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Time Magazine grudgingly names Donald Trump “Person of the Year”, overlooking readers’ choice of Indian PM Narendra Modi

Time magazine grudgingly named Donald Trump "Person of the Year", overlooking readers' choice of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi

A museum will come up in Chanakyapuri to ceebrate Indian diaspora
India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi celebrating Indian diversity via museum. VOA

Washington, December 10, 2016: Time magazine grudgingly named Donald Trump “Person of the Year”, overlooking readers’ choice of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

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But the man who would be the President of the US in forty days demonstrated once more, how he can seize the moment time and again, creating turbulence with a tweet.

The Manhattan mogul, who was peeved at being passed over last year, called the magazine’s choice “a great honour,” but still took issue with the cover naming him as the “President of the Divided States of America.”

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Taking a victory lap in states that delivered him the White House – “Oh boy, how you delivered!” – he called it “snarky” as he made a stabbing motion with his right hand at a rally of supporters in Iowa donning red “Make America Great Again” hats.

Earlier, the reality TV star sent the talking heads from Washington to New Delhi into a tizzy, as he called Pakistan’s Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif a “terrific guy” in Islamabad, and that how he was “willing to play any role” to find solutions for “amazing” Pakistan’s problems.

Then he set the chatterati aflutter as he needled China by taking a congratulatory call from the Taiwanese President in the first high level contact, since the US switched diplomatic recognition from the island nation to Beijing in 1979.

“Did China ask us if it was OK to devalue their currency or to build a massive military complex in the middle of the South China Sea? I don’t think so!” Trump shot back at critics of his “shoot-from-the-hip diplomatic style.”

Meanwhile, Boeing cruising through clear skies amid talks to build fighter aircraft plants in India, ran into turbulence with a Trump tweet out of the blue.

“Boeing is building a brand new 747 Air Force One for future presidents, but costs are out of control, more than $4 billion!” Trump tweeted. “Cancel order!”

Then hours after accusing Boeing of “doing a little bit of a number”, Trump won an assurance from the Boeing chief executive — “a good man” and “a terrific guy” — that the company would work to keep costs down. That sent liberal media having a beef with his Cabinet picks from fat cat billionaires to “mad dog” generals to critics of Barack Obama’s policies from health to labour to environment scrambling in another direction.

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Trump also had a dustup with Carrier air conditioning’s union chief, who accused him of doing a “dog and pony show” by exaggerating the number of company jobs he had saved from moving to Mexico.

The mogul hit back with a swift tweet saying the long standing union chief “has done a terrible job representing workers. No wonder companies flee country!”

Set to announce on December 15, how he will separate himself “in total” from his worldwide business holdings, Trump courted another controversy insisting he would not be giving up his title as executive producer on “The Celebrity Apprentice.” Nor was he ready to take his thumbs off from Twitter.

“If the press would cover me accurately & honourably, I would have far less reason to ‘tweet’. Sadly, I don’t know if that will ever happen!” he tweeted.

But in the midst of all the controversies, he often turned to his new phone friend Barack Obama, who he once said, “would go down as the worst president in history!”

“I really like him – I can say for myself, I can’t speak for him – but we have a really good chemistry together,” he declared claiming the outgoing president had even approved of one of his Cabinet picks.

Meanwhile, left-wing filmmaker Michael Moore, one of the few to predict a Trump win back in June, advocated using the Electoral College as a “stopgap” meant to keep a “madman who wants to be king” from becoming president.

A New York Times columnist too suggested that “Time magazine ever in search of buzz” had chosen a “man of the year (who) is, by words and deeds, more of a madman of the year.”

But a Wall Street Journal columnist saw “Trump as Lady Gaga” calling him a “political performance artist” somewhat in the mould of “Abraham Lincoln, Franklin Roosevelt, John Kennedy, Ronald Reagan – who challenged and overturned status quos.”

Call him madman, performance artist or person of the times, but the magician of Manhattan knows how to keep the media pot boiling and stay in the limelight. (IANS)

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President Donald Trump Key Force In Driving The Midterms Elections

Trump’s name will not appear on the Nov. 6 ballots, but, he will clearly be front and center in the minds of voters

Donald Trump
President Donald Trump speaks at a rally endorsing the Republican ticket in Erie, Pennsylvania, VOA

Three weeks before a crucial U.S. midterm election, it would be difficult to find much that Democrats and Republicans agree on. Both parties, however, seem to agree on one thing: President Donald Trump will be the key issue in elections that will determine control of Congress for the next two years.

For many voters, the “Trump factor” could be a deciding consideration in this year’s midterms. And as the president campaigns on behalf of Republicans around the country, he is quick to remind his supporters that he has a huge personal stake in the outcome on Nov. 6.

“All of this extraordinary progress is at stake,” Trump told a recent rally in Southaven, Mississippi. “I’m not on the ballot. But in a certain way, I am on the ballot. So please, go out and vote. Go out and vote.”

Motivating Democrats

As much as Trump motivates his core supporters, he also energizes critics like Jenny Heinz, who helped organize a recent anti-Trump rally in New York City.

“There is an active resistance to this president, who is operating as if he is above the law.”

No question, Trump is the central figure in this year’s election, according to American University analyst David Barker.

“Yes, Democrats from the day after the election in 2016 have been waiting for this day, and it is all about Trump,” Barker told VOA. “Trump fully embraces that. He wants it to be all about him.”

Historically, midterm elections have been a mix of local issues, local candidates, and partly a referendum on the sitting president.

This year’s campaign seems to have accelerated a trend whereby midterm congressional elections have increasingly become nationalized.

“It really is now all national, and everyone is kind of looking at this as either a referendum for or against the president and his party,” said George Washington University expert Lara Brown.

supporters of President Donald Trump, wearing Mike Braun for Congress shirts, cheer as he arrives for a campaign rally at the Ford Center in Evansville, Ind. VOA

In the latest Washington Post-ABC News poll, a majority of voters in both parties said a congressional candidate who shares their view of Trump is an important consideration as they assess the coming midterms.

Seizing the spotlight

Unlike some presidents who have tried to resist the idea that the midterms are a presidential referendum, Trump has willingly embraced it.

Former Trump strategist Steve Bannon told Associated Press Television that he favors the approach.

“I think if you make this a national referendum and nationalize this election on the success of President Trump’s program, it is a clear winner, and I think the Democrats get crushed.”

Others are skeptical, including former Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Steele.

“All right, fine. You want it to be about you? Well, every candidate on the ballot now has to account for your behavior, has to account for your tweets,” said Steele, a recent guest on VOA’s Plugged In with Greta Van Susteren.

Climate Change, Trump
President Donald Trump speaks during a meeting in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington. VOA

Trump hopes to boost Republican turnout in November; but, Democrats argue he is likely to be just as effective in spurring their voters to the polls.

Maryland Democratic Representative Dutch Ruppersberger also spoke on Plugged In.

“When all you do is care about yourself and not about people, not about what they need – like your seniors needing medical care. And you just want to look good and knock them out (politically), which is happening, this is hurting. And this is why, I think, a lot of people will come out (to vote).”

Tending the base

Trump has been aggressive on the campaign trail courting his base, especially in Republican-leaning states where many of this year’s closer Senate races are taking place.

“They are focusing on their base, and they are trying to make sure that they are going to show up and vote. And it could make some difference in close midterm elections,” said University of Virginia analyst Larry Sabato.

Trump, USA
House Speaker Paul Ryan of Wis. administers the House oath of office to Rep. Dutch Ruppersberger, D-Md., during a mock swearing in ceremony on Capitol Hill in Washington, . VOA

Some Republicans have urged Trump to try and broaden his appeal beyond his base during campaign visits this year.

But Gallup pollster Frank Newport said the president has limited options.

Also Read: Obama On Why Its Important To Vote In This Midterm Elections

“He has kind of given up on attempting to broaden his appeal, it looks like. It fits more with his style,” said Newport. “He has, as we all know, a very combative style. He likes to have enemies because that gives him somebody to fight against. So, it would be hard for a president like Trump anyway to try and broaden his appeal.”

Trump’s name will not appear on the Nov. 6 ballots, but, he will clearly be front and center in the minds of voters, and the midterm results could determine the future of his presidency. (VOA)