By Pete Zamplas- Donald Trump is groping to steer election talk from his image as a Bill Clintonian womanizer to pressing issues and foe Hillary Clinton’s own loud-rattling skeletons, as he counter-punched effectively Sunday night in their second presidential debate.
Trump’s daughter, eloquent Ivanka Trump, is poised to play a more pivotal role in the final month of her shoot-from-the-hip father’s embattled presidential campaign. The six-foot blonde, posh clothing designer is considered his most trusted adviser. She introduced him at the Republican National Convention (RNC).
She has touted her father’s sound business judgment enabling him to run the nation, his can-do spirit, generosity behind the scenes, and his relating to the working class and seeking project-boosting input from workers on the job.
His fairness to women in his business empire is a facet she emphasized, and is more relevant than ever. At the RNC July 21, she called him “colorblind, and gender neutral. He hires the best person for the job — period … All that counts is ability, effort and excellence.”
Above all, Ivanka said there are more females than males among Trump executives. “Women are paid equally for the work that we do. And when a woman becomes a mother, she is supported — not shut out.” She said her father is for getting child care more affordable. “Politicians talk about wage equality. But my father has made it a practice, at his company throughout his entire career. He will fight for equal pay for equal work. And I will fight for this, too — right alongside him.”
Her comments back, at least in a business operational sense, Trump’s insistence in the debate that “I have tremendous respect for women.”
His roller coaster campaign was briefly neck and neck in polls with Democrat Clinton, 69 (as of Oct. 26), former secretary of state and U.S. senator. He slid back, in recent weeks. The latest damage control was over leak last week of a private video made 11 years ago of then-married Trump who is now 70.
In it, he boasts he readily kissed and groped women. The debate Sunday started with moderators Martha Raddatz and Anderson Cooper jabbing Trump, such as to respond to “you have bragged that you have sexually assaulted women.”
“I apologize to my family. I apologize to the American people,” Trump said. “I’m not proud of it.” Yet he then dismissed it as “locker room talk.”
There is debate whether that is false or exaggerated macho boasting, or he actually forced himself on some women. When asked in the debate if he assaulted women, Trump said he did not. He indicated his partners were willing to some extent, boasting in that video about his kissing and groping that “when you’re a star, they let you do it. You can do anything.”
Many conclude about Clinton-Trump as former NYC Mayor Rudy Giuliani did on ABC that “both of them are flawed individuals.” GOP loyalist Giuliani’s stance is this merely drags Trump down toward the Clintons’ level, rather than below rendering him unfit to lead — as also-scandalized Hillary charges.
Thus, Giuliani asserts, it boils down to issues (taxes, national security, health care, Supreme Court direction, et al) and failed recent Clinton and Obama policies — which Trump swung debate to Sunday. He languished on the defensive Sept. 26, in the first debate.
The final debate is Oct. 19 at 9 p.m.
Trump’s pomposity backfired. “I’m automatically attracted to beautiful,” he told a chuckling Billy Bush on an Access Hollywood, which Bush co-hosted. Bush now co-hosts Today, which has suspended him over the tape. It was filmed in Trump’s celebrity heyday, his second year hosting The Apprentice. They strolled the set of Days of Our Lives. It now fuels a real-life soap opera. “And I just start kissing them,” Trump continued. “It’s like a magnet. Just kiss. I don’t even wait.”
Such testosterone drive reaches Hugh Hefner and Bill Clinton-like forwardness. Both Bill Clinton and Trump were linked to marital affairs in the Nineties; Clinton also before. Trump now shrugs off his comments in ’05, saying Bill Clinton said “worse” to him as they golfed together years ago.
Many question how apologists of the Clintons for decades and Trump now attack the other side. Trump likely scored big lashing out in the debate, for Hillary’s alleged hypocrisy. “Bill Clinton has actually abused woman,” he said. “And Hillary has bullied, attacked, shamed and intimidated his victims.”
One of those alleged victims, Juanita Broaddrick, volunteered in Bill’s first campaign for Arkansas governor. She accused him of raping her in a hotel room, in ’78. She said Mrs. Clinton enabled Bill’s behavior. “Actions speak louder than words. Mr. Trump may have said some bad words,” she said. “But Bill Clinton raped me. And Hillary Clinton threatened me. I don’t think there’s any comparison.” She said that in a pre-debate press conference. It included Paula Jones, who settled at $850,000 in her sexual harassment suit of 1994 claiming then-Gov. Clinton propositioned her.
The two candidates debated Trump’s assertion “these words don’t reflect who I am.” They ripped each other for belittling various groups. Trump referred to Mrs. Clinton as “the devil,” with “tremendous hate in her heart” in dissing his followers as “irredeemable” and “deplorables.”
Further, many see the leak of the Trump video to try to counter Hillary Clinton’s latest embarrassment earlier last week. This was from WikiLeaks’ release of some of her hacked emails, which included top-secret material when she was secretary of state. Some proved she is two-faced on issues — telling voters one thing, but reassuring bankers donating to her she will act for them and she is for “open trade and open borders.”
After she said it is relieving “someone with the temperament of Donald Trump is not in charge of the law in our country,” Trump retorted “because you’d be in jail.” This referred to her privatizing classified emails to avoid detection of apparent “pay to play” donations to the Clinton’s foundation, and later erasing those emails.
Trump’s Children, Wives
Ivanka Marie Trump turns 35 on Oct. 30. She is married, with three children. She like Donald is an alumnus of Penn’s Wharton business school. Even Donald has called Ivanka “voluptuous.” She was a fashion model, as was her Czech-born mother Ivana Zelníčková.
Ivana was Trump’s first of three wives, for 15 years (1977-92). That ended amidst his affair with Marla Maples. Ivana is mother of three of Trump’s five children. She reportedly still advises him on speeches.
Ivanka made a splash with her RNC speech. She was polished, precise and clear in wording and diction. She said he “recognizes real knowledge and skill.” As president he would utilize the “brightest people from all spheres of industry, and both sides of the aisle,” she said. “A new set of thinkers … with fresh perspective and brave new solutions …We can think big again.”
She said, “This is the fighter, the doer you’ve chosen as your nominee … He’s the single most qualified person to serve as chief executive of an $18 trillion economy … He will be your greatest, and your truest and your most loyal champion.”
She said as a father, he espoused “positive values” and to be “resilient .. strive for excellence “ and “marry vision and passion with an enduring work ethic.”
In the debate’s town hall segment Sunday, a citizen asked each candidate to say what he/she respected about the other. “I respect his children,” Clinton said. “His children are incredibly able, and devoted. That says a lot about Donald.”
Bombastic Donald’s children contrast him, with polite reserve. Eric, 32, often gives Trump talking points. At the RNC he said his father makes good on a pledge long ago to run for president “only if it got so bad, that I had no choice,” adding “that day has come.” At 6-foot-5, Eric is some three inches taller than his father. He strongly resembles him facially. Eric’s wife Lara Yunaksa is a Wilmington, N.C. native.
Donald Jr., 38, Trump’s eldest child, cleverly compared immigrants with potential terrorists to candy: “If I had a bowl of Skittles, and I told you ‘just’ three would kill you — would you take a handful? That’s our Syrian refugee problem.” Like his siblings, he is a Trump Org. executive V.P. Just like his father, Junior married a model and has five children.
Trump was married to Maples in 1993-99. They named daughter Tiffany, now 22, after the jewelry store. Youngest child Barron, 10, is a computer whiz and Donald Mini-Me visually. His mother is Slovenian-born Melania Knavs Trump, 46, Donald’s wife for 11 years. Like Ivana, she is Eastern European, a former model and tall at 5-11.
Ivanka Trump is friends with Chelsea Clinton, 36, who is active in her family’s foundation. Chelsea has lauded Ivanka’s smarts, and not relying on her “gorgeous” looks. Conceivably, they might someday face each other in a political race. For now, their parents are duking it out to reach the Oval Office in a contest spiced with controversy and passion.