November, 2016

Michigan Finally Called for Trump

President-elect Donald Trump has won Michigan’s 16 electoral votes, the AP reports.

“The Board of State Canvassers certified Trump’s 10,704-vote victory on Monday, nearly three weeks after the election. The two-tenths of a percentage point margin out of nearly 4.8 million votes is the closest presidential race in Michigan in more than 75 years.”

The final electoral map is below.

2016-actual-electoral-map

The GOP’s Insanely Reckless Trump Gamble

Brian Beutler: “There are multiple incentives inhibiting Republicans from acting to contain Trump right now. Trump is more popular among GOP voters than many elected Republicans are within their own states and districts. Those who might otherwise be inclined to rein Trump in might also be disinclined to sow division within the party before they’ve even claimed their new majority.”

“But the zen mantra on Capitol Hill isn’t about Trump or party unity per se, but the regressive tax cuts and restored Supreme Court dominance his victory portends. Republicans have led the country into a terrifying funhouse, but are taking solace in the faith that everyone will emerge from it unscathed after they’ve secured their election spoils.”

“As the cavalcade of disgraces accelerates, this bet looks more and more reckless. Republicans may never find it within themselves to treat Trump’s embarrassments and corruption with the alarm they deserve, but they are almost certainly not going to rein him in before he sends them an acceptably Scalia-like Supreme Court nominee and signs their tax cuts.”

Early Trump Backers Seize Power on Capitol Hill

Politico: “Barletta is a member of Washington’s newest and most exclusive club, a small band of Republican lawmakers who got behind Trump when their own party establishment had him pegged as a surefire general election loser, if he even managed to win the nomination. The few who were willing to endure the ridicule of other GOP lawmakers by placing their chips on Trump early have been vaulted from backbench obscurity to now arguably rivaling the influence of GOP congressional leaders.”

“They, more than the high-profile pols flocking to Trump since he won, have the ear of the president-elect. They are among a handful of gatekeepers to the soon-to-be most powerful man in the world.”

A Serious Candidate Could Beat De Blasio

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio (D) “could be beatable — if anyone has the guts to run against him” next year, the New York Daily News reports.

“No serious candidates have even signaled their intentions to run. … De Blasio has some serious achievements — universal pre-K, record-low crime, an ambitious affordable-housing plan — but also vulnerabilities, like sky-high homelessness and numerous investigations into his fund-raising.”

Trump Will Meet with Romney Again

“Donald Trump is meeting with Mitt Romney again on Tuesday, amid an ongoing brawl within his inner circle about the 2012 GOP nominee’s suitability to be secretary of State,” The Hill reports.

“Along with Romney, whose meeting was revealed in a transition team conference call on Monday morning, the president-elect will be meeting with other contenders for the high profile post.”

Petraeus Meets with Trump

President-elect Donald Trump is considering retired General David Petraeus to be secretary of state and plans to meet with the former CIA director Monday in New York, Bloomberg reports.

“The celebrated four-star general, who left government under a cloud for sharing classified documents during an extramarital affair, is meeting with the president-elect amid infighting among Trump’s advisers about who to pick for the post. The possibility that Trump might instead tap former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney has fueled an extraordinary public lobbying campaign against him.”

Obama Approval Hits New High for Second Term

A new Quinnipiac poll finds that American voters approve of the job President Obama is doing, 50% to 43%, his highest score since right after he won reelection four years ago.

Most interesting: “Obama’s policies have helped the nation’s economy, 44% of voters say, as 38% say his policies have hurt the economy and 16% say his policies haven’t made a difference. But only 21% of voters say Obama’s policies have helped their personal financial situation, as 33% say these policies have hurt them personally and 44% say they’ve made no difference.”

Democrats Look to Governor’s Races for Rebuild

“Shell-shocked Democrats looking to recover from 2016 see the large slate of upcoming governor’s races as their most likely path out of the political wilderness — starting in the Midwest,” Politico reports.

“Twenty-seven of the 38 governorships up in 2017 and 2018 are Republican-held, including many seats that will be open after eight years of GOP control. That means widespread opportunities for Democratic gains, as well as a critical chance for new ideas and new blood to emerge as the party seeks to identify its next generation of leaders and dig out from a low point after President-elect Donald Trump’s shocking White House win.”

“The sweeping gubernatorial map takes in virtually every national battleground state and segment of the electorate.”

GOP Lawmaker Slams Romney

Rep. Chris Collins (R-NY) slammed Mitt Romney as an “ego-maniac,” Politico reports.

Said Collins: “Well, I mean, what do I know about Mitt Romney? I know that he is a self-serving, ego-maniac who puts himself first, who has a chip on his shoulder, that thinks he should be president of the United States.”

He added: “I mean, there’s no love lost between me and Mitt Romney. I’ve called him a loser for the last six months, even though I supported him.”

Gingrich Says Transition Turning Into Reality TV Show

Newt Gingrich, who backs Rudy Giuliani for secretary of state, told the Wall Street Journal that the search for the nation’s top diplomat is playing out a bit like Donald Trump’s longtime reality show, The Apprentice, as he publicly mulls the candidates’ skill sets and invites “audience participation.”

Said Gingrich: “It’s the only place so far that we have seen him trying to do an open apprenticeship, if you will.”

Quote of the Day

“Just wanted you to know that I am thinking of you and wishing the best. For what it’s worth, I thought the move you pulled was kind of badass.”

— Jared Kushner, in a 2013 email to David Wildstein obtained by the Washington Post, amid growing evidence that Wildstein had ordered the lane closures on the George Washington Bridge to payback Gov. Chris Christie’s (R) political enemies.

Trump Said to Be ‘Furious’ at Conway

Two sources at the top of the trump transition team confirm to MSNBC that Donald Trump was furious at Kellyanne Conway’s comments on Sunday suggesting Trump betrayed his supporters by even considering Mitt Romney for a position in his cabinet.

Said one: “Kellyanne went rogue at Donald Trump’s expense at the worst possible time.”

“Steve Bannon and Reince Priebus have reportedly been growing frustrated by Kellyanne Conway’s failure to become a team player in a transition process where the top players are forming a tight knit group around the president-elect.”

Conway pushed back telling The Hill the reporting was “sexist” and said she could have any job she wants.