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This Is Not a Winning News Cycle for Donald Trump on Impeachment
1. Essential reading: The Washington Post says Team Trump is beefing up its anti-impeachment team because it belatedly recognizes it has a problem; the president is calling individual Republican senators to buck them up; and outside advisers are confused and nervous.
2. Tim Morrison, a National Security Council aide, plans to testify even if the White House objects.
3. John Bolton is still negotiating to testify.
4. Bolton’s former deputy wants the courts to decide if he can testify.
5. A judge rules the impeachment inquiry is legitimate.
6. More questions are being raised about the administration’s withholding of trade benefits from Ukraine.
7. Democrat issue more witness subpoenas.
9. The media’s long-running love affair with Lindsey Graham is pretty much done.
10. Most ominously, Bruce Springsteen is criticizing Donald Trump.
My take: Most Republican strategists and on Capitol Hill think the White House’s Plan A didn’t work, the current Plan B is no better, and are eager to see two things: Plan C and how the president plans to grapple with the facts, rather than the process. Note that only one of the ten items above was driven by congressional Democrats.
Essential reading New York Times second-day story on the angst in Biden World over his fundraising and spending situation. Here are two paragraphs to ponder:
“Last Monday, Bradley Tusk, who served as a re-election campaign manager for Mayor Michael Bloomberg of New York City, hosted a fund-raiser for Mr. Buttigieg. According to Mr. Tusk, the crowd was filled with ‘a lot of those people you would have thought would be Biden people. And they weren’t.’ (Attendees included Jon S. Corzine, the former New Jersey governor and Goldman Sachs executive, who had previously attended a Biden event in the Hamptons in the summer.)
“’The feeling in the room,’ Mr. Tusk said, ‘was that Biden has already lost.’”
My take: A Super PAC won’t save Joe Biden. What brought fallen frontrunners Al Gore, John Kerry, George W. Bush, and John McCain back to their nominations? A plan, grit, determination, an ability to frame their rivals in negative terms, and a message. Which of those is Biden capable of?
Here is the latest excerpt from my new book, “How to Beat Trump: America’s Top Political Strategists on What It Will Take.”
LESSON: TRUMP WANTS CHAOS AT THE END.
“You, the American people, I talk to you today about the best way to avoid another catastrophe and about war, its reasons, and its consequences.”
It was October 29, 2004, only four days before the contest between President George W. Bush and John Kerry would be decided. The race had been fraught and caustic, and the polls were tight. One of President Bush’s most ardent critics, graying, stern, a veteran of political warfare, was making his plea, staring directly into the camera. In his view, Bush’s use of military force in the Middle East after the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, was an immoral mistake, one that made the United States and the world less safe, and called into question Bush’s character and judgment. Many Americans agreed with him.
“I say to you that security is an important pillar of human life,” he continued, “and that free people do not compromise their security.”
The video was initially broadcast on just one channel, but word of its existence and content spread quickly across the media and onto the presidential campaign trail.
“Although we are ushering in the fourth year after 9/11,” said Osama bin Laden, “Bush is still exercising confusion and misleading you.”
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