Trump Flubs

When Donald Trump loses this election he vowed in Wednesday’s debate he might not accept defeat on Nov. 8.

“I’ll look at it at the time,” Trump said.

Trump was responding to moderator Chris Wallace’s specific questions about whether he would honor the American tradition of the presidential loser conceding to the president-elect.

When Wallace pressed him again, Trump responded again that he’d “keep you in suspense.”

HRC’s response:

“That’s horrifying. You know, every time Donald thinks things are not going in his direction, he claims whatever it is, is rigged against him. The FBI conducted a year-long investigation into my e-mails. They concluded there was no case; he said the FBI was rigged. He lost the Iowa caucus. He lost the Wisconsin primary. He said the Republican primary was rigged against him. Then Trump University gets sued for fraud and racketeering; he claims the court system and the federal judge is rigged against him. There was even a time when he didn’t get an Emmy for his TV program three years in a row and he started tweeting that the Emmys were rigged against him. This is a mindset. This is how Donald thinks. And it’s funny, but it’s also really troubling. That is not the way our democracy works. We’ve been around for 240 years. We’ve had free and fair elections. We’ve accepted the outcomes when we may not have liked them. And that is what must be expected of anyone standing on a debate stage during a general election. You know, President Obama said the other day when you’re whining before the game is even finished. It just shows you’re not up to doing the job. And let’s — you know, let’s be clear about what he is saying and what that means. He is denigrating — he’s talking down our democracy. And I, for one, am appalled that somebody who is the nominee of one of our two major parties would take that kind of position.”

Trump’s Post-2016 Plans?

It scares me to crawl into Trump’s head, but here’s what I see. What do you see?

Trump knows he’ll lose so now his “rigged election” claim sets up a claim that he was robbed, priming the pump for an independent run in 2020. Giving him the stage for the next four years to hurl whatever creative prevarications he can imagine to attack Hillary’s presidency. And he could muster enough support to get in the debates four years from now.

I don’t see Trump walking away from this loss. He won’t be able to let it stand, just as he moved from his humiliating business failures (which belied his grandiose book “Art Of The Deal”) to a revival of his financial empire (and his next book, “Art Of The Comeback”).

Guess what? Clinton supporters should welcome this. It would likely deprive the 2020 Republican nominee of the votes needed to defeat HRC’s reelection.

A Machiavellian Twist

Something smart Democrats are worried about: the move among congressional GOP leaders to dump Trump is all about driving the party’s Super PAC friends to ignore him and pour their fortunes into House and Senate races instead. And the TV ads they are increasingly funding in key races are moving numbers toward GOP candidates.

The crazier he gets, or is portrayed, the more difficult it gets for Democrats to link him to down ballot Republicans because party leaders are isolating him as an outlier.

In other words, the fear is that the more Trump is marginalized the less chance that Democrats regain control on Capitol Hill. My suggestion to Democrats? STOP focusing on Trump and git ‘er done down ballot.

In even more other words, it seems to me the Republican establishment, having abandoned any hope of winning the White House, is creatively working on a way to leverage their Trump disaster into building a Congress that will be hostile to anything Hillary wants to do.

And Democrats, from the grass roots on up to the Obamas and the Clintons, are taking the bait.

Michelle In Charge

Trump has become such an easy target that even a First Lady can join the fray without any fear of significant fallout. But Michelle Obama’s heartfelt shredding of the GOP nominee in a New Hampshire campaign speech on Thursday rose above politics, while well serving her party’s political aims.

Still, I wonder if the obsessive focus on loser Trump by Democratic leaders and supporters is distracting their attention and energy from the next job: regaining control of the House and Senate.

michelle101416Michelle Obama

  • “I can’t stop thinking about this. It has shaken me to my core in a way that I couldn’t have predicted.”
  • “This was not just lewd conversation. This wasn’t just locker room banter. This was a powerful individual speaking freely and openly about sexually predatory behavior, and actually bragging about kissing and groping women.”
  • “The shameful comments about our bodies, the disrespect of our ambitions and intellect, the belief that you can do anything you want to a woman — it is cruel, it’s frightening, and the truth is — it hurts.”
  • “So many have worked for so many years to end this kind of violence and abuse and disrespect but here we are in 2016 and we’re hearing these exact same things every day on the campaign trail. We are drowning in it.”
  • “Too many are treating this as just another day’s headline. As if our outrage is overblown or unwarranted. As if this is normal. Just politics as usual … This is not normal. This is not politics as usual. This is disgraceful. It is intolerable.”
  • “This isn’t about politics. It’s about basic human decency. It’s about right and wrong … Now is the time for all of us to stand up and say ‘enough is enough.’ This has got to stop right now.”
  • “To dismiss this as everyday locker room talk is an insult to decent men everywhere.”
  • “Strong men, men who are truly role models, don’t need to put down women to make themselves feel powerful.”
  • “We’re telling our sons that it’s OK to humiliate women. We’re telling our daughters that this is how they deserve to be treated. We’re telling all our kids that bigotry and bullying are perfectly acceptable in the leader of their country.”
  • “If we have a president who routinely degrades women, who brags about sexually assaulting women, then how can we maintain our moral authority in the world?”

Kerry Threatens Cyber Retaliation

cyberwarSecretary of State John Kerry is promising retaliation against Russian President Vladimir Putin’s cyber meddling in the American presidential election. Kerry said the U.S. means to “put the people doing it on a notice that they’re not, quote, ‘getting away with it’ for free, as well as to put states on notice that we’re serious when we say they need to take every measure possible to guarantee the integrity of our elections. And we will and can respond in ways that we choose to at the time of our choice.” Read More.

Orlando Sentinel Rejects Rubio

“Until now, we have never missed an opportunity to recommend Marco Rubio to voters. … This race is different. … If Rubio is re-elected to the Senate, and decides to pivot for another run for the White House in a couple of years, Floridians won’t be getting the full attention that they expect and deserve. They also are more likely to see him do things, like retreating on immigration reform, that make more sense for a GOP presidential candidate than a sitting Florida senator. All of Rubio’s experience and talents, if they are at risk of being diverted elsewhere, aren’t enough to persuade us to recommend him to voters for another U.S. Senate term. We endorse Democrat Patrick Murphy.” Read More

Rubio: I still support Trump