Election diary: excuse Trump,( official) secrets of risotto, and Obama the linguist

David Smith chronicles a busy week in a bizarre election year as Republicans scramble to explain away their candidates comments and Clinton gets catty

There seems no end to the excuses that Republicans can find for Donald Trumps boasts about groping women. Former Republican candidate Ben Carson suggested not sufficient people have been exposed to such sexually overt speech. Maybe thats the problem, he said on CNN.

Over on MSNBC, interviewer Chris Hayes asked: If a videotape “re coming out” with Donald Trump saying that, saying I really like to rape girls, you would continue to endorse him? Texas Republican congressman Blake Farenthold responded: Again, it would, I that would be bad, and I would have to consider Id consider it. He afterwards apologised, claiming he had been thrown off by a hypothetical question.

Republican-supporting actor Jon Voight tried it this style: I dont are familiar with too many men who havent conveyed some sort of similar sexual terms toward girls, especially in their younger years.

Back on CNN, former New York lieutenant governor Betsy McCaughey called Clinton a phony for assaulting Trump for his use of lewd and bawdy speech while being a Beyonc fan. McCaughey said: In fact,[ Clinton] likes speech like this: I came to slay, bitch. When he eff me good, I take his ass to Red Lobster. Asked if Clinton actually carried a liking for those working lyrics, she replied: That happens to be a line from Beyonc, her favorite musician, who she says she idolises and would like to imitate.


The Pentagon Papers Watergate Snowden John Podestas risotto. A hacker of the Clinton campaign chairpeople emails has failed to produce a smoking gun but it has delivered a steaming plate of Italian rice. It reveals how Peter Huffman, who used to work at the Clinton Health Access Initiative, wrote to him: So I have been making a lot of risotto lately and regardless of the recipe, I more/ less adhere to every step you taught me. Why cant you just add 1 or 2 cups of stock at a time b/ c the Arborio rice will eventually absorb everything there is anyway, right.

Podesta wrote back: Yes and no. Yes it with[ sic] absorb the liquid, but no thats not what you want to do. The slower add process and stirring causes the rice to give up its[ sic] starch which devotes the risotto its[ sic] creamy consistency. You wont get that if you dump all that liquid at once.

Podestas email is day at 2.50 am. Trump has been criticised for tweeting at 3am, but anyway. Good to know that if President Clinton has to take the 3am call, there will be a risotto cook on standby.


Barack Obama is a tough act to follow as an orator but not impossible to beat as a linguist. The language-learning app Babbel asked foreign embassies and expat organisations to rate the presidents attempts at their native tongue. His Spanish is almost perfect, according to the Spanish embassy, which awarded him 4 out of 5. He got the same score from the Indonesian embassy, likely due to his childhood in Indonesia.

He was awarded 4.5 for Persian, 4 for Swahili, 3.5 for Arabic, Dutch and Greek, 3 for German, 2.5 for Hindi and merely 1 for French. The Arab American Institute in Washington said: When you listen to him, you think, Boy, he genuinely emphasised that second portion, the alaikum. Its interesting that even in another language, the presidents signature voice and peculiarities are still prevalent. Its hard to explain, but his Arabic comes out sounding very Obama-like, as if an Arabic-speaker were to do an impression of the president in Arabic.

And this from the French-American Foundation: Regrettably, we cannot give President Obama high marks for his accent. It was nice that he utilized the French words, but they may as well have been American.

Clinton, as her campaign constantly reminds us, has visited 112 countries, so probably picked up some phrases along the way. Trump is speaking a language of his own already.


Cat woman. Hillary Clinton in San Francisco on Thursday: Theres hardly any part of America that hes not targeted. Now it induces you want to turn off the news. It makes you want to unplug the internet. Or just look at cat gifs. Believe me, I get it. In the last few weeks Ive watched a lot of cats do a lot of weird and interesting things.


Among Washingtons lesser-known museums is the Belmont-Paul Womens Equality National Monument, located on Capitol Hill and home to the National Womans party since 1929. Its exhibition of political cartoons by Nina Allender, champion of the suffragist cause, is worth the visit alone. Theres also a segment devoted to the 19 th amendment which, passed by Congress in 1919, dedicated women the voting right.

What would the ghosts in this place construct of #repealthe19th? The Twitter hashtag took flight this week after Nate Silver of FiveThirtyEight website published a map showing that if only humen were allowed to cast their votes, Trump would cruise to the presidency with 350 electoral referendums against Clintons 188( in a women-only election, Clinton would win 458 -8 0 ). Even some girls said they would surrender their right to vote if it meant a Trump victory.


Frank Luntz is Americas favourite focus grouper thats grouper , not groper and has every political geeks dreaming home. A Hollywood Reporter profile presents him sitting in a replica Oval Office at his six-bedroom, 14,000 sq ft house in Los Angeles. The Republican pollster also has a replica of the Lincoln bedroom, speakers that blare Hail to the Chief at the touch of a button and a dizzying array of memorabilia that includes a version of the blue dress notoriously worn by Monica Lewinsky.

Asked what keepsake he would like from 2016, Luntz responds by email: Id actually like to forget this election as quickly as possible. But the one piece that got away was a sample vote from the Iowa caucuses or the New Hampshire primary that had all the presidential candidates listed.( I have an original 1928 election vote with my great grandpa A S Luntz on it. He was running for justice of the peace. He won .)

If anyone is still looking for ideas what to get Luntz for Christmas, theres something else. But the item I want the most is an Andrew Johnson impeachment ticket from 1867. Im one of merely about ten people to own an impeachment ticket from every day of the Bill Clinton trial. Id like to put the two impeachment tickets next to each other.



Dont tell me, if you said that, that you remember September 11, 2001. I remember September 11, 2001. Yes, yes, you helped to get benefits for the people that were injured that day. But I heard her say one day she was there that day. I was there that day. I dont recollect insuring Hillary Clinton there.
Rudy Giuliani afterward apologised for accusing Clinton of saying she was in New York on 11 September 2001; she had said nothing of the sort.



It is cruel. Its frightening. And the truth is, it hurts. It hurts. Its like that sick, sinking feeling you get when youre walking down the street minding your own business and some guy screams out vulgar terms about your body. Or when you see that guy at work that stands just a little too close, gazes a little too long, and builds “youre feeling” uncomfortable in your own skin.
Michelle Obama on Donald Trumps alleged assaults on women



Donald J. Trump @realDonaldTrump
It is so nice that the shackles have been taken away from me and I can now fight for America the style I want to.

10: 00 am 11 Oct 2016



33 countries have contacted the Department of Homeland Security to discuss and assess any possible vulnerabilities in their election systems amid fears that Russia will try to hack and manipulate the result.



Behind every great woman Photograph: Rick Wilking/ Reuters

Read more: www.theguardian.com

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