• Trump Campaign Extremely Low on Cash
• Man at Rally Was Trying to Assassinate Trump
• Republican Party Is at an All-time Low in Bloomberg Poll
• Senate Rejects Gun-Control Measures
• Sanders and Clinton May Find Common Ground on Health Care
• Warren "Intrigued" by Vice Presidency
• Clinton Plans to Go After Millennials by Age Group
• Sanders Is on a Collision Course with the Congressional Black Caucus
• Clarence Thomas May Retire Next Year
In a surprise move yesterday, Donald Trump canned his campaign manager, Corey Lewandowski. There had been friction for months between Lewandowski and strategist Paul Manafort and the situation was becoming untenable. Also a factor was that Lewandowski had been planting negative stories about Trump's son-in-law, Jared Kushner, with media outlets. Kushner's wife, Ivanka Trump, didn't like that one bit and made her feelings known to Dad.
Normally, when a candidates fires the campaign manager, it is a sign that the candidate realizes he has a big problem. In this case, though, the candidate may or may not realize that. The candidate surely knew that Lewandowski and Manafort have been working at cross purposes for months, with one of them hiring someone and the other one trying to fire the new hire. Also, their approaches to strategy are completely incompatible. Lewandowski is of the "Let Trump be Trump" school of thought, accepting all of Trump's random comments with glee, no matter how much flak he gets from the rest of the world. Manafort is a professional who wants to run a much more conventional campaign. Whether Trump lets him do that remains to be seen. (V)
We and others have already noted, several times, that Donald Trump is being completely outclassed in the area of raising money. However, now we know exactly how bad it is, as June 20 is the first FEC deadline since the two nominees acquired presumptive status. In the last month, Hillary Clinton has collected $26.4 million, leaving her campaign with $42 million on hand. Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) tallied $15.6 million, and has $9.2 million on hand. Trump, by contrast, raised $3.1 million, and has a mere $1.3 million on hand. But at least Trump is spending his money wisely, right? Maybe not so much. The Washington Post reports that he spent over $1 million in May reimbursing family members and paying his own companies.
The general narrative surrounding Trump's financial choices is that he's just (a) being naive, or (b) doing it "his way," or (c) naively doing it "his way." However, as we gain more specific information, particularly the news about how much money he has effectively funneled back to himself and his family, it begins to raise the question: Is he really trying to win here? There is a widespread suspicion that he doesn't really want to trade his lifestyle as a high-powered businessman for the White House, and maybe, just maybe, he's engaging in some self-sabotage. (Z)
Quiz: Besides being notable demagogues, what did Adolf Hitler, Benito Mussolini, Huey Long, and George Wallace have in common? The answer is that they were all the targets of assassination attempts (two successful, two not). This is not entirely coincidental; when a politician disregards the rule of law, and encourages hatred/violence against a group of people (or many groups), it may not be only their followers that get the message.
This brings us to Donald Trump, who certainly has demagogic tendencies, and who has now been the target of his first assassination plot. It wasn't much of a plot: A 19-year-old who wanted to kill Trump tried to grab a policeman's gun, and was quickly wrestled to the ground. Still, another incident or two like this and Trump may choose to adjust his tone, or else may find himself losing enthusiasm for the idea of becoming president (if he has any enthusiasm to begin with). At the same time, it's a reminder that the Secret Service—which, it must be noted, is very good at its job—will have its work cut out keeping a President Trump safe. (Z)
It looks like RNC Chairman Reince Priebus' worst nightmare is coming true: Donald Trump is dragging down the entire Republican Party. A new Bloomberg poll run by J. Ann Selzer shows that just 32% of Americans view the Republican Party favorably, the lowest number since Bloomberg began asking that question in 2009. In contrast, the Democratic Party is viewed favorably by 49% of Americans. Numbers like this mean trouble not only for the top of the ticket, but especially downballot. Most people don't known much about their representative and even less about their state senator, but they do know the difference between (D) and (R) and the Republican Party's unfavorable showing could cost the party in Congress and in state races. (V)
Last week, Sen. Chris Murphy (D-CT) led a 15-hour filibuster in order to compel the Senate to vote on several gun-control measures. On Monday, the votes took place. And predictably, all four measures were defeated, with the vote breaking along party lines.
Murphy and other Democrats in the Senate are undoubtedly not surprised by this outcome. The entire ballet was choreographed solely for the purpose of campaign messaging. The Democrats will now have more evidence for painting themselves as the party of sensible gun-control measures, hemmed in by the NRA and its GOP cronies. The Republicans, by contrast, will present themselves as defenders of the Second Amendment, searching for "real solutions that can help keep Americans safer from the threat of terrorism," per remarks by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) on Monday. The question is, what way is the American public leaning? In the short term, there is no doubt that support for more aggressive gun control measures is very high. However, the Republicans know that such sentiments tend to fade as the Orlandos and the San Bernardinos and the Newtowns get further and further in the rear-view mirror. Will that trend continue to hold in 2016? We should learn more in November. (Z)
Hillary Clinton is not going to accept the plan Bernie Sanders has for a single-payer national health-care system. However, if Sanders sets his sights a little lower, he might make progress. The Affordable Care Act allows states to run experiments in health care, including a government-run health care system that competes with private insurance. That is something Clinton might go for: letting states experiment with alternatives to private insurance. If they work out well, other states may adopt them and the idea may snowball. Sanders has to decide—and very soon—what he wants from Clinton and his leverage gets less by the day. Recent polls are putting her ahead of Trump by 6-8 points in various polls, and she may soon decide that he is a grumpy old man and she doesn't need his help, especially since Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) is firmly in her camp. (V)
Sen. Elizabeth Warren has been running the full "I would like to be Veep" playbook. She's shown off her attack dog skills, doing battle with Donald Trump on Twitter. She's thrown her support behind Hillary Clinton. She's pressed the flesh and made nice with Clinton's campaign team. Now, she has declared that she is "intrigued" by the Vice Presidency. Note that this is 180-degrees away from the Full Sherman: "I will not accept if nominated and will not serve if elected."
Warren's overtures create potential dilemmas for two people. The first of these is Hillary Clinton. If Clinton truly prefers some other candidate, say Sen. Tim Kaine (D-VA), it's going to be very hard for her to move forward with that pick. Rejecting Warren would widen the single-biggest current rift in the Democratic Party, at a time when Clinton is trying desperately to heal that very rift (see below). The other person who has a dilemma is Bernie Sanders (as noted above). The moment that Warren is named VP (assuming she is), his leverage drops to something close to zero. Warren + President Obama should easily be able to deliver just as many progressive voters as the Vermont Senator can. So, he had better get some concessions while the getting is good. (Z)
Modern elections are mostly determined by which party is better at turning out its base, rather than which one can sign up more fence sitters. Younger voters are notoriously uninterested in voting, so Hillary Clinton is going to target different age groups with different pitches. In particular, she is going to take aim at high school students who will be 18 by election day, no doubt touting her plan to allow students to graduate from college with no debt. College students will get a different pitch, possibly about reproductive rights. Young professionals might hear about her ideas about family leave and child care. Clinton has hired a number of youth outreach specialists to get her messages out to the millennials. Some of these specialists worked for Bernie Sanders until recently. President Obama is sure to hit the college circuit, where he was a big success in 2008. (V)
One of the things Bernie Sanders dearly wants is to abolish the superdelegates at the Democratic National Convention. This puts him on a collision course with the Congressional Black Caucus, which very much wants to keep that system. The group recently voted unanimously to vigorously oppose any attempt to change the rules to eliminate superdelegates. These members of Congress feel that eliminating superdelegates will reduce the number of black voices at the convention. The CBC is also opposed to open primaries, since most black voters are Democrats and allowing independents (nearly all of whom are white) to vote in Democratic primaries would dilute the influence of black voters. Sanders' push to eliminate superdelegates and have open primaries appears to be yet another situation in which he doesn't seem to be attuned to what black voters want. (V)
There have been reports that Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas may hang up his robe next year. His wife has denied the story, but it is hard to tell whether it is true or not, as leaks like this are routinely denied until they are confirmed. Thomas is obviously aware that if Hillary Clinton is elected president, the best the conservatives can hope for is that the Senate confirms Merrick Garland after the election. If that doesn't happen, Clinton will surely name a young justice far to the left of the late Antonin Scalia. Also, if Clinton wins, Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg is almost certain to retire soon and probably Justice Stephen Breyer as well. Thus, Thomas would be in the minority with five young justices appointed by Democratic presidents on the opposite side of almost every decision.
Thomas is also no doubt aware that his colleague, Justice Anthony Kennedy, will be 80 next year. So if Clinton gets to replace Scalia, Ginsburg, Breyer, and Kennedy, Thomas will be in three-man minority all the time and might decide that is no fun at all. He doesn't appear to like his job and has asked only one question during oral arguments in the past 10 years. His colleagues pepper the lawyers with questions constantly and seem to be enjoying themselves as they watch the lawyers squirm. (V)Email a link to a friend or share:
---The Votemaster and Zenger
Jun20 Trump Isn't Really Running a Campaign
Jun20 Covering Donald Trump
Jun20 Trump at Odds with NRA
Jun20 Trump at Odds with Bush (Again)
Jun20 It's All about the Electoral College
Jun20 Senate Could Go Either Way
Jun20 Is the House in Play?
Jun20 Pressure Growing for Changes to Democrats' Nomination Process
Jun20 Profanity Reigns
Jun19 Will Anyone Be Willing To Be Trump's Running Mate?
Jun19 Republicans Fear that the Election Will Be a Referendum on Trump
Jun19 The Republican Cold War
Jun19 Trump: Bernie Is Crazy As a Bed Bug
Jun19 Trump Needs $100,000
Jun19 Charles Koch Gives $3 million to the GOP but Not To Trump
Jun19 Doctors Will Protest Trump in Cleveland
Jun19 Warren Stops By Clinton Headquarters
Jun19 Clinton Welcomes a Grandson
Jun18 Republican Delegates Working on a Plan to Dump Trump
Jun18 RNC Names Rules Committee Chairwoman
Jun18 Can Trump Dig Himself Out of the Hole He Is In?
Jun18 Republican Insiders Want Newt as Veep
Jun18 Cross Two Names Off the Veep Lists
Jun18 Sanders Signals Willingness to Endorse Clinton
Jun18 All Signs Point to a Rubio Run
Jun18 Trump TV Is Not Going To Be on a Screen Near You Any Time Soon
Jun17 Donald Trump Misbehaved with Women in Private
Jun17 Trump Is Having Trouble with the RNC
Jun17 Clinton Is Beginning to Advertise
Jun17 AFL-CIO Endorses Clinton
Jun17 High-Ranking Reagan/Bush Official Backing Clinton
Jun17 George W. Bush Is Back in the Saddle
Jun17 John McCain Does a Full Trump
Jun17 Orlando Attacks Probably Won't Move the Needle
Jun17 Senate Races Updated
Jun16 Top Republicans Condemn Trump's Remarks on Orlando
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