Why deeds, money, and backers matter more than words for elections
2000, President George W Bush pretended to be a small government, 'compassionate conservative' for election purposes. He had lots of 'soft money' donated from corporate big wigs afraid of Al Gore's environmental regulations, but moreover, they were on-board the Bush-Bus for kick-backs, as the New York Times detailed at the time, The stakes for these donors are large: government appointments, from the Supreme Court to the Environmental Protection Agency; antitrust enforcement; tax policy; land use decisions; oil drilling permits; regulatory decisions.
''Given the stakes they have, the investment they have made in this convention in Philadelphia is very modest, given the potential rate of return,'' [David B. Magleby, director of the Center for the Study of Elections and Democracy at Brigham Young University] added.
Plus, there was all that NeoCon money from circles more immediate, and many of them were also part of a now defunct think tank, The Project for a New American Century. The PNAC-think-tankers were the central advising figures in W's administration throughout his tenure: a great measure of the President himself as many have pointed out. The NeoCon PNAC'ers - many of whom are supporting Secretary Hillary Clinton's current candidacy - had been calling for a century of American hegemony based on a renewed pretext for war; a renewed pretext that was disgustingly called a 'New Pearl Harbor', as published in September of 2000 in a PNAC paper titled 'Rebuilding America's Defenses'. These were the voices in W's ears, which support Clinton today. 
Bush's Secretary of the Treasury at the time reached out to author Ron Suskind in an effort to reveal some of this madness, "From the very beginning, there was a conviction, that Saddam Hussein was a bad person and that he needed to go," says O'Neill, who adds that going after Saddam was topic "A" 10 days after the inauguration - eight months before Sept. 11.
"From the very first instance, it was about Iraq. It was about what we can do to change this regime," says Suskind. "Day one, these things were laid and sealed."
'10 days after',... so he was thinking about and talking to insiders about this for some time no doubt, and more than likely all throughout the 2000 election cycle. And then eight months later,... September 11, 2001,... quite a coincidence, no? The Bush administration didn't want any questions about these agendas of invasion or their accomplices reaching the light of day hence, the infamous 28-pages were redacted from the official 9/11 Commission Report. These pages pointed to long time Bush family friend and confidant, a member of the Saudi Royal Family, Bandar bin Sultan (affectionately called Bandar Bush), as a finance conduit of the 9/11 hijackers - problematic information for the Bush administration to say the least. But the invasion that followed 9/11 was into Afghanistan, a country that had no connections to 9/11 in spite of the case made by Bushites that asserted Osama Bin Laden was using it as a base and the Taliban were somehow as interchangeably guilty as Al Qaeda. The war there rages on today still predicated upon these untried conclusions. Just a few years after the Afghan War began, the Bush administration predictably pivoted to Iraq, in an effort to pin Al Qaeda and Osama bin Laden on Iraqi President Saddam Hussein, never mind Saddam's long standing, bloody and torturous conflicts with terrorists. 
In 2008, the Pentagon would admit there were no ties, that in essence the whole thing was a lie, some parts constructed before Bush was ever elected we can assume without much trouble.  More recently, Colonel Lawrence Wilkerson, Chief of Staff to Colin Powell, has this to say, "They wanted to go to war with Iraq. Anything that supported al Qaeda connections with Baghdad, therefore, was good. Saudi Arabia just confused things so keep that out of it,... That wasn’t so much an effort to protect the Saudis, I don’t think, as it was an effort to justify the war with Iraq...."
But, Colonel Wilkerson qualified his statement slightly, “It wasn’t just passivity, it was action to prevent that from becoming a message". The subject was itself 'verboten',"You talked about it at your peril. You understood that the White House was going to close down anything associated with that sort of talk, so to what avail were you going to do it. I think one of the byproducts of (Vice President Dick) Cheney’s unprecedented eleven visits to CIA was to impress upon the most prominent of the intelligence agencies—and of course the Director of Central Intelligence himself—that you don’t want to go there".
Our small government, 'compassionate conservative' President had by the end of his eight years expanded government to unequalled extremes, that is until President Obama passed him. And it wasn't all based on the appertaining military and intelligence ramp ups following our seemingly self-inflicted 'New Pearl Harbor'. Reason's Nick Gillespie, described Bush's big-government extravagance well. "The most basic Bush numbers are damning. If increases in government spending matter, then Bush is worse than any president in recent history. During his first four years in office—a period during which his party controlled Congress—he added a whopping $345 billion (in constant dollars) to the federal budget. The only other presidential term that comes close? Bush's second term. As of November 2008, he had added at least an additional $287 billion on top of that (and the months since then will add significantly to the bill).”
Two 'compassionate', war-mongering terms after the millennial election, the dissembling festival kicked into high gear again. As for the many promises, pledges, and probable lies delivered during candidate Obama's run for President, we're suffering their present subliminations even now as the clock runs away from him. He's ended none of Bush's illegal wars; ended no enemies for that matter (while several of the worst have found sanctuary under his foreign policy), and GITMO remains open. He's presiding over the least transparent administration in US history. He raised taxes on the middle class. He Gruber'ed us all into his proto-universal healthcare plans, and universal education remains a Clinton campaign hacky-sack. President Obama's immigration plans continued many of the failed W-era plans and have led the US into years of immigration crisis resulting in all this talk of walls and Mexico footing the bill for its erection. Furthermore, our current President has not 'nailed shut' the revolving door of lobbyist money flooding these campaigns, nor has he rejected their ilk from his most proximate cabals - on the contrary. A scholar on lobbyists, Conor McGrath, pointed out in 2013 that there were some, "119 former lobbyists in the Obama administration". 
Secretary Clinton and Mr. Trump have also made myriad vows this election cycle. Most of Clinton's pledges follow closely behind the lies and failed goals of President's Obama's two terms with a heavy emphasis on her proposed NeoCon'esque foreign policies, and unsurprisingly these pledges are backed by many of the same politicos and donors: from the well-meaning grass-roots Democrats, socialists, liberals, and progressives all the way up to the most supremely nefarious meddlers on the globe: e.g. George Soros, and his regressive armies of pawns. Yet Trump's pledges are his own, whether they move you to love him or hate him; whether they strike you indifferently or leave you wanting more specifics, or just more emphasis on the Constitution, free-markets and personal liberties. His campaign money has largely come from himself, and a recent flood of small donors, but this is not to ignore the lobbyists that have given to his campaign as well, one's he says that he'll be independent of in policy.
Both Clinton and Trump have their own history of deeds to refer to as well. Clinton's seemingly unending cavalcade of scandals and conspiracies have been, and are being well documented by nearly everyone and anyone in news or blogging that aren't already sold on, or donors for her 'Great Leap' into office. She's got troubles within troubles and surprises still to face this October, if cat burglars don't have their ways. The very word corruption seems to docile for the injuries and fatalities she's suffered on millions of people since her tenure as Madam Secretary began. 
Trump, for all of his financial wheeling and dealing near the borders of right and wrong, has used bankruptcy courts, eminent domain, done business with questionable foreign interests (both of whom Obama and the Clintons have dealt with under far more suspicious circumstances, e.g. US military secrets to the Chinese, Uranium deals with Russians), and given money to much of the political spectrum, including some of its members who today use every invective common to Social Justice circles, many of the same ones that had no problem taking his money before he was running against them or their chosen candidates.
To even attempt moral equivocation between these two candidates turns the stomach in immorality. They are not on the same stage, nor even in the same play, and their debates will no doubt show it. One has at worst enriched himself at the expense of others on the battlefields of business boardrooms and in the trenches of inequity. The other's enriched herself politically and financially with grift, guile, and inequity; her secretive orchestrations with the 'international community' having sunk parts of the world into horrid, unholy wars for years, and she vows their continuance.
No matter who makes them, pledges are just pledges, not to be mistaken for deeds, and the evil deeds that several successive Presidents have encouraged if not committed are at stake more so than any disquieting dialectical choices or ugly words along the way. If we were more a nation that cared for the contents of the beautiful, bow-wrapped boxes of politics than being a nation enamored by the secretive wrapping paper amorously adorning policy, I doubt we'd have half of the problems we have today facing our worn out economy, our villainous foreign policy, or our evaporating civil rights at home.
7) http://reason.com/archives/2009/01/26/bush-was-a-big-government-disa http://dailycaller.com/2016/03/18/new-data-shows-obama-least-transparent-prez-ever/