Sanders and Trump lead as New Hampshire vote looms – campaign live

Powered by article titled “Sanders and Trump lead as New Hampshire vote looms – campaign live” was written by Alan Yuhas, for on Friday 5th February 2016 15.27 UTC

Still waiting on Bernie Sanders to speak at Saint Anselm College in New Hampshire, where campaign reporters are getting a taste of New England in February. This tweet from the Times’ Jonathan Martin.

Ben Carson, the Republican candidate and retired neurosurgeon who’s won popular support from many evangelicals, has turned all his ire toward Ted Cruz, whose campaign falsely told Iowans that Carson had dropped out of the race.

Carson. Photograph: Reuters

Carson’s campaign has uploaded voicemails with the message on YouTube, as a de facto attack ad on Cruz. The Texas senator has apologized for the maneuver, but his enemies remain outraged by it. Donald Trump has accused Cruz of fraud, and Iowa governor Terry Branstad threatened “repercussions” for the “unethical and unfair” tactic.

Cruz won with 26% of the vote; Carson came in fourth, with about 9.3%, behind Donald Trump’s 24% and Marco Rubio’s 23%.

At a press conference on Wednesday Carson refused even to say Cruz’s name, only suggesting that the senator’s actions were hardly Christian and spoke for themselves.

Here’s what a Cruz staffer told an Iowan precinct captain, per the recording:

… from the Ted Cruz campaign calling because you’re a precinct captain, and it has just been announced that Ben Carson is taking a leave of absence from the campaign trail, so it’s very important that you tell any Ben Carson voters that for tonight that you not to waste a vote on Ben Carson and vote for Ted Cruz. …

All right? Thank you. Bye.

There’s a second uploaded voicemail here.

Carson ad


The Clinton campaign has a message to Bernie Sanders – and Iowa’s leading newspaper – get over it. Lauren Gambino reports from wintry New Hampshire the day after Clinton and Sanders clashed in person.

Note to the Sanders campaign: Hillary won Iowa. End of Story.

So writes Matt Paul, the Iowa state director for Hillary Clinton’s campaign in a Medium post published on Friday morning.

Clinton. Photograph: AP

In the post, Clinton’s campaign blasts Bernie Sanders’s campaign for peddling “conspiracy theories” about the results of the Iowa caucuses, which Clinton won by an extremely narrow margin.

“There’s been even more bluster than usual from the Sanders campaign, this time in an effort to disqualify Hillary Clinton’s historic victory in Monday night’s Iowa caucus.

“Disparaging good news for Hillary Clinton has become a pattern for the Sanders camp. If you support someone else? You’re dismissed as part of the ‘establishment,’ unless of course they want to claim your support in ads anyways. If a process doesn’t go their way? It’s invalid or flawed or they blame the Iowans who ran it.”

Sanders has not yet challenged the result but his team has asked precinct captains around the state to verify every official count. On Thursday, the The Des Moines Register editorial board, which endorsed Clinton, called for an audit of the final numbers.

The fire in last night’s Democratic debate showed Clinton’s campaign hadn’t anticipated such a narrow victory, and such a strong challenge by senator Sanders.

New Hampshire wakes up to a snowy campaign trail. Bernie Sanders is first up this Friday morning with a “politics and eggs breakfast” in Manchester.

Who won the final pre-New Hampshire debate between Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders? Richard Wolffe writes about the highs, lows and draws for the candidates.

For once, a televised political debate lived up to its breathless hype. The first head-to-head debate of the 2016 election cycle on Thursday night was a spirited, direct exchange of personal attacks, policy differences and at times, plain old agreement between Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders.

Both candidates seemed unusually well-prepared for combat. Bernie Sanders had combed his normally unruly hair, in perhaps the clearest sign that he is the runaway favorite in New Hampshire. He also sported an unidentifiable lapel pin: for an anti-establishment candidate, it was an unusually establishmentarian sartorial statement.

Clinton. Photograph: MSNBC/Getty Images

Clinton’s preparation was of an entirely different kind: she and her campaign executed several well-planned attacks and counter-attacks on some of Sanders’ best-used debate lines.

In her most effective attack, she pivoted away from her own weak spots on Wall Street to a piece of opposition research on Sanders’ voting record: he voted twice to deregulate derivatives, which had a far more direct impact on the financial collapse of 2008 than the unwinding of Glass-Steagall separation of traditional and investment banking that Sanders tends to harp on in speeches and debates. Strangely, Sanders let the attack pass him by without comment.

This was a debate about definitions: about what it means to be “progressive” and “moderate”, and what and whom the candidates represent. It may even turn out to be a defining debate in what promises to be a bitterly contested – and protracted – primary contest.

Clinton called herself “a progressive who gets things done” and her opponent – by implication – as someone who couldn’t get anything done. “I am not making promises I cannot keep,” she said with a sweet smile.

Within minutes of portraying her opponent as a candidate limited by a myopic focus on income inequality and Wall Street, Clinton was back painting him as a hopeless dreamer.

Still, while under sustained attack – from both Sanders and the MSNBC debate moderators – Clinton conceded that she had responded poorly to questions about the speaking fees she had earned from Wall Street.

“I may not have done the job I should have, explaining my record,” said Clinton, in a tortuous fashion. “I did go on the speaking circuit.”

Sanders. Photograph: MSNBC/Getty Images

Pushed repeatedly to expand on his foreign policy, Sanders sounded unusually subdued. When asked about his foreign policy advisers, Sanders demurred. When asked about his assessment of the risks posed by North Korea, Russia and Iran, he could only offer that he was “very, very worried” about North Korea.

Still, there were glimpses of genuine respect between two candidates who offer such contrasting views of what their party should represent.

Bernie’s best moment was his mensch-like refusal to attack Clinton on the saga of her private emails at the State Department, stating publicly that he had rejected repeated media requests to do just that. If consistency and principle are the hallmark of the Sanders campaign, the candidate reinforced his signature characteristic.

The moderators tried to lure Clinton into a similar attack on Sanders, offering her a chance to get a dig in on the number of apparent ethical questions surrounding Sanders staffers. But she politely declined the opportunity to jump in.

Such moments are likely to become ever rarer as this primary season continues. “Sometimes in these campaigns things get a little out of hand,” Sanders said near the end of the debate. At the New Hampshire debate they certainly did, at least for a moment.

How I learned to stop worrying and love The Donald, a meditation by Oliver Burkeman.

Was there some other way to think and feel about this absurd and terrifying man that might actually make a difference – or, failing that, make it slightly less distressing to see his face pop up on TV?

I began by asking Gregg Henriques, a professor of psychotherapy at James Madison University in Virginia, to explain what’s going on inside Trump’s head.

“Classic narcissist,” he said, barely giving me time to finish the question. “He has this unquenchable drive to demonstrate success, a bottomless pit of need for evidence that he’s the one, the saviour.”

Trump. Photograph: Getty

Henriques also suspects that Trump is obsessive-compulsive, with a fixation on cleanliness and disgust. That figures: Trump famously hates shaking hands, and there was something odd about the vehemence with which he described Hillary Clinton’s visit to the bathroom, during a recent debate, as “too disgusting” to discuss – a discussion about what he wouldn’t discuss.

From this perspective, Trump’s endless insistence that he is a winner isn’t a sign that he is convinced of his greatness, or how widely he’s adored. Rather, it shows that he isn’t yet sufficiently convinced, and perhaps never could be. It sounds an exhausting way to live: one imagines his inner world as an exhausting high-wire walk, in which every defeat or insult must be swiftly counterbalanced by seeking a new victory.

Thinking about Trump in this way might not be sufficient to render him sympathetic, but it does make him a little harder to hate. And if it’s possible to take that view of the candidate himself, it’s surely easier with his supporters. In Henriques’s view, the “traditional Christian white males” who make up Trump’s core support don’t necessarily believe, in a rational way, that his ideas would help them. Instead, they are using him to live out a vicarious experience of power as they sense their own slipping away.

Trump fan.
Trump fan. Photograph: Getty

This is how politics works, Henriques and many other psychologists argue: we’re attracted to certain candidates and parties for intuitive, emotional reasons that barely register in conscious awareness. Then, we use our rational minds to construct convincing-seeming arguments for views we already hold. The tricky part is that you can’t condescendingly think about Trump supporters this way for very long before realising that it must be true for you, too.

“If you look at life like a psychologist,” Henriques said, “one of your first principles is: we’re all full of shit.”

Clearly, it wasn’t going to be enough simply to understand the emotional motivations of Trump and his sympathisers; it was time to up the ante. So I called Sharon Salzberg, one of the US’s most prominent meditation teachers, to see if she could help me learn to love them.

But all living beings – really? Surely the Buddha reckoned without the likes of Donald Trump and Ted Cruz? And anyway, if I became capable of compassion towards all, smiling beatifically upon even the most infuriating wearer of a Make America Great Again baseball cap, wouldn’t I lose my motivation to stand up for what’s right?

Oliver’s adventures meditating with Trump don’t end there. Will he find inner harmony? Will the search for harmony with Trumpistas drive him to drink? Find out through the link below.


Hello and welcome to our coverage of race for New Hampshire – the second state to vote for president in the election of 2016.

Democrats Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders faced off on Thursday night in their final debate before the primary election next week, and they did not disappoint voters who wanted to see fireworks.

Clinton accused Sanders of an “artful smear” and “innuendo and insinuation”, over suggestions her speaking fees from Wall Street were a sign that financial firms have her in their pocket.

“If you have something to say, say it,” she demanded, before insisting that she has far more enemies in finance than friends.

Sanders declined to confront Clinton head on over her donors or her use of a private email server while secretary of state, and won applause with impassioned versions of his stump speech on corruption and inequality more generally. But he struggled on questions of foreign policy, for example calling North Korea a “very, very strange country” ruled by “a handful of dictators, or maybe just one”.

The senator from Vermont, who leads by 22 points in New Hampshire, according to poll averages, managed to draw some sharp distinctions with Clinton, who leads nationally by 15 points. They disagreed on the death penalty, on whether their plans were possible, and, angrily, about the meaning of “progressive” in 21st century America.

“I am not making promises I cannot keep,” shot Clinton. “A progressive is someone who makes progress.”

Donald Trump leads in the polls of the Republican contest by more than 20 points, according to poll averages, ahead of the senator who beat him soundly in Iowa – Ted Cruz – and the senator who nearly beat him for second place, Marco Rubio.

Trump wasted no time denigrating his opponents on the trail on Wednesday, accusing Cruz of fraud. Iowa’s governor was only too happy to echo the billionaire, saying Cruz’s campaign tactics were “unethical and unfair”.

The remaining Republican candidates are getting a little antsy. Jeb Bush, Chris Christie and John Kasich have more or less staked their campaigns on a good showing in New Hampshire. They’ve respectively gotten a single hug, questions about complicity in a corruption case and a guy with a guitar for their trouble.

What’s at stake in New Hampshire: a two-minute crash course © Guardian News & Media Limited 2010

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