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Trump card

Financial mogul Donald Trump had positive things to say about a certain Arizonian recently.

“I’d hire John McCain,” Mr. Trump told CNN. “I know John McCain. I know he’s a good man. I think he’d be a very good president.”

Mr. Trump had good words for a certain Alaskan as well.

“Would you trust Sarah Palin to be in charge of the economy right now?” asked host Wolf Blitzer.

“The answer is yes. I met her recently. I was very impressed with her. The people of Alaska, whom really are the people that know her, they think she’s fantastic. Again, she’s the highest-rated governor in the United States,” Mr. Trump replied.

Again, Mr. Blitzer wondered whether Mrs. Palin could handle the financial crisis.

“Look at what other people have been doing. And they had a lot of experience and they’re the ones that got us into this mess. Maybe you need less experience,” Mr. Trump replied.

Days of yore

Political combat Colonial-style was rough indeed. On this very day in 1784, an essay appeared in the Gazette of the United States, accusing Thomas Jefferson of having an affair with one of his slaves. The claim was penned by “Phocion,” an alias for Alexander Hamilton, who hoped to sway the public against Jefferson, then waging an arduous presidential campaign against incumbent John Adams.

An earnest Jimmy Stewart starred in “Mr. Smith Goes to Washington,” which opened on this day in 1939. And here’s to nattering nabobs everywhere: Then Vice President Spiro Agnew referred to anti-Vietnam War protesters as “an effete corps of impudent snobs” 39 years ago today.

Last but not least, the Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped 508 points on this day in 1987 -considered the worst one-day percentage decline, 22.6 percent, in history.

By the numbers

• 41 percent of mainstream news stories are devoted to the presidential campaign.

• 36 percent of the stories cover the financial crisis.

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