NC = GA ?

Tuesday was an interesting day in American politics, a surprise news conference by FBI Director James Comey and presidential campaign appearances by both presumptive nominees in North Carolina. One of them hitched a ride with the real President. All that and one song kept going through my mind. Let’s explore.

I’ll dispense with the James Comey situation (for the moment). I listened to his entire statement on live TV. This situation will be the subject of a future article – most likely this Sunday.

Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton were both scheduled to hold rallies in North Carolina on Tuesday. Trump in Raleigh and Clinton in Charlotte. I’m certain neither campaign knew that Comey would be speaking hours before them at the time the events were originally scheduled. The timeline that evolved was the Comey statement in the late morning, the Clinton rally in the afternoon and the Trump event in the evening.

Whether or not you feel Barack Obama has been a great, good, average or lousy President is a matter of opinion. Despite where your opinion falls on that matter you have to admit he is a great orator. He also knows how to fire up a crowd. He did just that for Clinton in Charlotte!

Another fact is that Obama doesn’t like Trump very much. Trump’s entry into politics was in the run-up to the 2012 election when he teased people about running for President by being one of the original birthers. I still remember him talking about his man in Hawaii and the interesting facts he had dug up. To date neither “his man” nor the “interesting facts” have materialized. The widely held assumption is that is because neither ever existed.

During the 2011 White House Correspondents’ Dinner the President made a fool out of Trump on national TV with The Donald sitting right there in the audience. Obama brought down the house. I can’t see an ego like Trump’s taking kindly to being the butt of a series of jokes with the national press and a ton of celebrities literally laughing at him to his face. Obama won a unanimous decision that night.

I admittedly am among those perplexed by Trump’s true motivation for running. There are many who feel his ego couldn’t stand not having a “rematch” with Obama even if it is via a “proxy candidate”.

As Obama warmed up the crowd with a 45 minute speech on Tuesday he took several shots at Trump without even using his name (a great political tactic). I will admit that Obama was preaching to the choir, but he scored another knockout.

Every campaign seems to have an October surprise and I, along with many others, expected 2016’s “surprise” to be President Obama getting out on the campaign trail with Hillary. I was incorrect again; he started much earlier, seems to be enjoying it and is tremendously effective.

Meanwhile in Raleigh Trump’s big guest was Republican Tennessee Senator Bob Corker. While Tennessee may border North Carolina I am willing to wager that even in a crowd of North Carolina Republicans Corker could go unrecognized. Trump is that desperate for anything resembling establishment GOP support. While Obama electrified the crowd in Charlotte, the diminutive Corker looked like a little kid with grey hair next to Trump on stage.


The song that keeps going through my mind is the Charlie Daniels Band’s 1979 hit The Devil Went Down to Georgia. The line in particular comes near the end “I done told you once you son-of-a-bitch I’m the best there’s ever been.” If you don’t know the story of the song I suggest you google it. In my mind the Obama plays the role of Johnny while Trump plays the devil. Obama kicked Trump’s ass in 2011 and he is about to do it again in 2016.    

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