1. It’s Wednesday, August 10, 2016.
2. Neither Katie Ledecky nor Michael Phelps are old enough to be elected President.
Phelps can run in 2020, but Ledecky has to wait until 2032.
It’s too bad. Because, if people could vote in 2016, either one would win in the watery equivalent of a landslide.
Over the past few nights in Rio, both swimmers have thrilled their fellow Americans with gritty performances. Both have done it with the pressure that comes with outsized expectations.
Ledecky has demonstrated the demeanor you would expect from a President of the United States. Calm. Determined. Measured.
About the only unpresidential thing she’s said was admitting that she was trying so hard in last night’s 200-meter freestyle that she almost threw up in the pool. For which those of us with high def TVs are grateful.
Phelps had a different course to the 200-meter butterfly gold. But his stare down of South African Chad le Clos, who seemed to be taunting him in the wait until the race’s semifinal, is part of a being a president too. All that mattered was beating le Clos, which he did, avenging the 2012 defeat in London.
Both Ledecky and Phelps have other races to swim. But they’ll come back from OIympics as heroes – as will Simone Biles and the other female gymnasts.
The Constitution says you have to be 35 to be President. Given the nature of the 2016 campaign, don’t be surprised if some of these Olympians get write-in votes in November.
3. OK, there’s no getting around Trump and yesterday’s comments.
“If she gets to pick her judges, nothing you can do, folks,” Trump said. “Although the Second Amendment people — maybe there is, I don’t know.”
That’s what he said. Watch the tape. That’s what he said.
Was it a joke, as House Speaker Paul Ryan suggests? Was it innocuous, as Trump’s sycophants claim, or an ineloquent way of mobilizing voters?
Or was Trump hinting that his friends who believe America should be armed to the teeth might do something about Hillary Clinton’s judicial selections using their beloved tools?
It’s rich that a guy who said at a rally last December “I know words. I have the best words” now needs people to explain the words he uses.
It makes you wonder how he got through Penn, an Ivy League school. Every other Quaker I’ve met or worked with was pretty articulate. Did they not have classes in which the student had to speak and make a point when Trump was waltzing through Wharton?
And then, keep in mind, this is a guy who has been a reality TV show star. So he knows that when he opens his mouth he needs to make what he says clear to the listener.
If he doesn’t, if a good percentage of the people who heard what you said believe you said X, and you think you said Y, there’s a good chance you really said X.
Now Trump could try to walk it back. He seemed to be doing that last night, with his tame Fox puppy Sean Hannity leading the way.
But an awful lot of people think Trump was advocating or condoning the assassination of Hillary Clinton. Given all the other crap spewed from his mouth since last summer, it just seems like the next step in a progression – unless he offers a full-throated apology to Clinton and the American people.
I would not bet money on that happening.
What’s next? Advocating insurrection? If “Second Amendment people” kill enough Clinton supporters, can they win the election for Trump?
We have 90 days to go. It’s hard for Trump to sink much lower. But, using the best words, it looks like he’ll give it a try.