- The Washington Times - Thursday, September 1, 2016

Donald Trump’s prowess as a reality TV star has been an asset on a campaign trail which includes drama, curtain calls and a huge audience. He’s also picked up a new skill — knowing how to turn off the popular charisma and assume a presidential posture when appropriate, an ability which flummoxes the press and delights his fans. The candidate has another weapon in his arsenal, however, one well-suited to a changing political landscape and a global stage. He can make a high-stakes deal.

A loyal son has drawn clear attention to this. Donald Trump Jr. stood up for his father after hearing Democratic vice presidential nominee Tim Kaine and others claim Mr. Trump, the senior, has “choked” on his immigration policy during his midweek visit with Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto. The son took exception to suggestions his father had “softened” — retreating on his promise to secure the border, build a wall and enforce immigration law.

“That has no credence. Anyone who knows anything about a deal or negotiation knows that you build a relationship first. You don’t go with the hard-line aspect on day one. We’ve been very clear. We’ve never backed away,” Mr. Trump told Fox News, citing both Hillary Clinton and Mr. Kaine for their naivete and lack of practical business experience.

“You don’t start a negotiation when you’re building a relationship with someone. You build a relationship first. If they’d ever done anything in business, if they’d ever experienced the real world instead of just being politicians talking in theory without any actual practice, maybe they would know that,” he continued. “My father has done these things, he’s created those jobs. He’s done it in the real world where real people’s lives, their families, their families’ livelihoods and well-being depend on him. Trust me. He knows how to set up a negotiation.”

INCHING AHEAD

Uh-oh. The good feeling is ebbing for a certain Democratic nominee.


SEE ALSO: Donald Trump Jr. strikes back at claims his father ‘choked’ on immigration policy


Hillary Clinton’s post-convention lead has disappeared, putting her behind Donald Trump for the first time nationally since mid-July,” says a new Rasmussen reports survey. The Democratic nominee previously enjoyed 44 percent of voter support following the Democratic National Convention. Now Mr. Trump is at 40 percent, Mrs. Clinton at 39 percent.

But it’s complicated by the ever-changing partisan whims, though numbers suggest independent voters may hold the key to a Trump victory.

“Both major candidates have lost some support this week from voters in their respective parties,” the pollster explains. “Trump now has the backing of 71 percent of Republicans, down from 76 percent a week ago. Clinton has 73 percent of the Democratic vote, down from 79 percent. Trump attracts 15 percent of Democrats, while 12 percent of Republicans prefer Clinton. The GOP nominee continues to hold a small lead among voters not affiliated with either major political party, this week leading 36 percent to 28 percent.”

COULTER’S REMINDER

There was some talk that Ann Coulter had cooled toward Republican nominee Donald Trump, following recent press reports claiming the candidate has backtracked on campaign promises. All appears well between Mr. Trump and Ms. Coulter, whose newest book is titled “In Trump We Trust: E Pluribus Awesome!” After watching his revealing his immigration policy at a well-received appearance in Arizona, she swooned a little, deeming it “the most magnificent speech ever given.”

Her sites are now set on Election Day, and she now suggests Mr. Trump hurry and organize his White House transition team. Ms. Coulter also has a reminder for GOP voters, whether they are on the”Trump train,” or dithering in indecision.

“This is it. This is our last chance. November 8,” she tweeted.

THE STATE OF JOURNALISM

Heat Street, an online news source founded by Dow Jones, offers this news: “New York Times axes local arts coverage to free up resources for new gender editor.” Reporter Andrew Stiles notes that the news organization is trying to create a “reimagined newsroom” and will also hire a new “climate change editor.”

WEEKEND CANDIDATE TRACKER

Hillary Clinton and running mate Tim Kaine will march in not one but three Labor Day parades on Monday, in Hampton, Illinois; Cleveland; and Pittsburgh. Vice President Joseph R. Biden will take her message to Pennsylvania this weekend; former primary-rival Sen. Bernard Sanders will do the same in New Hampshire.

After a particularly jam-packed and dramatic week, Donald Trump appears at a fundraiser in Rhode Island on Friday, then journeys to Detroit on Saturday for a meeting with a local pastor and his congregation about the city’s troubling community issues. He’s got a rally in North Carolina , but that’s not until Tuesday — though his schedule could always change at any moment. Running mate Gov. Mike Pence will be among the Tar Heels on Saturday, however, hosting a rally in Fayetteville.

Libertarian Gary Johnson will be in the heartland in the meantime, touring Iowa with running mate William Weld, culminating with a rally in Des Moines which bears the pair’s jaunty campaign theme: “You in?”

WEEKEND REAL ESTATE

For sale: Former Donald Trump mansion, built in opulent Greek Revival-style, on one acre in Beverly Hills, California. Custom made for the future Republican nominee in 1981; 11 bedrooms, 12 baths; 14,991 square feet. Granite and marble foyers, baths, kitchen; crystal chandeliers, 12 exterior columns, multiple formal rooms, elevator, regulation tennis courts and pool, terraces, intricate landscaping, fountains, city views. Mr. Trump still owns the property next door. Priced at $29 million through Compass.com; find the home here.

POLL DU JOUR

77 percent of U.S. voters agree that people must show a valid state or federal photo ID to prove U.S. citizenship before they vote; 94 percent of Republicans, 79 percent of independents and 61 percent of Democrats agree.

63 percent of Americans do not think that the 2016 presidential election is “rigged”; 56 percent of Republicans, 54 percent of independents and 74 percent agree.

23 percent overall say the election is “rigged for Hillary Clinton“; 34 percent of Republicans, 30 percent of independents and 10 percent of Democrats agree.

5 percent say the election is rigged for Donald Trump; 1 percent of Republicans, 2 percent of independents and 10 percent of Democrats agree.

4 percent say the election is rigged, but they don’t know in whose favor; 3 percent of Republicans, 6 percent of independents and 3 percent of Democrats agree.

Source: A Fox News poll of 1,011 registered U.S. voters conducted August 28 to 30.

Nitpicking, polite applause to [email protected]

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