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Westlake Legal Group > 2020 election

Death knell? Send money to Julian Castro or campaign ends in 10 days

Westlake Legal Group JulianCastro Death knell? Send money to Julian Castro or campaign ends in 10 days The Blog Julian Castro democrats Cory Booker campaign contributions 2020 election 2020 Democrat candidates

Hey, it worked for Cory Booker. Just a month ago, Booker sounded the alarm to his supporters – send him $1.7 million in nine days or his campaign would be kaput. He met his deadline and now Julian Castro is making the same plea. Castro needs $800,000 within the next 10 days to keep his campaign afloat. That sounds like a bargain compared to Booker’s goal.

Let’s be honest here, Julian Castro is not going to be the Democrat nominee for president in 2020. He’s only registering at 0.6 at Real Clear Politics. That puts him ahead of only three others – Tim Ryan, Marianne Williamson, and Steve Bullock. Of the first four contests, Castro only registers in two states – Nevada and South Carolina. In both of those states, he registers at .5. So, at this point, he’s really only hoping to stay in for long enough to be considered as the choice for vice-president.

Nonetheless, Julian persists. He needs to find some supporters who are willing to toss some donations into the dumpster fire that is his campaign. The clock is ticking.

“If I can’t raise $800,000 in the next 10 days, I will have no choice but to end my race for president,” Castro’s campaign wrote in an email to supporters. “I’m asking you to fight for me like never before. If I don’t meet this deadline, I won’t have the resources to keep my campaign running.”

Castro has not qualified for the November Democrat debate. He has until November 13 to meet the polling requirement, which is at a higher threshold than previous debates. The November debate threshold requires a candidate to register 3 percent in four approved polls to qualify. At this rate, Castro would be lucky to break 1 percent, let alone 3 percent. His campaign acknowledges that if he fails to earn a place on the debate stage, his campaign is toast. More money is needed for greater outreach on the campaign trail in the form of advertising seems to be the message.

Maya Rupert, Castro’s campaign manager, referred to the money shortage as the campaign’s biggest challenge yet.

“Unfortunately, we do not see a path to victory that doesn’t include making the November debate stage, and without a significant uptick in our fundraising, we cannot make that debate,” she said in a statement.

His best fundraising efforts are not enough to surpass the money raised by the top tier candidates. He is really low on cash for a national campaign.

Castro last week reported his best fundraising quarter thus far: $3.5 million. But it fell well short of what those in a higher tier of the race brought in: Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders ($25.3 million); Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren ($24.6 million); South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete Buttigieg ($19.1 million); and former Vice President Joe Biden ($15.2 million.)

Castro, who has kept a full travel schedule, also reported sinking perilously low in available campaign cash — to $675,000 Oct. 1.

Cory Booker’s campaign received about half of the donations needed for his campaign to continue within the first two days after his plea went out. In the case of Castro, his campaign spokesman said the first day’s fundraising goal was met. He didn’t, however, say exactly the amount of that goal. Sawyer Hackett said the money will be needed to help with the efforts to meet the polling requirement, like organizing in early states.

“Organizing, TV advertising, digital advertising, being able to pay to go to these candidate forums and have a presence at these statewide events — all of that,” Hackett said.

“The problem is that there’s no path to victory without making the debate stage.”

The campaign may not be releasing actual numbers yet but within 24 hours, some influential like-minded leftist heavy hitters weighed in.

U.S. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, a first-term New York Democrat with a wide following, tweeted that Castro “is a powerful presence in this race.”

Ocasio-Cortez — who endorsed Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders over the weekend — said that Castro “consistently uses his platform to uplift & center issues that are wrongly marginalized, like homelessness and police violence.”

Adrian Reyna, strategy director for United We Dream, which bills itself as the nation’s largest immigrant youth network, said he had sent his contribution.

“It is imperative that his voice is present in this election. Julián Castro is the only candidate who keeps it real on immigration (also only Latinx in the running) — so square up and donate!”

Comedian Abby Govindan told her 52,000 Twitter followers that Castro “worked hard to get a seat at the table so that people like him wouldn’t have it as hard. He is the American Dream. Even if he’s not your first choice please donate to keep him in the race. We need his voice. He has consistently centered police violence, poor people, people of color and trans people in a way that many frontrunners have failed to do.”

Similarly, the Human Rights Campaign’s Charlotte Clymer wrote that Castro’s “outreach, empathy, and commitment have made him an invaluable part of this process. I’m not endorsing anyone yet, but Castro deserves to stay in this race.”

They may not be supporting him with their own votes but they think Castro is needed in the race because he fights, or something. Most of this has to do with the fact that Castro is the only Latino running and his immigration policy is popular with the open borders crowd. Now we wait and see if Castro makes his own deadline. It’s time to thin the herd of candidates and he may be the next one to go.

The post Death knell? Send money to Julian Castro or campaign ends in 10 days appeared first on Hot Air.

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Beto refuses to apologize for using the ‘N’ word, doubles down on screed

Westlake Legal Group BetoDebate Beto refuses to apologize for using the ‘N’ word, doubles down on screed Wolf Blitzer The Blog Rev. Al Sharpton President Trump PoliticsNation Nazis nationalism MSNBC Joseph Goebbels impeachment CNN Beto O'Rourke 2020 election 2020 Democrat candidates

No, not that ‘N’ word – the other one. Robert Francis O’Rourke has gone so over the cliff in his leftist-speak that even Al Sharpton and Wolf Blitzer are trying to toss him a lifeline back to reality. Case in point – in interviews a mere day apart, O’Rourke referred to President Trump and his administration as Nazis. That’s not a particularly original thought emanating from the left these days but O’Rourke even brought Goebbels into the conversation.

In today’s Trump deranged world, standard references to Hitler are not enough when talking about the Republican president or his administration. Remember when the left popularized Hitler references during the George W. Bush administration? Back then it was Bushitler. Trump’s name isn’t so easy to work with so the incendiary remarks spring forward.

O’Rourke hasn’t been able to top the attention he received after the mass shooting in El Paso and his decision to make gun-grabbing legislation his campaign’s main theme. Now he just swings for the fences and hopes someone will book him on cable television. One show that took the bait was Rev. Al Sharpton’s Sunday show. During his interview on MSNBC’s PoliticsNation, O’Rourke included the name of Adolph Hitler’s propaganda minister Joseph Goebbels in his criticism of President Trump.

“President Trump, perhaps inspired by Goebbels and the propagandists of the Third Reich, seems to employ this tactic that the bigger the lie, the more obscene the injustice, the more dizzying the pace of this bizarre behavior, the less likely we are to be able to do something about it,” he said.

“I’m so grateful that not only is the House moving forward with impeachment, but… It’s a good sign that he was caught, that he was stopped — that he can no longer normalize the behavior that we’ve seen so far.”

The King of Race Baiters and anti-Semitic Sharpton was surprised by O’Rourke’s rhetoric. Rev. Al asked for clarification. “Did I hear you correctly say that perhaps Trump was influenced by Goebbels and the Third Reich in terms of telling a big lie? I just want to make sure that’s what I heard you say.”

I’ll note the irony in O’Rourke claiming that President Trump is “normalizing” some type of behavior. That is exactly what the left has done against Republicans and conservatives. They have normalized using words like “Nazi” against them. The left always accuses the right of actions they are taking.

So, that was Sunday. On Monday, while giving an interview to CNN anchor Wolf Blitzer, O’Rourke forged on. He defended his use of the ‘N’ word. It’s really all about the Muslims, or maybe Mexicans, or something.

CNN anchor Wolf Blitzer asked O’Rourke if he was going too far in comparing Trump to the Nazis. But O’Rourke didn’t back down.

“Find me a better analogy of another leader of a Western democracy describing all people of one religion as inherently defective or disqualified or dangerous,” O’Rourke said. “That’s what the president has done when it comes to Muslims.”

O’Rourke continued on with more past comments of the president.

“Repeating the lie that Mexican immigrants pose violent risk to this country,” O’Rourke added. “Asking four women of color elected by their constituents to Congress to go back to their home country. And having an almost Nuremberg-like rally where people are chanting ‘Send her back’ or inviting the kind of violence based on the racism that he’s inspired where you have another crowd cheering when someone says ‘shoot them’ when the president says what do we do about these immigrants.”

Oh, did you catch that little nugget in that screed? Those Trump rallies that include chanting like “Send her back” are “Nuremberg-like” rallies and incite violence. Orange Man bad and so are his Deplorables. They are just like Nazis.

Blitzer asked if O’Rourke understands the impact such language will have on people and how offensive it is for him to insert words like Holocaust and Nazis in a political conversation. “Most people say that is unacceptable,” Blitzer said. Alas, Beto doesn’t care about any of that. He simply has to make such comparisons, as it’s his last resort, you see. And it is “where we are.” He told Blitzer that the country is descending into “open racism, intolerance and violence led by the president.” Also, yes, Trump is a Russian asset. “He’s working in the interests of Russia and defying the interests of the United States,” O’Rourke said. The man left no stone unturned, right?

Robert Francis O’Rourke has not qualified for the November debate yet. He told Blitzer that he’ll stay in the race whether he makes it to the debate stage or not. Raising money isn’t his problem (who are these people, anyway?), it’s his poor polling. He has failed to hit 3 percent in at least four recognized polls. Beto’s campaign sent out an email Sunday sounding the alarm that “millions of people” may not get to hear his message. Thank heavens for small blessings is what I say to that.

I don’t think O’Rourke should count on any of this latest nonsense to raise his numbers in the polls. It can’t come soon enough for when we’ll be able to say, “Adios, Beto.”

The post Beto refuses to apologize for using the ‘N’ word, doubles down on screed appeared first on Hot Air.

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Hillary stole Jimmy Kimmel’s bit — and all sides lambasted her for it

Westlake Legal Group hillary-rematch Hillary stole Jimmy Kimmel’s bit — and all sides lambasted her for it twitter The Blog President Trump Jimmy Kimmel Hillary Clinton 2020 election 2016 Election

Hillary Clinton is the party guest that does not get the hint when her host starts yawning. She doesn’t grab her jacket and head for the door with everyone else. She won’t leave.

Hillary had quite the weekend in social media. First, she said on former Obama adviser David Plouffe’s podcast that Rep. Tulsi Gabbard is being groomed to launch a third-party challenge in the 2020 presidential election. And, oh yeah, Tulsi is a Russian asset. So is Jill Stein who ran as the Green Party’s candidate in 2016, she said. She offered no proof to back up any of this nonsense and Plouffe sounded as though he agreed with her. With Hillary, it’s Russia, Russia, Russia all the time. Her obsession with accusing others of being under the influence of Russians rings a bit hollow, given the money that former President Clinton commanded for delivering speeches in Russia ($500,000) and Russian donations to the Clinton Foundation.

Sunday afternoon Clinton tweeted a phony letter from President Kennedy to former Premier of the Soviet Union Nikita Khrushchev. She was trolling President Trump, as she frequently does on Twitter. The fake letter was a response to Trump’s letter to Turkey President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

Found in the archives? Really? Naturally, plenty of positive responses rolled in from Hillary-land but we are starting to see some frustration among the liberal media types. The Washington Post’s fact-checker tweeted what we all think at this point.

One tweet noted the incredibly stupid times in which we live. He’s not wrong.

And then the truth emerged. Hillary Clinton (or a staffer) is not nearly clever enough to produce such a tweet. She took it from a bit on Jimmy Kimmel’s late night talk show. There is no attribution.

Hillary Clinton was a horrible candidate. Nonetheless, she has reached levels of success in politics that others envy – First Lady, U.S. Senator, and then Secretary of State. She was the first woman to be nominated by a major party as the presidential candidate. She has a horrible record from her time as Secretary of State, though. Remember the embarrassing reset with Russia? Remember Benghazi? And, there is the demise of Gaddafi. He was a bad guy but he did do as the United States demanded as far as eliminating his nuclear weapons program. During the Obama/Clinton reign, he was rewarded for his cooperation with death. The eighth anniversary of that event just passed. Who can forget Hillary’s boasting in an interview – ““We came, we saw, he died!” ?

Libya is a mess. Perhaps instead of trolling President Trump’s foreign policy decisions in social media she should spend a little time on self-reflection. And, for heaven’s sake, find a hobby.

The post Hillary stole Jimmy Kimmel’s bit — and all sides lambasted her for it appeared first on Hot Air.

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Strib poll: Minnesota still has the blues, folks

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Can Donald Trump flip Minnesota back to the GOP in a presidential election for the first time in nearly 50 years? Alas, as Hot Air’s resident Land-of-Ten-Thousand-Lakes observer, the task falls upon me to cast a little cold water on the idea, although perhaps not quite as much as today’s Star-Tribune poll suggests. Despite his sensational and controversial rally last week, Trump trails the leading challengers by wide margins in Minnesota, and a couple of the not-so-leading ones too:

The two current front-runners for the Democratic nomination, former Vice President Joe Biden and U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren, both beat the president by double digits among Minnesota voters. Voters polled picked Biden over Trump by 12 percentage points, 50% to 38%.

Warren, who attracted a large crowd at an August campaign rally in St. Paul, tops Trump 51% to 40%. U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders, who places third in most national polls of the Democratic field, is ahead of Trump 49% to 40%.

The Strib pollster pitted Trump against four potential challengers, not the whole field. We don’t know, for instance, how Trump might perform against Pete Buttigieg, whose numbers have been rising enough to start becoming a top-tier contender for the nomination — for the moment, anyway. Instead, the poll uses the top three consistent polling leaders, plus a look at the local favorite:

  • Biden 50/38
  • Warren 51/40
  • Sanders 49/40
  • Klobuchar 55/38

The fact that she scored the best in the state led Amy Klobuchar to claim the overall electability mantle. She tells CBS News that her “moderate approach” positions herself best against the chaos of Trump, and against the radical progressivism of, well, everyone else in the field:

She might have a better claim to the electability mantle than Joe Biden these days, but only theoretically. Klobuchar only has a 2% aggregate average at RCP nationally, which would barely qualify her for the next debate. In neighboring Iowa, though, Klobuchar has … a 2% aggregate average, too. However, in New Hampshire, Klobuchar scores a 2.3% average. In more conservative South Carolina, that gets halved to one percent. She got a featured slot in the Strib poll for home-state props, not because she’s developing into a threat, at least not yet.

Klobuchar’s right about electability in Minnesota, though only to a small extent. She is the only candidate to beat Trump in the metro suburbs (47/46, more of a virtual tie) and not lose to him in southern Minnesota, which is more rural and conservative (45/45). Trump edges her in northern Minnesota and the Iron Range, 48/47, a region which is becoming more conservo-populist in the past few years, but she closes the gap in the entire state.

The other Democrats win largely on the Twin Cities. Respectively, this how the other candidates fared against Trump in those regions:

  • Biden: Twin Cities 67/21, Metro suburbs 42/46, southern MN 43/45, northern MN 41/47
  • Warren: 69/23, 40/49, 43/46, 43/49
  • Sanders: 67/23, 40/49, 41/46, 41/49

That’s where this poll might be a little tilted, but only just a little. It has 32% of its respondents coming from the Twin Cities and 29% from the Metro suburbs. That might overstate the influence of the Metro ‘burbs a bit compared to the 2016 exit polls, but only just a bit — and probably not enough to matter much anyway.

Besides, the glaring issue that pops up from the 2016 exit polls is that enthusiasm for Trump ran much higher three years ago in outstate Minnesota. Trump won 56% of the vote in the south and north, and 60% in the “east central” part of the state, whatever that means. Trump doesn’t get to 50% in these areas against any of the contenders in this poll.

However, it’s probably not fair to lay this on Trump. The GOP hasn’t won a statewide vote in Minnesota since 2006, and since 2008 they haven’t really even come close. Much of that has to do with disorganization in the party and funding issues which have largely been resolved, but it’s also because the Twin Cities is a liberal bastion of Academia that accounts for a third of the voters in the state.

It’s still early, and Jason Lewis will be a serious contender against non-entity incumbent Tina Smith for the US Senate seat, the only state-wide office on the ballot. Lewis might be able to pull off a surprise win, but we probably can’t take the possibility of the GOP winning the whole state in a presidential race until we see evidence that they can win any other statewide office first. Lots of things can change between now and November 2020 and Trump’s dynamism has to be taken into account as well, but lots of things will have to change for Minnesota to go red in 2020.

The post Strib poll: Minnesota still has the blues, folks appeared first on Hot Air.

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Hillary warns: Russians are grooming Gabbard for a third-party bid to get Trump re-elected

Westlake Legal Group hillary-cbs Hillary warns: Russians are grooming Gabbard for a third-party bid to get Trump re-elected tulsi gabbard The Blog Russian collusion Jill Stein Hillary Clinton 2020 election 2016 Election

Russians Russians everywhere, and not a drop of vodka to drink. In an interview on former Barack Obama adviser David Plouffe’s podcast, Hillary Clinton offered what might be called the Unified Theory of Russian Interference in the 2016 election. Hillary warns that Tulsi Gabbard could launch a third-party bid on behalf of her Russian handlers in 2020 — just the same way that Green Party nominee Jill Stein did in 2016.

On second thought, perhaps Hillary has had a little too much vodka of late:

Color WaPo analyst Aaron Blake unimpressed by Hillary’s conspiracy-theory rantings about either Gabbard or Stein:

In a conversation on former Obama campaign manager David Plouffe’s podcast, Clinton suggested the Russians are leveraging a number of top U.S. politicians. She suggested Russia had kompromat on Trump. She accused 2016 Green Party nominee Jill Stein of being a “Russian asset.” And she suggested Russia might back Gabbard as a third-party candidate.

“They’re also going to do third-party again,” Clinton said. “I’m not making any predictions, but I think they’ve got their eye on someone who’s currently in the Democratic primary and are grooming her to be the third-party candidate. She’s the favorite of the Russians. They have a bunch of sites and bots and other ways of supporting her so far.”

The “again” referred to Stein, whom some Clinton supporters have accused (rather baselessly) of serving as a spoiler for Clinton in 2016. Stein got around 1 percent of the vote in the three decisive states — Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin — but exit polls showed most of her voters wouldn’t have supported either Clinton or Trump if Stein weren’t running.

Clinton then flat-out labeled Stein a “Russian asset.”

“And that’s assuming Jill Stein will give it up, which she might not because she’s also a Russian asset,” Clinton said. “Yeah, she’s a Russian asset — I mean, totally. They know they can’t win without a third-party candidate. So I don’t know who it’s going to be, but I will guarantee you they will have a vigorous third-party challenge in the key states that they most needed.”

The part about Stein is especially lunatic. The Green Party might be fringy and socialist, but it’s a long-established minor party that had ballot access in 31 states by the 2006 midterms, and expanded it to 45 states for the 2016 election. After the 2016 election, Hillary wasn’t complaining about Stein as she launched recount campaigns in the “blue wall” states Hillary lost, attempting to discredit Trump’s victory over baseless allegations of cheating and (of course) Russian manipulation of ballot results.

The allegation against Gabbard is only slightly less insane. And yes, Hillary spokesman Nick Merrill confirmed, that’s exactly who Hillary meant:

That’s just nuts. Let’s say for a hot moment that Russian intelligence would pick a Manchurian Candidate for a presidential election. Would they choose someone who’s barely been in politics, someone who’s already viewed as rather fringy, and who can’t acquire much of her own support? Of course not. It would be all risk, no reward.

As for the impact of all that “grooming” and the sites and the bots oh my, take a look at RCP’s full polling aggregation for this year. Gabbard hasn’t scored above 3% in any poll, and she has a lot more zeroes than threes. Her current polling aggregation average is 1.2%. If the Russians are “grooming” her, they’re terrible at their jobs.

This, of course, is part of the same conceit of Russiagate all along. We have spent the last three years hyperventilating over a Russian “merry prankster” disinformation campaign that spent $25 million in a cycle where the two candidates and their allies spent well over two billion dollars on messaging. No one — not a single person — has ever shown that the Russian social-media campaign ever changed a single voter’s mind, regardless of their intent.

This is an insane conspiracy theory, and it’s a demonstration that Hillary has simply lost her mind in the wake of her incompetent performance in 2016. The irony of this is that Hillary’s doing this as part of her book tour for her new tome The Book of Gutsy Women. It seems that Hillary doesn’t appreciate some “gutsy women” as much as others.

The post Hillary warns: Russians are grooming Gabbard for a third-party bid to get Trump re-elected appeared first on Hot Air.

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Biden calls for impeachment: “He’s shooting holes in the Constitution”

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Remember when Joe Biden was marketing himself as the strong, steady Democrat in the presidential primary? He resisted calling for President Trump’s impeachment even when most of the other candidates did. That changed Wednesday.

Biden joined the chorus of Democrats demanding President Trump’s impeachment – not simply to investigate and hold impeachment inquiries. He jumped all the way to impeachment. He slowly got to this point after starting in April to call for hearings.

Biden had been more cautious than his Democratic competitors to call for impeachment. Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren, who is neck-and-neck with Biden in recent polls, called for an impeachment inquiry into Trump in April after former special counsel Robert Mueller delivered his report on Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election.

In late September, Biden made his call for an impeachment inquiry conditional and said if Trump did not cooperate with Congress, he would leave lawmakers with “no choice” but to start impeachment proceedings. Later that same day, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced a formal impeachment inquiry into Trump. Pelosi’s call came after Trump admitted to discussing Biden and his son, Hunter, in his phone call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, and after dozens of House Democrats — many from moderate or Trump-won districts — announced their support for an inquiry.

The tone and much of the speech reminded me of Mitt Romney’s diatribe against Trump in March 2016 when Mitt called him all sorts of names in a last-ditch effort to derail Trump’s nomination. Biden called Trump a coward and a bully. “He’s shooting holes in the Constitution and we cannot let him get away with it.”

And all I hear is blah, blah, blah.

With his call for impeachment, Biden now makes himself indistinguishable from the others. The candidate who is supposed to be the comfortable old shoe who is reasoned and a safe alternative to the socialists running for the Democrat nomination now sounds like the far-left ideologues who toss due process out the window while claiming that it is Trump who is going against the Constitution.

Biden did what many Trump critics do – he claims Trump is doing what “no president in history” has done. That’s ironic because many conservatives, including myself, distinctly remember having the same thoughts during the Obama administration.

“Trump will do anything to get re-elected, including violating the most basic forms of democracy. It’s stunning, and it’s dangerous,” Biden said. He added, “No president in history has dared to engage in such unimaginable behavior.”

Good old Joe was just fine with Obama and Pelosi ramming through Obamacare on a party-line vote and hijacking 1/6 of the American economy, politicizing every government agency and department you can think of, and Obama’s public berating of Republicans at every opportunity. Remember when Obama said, “Don’t bring a knife to a gunfight”? Doesn’t that kind of language fall into “do anything to get re-elected” territory? That was then and this is now.

I keep waiting for someone to tell me specifically exactly what it is that Trump has done to require that he be impeached. Biden’s jumping on the impeachment bandwagon now shows that he is worried about three things.

First, Biden is sinking in the polls and he’s no longer the frontrunner. He is now bouncing back and forth with Elizabeth Warren for the top spot in the RCP average. Yesterday she was 0.2 ahead of him and this morning as I write this, Biden is 0.2 ahead of Warren. She still leads him by 2.7 in Iowa while Biden is ahead of Warren in New Hampshire by 1.4. He delivered his impeachment speech in New Hampshire yesterday, by the way.

Second, Biden is old. He is older than Trump and Warren but younger than Bernie Sanders. Biden has his own health concerns to worry about. The latest physical sign of his frailty was the bloody eye incident during the debate. While Biden loves to boast about how macho he is by saying things like he’ll beat Trump “like a drum” or saying how he’d take a bully like Trump behind the gym and beat the hell out of him, he appears frail. He stammers when he speaks and often sounds confused.

Third, the investigation into Trump’s handling of the phone call with Zelensky opens up a can of worms for Biden and his family. The family’s corruption is now in the spotlight. There is an interesting article at The Intercept that lays out some of Biden’s problems due to his son Hunter and brother James using the family name to enrich themselves. The online publication is liberal – you just have to skip over the obvious conservative-bashing language as the author tells the story.

But that doesn’t mean the Bidens’ behavior isn’t a legitimate problem for Democrats. Indeed, Biden has been taking political hits over of the intersection of his family’s financial dealings and his own political career for some four decades. Yet he has done nothing publicly to inoculate himself from the charge that his career is corruptly enriching his family, and now that is a serious liability. By contrast, one of his opponents in the presidential primary, Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., went so far as to refuse to endorse his son Levi Sanders when he ran for Congress, saying that he does not believe in political dynasties. In defending the Biden’s nepotistic relationship, Democrats would be forced to argue that, to be fair, such soft corruption is common among the families of senior-level politicians. But that’s a risky general-election argument in a political moment when voters are no longer willing to accept business-as-usual. For now, Biden’s opponents in the presidential campaign appear to all hope that somebody else will make the argument, while congressional Democrats don’t want to do anything to undermine their impeachment probe. And so Biden skates.

I wrote about Sanders refusing to endorse his son, Levi, back in June 2018.

It all boils down to this – Joe is nervous and his campaign isn’t going well. The people around him seem to be unable to jumpstart excitement about his candidacy and Elizabeth Warren has the enthusiasm of primary voters and crowds to move her ahead. The contrast between Warren and Biden is noticeable. At age 70, she is the Energizer Bunny compared to Biden. At this point, the lead spot is hers to lose.

The post Biden calls for impeachment: “He’s shooting holes in the Constitution” appeared first on Hot Air.

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Hillary on a Trump rematch: “Obviously, I can beat him again”

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“Again”? Forget it, she’s rolling. Or trolling. Take your pick, but Hillary Clinton isn’t going to get a rematch now even if she wanted it. And especially since Donald Trump wants it:

Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on Tuesday trolled President Trump after he suggested that she should run for president again, joking that “maybe there does need to be a rematch.”

“Obviously I can beat him again,” Clinton joked on “PBS NewsHour” in an apparent reference to her earning a majority of the popular vote in the 2016 election. Trump won the Electoral College vote, 304-227.

The comments from Clinton, who has launched two White House bids, came as Trump continued to lash out at Democrats over a formal impeachment inquiry launched in the House. He targeted Clinton in an early-morning tweet Tuesday, saying that he thought she “should enter the race to try and steal it away from Uber Left Elizabeth Warren.”

“Only one condition. The Crooked one must explain all of her high crimes and misdemeanors,” Trump said, prompting Clinton to reply, “don’t tempt me. Do your job.”

The “again” comment is Hillary Clinton’s attempt at being cute about her loss in 2016. Since that shocking defeat, Hillary has offered any number of excuses for her poor performance in traditionally blue states, almost all of which focus on something other than Hillary Clinton herself: sexism, Russia, disinformation, James Comey, the heretofore-unknown existence of Wisconsin as a state, etc. That act is wearing thin, but that was true of The Clinton Act as a whole before 2016 too.

Her appearance on PBS’ NewsHour is ostensibly in support of her new book Gutsy Women, co-authored by daughter Chelsea. It does have the aroma of a pre-campaign, however, similar to the epic flop of a tour Hillary conducted in 2014 in support of her campaign-ready memoir Hard Choices, for which she received a stunning $14 million advance. This one seems to be going better, as Hillary has managed to avoid dropping bon mots such as $100 million not making one “truly well off,” and lamenting the poverty into which she and Bill fell after his term ended in January 2001.

Hillary certainly sounds as if she’s on the campaign trail more than the book-flacking tour:

Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on Tuesday slammed President Donald Trump’s decision to withdraw U.S. troops from northern Syria, saying the move was a “betrayal” of Kurdish allies and would lead to a “resurgence of militancy” in the region. …

Clinton said Trump’s latest Syria plan was playing into Russian President Vladimir Putin’s hands, and represented another example of Trump allowing foreign leaders to influence U.S. foreign policy. Trump also announced an immediate withdrawal of thousands of troops from Syria last year after speaking to Erdogan, though he later said the drawdown would take place more slowly.

“Why are we sitting silently by and watching him do Putin’s bidding?” Clinton said, adding, “there’s no happier man in the world right now than Putin.”

Clinton, who served as the U.S.’s top diplomat for four years, said Trump’s foreign policy decisions damage the U.S.’s standing overseas.

The next president “will inherit shattered alliances, emboldened adversaries” and “all kinds of internal divisions that are going to have to be addressed,” she said.

And, er … gutsy women, or something! Hillary sounds more like a gusty woman on this tour, one who resents having to talk about these (ahem) hard choices than being the one making them. That doesn’t mean, however, that she and Trump are going to get their rematch. Democrats have too many other candidates clogging the path to yet another coronation attempt, candidates without Clinton’s baggage and track record of failure against Trump. Unlike in 2016, Clinton didn’t lock up all of the major institutional donors and no longer has a campaign staff on salary at her charitable foundation. Even with all of those advantages, she needed the DNC to cook the process to hold off a crank socialist from Vermont in the last cycle’s Democratic primaries.

Hillary knows all this, even if she might secretly yearn for a rematch. The best she can do is a book tour and gust on from the sidelines.

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Hillary: I lost in 2016 because sexist America didn’t appreciate my seriousness. And Russia. And voter suppression. And …

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Hillary Clinton’s explanations for her 2016 loss now exceed the number of theories regarding the finale of The Sopranos. (The correct interpretation for the latter can be found here. You’re welcome.) Nearly three years later, Hillary showed up on ABC’s The View to offer yet another reason she turned out to be the one Democrat who could lose to Donald Trump. America was not prepared for Hillary Clinton, Serious Candidate, Clinton told the co-hosts.

Well, that and Russia and voter suppression and sexism too, but seriously, seriousness:

“You know, I’m a serious person but I’m also a fun person but I think I probably came across as too serious,” Clinton said Wednesday on ABC’s The View when asked what she could have done differently in 2016.

The View host Meghan McCain said her father, the late Sen. John McCain, also thought she was fun to hang out with on trips. The former Secretary of State said that she thought she overcompensated with her serious side because she wanted Americans to take the first potential woman president seriously.

“I really believed that my job, especially as a woman and the first woman to go as far as I did, that I had to help people feel good about a woman in the Oval Office, a woman commander in chief,” she said. “And, so, I may have over corrected a little bit because sometimes people say, ‘Why can’t you be like that or why weren’t you like that.’ I did feel a heavy sense of responsibility and it was such that, you know, maybe I wasn’t as loose or open as I could have been. I take responsibility for everything I didn’t do as well or my campaign didn’t do as well.”

Twitchy has the show’s Twitter clip in which the discussion about Russia goes on a little longer, after which Hillary again says without any evidence that Stacey Abrams lost because of voter suppression. Perhaps this isn’t so much as a new hypothesis as it is an addition to the agglomeration to the Unified Field Theory Of Hillary’s Victimization:

Whatevs. The most charming parts of this clip involve the comments made by presidential candidate daughters Abby Huntsman and Meghan McCain, especially the latter’s recollection of her late father’s fun with Hillary while traveling. The least charming by far are the by-now-serial attempts by Hillary to place the blame for her loss on everyone but herself. At one point, Hillary says that she’ll take responsibility for the things she did wrong. We’re still waiting.

While I watched this clip, my wife remarked, “She’s running again.” Donald Trump couldn’t get that lucky again, could he?

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McCarthy to Pelosi: Time to suspend and retool your whole approach to impeachment

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Alea iacta est in haste, repent at leisure. Kevin McCarthy’s trying to toss Nancy Pelosi a lifeline here, but she’ll never grab at it. As House Democrats careen from one rationalization to the next on impeachment and refuse to explicitly authorize an inquiry at all, they House Minority Leader called for a halt to the chaos. Either put together a “transparent and equitable” process for evidence and testimony, he tells Pelosi in a letter released earlier this morning, or hang it up altogether:

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., is asking Speaker Nancy Pelosi on to suspend the House impeachment inquiry until she establishes more “transparent and equitable rules and procedures” to govern the probe.

“Unfortunately, you have given no clear indication as to how your impeachment inquiry will proceed — including whether key historical precedents or basic standards of due process will be observed,” McCarthy wrote in a letter to Pelosi, D-Calif., on Thursday.

“In addition, the swiftness and recklessness with which you have proceeded has already resulted in committee chairs attempting to limit minority participation in scheduled interviews, calling into question the integrity of such an inquiry,” he continued.

Put simply, Pelosi’s impeachment Rubicon has become an impassable mess. Her chair for the effort, Adam Schiff, just got exposed by the New York Times as misrepresenting his role in cultivating the whistleblower complaint that has been its catalyst. Schiff has now had to backpedal from his earlier public denials that he or his staff having had contact with the whistleblower well before he claimed that the White House had withheld that information from him. Having cast her die without bothering to wait for the evidence Schiff claimed the White House was covering up, she has tossed her caucus into the proverbial Rubicon creek without a paddle.

McCarthy wants Pelosi to commit to a credible process that allows for a true judicial approach to the question of impeachment. That includes an extensive resolution adopted by the whole House outlining “transparent and equitable rules and procedures,” including the following:

  • Co-equal subpoena power to the committee chair and ranking member
  • Right for Donald Trump’s counsel to attend all committee hearings and depositions, to present evidence, and to cross-examine witnesses
  • Allow the president’s legal team to present its own evidence

“By answering ‘no’ to any of the above,” McCarthy concludes, “you would create a process completely devoid of any merit or legitimacy.” That’s going to be a major problem for Pelosi, not just for a Senate trial but just to get impeachment past a floor vote. She has at least a couple dozen caucus members who have to run next year in Trump-friendly districts who won’t be happy with any kind of impeachment process. If Pelosi allows Schiff to run a kangaroo court without any appearance of due process to produce articles of impeachment, it will only make that situation worse — and it will give Senate Republicans plenty of justification for a quick dismissal to its impeachment trial afterward.

Frankly, McCarthy might be doing Pelosi a favor with this letter, in at least two ways. The bigger favor would be that this would allow Pelosi to dump Schiff from leadership of the impeachment push, and probably Jerrold Nadler as well. Both have undermined their credibility to lead a fair investigation into Trump over the past two years, especially Schiff. Pelosi could use the resolution process McCarthy suggests to put a more credible figure in charge — perhaps Foreign Affairs chair Eliot Engel, or maybe even deputy speaker Steny Hoyer — while appointing Schiff and Nadler to the select committee. A select committee would make it easier to meet McCarthy’s other demands too, rather than retool existing rules for the standing committees. It would be a fresh start to crossing the Rubicon, a do-over of iacta-ing the alea, so to speak.

The smaller favor would be extracting some of the obvious politicization from the process. If Pelosi adopts McCarthy’s approach, she at least has some nominal buy-in from the GOP caucus leader on an impeachment process modeled on his recommendations. That would help protect her moderates while giving up nothing of substance to the GOP except — and this is not unimportant — the several weeks it would add to any passage of impeachment articles. The closer this gets to the primaries, the more political impeachment looks, and Pelosi knows it.

Will she take this opportunity to solve this problem? Based on Pelosi’s lack of care to keep from conflating impeachment and re-election this morning on ABC, I’m betting … naaah.

Addendum: Here’s yet another reason to find a way, any way, to get rid of Schiff’s leadership on impeachment:

Schiff’s not even abiding by the normal rules of his committee. He’s going to be a disaster as an impeachment manager, and Pelosi should realize that by now.

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New Team Trump campaign ad: Coup

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Never let it be said that Donald Trump takes too nuanced an approach to campaign politics — or that his campaign team doesn’t follow his lead. Just hours after Trump tweeted out that Democrats are staging a “coup” rather than an impeachment, Team Trump released a new TV spot doubling down on the accusation. It’s “nothing short of a coup,” the 30-second ad released this afternoon declares, “and it must be stopped!”

President Trump’s reelection campaign released a new advertisement on Wednesday accusing Democrats of carrying out a “coup,” shortly after the president himself made a similar accusation amid the Democrats’ impeachment inquiry.

“Democrats are trying to undo the election regardless of facts, attacking the president by any means necessary, fabricating evidence,” a narrator says in the advertisement. “It’s nothing short of a coup, and it must be stopped.”

The spot is flanked with video of high-profile Democratic lawmakers including House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.), Adam Schiff (D-Calif.), and Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich.).

Video of Democratic presidential hopeful and former Vice President Joe Biden is shown as the advertisement finishes.

The spot is apart of an $8 million previous ad by announced by the campaign.

Either this Twitter thread was the inspiration or the teaser for the ad:

“Coup” is hyperbolic, of course, but whether it’s more hyperbolic than Trump’s repeated accusations that Adam Schiff has committed “treason” is up for debate. For that matter, it’s also a YMMV situation as to whether it’s any more hyperbolic than accusations from Schiff and other Democrats that Trump is a “Russian agent,” a “traitor” himself, as well as a white supremacist, etc etc etc. We live in deeply unserious times, and all this does is just fit into them.

As campaign ads go, it’s effective. It’ll create lots and lots of controversy, generating lots and lots of earned media coverage, and make lots and lots of heads explode. That will generate lots and lots of overreach and demagoguery too; Kamala Harris will call for Trump ads to be banned (more on that later today), and in general everyone will go nuts for 48 hours, after which … nothing will change at all.

Let’s just pose two questions in response to the ad. What does Trump mean by “it must be stopped”? Congress has the authority to impeach federal officers, including presidents, and the only thing that can stop the House from succeeding is a majority vote opposing it. Any other method would be kinda … coup-ish, no? Second question: why did Team Trump use Biden as the final image behind the message on stopping an impeachment? He’s actually been quieter than most other Democrats on that point, which is understandable considering the heightened scrutiny of his son’s track record in the business world. Shouldn’t that have been Pelosi behind the big ask? She’s the one who crossed the Rubicon.

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