ELECTION WATCH –
By Glynn Wilson –
MOBILE, Ala. — President Donald Trump is running scared.
That’s the real secret of what’s going on in the news with only one week to go before the voters go to the polls on Tuesday, Dec. 12 to cast their ballot for Doug Jones or Roy Moore in the special election to fill Howell Heflin’s old U.S. Senate seat.
As the sun came up across the bay from Fairhope, where the big show will take place tonight when Mr. Fake News Steve Bannon joins Roy Moore on the stage at Oak Hollow Farm, I thought back to a conversation I had with Doug Jones on May 11 when I broke the story that he had decided to run for office.
I tried to talk myself into going back to sleep for another hour or two. But it didn’t work. I turned on the big HD TeeVee on CBS and they were talking about Trump and Moore. I turned on the computer and my Twitter feed started going off like a morning wake up bell, ding, ding, ding, ding. Time to get back on the news chase like a mouse on a running wheel.
What people may not realize or remember is that Jones made the decision to sign the qualifying papers after considering the move for weeks on the day after Trump fired F.B.I. Director James Comey.
When I asked him if that had anything to do with his decision, he said: “Yes.”
Not that we have talked about it since or mentioned it publicly.
It’s now clear that Jones, who sat on the sidelines politically as a Democrat in a Red State for years watching for his opportunity, saw an opening to potentially make a mark on history.
Since Trump’s election in Nov. 2016, a story line had been emerging that Russian spies and hackers had tried to interfere in the election. But it was sort of limping along and not gaining that much traction, until Trump fired Comey. This looked like a Nixon-Archibald Cox moment. You may recall that when the Watergate scandal was simmering in Washington back then, President Richard Nixon fired special prosecutor Archibald Cox. This was the ultimate act of obstruction of justice that proved the coverup for all the country to see. It was just a matter of time before Nixon would be impeached and removed from office or resign.
At that moment when Trump fired Comey, Jones, a lawyer and former federal prosecutor, could visualize himself on the Senate Judiciary Committee involved in the trial of Trump’s impeachment. That had to be a prospect that was so appealing that he went ahead and tossed his hat into the ring, so to speak, even though he had to know it would be an uphill struggle against overwhelming odds and against a Republican Party that was hellbent on holding onto power at all costs.
But you know what they say. “There’s nothing more Southern than going down to foreseeable defeat before overwhelming odds.”
Doug Jones Campaign
Since that day, however, things have fallen into place in an amazing way. People all over the state have gotten involved in this campaign to knock up signs, knock on doors, make phone calls, share links on Facebook and Twitter, and bring a mainstream, sane Democrat with the character and class to represent all voters in the state, including Republicans, to the brink of victory.
With 10 days to go, Jones pulled ahead in the polls and hit the 50 percent mark, leading Republican nominee Roy Moore by a margin of 50-47 percent. This is an amazing achievement, even though we know the polls are not all that reliable these days. His campaign has not focused on the polls, knowing the data is of questionable validity.
Trump White House
Still, this information must have weighed heavily on the current occupant at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, who also must have had a vision of his own. With special counsel Robert Mueller closing in on Michael Flynn and other key members of Trump’s campaign and presidential staff and family in his investigation, Steve Bannon and others must be starting to count the votes in Congress in case of an impeachment trial, which now seems nearly inevitable at some point after the 2018 midterm elections.
If Jones could pull out a victory over Moore next Tuesday that could tip the balance of power in Washington against Trump, as I reported from the nation’s capitol back in June.
Trump had been waffling on endorsing Moore last week, in the middle of serious allegations that he engaged in inappropriate sexual conduct with teen girls when he was an assistant DA in his 30s. Most of the national Republicans had also refused to support Moore with words or money.
But something changed overnight on Sunday. Imagine the telephone conference call between Trump on Air Force One and Roy Moore, with other participants involved, most prominently Steve Bannon of Breitbart News. (We will see him tonight in Fairhope).
Trump must have had a hard time sleeping Sunday night and Monday morning too. At 5:17 a.m., he picked up his phone and typed this:
Donald J. Trump
Democrats refusal to give even one vote for massive Tax Cuts is why we need Republican Roy Moore to win in Alabama. We need his vote on stopping crime, illegal immigration, Border Wall, Military, Pro Life, V.A., Judges 2nd Amendment and more. No to Jones, a Pelosi/Schumer Puppet!
5:17 AM – Dec 4, 2017
RNC Change of Heart
Later in the day, as you can see looking at any news outlet on Twitter or anywhere else, for some reason Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has also experienced a change of heart. The Republican National Committee has now agreed to release some money to help Moore’s campaign, with only one week to go. The vile TV ads have already begun. They are attacking Jones as “too liberal for Alabama,” a tactic that has worked in past campaigns.
But I suspect things are a little different this time.
Jones has a far superior ground campaign with way more volunteers involved. According to campaign press spokesman Sebastian Kitchen, Doug Jones has attended more than 180 events and traveling more than 7,200 miles across the state. Volunteers have made more than 800,000 phone calls in the last six weeks. The campaign has knocked on more than 100,000 doors in the last six weeks.
“The numbers tell the story: our campaign is running the most robust Get-Out-The-Vote program Alabama has seen in a generation,” Kitchen said. “Across the state, Alabamians are joining with their neighbors and sharing Doug’s message of bringing both sides together and his focus on kitchen table issues. And our campaign’s efforts and reach are only going to increase as we sprint toward Election Day.”
Jones has more than $10 million in the bank, far more than Moore, and has TV ads running non-stop in every media market around the state. His ads are not scary dark ads just attacking his opponent. They are reasonable ads with actual information about where he stands on the issues.
This all must have Trump running scared, worried about Jones joining the Senate Judiciary Committee to investigate him. He must be worried about the upcoming trial for obstruction of justice and other “high crimes and misdemeanors” all undermining American democracy.
People in Alabama are worried too. They are worried that Moore’s base of Christian conservative followers will ignore the facts and outnumber Jones voters and catapult him back into public office anyway.
Renewed Allegations Against Moore
Just as Moore may have thought he was about to turn the tide toward victory with Trump and the RNC coming to his rescue, a credible Republican former flame of Moore’s in Florida was back in the news. You don’t want to miss this.
Debbie Wesson Gibson was in her attic hauling out boxes of Christmas decorations last week when she noticed a storage bin she said she had forgotten about. Inside was a scrapbook from her senior year of high school, and taped to a page titled “Those Who Inspire” was a graduation card.
“Happy graduation Debbie,” it read in slanted cursive handwriting. “I wanted to give you this card myself. I know that you’ll be a success in anything you do. Roy.”
The inscription, Gibson said, was written by Roy Moore, the Alabama Republican nominee for U.S. Senate who in recent days has repeatedly denied the accounts of five women who told The Washington Post that he pursued them when they were teenagers and he was an assistant district attorney in his 30s. Since those allegations were published last month, four more women have come forward to allege that Moore made unwanted sexual advances.
Gibson, 54, now lives in Delray Beach, Fla., is a registered Republican and is the founder of a company that provides sign language interpretation.
She said that despite requests from dozens of media outlets, she had “very carefully said absolutely nothing” after her account was first published in The Post, because of a barrage of threatening hate mail she received, prompting her to notify her local police department. She and the other women have been accused by Moore’s surrogates of lying, or being paid to spread false stories, or being part of a larger political conspiracy to defeat Moore.
She said that she held Moore “in high esteem,” despite political differences with him, until she began hearing stories from other women who alleged that Moore pursued them as teenagers. She said that at first she did not want to believe the women.
“It takes what I thought was a very lovely part of my past, and it colors it, and it changes it irrevocably,” she said. “It changes it permanently.”
What made her decision to share the documents easier, she said, was watching and re-watching a video she has on her cellphone of Moore speaking last week and deciding that supporting the women who have come forward was more important than staying silent.
“At 34 minutes and 56 seconds into the video, he says, unequivocally, I did not know any of them,” Gibson said. “In that moment, it changed my perspective. I knew he was a liar.”
What happened was that in Mobile County last week, Moore claimed he never knew any of the women.
Cleary he was lying. This is irrevocable proof. This is not unsubstantiated “allegations” based on “no evidence,” as his campaign and his followers claim. There is now a veritable mountain of evidence against Moore.
So now voters must weigh this information in judging what Moore says. This is not some Hillary Clinton Democrat plant hellbent on beating Moore for partisan reasons. This woman has suffered death threats for telling the truth.e
© 2017, Glynn Wilson. All rights reserved.