Clinton’s Malpractice

Stan Greenberg: “The Trump presidency concentrates the mind on the malpractice that helped put him in office.  For me, the most glaring examples include the Clinton campaign’s over-dependence on technical analytics; its failure to run campaigns to win the battleground states; the decision to focus on the rainbow base and identity politics at the expense of the working class; and the failure to address the candidate’s growing ‘trust problem,’ to learn from events and reposition.”

“Clinton’s own campaign memoir, What Happened, came out the day I was finalizing this article. She acknowledged possible errors on handling of the economy, but not these areas of malpractice.”

“The campaign relied far too heavily on something that campaign technicians call ‘data analytics.’ This refers to the use of models built from a database of the country’s 200 million–voters, including turnout history and demographic and consumer information, updated daily by an automated poll asking for vote preference to project the election result. But when campaign developments overtake the model’s assumptions, you get surprised by the voters—and this happened repeatedly.”

“Astonishingly, the 2016 Clinton campaign conducted no state polls in the final three weeks of the general election and relied primarily on data analytics to project turnout and the state vote. They paid little attention to qualitative focus groups or feedback from the field, and their brief daily analytics poll didn’t measure which candidate was defining the election or getting people engaged.”

Extra Bonus Quote of the Day

“No one is more opposed to Obamacare than I am, and I’ve voted multiple times for repeal. The current bill isn’t repeal… Calling a bill that keeps most of Obamacare ‘repeal’ doesn’t make it true. That’s what the swamp does. I won’t be bribed or bullied.”

— Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY), once again stating his opposition to the latest Republican health care bill.

White House Harbors Doubts About Health Care Bill

Politico: “The public stance is coupled with a sense of doubt inside the White House, though, about the bill and deep concerns about whether it can pass the Senate or House, according to administration officials and congressional sources. These people say the president and his team have little sway with some key members, like GOP Sens. Susan Collins of Maine, John McCain of Arizona and Murkowski, the trio that tanked Republicans’ repeal attempt in July.”

“In fact, many Republicans on Capitol Hill believe that Trump cost them Murkowski’s vote in a private phone call this summer. And the president has refrained from making as many calls this go-round, one person familiar with his whipping said.”

“Several White House officials described the president as determined to sign something — anything, really.”

Trump Tax Plan Gains Momentum

“The White House plan for a massive package of tax cuts is gaining new momentum as Republicans attempt to set aside months of intraparty squabbling and unify behind a key part of President Trump’s agenda,” the Washington Post reports.

“Two developments are accelerating the effort: Key Senate Republicans reached a tentative deal this week to allow for as much as $1.5 trillion in tax reductions over 10 years; and there is a growing willingness within the GOP to embrace controversial, optimistic estimates of how much economic growth their tax plan would create.”

Axios: “Our GOP sources agree that chances are improved, with the most likely outcome being a significant tax cut for corporations, small businesses, and individuals making less than $150,000 a year.”

McConnell Lays It All on the Line

Politico: “He’s been battered by President Trump and had his vaunted legislative acumen called into question. Now, Mitch McConnell has a chance to put his cruel summer behind him. Over the next week, the Senate majority leader will try one last time to rescind the Democratic health care law. At the same time, he’s put his political reputation on the line in Alabama, where his chosen candidate, incumbent Sen. Luther Strange, faces off against anti-establishment Roy Moore in a special Senate election on Tuesday.”

“The typically cautious McConnell is taking huge gambles in both cases, and will emerge as a hero or goat within the GOP depending on how it all turns out. … McConnell will need everything to break his way to come out on top. Moore is leading in the polls and McConnell currently lacks the votes to repeal Obamacare.”

Sean Spicer Is Washington’s First Pariah

Politico: “Washington routinely forgives its philanderers, drug addicts and alcoholics, embezzlers, perjurers, bribers and bribees, liars, burglars and tax evaders, granting them the redemption of another term in office or a job in a lobbying shop or think tank after their scandal passes. It even absolved a drunk who killed a young lady, giving him a prince’s funeral when he died. The writer who said that there are no second acts in American life never lived here.”

“But that iron law hasn’t helped Spicer. Since leaving the White House this summer, he has gained admittance to a circle of one: He has become a Washington pariah. Nobody wants to be anywhere near him, but everyone wants to talk smack about him. He’s not just a punchline. He’s become a national laughing stock ever since his cameo on the Emmy Awards this week, where he attempted a joke about his most famous White House lie.”