Links for 10/31/16

At RNS, Mark Silk argues that the Al Smith dinner exposed Donald Trump for the boor that he is. This is true. But, what if Trump had used the event to normalize himself? It turns out that Lester Holt's even handed approach to moderating the first debate had a similar effect, but what if it hadn't? Democracies are not very well equipped to stop a demagogue. 

Here is the video, from C-Span, of a panel discussion on "The Catholic Vote" this year, co-sponsored  by the Institute for Policy Research & Catholic Studies, where I am a visiting fellow, and Public Religion Research Institute. Very smart commentary all around and Cokie Roberts' joke about Houma was great.

Gabriel Debenedetti, at Politico, explains how Clinton's campaign is dealing with the fallout from FBI Director Comey's decision to re-​open the investigation into her email usage. One thing the campaign is not admitting: If Bill Clinton had not imporperly spoken with the Attorney General, she would not have had to say she was leaving everything to the FBI Director. So, Hillary's ability to contain the damage from her effort to cut corners is now impeded by Bill's having cut a corner. As discussed this morning, if the Clintons are involved, there is going to be drama. 


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