilton just before 3 a.m. and told his supporters that Hillary Clinton called him to concede the election. Striking a gracious note, he wished her well and said, “We owe her a major debt of gratitude for her debt to our country.”

• Reading from teleprompters and flanked by Gov. Mike Pence of Indiana and his son, Barron, Mr. Trump said he wanted to “reclaim our country’s destiny” and be bold and daring. He also called for unity and said that he hoped Democrats and Republicans would work together.

• Democratic hopes that Hillary Clinton would easily defeat Mr. Trump crumbled as the evening wore on, as the Republican candidate’s bombastic style appeared to win significant support among white, working-class and rural voters across the country.

• Mrs. Clinton’s loss seemed to result, in part, from a worse-than-expected showing among African-Americans and young voters — two important parts of the coalition that lifted President Obama to victories in 2008 and 2012.

— Black voters made up 12 percent of the national electorate this year, nearly the same as in 2012. Mrs. Clinton won a broad majority of black voters — 88 percent, compared with 8 percent for Mr. Trump. But Mr. Obama received 93 percent of the African-American vote four years ago.

— Mr. Trump won in part on his strength with voters who were not strongly identified with either party. Independents made up 31 percent of 2016 voters, compared with 29 percent in 2012. Mrs. Clinton won 42 percent of independents, compared with Mr. Trump’s 47 percent, while 6 percent voted for Gary Johnson and 3 percent supported Jill Stein.

— In the key battleground of Florida, Mr. Trump built his support largely on voters who expressed deep dismay with Washington. Nearly nine in 10 of his voters in Florida said they were dissatisfied or angry with the state of the federal government. Just as many disapproved of Mr. Obama’s job performance, and three-quarters thought the president’s health care law went too far.

— Nearly four in 10 Florida voters said they were most interested in electing a president who would bring serious change, and Mr. Trump won that group by a broad margin. Mrs. Clinton won voters looking for a compassionate, experienced or more judicious leader — but it was not enough to cancel out Mr. Trump’s support among those hungry for change.

— Hispanic voters made up 11 percent of voters nationwide in 2016, just 1 point higher than in 2012. While Mrs. Clinton got 65 percent support among Hispanics, compared with 29 percent for Mr. Trump, her support from this group was 6 points lower than Mr. Obama’s in 2012.

— While Mrs. Clinton did better than Mr. Trump among nonwhite voters in Florida, it was not enough to offset his success with white voters, who skew older in the state. He won those by nearly 2 to 1, including those with a college degree. One-quarter of Florida’s electorate was white and over 60. Mr. Trump pulled most of his support from the Gulf Coast and the central part of the state, a hub for wealthy retirees, offsetting Mrs. Clinton’s gaping lead in the Miami and Orlando areas.

— Mr. Trump also did well in Ohio, where voters ages 18 to 29 were 11 points less likely to support the Democratic candidate this year than in 2012, with Mr. Johnson and Ms. Stein capturing 7 percent of their votes. Black voters in Ohio were 6 points less likely to support Mrs. Clinton than they were to support Mr. Obama four years ago.

— In North Carolina, 30 percent of voters were nonwhite, and Mrs. Clinton won this group by a 62-point margin (79 percent to 17 percent). Mr. Trump, countering with a strong showing among whites, won the state.

— The suburban share of the North Carolina vote increased to 38 percent, from 28 percent in 2012, while the share of the rural vote decreased by 10 points, to 24 percent. Mr. Trump won majorities in both groups.

Trump wins presidency in stunning victory

05 Jan 2016, Claremont, New Hampshire, USA --- Republican Presidential candidate Donald Trump appears at a rally in Claremont, NH --- Image by © Brooks Kraft/Corbis
05 Jan 2016, Claremont, New Hampshire, USA — Republican Presidential candidate Donald Trump appears at a rally in Claremont, NH — Image by © Brooks Kraft/Corbis

NEW YORK — Donald J. Trump will be the 45th president of the United States, the Associated Press projected Wednesday. He will be the first person to hold the office despite having no prior political or military experience.

“It’s time for America to bind the wounds of division,” Trump, flanked by his family and his running mate, Mike Pence, told the crowd inside the Hilton hotel in midtown Manhattan. “To all Republicans, Democrats and independents across this nation: I say it is time for us to come together as one united people. It’s time.”

The Republican nominee’s victory over Hillary Clinton marks a stunning upset that neither the polls nor the pundits saw coming. But Trump, defiant to the end, insisted he would win despite burning bridges with key voting groups and even many Republicans. In winning, Trump upended almost every norm of American politics and apparently changed the shape of the Republican Party.

Clinton called Trump to concede the race shortly before he took the stage, Trump said.

“I’ve just received a call from Secretary Clinton,” he said. “She congratulated us — it’s about us — on our victory. And I congratulated her and her family on a very, very hard-fought campaign. I mean, she fought very hard. Hillary has worked very long and very hard over a very long period of time, and we owe her a major debt of gratitude for her service to our country. And I mean that very sincerely.”

Trump spent the final three weeks of his once-unlikely White House bid railing against a “rigged” election, alleging without evidence that voter fraud would be widespread. He even hinted at the idea of not conceding the race if he lost, jokingly promising to accept the results of the election “if I win.”

But the brash billionaire also predicted that he would shock the establishment and said his campaign would be “Brexit Plus Plus,” a reference to Britain’s exit from the European Union, which also was not forecast in the polls. And in the end, to borrow one of Trump’s favorite expressions, he did indeed exceed expectations “big league.”

“They all told it wrong from day number one,” Michael Cohen, a longtime Trump adviser and Trump Organization attorney, told Yahoo News.

“America is going to see the change that it deep needs and they’re going to have a leader a real leader,” Cohen added.

Trump spent the night huddled with family and friends, watching the returns inside the Hilton Hotel in Midtown Manhattan, where one Trump campaign source initially said some allies expected him to lose and were simply hoping he would outperform Mitt Romney’s showing in the 2012 presidential race. But as the night wore on, the Trump team became more optimistic and began to think the celebrity businessman had a chance, based on razor-thin margins in battleground states. After Ohio was called for Trump, the same source predicted that even the Democrats might also be changing their assessments of Trump’s chances.

Trump’s campaign manager, Kellyanne Conway, described a jubilant atmosphere in his war room in a text to Yahoo News before Trump was projected the winner.

“Absolutely buoyant. We can smell the win,” Conway said.

The crowd that waited to see Trump speak in a ballroom at the Hilton cheered each time a state was called for him. (Unsurprisingly, the television monitors at the event were showing Fox News, the cable news network favored by conservatives on which Trump had appeared often.)

“I had hoped for this,” a second Trump campaign source said. “I knew there was a chance for this, but I gave it a 30 percent chance. I thought we would come up just short.”

Supporters of Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump cheer as they watch election returns during an election night rally, Tuesday, Nov. 8, 2016, in New York. (Photo: Evan Vucci/AP)
Supporters of Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump cheer as they watch election returns during an election night rally, Tuesday, Nov. 8, 2016, in New York. (Photo: Evan Vucci/AP)

Polls had widely shown Trump to be an underdog against Clinton, the Democratic nominee who faced a series of questions over her use of a private email server and how her family foundation interacted with the State Department during her tenure as secretary of state. But those polls were apparently wrong.

Clinton had enjoyed a double-digit lead over Trump in national polls following the presidential debates, but she saw that cushion evaporate after FBI Director James Comey set off a political firestorm 10 days before Election Day. Comey said newly discovered emails related to the investigation were being reviewed, and Trump started predicting that she would be indicted. On Sunday, Comey said a review of those emails did not change his position that Clinton should not face criminal prosecution.

The results indicated that Trump outperformed expectations among working-class whites, forming a coalition of states that few thought possible when the campaign began. Meanwhile, Clinton underperformed among college-educated and young white women.

In the end, Clinton failed to overcome the showman, who gobbled up thousands of hours of free airtime on cable news by making a series of controversial and improbable promises, like a pledge to build a wall along the southern border of the U.S. and a promise to “shut down” Muslim immigration. Trump also stayed in the spotlight by fighting a series of feuds and raging against the media. And despite Clinton’s strong performance in the presidential debates, in which she goaded Trump into gaffes and kept the focus squarely on his shortcomings, she could not translate those performances into votes.

Trump’s election is already sending shock waves through the political system because it signals a repudiation of establishment politicians that, to many voters, the Clintons represent. The property magnate and former “Celebrity Apprentice” host, one of the most unconventional major-party candidates in U.S. history, had vowed to “drain the swamp” of Washington, D.C. He derided many of the leaders he’ll likely now need to work with, such as House Speaker Paul Ryan and many other congressional Republicans.

It also remains to be seen if President-elect Trump will be able to heal the country’s sharp political divisions, some of which were sparked by his campaign.

But the Queens, N.Y.-born Trump, 70, will have to face all of those challenges and more when he is inaugurated in January.

“Working together, we will begin the urgent task of rebuilding our nation and renewing the American dream,” Trump said. “I’ve spent my entire life and business looking at the untapped potential in projects and people all over the world. That is now what I want to do for our country. Tremendous potential, I’ve gotten to know our country so well — tremendous potential. It’s going to be a beautiful thing.”

“The forgotten men and women of our country will be forgotten no longer,” he continued. “We are going to fix our inner cities and rebuild our highways, bridges, tunnels, airports, schools, hospitals. We’re going to rebuild our infrastructure — which will become, by the way, second to none. And we will put millions of our people to work as we rebuild it.”

This Catholic priest put an aborted fetus on the altar in an appeal for Donald Trump

In this file photo, the Rev. Frank Pavone of the antiabortion group Priests for Life dedicates a basket of naming certificates for 47 babies who died in the Philadelphia clinic of Kermit Gosnell. (Andre Kim/Priests for Life via Religion News Service)
In this file photo, the Rev. Frank Pavone of the antiabortion group Priests for Life dedicates a basket of naming certificates for 47 babies who died in the Philadelphia clinic of Kermit Gosnell. (Andre Kim/Priests for Life via Religion News Service)

Ahead of Tuesday’s presidential election, the Rev. Frank Pavone took an aborted fetus, laid it upon an altar Sunday and posted a live video on Facebook. Pavone, a Catholic priest who heads New York-based Priests for Life, said the fetus was entrusted to him by a pathologist for burial.

During an already heated and divisive campaign season, Pavone’s video has raised questions for some about what is appropriate antiabortion and political activism in the church. As of Monday afternoon, the video, which is 44 minutes long, had 236,000 views. In it, he holds up a poster of graphics of abortion procedures.

In Pavone’s Facebook appeal, he wrote, “we have to decide if we will allow this child killing to continue in America or not. Hillary Clinton and the Democratic platform says yes, let the child-killing continue (and you pay for it); Donald Trump and the Republican platform says no, the child should be protected.”

A call placed to the spokesman for the Diocese of Amarillo in Texas, which is Pavone’s diocese, was not immediately returned Monday. The receptionist, however, said her phone has been ringing off the hook.

In a blog post for Patheos, Scott Eric Alt argued that what Pavone did was sacrilege, a violation of Catholic Church canon law, which states that the altar is “reserved for divine worship alone, to the exclusion of any secular usage.”

“Being pro-life is about respecting the dignity of the human person,” Alt wrote. “It is the antithesis of respect for the dignity of the human person to use a dead child as a political prop to lobby for your presidential candidate the day before an election.”

Pavone is a high-profile antiabortion activist who has clashed with leadership within the Catholic Church. In 2014, Cardinal Timothy Dolan cut ties with the priest after Dolan suggested that Pavone had stonewalled financial reform within his organization, which is based out of Staten Island. A spokesman for Dolan, who is also chairman of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops Committee on Pro-Life Activities, said the archdiocese does not have a relationship with Pavone and has no comment on the video.

In a blog post for the Archdiocese of New York, Ed Mechmann wrote about the “revulsion” he felt about the video.

“A human being has been sacrificed and the altar of God has been desecrated, all for politics,” he wrote. “Everyone who respects the dignity of every human person should reject and disavow this atrocity.”

In a statement sent Tuesday to the Washington Post, Pavone said that his actions caused “no small controversy,” and his followers have made overwhelmingly positive comments.

“My followers agree that the truth about abortion has to be seen, because the word has lost all its meaning,” he wrote. “We sanitize it.”

He said his efforts were part of a 9-day effort to get voters to vote for pro-life Republicans.

“In the chapel were only me and the baby, whose funeral has already been held and who has been laid to rest,” he said. “No family were present, because they rejected the child and had him killed. His body would have been thrown in the garbage had we not accepted it.”

Trump has been a divisive candidate for antiabortion activists, who have tried to keep women at the forefront. Earlier this year, the GOP candidate suggested that women who have abortions should be punished, a position he later reversed.

If anything, Pavone’s actions are a signal that the older antiabortion groups are on their way out, said Charles Camosy, a bioethics professor at Fordham University and a board member of Democrats for Life of America. The use of graphic images has been a divisive issue in the antiabortion movement, and Camosy said Monday that nearly everyone he knows, including conservatives, have condemned Pavone’s video.

“This plays into the narrative so many people have of us, that this is a bunch of wild extremists who will put an aborted fetus on Facebook Live. Come on!” said Camosy, who noted that Priests for Life was one of the earliest organizations to support Trump. “This is the death rattle for the culture-war-focused pro-life movement.”

Pavone has had a rocky history under Catholic leadership. After Patrick Zurek was installed as bishop in Pavone’s diocese of Amarillo in 2008, Zurek wanted a full accounting of Pavone’s $10 million annual budget, which was one of the largest among antiabortion groups in the country, according to Religion News Service. In 2011, Zurek suspended his ministry, and RNS reports that Priests for Life had been badly mismanaged, running a $1.4 million deficit and failing to make certain tax filings.

Pavone’s video comes after a group of Catholics inserted fliers into parish bulletins in San Diego claiming that a vote for a Democrat is a mortal sin. San Diego’s Bishop Robert McElroy criticized the flier.

And on Saturday, Pope Francis condemned the political use of fear and the building of walls, describing the refugee crisis as “a problem of the world” and urging political leaders to do more.

Catholics are very divided this election season, especially along racial lines. A recent Washington Post/ABC News tracking poll found that 48 percent of Catholics were polling for Hillary Clinton while 44 percent favored Trump.

♦ Culled from the Washington Post

Donald Trump Sues Nevada Official for Keeping Election Polls Open

Trump unloaded on Ryan in a series of tweets on Tuesday, calling him “weak” and “ineffective.”
Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump sued the Clark Country Registrar of Voters in an attempt to challenge a decision by the Registrar to keep polls open as people waited to vote on Friday night.

In a lawsuit filed on Election Day in Las Vegas, Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump sued the Clark Country Registrar of Voters in an attempt to challenge a decision by the Registrar to keep polls open as people waited to vote on Friday night.

The complaint is titled Donald Trump v. Joe Gloria, first reported by CNN’s Joe Sciutto, and can be viewed here. Update: in a live-streamed hearing, a state judge refused a request by a lawyer for Trump to seize the disputed ballots.

The lawsuit came after a surge in early voting in Las Vegas on Friday resulted in a line of people waiting to vote after 8 p.m. local time, which is when the polls officially closed. In response, the county kept the polls open for additional hours until those still in line could cast their ballot.

Soon after, Trump seized on the county’s decision as evidence of a “rigged system.”

The accusation, however, appears to be without merit. A Nevada state law, like those in many other states, clearly instructs election officials to ensure that those who arrive at a poll in time are given an opportunity to vote. Here’s a screenshot of the law:


Meanwhile, an election law blog post about the controversy explains that Nevada also relies on a related regulation to ensure the process is not manipulated. The safeguard reportedly relies on stickers or other methods of identifying who is in line:

This administrative rule is Nevada Administrative Code § 293.247, and it provides:

After determining who is the last person waiting to vote at the time that the polls close, a member of the election board shall:

(a) Place a sticker or other distinguishing mark on the last person waiting in line to vote; or

(b) If the last person waiting to vote does not want a sticker or other distinguishing mark placed on him or her, physically stand behind the last person waiting in line to vote, to ensure that no other person enters the polling place to vote.

Political observers have suggested the Friday lines in Las Vegas are the result of a surge in voting by Hispanic Americans, which would benefit Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton.

The lawsuit, therefore, may be amount to an early challenge by the Trump campaign to overall results in Nevada, which is an important battleground state in the presidential race.

Trump sought a “writ of mandamus” or a “writ of prohibition” – basically an order from the court for a state official to do something or refrain from doing something. Reports from the hearing on Twitter show the judge was annoyed and incredulous at the request, and suggested it was a threat to the secrecy of the ballot and could lead to intimidation at the polls:

In rejecting the request, the judge ruled, at around 2:55pm ET, that the Trump campaign had not exhausted its administrative remedies – and that the candidate should instead lodge his complaints with the Secretary of State.

Michigan Election 2016 Results Live: Latest exit polls and voting projections


Election Day 2016 is finally upon us, and in Michigan, the polls are open (and will be until 8 p.m. Central).

The Great Lakes State is FiveThirtyEight‘s third most important tipping-point state, with a 12% chance of tipping the election. Michigan offers the victor 16 electoral votes, and while the state has not voted Republican since 1988, in 2016, it’s feasible that it could swing Republican: There are “enough white voters without college degrees” to tip the scales in Donald Trump‘s favor, if traditionally Democratic demographics don’t turn out for Hillary Clinton, according to election forecaster Nate Silver.

Tensions are high in the coveted swing state, with the Detroit Free Press reporting “chaos,” malfunctioning ballot counting machines and delays at Detroit polls and at least one verbal altercation in Ypsilanti Township.

As Election Day kicked off, Clinton was ahead in Michigan. At time of writing, according to RealClearPolitics, she had a nearly 4-point lead over her rival, Republican candidate Trump. According to the Huffington Post‘s poll aggregator, Clinton’s average support in Michigan is roughly 47%, compared to Trump’s 42%.

It’s a narrow margin, yes, but the outcome looks favorable for Clinton: According to FiveThirtyEight, at time of writing, she had a 79% shot of winning Michigan, to Trump’s 21%.

Election 2016: What’s Going Wrong at the Polls?


Update 5:15 p.m. (E.T.) The voter registration system is down in Colorado, Lynn Bartels, of the Colorado Secretary of State’s office, wrote on Twitter. Journalists in Colorado report clerks can’t process mail-in ballots and people voting in person must use provisional ballots.

Update 4:55 p.m. (E.T.) In Coral Springs, Florida, a volunteer for the Hillary Clinton campaign sent writer Ari Berman photos of Donald Trump supporters apparently blocking the entrance to polls and intimidating voters. Berman later tweeted that police came to the polling place and took over control of the situation.

Other problems have been reported in the sunshine state. The Palm Beach County Sheriff’s office reported via Twitter that they were responding to a disturbance at a polling site in Lake Worth where two men got into an argument and one of them struck the other. That man is now facing charges. In Miami-Dade county, people were apparently seen “yelling” at voters in polling places and “using megaphones aggressively,” The Washington Post reported.

Update 4:10 p.m. (E.T.) The North Carolina Board of Elections said in a press release that it would meet later today to consider any requests to extend voting hours. Technical problems in Durham County led to long wait times and officials having to use paper poll books. The state BOE said it had been in constant communications with officials in Durham County and that officials there have not reported “significant wait times” to them. However, state officials are calling on the BOE to extend voting hours in the county.

Update 3:30 p.m. (E.T.) In New York City, where both candidates are hosting their victory or “loss” parties, Mayor Bill de Blasio went on a Twitter rant calling on state politicians to immediately reform the state’s voting system Tuesday, amid widespread complaints from NYC residents of long lines and broken ballot scanners. Similar problems were reported in the borough of Brooklyn.

Update 3 p.m. (E.T.) A polling place at Dunkin Donuts Center in Providence, Rhode Island was briefly evacuated.

Update 1:45 p.m. (E.T.) In Texas, the election protection coalition has received reports of long lines, inoperable voting machines and numerous reports about the voter ID law. The polarizing nature of the election, combined with a modified voter ID law, has created a recipe for voting issues in the state. The death of an election judge in Dallas County led to extended voting hours.

A man in Texas, with a gun and a sign saying “F*****s vote dem,” was released and no charges have been filed, Andrew Kragie of the Houston Chronicle reported.

Update 1:15 p.m. (E.T.) In New Jersey, a sign that told voters they needed an ID to cast their ballot was taken down in the town of Metuchen. That’s just one of the problems that have been documented in the state. Long lines were reported in Jersey City where poll workers brought in at least one additional voting booth. In Connecticut, there have already been multiple voting issues across the state. Hartford had issues with wrong ballots being sent to a polling place, a small fire temporarily disrupted voting in Westport and a person was struck by a car near a polling place in Glastonbury. Some Naugatuck residents who registered to vote at the DMV or AAA were told they weren’t registered and were sent to do same-day registration. In New Haven, some voters had to wait up to an hour to cast their ballots in the morning as lines stretched down multiple streets.

Update 12:20 p.m. (E.T.) Since polls across the country opened, voters, as expected, have been reporting long lines and informing their local board of elections about numerous problems they are experiencing. Problems were reported in the battleground states of Pennsylvania and North Carolina as well as in Maryland and New Jersey.

  • In Pennsylvania, there are reports of people blocking polls doors and handing our fliers at various Philadelphia precincts. Other problems in the state include reports of machines not working, lack of access to polling sites and election workers not showing up.
  • In Durham County, North Carolina, the local board of elections reported on Twitter that due to technical problems, it was directed by the state board of election to use paper poll books. Officials said the change did not cause any interruption to voting.
  • In an incident in Hasbrouck Heights, New Jersey, a man holding a Donald Trump sign was asked to back away from a polling location because he was standing too close. The man cooperated with police, there was no violence and no charges were filed.
  • In Prince George’s County, Maryland, the local BOE informed the state board of reports that voters were becoming uncomfortable and intimidated by people taking their pictures.

What voters have been exposed to in the 2016 election has been unprecedented, and as the nation heads to cast their votes on Tuesday, problems at the polls are not limited to long lines and faulty voting machines. Fears persist about voter intimidation at the polls by far-right groups.

“There are some real concerns about what will happen tomorrow that I haven’t seen before,” Lauren Jones, civil rights national council at the Anti-Defamation League, told Patch.

Jones pointed to the case of a black church in Mississippi that was burned recently and had the words “Vote Trump” spray-painted on the side. She also pointed to a man who was quoted in the Boston Globe as saying he would engage in racial profiling and make people “nervous.” Jones said there’s an atmosphere this election that we haven’t seen before, as well as rhetoric from a campaign that we haven’t seen before.

Donald Trump has repeatedly said the election is rigged, while offering no proof for the claim, and has not said whether he will accept the results Nov. 8 should they not favor him, giving rise to beliefs among his supporters that there is voter fraud taking place and concurrently stirring fears that the actions of poll watchers could affect minority voters.

Far-right groups like the Oath Keepers and representatives of the website Right Stuff, which has been linked to the alt-right, are just a few groups that have announced to varying degrees plans about how they intend on patrolling polling locations on Tuesday.

The Oath Keepers, an organization of current and formerly serving military, police and first-responders, which is officially non-partisan, has detailed plans on its website about how a “rogue political party” plans to instigate violence against citizens not aligned with the party’s agenda, conduct voter fraud operations on an industrial scale and execute voter intimidation tactics at the polls Nov. 8. The group cites the sources for its information as “various news organizations, investigative journalist and other sources, including Project Veritas and WikiLeaks.”

Videos released by James O’Keefe of Project Veritas claim to show vote rigging on the part of Hillary Clinton and other Democrats. Snopes, the website that attempts to verify or debunk such stories, wrote that the October 2016 election-related sting videos reveal tidbits of selectively and (likely deceptively edited) footage absent of any context in which to evaluate them.

“Unless his organization releases the footage in full, undertaking a fair assessment of their veracity is all but impossible,” the Snopes assessment said.

In a call-to-action, Oath Keepers called the Project Veritas video the “smoking-gun confirmation” that widespread voter fraud is taking place.

“To this end, our significant capabilities in conducting covert operations, intelligence gathering, and investigation can and should be leveraged to counter actions of any political party or criminal gang that attempts to disenfranchise the citizens of our nation,” the call-to-action stated.

The group stated it was most concerned about expected attempts at voter fraud by “leftists,” but it would document any apparent attempt at voter fraud by anyone or any party. In October, The Washington Post reported the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law would ask the Department of Justice to investigate the group’s actions. Mark Pitcavage, who monitors extremism for the Anti-Defamation League, told the Post that the presence of the group, even if it follows the law, has the potential for intimidation as well as angry backlash from voters. The Southern Poverty Law Center notes that efforts by the group to thwart voter intimidation is likely to cause more problems, given its own history of frightening locals.

Most states have laws that allow for volunteers to watch the polls, but voter intimidation is a federal crime.

Patch will be updating this post as we get information about possible instances of voter intimidation and other problems at the polls.

Representative for the Right Stuff website detailed their plans to Politico for organizing poll watchers on election day but later said those plans were fabricated.

Another organization, Stop the Steal, which defines itself as “a grassroots organization devoted to maintaining the integrity of our electoral process,” has had more than 2,700 people who have registered so far to serve as poll watchers. The group is run by Roger Stone, a Trump ally.

Jones, of the ADL, told Patch that the group recently changed information on its website about what volunteers can or cannot do at the polls. Initially, it had announced plans to have its volunteers wear official-looking badges until the Huffington Post ran a story exposing the plans.

“The tenor of what they are doing has changed,” Jones said. But she says there is still concern about what the group is going to do.

Lawsuits filed by Democrats against the group in four states, asking for restraining orders against the organization, all fell through.

The election is also the first since a 2013 Supreme Court ruling that allowed nine states, mostly in the south, to change their election laws without advance federal approval. As explained by ProPublica, under Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act, states and localities with a history of racial discrimination needed to get permission from the federal government to enact any changes to their voting laws, in a process called “preclearance.” While Section 5 of the VRA remains intact, the ruling revoked Section 4, the portion that explains which states and localities are subject to preclearance.

To that end, the decision has limited the ability of the Department of Justice to send election observers to the polls to deter voter intimidation. Vanita Gupta, the top civil rights official at the DOJ, told The New York Times that lawyers with the department had interpreted the decision to mean that officials could send observers only into jurisdictions where there was already a relevant court order regarding voting practices. The Times notes that the DOJ will only send observers inside polling places in four states, compared to 2012 when it sent observers inside in 13 states. The DOJ announced Monday where it would be stationing personnel.

Jones said there is a “real need to fully restore the VRA.”

For those who experience problems on Election Day, the Civil Rights Division staff members of the DOJ will be available to receive complaints related to possible violations of federal voting rights laws. Another resource available to voters is the Election Protection Project, a national non-partisan voter protection effort led by the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law. Lawyers from around the country will be working to ensure all voters have an equal opportunity to participate. Those that need help can call call Election Protection at 866-OUR-VOTE (or 888-VE-Y-VOTA for help in Spanish.) Both the DOJ and the Election Protection project remind voters to also alert local authorities about any problems they face on Election Day.

Jones, who is participating in the Election Protection project, says voters who experience problems should first try to see if there is a legal problem and should also inform people about the problems they are facing.


x Close

Like Us On Facebook