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TODAY'S HEADLINES (click to jump there; use your browser's "Back" button to return here)
      •  Taylor and Kent Testify
      •  The Case for and against Impeaching Donald Trump
      •  Impeachment Could Cost the GOP
      •  The Voters Have Already Made Up Their Minds
      •  Giuliani Writes an Op-ed Condemning the Impeachment Inquiry
      •  Trump Suffers Another Taxing Defeat
      •  Another Look at Those New York Times Polls
      •  Warren Is Ramping Up in California
      •  Patrick Makes it Official

Taylor and Kent Testify

Yesterday, diplomats Bill Taylor and George Kent spent 6 hours in the spotlight testifying before Congress and the American people. It started out with the usual grandstanding. Rep. Elise Stefanik (R-NY) wanted to call up Hunter Biden to testify. Chairman Adam Schiff (D-CA) told her, yeah, maybe some day, but probably not as long as I am chairman. After that, it got more serious.

Taylor's opening statement contained new information on the Ukraine plot. He said that one of the staffers at the American embassy in Kiev (whom he later identified as David Holmes), was having lunch with EU Ambassador Gordon Sondland on July 26—just one day after the notorious Volodymyr Zelensky call—when Sondland called Donald Trump on his cell phone. The volume was set very high and Holmes overheard Trump, who asked about the investigations. After the call, Holmes asked Sondland what Trump thought of Ukraine. Sondland replied that Trump cares more about the investigations of Biden than about Ukraine.

Schiff is a smart guy, so he has already scheduled testimony from Holmes on Friday, behind closed doors. Republicans are sure to try to paint Holmes as a partisan Democrat, but there is a problem with that. In 2014, the State Dept. gave Holmes the William R. Rivkin Award for speaking up against the Obama administration's Afghanistan policy. And if Holmes reports that he personally heard Trump talk to Sondland and then Sondland said Trump cares about Biden, not Ukraine, then we have a first-hand source, not a second-hand source like Taylor. Trump also claims he barely knows Sondland, so having someone report that he personally heard Trump talk to Sondland on the phone would pretty much end that defense. The President also claimed, late Wednesday, that he has no recollection of the call, and says that it never happened. Of course, as this whole situation has taught us, presidential phone calls are very well documented. It should not be difficult to prove that the call took place, and Trump's already shaky credibility on this matter would take another major hit.

Anyhow, once Taylor was done with his opening statement, including the new revelation, Schiff and ranking member Devin Nunes (R-CA) made their opening statements. Next, Democratic counsel Daniel Goldman systematically questioned both diplomats for 45 minutes, getting them to explain what they knew about the case. When Republican counsel Steve Castor got his 45 minutes of fame, he spent most of it asking the two witnesses what they knew about Hunter Biden. Castor was clearly trying to get them to say that, indeed, Biden is a bad dude and Trump was deeply concerned about the rule of law in the Ukraine if such a dude could get off scot-free, despite the complete lack of evidence that Biden did anything wrong. Did Biden take advantage of the fact that his dad was vice president? Of course he did, but that is not a crime. Unfortunately for Castor, Taylor and Kent kept saying they didn't know anything about Biden or the Ukrainian gas business or the company (Burisma) on whose board Biden sat.

The only noteworthy event during this phase was when Taylor complained about the "irregular channel" in Ukraine, meaning Energy Secretary Rick Perry, special envoy Kurt Volker, and Sondland. Castor asked: "It's not as outlandish as it could be, is that correct." Taylor agreed it could plausibly have been more outlandish. But being a serious guy, he didn't say, "Well, yes, Kim Kardashian, Bernie Madoff, and Tiger Woods would have been even more outlandish."

Taylor repeatedly made the point that withholding military aid from Ukraine is exactly what Russia wants. Some of the Democrats also made this point, but they didn't go as far as saying Trump is Russian President Vladimir Putin's useful idiot.

At one point, Taylor also talked about a meeting among American officials in which Sondland brought up the investigations. At that point, NSA John Bolton called it a "drug deal," and ended the meeting. Democrats would dearly like to hear from Bolton directly, but he is probably going to try to stall until after his book is out next fall. However, if the courts rule that people must obey congressional subpoenas or go to prison, he might change his mind.

While all this was going on, Trump tried to project confidence and said he had no time to watch the hearings. Nevertheless, he found time to tweet about them all day. Literally dozens and dozens of tweets, first a wave of messages written by him, and then an avalanche of retweets of supporters' tweets and Fox News videos. The White House staff also inundated Congressional Republicans with e-mails, at the rate of 6-7 every hour. The members were not pleased to be spammed like this.

The mere fact that two active diplomats went before Congress testifying under oath against a sitting president, against his explicit orders, is unprecedented. Who knows what future hearings will bring, as this phase of the inquiry unfolds? Likely, we're looking at about two more weeks of this. Then, by the Thanksgiving recess, the Intelligence Committee staff may begin drafting a report to the Judiciary Committee, outlining grounds for impeachment. Whether the Judiciary Committee will hold its own hearings isn't known yet, but the final outcome—articles of impeachment—is a near certainty. The full House will probably approve the articles by the end of this year, setting up a trial in the Senate in January.

Or maybe not. Any senator could make a motion to dismiss the case. Then there would be a vote. If 51 senators (or 50 plus the veep) voted to dismiss, there would be no trial. However, Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) said yesterday that he expects there to be a trial. How long the trial will be is up to the Senate, but if Bill Clinton's trial is a guide, it could take at least a month. In fact, it could take longer, as McConnell & Co. are discussing the possibility of dragging things out as long as possible, so as to muck with the Democratic primaries. It would be nice if, just for once, the turtle could put the best interests of the country ahead of his own partisan goals. But if he did that, he wouldn't be Mitch McConnell, would he? Anyhow, the Clinton trial ended with every Democratic senator voting not guilty on both counts and only five Republicans voting not guilty on both counts. Of those five, the only one still in the Senate is Susan Collins (R-ME).

And finally, let's wrap this up by giving a quick overview of how this is playing out across various media outlets:

Trump-friendly U.S. Media:
  • Fox News, Day One of public impeachment hearings puts pressure on moderate Dems: "All eyes were on moderate House Democrats in swing districts Wednesday night, after the first day of public hearings in the impeachment inquiry against President Trump wrapped up with no major revelations—but also highlighted weaknesses in Democrats' key witnesses, who relied primarily on second-hand information and never once interacted with the president."

  • Breitbart, Democrat Dud: First Public Impeachment Hearing Falls Short as 'Complicated,' Unclear Allegations Drive Inquiry Forward: "House Democrats' first impeachment inquiry public hearing on Wednesday was widely panned as the two career diplomats who testified failed to offer clear allegations of wrongdoing against President Donald Trump, and Democrats running the show found themselves on defense in response to the Republicans in the minority who were aggressive and effective in pushing their counter-narrative."

  • RedState, Dem Witness Kills Their Case: There Were Legit Concerns About Hunter Biden, Burisma Should Be Investigated: "It was a completely normal thing to deal with issues of corruption in foreign policy discussions, like the one that took place between Trump and the Ukraine President. [George] Kent and others had already been asking the same questions. But the President of the United States, the person who is responsible for foreign policy isn't allowed to have concerns or ask if the case was properly closed against Burisma? Kent just effectively did in the whole Democratic narrative. Case dismissed."

  • WND, Nunes shreds testimony of Democrats' star witness: "At the opening public hearing Wednesday in the House Democrats' impeachment investigation of President Trump, Rep. Devin Nunes, R-Calif., challenged the testimony of Democratic star witness Ambassador William Taylor, pointing out the diplomat acknowledged in his deposition that he had no knowledge of the considerable evidence supporting Trump's concern about Ukraine's connection to interference in the 2016 election and alleged corruption concerning Hunter Biden and former Vice President Joe Biden."
Non-Trump-friendly U.S. Media:
  • Politico, Trump exposed: A brutal day for the president: "In a more profound way, the day was a portrait—a vivid one, in an especially grave setting—of Trump being Trump: obsessive, hectoring, contemptuous of process and propriety, as bluntly transactional about military aid to a besieged ally as he would be about a midtown real estate deal."

  • The Washington Post, In the big moment, Republicans go small: "[For Republicans,] it's about savaging an honorable public servant—part of an anything-goes strategy to obscure a president's wrongdoing."

  • Slate, The GOP Impeachment Defense Depends on Ignoring the Evidence Trump Released Himself: "The firsthand evidence—unmediated by the whistleblower or any Democratic witnesses—shows Trump telling Zelensky there was a connection between U.S. aid to Ukraine and the Biden/DNC server investigations. Making the case that Donald Trump didn't attempt to extort Ukraine into launching personally beneficial sham prosecutions involving his Democratic rivals is hard to do!"

  • CNN, Public impeachment hearing paints damning portrait of Trump: "Using as their first witnesses two conscientious, apolitical diplomats who devoted their lives to national service, Democrats built a foundation for a case that Trump abused his far greater power. It is a story certain to play out again and again in the coming weeks as lawmakers contemplate whether to deal Trump the historic stigma of being only the third president to be impeached."
International Media:
  • The Guardian (UK), Trump cared more about investigating Biden than Ukraine, key witness reveals: "Trump filled his Twitter account on Wednesday morning with video clips of his defenders attacking the proceedings. But in the hearing room, new testimony tied Trump directly to a plot to condition US military aid and a White House visit on a Ukrainian announcement of the Biden investigation."

  • The Globe and Mail (Canada), Trump pushed for 'crazy' plan to trade military aid for probes into Biden: "The historic hearings make Mr. Trump only the fourth U.S. president to face formal impeachment proceedings. While much of the substance of Mr. Taylor's and Mr. Kent's testimony had already been revealed in closed-door depositions, the dramatic public airing of their disclosures has the potential to seize public attention and pave the way for the Democratic-controlled House to move forward with efforts to push Mr. Trump out of office."

  • (Australia), The key word from Trump inquiry: "On Wednesday, Democrats seemed to begin to pivot, framing the actions of Trump as possible 'bribery' and 'extortion' rather than emphasising a 'quid pro quo.'"

  • BBC News (UK), Phone call implicates Trump, envoy tells hearing: "This has the potential to be a major twist. Although there have been reports of Mr. Sondland's direct line to the president, there has yet to be evidence tying Mr. Trump directly to the alleged quid pro quo. The phone call Mr. Taylor described could change all that."

The Trump-friendly media, then, appear to have been watching one set of hearings, while everyone else appears to have been watching another. It's safe to assume that will continue through the entire process. (V & Z)

The Case for and against Impeaching Donald Trump

To impeach or not to impeach, that is the question. Two witnesses spent hours addressing that question yesterday, as noted above. But no doubt their testimonies were too long and wordy for some people, so CNN has boiled the arguments for and against impeachment down to the essentials, summarized as follows:

The Case for Impeachment
  • Trump solicited election meddling from Ukraine: From the redacted transcript of the July 25th phone call between Donald Trump and Volodymyr Zelensky, it is clear that Trump asked Zelensky for a favor, by which he meant an investigation of Joe and Hunter Biden, and of alleged Ukrainian meddling in the 2016 election. Asking a foreign national for help in an election is a federal crime, irrespective of whether the help is forthcoming and irrespective of whether there is a quid pro quo. The fact that Trump asked for help has been corroborated by several witnesses. If asking a foreign government to meddle in a U.S. election isn't an impeachable offense, it is hard to think of what might be.

  • There was a quid pro quo for military aid: A good case can be made that Trump's withholding military aid to Ukraine that Congress had already appropriated, on the condition that Zelensky agree to announce the launch of investigations, is tantamount to demanding a bribe. The Constitution specifically names bribery as a ground for impeachment although it is ambiguous about whether or not it matters if the president is the briber or the bribee. Either way, conditioning U.S. aid in return for dirt on a political opponent is surely an abuse of power.

  • Trump's directives to Giuliani undercut U.S. policy: Trump ordered the chargé d'affaires in Ukraine, William Taylor, to coordinate with Rudy Giuliani, meaning that Giuliani was running U.S. policy in Ukraine, in possible violation of the Logan Act. Logan Act violations are rarely prosecuted but, at the very least, this could be read as a conspiracy to violate U.S. law.

  • Trump Improperly removed Masha Yovanovitch: One of the clear grounds for impeachment is abuse of power. When Trump removed Ambassador Marie (Masha) Yovanovitch, he was operating in bad faith. Her superior, Deputy Secretary of State John Sullivan, told her she had done nothing wrong. She was removed simply because she opposed Trump's illegal actions.

  • The Trump administration obstructed the inquiry: Trump has ordered all government employees to defy House subpoenas and refuse to turn over documents to House investigators. Blocking a lawful investigation is clearly obstruction of justice, which was one of the charges in the articles of impeachment against both Richard Nixon and Bill Clinton.
The Case against Impeachment
  • The inquiry was fatally flawed: Defenders of the president have complained that Trump's lawyers could not cross examine witnesses during private depositions. This is true.

  • Presidents have vast foreign policy powers: The Constitution makes the president the commander-in-chief and grants to him the power to nominate ambassadors and negotiate treaties, subject to Senate approval. Trump has interpreted this as the Constitution "allows me to do whatever I want in all areas." Some Republicans in Congress agree with him.

  • Limited insight into Trump's state of mind: This argument says that asking for a "favor" from Zelensky is only an impeachable offense if Trump had corrupt intentions. But we don't know his intentions for 100% certain, and making guesses as to his state of mind is not allowed.

  • Ukraine got the military assistance after all: Since Ukraine got the military assistance in the end, and Trump didn't get his investigation, there was no quid pro quo so this is all much ado about nothing.

The arguments for impeachment speak for themselves. The defenses don't. First, the private depositions are like grand jury investigations, in which the suspect is never allowed to have counsel. In many cases, the suspect in a grand jury investigation isn't even aware of the proceedings. In any case, in neither the impeachment inquiries of Richard Nixon nor Bill Clinton did the president have counsel in the private hearings.

Second, the president's powers in foreign policy are somewhat broad, but hardly "I can do whatever I want."

Third, undercutting official U.S. policy toward Ukraine with no explanation to the State Dept. in order to hurt a political opponent looks awfully fishy, regardless of Trump's state of mind.

Fourth, suppose someone robs a bank and the police chase him. But before they catch him, he passes the bank and tosses all the loot through the bank's door. That doesn't mean he can't be prosecuted for robbing the bank. In Trump's case, soliciting help from a foreign national is a crime. Period. A quid pro quo isn't required to make it a crime.

All in all, the case for impeachment seems a lot stronger than the defense. The only defense that might fly is that impeachment is a political decision, not a legal one, and Republicans don't think it is nearly as serious as lying under oath about an extramarital affair. (V)

Impeachment Could Cost the GOP

On the day the House Republicans impeached Bill Clinton, his approval rating was 73%, far higher than the 49% of the vote he got in 1996. Americans watched the proceedings leading up to it and concluded that the House Republicans were a bunch of sanctimonious zealots and power-hungry hypocrites. Current Republicans are hoping and expecting Americans to rally around Donald Trump just as they did around Clinton and come to regard House Democrats as a bunch of sanctimonious zealots and power-hungry hypocrites. They should be careful about what they wish for.

Although Clinton wasn't convicted, he and his associates paid a price, and Trump and his associates are likely to as well. After the impeachment, the well was completely poisoned and Clinton never achieved anything else of substance. As long as Democrats control at least one chamber of Congress, Trump won't get anything through Congress. Bill's impeachment also rubbed off on Hillary Clinton. Absent the Clinton hatred the impeachment caused among some Americans, she might well have won in 2016.

Another problem for the GOP is the gap it is opening between Trump and Republican senators. As Trump puts pressure on them to announce his innocence, they will come to resent him, which reduces his power to bully them going forward. A split in the party certainly does not help the GOP.

Another problem is that the whole country is watching. In particular, young people are paying (some) attention. It is hard to imagine many of them coming away from this with an enhanced view of the Republican Party. In the years ahead, many of them are going to be asking Republican politicians: "What did you do during the Trump years?"

History shows that what happens in the short term is not always what happens in the long term. During the early 1930s, the isolationists and American Firsters were popular, but later they had some explaining to do. Similarly, former Senator Joseph McCarthy had a following for a while, but when he collapsed, his supporters were left high and dry. Republicans who secretly hate Trump but publicly support him now are likely to find themselves in a difficult position later, especially if the evidence makes it clear that Trump abused his power and committed crimes, even if he escapes conviction in the Senate. (V)

The Voters Have Already Made Up Their Minds

While the impeachment hearings make for great television drama, their effect may not be so great in the end. A new Politico/Morning Consult poll shows that 62% of voters say there is no chance that the hearings will change their minds about impeachment and another 19% say there is only a small chance that it will change their minds. Eight percent are open to changing their minds.

The poll also showed that 49% support impeachment and 48% support conviction. Not surprisingly, it also showed that 49% think Trump abused his powers. However, only 22% think it very or somewhat likely that Trump will be removed from office. (V)

Giuliani Writes an Op-ed Condemning the Impeachment Inquiry

It is often said that the best defense is a good offense. Rudy Giuliani certainly knows that, so he has gone on the offense by publishing an op-ed in the Wall Street Journal in which he argued that Donald Trump merely requested that Ukraine root out corruption, he didn't demand it. Giuliani also made the point that out of a five-page transcript of the call to Volodymyr Zelensky, only six lines are about the Bidens. That may be true, but that is somewhat like saying that out of his life of 26 years, John Wilkes Booth spent only 5 seconds assassinating Abraham Lincoln.

Giuliani didn't address a key issue of why he, a private citizen, was running an alternative foreign policy channel, separate from (and at times, opposed to) the State Department's. Nor did he rebut the numerous witnesses who said that Trump attempted to pressure Zelensky into digging up dirt on the Bidens and on the 2016 election. But given the trouble that Giuliani may soon be in, putting himself in Trump's good graces may prove valuable if some day he needs a pardon. (V)

Trump Suffers Another Taxing Defeat

There are so many lawsuits involving Donald Trump's taxes that it's hard to keep track of them all. However, the President suffered a big setback on Wednesday in the case involving the subpoena that the House Oversight and Reform Committee sent to accounting firm Mazars asking for eight years' worth of Trump tax returns.

Until Wednesday afternoon, the case was before the Federal Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit. Just over a week ago, a three-judge panel from that circuit voted 2-1 against the President, and said the subpoena was part of Congress' legitimate investigative powers. Presidential lawyer Jay Sekulow promptly asked for a hearing before the entire D.C. circuit, en banc. Wednesday's decision, by a vote of 8-3, was that Trump cannot have an en banc hearing and the earlier decision stands.

So, that did not take very long. The D.C. Circuit stayed Wednesday's decision for one week, to give the President an opportunity to appeal, should he wish to do so. He will certainly avail himself of that, but he's only got one level of the federal court system left, namely the Supreme Court. That means that, sometime this week, he's going to ask them to overturn this decision and to overturn the one that came out of New York a few days ago, that allows DA Cyrus Vance to get the returns. And the ruling in the lawsuit filed by House Ways and Means Chair Richard Neal (D-MA) is expected at any time, which means that Team Trump could be asking SCOTUS for a trifecta.

If SCOTUS declines to hear any of the three appeals, then it's game over, and the tax returns quickly see the light of day. The odds are good that this is how it ends, especially since the legal questions involved here are not especially tricky. However if Chief Justice John Roberts & Co. do agree to hear all three appeals, then the first thing that Trump will be praying for is that they really drag things out. But even then, they aren't going to drag them out for a full year. At such point that things move forward, Trump would then begin praying for a series of favorable rulings. Specifically, he would need SCOTUS to agree that:

  1. Congress has no right to investigate his finances, even if they suspect the possibility of wrongdoing
  2. The state of New York has no right to investigate his finances, even if they suspect the possibility of wrongdoing
  3. The law Congress passed in 1924 giving selected members access to presidential tax returns is unconstitutional

Even if the five conservative fellows on the Court would like to help the President out, siding with him on all three of these questions seems a bridge too far. Especially the first one, which gets into the sorts of "balance of power between the branches of government" questions that the Roberts Court generally does not like to get into.

What it all boils down to is this: It's very hard to see how Trump's tax returns stay secret all the way to Nov. 3, 2020. In fact, it's more likely that they become public by the end of this November than they stay secret all the way to next November. (Z)

Another Look at Those New York Times Polls

Recent New York Times/Siena College polls of six battleground states have gotten a lot of coverage. The top line there is that Biden is ahead of Trump in four states, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) is ahead of Trump in three states, and Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) is ahead of Trump in only one state. However, the Times' statistics whiz, Nate Cohn, has now taken a closer look at the crosstabs and developed a different perspective. He concludes that the focus on whether Democrats should focus on winning back Obama-Trump voters vs. ginning up millennials may be the wrong way to look at things. Here are his takes from the data:

  • Joe Biden isn't special with noncollege voters: The data show that compared to Hillary Clinton, Biden doesn't have some superpower that commands the loyalty of white working-class voters. In the three Midwestern blue-wall states that Trump won, 35% of the blue-collar voters went for Clinton and 37% support Biden now.

  • Elizabeth Warren's problem isn't the working class: While Warren is not the favorite of noncollege whites, she actually trails Biden worse among college-educated whites. In census tracts where 45% have a college degree, she leads Trump by 15 points, whereas Biden leads by 23 points. Many of these voters say she is too far to the left.

  • The "moderates" vs. "base" approach is wrong: The idea that Democrats must choose between flipping moderates or ginning up the base doesn't seem to be correct. All the ideologically motivated voters will go to the polls, no matter what. It turns out that the persuadable voters and the low-turnout voters look a lot alike. They don't like Trump, are less likely to be college graduates, but are on the conservative side. When liberal writers talk about white privilege and intersectionality, these voters don't have a clue what they mean and certainly don't respond to those arguments. Most do not have the overall critique of capitalism and society that many on the left do.

  • A high turnout doesn't favor the Democrats: Among registered voters who didn't cast a ballot in 2016, 84% of Trump supporters are at least somewhat likely to vote in 2020, compared to 73% of Democratic leaners. The Democrats problem here is that Latinos are not itching to run to the polls. Only 53% of registered Latinos who didn't vote in 2016 expect to vote in 2020.

  • The Sun Belt opportunity is real: The data say that Arizona may seriously be in play for the first time in years. But it is not a sure thing, and depends on the candidate. For example, 55% of Arizonans oppose Medicare for All, and 52% oppose banning assault weapons. If Sanders or Warren is the nominee, they are going to have a problem there. Furthermore, a Sun Belt strategy would also require winning at least some of North Carolina, Georgia, and Florida. These are not states brimming with young progressives. In fact, liberals represent a very small slice of the Florida electorate, which is dominated by older moderates.

Cohn concludes that the Democrats' best shot in 2020 is winning back the Midwest. Some day the Sun Belt may be theirs but not yet. (V)

Warren Is Ramping Up in California

Most of the candidates are focusing on the four early states—some, like Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA), to the exclusion of everything else. In some cases, like Harris', it is because the money is running out and it's Iowa or bust. In contrast, Elizabeth Warren is awash in cash and can afford to think beyond Nevada. She is now adding eight paid staff to the one she already has in California. They will work out of offices in Oakland and Los Angeles. California will send 495 delegates to the convention and Warren hopes to get the lion's share of them.

That may not be so easy, though. Bernie Sanders already has five offices in the Golden State and plans to open 10 more. Polling in California has been sparse, though some polls have Warren in the lead. However, there is no way either of them are going to collect 400 or more delegates due to party rules. First of all, California votes by congressional district and a candidate who gets less than 15% gets no delegates. In practice, that is likely to mean that Warren, Sanders, and Biden get delegates, and no one else does. Second, Democrats don't do winner-take-all. Delegates are awarded proportionally. The 53 districts each have between four and seven delegates. If these three candidates get more or less similar totals in a five-delegate district, each will get one or two delegates. That means barring a landslide, the top finisher might get 50 to 100 delegates more than the bottom one of the three, but no more. Of course, all the candidates are dreaming of a landslide. (V)

Patrick Makes it Official

Former Massachusetts governor Deval Patrick has been talking for the last several days about throwing his hat into the Democratic presidential ring, and on Wednesday he officially took the plunge. He's already told friends and allies, he will appear on "CBS This Morning" this morning to share the news with the rest of the nation, and then he will promptly file the necessary paperwork to get on the primary ballot in New Hampshire.

We remain skeptical that there is a lane for Patrick at this late date. Among the early states, he's going to focus on New Hampshire and South Carolina. But in the former, his best-case scenario is probably a three- or four-way split with Elizabeth Warren, Bernie Sanders, and maybe Joe Biden. That would translate into a grand total, at the high end, of 6 delegates for Patrick. Meanwhile, South Carolina voters have made clear that what they care about most is that the candidate be moderate, not that they be black. Patrick, part of the progressive wing of the Democratic party, does not fit the bill.

One is tempted to make the assumption that Patrick, as a seasoned politician with a sizable political network, has some sort of polling data that tells him he can potentially make this competitive. On the other hand, Joe Sestak, Gov. Steve Bullock (D-MT), Sen. Michael Bennet (D-CO), John Hickenlooper, Mayor Bill de Blasio (D-New York City), Gov. Jay Inslee (D-WA), and Rep. Eric Swalwell (D-CA), among others, are also battle-tested political veterans, and all of them clearly failed to look before they leaped. So, maybe Patrick is being driven entirely by flattery from sycophants and by an abundance of self-confidence. We're not going to have to wait too long to find out; beyond the fact that there are multiple national polls each week now, it's just over 80 days until the first ballots are cast.

Another problem Patrick has is that he is very unlikely to qualify for any debates. For many voters, the candidates are the ones on the stage. A substantial number of voters won't even know Patrick is running. Michael Bloomberg has a similar debate problem but he has the advantage of being able to flood the airwaves with so many ads that everyone will know he is running and what he cares about (gun control and global warming). (Z)

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---The Votemaster and Zenger
Nov13 Trump Can't Decide What He Wants to Do...
Nov13 ...Nor Can Mulvaney
Nov13 Congressional Caucuses Produce Dueling Memos
Nov13 100 House Republicans Down, and Counting
Nov13 Look Closely at the Pennsylvania Suburbs
Nov13 Today's Completely Unsurprising News, Part I: Of Course Trump Knew Giuliani's Indicted Associates
Nov13 Today's Completely Unsurprising News, Part II: Of Course Stephen Miller Is a White Nationalist
Nov13 Guess Who's Leading in Iowa?
Nov13 Apparently, the Presidential Field Is Still in Flux
Nov13 Trump Campaign Plans to Set up a Wall Cam
Nov12 Republicans Remain Firm on Impeachment
Nov12 Trump's Tax Returns Get a Little Closer to Seeing the Light of Day
Nov12 Today in Irony: Donald Trump Jr.'s Visit to UCLA
Nov12 Nikki Haley Has a Book, Too
Nov12 Patrick Suggests He Might Run
Nov12 Cummings' Widow Will Run for His Seat
Nov12 Peter King Becomes the 20th Republican Member of the House to Retire
Nov11 Schiff: Whistleblower Testimony Is Not Needed
Nov11 Mulvaney Sues Trump
Nov11 Bolton Has a Book Deal
Nov11 Democrats Are Preparing for the Impeachment Testimony
Nov11 Impeachment Puts Barr on the Spot
Nov11 Demographic Changes Are Making Trump's Reelection More Difficult
Nov11 Sanders Blasts Bloomberg
Nov11 Steyer's Iowa Political Director Quits
Nov11 Democrats Move the December Debate 10 Miles South
Nov10 Sunday Mailbag
Nov09 Saturday Q&A
Nov08 Bloomberg Makes His Move?
Nov08 Today's Impeachment News
Nov08 Trump Hit with $2 Million Judgment
Nov08 First Revelations from "Anonymous" Book
Nov08 Warren Has a...Calculator for That?
Nov08 Steyer Tried to Buy Endorsements
Nov08 Could Bevin Steal a Victory from the Jaws of Defeat?
Nov08 Time to Start Ignoring Moody's
Nov07 Public Hearings in Impeachment Inquiry Will Begin Next Week
Nov07 Most Voters Think Trump Will Be Reelected
Nov07 Russian Media Have Possibly Outed the Whistleblower
Nov07 Even Barr Has His Limits, Apparently
Nov07 Will The Next Impeachment Be Like the Previous Ones?
Nov07 Supreme Court I: A Momentous Decision Ahead
Nov07 Supreme Court II: Chief Umpire Roberts May Soon Get a Project He Doesn't Want
Nov07 Most Republicans Aren't Showing Up for the Impeachment Hearings
Nov07 White Working-Class Women Are Moving Away from Trump
Nov07 Flying to the White House
Nov07 Sessions Is In
Nov07 Pressley Endorses Warren
Nov07 Bevin Makes it Official
Nov07 What Really Matters in the Long Term