More broadly, Mrs. Clinton’s campaign is repositioning itself, after a year of staking out liberal positions and focusing largely on minority voters, to appeal to independent and Republican-leaning white voters turned off by Mr. Trump.
With the Democratic nomination in sight, Mrs. Clinton has broadened her economic message, devoted days to apologizing for a comment she previously made that angered working-class whites, and has pledged that her husband, former President Bill Clinton, who remains widely popular among the blue-collar voters drawn to Mr. Trump, would “come out of retirement and be in charge” of creating jobs in places that have been particularly hard hit.
Friday Reads: Weapons of Mass DisruptionPosted: May 6, 2016
I had a lot of work to do on Wednesday so I spent most of yesterday relaxing which in my world means I’m reading a lot and walking Temple around the hood. I tried to spent my reading time on things a bit more uplifting than politics but this year is so fascinatingly and abjectly horrid that it’s hard to turn away. I may actually pick up the Game of Throne books again just as a contrast to these real-life machinations.
I managed to tune in to Rachel Maddow long enough to watch her perform “anti-Trump Republican anguish” as beat-style poetry. Real quotes from Real Republicans Since Donald Trump was nominated is a total gas to watch. I laughed so hard that Temple nearly got a red wine shower. Speaker of the House Paul Ryan has withheld his support for Trump. Mary Matalin has jumped parties and is re-registering down here in the Big Easy as Libertarian. The entire krewe of Red State has entered a period of mourning and disgust. It’s hard to fight back smugness at this point.
House Speaker Paul Ryan’s extraordinary statement Thursday that he’s “just not ready” to support Donald Trump highlights a challenge for the real-estate developer and TV personality on the week that he unexpectedly eliminated his rivals and cementedhis status as presumptive Republican presidential nominee.
Ryan joined a growing list of Republican elites who have resisted supporting their new standard-bearer and made a variety of vague demands of him, such as proving he’s committed to conservatism and is White House material, before offering their support. Republicans have refrained from handing down straightforward ultimatums, which suggests many will ultimately get behind him. But the dissent from within is highly unusual for a major-party candidate who has locked up the nomination and is shifting into general-election mode.
“I hope to and I want to” support Trump, Ryan said on CNN. But he said the billionaire “needs to do more to unify this party” by demonstrating to conservatives that he “shares our values” and “bears our standards.”
Roughly 90 minutes later, Trump came back with a sharp critique of another comment Ryan made Thursday.
“Paul Ryan said that I inherited something very special, the Republican Party. Wrong, I didn’t inherit it, I won it with millions of voters!” Trump wrote on Twitter.
The subtle difference Trump highlighted was a piercing remark that speaks to the rift between mainstream Republicans and the polarizing, unconventional candidate who has risen to become the face of the party. His proposal to ban Muslims from entering the U.S. and refusal to disavow David Duke and the Ku Klux Klan led to Ryan’s implicit rebuke of the candidate throughout the primary, but Trump’s rhetoric has resonated with millions of voters, who have come out in droves across the country to support his candidacy.
Trump spokeswoman Katrina Pierson went a step further than her boss, suggesting that the Wisconsin Republican is unfit for his leadership role if he can’t support the party’s presumptive nominee.
Asked plainly by CNN’s John Berman whether Ryan is fit to be speaker if he can’t come around to supporting Trump, Pierson responded, “No, because this is about the party.”
Ryan suggested the onus was on Trump to show he can unite the different wings of the Republican Party, but Pierson disagreed, noting that since Trump has yet to clinch 1,237 delegates, he’s only the presumptive nominee.
This should make all the Republicans crazy go nuts since Ryan is the party’s boy wonder atm. Trump has announced he will be fundraising a billion dollars to take on Hillary Clinton in the General. Sheldon Addison has decided to back Trump. I’m not sure if any of his other fellow billionaires will follow suit. The amount of stunned establishment Republicans Rejecting Trump the last two days is pretty jaw-dropping.
CNN reached out to 16 Republican elected officials, leaders and major fundraisers associated with former Presidents Ronald Reagan, George H.W. Bush, George W. Bush and former Vice President Dick Cheney. Speaking on background, none of them said they were planning to go to this summer’s Republican convention. They didn’t say they would vote for Democratic front-runner Hillary Clinton. But they said they were not yet supporting Trump.
2012 GOP nominee Mitt Romney declared he’d skip the convention, joining at least three prior Republican nominees — John McCain and both Presidents Bush — in declining to attend the event.
Arizona Sen. Jeff Flake told CNN’s Manu Raju that “some of Trump’s positions” make it “very difficult for me” to support him.
Meanwhile, Nebraska Sen. Ben Sasse went on a lengthy Facebook diatribe against Trump and conservative blogger Erick Erickson said some members of Congress have joined his effort to recruit a third-party candidate.
BB’s post yesterday had more information on the Bush rejection of Trump. Certainly, his behavior towards Jeb is a good rationale of the cold shoulder treatment. But so are the continual attacks Dubya for not preventing 9-11 and for the Iraq War. McCain may actually lose his Senate Senate over this.
The odd assortment of religious freaks, neoconfederates,greedy ass country clubbers, intellectually and emotionally stunted libertarians, and angry working class white men put together by the party to win elections from Nixon forward is coming completely unglued. Watching all of this come to this year’s election–which I can only characterize as a bunch of white straight men throwing toddler-like temper tantrums for not getting their way on everything–has been enlightening.
Hillary Clinton is already making hay from Trump quotes and from quotes about Trump by fellow Republicans.
Talk about putting the opposition to work for you.
Hillary Clinton‘s latest campaign ad is the ultimate #TBT – to the past eight months of the Republican primary campaign and the GOP’s own most biting comments about its freshly minted presumptive nominee, Donald Trump.
The web ad that Clinton tweeted out Wednesday night showcases insults from the likes of Mitt Romney, Marco Rubio, Ted Cruz and Jeb Bush to argue that Trump is anything but the party “unifier” he now claims to be.
“Con artist,” “phony” “know-nothing candidate,” “bully” and “the most vulgar person to ever aspire to the presidency,” are just a few of the disparaging namesTrump’s Republican critics call him in the clip.
“He would not be the commander-in-chief we need to keep our country safe,” says Bush, pointing to what he calls Trump’s “deep insecurity and weakness.”
Some think this actually helps Trump since it actually quotes mostly the Republican establishment that the Trumpsters hate. However, I’m not thinking the die hard Trumpsters are the targeted voters right now. I think it’s the huge huge number of Republican voters that haven’t been paying real attention to what the party’s has been about for years.
The media is full of examples today of talking heads mansplaining to Hillary’s campaign how to deal with the Donald. I would like to add that they sure didn’t do a great job of dealing with The Donald before he metastasized into the Republican Presidential candidate for 2016 so why should we take any of them very seriously?
Now, with regard to the tough guy stuff. The way to shred that calling card is with the military. This may surprise you at first blush. Surely, you think, military types will prefer Trump to Clinton! He’s a man. He talks tough. He’s not gonna pussyfoot around with ISIS the way those Democrats always do.
If you think this, I implore you to read Trump at War by Andy Kroll. It’s about how military people are terrified at the thought of Trump becoming their commander-in-chief, because they think he knows nothing about their line of work and they fear that someone who talks like he does without understanding the consequences will start World War III. Some people quoted in the article spoke openly of having to disobey President Trump’s orders, which is not only permissible but called for when an officer believes that a president’s orders violate code and law.
“You bet your ass” I’d reinstitute waterboarding, Trump has said. Military and intelligence professionals are the last people in the world who want that. It violated international law, which most of them actually care about. And the controversy over it crushed morale. A former CIA general counsel told Kroll that if President Trump ordered water-boarding and other forms of torture, staff would abandon the agency. “At a minimum,” the lawyer said, “people would refuse to participate in anything resembling the former interrogation program and insist on a transfer to another part of the agency where they wouldn’t be involved in these things.”
Conversely, more military people than you’d expect kind of respect Clinton. No, not because she voted for the Iraq War. Because she sat on the Senate Armed Services Committee and got to know their issues. Knows the difference between a brigade and a regiment. Put in ample face time as senator at New York’s military bases. They respect her.
There’s even a more brutal ad that lets Trump be Trump. It’s like a montage of his most sexist, racist, idioticstatements. I think it’s absolutely funny that it came out on Cinco de Mayo given some of the worst quotes in it are about Mexicans and Mexican-Americans. You can see the ad directly on BB’s post yesterday.
This is just a Web ad, but as Josh Vorhees notes, it’s reasonable to see this as a template for the massive onslaught of paid ads to come. And this ad also highlights a key dynamic in this campaign that continues to go under-appreciated.
As I’ve argued, the general election will differ from the primaries in an important sense: Unlike Republicans, Democrats will not be constrained from brutally unmasking the truly wretched nature of his racial appeals. Trump’s GOP rivals had to treat his xenophobia, bigotry, and demagoguery with kid gloves, because many Republican voters agreed with his vows to ban Muslims and carry out mass deportations. But the broader general electorate does not agree with those things. Indeed, many voters that populate key general election constituencies are likely horrified by them. As a result, Democrats will be able to prosecute Trump mercilessly in ways his GOP rivals simply could not — with a relentless, non-diluted, non-euphemistic focus on his white nationalism.
Cook Political Reports just released its first look at the Electoral Vote for the 2016 General and you’ll be surprised at the number of states that are in play that are usually solidly Republican. This general is shaping up to be an incredible state of affairs in many ways. Humor me for quoting this Joe Klein piece at Time Magazine that beckons’ with this bit of clickbait: “Hillary Clinton’s ultimate trump card will not be her gender but her relative humanity.”
In some ways, Hillary faces an easier task. Donald Trump is an implausible President of the United States. But she has a problem that Bill never had. He swept to the presidency on a wave of pure energy and enthusiasm–this was something new, the baby boomers were taking over! Hillary is the George H.W. Bush of this campaign, selling stability–which may prove to be a marketable asset, given the craziness on the Republican side–but momentum feeds on excitement. Core polling perceptions like “trustworthiness” can turn, but they need some impetus.
Her vice-presidential choice will be important. A traditional pick would be someone young and Latino and male, but Hillary’s equivalent of an Al Gore would be … Elizabeth Warren. Another woman, but an outsider; a candidate who could rally Bernie’s legions of new voters, and who would be an excellent attack dog (a crucial vice-presidential function). I know, I know: the Clinton camp mistrusts Warren. She’d be a loose cannon, a risk. Her presence on the ticket might limit Hillary’s attempts to woo moderate Republicans and foreign policy hawks, which raises another possibility: Why not pick a moderate Republican woman–Condoleezza Rice, South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley–to stem the barbarian tide? That would be unthinkably new.
Inevitably, the vice-presidential selection will take a backseat in the general election. The presidency is won in discrete moments, as the public gauges the humanity of the candidates. Donald Trump is more a brand than a person; given the spray tan and egregious comb-over, he looks more like a panjandrum in The Hunger Games than a regular guy. How many spontaneous, empathetic human interactions has he had with individual voters? None that I can remember. He is all facade.
There is a basic rule of politics in the television age: warm always beats cold (with the exception of Richard Nixon). Hillary Clinton’s ultimate trump card will be not her gender but her relative humanity–an ironic twist given her public awkwardness. Her decision to sit down with West Virginia coal miners and apologize for her harsh, but realistic, prediction that they’ll be losing their jobs is the sort of thing that would be unimaginable for Trump. In the amped intimacy of a presidential campaign, such moments matter.
I’m sure we’re in for quite the bumpy ride so buckle up and buckle down. Hang in here with us because we’ll be hanging in there with and for Madam President. There’s bound to be many revoltin’ developments in the near future and we won’t shy from them.
What’s on your reading and blogging list today?