September, 2016

Trump Has the Bigger Transition Team

“Hillary Clinton’s and Donald Trump’s preparations for taking over the federal government are as wildly different as their campaigns for the White House — and for once, Trump’s operation is the more elaborate one,” Politico reports.

“While the Republican’s campaign is marked by light staffing, a scant policy agenda and the nominee’s gut-instinct style on the stump, the Trump transition team led by New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie has assembled nearly 100 advisers who are weighing details on issues ranging from taxes and national security to decisions on which Obama administration policies should be quickly overturned, according to people familiar with its inner workings.”

“In contrast, Clinton’s transition team is still largely bare bones — one Democrat who has met with it said it has about 20 staffers, including part-timers.”

Paul Ryan’s Precarious Political Future

Politico: “Whether he goes that route or not, Ryan is likely in for a tumultous next few years. If Trump wins and Ryan retains the speakership, the Wisconsin Republican will be forced to continue to wedge his positions into Trump’s alternate Republican universe.”

“If Clinton wins, Ryan will have to preside over a slimmed Republican majority, more heavily populated with burn-the-house-down conservatives. He’ll have to cut deals and do business with Hillary Clinton — a woman he’s met with privately just twice — while at the same time keeping conservatives content.”

“It’s a governing scenario that people close to him are beginning to envision, according to multiple sources in his political orbit — and not a particularly pleasant one.”

Obama Slams Trump for Not Being Prepared

President Obama denounced Donald Trump as someone who was unqualified to sit in the Oval Office and “doesn’t do his homework, doesn’t know basic facts that you’d need to know,” the New York Times reports.

Said Obana: “You had somebody who basically insulted women and then doubled down. In terms of how he talks about them and talks about their weight and talks about how they look instead of the content of their character and their capabilities, which is not something that I want, not somebody I want in the Oval Office.”

Trump Resists Changing Debate Approach

“Unmoved by harsh debate reviews, a defiant Donald Trump renewed his attacks against a former Miss Universe winner on Wednesday, showing no sign of making big changes to his message or debate preparation before his second faceoff with Hillary Clinton,” the AP reports.

“The outspoken Republican nominee instead pressed ahead with an aggressive strategy focused on speaking directly to his white, working-class loyalists across the Midwest.”

TPM: Trump goes after Machado again

Trump Campaign Urges Mentions of Lewinsky

“Donald Trump’s campaign is instructing its supporters to use figures like Monica Lewinsky and Gennifer Flowers to beat back concerns about how Trump described a former winner of Miss Universe,” according to a copy of campaign talking points obtained by CNN.

“Even though Trump and his children celebrated him for not bringing up the women associated with Bill Clinton’s marital scandals during Monday’s presidential debate, Trump is encouraging his supporters to do just that.”

Republicans In Denial

Jonathan Chait: “If you’re a Republican who has been clinging to the wan hope that Donald Trump might somehow, in his eighth decade on Earth, develop into a plausibly competent president of the United States, the first debate should have been your moment to abandon ship. Trump displayed the factual command of a small child, the emotional stability of a hormonal teen, and the stamina of an old man, staggering and losing the thread as the 90 minutes wore on.”

“Instead, Republicans — without a single exception I have seen — have responded very differently. They have treated their candidate’s glaring unsuitability for high office as, at worst, a handful of discrete errors that in no way reflect on his character, and at best, the dastardly unfairness of the liberal media.”

Bipartisan Majority Will Likely Override Obama’s Veto

“A sweeping bipartisan majority in the Senate on rejected President Obama’s veto of legislation that would allow families of those killed in the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks to sue Saudi Arabia for any role in the plot, all but assuring that Mr. Obama would suffer the first override vote of his presidency,” the New York Times reports.

“The vote was 97 to 1, with only Senator Harry Reid, Democrat of Nevada, siding with the president.”

“With the House nearly certain to follow the Senate later on Wednesday, the 9/11 bill will become law in a remarkable yet complicated bipartisan rebuke.”

‘Foreign Policy for Campaigns is Like an Unexploded Landmine’

Chris Riback spoke to political scientist Dan Drezner on Political Wire Conversations about social media and the impact of foreign policy on the 2016 presidential campaign.

Listen here:

Subscribe via iTunes, Google Play or RSS to get new episodes automatically downloaded to your phone.

Special thanks to the Cook Political Report for sponsoring this episode!

Trump Stumbles Into Another Ill-Advised Fight

Rick Klein: “Among the ways Donald Trump is breaking with conventional politics? He’s not even really pretending that he won the debate. He is insisting that he won, of course – but he’s also complaining about the moderator, the questions, and even the microphone he used at Hofstra. (As his opponent pointed out, winners don’t complain about the equipment.) And in the debate’s aftermath, he is also adding fuel to a two-decade-old feud with a former Miss Universe whom he attacked for gaining weight. This is the Trump that the Trump campaign had been trying to disappear – and the Trump that Hillary Clinton’s campaign insists is the only true Trump to exist.”

“That’s what’s behind Clinton’s masterful strategy from Monday night: She set traps for Trump to fall into – or, rather, she pressed a whole bunch of buttons knowing that something would set him off. Clinton got the result she wanted. Trump’s reaction, meanwhile, took would could have been a partial victory or a split decision and turned it into a solid loss. The Clinton camp got a debate win, and then a parting gift.”

First Read: “Trump’s ill-advised feud with Machado fits into a pattern we’ve noticed throughout the campaign: When Trump is in a bad period like this, he makes it worse for himself by refusing to back down. Particularly in the face of poor reviews (remember the Khan fight after his convention message was panned by pundits?), Trump has a tendency to spiral downward for a few days until he’s convinced to stop lashing out or punching down. Our question is: how long does bad stretch for Trump last?”