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Trump and Palin star at rally against Iran deal


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WASHINGTON — On the lawn outside the Capitol’s West Front, Donald Trump and Sarah Palin rallied against the Iran nuclear deal on Wednesday.

Inside, the Senate plunged into debate, though we know the outcome.

And at a speech in downtown D.C., Hillary Clinton defended the agreement she helped shape.

The last two undecided Illinois Democrats, Rep. Tammy Duckworth and Rep. Mike Quigley, announced their support for the deal. Sen. Mark Kirk, R-Ill., for whom opposition to the Iran pact has become a crusade, mustered only 123 words against it when he took to the Senate floor.

President Barack Obama has the votes to block a “resolution of disapproval” in the Republican-controlled Congress, though that did not stop the day from being dominated by the deal.

OPINION


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Here are some snapshots:

TRUMP AND PALIN

“We will have so much winning, if I get elected that you may get bored with winning,” GOP presidential hopeful Donald Trump said Wednesday at a rally against the Iran nuclear deal organized by the Tea Party Patriots.

The rally was near the spot where a President Trump would be sworn in on Jan. 20, 2017. That would mark the end of the era of being led by, as Trump put it in his remarks, “very very stupid people.”

Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei’s recent anti-Israel Twitter posts — in which he wrote, according to news reports, “God willing, there will be nothing of the Zionist regime by the next 25 years,” provided a jumping-off point for Trump.

“They don’t want Israel to survive. They will not let Israel survive. With incompetent leadership like we have right now, Israel will not survive,” Trump said.

“And then when it’s all done, or they think it’s all done, they come out with these unbelievable nasty statements that Israel won’t be around in 25 years and that, “We have no dealings, and we will have no further dealings with the United States.

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump speaks at the rally against the Iran nuclear deal on Thursday. | Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump speaks at the rally against the Iran nuclear deal on Thursday. | Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

“. . . All of these countries, all of these countries, are going to do business with Iran. They’re going to make lots of money and lots of other things with Iran, and we’re going to do and we’re going to get nothing, nothing. We are led by very, very stupid people,” he said to applause.

I caught up with Palin, the 2008 GOP vice presidential nominee and former Alaska governor, as she was besieged by reporters near the rally stage a few minutes before she spoke.

How, I asked, would a President Trump figure out a way to round up 60 votes in the Senate to advance his agenda — a difficult task if a party does not hold the supermajority of seats. The Senate Democrats can block the Republican disapproval resolution because the GOP can’t muster the 60 votes needed to pass it.

Trump “is the master of the deal,” said Palin, who has not endorsed anyone yet in the crowded GOP presidential field. “. . . I think he is not obsessively partisan.”

HILLARY CLINTON

While Trump’s strategy is not to bother getting into any deep policy details — hey, it’s been working for him so far — over at the Brookings Institution Clinton offered a methodical and forceful defense of the deal.

When Obama took office and Clinton became his secretary of State, Iran was racing toward a nuclear capability, she said at the top of her speech.

A real-world observation from Clinton: “Those of us who have been out there on the diplomatic front lines know that diplomacy is not the pursuit of perfection; it’s the balancing of risk.”

Clinton also suspects the Iranians will cheat. Everybody does.

Said Clinton: “You remember President Reagan’s line about the Soviets: ‘Trust but verify’? My approach will be distrust and verify.”

Follow Lynn Sweet on Twitter: @LynnSweet


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