Saturday, July 23, 2016

As the campaign turns...

Posted By on Sat, Jul 23, 2016 at 4:30 PM

  • DEMOCRACY, 2016

And down the stretch they come...

Trump and Putin
Josh Marshall at TPM has a deep dive today on the web of financial and political ties between Donald Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin:
At a minimum, Trump appears to have a deep financial dependence on Russian money from persons close to Putin. And this is matched to a conspicuous solicitousness to Russian foreign policy interests where they come into conflict with US policies which go back decades through administrations of both parties. There is also something between a non-trivial and a substantial amount of evidence suggesting Putin-backed financial support of Trump or a non-tacit alliance between the two men.
Sound crazy? Read the whole thing

Kaine mania
Near-universal praise from the chattering classes for Time Kaine's speech earlier today. Here's Michael Tomasky at the Daily Beast, for example: 
Holy crap. He killed it.

I’m not trying to spin you. I’m sitting here in shock. Shock. Tim Kaine was unbelievable.
He was natural. He was smart. He was relaxed and funny, and he was serious. He was proud of himself and his wife and family but never arrogant. He was humble without ever being cloying in that way the politically humble can often be. He was genuine. He was unbelievable.

And part of the way through, this thought struck me: He is the perfect choice for her because he comes across as so at ease and so real. These are two things, as we know, that Hillary Clinton has a lot of trouble with. She’s too scripted, she’s a phony, all that stuff. Kaine was just so easy-breezy, so comfortable with himself and in this role, that he has the potential to wash away a decent chunk of that negativity about her.
Donald Trump, however, felt otherwise: 

Inside baseball
Fun read from Politico on how the Kaine selection happened and how the Clinton camp spread the word to Bernie Sanders.  

Sarah Huckabee Sanders and Team Trump
Frank Lockwood in the D-G this morning profiles the involvement of Sarah Huckabee Sanders in Donald Trump's campaign for president. Sanders was named senior political adviser to the campaign earlier this year, after her father, former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, dropped out of the race. 

Huckabee says that his daughter was listening to Dick Morris do cross tabs of polls instead of jumping rope when she was seven years old. That sounds like a scarring experience to me, but she seems to have turned out just fine. 

Trump's trouble in Romney country
Roll Call has changed their rating for Utah, no longer a safe win for Donald Trump. Utah hasn't gone to the Dems in a presidential race since 1964. What a strange year.

American nightmare
If I'm to put on my pundit's hat and make a prediction, my guess is that after both conventions, the net bounce for Hillary Clinton will give her a solid lead that she hangs on to in a relatively stable race for the next several months. But Nate Silver at fivethirtyeight reminds us that we're far from slam dunk territory (his site currently gives Clinton a 57 percent chance of winning the presidency): 

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