• Trump Is Having Trouble with the RNC
• Clinton Is Beginning to Advertise
• AFL-CIO Endorses Clinton
• High-Ranking Reagan/Bush Official Backing Clinton
• George W. Bush Is Back in the Saddle
• John McCain Does a Full Trump
• Orlando Attacks Probably Won't Move the Needle
• Senate Races Updated
The New York Times did some investigative reporting about how Donald Trump has behaved with women in private, and it is not a pretty picture. For example, one time at a party at Mar-a-Lago, he saw a 26-year-old woman and asked her to get into a bikini he gave her. When she did so, he paraded her around the pool for everyone to gape at, saying: "That is a stunning Trump girl, isn't it?"
When Trump bought the Miss Universe Organization, he controlled a veritable stable of beautiful young women and made good use of his new acquisition. Temple Taggart, then a 21-year-old Miss Utah, recalls how he introduced himself: He kissed her on the lips. But she wasn't that special. He kissed other contestants on the lips as well, even though he was married to his second wife, Marla Maples, at the time. Trump also owned the Miss USA beauty pageant, and had the habit of having all the girls line up in skimpy outfits. Then he would divide them into two groups: those he personally found attractive and those he didn't. The girls found this exercise humiliating.
And it wasn't just the beauty pageants. Within his company, he promoted women while at the same time mocking their appearance, telling one heavyset female executive: "You like your candy." One theme seems to be constant: What Trump really cares about in women is their bodies and how they look. That is true to this day. When he wanted to put down Carly Fiorina, he didn't say: "You were a failure in business, fired by your board of directors." Instead he said: "Look at that face. Would anyone vote for that?" (V)
Since Donald Trump has no campaign organization to speak of, he is counting on the Republican National Committee to de facto run his campaign. Under these conditions, one might think Trump would constantly be making nice to Chairman Reince Priebus, or at least not antagonizing him. One would be wrong. The relationship between the two is sour and not getting better. For example, Trump promised Priebus that he would call two dozen top GOP donors. He called three and then got bored and stopped. Some people in Trump's campaign don't think the RNC is going to go all out to help Trump, and thus question why he should help the RNC.
Personal grievances also play a role here. Several weeks ago, Trump fired Rick Wiley as a result of an intramural feud between top people in the campaign. When they discovered that Wiley had been hired by the RNC to run the national field program, they were not amused. The bad blood goes right to the top. In 2012, Priebus and Mitt Romney talked multiple times every day to make sure their organizations were working well together. Priebus and Trump talk perhaps once a day and the talk is often superficial. There is little attempt to blend the campaign and RNC into a seamless team working for the same goals. The situation is not helped by Trump's insistence that the RNC not give contracts to firms that worked for Trump's primary opponents. In other words, if some firm is #1 in its area, be it polling Latinos or making radio ads or whatever, and the firm previously worked for Marco Rubio or Jeb Bush, Trump doesn't want the RNC to hire it. Such grudges don't always lead to hiring the best and the brightest. (V)
Hillary Clinton is about to begin an advertising blitz in the swing states of Colorado, Florida, Iowa, Nevada, New Hampshire, North Carolina, Ohio, and Virginia. She has $30 million in the bank right now and is expected to raise over $1 billion before November. The ads will cost millions of dollars for a 6-week ad campaign. Here is the initial breakdown of where the money is going. In each case only certain media markets are being targeted. Very likely the campaign first does extensive polling in each market, then runs the ad, then polls again in 6 weeks to see what happened. Based on what the campaign learns, a second round of ads is run, trying to improve the effectiveness of the ads. Campaigns, especially Clinton's, are very data driven like this.
One of the ads shows Trump saying divisive things while Clinton says she wants to bring people together. Another Clinton ad is a short biography, mostly emphasizing that she has spent her whole life working to help women and children. She clearly wants to improve on her abysmal unfavorables.
In contrast, Trump has only $2.4 million in the bank and is not planning to run any ads in the near future. In fact, he is not even campaigning in the swing states. He is spending all his time in deep red states like Texas and Georgia trying to raise money so he can run ads. The danger for him is by the time he is on the air, Clinton will have already convinced people that he is an arrogant, divisive bully who cares only about himself and it may be too late to change that perception. Furthermore, he doesn't believe much in data, so the whole idea of picking a number of test markets, polling them, running ads, and polling again seems like a waste of money to him. (V)
The AFL-CIO is the largest labor organization in the United States, with 12.5 million members. They usually make an endorsement during primary season, though this year they decided not to choose between Hillary Clinton and Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT). Now that primary season is over, and we have a presumptive nominee, they have thrown their support behind Clinton in no uncertain terms, describing the election as, "a stark choice between an unstoppable champion for working families and an unstable charlatan who made his fortune scamming them."
Making the announcement was AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka, who took time to praise Sanders before moving on to a promise that the organization would wage "a sophisticated, targeted ground campaign" on Clinton's behalf. Their website is already recruiting both donors and volunteers. Clinton was grateful for the support, of course, and immediately reiterated her promise to work on a higher minimum wage, as well as infrastructure improvements. Donald Trump was disdainful, taking to Twitter to declare that, "the leadership of the AFL-CIO has made clear that it no longer represents American workers." The voting process (Clinton received an overwhelming majority of members' votes) would seem to belie that assertion. Trump's words also remind us, once again, that he really does not see the value in having a ground game. He may come to regret that mistake. (Z)
That the AFL-CIO is backing the Democrat for president is no surprise. But the decision of Richard Armitage, assistant secretary of defense under Ronald Reagan and deputy secretary of state under George W. Bush to support Clinton over Trump is. Armitage, a retired Navy officer, said that Trump doesn't appear to be a Republican and he doesn't want to learn about the issues. In the coming months, additional conservative former national security officials may state their support for Clinton. These are people who really understand the issues and consequences of Trump doing the things he says he will do and don't them like at all. Armitage was the person who outed CIA agent Valerie Plame after her husband, Joe Wilson, publicly challenged the Bush adminiistration's claims about Saddam Hussein having weapons of mass destruction. (V)
By all accounts, former president George W. Bush does not think a lot of Donald Trump—even when Trump is not attacking Bush's policies and legacy. Bush hasn't endorsed Trump and probably won't. What he is doing, however, is quietly raising money for endangered Senate Republicans such as Sen. Roy Blunt (R-MO), Sen. Rob Portman (R-OH), and Sen. Ron Johnson (R-WI). It is almost as if Bush secretly hopes Hillary Clinton is elected president, but with a Republican Senate to block everything she does.
At the end of his presidency, Bush was completely toxic, even in his own party. But compared to Trump, Bush is looking better every day. As decider, Bush may have made some poor decisions, but he certainly never attacked immigrants, Muslims, or women. In fact, his closest confidant was a woman: Condoleezza Rice. It's an odd way to burnish your legacy, but here we are. Perhaps some future president will engage in inappropriate behavior with a 17-year-old intern and then people will start saying about Bill Clinton: "At least Monica was a consenting adult." (V)
Apparently, Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) does not know or does not care about the poor response that Donald Trump has received for his response to the Orlando shootings. In an effort to shore up his right flank, given the primary pressure he's facing from tea partier Kelli Ward, McCain pulled a Full Trump on Thursday, declaring:
Barack Obama is directly responsible for it [Orlando] because when he pulled everybody out of Iraq, al Qaeda went to Syria, became ISIS, and ISIS is what it is today thanks to Barack Obama's failures—utter failures, by pulling everybody out of Iraq, thinking that conflicts end just because you leave. So the responsibility for it lies with President Barack Obama and his failed policies.
This is a pretty outlandish statement, particularly from someone who has served on the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs. First of all, giving Obama direct responsibility is exceedingly offensive and problematic—so much so that McCain was blasted from all parts of the political spectrum and was later forced to apologize and explain that he "misspoke." Second, ISIS and al Qaeda are not remotely the same entity, and in fact often disagree on both goals and tactics. Third, ISIS came into existence in 1999, well before Barack Obama was president, and in fact before the United States even invaded Iraq (much less withdrew).
As the Washington Post's Chris Cillizza observes, McCain cannot simultaneously distance himself from Donald Trump (which he has tried to do) and at the same time adopt the rhetoric of Trumpism. Indeed, this really highlights the challenge that the Republicans' 2008 presidential nominee is facing: He's got viable challengers from both the right and the left, and because Arizona's primary isn't until August 30th, he won't really have time to pivot rightward in primary season and then leftward in general election season. Whatever he says now goes right into the oppo research file of Rep. Ann Kirkpatrick (D-AZ), so he needs to make a decision about whose votes he is more worried about: the conservatives who will decide the primary, or the moderates and independents who will decide the general election. (Z)
The conventional wisdom is that terrorist attacks help the Republicans, who are perceived as more forceful than Democrats. However, a close reading of the polls after the Paris and San Bernardino attacks doesn't bear that out. The polls really didn't move much after them and probably won't move much this time, either. (V)
Our overview of the Senate races has been updated. Among the highlights:
- We now know the Republican candidates in Oregon—Mark Callahan—and in
Vermont—Scott Milne. Milne has a slightly better chance of making a run than
does Callahan, but really they are both dead men walking.
- We also know the Democratic candidates in Iowa—Patty Judge—and
in Georgia—Jim Barksdale. They are both facing well-heeled incumbents,
and yet are both giving their opponents reason to be nervous.
- Jungle primaries make strange bedfellows: California Rep. Loretta Sanchez (D) has
hired a veteran GOP operative to figure out how to get more Republican votes in
her race against more liberal Attorney General Kamala Harris (D).
- Sen. Mark Kirk (R-IL) will have to go it alone as he works to defend his seat
against Rep. Tammy Duckworth (D-IL). The GOP has turned its back on a candidate they
regard as a sinking ship.
- They're arguing about the Orlando shootings in Pennsylvania, heroin addiction in
New Hampshire, white supremacist slumlords in Wisconsin, and Donald Trump everywhere.
Click on the Senate image above for the full rundowns. (Z)Email a link to a friend or share:
---The Votemaster and Zenger
Jun16 Negative Views of Trump Are Back To an All-Time High
Jun16 Politico Makes an Initial Electoral-College Map
Jun16 Trump May Have a Money Problem
Jun16 Sanderscrats Not Doing Well
Jun16 Union Leaders See No Migration of Workers To Trump
Jun16 Rubio Senate Run Getting More Likely
Jun16 Senate To Vote on Gun Control Measures
Jun16 Heck Wins Nevada Senatorial Primary
Jun15 Clinton Takes Washington, D.C.
Jun15 Obama, Trump Blast One Another
Jun15 Clinton Leads Trump in Latest National Poll
Jun15 Washington Post Responds To Trump's Ban
Jun15 Trump Stands by WaPo Ban
Jun15 Russian Hackers May Have Stolen Democrats' Trump File
Jun15 Guns as a Wedge Issue Helps Trump
Jun15 Gingrich Wants to Bring Back HUAC
Jun14 Two Candidates, Two Very Different Responses to the Orlando Shooting
Jun14 The Final Primary Will Be Held Today, in D.C.
Jun14 Is Debbie Wasserman Schultz Finished?
Jun14 Tulsi Gabbard's Petition to Eliminate Superdelegates Gaining Traction
Jun14 Voter Registration Laws Are Not Enforced
Jun14 States That Could Swing in 2016
Jun14 Rubio Pressed to Reconsider Running for Senate
Jun14 Trump Turns 70 Today
Jun13 Orlando Shootings Already a Political Football
Jun13 The Reality of Having Trump's Finger on the Nuclear Trigger
Jun13 Trump's Business Career Under Increasing Scrutiny
Jun13 Trump Lists Dream Team of Convention Speakers
Jun13 Sanders to Meet With Clinton
Jun13 Massachusetts Could Increase Warren's Chance of Being Veep
Jun13 Does Clinton Have a Millennial Problem?
Jun12 Trump Calls for GOP Unity
Jun12 Trump Fires Back at Warren
Jun12 Trump Campaign Has Money Problems
Jun12 Clinton Thinks She Can Win Texas
Jun12 Clinton Releases Trump U. Commercial
Jun12 Jackson Endorses Clinton
Jun12 Gabbard Is Going After the Superdelegates
Jun12 Obama's Tax Policy Hits the Rich Where it Hurts
Jun11 Clinton Planning How to Deploy Obama
Jun11 Sanders Meeting With Campaign Insiders This Weekend
Jun11 How Honest Is Hillary Clinton?
Jun11 How Honest Is Google?
Jun11 RNC Will Run Trump's Campaign Operation
Jun11 Koch Brothers Won't Support or Attend the Republican Convention
Jun11 There's Still Talk of Dumping Trump
Jun11 Evangelical Group Supports Trump
Jun11 Trump Wants Warren as Hillary's Veep
Jun11 McConnell Says Trump Doesn't Understand the Issues