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Long IslandPolitics

Colin Powell's new cameo, Trump's trip to Oz

Questions on the candidates' health were raised this

Questions on the candidates' health were raised this week after Hillary Clinton's pneumonia diagnosis kept her off the stump for a few days. Meanwhile, Donald Trump appeared at a campaign rally on Tuesday, Sept. 13, 2016, in Clive, Iowa. Photo Credit: Getty Images / Steve Pope

Trump’s elective procedure

If you were betting into Wednesday morning that Donald Trump would try to show up Hillary Clinton by being more forthcoming about his health history, there was still time to pull your chips off the table.

A week ago — and before Clinton’s pneumonia fiasco — Trump told ABC News he was planning to put out “full reports.” But on Tuesday, his campaign manager, Kellyanne Conway, said on MSNBC, “I don’t know why we need such extensive medical reporting when we all have a right to privacy.”

Trump, who is 70 years old, is scheduled on Wednesday to record an interview about his health on “The Dr. Oz Show” and to discuss a physical he says he received last week. It will air Thursday.

Dr. Mehmet Oz told Fox News Radio, “I want to ask him pointed questions about his health.” But Oz added, “I’m not going to ask him questions he doesn’t want to have answered.”

So as information disclosure goes, it's all turning out to be a dud.

Enter Colin Powell, again

Former Secretary of State Colin Powell, a four-star general who served under GOP presidents, makes another invountary walk-on appearance in this campaign. Hacked e-mails show that in June, Powell called Trump "a national disgrace" and "an international pariah," BuzzFeed says. The emails were  reportedly obtained by DCLeaks.com, which is widely believed to have ties to Russian intelligence services.

On Aug. 21 Powell wrote to former aide Emily Miller: "“Yup, the whole birther movement was racist... That’s what the 99% believe. When Trump couldn’t keep that up he said he also wanted to see if the certificate noted that he was a Muslim.” In a 2015 message he told a CNN anchor: “You guys are playing his game, you are his oxygen."

But there's another important edge to this leak. Powell cropped up in a campaign context earlier when Clinton tried invoking his use of private emails as a rationale for her own actions in that area.“Sad thing,” Powell wrote. “HRC could have killed this two years ago by merely telling everyone honestly what she had done and not tie me to it.”

BuzzFeed on Wednesday reports that Powell confirmed the authenticity of the posted material but declined further comment.

Someone pull the lunk alarm

Suddenly, a pair of septuagenarian Democrats defending Clinton think it’s OK to body-shame Trump and mock his self-proclaimed love of Kentucky Fried Chicken and McDonald’s.

Said Harry Reid, the 76-year-old Senate minority leader: “He complains about her health? What does he do? He’s 70 years old. He’s not slim and trim. He brags about eating fast food every day. Look at his health a little bit.”

Vice President Joe Biden, 73, jokingly issued a challenge: “I’d like to jog with him. I don’t think he could keep up.”

Obama: She’s fit, he’s not

While Clinton was still sidelined, President Barack Obama spoke to 6,000 Democrats at a rally in Philadelphia to talk her up as “steady” and “true,” and take down Trump as “not fit in any way, shape or form” to lead the nation.

Obama compared the lifesaving work of the Clinton foundation with a recent report on how Trump’s foundation spent $20,000: Trump “took money other people gave to his charity and then bought a six-foot-tall painting of himself.” He then added sarcastically: “I mean, I — you know, he had the taste not to go for the 10-foot version, but — ”

The take-away: Say what?

Matt Bevin, the Republican governor of Kentucky, painted an apocalyptic scene of an America under a President Hillary Clinton for a meeting of Christian conservatives the other day.

The nation might recover, he said, but at a cost in blood from tyrants and patriots. It’s the latest example of how this year’s election has sent hyperbole into hyperdrive, writes Newsday’s Dan Janison.

At last, a debate safe for kids

A conventional, nontoxic issue debate took a rare turn in the campaign spotlight Tuesday. Trump unveiled proposals for lowering child-care costs, including a plan, not typical for a conservative Republican, to guarantee six weeks of paid maternity leave.

Clinton has proposed guaranteeing 12 weeks of paid family leave, and her campaign criticized Trump’s plan as “half-baked” and “giving the most to the wealthy while providing far less relief to middle-class and working families.”

Poll: Clinton tops among Latinos

Clinton holds wide leads among Latino voters in four battleground states, but her advantage is the smallest where it could matter the most — in Florida, The Washington Post reported, citing a poll conducted for Univision News.

Trump is seen unfavorably by 81% of Hispanic voters in Colorado, 79% in Nevada, 78% in Arizona and 68% in Florida.

What else is happening

  • Trump plans Wednesday to visit Flint, Michigan, which has suffered a prolonged crisis over a tainted water supply.
  • Clinton will resume campaign travel on Thursday after a three-day break to recuperate from pneumonia, her spokesman said.
  • Clinton has a history going back at least to her first lady days of refusing to follow the advice of doctors to stop working when she’s ill, family and friends told The Associated Press.
  • Trump's handlers are trying to change his image on TV from yelling at rallies to sympathetic 'moments,' according to the Wall Street Journal.
  • The sharpening of divisions in the electorate has been going on for years, with older and blue-collar whites moving to the Republicans, as college graduates and secular voters have accelerated their shift to the Democrats, a Pew Research Center study finds.
  • FBI crime data for 2015 — expected to show a rise in murders largely because of spikes in such cities as Chicago and Baltimore — will be released on Sept. 26, the day of the first debate, handing Trump a talking point, The Guardian reports.
  • New York Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman has opened an investigation into the Trump foundation “to make sure it’s complying with the laws governing charities in New York,” Politico reported.
  • Police in Asheville, North Carolina, arrested seven people during and after a Trump rally Monday night, including a man seen on video allegedly hitting protesters.
  • The big 'what-if' is explored here regarding succession if a presidential candidate withdraws or dies before the election is over.

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