Clinton: In a move that will surprise basically no one, former VA Senator John Warner (“R”) has endorsed Clinton for President. Warner has always been essentially “John McCain, but more so”, in that despite being a fervrent hawk, his views on domestic policy are arguably more aligned with the Democrats, and he has a long history of voting against the party line. This is the latest in a string of endorsements probably intended to boost Clinton’s support with #NeverTrump and/or establishment Republicans, a strategy that is ringing increasingly hollow as Trump continues to coalesce GOP support around his candidacy.
Endorsements: The Arizona Republic is endorsing its first Democrat for President ever, which I find surprising given that the article literally includes the phrase “Clinton’s opportunity to heal the nation”. I’m honestly wondering if the whole piece is just an attempt to Troll Trump supporters, because I am struggling to come up with a way for a nominal Right-leaning paper to earnestly say that “[Clinton] can reach out to those who feel left behind. She can make it clear that America sees them and will address their concerns”. Was “She’s not Trump” too much to ask?
Trump: Trump has scored the endorsement of former GHWB Chief of Staff and NHGOP icon John Sununu. This is a bit surprising, since Sununu is far from the profile of your average “Trump Republican”, but makes sense considering his son is currently running for NH-Gov and probably needed to show some family support for the GOP Presidential nominee.
Cuba: Obama has nominated an ambassador to Cuba, which has inevitably drawn criticism from Hawks and Cuban Hard-liners. Most notably, Senators Rubio and Cruz have promised to tie up the process in the Senate, claiming that the Cuban government needs to take greater steps towards openness first. Expect a lot of posturing and speeches and no action on this until the next president takes office.
IN-Sen: All hands on deck in this late-breaking Senate race, as Democrat and GOP groups are all filing into the Hoosier state for massive ad buys. Bayh is enjoying huge name recognition from his previous stint in the Senate and his father, but GOP groups are furiously trying to hit him over his many issues, including support for Obamacare and his rather shocking lack of attention to the state since retiring in 2010. CW on this race is that it’s a contest to see if Bayh can run out the clock before the GOP is able to really tank his approval numbers into a realm where GOP candidate Todd Young could pull out a win in Medium-red Indiana.
NC-Sen: Back when Democratic Senate Candidate Deborah Ross was head of the North Carolina ACLU, she commented that the sex offender registry was making it harder for sex offenders to re-integrate into society and promoted vigilantism. Ross has shot back that as a state legislator she worked to strengthen the law. Honestly I’m not sure this actually hurts Ross, as its kind of the flip of the usual “Believe what I say not what I do” line of attack, and is pretty easy to refute. Big $ is going up behind these ads though, so we’ll see.
VA-Sen: Former GOP congressman Tom Davis is rumored to be considering running for Tim Kaine’s Senate seat should Kaine be elected to the Vice Presidency. Davis, who represented a more GOP version of the current NOVA-based VA-11 district for 14 years, is a good candidate on paper, with appeal to the sort of NOVA voter that has fueled the Democrat’s recent VA successes. However, he faces the problem of being 10 years rusty from his last campaign and running in a state that is considerably left of where is was the last time he ran. Davis is also pretty moderate for a Republican, and backed out of the 2008 VA Senate race once the state party decided on a convention rather than primary nomination process, which doesn’t bode well for his chances of surviving a post-2008 GOP race.
Colombia: The Colombian Government has signed a formal peace agreement with FARC, the decades-long communist insurgency campaign in rural Colombia famous for drug-running, brutal murder, and being one of the most prominent examples of 3rd-world terrorism in the pre-9/11 world. The deal seems to have much in common with the Northern-Ireland peace agreement, with FARC being re-launched as a political party and giving up its weapons in exchange for broad amnesty, a move that has drawn significant criticism from hard-line Anti-FARC former Colombian President Alvaro Uribe. The agreement still has to be voted on, and it has to hold in what is still a significantly war-torn country, but all parties seem optimistic about ending the 5-decade guerilla war once and for all.
Israel: Naftali Bennett has claimed that the current US Presidential election offers Israel an opportunity to formally annex all of the West Bank settlements. I assume he means that “Since someone other than Obama will be in office, we’ll have a free hand”, but I’m not exactly sure why he thinks Clinton will be more approving of a move that even generally Pro-Israel people think is a dangerous idea. Given the trajectory of the Democratic Party on the issue lately, I wouldn’t be surprised if Clinton just cuts Israel loose after such a move as a show of faith to the anti-Israel BDS left.
UK: In a sign of just how divided the British Labor Party is, Deputy Leader Tom Watson essentially gave an entire speech telling Jeremy Corbyn to stop bashing Tony Blair’s government, directly to Corbyn’s face. He followed that up by giving an positive-left speech (praising NATO, talking about electability, etc.), and shot down a Pro-Corbyn heckler. Imagine if Ted Cruz’s RNC speech was done right and you’d get a good idea of what it was like. The Telegraph believes (and I agree with it) that this was essentially Tom Watson setting himself up as leader of the Anti-Corbyn part of the Labor party without actually punching Corbyn in the face like Owen Smith tried to.