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The US election campaign, with eight days to go

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Oct 27, 2020 - 04:04 AM

WASHINGTON — A Supreme Court appointment offers Donald Trump the chance to celebrate; economic stimulus talks look stuck; and Joe Biden forgets the president’s name.

Here’s what’s going on in the US election campaign on Monday, eight days before the vote.

Supreme Court win for Trump 

Trump is set to register a big victory for Republicans when his nomination for a vacant seat on the Supreme Court is confirmed by the Senate later Monday.

Amy Coney Barrett’s appointment will seal in the court’s conservative majority — potentially for decades — after the death of liberal judge Ruth Bader Ginsburg in September.

Trump, who trails Biden in the polls, has said he wanted Barrett in place before the November 3 election in case the court hears any cases over contested vote results.

The president is expected at three rallies during the day, where he is likely to focus on Barrett’s confirmation as one of the biggest achievements of his first term.

Stimulus talks stuck 

Policymakers’ negotiations over a new spending package to aid the virus-hit economy have lost momentum.

“The talks have certainly slowed down, but they’re not ending,” Trump economic advisor Larry Kudlow told CNBC.

After months of discussions between Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and Democratic House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, time has nearly run out to get a deal before the election.

The sides have agreed on a package of about $2 trillion, but remain at odds over the exact cost and what it includes, with Republicans pressing for more limited measures and Democrats insisting on aid for state and local governments.

What’s my opponent called? 

Joe Biden’s habit of verbal gaffes was cruelly exposed when he struggled to remember Donald Trump’s name during a TV appearance late Sunday, calling his opponent “George” — perhaps a reference to one of the Bush presidents.

“Four more years of George, er, George, er, he — we’re going to find ourselves in a position where, if Trump gets elected, we’re going to be in a different world,” Biden said, sitting next to his wife, who appeared to be prompting him.

Trump, 74, has often accused Biden, 77, of being senile as the two candidates battle it out for the White House.

“Joe Biden called me George yesterday. Couldn’t remember my name,’ Trump tweeted with glee. “The Fake News Cartel is working overtime to cover it up!”

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