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Wednesday, February 13, 2019

A new generation of Democrats is using far-reaching policy ideas and a brash social media presence to upend the party - pushing it to the left on divisive issues such as health care and climate change while it charts a path aimed at taking the White House in 2020. But the liberal shift is also creating challenges for Democrats in more-conservative areas, and the GOP has been particularly focused in recent days on hammering Democrats over draft details of a broad "Green New Deal" proposal.

The party's new liberal bent is also creating dilemmas for Speaker Pelosi, who is trying to manage a band of new liberal members while also attending to the needs of moderates from swing districts that are key to Democrats retaining the House in 2020. Pelosi and her lieutenants have tried to give a nod to progressives without letting them control the agenda, recognizing that their proposals are unlikely to get a floor vote since leaders think they would be likely to backfire on the party.


Tuesday, February 12, 2019

Joe Biden is everything a Democratic political consultant should love: He's experienced, well-liked, and his poll numbers look great against Donald Trump. And yet many party strategists have a bleak assessment of his potential 2020 campaign: It's a bad, bad idea. "This last election cycle, we've seen a whole new level of energy that has emerged through a lot of fresh faces, and the party has moved in that direction and wants to hear new ideas and different messages," said Norm Sterzenbach, a former executive director of the Iowa Democratic Party who now works as a consultant in the state. Added Jim Manley, longtime Democratic operative: "I'm not convinced Biden is the right way to go at this point in time."


Sunday, February 10, 2019

Willie Brown: Make no mistake, President Trump's State of the Union address was the kickoff for his 2020 re-election campaign, and so far I've yet to see a Democrat who can beat him. So we Democrats really have our work cut out for us. If he carefully picks his fights, Trump can turn the light back on Democrats and force us to defend our progressive wing's "socialist" positions like health care for all, housing for all and guaranteed income.


Tuesday, February 05, 2019

Senator Chuck Grassley said Tuesday that he believes Special Counsel Robert Mueller is just weeks away from finishing the report he was hired to produce, 21 months after his Russia probe began. Radio host Hugh Hewitt asked the Iowa Republican when he expected to see the report. 'Within a month, if we see it,' Grassley responded.

Grassley said he supports efforts in Congress that would force the Justice Department to release Mueller's findings about alleged links between Russian agents and Trump's 2016 campaign. Grassley told Hewitt on Tuesday that Mueller's final product should be a public document, with the exception of portions that impact 'national security and [the] privacy of individuals.'

He said he has found common cause with Connecticut Democratic Sen. Richard Blumenthal, a consistent Trump antagonist, who also wants transparency. The two are co-sponsoring a bill that would force the DOJ to hand the report over.


Monday, February 04, 2019

Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam remained in power Monday but is having a difficult time finding allies, begging his Cabinet members to give him the chance to prove he was not the person pictured in a racist photo that surfaced Friday. Northam oversaw a regularly scheduled Cabinet meeting Monday morning that a source inside the meeting described as "solemn."


Comments

This is what worries me about the tit-for-tat that is going on, by ceding control of the venue, Speaker Pelosi has granted Cheetolini an unprecedented opportunity to control the message like no POTUS in the television era.

Trump could give the speech from East Room in the White House, with members of the press and people for whom the illegal immigration crisis struck home in attendance. Imagine the impact if he were able to call out or even have people rise who were themselves victims of crimes committed by people who were in the United States after illegally crossing the U.S.-Mexican border. How hard would it be to find people who fit this profile who live in New York, which is represented in the U.S. Senate by Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, or from Nancy Pelosi's piece of San Francisco or her hometown of Baltimore, Maryland where her father was for many years the mayor.

This kind of address would drive his point home powerfully, and in a way that resonates with the average American. Or he could go to the border and give it there in the presence not only of victims of crimes by illegal immigrants, but also members of the border patrol who are doing so much to try and stem the tide.

By asking Trump to postpone the speech, which essentially gives him the opening to find another setting to deliver it, Pelosi has surrendered what little control she had over the event. Rather than keep him from speaking she's, as the saying goes, handed him the rope.

If Trump decides to deliver the SOTU in front of a rabid crowd of his supporters the Democrats will be reduced to yet another ineffectual "response" that no one will watch.

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