Lasting longer than the commissions that investigated White Water, Pearl Harbor, 9/11, and the JFK assassination, the committee investigating Benghazi has concluded with a final report. What did Trey Gowdy and the rest of the panel get for their months and months of tax-payer funded sleuthing? The same thing they got during Hillary Clinton’s eleven hour marathon grilling by the panel earlier this year, nada. Aside from showing that the Democratic nominee is a piss-poor electronic mail correspondent, they weren’t even able to grasp enough straws to cobble together an adequate straw (wo)man to burn in effigy. This was evidenced in the post report interviews by the press. Gowdy repeatedly refused to answer whether they could validate any of their previous insinuations and accusations in regards to Clinton’s mishandling of the Benghazi attacks. Under a sheen of flopsweat, Gowdy repeatedly insisted that the 800 page report spoke for itself, which is to say, “nada”.

For some, Clinton will never be truly exonerated from wrongdoings, either real or imagined. At least with the hearings behind her she can now pivot toward more pressing matters, such as Vice President selection. She’s been testing the waters and touring as of late with democratic darling, Elizabeth Warren. Far Left of Clinton, Warren serves as the vitalizing dynamic force that Clinton’s stoic cerebral campaign desperately needs. Not that Warren is not a policy wonk. When it comes to the economy, she’s as academic as they come but she can still inject a level of passion into her words and actions. Given the bitter beans some Sanders holdouts still feel, a Warren VP selection may be seen as an olive branch to that demographic.

Some worry that, considering the demographic who will vote for Donald Trump, Warren is a needlessly Left selection when Clinton needs to be more concerned with shoring up her middle-of-the-road voters that are amenable to persuasion. To this end, Senator Tim Kaine from swing-state Virginia is on the short list as well. Kaine is a much more centrist candidate and has even been accused of being a Republican in a Democrat’s clothes in the past. Ohio’s Sherrod Brown is on the VP shortlist, but only by a whisker. While he would round out a fantastic ticket that would shift focus to Union and environmental issues, if he leaves the Senate it will be Governor John Kasich who will select his replacement. Assuming the Governor will put in a Republican, Sherrod’s absence would work toward the GOP’s advantage, which may put Brown in a holding pattern.

To Clinton’s credit, her most recent and arguably most effective campaigning has been largely reactionary. Her rallying cry against the Republican nominee has amounted to little more than a late-night “SMH” text to the country. Considering we live in a world where mass shootings and terrorist attacks are unfortunately becoming de rigueur, Clinton has had to do little more than wait for Trump to bloviate moments after a tragedy with something equally offensive as it is ignorant and merely shake her head in repudiation.

Trump cut the ribbon to his newest golf course in Scotland the day that the Brexit decision broke. Devoid of anything resembling social awareness, Trump bragged about how successful his new course would be while a ticker on the bottom of the screen showed the plunging English stock exchange nose dive in real time. Further cognitive dissonance resulted as he cheered the results amid a nation that overwhelming voted to remain a part of the European Union. After the Orlando massacre, Trump took a victory lap, taking credit for “calling” the danger of immigration. Never mind the fact that the killer was an American citizen. The devastation at the Ataturk airport in Istanbul and the deadly assault in the Bangladesh bakery were followed by equally unsound and misinformed tweets that only further display the candidate’s inability to govern a nation, let alone a made up school.

If only his problems stopped there. He’s still got a party to plan for and there has been a troubling lack of RSVPs. Coming to Cleveland in just a few short days, there has been more than a few Republicans hesitant to be seen in the same room with Trump, let alone to speak on his behalf at the Republican National Convention. With what many see as a truly doomed campaign, few politicians will risk their reelections being branded with such a spectacular loser (and I mean that, not as a character judgment but based on predicted November results). Among those calling in sick that week are every living former Republican president, a number of his high profile Primary opponents, the host state’s own Governor, John Kasich, and others. It’s of small wonder then that the rumors that prolific woman-abuser Mike Tyson will be speaking at the convention may very well be true. Who would have thought the scene from 2012’s Convention of Clint Eastwood arguing with an empty chair would serve as the high water mark?

Trump couldn’t be more out of touch with Millennial voters outside of his diehard base if picked Newt Gingrich as his running mate. …Oh, wait, he is? Yikes. Narrowed down to either Chris Christie or Newt Gingrich, one has to wonder what Trump thinks putting either on the ticket will gain him. Christie is factually the most reviled Governor in New Jersey history. Standing silently as Trump’s right-hand since he dropped out of the race, there are some across the nation rightfully questioning the Governor’s convictions, with others convinced there were none to question in the first place.

Additionally, Newt Gingrich is as unmarketable a selection as you could find. It will be hard to argue Trump is against the Washington Elite and Establishment with a Gingrich selection. Harder still will be maintaining his anti-NAFTA stance when Gingrich was one of its stalwart and vocal supporters during its creation. Still, others believe his selection will land on Mike Pence of Indiana. Pence’s name is not as household as the others but that may work to his advantage. Pence offers actual political experience, of which, Trump owns nada.

Whomever Trump selects to run the gauntlet with him will have an uphill battle facing them. Clinton has outspent Trump in swing states by 23 million to “nada”. That’s right, he hasn’t dropped a dime in campaigning yet. When asked about the discrepancy Trump ignored the recent news that his campaign is near bankrupt and that GOP mega donors have suddenly lost him number. Instead, Trump boasted that he hasn’t even begun to start campaigning yet. Well, okay. Far be it from me to question the business acumen of someone who ran a phony pyramid-scheme “college” and bankrupts everything he touches, but he may want to start that whole “running a viable campaign” thing sooner than later before all he has to show for it is ____.

Platform Beer Co
  • Content Strategist, novelist and prolific roustabout who drinks entirely too much coffee. You can find him on Twitter @therealadamdodd

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