Elections, Politics

2020: Sen. Elizabeth Warren Gears Up at Netroots Confab

At last week’s leftist Netroots confab for Democrat liberals, the crowd was stoked by comments delivered by Sen. Elizabeth Warren, increasingly the hard-left’s version of Donald Trump: a populist iconoclast with a penchant for red-meat ideological issues.

So enamored was the crowd that a chant broke out which consisted of what may become the prophetic reality: “2020!”.

Warren, unlike any of her Senate colleagues, appears already to be setting the stage for such a reality.

With a campaign store that rivals Trump’s, she’s peddling prayer candles, action figures, coloring books and all sorts of paraphernalia emblazoned with her now telltale motto “She persisted.”

Warren appears now poised to assume the mantle of would-be first female president in a way Hillary Clinton could not.

She connects with her base amid impassioned speeches and a voting record that backs it up.

If she succeeds to fill the Democrat void, the 2020 contest could shape up to be a battle of the populists with voters in the center torn in the most polarizing election in history.

Here’s more from Politico…

Prayer candles. Action figures. Temporary tattoos. Coloring books.

Elizabeth Warren isn’t just a progressive icon, she’s a merchandising industry unto herself.

The Massachusetts senator and presidential prospect is at the center of a sprawling business built around her appeal to liberals across the country — a reminder of the unabashed devotion she inspires on the left and the footprint she’ll cast in the 2020 Democratic primary.

“Elizabeth Warren is an increasingly popular brand that people want to associate with,” said Adam Green, co-founder of the Progressive Change Campaign Committee. “She’s the Apple of politics.”

It’s impossible to know the true size of the Warren merchandising-industrial complex. The bulk of it exists beyond the Democratic senator’s control on sites like online marketplace Etsy. And her campaign, which hosts its own online store, declined to disclose the exact amount of money it raises from merchandise sales.

But it’s safe to say no other senator has anything like it.

Warren’s campaign store has expanded beyond traditional political fare such as buttons, bumper stickers, tote bags and T-shirts to offer a line of products that capitalize on the “Nevertheless, she persisted” meme spawned by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s much-publicized admonishment of Warren on the Senate floor earlier this year.


Elections, Politics

VP Pence Slams NYT for ‘Fake News’ 2020 Campaign Rumors

Last week we reported on the NY Times outing several potential Republican presidential candidates whom it reported were testing the 2020 waters in Iowa on the possibility that President Trump’s candidacy might be compromised.

Vice President Mike Pence, among the three mentioned, slammed the Times for a ‘fake news’ attempt to pour more gasoline on the speculation that the ongoing Russia investigation may result in Trump’s impeachment.

Quoth Pence, “The allegations in this article are categorically false and represent just the latest attempt by the media to divide this Administration.”

But the Times is standing by its ‘sources’ calling them ‘accurate’.

We shall soon see.

Here’s more from Yahoo News…

Vice President Mike Pence on Sunday denied that he is preparing for a presidential election run in 2020, saying the suggestion is “disgraceful and offensive.”

Pence was responding to a New York Times report that some Republicans were moving to form a “shadow campaign” as though President Donald Trump were not involved. It said multiple advisers to Pence “have already intimated to party donors that he would plan to run if Mr. Trump did not.”

The report said Pence had not only kept a full political calendar but also had created his own independent power base, including a political fund-raising group called the “Great America Committee.”

But Pence called the article “fake news” and said his entire team was focused on advancing Trump’s agenda and seeing him re-elected in 2020.

“The allegations in this article are categorically false and represent just the latest attempt by the media to divide this Administration,” Pence said in a statement.

The Times stood by its coverage. “We are confident in the accuracy of our reporting and will let the story speak for itself,” New York Times spokeswoman Danielle Rhoades Ha said in an email.

Pence has good relations with conservative political groups and some of the Republican Party’s big donors, including billionaire brothers Charles and David Koch.

He is also a Trump loyalist, and there is typically little distinction between his public statements and the policies of the president.

But as investigations deepen into Russia’s alleged interference in the 2016 U.S. election and possible ties to members of Trump’s campaign, Pence has put some distance between himself and the president on the best way to approach Moscow.



NYT Stirs: Republican Shadow Campaign for 2020 Takes Shape

Editors in the NY Times newsroom are almost certainly wringing their hands at the mere thought of a civil war among Republicans if President Trump has a primary fight on his hands.

That might explain why they’ve elected to stir the pot of rumors in their latest issue with rumblings of potential GOP candidates.

Sens. Ben Sasse (R-NE) and Tom Cotton (R-AR) along with Gov. John Kasick are being bandied about as likely challengers since all three have made recent trips to Iowa, the veritable starting line for presidential hopefuls.

All of them are also denying or refusing to answer questions about whether they’ve any specific White House ambitions.

But the specter of a Trump impeachment has many curious.

And of course the continued speculation of a Pence presidency is ever on the lips of both Republicans and Democrats alike.

The problem with all of this is no Republican Senate is going to remove President Trump without clear and convincing evidence of ‘crimes or misdemeanors’.

And no party apparatus is going to lend its resources to unseat its own sitting president.

In short, this is likely much leftist ado about nothing, but we’ll wait and see.

Here’s more from NYT…

Senators Tom Cotton and Ben Sasse have already been to Iowa this year, Gov. John Kasich is eyeing a return visit to New Hampshire, and Mike Pence’s schedule is so full of political events that Republicans joke that he is acting more like a second-term vice president hoping to clear the field than a No. 2 sworn in a little over six months ago.

President Trump’s first term is ostensibly just warming up, but luminaries in his own party have begun what amounts to a shadow campaign for 2020 — as if the current occupant of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue weren’t involved.

The would-be candidates are cultivating some of the party’s most prominent donors, courting conservative interest groups and carefully enhancing their profiles. Mr. Trump has given no indication that he will decline to seek a second term.

But the sheer disarray surrounding this presidency— the intensifying investigation by the special counsel Robert S. Mueller III and the plain uncertainty about what Mr. Trump will do in the next week, let alone in the next election—have prompted Republican officeholders to take political steps that are unheard-of so soon into a new administration.

Asked about those Republicans who seem to be eyeing 2020, a White House spokeswoman, Lindsay Walters, fired a warning shot: “The president is as strong as he’s ever been in Iowa, and every potentially ambitious Republican knows that.”


Elections, Politics

Disarray: Democrats Begin to See Pelosi As a 2018 Problem

We’ve been reporting for weeks now that Nancy Pelosi’s future as head of the House Democrats is growing increasingly in doubt.

While the Democrat Party is crowing about recent local special election wins — nearly all of which had nothing to do with Trump and the GOP — they’ve been quietly talking about the need for a change in direction given that they cannot seem to win nationally.

This despite Trump’s historically low approval rating and the inability of the Republican Congress to accomplish much of anything.

And they’re now wondering aloud: if we can’t win now, can we win at all?

To wit, a survey was taken among 20 Democrat candidates for House, and only one committed to backing Pelosi.

That’s not a good sign for SanFranNan.

Should Democrats manage to retake the House in ’18, the next Speaker won’t likely be Nancy Pelosi.

Which is actually unfortunate given the entertainment value she provides.

Here’s more from McClatchy…

Nancy Pelosi might actually be in trouble.

In a survey of 20 Democratic House candidates, only one – a former Senate staffer from Orange County, California – would state support for the congresswoman staying on as leader of the House Democratic Caucus. Of the rest, 18 declined to say if Pelosi should keep her job, while one, a political newcomer from a culturally conservative Ohio district, said he would vote for someone other than Pelosi.

Their refusal is a remarkable development for an already embattled minority leader, even if other congressional leaders, like Republicans House Speaker Paul Ryan or Senate Leader Mitch McConnell, are similarly unpopular in polls. More significant, however, are the implications that the candidates’ refusal carries for next year’s midterm elections.

Democrats are eager to win a majority buoyed by voters’ disapproval of President Donald Trump. But Pelosi’s own deep unpopularity has proven a major hindrance to Democrats in recent campaigns. After Democrats lost a special election in June, some party insiders blamed Pelosi directly.

“We are overdue for a new generation of leadership,” said Kenneth Harbaugh, a candidate in Ohio’s 7th Congressional District, and the only candidate surveyed who was a hard no on voting for Pelosi as leader. “We have a remarkable opportunity in front of us, and it’s going to take new thinking and new leadership to capitalize on it.”


Elections, Politics

2020: Facebook’s Zuckerberg Hires Former Clinton Pollster

Early this summer we reported on speculation that Facebook billionaire Mark Zuckerberg might be prepping a clandestine run for the White House in 2020.

This week that speculation just got boosted after Zuckerberg hired Joel Benenson, former pollster for Hillary Clinton.

Benenson joins David Plouffe, Obama’s 2008 campaign manager, as an advisor on Zuckerberg’s philanthropic operation called the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative.

If this is looking a bit familiar, it should.

It’s roughly the same model Hillary used via the Clinton Foundation to peddle financial favors ahead of a White House bid which she insisted, like Zuckerberg, she wasn’t interested in.

At 33, Zuckerberg would be the youngest (legitimate) presidential candidate in history, barely qualifying for the constitutional age of 35 by election day.

Here’s more from Politico…

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg and his wife, Priscilla Chan, have hired Democratic pollster Joel Benenson, a former top adviser to President Barack Obama and the chief strategist to Hillary Clinton’s failed 2016 presidential campaign, as a consultant, according to a person familiar with the hire.

Benenson’s company, Benenson Strategy Group, will be conducting research for the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, the couple’s philanthropy. The organization — whose mission statement, according to its website, is “advancing human potential and promoting equality” — is endowed with the couple’s Facebook fortune.

Zuckerberg and Chan have vowed to give away 99 percent of their Facebook shares, worth an estimated $45 billion, to charity. Bringing on Benenson is the latest sign that they’re pushing their philanthropic work more heavily into the political and policy world.

In January, the couple hired David Plouffe, campaign manager for Obama’s 2008 presidential run, as president of policy and advocacy. Plouffe had previously worked at Uber. Ken Mehlman, who ran President George W. Bush’s 2004 reelection campaign, also sits on the board.

And earlier this year, the couple also brought on Amy Dudley, a former communications adviser to Virginia Democratic Sen. Tim Kaine.


Elections, Politics

New Poll: Kid Rock Takes Massive Lead over Michigan Democrat

Fans still aren’t certain whether Kid Rock is actually going to run for U.S. Senate.

But the mere possibility has him surging in the polls over a not-so-popular Democrat Debbie Stabenow. In the latest poll, Kid Rock is besting Stabenow 54-46 percent among voters who bothered to name a preferred candidate.

And the 44 percent who didn’t name anyone are probably inclined to vote against a sitting politician given the caustic environment in DC these days.

We’re keeping a close eye on this one. If Dems hope to flip the Senate back to their control next year, they’ll have to knock off the Rock first.

Here’s more from Breitbart…

Kid Rock is currently a huge favorite among Michigan voters, according to a new poll showing the rock star has a massive double digit lead over his would-be Republican primary rivals, as well as incumbent Sen. Debbie Stabenow.

Kid Rock, whose real name is Robert James Ritchie, leads Sen. Stabenow 48.6 percent to 46.1 percent, according to a survey of 1,078 likely voters released Friday by the Trafalgar Group. The rocker also leads potential Republican candidates in a hypothetical matchup 49.62 percent to 28.10 percent, the survey says.

The Trafalgar Group, coincidently, predicted President Trump’s upset victory in Michigan over Hillary Clinton last November.

Last week, a Delphi Analytica poll showed that the Trump-supporting singer would beat incumbent Michigan Democratic Sen. Debbie Stabenow in a head-to-head. Some 44 percent of the poll’s respondents declined to pick a candidate. But of those who did specify support for a candidate, Kid Rock led Stabenow 54-46 percent.

While his decision to enter the Michigan U.S. Senate race looms, the 46-year-old rocker appears to be running a shadow Senate campaign. Kid Rock announced plans Wednesday for a new get-out-the-vote initiative, where he will register voters during his concerts, in a lengthy blog post that also included details about his political future.



New Report Exposes Thousands of Illegal Votes in 2016 Election

Officials in at least 21 states are pushing back against the Trump Election Advisory Commission for pressuring them to turn over voter data from last year’s presidential race.

And now we know why.

A new report conducted by the Government Accountability Institute has revealed thousands of fraudulent votes were cast last November.

And it’s probably the tip of the iceberg. In just a few weeks after Trump announced the commission, thousands of ‘voters’ canceled their registration in Colorado alone in hopes that they wouldn’t get caught up in what amounts to an election fraud dragnet.

So it’s clear Trump’s claim of rampant election fraud wasn’t so crazy after all.

Here’s more from Daily Signal…

A new bombshell study released by the Government Accountability Institute shows why President Donald Trump’s Advisory Commission on Election Integrity has such an important job ahead of it.

The institute concluded in its report that thousands of votes in the 2016 election were illegal duplicate votes from people who registered and voted in more than one state.

The Government Accountability Institute, founded by Peter Schweizer, author of “Clinton Cash, seeks to “investigate and expose crony capitalism, misuse of taxpayer monies, and other governmental corruption or malfeasance.”

Over the last few months, the institute sought to obtain “public voter information” from every state in order to search for duplicate votes. This is the same type of information the president’s Election Integrity Commission has requested.

With this report, we may have a clue as to why some states are resisting providing this data.

The Government Accountability Institute was able to obtain voter registration and voter history data from only 21 states because while some states shared it freely, “others impose exorbitant costs or refuse to comply with voter information requests.”

These 21 states represent “about 17 percent of all possible state-to-state comparison combinations.”

The institute compared the lists using an “extremely conservative matching approach that sought only to identify two votes cast in the same legal name.” It found that 8,471 votes in 2016 were “highly likely” duplicates.

Extrapolating this to all 50 states would likely produce, with “high-confidence,” around 45,000 duplicate votes.


Elections, Politics

Hillary Teases New Book: Post-Mortem on Election Implosion

Hillary can’t stand not being in the public eye almost as much as she can’t stand losing to Donald Trump last November.

So of course she decided to write a biography of her campaign defeat, entitled ‘What Happened’, which she’s calling a ‘candid’ exposé on how the election was stolen by the Russians…or that Trump voters are sexist…or that there was voter fraud in blue states…or that [insert whatever other excuses she found].

One thing is clear though: none of her post-mortem explanations will include the fact that no one, whether Democrat or Republican, really ever liked Hillary.

And that was the real problem.

So we suggest, in all candor, Simon & Schuster put a question mark at the end of the title since Hillary is really the only person unwilling to recognize the cause of her defeat.

Here’s more from Breitbart…

Failed Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton is teasing her latest book. The tome will continue her almost year-long mission of publicly picking through the wreckage of her doomed campaign and already has the title: “What Happened.”

Publisher Simon & Schuster says that Clinton’s book will detail her loss with “unprecedented candor.”

“In the past, for reasons I try to explain, I’ve often felt I had to be careful in public, like I was up on a wire without a net,” Clinton writes in the introduction. “Now I’m letting my guard down.”

The promo for the book promises that it will be a “cautionary tale” about what she has repeatedly claimed was Russian interference in the election:

She lays out how the 2016 election was marked by an unprecedented assault on our democracy by a foreign adversary. By analyzing the evidence and connecting the dots, Hillary shows just how dangerous the forces are that shaped the outcome, and why Americans need to understand them to protect our values and our democracy in the future.

In the days after the election, Clinton appeared to have accepted the loss with grace and retreated into solitude at her home in Chappaqua, New York. But eventually, she engaged in a series of events in which she listed off the reasons for her upset defeat to President Trump’s longshot campaign.

Initially, her team went with the narrative that she lost because of a combination of Russian interference and the letter from then-FBI Director James Comey in October announcing the reopening the investigation into her private email server.

However, as the months went by, Clinton’s list of people to blame grew. She would go on to blame the Democratic National Committee’s “non-existent” data operation, bad polling numbers, and “voter suppression” in Wisconsin.


Elections, International

Counter-Punch: Congress Digging into Possible DNC-Ukraine Collusion

With no end in sight for the Russia collusion investigation, Congress may be forcing the shoe on the other foot with evidence that the DNC may be the pot calling the kettle black.

According to an emerging congressional investigation, a Ukrainian-American, Alexandra Chalupa, worked as a consultant for the Democrat National Committee during the election.

That’s all fine and good, except Chalupa (who incidentally has no relationship with Taco Bell) also met with her pals at the Ukrainian embassy to strategize on ‘incriminating information’ about Trump’s campaign.

If that doesn’t qualify as colluding with foreign governments, nothing does.

This story has legs, folks.

Here’s more from Fox News…

Republicans in Congress have joined the White House in asking questions about the extent to which a Democratic Party consultant may have worked with Ukrainian officials to hurt then-candidate Donald Trump’s presidential bid last year.

Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley wrote a letter earlier this week to the Justice Department asking whether the Democratic National Committee broke the law. Grassley, R-Iowa, specifically asked if the DOJ was investigating Alexandra Chalupa, a Ukrainian-American DNC consultant who allegedly had meetings at the Ukrainian Embassy in Washington, D.C., to discuss incriminating information about Trump campaign officials.

President Trump, trying furiously to tamp down the controversy over alleged Russian coordination with his associates, has questioned why the same scrutiny is not being applied to the Democrats’ alleged Ukraine connection.

In a Tuesday tweet, he complained about the lack of an investigation into Ukraine efforts to “sabotage” his campaign.

Screen Shot 2017-07-26 at 6.39.41 PM

Prying into such claims, Grassley’s letter to Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein flagged the “deficient enforcement” of the Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA) and asked why the Justice Department did not require Chalupa to register.

“Chalupa’s actions appear to show that she was simultaneously working on behalf of a foreign government, Ukraine, and on behalf of the DNC and Clinton campaign, in an effort to influence not only the U.S. voting population but U.S. government officials,” Grassley wrote to Rosenstein, claiming that if that were the case, Chalupa would have been required under law to register under FARA.



Shock Poll: Kid Rock Leading in Michigan Senate Race

Earlier this month, Kid Rock rocked the Michigan political scene with an announcement of his bid for U.S. Senate.

He’s hoping to ride the Trump wave of electoral success to unseat incumbent Sen. Debbie Stabenow.

First impressions amounted to passing intrigue, but a new poll has folks taking a second look.

Delphi Analytica surveyed 668 Michigan voters to find that nearly a third of them prefer Kid Rock over Sen. Stabenow.

What’s more shocking is that only a quarter of them prefer Stabenow.

The midterm elections are more than a year away, but if this trend holds it could mean that the populist revolution led by President Trump is still rolling strong.

This’ll be one to watch.

Here’s more from American Mirror…

Senator Kid Rock?

That’s a very real possibility, according to a new poll.

Delphi Analytica has released the findings of a survey of 668 Michigan voters, which shows Robert Ritchie leading incumbent Sen. Debbie Stabenow, 30 percent to 26 percent.

Screen Shot 2017-07-23 at 9.49.26 PM

The poll, which was taken between July and July 18, found 44 percent of voters preferred not to answer.

As Delphi Analytica notes, “Of respondents who stated a preference between Debbie Stabenow and Robert Ritchie, 54% stated they would vote for Ritchie while 46% said they would vote for Debbie Stabenow.

“These results could indicate that Ritchie is a popular figure in Michigan, Debbie Stabenow is unpopular, or some combination of concurrent trends.”

Despite not being a formally declared candidate, Kid Rock is upping his criticisms of his rumored opponent.

On Friday, Ritchie tweeted a photo of his dinner, showing a hamburger, ears of corn, a pickle and a bottle of beer.