Wednesday, June 26, 2019

One of the World’s Shortest Debate Previews

Elizabeth Warren

Best case: Relates her policy positions to the real lives of working families with passion, sending the cares-about-people-like-you meter aflame. 

Worst case: Ganged up on by moderators who ask her questions outside her comfort zone.

Cory Booker

Best case: Leaves donors, voters, and the press eager to give him another shot at the upper tier.

Worst case: His polite and patient manner prevents him from claiming the time needed to make his case.

Julián Castro

Best case: Galvanizes a youth/Obama/Latino coalition that pops, especially in Nevada.

Worst case: His polite and patient manner prevents him from claiming the time needed to make his case.

Amy Klobuchar

Best case: Gets questions that allow the brilliant, relatable, common sense progressive/moderate hybrid version of herself to shine through.

Worst case: Gets process questions that don’t allow her to stand out.

Beto O’Rourke

Best case: Engages the audience in the room in a manner so compelling that it breaks the rules to applaud wildly, restoring “It” candidate luster.

Worst case: Sloppy, winding answers make him appear to be no things to no people.

Tulsi Gabbard

Best case: Two-step process of reminding the party that national security expertise matters and that her distinctive, experienced-based brand of it has lots of Democratic Party adherents.

Worst case: Doesn’t get sufficient time to explain her complex views.

Jay Inslee

Best case: Changes his brand from majoring in climate change and minoring in “accomplished governor” to majoring in “accomplished governor” and minoring in climate change.

Worst case: So overeager to stand out that he looks more excitable than electable.

Bill de Blasio

Best case: Shows enough multi-dimensional sophistication that the Gotham City press corps and elites give him a second look.

Worst case: Thinks quippy anti-Trump one liners are the ticket to success.

Tim Ryan

Best case: Melds his spiritual, economic populist, and cultural conservative dimensions into an intriguing Rust Belt delight.

Worst case: Forgets that this is a presidential debate and not the House floor.

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Pelosi Gets House to Pass Immigration Measure to Help Children

Bill would deal with tragic humanitarian crisis on the border.

My take: This was Exhibit AAA that the Speaker has extraordinary political and policy control of her caucus.  Her capacity to listen, learn, and lead makes her a great legislative master, bridging the ideological and practical divides within her party when lives are at stake.

Reluctant Mueller to Appear on Capitol Hill

Former independent counsel bows to pressure to give testimony.

My take: If the Democrats don’t prepare carefully, this could be an extremely anti-climatic, uninformative pair of hearings that inflicts damage on themselves. Mueller has made it clear that he doesn’t want to speak beyond the four corners of his written report.

Politico says this: “Even if Mueller simply recites his report, Democrats could make meaningful progress in using the Mueller probe to their political advantage.”

That might be true, but it might not.

There are 57 ways to try to get Mueller to say the president is a criminal; he will be prepared for all 57.  He is not a man who is likely to be tricked into going one inch more than he intends.

Tom Friedman Nails Trump Iran/China Gambits

Essential reading column by New York Times sage.

My take: When Friedman is good, he is very, very good. When he is extraordinary, he is better. He writes that Trump needs a simple deal with Iran that extends the previous Obama nuke pact, along with missile limits; and a much more complicated global agreement with China that will determine the future of the international order. Friedman gives Trump credit where it is due, and/but raises all the right red flags.

Ocasio-Cortez-backed Candidate Declares Victory in Close Queens DA Upset Bid

Tiffany Cabán also had Bernie Sanders support.

My take: Private Democratic focus groups continue to find AOC has high name recognition and influence among a large segment of the progressive movement.  Many presidential candidates want her endorsement, but all should be trying to figure out how to bottle whatever it is she has.

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Top sports story: Yankees homer in their 28th straight game in win over Blue Jays


Top business story: To offset tariff damage, Bejing could devalue Yuan and purchase Iranian oil


Top entertainment story: NRA pulls the plug on NRATV over messaging concerns

New York Times

Big Four


Iowa’s voter ID law trial begins: Opposing lawyers emphasize unnecessary hurdles and election integrity.

Biden wins early state endorsements, including black leaders.

New Hampshire

Child detention meets N.H. primary politics.


Cortez Masto to Democratic contenders: For success in Nevada, listen to Latino voters.

Las Vegas home prices are fastest-growing in US.

South Carolina

As 2020 presidential candidates campaign in SC, Pee Dee has been mostly left out.

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