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Mitch Perry Report for 10.10.16 — Shock and Awe

in The Bay and the 'Burg/Top Headlines by

Happy Columbus Day, for those few of you who actually get to observe (i.e. take off) the federal holiday. And a simple request today? Can we just end this sad presidential election now and not wait the remaining 29 days?

Well, hardly anyone has voted, so that won’t work. Nevertheless, that presidential debate Sunday night — specifically the first 30 minutes, were unbelievably sad and depressing. Exciting? Yeah, like waiting for a car crash to happen.

Okay, where is this race at after the debate? Quick takes…

Donald Trump certainly looked like he put in the preparation that was so sorely missing from his first debate. Hillary Clinton? Not a great night at all, so certainly by my scoring, Trump “won” on points.

But Trump is not winning this race, and with just one more debate to go, he’s running out of time.

Trump boasted after the first debate that he didn’t “go there” on Bill Clinton’s sexual past because daughter Chelsea was in the audience, but you knew after the events of Friday night that he had to go there.

Yes, Juanita Broaddrick, Paula Jones, and Kathleen Willey were in the house. And were mentioned during the debate.

But Trump went further, declaring that if elected, he would appease the GOP base and the “Lock.Her.Up.” crowd regarding her use of a private server for her emails as secretary of state.

“I didn’t think I’d say this, but I’m going to say it, and I hate to say it, but if I win, I am going to instruct my attorney general to get a special prosecutor to look into your situation,” he said. “There has never been so many lies, so much deception, there has never been anything like it, and we’re gonna have a special prosecutor.”

“It’s just awfully good that somebody with the temperament of Donald Trump is not in charge of the law in our country,” Clinton responded.

“Because you’d be in jail!” Trump fired back.

The conventional wisdom is that Trump solidified his GOP base, some of whom deserted him over the weekend after The Washington Post broke the internet on Friday afternoon with the posting of Trump’s vulgar sexual remarks from 2005. So everything’s hunky dory? Hardly.

I continue to write that Hillary Clinton’s strategy of sitting back and watching Trump self-immolate isn’t a wining strategy, and with a full month to go in the race, this sitting-on-the-clock approach could backfire on her. Her relatively laid-back (and at times defensive) debate performance didn’t help, though it didn’t hurt her either.

In other news …

We had local Republicans like Dana Young and Jackie Toledo denounce Trump on Saturday, but not renounce their support for the GOP standard bearer.

Despite David Jolly‘s entreaty, Pinellas County Supervisor of Elections Deborah Clark says she’s determined NOT to add an additional early voting site in two weeks.

House District 59 Democrat Rena Frazier says “no thanks” to Ross Spano’s request to have the two candidates sign a pledge to not run a negative campaign against each other.

The deadline to register in Florida’s Nov. 8 election is tomorrow — but Florida’s Democratic delegation wants Rick Scott to extend it until Friday.

As Joe Redner continues to lay out his progressive challenge to win the state Senate District 19 race, Democrat Bob Buesing insists Redner won’t be taking any additional votes away from him against Republican Dana Young.

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Mitch Perry has been a reporter with Extensive Enterprises since November of 2014. Previously, he served as five years as the political editor of the alternative newsweekly Creative Loafing. He also was the assistant news director with WMNF 88.5 FM in Tampa from 2000-2009, and currently hosts MidPoint, a weekly talk show, on WMNF on Thursday afternoons. He began his reporting career at KPFA radio in Berkeley. He's a San Francisco native who has now lived in Tampa for 15 years and can be reached at mitch.perry@floridapolitics.com.

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