May, 2016

Trump Keeps Attacking for No Apparent Reason

Washington Post: “During his first big campaign swing since locking up the Republican presidential nomination, Trump went after an odd and seemingly random group of people — Democrats and Republicans, famous and obscure. There seemed little to gain politically from the attacks, and his targets were linked by just one thing: Trump felt they had all done him wrong.”

“Trump’s cutting insults and simplistic attacks have been a hallmark of his candidacy, viewed by supporters as proof that he is fearless and willing to attack institutions from the Republican Party to the Vatican. During Trump’s fight for the Republican nomination, his calculated shots at rivals helped take them out, one by one.”

“But with the nomination ap­parently secured, last week’s fusillade of digs seemed counter­productive.”

A Map Tilted Against Trump

New York Times: “Republicans enter the general election at a hefty disadvantage: Since the 1992 campaign, 18 states have voted consistently for Democrats in presidential elections, giving their party a firm foundation of 242 electoral votes to build upon.”

“And in the four regions likely to decide the presidency — Florida, the upper Southeast, the Rust Belt and the interior West — Mr. Trump faces daunting obstacles, according to interviews last week with elected officials, political strategists and voters.”

“Of course, months remain before voting begins, and this political year has defied many predictions. But if Mrs. Clinton clinches the Democratic nomination as expected, she may find an electoral bulwark in these coveted swing-state voters.”

For members: The Consensus Electoral Map

Clinton Is the Clear Favorite

Paul Krugman: “Here’s what you should know, but may not be hearing clearly in the political reporting: Mrs. Clinton is clearly ahead, both in general election polls and in Electoral College projections based on state polls.”

“It’s true that her lead isn’t as big as it was before Mr. Trump clinched the G.O.P. nomination, largely because Republicans have consolidated around their presumptive nominee, while many Sanders supporters are still balking at saying that they’ll vote for her.”

“But that probably won’t last; many Clinton supporters said similar things about Barack Obama in 2008, but eventually rallied around the nominee. So unless Bernie Sanders refuses to concede and insinuates that the nomination was somehow stolen by the candidate who won more votes, Mrs. Clinton is a clear favorite to win the White House.”

Clinton’s Lead Would Grow Without Sanders In Race

“The latest NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll shows Hillary Clinton with a narrow three-point lead over Donald Trump, 46 percent to 43 percent. But if Bernie Sanders were out of the race the NBC News political unit estimates her lead would likely be much larger, perhaps up around eight points, 51 percent to 43 percent.”

“Much of this is theoretical. No one knows for certain how many Sanders-only voters will support Clinton. And with time it’s possible Trump’s support could grow as well as undecided voters make choices. He could also win some of the Sanders vote.”

“But the larger point is, the current batch of polls is coming at an odd point in the race, one where Republicans voters have begun coalescing around Trump, while Democrats still remain divided.”

Trump Will Attack Clinton Family

Donald Trump “will not only attack his likely Democrat opponent, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, but also her husband and family,” ABC News reports.

Said campaign chairman Paul Manafort: “Trouble follows the Clinton’s everywhere. People are frustrated with all of the drama around the Clinton family and the history of the Clinton family. And certainly, if they’re going to be back in the political milieu, then their history is relevant to what the American people can expect.”

Trump Claims 600K at Rally

Donald Trump asserted that more than half a million people attempted to attend his speech to the Rolling Thunder bikers in Washington, DC, CBS News reports.

Said Trump: “We have the biggest rallies by far, far bigger than Bernie Sanders. Far bigger. I mean, look at today. They say you have 600,000 people here trying to get in.”

Sanders Pushes for Fight Over Israel

Sen. Bernie Sanders “has begun pushing the Democratic Party toward a platform fight over the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, a departure from his core focus on domestic economic issues that would put pressure on Hillary Clinton to handle a growing divide within her party,” the Los Angeles Times reports.

“The Democratic Party has long had a policy of support for Israel and its government, but consensus on that subject has frayed in recent years.”

Pressure Grows for Rubio to Run for Re-Election

Tampa Bay Times: “We’re not ready to predict Rubio runs, but recent maneuvering by the Miami Republican and those hoping he runs feels increasingly choreographed:

  • Several news articles encouraged by Rubio’s office suggesting he is really working hard in the Senate and enjoying the job after his unsuccessful run for president.
  • Rubio repeatedly telling reporters lately that he never, ever meant to imply as a presidential candidate skipping Senate votes and meetings that he did not enjoy the job or view it as important.
  • Rubio no longer sounding so adamant that he will definitely move to the private sector in January.”

Rubio Apologized to Trump for ‘Small Hands’ Remark

“Marco Rubio apologized privately to Donald Trump in person backstage before a Republican debate for crude remarks he made about Trump’s appearance,” he told CNN.

Said Rubio: “I actually told Donald — one of the debates, I forget which one — I apologized to him for that. I said, ‘You know, I’m sorry that I said that. It’s not who I am and I shouldn’t have done it.’ I didn’t say it in front of the cameras, I didn’t want any political benefit.”

Dole Urges Republicans to Rally Around Trump

Bob Dole encouraged fellow Republicans to back Donald Trump and suggested the presumptive GOP nominee select Newt Gingrich as his running mate, CNN reports.

Said Dole: “I have been a Republican all my life. The party has done a lot for me. I hope I’ve done a lot for the party along the way. But when Donald Trump clinched the Republican nomination, it was an easy call for me. What’s a lifelong Republican supposed to do, support the opponent? I don’t think so.”

Could McAuliffe Probe Hurt Clinton?

Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe (D) “is moving to head off a burgeoning controversy sparked by a federal probe that could have consequences for his close friend and political ally, Hillary Clinton,” The Hill reports.

“McAuliffe has launched a media blitz insisting the FBI will not find any wrongdoing in its investigation of contributions to his 2013 gubernatorial campaign.”

Weld Doesn’t Excite Libertarians

Former New Mexico Gov. Gary Johnson “has been on the receiving end of attacks for his vice presidential pick, former Massachusetts Gov. Bill Weld,” CNN reports.

“Weld, a former Republican from a blue state, has had a difficult time pitching himself to the Libertarian convention. Many have been skeptical over Weld’s libertarian credentials, especially his record on gun control and support for Republican politicians. Prior to teaming up with Johnson, Weld had endorsed Republican Ohio Gov. John Kasich for President.”

Campaign Chaos Shows Trump Management Style

“For the past two months, Donald Trump has presided over a political team riddled with turf wars, staff reshuffling and dueling power centers,” the Washington Post reports.

“But the tensions are more than typical campaign chaos: They illustrate how Trump likes to run an organization, whether it’s a real estate venture or his presidential bid. Interviews with current and former Trump associates reveal an executive who is fond of promoting rivalries among subordinates, wary of delegating major decisions, scornful of convention and fiercely insistent on a culture of loyalty around him.”