• Trump Fires Back at Warren
• Trump Campaign Has Money Problems
• Clinton Thinks She Can Win Texas
• Clinton Releases Trump U. Commercial
• Jackson Endorses Clinton
• Gabbard Is Going After the Superdelegates
• Obama's Tax Policy Hits the Rich Where it Hurts
Donald Trump, speaking in both Florida and Pennsylvania, said that the time has come for the Republican Party to unify behind him as its nominee, and for members of the GOP to stop attacking one another. "If not," he declared, "I'm gonna win but a lot of other people are not. We are going to win either way."
Now, Trump doesn't really mean that everyone in the GOP should stop attacking one another. What he means is that everyone else should shut up, but that he is free to continue launching salvos as he sees fit. To underscore this point, Trump immediately followed his call for unity with a harangue against Mitt Romney. "Mitt Romney is a sad case," said The Donald. "He choked like a dog." Romney, speaking in Utah, responded in kind, not only blasting Trump but also all of the Republicans who failed to stop his nomination, particularly Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) and Gov. John Kasich (R-OH). It would seem, then, that GOP unity is not, in fact, in our immediate future. (Z)
Needless to say, Donald Trump does not limit himself to attacking members of his own party. He's been engaged in quite a war of words with Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) lately. He escalated things on Saturday, taking to Twitter to share his view that, "Goofy Elizabeth Warren, sometimes referred to as Pocahontas, pretended to be a Native American in order to advance her career. Very racist!" There are quite a number of observations that might be made about this tweet, most obviously (1) It is only Trump—and now, Trump's followers—who call her "Pocahontas," (2) Falsely pretending to be Native American might be reprehensible, if true, but it's not "racist," and (3) Using "Pocahontas" as a slur, by contrast, is pretty much the definition of racist. If there were any doubts on that latter point, they are answered by the fact that when Trump uses the Pocahontas line at rallies, the crowd responds with war whoops and tomahawk chops.
At this point, it's clear that Trump 2.0 might appear in flashes, but Trump 1.0 is what we're going to get most of the time. Some Republicans are resigned to that, such as strategist Whit Ayers, who says, "Get used to it. This is your life for the next five months." Others find themselves constantly trying to respond to Trump's rhetoric and to distance themselves from it. Sen. John McCain (R-AZ), for example, is facing a tough re-election contest in a state with a large Native American population. He condemned Trump's "Pocahontas" remark, saying, "I just don't engage in personal insults—that is a personal insult." Clearly, the GOP is going to have to create a line item in their 2016 budget for aspirin and antacid, because Reince Priebus, et al., are going to need them in industrial quantities. (Z)
Speaking of budgets, Donald Trump's is looking pretty ugly right now. If we add up funds raised by the campaign, plus money the national committees have in the bank, plus Super PAC cash, then The Donald trails Hillary Clinton by over $200 million ($410 million to $209 million).
And it gets worse. First of all, more than two-thirds of Trump's "money" is actually funds belonging to the RNC. Not all of that money may actually be at the billionaire's disposal if the Party decides to freeze him out and invest in congressional races instead. If, for example, the national committees were to release only half the available funds to their presidential candidates, Clinton's total would drop to about $350 million, but Trump's would drop below $100 million.
The other problem, sort of a "shooting yourself in the foot" kind of thing, is that Trump—ever the rebel—has signaled that he plans to make a serious play for California, New Jersey, and New York. These states are a double-whammy: They're hopeless for the GOP, and they are very, very expensive places to campaign. If The Donald really insists on proceeding with this, he could get less mileage of out his already scarce money than any candidate in recent (or even distant) memory. It is surprising that Trump, a former casino owner, is unclear as to who usually gets the worse end of foolish gambles. (Z)
While Donald Trump has visions of sugarplums and California when he dreams, Hillary Clinton is now talking about how she might capture the GOP stronghold of Texas in November. She says that if black and Latino voters get out to the polls, she could be the first Democrat to take the Lone Star State since Jimmy Carter did it in 1976.
So, is Clinton as delusional as Trump? No, but things would have to break just right for her to actually put Texas into play. Barack Obama lost there by about 1.2 million votes out of nearly 8 million cast in 2012. Clinton seems rather unlikely to capture more black voters than Obama did, so she'd need to make up most of that 1.2 million with a dramatic expansion of the Latino vote. It is helpful that 45% of the state is at least partly Latino, which means it's not impossible, but it is a tall order. Probably, Clinton would also need quite a few of the 2012 Romney voters to stay home or to vote Libertarian. And, unless Hillary decides to spend her time and money chasing rabbits, all of this would have to happen without many resources being invested. So, it's probably fair to say that Texas is more likely to end up in the blue column than California is to end up in the red column, but not by much. (Z)
On Saturday, the Clinton campaign released a satirical commercial "advertising" Trump University. While it's not quite up to Saturday Night Live standards (these are, after all, professional political operatives and not professional comedy writers), it's not bad. It starts out by pointing out that, "Donald Trump is world famous for making a fortune from being famous for having a fortune." Then, it lists "three easy steps" for being a part of Trump's success by enrolling at Trump U.:
- Sign up for Trump University.
- Pay for Trump University at the amazing price of everything you have.
- There is no step three. You won't actually learn anything. It's that easy.
At this point, the Democrats are just experimenting with various lines and styles of attack to see what seems to stick. This ad is not likely to make the cut, long term, but it's certainly a breath of fresh air compared to the usual fare. (Z)
Hillary Clinton picked up another high-profile endorsement on Saturday when Rev. Jesse Jackson threw his weight behind her. "The campaign is technically over, but the crusade is not," he declared. "I support Hillary's campaign and Bernie's crusade, and they are reconcilable."
Jackson was a leading contender for the Democratic nomination in 1984, though that's not really the reason his endorsement matters. After all, nobody has asked Walter Mondale or Michael Dukakis what they think. No, it's because Jackson still has tremendous pull in the black community, particularly in the South. With his support, plus the President's, plus an opponent who regularly appeals to racism, Clinton is in an excellent position to take just about every black vote outside of Ben Carson and Herman Cain. (Z)
Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D-HI) is one of the most liberal members of Congress (which suits deep blue Hawaii just fine) and is an unabashed supporter of Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT). On Saturday, she took to Facebook to announce a petition calling for an end to the Democratic superdelegates. She wrote, "Whether you are a Bernie Sanders supporter or a Hillary Clinton supporter, we should all agree that unelected party officials and lobbyists should not have a say in who the presidential nominee of our party is."
This change makes a great deal of sense. The superdelegates have never overridden the will of the voters, but what they have done is allow Sanders to remain viable (and thus a thorn in Hillary Clinton's side) for much longer than otherwise would have been the case. Meanwhile, a candidate that somehow did win the nomination thanks to superdelegates overriding the will of primary voters would be badly tainted and probably unelectable. Finally, eliminating the superdelegates (and, perhaps, DNC Chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz in a two-for-one deal) would be a nice olive branch to the Sanders supporters. The odds are pretty good that the Democrats end up making this change at their convention. (Z)
It takes a while for certain financial numbers, particularly on a macro level, to be compiled and analyzed. The Congressional Budget Office has just finished its analysis of the taxes paid in 2013, and has concluded that the rich are paying more in taxes under President Obama than at any time since 1980. This is primarily a product of the Bush-era tax cuts coming to an end coupled with the various charges associated with Obamacare.
Hillary Clinton has, for months, been running as Obama, Part II. Given how much unhappiness we have seen this year about wealth and inequality, this news could be a powerful weapon in the Clinton arsenal. It won't please the Kochs or Grover Norquist, of course, but "elect me, and we will continue to make America's tax policy more progressive" should be the kind of thing that Bernie Sanders' supporters would love to hear. (Z)Email a link to a friend or share:
---The Votemaster and Zenger
Jun11 Sanders Meeting With Campaign Insiders This Weekend
Jun11 How Honest Is Hillary Clinton?
Jun11 How Honest Is Google?
Jun11 RNC Will Run Trump's Campaign Operation
Jun11 Koch Brothers Won't Support or Attend the Republican Convention
Jun11 There's Still Talk of Dumping Trump
Jun11 Evangelical Group Supports Trump
Jun11 Trump Wants Warren as Hillary's Veep
Jun11 McConnell Says Trump Doesn't Understand the Issues
Jun10 Obama Endorses Clinton
Jun10 Warren Also Endorses Clinton
Jun10 Democrats Are Making Nice to Sanders
Jun10 Sanders Appears to Be Coming to Grips with Reality
Jun10 Trump Doesn't Pay His Bills
Jun10 40% of GOP Insiders Still Want to Stop Trump
Jun10 Hillary May Be Ready to Assume Sanders' Twitter Mantle
Jun10 Poll Shows Clinton on the Rise
Jun10 CNN Has 11 Takeaways from the Primary Season
Jun09 Even If Sanders Gets What He Wants, He Still Loses
Jun09 Sanders Losing Key Supporters
Jun09 Takeaways from the Primaries
Jun09 Five Burning Questions
Jun09 Sanders Supporters Can Help Elect Trump
Jun09 Trump's Fundraisers See No Chance to Raise $1 Billion
Jun09 What Did We Learn from the Judge Curiel Episode?
Jun09 Guess Who's Not On the GOP Website?
Jun09 Trump Hires Eric Cantor's Pollster
Jun08 Tuesday is Super for Clinton
Jun08 Boxer Will Be Succeeded By A Democrat
Jun08 Ryan Calls Trump a Racist But Still Supports Him
Jun08 Democrats Use Trump To Hit Downballot Republicans
Jun08 Cruz Still Uncertain about Supporting Trump
Jun08 Gary Who?
Jun07 Clinton Clinches Democratic Nomination
Jun07 Sanders is Getting the Full-Court Press
Jun07 California, Here We Come
Jun07 Clinton Will Take an Early Lead in California Tonight
Jun07 Obama May Endorse Clinton This Week
Jun07 Maybe Trump Isn't So Rich After All
Jun07 Trump Overrules His Not so Smart Staff
Jun07 Voters Think Trump Is More Honest Than Clinton
Jun07 The Gipper Would Not Vote for The Donald
Jun06 Clinton Wins the Puerto Rico Primary
Jun06 Trump Failed to Keep Promise to Donate Some Trump U. Profits to Charity
Jun06 Trump Doubles Down on Judges
Jun06 What Hillary Clinton Could Learn from Donald Trump
Jun06 Do Trump's and Clinton's Unfavorables Really Matter?
Jun06 What If Sanders Wins California?
Jun06 McConnell Attacks Trump on Judge But Won't Call Trump a Racist