Monday, May 20, 2019

Biden Philly Rally Keeps Positive Coverage Going

Another weekend of momentum gets frontrunner 72 hours closer to Iowa unscuffed.

My take: News coverage of presidential campaigns is driven much more by poll results than any other factor. Biden’s growing lead propels analysis that implicitly says, “Biden is ahead, therefore Biden’s strategy and positioning must be very smart — including an emphasis on electability and unity and a willingness to stand up to the progressive wing of the party on some key issues.”

That analysis will be considered right — until it isn’t. But the chances are high that all the other 20+ candidates can do is position themselves to take advantage of a potential series of serious Biden errors or failures (such as if his third-quarter fundraising proves weak). The field is too large, Biden’s lead too big, and the former vice president’s strategy too geared to holding on to his lead by not engaging with his party rivals for anyone to overtake him simply be doing well on their own.

Buttigieg Wows in Fox Town Hall

South Bend topper jousts with Chris Wallace, holds his own on tough topics including abortion, wins standing ovation at close of televised session.

My take: This event shows why Buttigieg has risen so high so fast — he’s smart, appealing, self-possessed, and seemingly unafraid of the incumbent president. We have seen this before — Fox is not filling the audience with strident Fox viewers, producing town hall questions and a vibe that allows Democrats home court advantage over the channel’s hosts. No wonder the president is annoyed.

Sanders Asks to Be Interviewed by New York Times

Then he says this to reporter:

“I think Sydney, with all due respect, you don’t understand a word that I’m saying.”

My take: Vermonter pulls no punches with defense of Cold War-era foreign policy stances, and shows his textbook impatience with the media. This interview will inspire many of his supporters — and draw the attention of opposition researchers laying in wait.

Right now, a more immediately important question than who can overtake Biden is, can anyone gain traction as a super-progressive candidate seen as more electable than Sanders?

Trump Troubles?

Which of these can hurt the president politically?

His public swearing is up?

Alabama abortion law seen as extreme by many in GOP?

China relationship is in disarray?

Impeachment is now bipartisan?

My take: None of those will hurt him immediately, but they are all ticking time bombs for re-election. Many of the Democratic presidential candidates are offering themselves up as the antidote to a world spinning out of control. Trump and the circumstances around him are making him look more and more like the chaos candidate and the Perils of Pauline president. It the economy hits a rough spot in the next year, the “I am more stable than Trump” message could be the winner.

The Big Four

Iowa

Trump’s ‘great patriot’ farmers follow him into a trade war.

In a victory for Republicans, Iowa Supreme Court upholds 2017 law limiting public-worker unions’ rights.

Flooding disrupts farm shipments on the Mississippi River.

New Hampshire

Child in New Hampshire diagnosed with measles.

Nevada

Nevada’s stubborn suicide problem persists as other states catch up.

South Carolina

‘Not just a SC problem.’ Bernie Sanders takes on Denmark’s tainted water.

SC governor pledges to sign strict ‘fetal heartbeat’ abortion ban.

One thought on “Monday, May 20, 2019

  1. Warren seems to be the only progressive candidate who is widely taken seriously besides Sanders. She has some foreign policy related baggage and also seems too professorial to appeal to regular Jane and Joe type voters.

    Tulsi Gabbard is the only candidate seen as a true progressive by the far left. She is widely rumored to be running for her profile rather than for winning. Also, Tulsi has been known for appealing to Hindu nationalists who hate Muslims. She needs to do more to distance herself from authoritarians like Assad and anti-Muslim groups. Here’s a link of Tulsi’s baggage explained in an overly brief summary:

    https://www.vox.com/policy-and-politics/2019/1/16/18182114/tulsi-gabbard-2020-president-campaign-explained

    Mike Gravel has some real clout in arguing against United States hegemony to progressives, but he admits openly to being simply a protest candidate.

    I really think that Andrew Yang is great at making radical changes seem sensible in a way that does not make people tune out from hearing droning. But he also has no media attention. I think he cannot galvanize the far left because he seems like too much of a centrist type with his executive background and his embrace of nuclear power. I just think he seems like the best unknown candidate at getting organized at both campaigning and tinkering with how to explain his platform.

    Like

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