“The Kansas Republican Party is sending out mailers in legislative races around the state depicting ISIS fighters and explosions from terrorist attacks,” the Wichita Eagle reports.
Archives for October 2016
“It’s like Humpty Dumpty fell and broke, then a giant lawn mower ran over it, acid was thrown on the pieces — and a bunch of racist idiots ran off with an arm and a leg. How do you put it back together? I don’t know.”
— GOP strategist John Weaver, quoted by the Boston Globe.
“Donald Trump’s path of destruction has pushed the Republican Party to the cusp of a historic reckoning, an existential crisis that has left half of America’s political establishment in desperate need of new leaders, a new message, and even a common orthodoxy,” the Boston Globe reports.
“Party members say it is almost impossible to underestimate the challenges facing the 162-year-old GOP, which for the last three decades has been largely defined by a hagiographic vision of Ronald Reagan but is now riven by a civil war with multiple dimensions.”
“Some Republicans are even studying the collapse of the Whig Party in the mid-19th century, hoping they can avoid a similar fate. Others are girding for proxy wars that will be waged on Capitol Hill, within the Republican National Committee, and live on the set of Fox News.”
Nate Silver: “If the Clinton campaign does have something major on Trump — or even something minor — there’s a lot of art and science involved in when it drops the story. Too soon, and it could get swept beneath the undertow of the FBI story. Too late, and it might look desperate. But one way the campaign could end is with a whole crescendo of major stories dropping. That could make things complicated for pollsters and forecasters.”
“For as long as he has been rich and famous, Donald Trump has also wanted people to believe he is generous. He spent years constructing an image as a philanthropist by appearing at charity events and by making very public — even nationally televised — promises to give his own money away.”
“It was, in large part, a facade. A months-long investigation by The Washington Post has not been able to verify many of Trump’s boasts about his philanthropy.”
“Instead, throughout his life in the spotlight, whether as a businessman, television star or presidential candidate, The Post found that Trump had sought credit for charity he had not given — or had claimed other people’s giving as his own.”
Sam Wang: “Such high stability in polls is not new. It started several decades ago. One measure of the stasis of modern campaigns is how much each party’s support in polls changes over the course of a campaign. From 1952 to 1992, the average range — the difference between maximum and minimum levels of support — was 17 percentage points. Since 1996, the range has dropped to 8 points. Mr. Trump’s range is 4 points, from 39 to 43 percent.”
“At his lowest point, Mr. Trump still had more support than George McGovern, who got the smallest percentage of the popular vote by a major party candidate in the postwar era in 1972, with 38 percent. Mrs. Clinton’s average margin over Mr. Trump of five points has been enough to make her the first candidate to maintain a durable lead in an open presidential race since Dwight D. Eisenhower defeated Adlai Stevenson in 1952. So the bigger question is not about Mr. Trump, but why the last six presidential campaigns became so stable.”
“This is like an 18-wheeler smacking into us, and it just becomes a huge distraction at the worst possible time.”
— DNC Chair Donna Brazile, quoted by the New York Times, on the news that the FBI is investigating newly-discovered emails from one of Hillary Clinton’s top aides.
A new Reuters/Ipsos poll finds Hillary Clinton leads Donald Trump by 15 percentage points among early voters surveyed in the past two weeks.
An estimated 19 million Americans have voted so far in the election, accounting for as much as 20 percent of the electorate.
Former Labor Secretary Robert Reich spoke to a longtime friend who is a Republican member of Congress:
REICH: What do you think of your party’s nominee for president?
CONGRESSMAN: Trump is a maniac. He’s a clear and present danger to America.
REICH: Have you said publicly that you won’t vote for him?
CONGRESSMAN (sheepishly): No.
REICH: Why not?
CONGRESSMAN: I’m a coward.
REICH: What do you mean?
CONGRESSMAN: I live in a state with a lot of Trump voters. Most Republican officials do.
REICH: But you’re a former official. You’re not running for Congress again. What are you afraid of?
CONGRESSMAN: I hate to admit it, but I’m afraid of them. Some of those Trumpistas are out of their fu*king minds.
REICH: You mean you’re afraid for your own physical safety?
CONGRESSMAN: All it takes is one of them, you know.
REICH: Wait a minute. Isn’t this how dictators and fascists have come to power in other nations? Respected leaders don’t dare take a stand.
CONGRESSMAN: At least I’m no Giuliani or Gingrich or Pence. I’m not a Trump enabler.
REICH: I’ll give you that.
CONGRESSMAN: Let me tell you something. Most current and former Republican members of Congress are exactly like me. I talk with them. They think Trump is deplorable. And they think Giuliani and Gingrich are almost as bad. But they’re not gonna speak out. Some don’t want to end their political careers. Most don’t want to risk their lives. The Trump crowd is just too dangerous. Trump has whipped them up into a goddamn frenzy.
“Senior Justice Department officials warned the FBI that Director James Comey’s decision to notify Congress about renewing the investigation into Hillary Clinton’s private email server was not consistent with long-standing practices of the department,” the Washington Post reports.
Playbook: “The FBI stumbles across some of Huma Abedin’s emails on Anthony Weiner’s laptop. They need to get permission from Huma and her attorneys to look at the emails — or get a warrant from a judge. This would be handled by the Justice Department. Comey would have no idea what was in those emails, since they haven’t had the permission to look at them yet. So they could be explosive — or they could be nothing.”
“Huma was known to forward emails to other accounts, sometimes to have documents printed. So, in this scenario, Huma uses Weiner’s laptop. The FBI searches it after they seize it in the sexting case. They discover that Huma has emails on there. The FBI New York folks notify HQ in D.C. to ask for guidance. FBI officials kick it up the chain to Comey, who feels like he has no choice but to notify Congress, because he doesn’t want it leaking that he’s covering something up days before the election.”
Glenn Thrush: “Clinton, who hates everything about campaigning except reading briefing books and debating her opponents, has been happy to coast in Trump’s turbulent wake – tsk-tsk-tsk-ing him and deploying a Hall of Fame roster of surrogates from the Obamas to Bernie Sanders to Elizabeth Warren to Katy Perry. But gradually, inevitably, the focus has turned back on the second-most detested candidate running for president – in part because of the drip-drip of WikiLeaks, in part because voters are now forced to grapple with the reality that she’s likely to be the country’s next leader.”
“She doesn’t fare especially well alone in the spotlight – while she’s held her own in most polls, and retains a commanding advantage in many battleground states (and the Electoral College) – Trump has begun to finally consolidate support among core Republicans, which has brought him as high as 44 percent in one national poll and to par with her in Florida and Nevada.”
“So look for a new oppo dump on Trump — and a new line of attack — or anything, really, that will turn the race back into a referendum on his fitness to serve, not hers.”
Gabriel Sherman: “Even given the October surprise of the FBI’s reviewing a new batch of emails that may be related to Hillary Clinton’s use of a private server, Trump still faces difficult odds. But he is ending the race much as he got into it: not worrying too much about the future and not listening to any of the advisers around him.”
“In recent weeks, I spoke with more than two dozen current and former Trump advisers, friends, and senior Republicans officials, many of whom would speak only off the record given that the campaign is not yet over. What they described was an unmanageable candidate who still does not fully understand the power of the movement he has tapped into, who can’t see that it is larger than himself.”
“Trump may not be all that focused on what happens to the masses of white, nativist, working-class voters who have coalesced around him, but there are people in the campaign who recognize how valuable those Trump believers could be long after the election is over.”
“Donald Trump’s list of highest-paid campaign vendors is brimming with his own name,” the Wall Street Journal reports.
“An airline he owns has drawn the fifth-largest paycheck of any company the campaign paid through Oct. 19. Mr. Trump has also paid at least eight of his golf clubs, seven of his hotels and five of his restaurants.”
“In all, the New York businessman has spent close to $10 million over the course of the election cycle reimbursing his children for travel expenses and family-owned companies for campaign services, the most recent Federal Election Commission reports show.”
An Iowa woman has been charged with a felony after allegedly voting twice for Donald Trump, Iowa Public Radio reports.
Terri Rote says she was afraid her first ballot would be changed to a vote for Hillary Clinton: “I wasn’t planning on doing it twice, it was spur of the moment. The polls are rigged.”
“Newt Gingrich, one of Donald Trump’s closest confidants and most visible boosters, on Friday raised the novel possibility of a Trump-Clinton rematch in 2020,” Politico reports.
Said Gingrich: “The challenge for everybody’s going to be, ‘What if he gets 48 or 49 percent?’ And what if he says: ‘You know, I like this campaign and stuff. I ain’t leaving’? There will then be a Trump Party.”