On Friday, just 11 days before election day in the United States, the director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation went rogue and threw a spanner into the presidential race between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump.
Recent polls have suggested that Donald Trump was pulling uncomfortably close to Hillary Clinton, prior to the first televised debate between them. His most significant appeal has been to represent a change in the status quo of governmental gridlock, and being opposed by a candidate little more popular than himself, despite his multitude of personal flaws. That momentum toward the Republicans seems to have been arrested by Trump's performance in that opening encounter, and his behaviour in the days that followed.
Every now and again, the question of RCMP protection for the prime minister and his family becomes a minor issue in this country. It’s always a cost issue.
It happened with Stephen Harper in 2014 and it happened again last week with Justin Trudeau. New figures come out that document the cost of overtime, travel, etc., for officers assigned to protect the PM and his dependents. A predictable little ritual ensues. Opposition critics profess to be scandalized. They wring their hands in faux sympathy for the poor taxpayer.
Pundits have suggested for months that the outcome of the U.S. presidential election would likely be determined by which candidate became the focus of the campaign. Given the unprecedented unpopularity of both major party candidates, the astute strategy is to make one's opponent the election story. If the electoral focus is upon Hillary Clinton, it would help Donald Trump, and if it is about Trump, that should assist Clinton.
There are times when pundits and pollsters just can’t get their acts together, times when the advice tendered by columnists and commentators seems to fly in the face of public opinion as reported by polling companies.
This is one of those times, both in Canada and the United States.