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This blog offers an international look at the 2016 U.S. presidential campaign. Indeed, campaigners worldwide are fascinated with American election campaigns. We observe relentless paid television advertising, straight-forward attack spots, sophisticated targeting and record-breaking fundraising. One cannot – and should not – simply copy paste American campaign techniques. However, campaigners out there in Europe, Latin America, Africa and Asia can get a lot of inspiration and specific takeaways from the most professional campaign in the world. This is the purpose of this blog.

John McCain, Senator and 2008 Presidential Candidate, Dead

Last Saturday, John McCain, longtime senator from the state of Arizona, former presidential candidate and war hero, died. When he ran for president against Barack Obama in 2008, there were apparently discussions: If Republicans would play the race card against Barack Obama, they could tip enough swing states and win the electoral college, but would clearly lose the popular vote. John McCain apparently outright rejected the idea. The episode tells you a lot about McCain and seems so far away compared to today’s politics.

Manafort/Cohen: Guilty

Of course, it’s not good news for President Trump that on the same day, both his former campaign manager and former personal lawyer were found guilty, respectively pleaded guilty. The most concrete consequence of this is that the Mueller probe will definitely continue. It’s next to impossible to describe it as a useless witch-hunt at this point in time. This being said, to think that because of this, Trump will be impeached anytime soon involves a lot of wishful thinking. One key element in that respect is whether or not Democrats will win the majority in the House of Representatives this November when the mid-term election will take place. It’s possible, but far from sure. Even if they do, an impeachment would need a majority of two-thirds in the Senate. This being said, it’s remarkable that Trump’s job approval ratings have been quite stable since mid-June. We will see in a few days how these two latest developments will play out in the polls. But let’s not forget: the Manafort trial was about the money Manafort earned during his work in Ukraine, Cohen pleaded guilty that he broke campaign finance laws. Some voters might wonder: Where are Trump and the alleged collusion with Russia in all of this? But then again, this might dramatically change if the Mueller investigation takes new turns.