August, 2015

Trump Signaling He Will Forgo a Third-Party Bid

Donald Trump “has told several top Republicans that he will swear off the possibility of an independent bid and commit to running his presidential campaign under the party’s banner,” the Huffington Post reports.

“Such a move could endear Trump further to Republican voters who have remained skeptical about his allegiance to a political party he joined relatively recently. Trump had drawn sharp criticism from GOP leaders concerned that a third party bid would effectively guarantee a Democratic win in the general election.”

Possible Biden Bid Puts Fundraisers on High Alert

“The possibility that Vice President Joe Biden may jump into the 2016 presidential campaign is convulsing the network of wealthy Democrats that financed President Obama’s two White House bids, galvanizing fundraisers underwhelmed by Hillary Clinton’s performance,” the Washington Post reports.

“A wide swath of party financiers is already convinced that Biden will make a late entry into the race and a sizeable number are now contemplating backing him, including some who have already signed on with Clinton… Their potential support — driven in part by a desire to recapture the passion they felt in Obama’s campaigns — could play a key role in helping the vice president decide whether to move forward on a third White House run.”

Bonus Quote of the Day

“He is dominating this conversation unlike anything I’ve ever seen, I guarantee you. It is something to see. Everybody keeps saying, ‘oh, it’s going to go away.’ As of now, it seems to be sticking around a bit longer than anybody thought.”

— James Carville, quoted by The Hill, on Donald Trump’s “unprecedented momentum.”

Trump Proves Facts Don’t Always Matter

Rick Klein: “One of the strangest and most irresistible moments of this or any campaign will be remembered for the surreal scene of Donald Trump having his security guards kick Jorge Ramos out of a news conference, then denying he did it, letting him back in, and jousting on immigration policy with one of the most trusted voices in Spanish-language news. But the exchange wasn’t about policy – and in fact confirmed that the Trump candidacy relates to policy only in the sense that baseball games relate to hot dogs. That is to say, you can get your policy when you go see Donald Trump, but that’s not what your ticket actually buys.”

“To watch Trump dispute Ramos’ facts and statistics, then claim that he’s got a ‘bigger heart’ than the Univision anchor, is to realize that Trump’s casual relationship with facts and workable policy is actually most likely part of his appeal. This poses fresh challenges for the media – not just Ramos-style questioners – and also for his rivals. The games may be rigged, but few in the audience can claim they didn’t get their money’s worth. And Trump, of course, owns the ballpark, and is trying to buy the league.”

The World’s Greatest Troll

Nate Silver: “What’s interesting is how Trump seemed to go out of his way after the debate to ensure that he’d remain the center of attention, with his tirade against Fox News anchor Megyn Kelly (a feud that he’s since resurrected). That tended to drown out most of the coverage of whether, say, Fiorina or Kasich had gained momentum after the debate, perhaps preventing them from having the sort of feedback loop of favorable attention that can sometimes trigger surges in the polls.”

“I don’t know whether this was a deliberate strategy on Trump’s behalf. But if so, it’s pretty brilliant. Trump is perhaps the world’s greatest troll, someone who is amazingly skilled at disrupting the conversation by any means necessary, including by drawing negative, tsk-tsking attention to himself. In the current, ‘free-for-all’ phase of the campaign — when there are 17 candidates and you need only 20 percent or so of the vote to have the plurality in GOP polls — this may be a smart approach. If your goal is to stay at the center of attention rather than necessarily to win the nomination, it’s worth making one friend for every three enemies, provided that those friends tell some pollster that they’d hypothetically vote for you.”

Biden’s Very Personal Decision

First Read: “He’s never been as close to a 2016 bid, and yet he’s still far away: As for Biden, we want to share this insight about his decision-making process after reporting and gathering string as he mulls a 2016 bid. First, it’s a very personal decision for him — it won’t be based on metrics. He knows that the odds will be stacked against him, but he also knows that the minute he closes the door on a presidential run, he knows his political career is over, especially after leaving office in Jan. 2017.”

“Right now, he’s also open to a White House bid because in his previous runs (in 1988, 2008), there never was a demand by other Democrats (and the news media) for him to get in. But he also realizes that if he runs, he’ll be required to attack Hillary Clinton, and he’s never been comfortable attacking folks from his own party.”

Colorado Republicans Will Skip Nominating Process

“Colorado will not vote for a Republican candidate for president at its 2016 caucus after party leaders approved a little-noticed shift that may diminish the state’s clout in the most open nomination contest in the modern era,” the Denver Post reports.

“The GOP executive committee has voted to cancel the traditional presidential preference poll after the national party changed its rules to require a state’s delegates to support the candidate that wins the caucus vote. The move makes Colorado the only state so far to forfeit a role in the early nomination process, according to political experts, but other caucus states are still considering how to adapt to the new rule.”

Trump Will Ultimately Lose Because He’s Crazy

Jonathan Chait: “Trump has certainly crafted an appeal to voters who like impractical ideas. But his true threat lies in the fact that Trump himself is crazy — not just ideologically, though he is certainly that as well, but in the sense that he lacks any rational connection between his actions and his goals, to the extent that his goals are discernible at all. That is also his downfall.”

Graham Says Trump Appeals to the ‘Dark Side’

Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) told CNN that Donald Trump is appealing to the “dark side” of the Republican party.

Said Graham: “Twenty-five percent of our party that probably thinks Obama was born in Kenya or wants to believe that. There’s 25 percent of our party wants him to be a Muslim because they hate him so much. So, there’s a dark side of politics that Mr. Trump is appealing to.”