Saturday, July 16, 2016

A quick political observation:  The Trump Campaign couldn't organize a two-car funeral procession.

Item the first:  Trump wanted out of his pick of Mike Pence because his pick leaked (he couldn't surprise everybody); he got cold feet; he wanted to dangle it in front of Gingrich and Christie a little longer; or some combination of all of these.

And how do we know this?  Maybe because Trump called somebody looking for help at reneging on a promise he hadn't publicly made yet, or maybe because his campaign leaks like a sieve.

Item the second:  The Trump campaign leaked a list of speakers at the Republican Convention.   They told the NYT and CNN the "partial list" included Tebow.  Turns out that list was a wish list, not a list of people who'd agreed to be there.

So, at this point, no one really knows who is speaking at the convention; or what the "themes" (reported to be Benghazi and Monica Lewinsky the first night) will be.


Item the third:  the RNC needs Sheldon Adelson to pony up $6 million so they can pay for the convention.  Trump says he's raised $51 million, but reports say he's about $18 million short of that figure.

So why do the polls show Trump closing with Clinton?

FBI director Comey.  The old adage is, where there's smoke, there's fire, and Comey put a very wet blanket on the garbage fire of the Clinton e-mail "scandal" and made a lot of smoke out of it, all the while artfully dodging the simple fact that he had no business pre-empting the decision of the DOJ and career prosecutors by announcing Clinton should not be prosecuted, even though her actions were questionable.  Talk about damning with faint praise.

Hillary has the GOP House against her, and they have the ability to dominate headlines in a way only Donald Trump can come close to, but they do it without shouting "Crooked Hillary!"  Turns out that isn't as effective an epithet as Trump would like it to be.  Josh Marshall thinks Trump is trying to prevail by practicing dominance politics.  That really won't work against Clinton, because she isn't afraid to call Trump on his bullshit (unlike the GOP candidates, who needed Trump's voters to stay in the primaries and hopefully vote for them).  Throw enough mud, some of it gets the target dirty.

But the GOP has shot its last bolt on the scandal front.  Even the attempts to investigate Comey and Lynch just made the House committee look foolish.  In the long run, this fight is between Clinton and Trump, and Trump doesn't have the organization or the ability for the long game.  He flailed so badly on the Pence pick he almost recalled the ghost of McGovern and Thomas Eagleton (which is undoubtedly why his advisors told him to suck it up).  A few more stories like that, and people will seriously wonder if they want him answering the phone at 3 a.m.

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