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:
“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:
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.
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