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Westlake Legal Group > Posts tagged "debate"

Hmmm: Buttigieg surges to within five points of lead in Iowa as Kamala Harris collapses

Westlake Legal Group b-5 Hmmm: Buttigieg surges to within five points of lead in Iowa as Kamala Harris collapses warren USA Today The Blog Suffolk Spending progressive poll Iowa debate buttigieg biden

Ed mentioned this poll in passing in his Zuckerberg post earlier but it deserves its own thread. I’ve overlooked Buttigieg in writing about the primary because we (or at least I) tend to focus on national polls as the best rough measure of the race even though we (er, I) understand that there’s no national primary. There are a series of state primaries, they’re held in a very particular order, and how well one does in the first three or four contests strongly influences one’s chances at winning the nomination. Look at Buttigieg’s national polling and you’ll find a candidate who’s distinguished himself enough to escape the race’s populous bottom tier but who’s never gained enough momentum to crack the top tier. Mayor Pete is a four-percent candidate when he’s polling badly and a seven- or eight-percent candidate when he’s polling better, but it’s been many months since he touched double digits. He just doesn’t seem like a threat to Warren, Biden, Sanders.

If, that is, we were having a national primary. Which we aren’t.

In Iowa, where Buttigieg is devoting most of his energy, the story is different. It hasn’t gotten much attention but he’s been in double digits in five of the last six polls taken there. In three of those polls he’s outperformed Bernie Sanders, who came within a whisker of winning Iowa in 2016. The catch is that, even though his polling in Iowa is stronger than it is elsewhere, he hadn’t quite entered the top tier there either. He’s now reliably in the 14-percent range but either Biden or Warren or both had always polled in the low 20s. It is — or was — a two-person race with Buttigieg a potentially dangerous dark horse.

Until today, that is. This USA Today/Suffolk poll has the race essentially a complete toss-up, with enough uncertainty among caucusgoers to hold every last contender under 20 percent.

The poll, taken Wednesday through Friday, put Biden at 18%, Warren at 17% and Buttigieg at 13% among 500 likely Democratic caucusgoers…

At 37, Buttigieg is the youngest contender in the field, and he is the first openly gay candidate to seek the Democratic Party’s presidential nomination. He has gained ground through strong performances in the Democratic debates: Among those surveyed who watched the debate last Tuesday, 4 in 10 said Buttigieg was the candidate who did better than they expected

Among debate-watchers only, Buttigieg held a narrow lead in the poll, at 19%. Biden and Warren were tied at 17%.

There were other signs of a friendly political landscape for Buttigieg and Warren in the poll. They led the field as the second choice of respondents; Warren was picked by 22% and Buttigieg by 14%.

The number of caucusgoers who say they’re undecided has actually *risen* eight points since the last Suffolk poll there in June, which is not what you’d expect with voters having had four additional months to deliberate on their choice.

How’s Buttigieg doing it? As noted in the excerpt, he’s impressive at the mic. It may be that with more Democrats starting to pay attention to the race as the caucuses approach, more voters will get their first exposure to Buttigieg at the next few debates — raising the possibility that we’re nowhere near his ceiling yet in polling. But he’s doing it the old-fashioned way in Iowa too. Remember that he led all Democratic candidates in fundraising in the second quarter. He’s been putting that money to good use, both in terms of ad buys and assembling a top-notch GOTV team:

Thanks to a nearly $25 million fund-raising bounty in the spring, which he topped up with a respectable $19.1 million over the summer, as reported Tuesday, Mr. Buttigieg has been able to invest in a gold-plated ground game in Iowa as he seeks to challenge two candidates who have been organizing for longer here, Senators Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders…

Grass-roots organizing is essential to a strong caucus finish. Word of mouth about a candidate is often what turns people out on a cold February night. The Buttigieg campaign, which opened its bus tour to live-tweeting journalists in an effort to set itself apart, is also road-testing a somewhat novel approach to organizing. Its Iowa volunteers first contact friends and family members rather than cold-calling lists of registered voters, who are now so bombarded they ignore unknown numbers…

Mr. Buttigieg’s Iowa sweep coincided with the opening of 20 field offices and the hiring of nearly 100 staff members statewide, as robust a build-out as that of Ms. Warren and Mr. Sanders.

Iowa isn’t a must-win for Warren, Biden, or Sanders the way it is for Buttigieg. All three are better known than him nationally and can credibly argue that they’ll rebound in one of the other early states if they disappoint in Iowa. Bernie won New Hampshire in a landslide three years ago; Warren is leading in the polls there right now and reportedly has an amazing field operation in Nevada; Biden is counting on South Carolina’s majority-black primary electorate to put him over the top. Buttigieg needs an Iowa win (or second place) to show he’s for real, though. He’s all-in. And he’s competitive.

He has an advantage over Warren and Sanders there too. Remember that the impeachment process might end up bogging down U.S. senators in Washington for a precious month (or more) as Trump’s trial takes place. Warren and Sanders (and Kamala Harris, who’s looking to Iowa to revive her campaign) will be stuck there every afternoon, six days a week, for several weeks. That’ll leave Biden and Buttigieg alone on the trail during the day in Iowa to press their advantage and build a following. Imagine if House Democrats drag their feet on impeachment, the Senate trial bleeds into January, and Mayor Pete has Iowa to himself in the immediate run-up to the caucuses while Warren is chained to her desk in the Senate chamber. Even if an upset win for Buttigieg in Iowa doesn’t deny Warren the nomination, it could make the race much longer and more expensive for her than it would have been if she’d had a free hand to campaign in Iowa and win the state herself.

By the way, the secret ingredient in Buttigieg’s surge is the destruction of Kamala Harris, who was polling at 16 percent in Iowa when Suffolk checked in on the race in June and is down to three percent there today, tied with Tulsi Gabbard. She’s not the only candidate who’s declined (Biden is down six points too) but Harris’s implosion is spectacular, and still somewhat mystifying to me. She’s not a good retail politician, she’s way too slippery on the issues, but still — from 16 points to three? There must be plenty of former Harris voters in Buttigieg’s tent now, which I suppose stands to reason. If you were with Harris in June, odds are it was because you were uncomfortable for whatever reason with the big three. Now that she’s a nonfactor, many of those voters have transferred their discomfort to Mayor Pete’s tent.

In lieu of an exit question, watch the second half of this CNN report from earlier this afternoon in which Manu Raju reports that the Democratic impeachment timeline may have already begun to slip from Thanksgiving to Christmas. Warren and Sanders really might end up stuck in the Capitol in January.

The post Hmmm: Buttigieg surges to within five points of lead in Iowa as Kamala Harris collapses appeared first on Hot Air.

Westlake Legal Group b-5-300x153 Hmmm: Buttigieg surges to within five points of lead in Iowa as Kamala Harris collapses warren USA Today The Blog Suffolk Spending progressive poll Iowa debate buttigieg biden  Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com 

Hillary Clinton Attacks Tulsi Gabbard and Gets Absolutely Wrecked In Response

Westlake Legal Group hillary-clinton-pointing-harvard-620x317 Hillary Clinton Attacks Tulsi Gabbard and Gets Absolutely Wrecked In Response tulsi gabbard Take Down Russian Agent Russia Politics Pathetic Hillary Clinton Front Page Stories Front Page Featured Story Failed Candidate democrats debate Allow Media Exception 2020

Hillary Clinton points to the audience as she is introduced at Harvard University in Cambridge, Mass., Friday, May 25, 2018. Harvard University’s Radcliffe Institute honored Clinton with the 2018 Radcliffe Medal. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa)

After CNN pretty clearly tried to handicap Tulsi Gabbard at the Democrat primary debate earlier in the week, she’s been the topic of several stories. Apparently Gabbard trying to go for the jugular against Elizabeth Warren got the attention of Hillary Clinton. She chimed in during an interview to take a very direct shot at the Hawaii Congresswoman.

Hillary’s spokesman would go on to confirm she was talking about Gabbard later in the day.

I can’t express how intellectually lazy this is. Clinton has turned into a conspiritorial kook who sees Russians behind every corner and under every bed. In this same interview, she asserted that part of why she lost in 2016 were “disappearing videos” from the “dark web.” Yes, she really said that.

That’s called delusion. Disappearing videos that only she knows about but no one can find because they go on the dark web? If this were Donald Trump, the media would be running even more stories pronouncing him mentally ill. Because it’s Hillary Clinton, they’ll ignore the insanity.

The other disgusting part about this is that Gabbard is a veteran. It’s one thing to disagree with here. It’s another for a old, privileged corruptocrat, who’s never done anything outside of getting rich off influence, to call a combat veteran a Russian agent. Especially a combat veteran who fought in the very wars that Clinton helped monger. There’s zero evidence of Gabbard is being controlled by Russia or any other such nonsense.

Tulsi Gabbard is never one to take something lying down though and she decided to go in for choke slam in response.

Holy crap, what a take down.

I don’t know about you, but I’d pay good money to see Gabbard and Clinton take to the same debate stage. Hillary’s too big of a coward to address Gabbard directly though. She’d prefer to snipe from the comfort of friendly lines.

Hillary Clinton is just an awful person. Her excuse tour, where she accuses everyone who has risen above her of being a Russian agent, is just pathetic. I for one hope she is deluded enough to take Gabbard up on her challenge and join the race. It would certainly make things a lot more interesting.

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The post Hillary Clinton Attacks Tulsi Gabbard and Gets Absolutely Wrecked In Response appeared first on RedState.

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CNN Scrambles to Save Elizabeth Warren Right As She’s About to Be Waylaid

Westlake Legal Group TulsiGabbardAPimage-620x317 CNN Scrambles to Save Elizabeth Warren Right As She’s About to Be Waylaid tulsi gabbard Syria Politics media bias kamala harris Front Page Stories Front Page Featured Story Erin Burnett Elizabeth Warren Election democrats debate Cut Off Commercial Break CNN Allow Media Exception 2020

Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, D-Hawaii, speaks during the second of two Democratic presidential primary debates hosted by CNN Wednesday, July 31, 2019, in the Fox Theatre in Detroit. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya)

If you had any doubts about who CNN was rooting for going into the debate last night, we received the answer throughout the night. Over and over, Warren was given deference, extra time, and had her opponents cut off by the moderators.

Here’s a chart of how much more Warren got to speak compared to everyone else.

Even among the other frontrunners, Warren got almost a full 10 minutes extra vs. Biden and Sanders. That’s pretty remarkable given how absolutely boring and uncharismatic she is. But there’s a simple reason she got so much extra time. The moderators were favoring her big time.

There was no bigger example of that than this would-be exchange between Warren and Tulsi Gabbard. I say “would be” because CNN made sure it didn’t actually happen.

You’ll no doubt recall Gabbard’s ending of Kamala Harris’ campaign back in the second debate. She absolutely lit Kamala up and left her stammering over her prosecutorial record. Harris essentially collapsed going forward and is now an afterthought.

No doubt, CNN was worried she might do the same to Warren tonight and the moderators were quick to make sure it couldn’t happen. Not only did they cut off Gabbard as she was about to waylay Warren, they rushed to commercial so she couldn’t even interject and point out what they were doing.

Here’s some reaction.

You can expect this to continue. As I’ve said before, the media love Warren because she makes them feel smart. Joe Biden is currently burning down and they hate Bernie, so Warren is their choice. You’d think CNN would be a little less obvious about it, but I guess not.

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The post CNN Scrambles to Save Elizabeth Warren Right As She’s About to Be Waylaid appeared first on RedState.

Westlake Legal Group warren-scowl-300x153 CNN Scrambles to Save Elizabeth Warren Right As She’s About to Be Waylaid tulsi gabbard Syria Politics media bias kamala harris Front Page Stories Front Page Featured Story Erin Burnett Elizabeth Warren Election democrats debate Cut Off Commercial Break CNN Allow Media Exception 2020  Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com 

The Democrat Debate – Promising to Damage the Economy by Fixing What Is Not Broken

Westlake Legal Group democrat-lgbt-forum-620x317 The Democrat Debate – Promising to Damage the Economy by Fixing What Is Not Broken warren Target Races progressives Politics Liberal Elitism kamala harris Front Page Stories Front Page Featured Post elections Economy democrats democrat debate debate Cory Booker Campaigns Bernie Sanders Allow Media Exception 2020

From left, Democratic presidential candidates Sen. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., Sen. Cory Booker, D-N.J., South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg, Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., former Vice President Joe Biden, Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., Sen. Kamala Harris, D-Calif., entrepreneur Andrew Yang, former Texas Rep. Beto O’Rourke and former Housing Secretary Julian Castro are introduced Thursday, Sept. 12, 2019, before a Democratic presidential primary debate hosted by ABC at Texas Southern University in Houston. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)

In past debates, the Dems have battled the reality of a strong economy; in the latest, they pledge to cripple it.

There was a notable alteration in last night’s Democratic debate for the presidency. In past versions, the hopefuls have tried to sell us on the concept that the country is doing poorly on the economic front. Only two problems with that stratagem — data saying otherwise, and polls showing most Americans are satisfied with their economic condition.

So last night, the dozen hopefuls on stage mostly resorted to a tested talking point within their party, that being class warfare. With a laundry list of giveaway programs, the reality facing these overreaching proposals is funding them. The natural solution, of course, is confiscation of wealth to do so, therefore the night was filled with the demonization of the unfairly secure, wealthy, and vile corporations.

That the rich would be targeted so is of little surprise, but what was actually vexing was the framing of things. Those vile wealthy need to have their comeuppance so their wealth needs to be confiscated for the benefit of the working class, who are said to be struggling. The ‘’Let’s go get ‘em’’ energy was palpable, but less so was the applying of common sense to their proposals — the so-called solutions.

It kicked off laughably enough with Bernie Sanders declaring that the impeachment of President Trump is valid due to him enriching himself while in office. This from Sanders, the man who has had to alter his platform talking points to demonizing ‘’billionaires’’ now, because he is himself a millionaire, in possession of three homes, while never having a private-sector job. Of course, Bernie is not ever targeting himself when going after the rich.

One of the ways they intend to glean more money into the public coffers is to levy heavier taxes on the wealthy, and not just the economic practices of the rich. They want to tax them merely for being rich. Elizabeth Warren and others favor taxation on those sitting on wealth of a certain strata. They want to tax inactivity, in other words. That is blatant wealth confiscation, no other way to describe it.

There was talk about the number of jobs being lost to automation, and there was not a single dose of self-awareness that Democrat policies are spearheading the movement. In laughable fashion, Cory Booker brought up the need to strengthen unions, saying that unions should be supported and their reach broadened all the way down to fast-food workers. This means your solution for job loss is to impose one of the factors that has spurred the use of automated kiosks, Mr. Booker.

Other proposals were equally obtuse, in that they talk of problems and then promote ideas that would exacerbate those very problems. As the Dems always enjoy demonizing big business in favor of the worker, they always forget that it is the wealthy and the corporations who hire the workers. Numerous candidates proposed getting companies to ‘‘pay their fair share’’, following the canard that companies somehow avoid paying taxes outright. Who among these vaunted economic thinkers believes that if you impose higher costs on corporations that will lead to them opening up their payroll expenses and hiring more people?

Joe Biden followed suit, desperate not to be left out of the finger-wagging Olympics. His brilliant strategy was to suggest doubling the capital gains tax. This is the primary vehicle for business investment and expansion, so chasing away investors from companies means that it will stagnate their growth. In other words, it is a jobs killer.

The amazing aspect in all of these wealth confiscation schemes is that these Democrats fall into the same trap they always do — resting on the belief that wealth and money are static. Look at Andrew Cuomo currently bemoaning all of the wealthy who have fled his state for less confiscatory areas. Look at California that is witness to a steady migration of those who can no longer tolerate the always swelling tax burdens.

The same result will occur when you draw devil horns on the rich in this country. The wealthy are just as likely to seek out offshore tax havens or even move to less aggressively needy nations. The corporations that are forced into higher expenditures will create alternative solutions. Look at how restaurant jobs have become imperiled by the forced wages imposed by Democrat laws. Note the recent news from employees of Target stores, who were granted the $ 15-hour wage increase, only to see their working hours cut way back.

This was done so that the company would compensate that new payroll expense by saving that money in paying out fewer full-time benefits. While the Democrats are crowing about fixing supposed problems they never anticipate the result of their policies. The actual economic solutions are undertaken by those who are targeted by these new policies. The results are never as successful as their intentions.

The post The Democrat Debate – Promising to Damage the Economy by Fixing What Is Not Broken appeared first on RedState.

Westlake Legal Group democrat-lgbt-forum-300x153 The Democrat Debate – Promising to Damage the Economy by Fixing What Is Not Broken warren Target Races progressives Politics Liberal Elitism kamala harris Front Page Stories Front Page Featured Post elections Economy democrats democrat debate debate Cory Booker Campaigns Bernie Sanders Allow Media Exception 2020  Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com 

Tulsi Gabbard Slams CNN at Debate, Exposes the Incredible Incoherence of the Democrat Position On Syria

Westlake Legal Group f1c61773-57dd-4e5a-96c7-3045358f05e5-620x317 Tulsi Gabbard Slams CNN at Debate, Exposes the Incredible Incoherence of the Democrat Position On Syria tulsi gabbard Syria Politics Obama Administration mistake Kurds Joe Biden Islamists Incoherant Front Page Stories Front Page Featured Story Elizabeth Warren elections Election democrats debate CNN assad Allow Media Exception Al Qaeda 2020

While some on the right can’t stand Tulsi Gabbard because “she’s a Russian agent” and all that hysteria, I actually appreciate that she tries to make coherent, consistent points. Do I agree with her on much of anything she says on policy. No, but there’s something to be said about not talking out of both sides one’s mouth and that’s exactly what we saw on Syria from every candidate on the stage last night minus Gabbard.

Let’s take this clip as an example.

Now, while most will focus on the slam on CNN (and it is nice), I’m much more interested in the separation she puts between herself and the other Democrats. While they all struggled to incoherently explain why they spent years demanding we leave the Middle East but why we now must remain in Syria to fight a NATO ally (a sucky one, but one nonetheless until action is taken), Gabbard at least gets to the heart of the matter.

The war against Assad, just like the war in Libya, was a ridiculous miscalculation. Attempting to change the regime in Syria, while giving warm and fuzzies to those in the foreign policy establishment in Washington, only helped create and exacerbate a humanitarian crisis and setup a situation where we were either going to still have Assad or end up with Al Qaeda aligned Islamists taking power. How is that a choice we had any business sticking our nose in?

Joe Biden tried to lie about his previous position, insisting the war was never about removing Assad. A reporter from The Washington Post said he was “right.” That’s simply not true.

Regime change was the official government policy of the Obama administration for at least the first three years of the civil war in Syria. We all remember the demands for Assad to step down and the saber rattling about how he will go one way or the other. The problem was that by helping propagate that civil war, we fed into a situation that would take the lives of over 500,000 people, including 50,000 children. No one seems to want to own that. Everyone in Washington wants to pretend that it’s not possible for us to have made a bad situation worse, yet that’s exactly what we did.

I’m sure by writing that, I’ll be accused of being an Assad apologist because critical thinking isn’t allowed on much of the right when it comes to foreign policy issues. The reality is that unlike the myriad of neoconservative blue check-marks on Twitter, I actually have family in Syria. This isn’t a matter of ideology for me. It’s a matter of accepting that sometimes there are no perfect solutions and recognizing that we can indeed make matters worse. Minorities in Syria (like my family) feared Islamist rebel groups far more than they feared Assad, who before the outbreak of war was one of the more secular, benign dictators in the region.

Tulsi Gabbard is trying to make a fairly simple point that takes the entirety of what has transpired into account. Perhaps she really does just love Assad, but that’s a weak minded argument to make against her. Her position has at least been consistent. She was against getting involved from the beginning and she’s been shown to be more right than wrong on the matter. The rest of the Democrat field flailing about, now wanting to remain in Syria (and Biden even said he wants a surge last night back into Northern Syria) after initially screaming to get out, shows just how non-thinking most of these people are. At one point last night, Elizabeth Warren argued we should leave troops in Syria and then a few seconds later said she wanted to pull all troops from the Middle East. You make sense of that. We also saw contradictory bantering like this.

I could keep going about the intricacies here (see Mike Ford’s explainers for more information), but I’m certain everyone is so set in stone on this issue that it’ll make little difference. What I will say is this. The smartest among us are often the dumbest. Just because someone has “expert” on their chyron does not mean they actually know what they are talking about. The United States miscalucated on Libya and Syria. That’s the point Gabbard has been consistently making, even when the rest of her party was cheer-leading those interventions. That may not matter to the talking head sitting in an MSNBC studio today, but it should matter to the rest of us, and whether you agree with Gabbard or not, at least be intellectually honest enough to admit that the war in Syria didn’t start in 2017.

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The post Tulsi Gabbard Slams CNN at Debate, Exposes the Incredible Incoherence of the Democrat Position On Syria appeared first on RedState.

Westlake Legal Group TulsiGabbardAPimage-300x153 Tulsi Gabbard Slams CNN at Debate, Exposes the Incredible Incoherence of the Democrat Position On Syria tulsi gabbard Syria Politics Obama Administration mistake Kurds Joe Biden Islamists Incoherant Front Page Stories Front Page Featured Story Elizabeth Warren elections Election democrats debate CNN assad Allow Media Exception Al Qaeda 2020  Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com 

Biden Continues to Gaffe ‘Expodentially’ But Reveals the Real Problem With Dem Policy

Westlake Legal Group Screen-Shot-2019-10-16-at-8.14.32-AM Biden Continues to Gaffe ‘Expodentially’ But Reveals the Real Problem With Dem Policy Joe Biden Front Page Stories Front Page Featured Story Featured Post Economy democrats debate biden Allow Media Exception

Screenshot from this video

Joe Biden continued to stumble over his words and have trouble explaining himself during Tuesday’s debate.

At one point, he even created a new word, “expodentially.”

Huh? Not to mention, that there is no proof to support whatever else he seems to be trying to say there, that registration helps reduce criminal use of a gun.

Biden confused a lot of people during another segment when first he said he would cut the capital gains tax, then he said he would double it. He then also spoke about “clipping coupons in the stock market.” See if you can figure out what he’s saying here.

From Washington Examiner:

“Demonizing wealth … I talked about how you get things done. The way to get things done is take a look at the tax code right now. The idea, we have to start rewarding work, not just wealth. I would eliminate the capital gains tax,” Biden said, before immediately changing his tune. “I would raise the capital gains tax to the highest rate of 39.5%. I would double it, because, guess what? Why in God’s name should someone who is clipping coupons in the stock market make, in fact, pay a lower tax rate than someone who in fact is, like I said, who is a school teacher and a firefighter?”

“Clipping coupons in the stock market?” Some tried to interpret it.

But beyond the troubling continuing gaffes, stumbles and incoherence, there’s another problem.

When Democrats actually get around to talking about policy rather than just attacking President Donald Trump, they are so glaringly economically wrong.

They want to punish the wealthy for being wealthy, even Biden as he makes clear here. And yet that punishment, with more capital gains taxes, wealth tax and other taxes will affect all of us, would kill jobs and destroy the economy that the GOP and Trump have smartly cultivated with lower taxes, less regulation, the path that has led to our present economic boon.

That’s a lot of harm they’re promising. Expodentially.

The post Biden Continues to Gaffe ‘Expodentially’ But Reveals the Real Problem With Dem Policy appeared first on RedState.

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Winners and Losers of the Fourth Democratic Debate

Westlake Legal Group democrat-lgbt-forum-620x317 Winners and Losers of the Fourth Democratic Debate tulsi gabbard Tom Steyer Pete Buttigieg New York Times kamala harris Joe Biden Front Page Stories Featured Story Elizabeth Warren democrats Democratic Debate debate Corey Booker CNN Beto O'Rourke Bernie Sanders Amy Klobuchar 2020

From left, Democratic presidential candidates Sen. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., Sen. Cory Booker, D-N.J., South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg, Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., former Vice President Joe Biden, Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., Sen. Kamala Harris, D-Calif., entrepreneur Andrew Yang, former Texas Rep. Beto O’Rourke and former Housing Secretary Julian Castro are introduced Thursday, Sept. 12, 2019, before a Democratic presidential primary debate hosted by ABC at Texas Southern University in Houston. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)

The race to see who can go the farthest left (and also Tulsi Gabbard) got hot again Tuesday night as CNN and the New York Times co-hosted another Democratic debate.

With the candidate pool dwindling and the need for separation between the candidates increasing, the long knives came out, and strangely enough, everyone was gunning for Elizabeth Warren. Joe Biden was, for the most part, allowed to stand aside and let other candidates attack each other. How did it play out? Here are your winners and losers from the debate.

The Winners: Elizabeth Warren, Pete Buttigieg, Bernie Sanders

Elizabeth Warren, meanwhile, was seemingly everyone’s target. Biden targeted her. Kamala Harris targeted her. Tulsi Gabbard and others seemed to think that she was the candidate to beat during the debate, and so they tried. However, none of the blows really stuck. She also had some help from the producers of the debate, covering for Warren against an attack from Gabbard in particular. Her ability to withstand the attacks helped her image a bit, and she is definitely going to come out at least breaking even here.

Pete Buttigieg stood out more than I think people expected. His shot at Beto O’Rourke knocked the Texas Democrat out. He scrapped with Warren and didn’t come across as foolish as others did. He appears now to be vying for the very base that Joe Biden has, and he looked very good doing it. If Biden falters, right now it’s not difficult to see those voters moving to Buttigieg.

Bernie Sanders was very Bernie Sanders, and that did not hurt him. In fact, a little added sympathy from his heart issues late last week helped him perhaps dodge some attacks from the others on the stage. Nothing really stood out, but like Warren and Biden, “not losing” a debate with their level of support and backing them is as good as a win IF no one else stands out. And… no one did.

The Losers: Joe Biden, Beto O’Rourke, Kamala Harris

Joe Biden was, once again, seemingly left alone for the most part. Up until the end of the debate, he wasn’t really hit too hard, and even after the divisions over Medicare For All, Biden’s record in the Senate and as Vice President, and a rather chauvinist attempt to take credit for Elizabeth Warren’s time as head of the consumer finance agency she touted as a major accomplishment, Biden still stood tall. The problem is that all of this happened to Biden as an afterthought. Everyone was focused on Warren. Everyone was worried about Sanders’ health. Everyone was looking for Buttigieg and others to step up. And no one really cared how well Biden did. That is a bad thing for him.

Beto O’Rourke has a glass jaw, and everyone knows it now. When Pete Buttigieg landed a full-on blow, saying “I don’t need a lesson in courage from you,” it was pretty much over for the furriest Democratic candidate. Beto came off as weak and, when not talking about guns, he frankly appeared to lack the backbone necessary to advocate as equally for his other unconstitutional pursuits. If he doesn’t fold this week, then he’s even more foolish than we knew.

Kamala Harris really seems to think that “We should get Donald Trump banned from Twitter” is the key plank in her platform that will knock Warren out of the lead. She attacked Warren for not joining her in calling on Twitter to ban Trump from the social media site. The attack was so pathetic that you could actually hear the crowd actively not caring. Harris at this point brings nothing to the table that no one else brings and brings better.

Booker is much the same way. His responses to the questions felt flat. The excitement in his voice was shared only by him. No one seems to really think that Booker is that great of a candidate, but he still somehow manages to make the debate stages and completely underwhelm.

The Also-Rans: Andrew Yang, Tulsi Gabbard, Amy Klobuchar, Tom Steyer, Pete Buttigieg

Tom Steyer…

What on God’s green earth is Tom Steyer even doing here? He exists on this debate stage solely to make people wish he didn’t. There is no reason for him here. He’s not even a good distraction from the other candidates. He’s just… there.

The other candidates didn’t do poorly. They just didn’t have a winning performance. For most of these candidates, it’s time to pack up and go home. It’s not happening. Will they listen? Probably not.

The post Winners and Losers of the Fourth Democratic Debate appeared first on RedState.

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Live at 8 p.m. ET: Dems clash in Ohio with race in flux

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“Why should I watch a fourth debate with these losers?” you’re asking yourself. “I’ve seen this show three times already.” Eh, not really. Not like this. Nate Silver ably summarizes how much has changed for all three members of the top tier since the last debate in September:

The news cycle will intrude tonight on the usual oneupsmanship over who can offer the most free sh*t. There’s impeachment and Ukraine, of course, and all of its attendant questions: Should House Democrats vote to formally open an impeachment inquiry? Should they in fact impeach the president based on the facts already known to us? Should they throw Rudy Giuliani in a makeshift congressional brig for contempt? But there’s much more going on besides impeachment:

There’s Trump’s decision to stand down amid a Turkish onslaught against the Kurds, an uncomfortable predicament for a field of candidates that’s duty-bound to oppose him on everything on the one hand but on the other hand likes to present itself as the peace-loving alternative to GOP warmongering. How hard do they want to hit Trump for *not* leaving American troops in harm’s way?

Lesser topics may assert themselves too. Where do our candidates stand on the NBA’s stance towards China? The world’s wokest professional sports league is a natural ally of the Democratic Party; do the Democratic candidates want to jeopardize that alliance with harsh criticism?

How much abuse will Beto O’Rourke take from the competition for his recent insane demand that we strip charities that oppose gay marriage of their tax exemption? Pete Buttigieg in particular has been critical of O’Rourke, eager to use the issue to signal to wavering Biden voters that he’s a “moderate” alternative. Will the left-wing candidates like Warren and Sanders, whose fans might like the idea of punishing dissidents who oppose some LGBT rights, go after Beto?

And what about the feud between Kamala Harris and Tulsi Gabbard, who missed the third debate but returns tonight? They’re both basically asterisk candidates at this point but Harris owes Gabbard payback for wrecking her at the second debate over her record as California AG. Maybe she’ll come after her for her foot-dragging on impeachment, assuming she doesn’t spend every moment this evening trying to claw back into the top tier by attacking Elizabeth Warren. As for whom Gabbard will target, it’s anyone’s guess. She’s criticized Trump harshly for his decision in Syria. Maybe she’ll focus on him tonight in hopes of ingratiating herself to left-wing voters instead of the righties who like her but would never vote for her over Trump.

There will of course also be an awkward question for Joe Biden about what exactly Hunter Biden was doing sitting on the board of a Ukrainian company whose field he had no expertise in. Democratic strategists have spent the day wondering what the hell Hunter was doing inserting himself into the news cycle this morning on the very day of a Democratic debate, all but inviting dad’s competition to attack him about it tonight:

“Everyone else had laid off of Joe Biden,” the senior adviser added. “Now that’s all gone. I would bet $100 it’s the first question. If it is, it’s a major disaster.”

“Why even put it out there to answer for that?,” another rival campaign aide asked. “Now it’s fair game that a moderator can bring it up.”

A third aide wondered why the whole thing was necessary at all: “When I saw that I thought, why would you do that? There was no clamor to hear from Hunter directly.”

That may be the single greatest source of suspense tonight. Will anyone onstage dare align themselves with Trump by attacking Biden aggressively for serving as the Obama White House’s point man on Ukraine while Hunter Biden had business interests there? If you’re Amy Klobuchar or Cory Booker or Tulsi Gabbard, what do you have to lose?

The debate will air on CNN and all of its online platforms from 8 p.m. ET to 11 p.m. (It’ll also stream on the homepage of the New York Times, which is sponsoring the debate.) There are, by the way, no fewer than 12 candidates onstage tonight, which I believe is the largest number yet to share a single stage this year — a weird detail at a moment when the field of credible candidates is supposed to be shrinking. The October debate featured just 10 candidates, but since the DNC imposed the same qualifying requirements for this one as for that one, both Gabbard and Tom Steyer were able to make the cut in the interim. When are we going to get a debate between the top three and maybe Buttigieg and Harris, the only five candidates with even a remote chance at the nomination? It’ll have to wait for next month, if not later. But it’s coming. This evening is probably the last chance for a breakthrough for everyone except those five.

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Dems wonder: Who’s Tulsi Gabbard going to nuke at this next debate?

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My money’s on Harris — again. Although, at this stage of Harris’s decline, Gabbard going after her a second time would basically amount to desecration of a corpse.

But Gabbard owes her for that snide, hubristic line after the second debate when Harris scoffed that she was a “top-tier candidate” whereas Gabbard was a one-percenter. Months later, Gabbard is still a one-percenter — but Harris is down below five percent in the RCP average. How does Tulsi suppress the urge to gloat at her collapse, which just so happened to begin after Gabbard’s own attack on Harris’s record as California AG at that same second debate?

No, seriously, though, if anyone’s getting nuked at this next debate, it may be Gabbard herself. Possibly via a first strike by Harris.

“She’s laid down some of the toughest attacks of all of the debates, first against [Rep. Tim] Ryan, later against Harris,” said Democratic strategist Mark Longabaugh, an adviser for Bernie Sanders’ 2016 campaign, which Gabbard supported. “If I’m on the stage with her in this upcoming debate, I’d certainly want to be prepared to rebut or to deal with Tulsi Gabbard coming at me.”…

“As she proved with Kamala, she’s more than willing to say the thing other people are definitely not willing to say,” said Democratic strategist Julia Barnes, the national field director for Sanders’ 2016 campaign.

“You just have to balance that with the fact that the other half of the sh– she says is so completely off message for the party and the values that she espouses to represent,” Barnes continued, noting that Gabbard was one of the last House Democrats to support an impeachment inquiry against Trump. “Coming out against impeachment? Come on. Is she really going to stand up onstage and say that? I can only imagine that that is an invitation for 100 percent of the participants just to cut her off at the knees.”…

“I would watch for Tulsi to be one of the wild cards that blows up the debate,” a veteran Democratic presidential campaign strategist said. “If I were preparing for this debate with one of the other candidates, especially if I was Elizabeth Warren, I would be very wary of Tulsi Gabbard now being back on the stage.”

“She could even decide to put the whole Democratic presidential field on blast for politicizing the impeachment process,” Politico wonders, which would be a terrible idea for a left-wing candidate who was already waaaaay late in joining the rest of her party in calling for an impeachment inquiry into Trump’s Ukraine conduct. She reluctantly supports that inquiry now after complaining for weeks about how “divisive” impeachment would be, but that probably won’t quell lefty suspicions about her. They view her as too Trump-friendly, having once interviewed with the president about a job during the transition period after the last election and turning up sporadically on Tucker Carlson’s Fox show to commiserate about interventionism. For Gabbard to use her time onstage to scold Democrats about impeachment instead of Trump — even if it’s on “style” grounds related to politicization — would be freakishly tone-deaf in a Democratic primary at a moment when the party’s trying to convince voters that the president should be ousted.

Which is why I think Harris might go after her over it. It’s not just about repaying Gabbard for the attack at the second debate, although it’s partly about that. And it’s not just about demonstrating that Harris is a good debater after Gabbard got the best of her in that earlier exchange, although it’s partly about that too. It’s mainly about Harris trying to rebuild some buzz by hammering Trump on the trail every day, up to and including her weird crusade lately to get him banned from Twitter. If Harris wants to rebrand as the candidate who’ll take it to Trump the most aggressively in the general election, believing that that pitch will appeal to lefties in a visceral way, blasting Gabbard for being some sort of Trump shill is a succinct way to do it. I bet she will.

Meanwhile, there’s an obvious answer to the question of who Gabbard should attack if she’s looking to use what’s left of her campaign to advance her future in the party. That would be Joe Biden, a candidate whom she’s defended in the past from attacks by the likes of Harris. That’s never made sense: Gabbard is a leftist in the Bernie mold, not a centrist like Biden. And Gabbard, the hardcore isolationist, has plenty of policy ammo to use against Biden, starting with his early support for the Iraq war. Damaging Grandpa Joe at the debate would earn back some respect for her from the left who dislike her chumminess with Carlson, and it might make Elizabeth Warren view her as a valuable surrogate potentially, which could earn Gabbard a favor down the road from the likely nominee. There’s every reason for Gabbard to take Warren’s side against Biden at this point. Instead, it’s *Warren* whom she’s been critical of lately on foreign policy, notes Politico, with Gabbard recently saying of her, “I haven’t seen much come from her in the way of what kind of leadership and decision making that she would bring to that most important responsibility that the president has.”

That must be her honest opinion and she must be resolved to stating her honest opinion at all moments because there’s no strategic value to her saying that about the person who’s most likely to face Trump next fall.

Via RCP, here’s Harris recently reiterating her odd interest in Trump’s Twitter account. She has the better of the argument against Tapper here, that Twitter is within its rights to enforce its terms of service and that banning someone for condoning lawbreaking isn’t that slippery a slope, but it’s impossible to see how this pitch is the thing that’ll get her back in the race. Right, it proves that she’s willing to fight Trump on even the smallest battlefield, but all of the Democratic candidates hate Trump. (Except Gabbard, I guess.) Being the person who hates him just a teeny tiny bit more isn’t going to make her the nominee when Warren’s out there rolling out plans for a redistribution revolution.

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“Terribly divisive”: Tulsi Gabbard sounds like a no on impeachment

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Maybe her Democratic critics are right. Maybe her presidential campaign really is an audition for a Fox News show.

I kid. And when I say it sounds like she’s opposed to impeachment here, I use that term advisedly. The process will be “terribly divisive,” she says, which is true — but she doesn’t flatly commit to voting no. It would be in both her short-term and long-term interest as a Democrat to support impeachment, however reluctantly. “Long-term” in the sense that Gabbard is young, making a national name for herself, and might conceivably be a formidable presidential contender down the road — unless she alienates her party’s base forever by siding with Trump in the war to come.

“Short-term” in the sense that there’s news today about the 2020 campaign. Because she notched two percent in the latest Monmouth poll of New Hampshire, Gabbard has qualified for the next Democratic debate.

It is not yet clear whether the debate will take place over two nights, but Ms. Gabbard’s inclusion adds to that possibility. The June and July debates featured 20 candidates evenly split over two-night events; after the D.N.C. tightened its qualification requirements for the fall, the debate this month was held with 10 candidates on a single evening…

The Monmouth poll released Tuesday showed Ms. Warren and Mr. Biden atop the Democratic field in New Hampshire: Ms. Warren had 27 support, and Mr. Biden had 25 percent. Mr. Sanders finished third with 12 percent, followed by Mr. Buttigieg with 10 percent. Ms. Harris finished fifth with 3 percent support.

Congrats to her on making the cut but she’ll be in an excruciating position if she’s onstage in mid-October as the lone Democratic candidate standing who opposes impeachment at a moment when her party is in a frenzy to do it. The moderators are sure to press her about it too; even if they don’t, her pal Kamala Harris will bring it up to exact revenge for Gabbard’s withering attack on Harris’s record as AG at the second debate. What will Gabbard say in response? You can imagine how the criticism of her will be framed: “The reason impeachment is ‘terribly divisive’ is because Donald Trump, not our party, has consistently placed his own interests over the interests of the country. What do you propose to do to stop him from leaning on foreign leaders to investigate his political opponents over the next 16 months short of joining us in trying to remove him?”

Speaking of Harris and Gabbard, here’s the rest of that Monmouth poll that secured Gabbard’s place in next month’s debate. Hoo boy:

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Remember after the second debate when Harris sneered that she was “top tier” and therefore didn’t need to worry about attacks from a no-chancer like Gabbard? They’re now separated by a point in national polling in a key early state.

I’m done parsing Gabbard’s political pronouncements for strategic angles, by the way. I don’t think she has a strategy; I think she’s just speaking her mind and letting the chips fall where they may. That’ll be good for her future as a political pundit, not so good for her future as a Democratic politician.

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