Ah, summer time. Time to relax, head for the lake or the hills. The liven’ is easy. Except maybe if you’re a politician. For politicians, especially those with an election looming less than a year away, summer is a time to return to your riding — and work your butt off. You’ve got to get your face in front of as many people as possible, kiss as many babies as you can.
So I think Bill Bennett and Norm Macdonald can be forgiven if they take the summer to relax, having both announced they will not run in Kootenay East and Columbia River Revelstoke, respectively, in the next election. Yes Bill and Norm can head to the cabin (probably not the same cabin), put their feet up and drink a frosty beverage of their choice — while watching the poor schmucks who want their jobs duke it out.
There are only so many babies to kiss in the East Kootenay and there’s a healthy pack of politicians hoping for a peck. So in Kootenay East you’ll likely run into Randal Macnair and Norma Blisset, both vying for the NDP nomination; and David Wilks and Tom Shypitka, hoping to nab the BC Liberal nomination. In Columbia River Revelstoke, watch out for Invermere Gerry Taft and former Invermere Councillor Spring Hawes (NDP) and of course, the BC Liberals Doug Clovechok, who hasn’t stopped running since 2013. Luckily both ridings are large and you are not likely to see two hopefuls fighting over the same baby. Now that would be some summer time entertainment.
In the States this week, Hillary Clinton dodged a campaign-ending missile with the announcement that the FBI was not recommending she be charged for the email debacle that has plagued her for a number of years. In a nutshell, Clinton was fairly cavalier with classified information whilst Secretary of State, discussing it on an insecure, private email server. The Republicans, who have spawned an entire cottage industry on Clinton investigations, have been trying to get her indicted on this, or the Benghazi debacle for years. They are immensely disappointed. And have promised yet another hearing.
FBI Director James Comey — himself a Republican, which makes his decision a little less open to favouritism claims — said he found Clinton’s actions with the emails “careless” but not “gross negligence”.
The Donald immediately declared that “the system is rigged”, carrying on with his belief that legal decisions that do not go his way have to be suspect.
In my opinion, if there was any other candidate but Trump running against Clinton, she would be in trouble over this anyway. Nobody needs to have the tagline “careless” attached to a President.
But it is Trump, and after ranting about rigged systems for a bit on Tuesday, he went on to verbalizing his usual inane thought salad. His point this week? While Saddam Hussein was a “bad guy”, he was great at killing terrorists. “He did that so good.” So… yay for Saddam?
The Twitter-verse also had a fun Trump week under the hashtag #1776Trump — a nod to the July 4 holiday. The premise was simply to pretend The Donald was around during the colonial days and imagine what he might have said.
I give you #1776Trump:
• Don’t tell me burning witches doesn’t work Believe me, burning witches works okay? We need more witch burning, not less!
• “Crooked George says I have small slaves. He’s such a liar. Look at those slaves…do those slaves look small to you?”
• Where’s my African American… wait, how did he get out?
• 13 colonies? That’s it?!? Bad deal. I woulda gotten 1000 colonies. Huge, beautiful colonies.
• “I don’t know if it’s true, a lot of people are telling me, Tom Jefferson has a black girlfriend. It’s what I’m hearing!
• I have a great relationship with the blacks. And I got them at a hugely tremendous bargain.
• Alexander Hamilton is a total loser. Lost his duel. I prefer people who don’t lose duels.
• We are going to build a wall down the east coast to keep out the British!!
• “Taxpayers are paying a fortune for the use of Air Horse One! A disgrace!”
• The Headless Horseman’s only accomplishment is that he lost his head. Right there in the name. Loser. I only back winners.
• Samuel Adams Beer is Bush League. Nobody brews beer like me. Lyin Sammy uses weak barley, bad hops, Trump beer has the best hops.
• Alexander Hamilton isn’t even from the Colonies. Says he’s from Nevis, but he looks Puerto Rican to me. Probably Catholic.
Going to be a long summer on the campaign trail.
Carolyn Grant is Editor of the Kimberley Bulletin