Campaign Trail Mix is your Election 2016 BFF: A weekly series that cuts through the news cycle *noise* to bring you the latest key info you absolutely MUST know about the US presidential showdown.
1. Hillary Clinton coughs sometimes!
Yes, the Democratic nominee for president, the first woman to win either major party’s nomination, has been observed coughing, and it’s made the political Internet go wild. Is she dying? Is there a secret conspiracy to cover up the fact that she’s dying? Is this all a bizarre scandal blown out of proportion because the right-wing media hates Hillary and, by extension, women?
To some on the right, especially readers of the Drudge Report and Breitbart, the answer to the first two questions is yes. To many staunch Hillary supporters, the answer to the last is “duh.” The furor — over, remember, a cough — has reached such a pitch that CNN helpfully provided a “non-partisan guide to coughs.” If you’re curious about whether you should go to the doctor about that three-week-old hack you’ve got, this controversy may actually prove helpful.
2. Green Party candidates do their thing
Over the long weekend, while most of us were enjoying our barbecue and chill long-weekend hangs, Green Party presidential and vice-presidential nominees Jill Stein and Ajamu Baraka were among roughly 200 activists protesting the development of the Dakota Access Pipeline in North Dakota. Jill spray-painted “I approve this message” on a piece of equipment and the two expressed solidarity with activists fighting for both environmental and cultural reasons (part of the pipeline’s path is set over a traditional burial ground for the Standing Rock Sioux tribe). A warrant was issued for both Green candidates’ arrests, leading Stein to question on Twitter whether similar legal action would be taken against the company building a pipeline on sacred ground. For what it’s worth, there is a case being heard now on whether the pipeline’s construction will continue.
3. Brad Pitt has some thoughts about Donald Trump
Over the last 15 months, Donald Trump has gone from yet another celebrity talking about running for president to the official Republican nominee, and Brad Pitt has some thoughts about it. He hails from Trump country, which he mentions in a recent New York Times Magazine interview as explanation for why he’s invested some time thinking about the motivations of Trump supporters. “It seems that the people who suffer the most end up betting for the party that would hurt them,” he says, and adds, “We have this great line in The Big Short… When things are going wrong and we can’t find the reason for it, we just start creating enemies.”
4. Bernie Sanders is still at it
That guy, always up to something! Over the past month he’s been campaigning for Hillary and has launched a new political organization, Our Revolution, intended to continue some of the work his presidential campaign began. He’s also spoken out in support of a ballot measure Colorado residents will vote on in November known as ColoradoCare, which would offer universal statewide health care and would be funded by some additional taxes. A press release from the ColoradoCare campaign quoted Bernie as saying, “It is absurd, it is beyond belief, that here in America we remain the only major country on Earth not to guarantee health care to all people,” before adding that if that can be changed in one state, “I believe that idea will spread around the country.”
5. Donald Trump says ”hello” to the media
Since shortly after he announced his candidacy, Donald Trump’s campaign has had some news outlets on a “blacklist” — that is, they’ve been denied credentials for the press area at his rallies and in some cases denied any access whatsoever to his campaign. Obviously that didn’t stop his campaign from enjoying significant coverage, and it didn’t even keep reporters from banned outlets from covering his rallies — it just meant they had to go as regular attendees. In any event, he’s ended the ban as of September 8, so reporters from Politico, BuzzFeed and the Washington Post can now sit in the designated media area at rallies and be harangued by press-averse Trump supporters, maybe even egged on by their candidate.