FBI Director Christopher A. Wray speaks at his installation ceremony at the FBI Building in Washington in September 2017. (Andrew Harnik/AP)
Opinion writer

In the distance, you can see the presidential contest between these two. “Former Vice President Joe Biden on Thursday took a swipe at President Trump after Trump claimed that Democrats inflated the death toll from Hurricane Maria to make him look bad. ‘By the way, there are no problems in America. Everybody is doing well. Things are fair and decent, and no one died in Puerto Rico,’ Biden quipped at the beginning of remarks at an economic summit in Washington, D.C.” No one ever accused Biden of lacking a strong punch.

From a distance of more than 20 years, the 1990s seem downright affable. “Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg Laments SCOTUS Confirmation Process: ‘A Highly Partisan Show.’”

Democrats should distance themselves from this kind of stunt. “The senior Democrat on the Senate Judiciary Committee referred information involving Judge Brett M. Kavanaugh, President Trump’s nominee to the Supreme Court, to federal investigators on Thursday, but the senator declined to make public what the matter involved. Two officials familiar with the matter say the incident involved possible sexual misconduct between Judge Kavanaugh and a woman when they were both in high school.” She had no business blabbing to the public. She’s just creating sympathy for him.

Others states should follow by distancing themselves from Trump’s anti-science agenda. “On climate, Brown, a former Jesuit seminarian, has become America’s most insistent apostle for action, the antithesis to President Donald Trump. While Trump is systematically dismantling any federal response to the challenge, Brown’s California is pushing the envelope on what a single state can do to combat what he recently called ‘the existential threat of climate change.’ That threat is growing more tangible seemingly by the week, measured in risks from record wildfires and hurricanes, like the approaching Florence, that draw more destructive power from ocean waters warming as the climate shifts.”

FBI Director Christopher A. Wray distances himself from Trump on ZTE. “I continue to be very concerned, and I think the intelligence community continues to be very concerned about the threat to our telecommunications infrastructure presented by some of the kinds of companies that are beholden to foreign governments that don’t share our values… And the idea of letting the fox in the henhouse is something that I think people need to be really, really careful about before we find out that we’re going to regret it.”

Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine) may try to distance herself from the impact Kavanaugh would have on the availability of legal abortions, but Americans know exactly what is afoot. “Nearly half (48 percent) of Americans believe President Trump’s nominee would vote to overturn Roe v. Wade if confirmed. Just 25 percent of Americans believe the nominee would vote to uphold that decision. . . .  The survey also found that a majority (56 percent) of Americans believe Roe v. Wade was rightly decided by the Supreme Court and should be upheld, compared to one-third (33 percent) of Americans who say it was the wrong decision and should be overturned.”

Republicans don’t seem to be able to distance themselves from an unpopular president. CNN finds: “In a generic ballot test, 52% of likely voters back the Democratic candidate for House of Representatives in their district while 42% back the Republican. Among all registered voters, Democrats hold a 12-point margin over the GOP, suggesting preferences have not shifted much since an August CNN Poll, which did not include an assessment of likely voters.”