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David Smith chronicles another busy week in a bizarre election year: Biden and Trump reveal bare knuckles and Ruth Bader Ginsburg may be asked to step down

Journalist Maureen Dowd memorably described the choice at the 2016 US election as the king of winging it versus the queen of homework. So no surprise if the king of winging it had a little help. Sixteen months into his campaign, he rolled out a new slogan, Drain the swamp referring to Washington. Soon enough #DrainTheSwamp was trending on Twitter.

But evidently this wasnt Trumps own idea. As a crowd chanted Drain the swamp at a rally in Geneva, Ohio, on Thursday, the Republican candidate admitted: You know, I didnt like the expression I started it what, a week ago, right? Drain the swamp and I said, I dont like it, and the people were going crazy, they loved it. All of a sudden, I like it.

Cue a mystifying simile that only Trump could come up with. Its like Frank Sinatra, who was a special guy, a difficult guy, but he had songs he didnt like but they became his biggest songs so he liked them, he continued. And drain the swamp, Im starting to like it a lot, do you agree? Its very reflective of what were trying to do.

Trump added with glee: So cute. I see this young boy here and hes screaming Drain the swamp! Hes this big. How cute. Hes learning young, learning young about our government. Very cute.

What a gift for Lin-Manuel Miranda, creator of Hamilton, the Broadway blockbuster that culminates in a duel between sitting vice-president Aaron Burr and former treasury secretary Alexander Hamilton. Sitting vice-president Joe Biden this week more or less challenged Trump to a duel, not with pistols at dawn but bare knuckles behind the school gymnasium.

Ill get myself in trouble, Biden said. Id like to take him behind the gym if I were in high school. All kidding aside, wouldnt you?

Trump has fired back at several rallies. In Florida he said: Id love that! Mr Tough Guy. You know, hes Mr Tough Guy. You know when hes Mr Tough Guy? When hes standing behind a microphone by himself thats when. And in Ohio he said: You know what you do with Biden? You go like this. He turned to one side and blew a puff of air from his mouth. And hed fall over.

Jake Tapper, CNNs chief Washington correspondent, tweeted: Im trying to envision something more fitting than this election actually ending in a Biden-Trump fist fight and I cannot.

From a well connected Washington crystal ball gazer: Hillary Clinton will win the election. Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, 83, who fell asleep at the State of the Union address (she admitted she was not entirely sober) and has given more than one regrettable interview of late, will be gently asked to step down from the supreme court. Arch liberal senator Elizabeth Warren will be lined up to replace her. And the late conservative justice Antonin Scalia will spin like a Catherine wheel in the grave.

Clintons 69th birthday on Wednesday included a cake from staff and a rendition of Happy Birthday from Stevie Wonder. She will, if elected, be the second oldest person in history to assume the presidency, just behind Ronald Reagan. Trump is even older at 70. In Africa, however, they would all be mere babes in the woods. Robert Mugabe of Zimbabwe is 92, Paul Biya of Cameroon is 83, Jacob Zuma of South Africa is 74, Muhammadu Buhari of Nigeria is 73 and Yoweri Museveni of Uganda is 72.

Trump is a man of hidden shallows. Future historians will pore over the choice of warm-up music at his rallies, including Pavarottis version of Nessun Dorma (None Shall Sleep) and the Rolling Stones You Cant Always Get What You Want a lyric that takes on added poignancy with every poll.

It also emerged this week that one of the tycoons favourite songs is Is That All There Is?, a hit for Peggy Lee in the 60s. Trump told a biographer: Its a great song because Ive had these tremendous successes and then Im off to the next one. Because, its like, Oh, is that all there is?

The song may be even more apt come the night of 8 November when Trump counts how many states are in his margin. Clinton, meanwhile, will hold her election night party at New Yorks Javits Center, which has a glass ceiling. Get it?

Mother Jones magazine records: Even the death of a child couldnt keep Donald Trump from talking about hitting on the boys mother.

The episode dates from 2009 when Trump wrote a blogpost devoted to Kelly Preston four days after Jett, her 16-year-old son with John Travolta, died from a seizure during a family holiday. The billionaire offered condolences but could not resist mentioning something else: A long time ago, before I was married, I met Kelly Preston at a club and worked like hell to try and pick her up. She was beautiful, personable, and definitely had allure. At the time I had no idea she was married to John Travolta.

There was more: In any event, my track record on this subject has always been outstanding, but Kelly wouldnt give me the time of day. She was very nice, very elegant, but I didnt have a chance with her, and that was that.


John Gludovatz (@johngludovatz)

Tens of supporters attend Tim Kaine rally in West Palm Beach, FL.

October 25, 2016

He thinks because he has a mouthful of Tic-Tacs that he can force himself on any woman within groping distance. Well, Ive got news for you, Donald Trump. Women have had it with guys like you. And nasty women have really had it with guys like you. Yeah. Get this, Donald … on November 8, we nasty women are gonna march our nasty feet to cast our nasty votes to get you out of our lives forever.
Senator Elizabeth Warren

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