It is never easy to write about your opponents’ political successes. But today I must admit that Wednesday was a good day for Democrats. Sure, there were some missteps. Kaine and Bloomberg were a bore. Reid was outright nasty and subverted the positive theme the Convention has been going for all week.
But Trump’s Russia comment (which I believe he meant to be a tongue-in-cheek shot at the media, and then got in too deep to simply say that), combined with President Obama’s magnum opus of a Convention speech, gave Democrats both a more unified party and the news cycle. I have very little doubt that Hillary will be getting a significant bump out of the Convention.
Obama: While Republicans occasionally were accused of pushing a liberal narrative at the RNC–most specifically with Ivanka Trump arguing for affordable childcare–I never thought I’d see Obama deliver this line in a major national address: “America has never been about what one person says he’ll do for us. It’s always been about what can be achieved by us, together, through the hard and slow, and sometimes frustrating, but ultimately enduring work of self-government.”
There was a subtle irony to the fact that President Obama–a man who made very big promises about hope and change, and whose supporters lauded their free phones and not paying their mortgages–was offering a vision of America about self-government, and not what government says it will do for you.
Kaine: It hardly matters because it won’t be a memorable speech, but boy was Kaine’s terrible “Believe Me” impression of Trump painful to listen to. By the end it was like nails on a chalkboard.
CNN: The coverage of the Convention is radically different, depending on which network you watch. Fox was running hard with the Pelosi comment about guns and gays, while CNN didn’t mention it. And purportedly neutral commentators on CNN like Wolf Blitzer, Anderson Cooper, and John King seemed practically eager to hear an awe-inspiring speech from President Obama. To me they were openly rooting for another 2004-type speech from Obama.
Trump-OR: A poll released by Clout research shows Trump within 3 points in … the state of Oregon. Sure, maybe Trump got a Convention bounce, but Oregon ain’t happening.
Hillary: Secretary Clinton continues to offer contradictory explanations on the “why” behind her private server use, occasionally saying it was recommended by others, and other times saying it was strictly about convenience. Judicial Watch filed another brief yesterday again requesting a 3-hour deposition of Secretary Clinton.
Trump-AMA: Trump had what seems like an uneventful “Ask me Anything” session on Reddit. The questions during the AMA were carefully screened and the entire forum was heavily moderated.
OH-Sen: Portman’s campaign is doing well, and the fact that two labor groups have endorsed him this week is certainly a good sign for him. Democrats have been “knocked back on their heels,” says this article. Agreed.
FL-Sen: Rubio claimed in an interview Wednesday that the Democratic Party is more divided than the Republican party. He also suggested that Trump could learn how to be President while on the job. Unfortunately, both statements appear to be incorrect.
More FL-Sen: Congressman Alan Grayson can’t stop melting down. At this point it’s difficult to see how things could have gone better for Marco Rubio in the last month, with both of his potential Democratic opponents flailing.
IL-Sen: Illinois Republicans are challenging the ballot status of an independent and Constitution Party candidate in Illinois. Neither candidate has any chance of winning, but obviously there is a good chance that the Constitution Party candidate could siphon votes from Kirk.
More IL-Sen: In some good news for Kirk, the women suing Tammy Duckworth have decided not to settle their case, and will instead go to trial. The trial is set to go on August 15. Of course, this doesn’t mean that a settlement won’t still be reached in the next few weeks.
NH-Sen: Governor and Senate candidate Maggie Hassan has a somewhat confusing line of attack against incumbent Republican Kelly Ayotte. Apparently a for-profit university had a PAC that contributed $8,000 to Ayotte, which she promptly returned once she realized the university was under investigation. But in response, Hassan claims that Ayotte was voting against measures to better scrutinize for-profit colleges. Way to get in the deepest weeds possible, Governor.
Obama library: The site of the Presidential library has been chosen. Chicago’s Jackson park neighborhood, on the south side, will host the library.
DNC Voicemails: Although these were leaked last week, a new story hit yesterday that some voicemails revealed the inner workings of cash-for-access arrangements with big Democratic donors. Sordid stuff, even if not illegal.
Hillary’s America: The Dinesh D’Souza film is doing well in the category of political documentaries.