The political war of October was a battle that Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton fought with perseverance. As obstacles were thrown in both of the candidates’ paths— Trump’s alleged sexual assault acts and Clinton’s leaked emails on Wikileaks— both candidates incorporated these flaws in their campaign attacks.
Donald Trump attacked Hillary Clinton for having a “two-faced” political image. Not all of Hillary Clinton’s emails have been released on Wikileaks yet and Donald Trump has speculated that Hillary Clinton has a conflicting public and private stance on the nation’s most contentious issues. At the Al Smith dinner he had said, “We’ve learned so much from WikiLeaks. For instance, Hillary believes that it’s vital to deceive the people by having one public policy and a totally different policy in private. … For example, here she is tonight, in public, pretending not to hate Catholics.”
Another combative action this October was when Hillary Clinton challenged Trump for not releasing his tax returns. With the reveal of a tax return from 1995 displaying an almost one billion dollar loss, she stated, “While millions of American families, including mine and yours, were working hard and paying their fair share, it seems he was contributing nothing to our nation.” Clinton has also attacked Trump on using campaign donations for fixing his legal problems and having a mural of himself installed in Trump Tower.
In the final week of October, mass media had predicted a Clinton win by a landslide. Polls had increasingly favored Clinton during the weeks of the debate, yet the biggest October surprise was in store for her.
Huma Abedin, one of Hillary’s campaign aides, had been at Clinton’s side since the primary season up until last week. Anonymous sources of the FBI had notified the media that the FBI had found emails on Abedin’s laptop that could potentially be pertinent to the case of the former Secretary of State’s private email server.
“We don’t ordinarily tell Congress about ongoing investigations,” James Comey, the Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation confided in a letter released by Fox News. “But here I feel an obligation to do so given that I testified repeatedly in recent months that our investigation was completed. I also think it would be misleading to the American people were we not to supplement the record.”
James Comey, had suggested a reopening of the case because he believes the American people should not be mislead on the facts of a case that has already been ongoing since March of 2015. This sentiment suggests that no person in this country, regardless of their political position, should be above the law. The fourteenth amendment to the United States Constitution states, “No state shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any state deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws”. By bringing the case back to relevance, Comey is holding Clinton accountable to equality for all under the laws of the United States. Abedin has not been seen on the campaign trail since Comey’s announcement.
Although Comey believes that the revival of the case is essential, Democratic leaders are outraged. Elizabeth Warren was outraged by Comey’s decision and compared it to the 2008 financial crisis. “If Secretary Clinton’s email server was of sufficient interest to establish a new FBI standard of transparency, then surely the criminal prosecution of those responsible for the 2008 financial crisis should be subject to the same level of transparency”. Warren believes that if the U.S. government was to prosecute Hillary for emails that she wrote years ago, then the U.S. government should also be prosecuting those who are potentially responsible for the 2008 financial crisis. The Lehman Brothers, an investment bank that has been defunct since the financial crash of 2008, are commonly blamed for the economic recession because of their file for bankruptcy after reaching a sensational $619 billion in debt.The FBI has dropped the investigation of the Lehman Brothers without providing closure. Warren brings up this point to expose potential bias of the FBI. She questions the FBI as to why they dropped the Lehman Brothers case, but continue to pursue Clinton’s case.
Democratic Senator Dianne Feinstein spoke out against Comey as well. “The FBI has a history of extreme caution near Election Day so as not to influence the results,” she says. “Today’s break from that tradition is appalling.” Many Democrats believe that reactivating the case this close to election day is unnecessary and precarious. Even President Obama, one of Clinton largest activists, has criticized Comey for “operating on incomplete information”. However, it is extremely unlikely for a report from the FBI to come out with just a few days until the election. As a result, undecided voters across the nations are going to have to decide upon which candidate they will cast their vote towards , not knowing whether Hillary Clinton has violated the law or not.
In addition to Clinton’s email server case reopening, at the beginning of the week of October 30, another surprise began to unfold. Donna Brazile, the DNC interim chairwoman, and a previous contributor to CNN,shocked Americans with a leaked email revealing her providing Clinton cues to the questions of the first presidential debate. This demonstrates a lack of integrity on Clinton’s behalf since she did not report Brazile but instead used her intel to her advantage. Since the reveal, Brazile had resigned from CNN. However, she is still contributing to her twitter platform.“This is an election, and the goal is to come out the winner, not to come out unscathed. Let’s get out the vote”.
Undecided and independent voters are shocked by statements made from both the left and the right that prioritize winning over honesty and integrity, and it shows in the tight polls. A poll conducted for independents by Bloomberg Politics shows Clinton at 30%, Trump at 27%, Johnson at 19%, Stein at 8%, and undecided voters at 16%. Trump is within the margin of error of +/-4 percentage points.
The effects of this new October scandal consists of mixed responses from political sources. New polls have shown conflicting predictions on the outcome of the 2016 presidential election. For instance, an LA Times/USC Tracking poll puts Donald Trump 5 points ahead of Clinton while a Reuters/Ipsos puts Hillary Clinton ahead by 6 points. Although polls currently contradict one another, most media platforms agree that the race has narrowed this week. Polls from earlier this month rarely predicted a Trump win, whereas currently many polls do.
Although Clinton is very confident on the campaign trail with Barack Obama, Michelle Obama, Bernie Sanders, Joe Biden, and Chelsea Clinton all coming to her assistance, a Trump win is now plausible if he can win the close races in all the battleground states plus a state that leans toward the Democratic side, namely Colorado or New Hampshire.