Politico: “More than 30 former staffers from Mitt Romney’s presidential campaign are signing onto an effort to elect Joe Biden — the same man they worked to defeat during the 2012 campaign.”
Former presidential candidate Herman Cain (R) is still in the hospital undergoing oxygen treatment more than three weeks after first being hospitalized with the coronavirus on July 2, Axios reports.
The Atlantic: “Bernie Sanders got so close to running a primary challenge to President Barack Obama that Senator Harry Reid had to intervene to stop him.”
“It took Reid two conversations over the summer of 2011 to get Sanders to scrap the idea.”
“That summer, Sanders privately discussed a potential primary challenge to Obama with several people, including Patrick Leahy, his fellow Vermont senator. Leahy, alarmed, warned Jim Messina, Obama’s presidential reelection-campaign manager… David Plouffe, another Obama strategist, confirmed Messina’s account, as did another person familiar with what happened.”
“Our president will start a war with Iran because he has absolutely no ability to negotiate. He’s weak and he’s ineffective. So the only way he figures that he’s going to get reelected — and as sure as you’re sitting there — is to start a war with Iran.”
— Donald Trump, in a video from Trump Tower on November 16, 2011.
Jon Ralston: “In my conversation with Reid I raised the issue, reported in Double Down: Game Change, but speculated on by many including myself, that Jon Huntsman, Sr., was the source Reid had claimed he had for the tax information on Romney. Reid dodged the question, but did gush about Huntsman in the interview.”
Rep. Bob Brady’s (D-PA) “longtime political strategist has become the latest target in a widening federal probe of a $90,000 payment the congressman made to a primary challenger in 2012 to convince the man to drop out of the race,” the Philadelphia Inquirer reports.
“Ken Smukler, whom prosecutors have accused of helping to secretly funnel some of that money to the rival campaign, is expected to be indicted by a federal grand jury Tuesday.”
Said Brady: “He didn’t do nothing wrong. I don’t know what this is all about.”
“A former Romney aide recently exhumed the files and shared them with the Boston Globe. Two white three-ring binders (weighing in at an aggregate 15 pounds, 6 ounces) are packed with nearly 200 cover letters and résumés, along with a few handwritten notations.”
“The narrow focus on immigration was always a simplistic one. The plan appealed to the party’s donor base, which was eager to maintain policies like huge tax cuts for the rich and loose regulations on Wall Street, which were also fat political targets. But Republicans were certainly correct that immigrant communities were unlikely to start voting for Republicans as long as they planned to deport their friends and relatives. Trump could happily repeat this analysis at the time because he cares about nothing except power, which he both craves and approves of in its bloodiest and most totalitarian applications. Trump would repeat the conventional wisdom of the Republican donor base and then turn around and insist upon the opposite without a second thought.”
“And now, of course, as Latino voting is surging in reaction to his racist attacks, the analysis he endorsed in December, 2012 appears to be the most accurate description of why he is likely to lose.”
The Upshot election forecast predicts Hillary Clinton will win 347 electoral votes.
“If the predictions for each state hold, the November election would match the 2012 Electoral College result in every respect except one: The Democrats would win North Carolina.”
“Which brings us to another perhaps surprising similarity between this election and the 2012 version. Mr. Obama won in 2012 by 3.9 percentage points over Mr. Romney. If you combine the polling averages compiled by Real Clear Politics, The Huffington Post and The New York Times, Mrs. Clinton is leading Mr. Trump by 3.7 percentage points.”
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Daily Beast: “The biggest chunk of the debt, nearly $1 million, is owed for Gingrich’s use of private jets to fly from event to event through charter travel company Moby Dick Airways. The campaign also owes more than $400,000 for Gingrich’s personal security to the Patriot Group, and $128,000 to the Winston Group… Several other well-known names are also among Gingrich’s creditors, including former Rep. J.C. Watts and Herman Cain for ‘strategic consulting’ and travel, as well as Kellyanne Conway’s The Polling Company, which conducted polls for the Gingrich campaign and is owed more than $20,000.”
Henry Gomez: “They lost in 2012 with Mitt Romney, a rich guy who clumsily talked of how he enjoyed firing people and, in so many words, dismissed 47 percent of voters as losers. Months of soul-searching followed. Pretty much everyone agreed on a kinder, gentler, more-inclusive approach.”
“So the answer is Trump? A rich guy who fired people on his own reality TV show? Who gleefully bestows the “loser” label on anyone who dares to cross him? Who reminds you of the racist uncle at Thanksgiving dinner?”
“To say it wasn’t supposed to be this way is an understatement. One reason Republicans chose to hold their convention in Cleveland: To show they had found their soul.”
“In the 2012 presidential campaign, June was a pivotal month for President Obama’s re-election efforts. Mitt Romney had emerged from a slashing primary race close to broke, looking to get to the nominating convention so he could reset his candidacy and get an infusion of cash,” the New York Times reports.
“While there is little that is similar between the candidacies of Mr. Romney and Donald J. Trump, the result may end up being the same.”
“Mr. Romney was defined by a brutal series of television ads aired by both Priorities USA, the super PAC supporting Mr. Obama, and his campaign. Mr. Romney, in those renderings, was a heartless corporate raider who talked about liking to fire people who did not provide good services, and whose private equity firm feasted on the modest-wage jobs of hard-working people. Mr. Romney never recovered.”
“If the Hillary Clinton campaign’s attacks on Donald Trump feel a little familiar, it’s because they appear to be straight from Barack Obama’s 2012 campaign against Mitt Romney,” Politico reports.
“That push was successful, as Clinton’s allies are quick to point out. But it also runs the risk of being a little too conventional for a candidate as unconventional as Trump, leaving some former Obama operatives and Never Trump Republicans eager for reassurance that the Romney approach isn’t the only arrow in the quiver.”
A new Washington Post-ABC News poll finds that 31% of Americans have a favorable view of Donald Trump while 67% are unfavorable — nearly identical to an early March Post-ABC poll which found he would be the most disliked major-party nominee since at least 1984.
Ted Cruz fares better with 36% favorable and 53% unfavorable among the public at-large; his strongly unfavorable mark is 20 percentage-points below Trump’s level (33% for Cruz vs. 53% for Trump).
Both Trump and Cruz are less popular than Mitt Romney at this point in the 2012 campaign, a year in which the eventual Republican nominee was haunted by weak personal ratings.
☑️ Life in the Middle: Marginalized Moderate Senators In the Era of Polarization is available on Amazon. It takes a deep dive into the power of moderates and why we see them behave so precariously.