• Trump's Veeps
• Bob Dole Speaks Out
• Trump's Delusions of Competence
• Bernie Sanders Lashes Out at DNC, Gets Smacked Down
• McAuliffe Launches PR Offense To Defuse Probe
• Libertarians Sense An Opportunity
• Weld Is Not Received Warmly at the Libertarian Party Convention
Donald Trump once ran a real-estate school called Trump University that charged tuition of up to $35,000 while promising students that they would be getting classes from real-estate experts handpicked by Trump and would get rich after graduation. All but one of the "experts" never even met Trump and the things they taught were easily available on the Internet for free. Few students got rich, and a number of them sued. Cases are pending in New York and California, accusing the university and Trump of defrauding the students. Yesterday federal judge Gonzalo Curiel ordered Trump to release documents related to the case to the Washington Post, which had requested them.
Trump has loudly objected to the judge's ruling, saying that his Latino heritage made him biased against Trump. Stay tuned for more on the case as the Post gets and analyzes the documents. (V)
Speculation about who will be Donald Trump's running mate will continue until he makes an announcement. Once he tells us who it is, speculation will start about why he picked that person. Chris Cillizza at the Washington Post has come up with a short list, based on his conversations with Republican insiders. However, it should be noted that they don't know anything about the matter. Nobody does (well, maybe Ivanka does). Here is the list.
- Joni Ernst: The first-term senator from Iowa is a rising star, a fresh face, and well liked
- Bob Corker: The veteran Tennessee senator is someone who knows how to govern and likes to get results
- Chris Christie: He is a tough guy who was one of the first politicians to endorse Trump
- Mary Fallin: A conservative representative before becoming governor of Oklahoma might fit the bill
- Newt Gingrich: With an ego the size of Georgia and three marriages under his belt, he is Trump-lite
If Trump has any interest in winning over voters who don't already support him, Gingrich and Christie are poor choices. The establishment favorite is clearly Corker, a popular and effective senator. While the women might pull some votes from Hillary Clinton, neither one can make a strong case for being presidential material, especially not Ernst, who ran for the Senate on a campaign of cutting pork, something she said she was uniquely qualified to do because she grew up on a farm castrating hogs. But with Trump, anything is possible. (V)
Former U.S. Senator and GOP presidential candidate Bob Dole sat for an interview on Saturday, and shared his views on the current race. In no uncertain terms, he called on Republicans to unify behind Donald Trump. He also said that the best available vice presidential candidate is his former colleague, Newt Gingrich.
Perhaps this is a sign of good things to come for Trump. Dole is the Republican with the most stature to give his full-throated support to The Donald, and perhaps his example will eventually win over some of the other holdouts. On the other hand, perhaps it suggests that an aging politico has lost his touch. His demand that Trump apologize to Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) hints in that direction, as does his suggestion that the GOP nominee still has plenty of time to win over women and minorities. Or maybe Dole is just trying to ensure that he no longer has the worst defeat for a post-Goldwater Republican presidential candidate on his resume. (Z)
A number of pundits have raised questions about the extent of Donald Trump's financial acumen, and now the Nobel laureate economist Paul Krugman has penned a particularly solid specimen of this genre.
Krugman starts by reviewing the now well-worn notion that Trump may not actually be all that successful a businessman. The lack of tax returns and other specific information make it hard to form firm conclusions, but there is some reason to suspect that Trump would have done just as well parking the $200 million he inherited from his father in an index fund as he has done with his real estate and other businesses.
The meat of Krugman's case, however, is that whatever kind of businessman Trump may be, it does not make him suited to craft an economic policy. The one wildly successful businessman to become president was Herbert Hoover, and his economic policy led to the Great Depression. Further, those businessmen who presume to comment on economic policy tend to think that the United States is like a big corporation, which it most certainly is not. Just for starters, the CEO of a corporation can fire anyone who won't heel but the President can't fire Congress or the courts. Trump, of course, falls victim to this way of thinking all the time. And so, concludes Krugman, "the idea that Donald Trump, of all people, knows how to run the U.S. economy is ludicrous." (Z)
Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) suspects that he's not going to get a fair shake from Gov. Dannel P. Malloy (D-CT) and former Democratic representative Barney Frank, who will be heading, respectively, the rules and platform committees of the Democratic National Convention in July. Sanders is almost certainly right about this, particularly in the case of Frank, who has written editorials declaring that the Vermont Senator is not a good presidential candidate and is not a real progressive.
Sanders' problem is that "he doesn't like me" is not a basis for forcing a change. So, his campaign filed a complaint that the appointments of Malloy and Frank violated Democratic Party rules. The complaint did not specify what exact rules had been broken, however, and so the Party promptly rejected the complaint. Undoubtedly, this chess game is going to continue for at least a few more weeks, and maybe a few more months. Meanwhile, Hillary Clinton is holding her breath that neither side does too much damage while the process plays out. (Z)
Gov. Terry McAuliffe (D-VA) is starting a PR offensive claiming he has done nothing wrong despite the FBI investigation into his campaign financing. McAuliffe is a close personal friend of the Clintons and has numerous professional ties with them as well, including chief fundraiser. He would surely be considered for a cabinet job in a Clinton administration. In 1999, McAuliffe, who is wealthy from his earlier ventures in banking, real estate, and other businesses, helped the Clintons buy a home in Chappaqua, NY, so Hillary could run for the Senate from New York. At the time, the Clintons were deeply in debt due to their legal bills, so McAuliffe guaranteed their mortgage. In 2000, Bill Clinton appointed McAuliffe as chairman of the Democratic National Committee. Nothing illegal here, but the Clintons and McAuliffe are joined at the hip and any damage to him is damage to them.
The FBI is looking into a donation of $120,000 that a Chinese businessman, Wang Wenliang, gave to McAuliffe's gubernatorial campaign. Foreign nationals are not allowed to contribute to U.S. election campaigns. However, McAuliffe is claiming that Wang has a green card and that makes the donation legal (V).
The Libertarian Party meets in Orlando this weekend to choose its nominees for President and Vice President, and members are feeling pretty good about their chances to make some noise in 2016. Recognizing that one of the major parties is going to be saddled with a nominee who makes many voters unhappy, they think they will be able to attract a lot of defectors to the LP banner. Interestingly, however, it appears the party that they're thinking of is the Democrats, and not the Republicans. LP leaders see much in common between their platform and that of Bernie Sanders, including decriminalization of drugs, opposition to the Patriot Act, and a generally dovish approach to foreign policy.
It's an interesting thought, but also a delusional one. To start with, while there are indeed similarities between Sanders and the LP, there are also some massive differences. Sanders wants to expand government regulation of the economy, they want to reduce it. He favors higher income taxes, they favor lower ones. He wants college to be free (as do many of his supporters), they want government out of the higher education business entirely. Further, Sanders supporters are not going to move en masse to a third party unless their leader tells them to do so. And the Vermont Senator has made very clear that he is not going to do anything that significantly increases the chances of Donald Trump's being elected president. The LP may peel off some members of the red team, but with the blue team they are almost certainly barking up the wrong tree. (Z)
As mentioned above, the Libertarian Party is holding its nominating convention this weekend. The likely nominee, former New Mexico governor Gary Johnson, wants former Massachusetts governor William Weld as his running mate. However, Weld is getting a chilly reception from the delegates. Part of the problem is that his conversion to Libertarianism is very recent and part of it is that some of his ideas—such as staying in the United Nations—are anathema to the LP. While the convention could yet choose him, another candidate, New York business consultant Larry Sharpe, is also running for the job. (V)Email a link to a friend or share:
---The Votemaster and Zenger
May28 Clinton Leading Trump among Middle-Income Rust-Belt Voters
May28 Cruz Vows to Fight Trump on the Platform
May28 What Trump's Energy Speech Tells Us
May28 Trump's Managerial Style Is Becoming a Problem
May28 Trump Collecting Poisonous Endorsements
May28 Clinton Broadens Her Money Network
May28 There Is a Lot of Bad Political Analysis Right Now
May28 Republicans Continue Putting Pressure on Rubio To Run for Reelection
May27 Trump Clinches the Republican Nomination
May27 Trump Wants White, Male Veep
May27 Sanders and Clinton Almost Tied in California
May27 Sanders Not Actually Winning True Independents
May27 Trump to Top Aide: You're Fired
May27 About that Trump-Sanders Debate...
May27 Maybe the Presidency Isn't the Toughest Job in the World
May27 Fundamentals Still Favor Clinton in the General Election
May27 How Clinton Could Lose
May26 State Dept. Report Criticizes Clinton on Email Server
May26 Trump Won't Get To Write the Republican Platform
May26 Trump Lashes Out at Susana Martinez
May26 Internal Struggles Roil Trump's Campaign
May26 When Should You Start Paying Attention to the National Polls?
May26 Wasserman Schultz Has a Fight on Her Hands
May26 GOP Wants Rubio to Run for Senate Again
May26 Ryan Continues to Say He Is Not Ready to Endorse Trump
May25 Clinton Crushing Sanders in California
May25 Ohio Judge Stymies Republican Plans
May25 Libertarian Party Could Hurt Trump
May25 Unions Are Split on Which Candidate They Prefer
May25 Why Is Hillary Clinton So Disliked?
May25 Wasserman Schultz May Soon Be Out as DNC Chair
May25 Starr Apologizes
May25 Trump Scoring Some Big Donors
May25 There May Be Another Debate After All
May24 Sanders' Success Has Little To Do with His Policies
May24 Pro-Sanders Lawyers Sue California over Ballot Procedures
May24 Final Democratic Candidates' Debate is Dead
May24 Corker Meets Trump but Denies He Is Being Vetted for the Veep Slot
May24 Ryan Says Trump Has a Chance
May24 Univision Draws 100,000 Latinos to Voter Registration Events
May24 Asian-Americans Don't Like Trump
May24 Kim Jong-un Doesn't Like Trump, Either
May24 McAuliffe May Be in Hot Water
May23 Bernie Sanders Supports Debbie Wasserman Schultz's Primary Opponent
May23 Early National Polls of the General Election Are Likely Misleading
May23 Trump and Cruz Win More Delegates
May23 Clinton Is Willing To Talk To Sanders When He Is Ready
May23 Trump's Connections to Organized Crime Are Starting To Become an Issue
May23 Clinton Foundation May Become Campaign Issue