Friday, June 7, 2019

Biden Reverses on Hyde

Frontrunner bows to the politically inevitable.

My take: “Circumstances have changed,” Biden said, in announcing his decision to abandon a position he has held for decades and reaffirmed just on Wednesday.

The Washington Post has one of the most euphemism-filled quotes of all time, explaining the reversal:

“’It seemed like he heard a lot of feedback and opened his mind to thinking about this in a different way,’ Ilyse Hogue, president of NARAL Pro-Choice America, said in an interview after Biden announced his new position.”

Now that Biden has gotten right on paper with the pro-choice community, there

are three implications of this episode:

1. Biden’s rivals are now emboldened to probe and prod to look for political weaknesses.

2. Since Biden was willing to drop his long-standing principled view in support of Hyde, many are asking why didn’t he do it two days ago, thereby avoiding all this negative coverage.

3. We will have to see if Team Biden learns the obvious lessons from this episode, or if this is the beginning of a series of the kind of Bidenesque bobbles and gaffes that many thought would characterize (and perhaps sink) his third presidential bid.

Another National Poll With Basically the Same Numbers!

Consistent standing of top prospects is quite something.

My take: Look at these figures from the latest Reuters/Ipsos national poll and get déjà vu all over again:

Biden              31%

Sanders          14%

Warren              9%

Harris                 6%

Buttigieg             5%

O’Rourke             3%

“Among registered Democrats, 41% said the most important factor for a presidential candidate was his or her ability to beat” Trump. “

“In comparison, only 12% said they were looking for someone who was strong on health care, the top issue for Democrats over the past few years.”

Among registered voters:

Biden              50%

Trump            36%

This additional set of data that largely squares with almost every other recent poll, backs up the sense among Democratic strategists that the dynamics of the race are still relatively frozen. Despite the Hyde flap, Biden continues to raise money, garner political support, and ride high in the polls.  With the exception of Warren, no other contender is on the surface having a quarter that appears to have breakthrough potential.

Trump Tariff Stick Bringing Mexican Carrots

Status of US-Mexico talks the same as Friday dawns: POTUS still threatening Monday 5% tariffs, while negotiations continue to bring Mexican concessions on immigration.

My take: There’s no deal yet, with the talks awaiting the return of Trump from Europe to weigh in on whether Mexico is giving in enough on border enforcement and immigration processes to hold off Monday’s brandished tariff deadline.  Trump might not get the deal he wants, but there’s no denying his threat has pushed the Mexicans to agree to policy changes that they have never been prepared to make before.

Strengthening Trump’s hand: now there’s speculation that the Fed could cut rates, mitigating some of the damage from Trump’s use of tariffs for leverage over Mexico and China.

Trump Bashes Pelosi in Fox Interview

President calls Speaker “vindictive…horrible…nasty.”

My take: On one level, Pelosi will just brush the jibes off her shoulder; she’s not the least bit surprised at Trump’s remarks, just as he is not surprised at her saying she wants him in prison. On another level, to state the super-obvious, this war of words makes impeachment more likely, and trade and infrastructure deals less likely.

Top sports story: Blues take a 3-2 series lead in Boston


Top business story: Global stocks climb while investors await U.S. jobs data

Wall Street Journal

Top entertainment story: Obama’s production group signs exclusive podcast deal with Spotify


Big Four


Gov. Kim Reynolds released from hospital after going to the emergency room for chest pain.

Kamala Harris ramps up staff, organizing in Iowa: ‘It’s game on.’

2020 Iowa caucus: Bennet hires Iowa state director, a former Indiana congressional campaign manager.

Klobuchar’s mental health policy inspires Iowa endorsement.

Beto O’Rourke stumps with his wife amid struggles with women.

New Hampshire

Judge rules N.H. school funding formula inadequate, unconstitutional.

Senate moves to rollback new low on voter residency rules.

Opioid crisis, system shortfall hurts New Hampshire children.


Sisolak OKs test of pot banking, bans minors buying kratom.

Hot in here? Research shows extreme heat is killing Nevadans, and it’s only getting hotter.

South Carolina

Jill Biden takes notes of Spartanburg’s model schools.

SC lawmakers pass bill to stop future advertising of lab-grown ‘meat’.

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