These days, it seems like the headlines are the same headlines over and over again with differing details. In this past week’s edition of “Will This Election Ever End?”, Donald Trump made an idiot of himself and Hillary Clinton insulted another group of American voters. Same old, same old. Yet, with only 37 days left to convince voters, we’re all awaiting the famed “October surprise.”
Well, maybe we’re waiting. It seems like both sides are already slinging as much mud at the other to tip the scales. Or that’s just been the tenor of 2016. Nevertheless, one unflattering news story about each candidate after another is hitting the presses. Frankly, it’s hard to keep track.
For the Trump camp, they’re battling the Alicia Machado story, which hurts an already tough spot for Trump: educated women. Unless Kellyanne Conway, his campaign manager, can bar him from tweeting, this will be a continual problem.
On top of this, they now have to deal with the candidate’s tax returns. A report from the New York Times estimated that, in 1995, he declared over $900 million lost in business dealings, which would have allowed him to avoid nearly 20 years of federal income tax payments. These numbers come from a document obtained by the newspaper, but Mr. Trump has not actually released his returns. Neither situation will end well for him: Trump will either look like he manipulated the tax system, or that he lacks transparency.
Speaking of transparency, let’s move on to Hillary Clinton. Ironically, she is facing similar problems: off-the-cuff insults and transparency.
Audio leaked over the weekend that has Hillary Clinton saying the following about Sanders’ supporters: “Some are new to politics completely. They’re children of the Great Recession. And they are living in their parents’ basement.” I’d say that’s a pretty bold move, considering Sanders’ former supporters are among your likely voters–or at least they were. Then, to complete the parallel, there’s always the looming threat of her emails going public. Wikileaks founder Julian Assange claims to have election-ending material on Ms. Clinton, but he will probably sit on it until we get a little bit closer to Election Day.
Of course, there are a number of other factors at play here. Temperament and trustworthiness are merely the stories of the week. Terrorism, health concerns, and two more debates could all swing the election for one or the other.
We’ll have to wait to see what October 2016 has in store.