/ 6 November 2016

Trump “doesn’t need stars” while Clinton brings out the big guns

Unswayed: As new controversies rock Hillary Clinton’s campaign
Unswayed: As new controversies rock Hillary Clinton’s campaign

With only one day to go before the crucial US elections, Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton has lined up prominent politicians and celebrities in a final push to garner support to become the first female president of the world’s most powerful nation.

She has roped in president Barack Obama, first lady Michelle Obama and her husband former president Bill Clinton, to join her at the Philadelphia election campaign rally on Monday night. American rapper Jay Z and his superstar wife Beyoncé are billed to perform at the rally and expected to encourage their fans to vote for Hillary Clinton.

The pair also performed for free in Cleveland on Friday night in support of Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign. While still in the lead, Clinton has experienced a decline in support over the past two weeks after FBI director James Comey dropped a bombshell when he claimed the agency had obtained new information relating to her use of a personal email server while she was Secretary of State several years ago.

Her political rival Donald Trump has wasted no time in using the damaging FBI revelations as amuninition for his campaign – which has in the past few months been clouded by a string of sexual harassment allegations against the Republican candidate.

While political observers believe the email scandal was unlikely to cause major damage to Hillary Clinton’s support base, she is definitely not leaving anything to chance. Clinton has made it a point to bring some of America’s most celebrated stars to shore up her campaign in the closing days of the presidential race. Among the top singers she has hosted this week are rocker Bon Jovi, R&B singer Ne-Yo, singer and actress Jennifer Lopez and singers Stevie Wonder and Katy Perry.

The Democratic candidate could not hide her excitement to share the stage with both Jay Z and Beyoncé on Friday.

“When I see them here, this passion and energy and intensity; I don’t even know where to begin because this is what America is, my friend. I thank Beyoncé for standing up and showing the world we are stronger when we look for each other,” Clinton said. She also thanked Jay Z for using his music to address the country’s many social ills. She made special mention of Jay Z’s song Mr. President, which is dedicated to Obama.

“Rosa Parks sat, so Martin Luther King Jr could walk, and Martin Luther King walked so Barack Obama could ride and Barack Obama ran so all the children could fly,” she was quoted as having said. “We have unfinished business to do, more barriers to break and with your help a glass ceiling to crack once and for all,” she said to a loud applause.

Said Beyoncé: “Less than 100 years ago, women did not have the right to vote. Look how far we’ve come from having no voice to being on the brink of making history by electing the first woman president. But we have to vote,” said Beyoncé.

While Clinton has brought all the big guns to boost her campaign, Trump’s campaign has been a one man show in many instances. The controversial Republican candidate said that unlike Clinton he did not need stars to fill up campaign venues.

But Ohio Republican Party communications director Brittany Warner told journalists this week Trump did not enjoy the support of prominent Republican leaders in Ohio, including governor John Kasich – who lost to Trump in the nomination process for the Republican party earlier this year. However, she believed Trump stands a good chance to win Ohio, which is considered the most important of the swing states.

On Saturday night Trump’s campaigned was interrupted by a a gun scare. At a rally in Reno, Nevada, a man held up a “Republicans against Trump” sign just before someone in the crowd shouted “gun”. Immediately Trump was rushed off stage by security agents. The protester was escorted away by police. It turned out later that he was unarmed.