On February 7, Donald Trump told an audience of supporters in New Hampshire that he would represent their interests, but Jeb Bush would not, because Bush was in the pocket of special interests. Trump singled out Woody Johnson, the heir to a pharmaceutical fortune, owner of the New York Jets, and contributor to Bush. Trump suggested, not unreasonably, that Johnson’s support would ensure that Bush would never allow the federal government to negotiate for lower prescription-drug prices. “I don't get any money from any of these special interests, and I know the special interests — I know them better than anybody. But I don't want their money,” he said. “So tell me, let me ask you: Do you think Jeb Bush is going to make drug prices competitive?” he asked. The crowd shouted, “No!”
Democrats anxious about the damage a protracted presidential nominating contest could inflict on party-unity prospects for victory in November often look back at the 2008 elections for solace. In that year Hillary Clinton's famous bitter-end PUMA ("Party Unity My Ass!") followers mostly came around, though not without a pretty good push from their candidate and her husband at the 2008 Democratic convention.
The reaction of conservative opinion-leaders to Donald Trump's list of prospects he would consider for the vacancy on the U.S. Supreme Court was generally quite positive. But big-time constitutional conservative Senator Mike Lee, who hasn't endorsed Trump and was himself left off the list (though his brother was included!), took the cake:
Speaking completely objectively here, [it] stands above the rest. It wasn’t that there were some great names on that list, that was the best, most conservative Supreme Court list I have ever seen from any president and I was thrilled by that.
Last night on Jimmy Kimmel Live!, Donald Trump was asked if he would debate Bernie Sanders, and he agreed to do so. Sanders immediately accepted the offer. What makes this unusual event plausible is that it serves the interests of both figures (assuming Sanders does not define his own interests as helping Hillary Clinton beat Trump in November). Sanders would get to be elevated to the role of imaginary Democratic candidate, using the platform to display himself outperforming Trump, as he has always claimed he could. The Trump debate would be a media spectacle, providing him with gobs of free publicity.
Just a day after protesters at a Trump rally in New Mexico hurled rocks and bottles at police, yet another Trump rally — this one in Anaheim, California — got out of hand when anti-Trump protesters clashed with Trump supporters and law enforcement. A small group of protesters remained outside the rally after larger crowds dispersed, setting a trash can on fire and throwing objects at police, the Los Angeles Times reports. At least eight people were arrested at the scene.
Donald Trump is now entrenched in his campaign against Hillary Clinton, and his grand plan to undermine her support with women is to remind them that her husband has been accused of sexual assault. On Tuesday he released a 15-second Instagram ad that featured Bill Clinton sucking on a cigar while recordings of interviews with his alleged victims played in the background.
Harry Enten of FiveThirtyEight has helped unravel one of the great mysteries of Campaign '16: Who are the self-identified independent voters Bernie Sanders is carrying so heavily in primaries and caucuses? Are they swing voters who might well swing to Donald Trump in a general-election contest with Hillary Clinton, or stay home in large numbers?
Representative Scott DesJarlais Is One of Trump’s Biggest Boosters in Congress. He’s Also a Total Piece of Work.By Ed Kilgore
One of the big political stories today is that House Speaker Paul Ryan's slow walk toward endorsing Donald Trump for president may be coming to an end. One of the things that may give him pause is to a look at the House colleagues who beat him to this particular punch. Some of the early birds in the Trump camp are, to use a technical term, real pieces of work.
This week, Elizabeth Warren delivered a speech at the Center for Popular Democracy that made donkeys everywhere salivate at the thought of her savaging the mogul 24/7 as a member of the national Democratic ticket. But whenever Warren's name comes up as a potential running mate for Hillary Clinton, objections immediately arise concerning the impact of her departure on the Senate. Senate Democratic Minority Leader Harry Reid raised the volume on these objections:
“Do you think it’s wise to even consider pulling someone like a Sherrod Brown or an Elizabeth Warren out of the Untied States Senate at a time when Democrats are trying to win the body back?” MSNBC’s Joy Reid asked the Nevada Democrat.
"If we have a Republican governor in any of those states, the answer is not only no — but hell no. I would do whatever I can, and I think most of my Democratic colleagues here would say the same thing," Reid said on MSNBC.
To the disappointment of devotees of laissez-faire government, from wild-eyed crypto-anarchists to grim Randian Objectivists, the rumored "Libertarian moment" that presidential candidate Rand Paul was supposed to usher in did not arrive. Indeed, a Donald Trump–Hillary Clinton general election has to be a real nightmare for libertarians.
Deep behind a tangle of denial and rebranding initiatives, a GOP resuscitation plan emerges.By Frank Rich
When Mark Sanford decided to run for office again, he asked his ex-wife, Jenny, for her blessing. Whether he has her vote is another matter.By Jason Zengerle
Jon Favreau’s most enduring riffs.
Wonkblog Jan. 21, 2013
For all the sound and fury, Washington’s actually making real progress on debt.By Ezra Klein
Mother Jones Jan. 15, 2013
Our debt dysfunction began with the Constitution, funded Manifest Destiny, and makes the trillion dollar coin look tame.By Tim Murphy
Salon Jan. 15, 2012
Harry Reid and other pro-gun Democrats leave Obama in need of unlikely allies.By Steve Kornacki
New York Magazine / Nov. 5, 2010
After November's glitch, Boehner, McConnell and Congress strike familiar poses.By John Heilemann
New York Magazine / Jan. 25, 2009
Obama drew progressive ire from day one.By John Heilemann
New York Magazine / Nov. 30, 2008
How one undocumented family lives in our sanctuary city.By Jeff Coplon