Senate Democrats Already Playing Politics With an Eye Towards 2020

For many Democrats in Congress, the media and in Hollywood, the collective freak-out over Donald Trump’s election continues apace. Their clear-eyed, sober post-election analysis of why Hillary Clinton lost has included accusing the FBI of colluding with the Kremlin, wondering why white, working-class voters in the Mid-West are racists (after backing President Obama in successive elections), and pointing to the Electoral College as an archaic relic of our antebellum past, standing athwart the “demographics is destiny” mantra they are fond of espousing.

Despite the lamentations, President-elect Trump has decided to forge ahead and do his job. He has nominated the majority of individuals that are to lead executive departments in his administration, an array made up mainly of standard, conventional Republicans. Faced with the responsibility to question these nominees on topics relevant to the positions they intend to fill, several Democrats have instead decided to posture and play politics while jostling for position in anticipation of the 2020 presidential race. As their party is left without its iconic leader and in ruins after the 2016 election, the Senate confirmation hearings serve as an excellent opportunity to make all the appropriate gestures in order to become the new talisman of progressives.

Senator Cory Booker of New Jersey took the unprecedented step of testifying against Senator Jeff Sessions, nominated to be the next Attorney General of the United States. Normally, a witness testifies before a committee to bring to light facts that have bearing on the nominee’s ability and fitness to fulfill his obligations. Furthermore, it is unheard of for a senator to provide testimony against a fellow senator in a confirmation hearing. Booker decided that the nomination of Sessions to lead the Justice Department posed such a grave threat to our democracy that he was moved to testify against him. The only problem was that Booker’s overwrought performance brought no factual testimony against Sessions, merely the opportunity for Booker to emote on camera. Booker has certainly changed his tune since last year, where he declared that he was “blessed and honored” to work with Sessions on legislation that awarded the Congressional Gold Medal to civil-rights activists. What has changed since that moment of bipartisan and senatorial comity? One could imagine that this change of heart was spurred by glowing profiles of his new Senate colleague from California, and his insistence that he deserved a few as well.

Kamala HarrisKamala Harris, the newly elected Senator from California, already has many, many admirers. A profile in the New Republic ran down the accolades: projected as “the next Barack Obama” in the Washington Post, the “Great Blue Hope” in the San Francisco Chronicle, and The Hill, Mother Jones and The New York Times all have cited her as a 2020 presidential candidate. It makes sense that she should use the confirmation hearings of Trump nominees to signal to the party’s base that she will take on the mantle of a progressive leader of a party whose official leadership positions are occupied by people all over the age of 70.

Senator Harris sits on the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, which yesterday heard the testimony of Kansas representative Mike Pompeo, nominated by President-elect Trump to the position of CIA director. The incoming CIA director will have a myriad of pressing national security concerns that will be need to addressed immediately. Harris, though, had other priorities on her mind, mainly virtue-signaling to progressives that she will fight climate change anywhere, even Langley, Virginia.

Harris first quoted a statement from current CIA Director John Brennan, where he argued that climate change has contributed to political instability around the world. She asked Pompeo if he had any reason to doubt this assessment of CIA analysts. After Pompeo demurred, she followed up by asking Pompeo for his own personal beliefs on climate change. Pompeo responded by saying, “As the director of CIA, I would prefer today to not get into the details of climate debate and science.”

Having covered one topic so germane to the national security of the United States, Harris pivoted to another, specifically gay marriage. She brought up Pompeo’s voting record and stated position of belief in traditional marriage and his disagreement with the Supreme Court’s 2015 ruling that legalized gay marriage in the U.S. “Can you commit to me that your personal views on this issue will remain your personal views and will not impact internal policies that you put in place at the CIA?” Harris asked. Pompeo gave Harris his assurance that his views on marriage would not impact his management of employees at the CIA.

Politicians sometimes make the mistake of only seeking short-term victories. Case in point: one minute you’re informing GOP leaders that “you’ve won,” and you pass far-reaching legislation on party-line votes and enacting new regulations without congressional input or approval. Then, you wake up on January 20, 2017 to see that your party has lost over 60 seats in the House, 13 in the Senate, 12 governorships, and 900+ state legislative seats over the course of your presidency. Oh, and your successor is Donald Trump.

Smarter politicians take the long view, and Harris and Booker are calculating that they will be better equipped to campaign under Obama’s “legacy” in 2020 than Hillary Clinton was in 2016. They will continue to present themselves as fresh, progressive alternatives, a role that Clinton, with her corporate speech fees and quasi-criminal syndicate masquerading as a charitable foundation, could never fulfill. Whether it is asking questions about social issues and climate change before a committee hearing dedicated to national security matters, or masquerading before the cameras in order to again castigate a Republican as an irredeemable racist, both Harris and Booker intend to send a message to their party’s left flank: “I am paying attention to your concerns, and by the way, can you send a check?”

How Mass Media Missed the Story

trump-wins-newspaperNo one looks like bigger fools the day after President-elect Trump’s triumph than America’s political reporters, and especially those working for the major California newspapers who completely misread this election. Cocooned in their little world of liberal elitism they completely missed the real anger that was out in the country and that led to Tuesday’s astounding results.

Most of California’s daily newspapers seemed to be vying to the Isvestia of the Hillary Clinton administration with one fawning story and opinion editorial after another.  The Los Angeles Times even went so far as to publish its own state by state “analysis” of the Electoral Votes showing Clinton with 352 votes, just about 120 more than she actually got. The accompanying story said their analysis was “based on public polling, state vote histories and the reporting done by our campaign staff.”

Instead of their “own campaign staff,” the Times should have looked at its own USC Dornsife/LA Times poll, the only poll in America that constantly showed Trump winning. But because this poll did not match the political bias of the political reporters, it was ignored, and in one case denounced.

A blog called CalBuzz written by two retired reporters took on this poll for daring to say Trump might win, writing on October 21 of the LA Times/USC Dornsife poll, “This poor excuse for a survey has been so wrong so persistently – and has been so constantly cited by Donald Trump as evidence of his campaign success.” Of course this poll was exactly right and California’s media establishment exactly wrong.

So what was the real story of this election missed by the political and media elites of California? Go to Harlan County, Kentucky. This is coal mining country, the very epitome of the Democratic Party that once celebrated “The Coal Miner’s Daughter” and worked to make life better for the struggling working class. Until 2004, Harlan County, dominated by the United Mine Workers, had voted for every Democratic candidate for president but one since Kentucky became a state in 1795.

On Tuesday, in one of the most historically Democratic counties in the United States, Donald Trump got 84.9 percent of the vote.

The smug California political class, and the reporters and editorialists that cover them, had no idea how unhappy working people are throughout this country. And now the elites will sit around their Beverly Hills and Silicon Valley mansions and wonder how they will survive four years of President Trump. It will not be easy.

Trump Pulls Off Biggest Upset in U.S. History

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump speaks to supporters as he takes the stage for a campaign event in Dallas, Monday, Sept. 14, 2015. (AP Photo/LM Otero)

Donald Trump is going to be the next president of the United States.

The billionaire businessman who never before held elected office shocked America and the world, defeating Hillary Clinton in an extraordinary rebuke to the nation’s political class after an ugly and divisive race that will go down as the most stunning upset in American history.

Trump did so decisively, stomping across the electoral map with wins in the four biggest battlegrounds of Florida, North Carolina, Ohio and Pennsylvania. He defied the polls and pundits after a scorched-earth campaign against Clinton, the Republican establishment, and basic decorum, toppling the blue wall of states that Clinton had supposedly constructed to keep the White House in Democratic hands.

The nation, the markets and the world stood stunned, wondering what would come next. The Dow Futures sank as much as 750 points. The Mexico peso plunged.

“It is time for us to come together as one united people,” Trump said in a victory speech, following a concession call from Clinton at nearly 3 a.m. Eastern. “It’s time.”

Trump led an unseen rebellion of working-class voters, most of them white and so disgusted by a stalled status quo that they voted for a candidate promising dramatic change, even as Trump set disapproval records for a winning candidate. He also tapped into ethnic antagonism, vowing strict immigration controls, a ban on Muslims and a deportation force, promising an era of restoration.

“The forgotten men and women of our country will be forgotten no longer,” Trump declared.

Clinton had been heavily favored to win. She led national polls and in most battleground states heading into the election. Her allies were so confident that a supportive super PAC had actually redirected millions to other races.

But Trump had been underestimated from the first day of his candidacy, when he descended the gilded escalators of Trump Tower to bash Mexican immigrants as “rapists.” He went on to dispatch 16 rivals in the Republican primary before mounting a vicious campaign against Clinton in which he paraded her husband’s infidelities, repeatedly called her corrupt and questioned whether she could govern as a woman.

For 17 months, the reality television showman mesmerized the public with his unvarnished tweets, constant television presence and raucous mass rallies. His full-throttle grip on the national imagination enriched the news media and eroded standards of political civility.

It made him a hero to his fans. And they voted in droves. …

Click here to read the full article from Politico

What Donald Trump Has Achieved for America Already

Donald TrumpGRAND RAPIDS, Michigan — The conventional wisdom is that the 2016 election has seen politics hit new lows. And in some ways — the rhetoric of the candidates, the partisan behavior of the media — it has.

But it has also seen the beginning of a democratic renewal — thanks to Donald Trump. And that remains true whether you are voting against him, or voting for him simply to reject Hillary Clinton.

Trump did more than break the stranglehold of the Republican establishment. Were that all he had accomplished, it would have been admirable enough. But he did something more: he reached out to Americans who had been forgotten by the political process and gave them a reason to care.

Think about the fact that Trump chose to hold the final rally of his campaign in Michigan. Not just as a stunt, either: the most recent poll, which came out just hours before Trump boarded his plane for Grand Rapids, shows Trump ahead by 2 points in the state.

Democrats spent the day campaigning here. They know the danger is real.

Trump is taking the biggest gamble of recent political memory, and reaching out to the very core of the traditional Democratic base in the hope of flipping a blue state. For the first time since Ronald Reagan, a Republican is courting the vote of the American worker.

Trump is not just attempting a win, but a realignment — and perhaps one long overdue.

The result, once the dust settles, is likely to be a more active, lively, and engaged political process — one where the views and concerns of working, law-abiding Americans are no longer shunted aside.

Bernie Sanders could not achieve that because he wanted to fight for them, but not to win for them. Trump wants both.

Well before the votes are counted, it is safe to proclaim: today is a new day in American politics.

There is something intrinsically great about this nation’s ability to save itself, and Trump has helped it begin that process. And just in time, too — for the challenges that lie ahead are as big as any we have yet overcome.

In 24 hours, we will know if he will be the one to lead us through.

Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News. His new book, See No Evil: 19 Hard Truths the Left Can’t Handle, is available from Regnery through Amazon. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.

This piece was originally published by Breitbart.com/California

CNN Cuts Ties with Donna Brazile Over Clinton Coziness

As reported by Politico:

CNN says it is “completely uncomfortable” with hacked emails showing former contributor and interim DNC chair Donna Brazile sharing questions with the Clinton campaign before a debate and a town hall during the Democratic primary, and has accepted her resignation.

Hacked emails posted by WikiLeaks show Brazile, whose CNN contract was suspended when she became interim DNC chair over the summer, sharing with the Clinton campaign a question that would be posed to Hillary Clinton before the March CNN Democratic debate in Flint, and sharing with the campaign a possible question prior to a CNN town hall also in March.

In a statement, CNN spokeswoman Lauren Pratapas said that on Oct. 14, the network accepted Brazile’s resignation.

“On October 14th, CNN accepted Donna Brazile’s resignation as a CNN contributor. (Her deal had previously been suspended in July when she became the interim head of the DNC.) CNN never gave Brazile access to any questions, prep material, attendee list, background information or meetings in advance of a town hall or debate. We are completely uncomfortable with what we have learned about her interactions with the Clinton campaign while she was a CNN contributor,” Pratapas said. …

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Clinton Allies Target Comey Over New Email Probe

As reported by Bloomberg Politics:

Hillary Clinton’s allies dramatically escalated attacks on FBI Director James Comey in a bid to stem political damage from his disclosure the agency is reviewing a new batch of files that may be related to an investigation of the former secretary of state’s e-mail practices.

Harry Reid, the Senate’s top Democrat, delivered an unusual rebuke to the FBI chief in a letter Sunday that said Comey may have broken the law by revealing the review so close to the election, and suggested the agency is sitting on potentially damaging information about Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump.

Reid’s scorching letter — typical of the combative Nevadan’s style — was one of the most confrontational messages being delivered by Clinton supporters, who took to talk shows, newspaper opinion pages and social media to question the propriety of Comey’s disclosure.

Late Sunday, one Democratic member of the House Judiciary Committee, Steve Cohen of Tennessee, called for Comey’s resignation. Judiciary is among the congressional committees that oversee the FBI, and Cohen is the top Democrat on a subcommittee with jurisdiction over matters involving ethics in government. …

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How Would President Hillary Affect California?

Photo courtesy SEIU International, flickr

Photo courtesy SEIU International, flickr

Should Hillary Clinton be elected president on Nov. 8, how would that affect California?

1) National recession. As Ambrose Evans-Pritchard just reported in the Telegraph, “The risk of a U.S. recession next year is rising fast. The Federal Reserve has no margin for error. Liquidity is suddenly drying up. Early warning indicators from U.S. ‘flow of funds’ data point to an incipient squeeze, the long-feared capitulation after five successive quarters of declining corporate profits.”

Uh-oh.

There are ways to deal with this. When something similar happened 35 years ago, President Reagan and Fed Chairman Paul Volcker met it with cuts in taxes and regulations and stabilizing the dollar at $350 an ounce of gold – even though Volcker pushed up interest rates to kill off the 1970s inflation. As Reagan later admitted, it was a mistake to delay the bulk of his tax cuts to 1983. But when the tax cuts finally freed the economy, that year it grew at 7 percent, and at least 4 percent annually until President George H.W. Bush’s “Read my lips! New taxes!” tax increase of 1991 sparked a recession.

Donald Trump’s program would be similar. But we’re talking here about Hillary, who wants more taxes and regulations. Assuming Republicans still control the House, she’s unlikely to impose higher taxes; but taxes won’t go lower, either. And President Obama has shown how executive orders can greatly increase the intrusive powers of the regulatory state. She has regretted promising, “We’re going to put a lot of coal miners and coal companies out of business.” And she supposedly believes those jobs will be replaced by “green jobs.” But that just means more Solyndras.

2) Massive California budget deficits. If the Fed increases interest rates, that finally would end its Zero Interest Rate disaster, now more than eight years long, which has devastated middle-class savings. But raising interest rates would tank the places money has been forced to go: the stock market and real estate.

That would shrink California tax collections, which rely abnormally on income, capital gains and (despite Proposition 13) property taxes. The state’s $7 billion “rainy day fund” would dry up fast. Soon we’d be back to $20 billion-plus deficits.

3) Split-roll tax increase? The deficits would spark calls for yet another tax increase to keep the state spending spree going. If Democrats again grab 2/3 of both houses of the Legislature, they could pass tax increases themselves, with no Republican input. But moderate Democrats likely would torpedo that. And Gov. Jerry Brown probably would say it should be put before voters for the June or November 2018 ballots; probably the latter because of greater (more liberal) turnout.

With the Proposition 55 income tax increase (or “extension”) likely having passed in 2016, it would be tough to push income tax rates yet higher, say to 15 percent from an already staggering 13.3 percent. Moreover, the declining revenues would be due to a drop-off in income and cap gains taxes, so increasing taxes on lower revenues wouldn’t help that much.

So the push would be for a split-roll tax on property, with Prop. 13’s protections remaining for homes. A higher tax would be levied on commercial property, possibly with an exemption for apartments. As we’ve seen whenever this proposal has come up, it would be a battle royale between the public-employee unions and such anti-tax groups as the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association, who probably would win.

Here are a couple of “positive” things for California:

4) More defense spending and jobs. Hillary heavily pushed for the bombing in 1999 of Serbia over Kosovo and in 2011 of Libya. She also supported the Iraq and Afghan wars; as well as other wars in Ukraine, Somalia, Yemen, Syria, etc. And every chance she gets she attacks Russian President Vladimir Putin and says Donald Trump is his puppet. Wars are the greatest way to boost defense spending because you have to replace the depleted materiel.

Moreover, a President Hillary would have stronger political and economic ties to California than any president since Reagan and, before him, Richard Nixon of Yorba Linda. As did LBJ in the 1960s, the Bushes moved a great deal of defense spending to Texas. So did Vice President Dick Cheney, the former chief of Houston-based Halliburton. Assuming she doesn’t get into a nuclear tiff with Putin and get us all killed, that will mean more defense industry jobs for Californians. Also more jobs in the U.S. Army’s Mortuary Affairs service.

5) A more level playing field with other states. Enthused AB32, the Global Warming Solutions Act of 2006, “[A]ction taken by California to reduce emissions of greenhouse gases will have far-reaching effects by encouraging other states, the federal government, and other countries to act.” That hasn’t happened. Instead, AB 32 and similar legislation have pushed businesses and jobs to other states.

But if Hillary is elected, she’ll impose AB32 and similar legislation nationally. Likewise, although she won’t be able to raise the national minimum wage to the $15 an hour California soon will have, she certainly will be able to convince Republicans to boost it from the current $7.25 – say, to $12. Who cares if a higher minimum wage destroys the jobs of poor people? That will mean more jobs for Hillary-supporting social workers.

But the greater relative damage to other states from her policies would mean fewer jobs leaving California for those states. Although jobs still would depart for more sensible countries.

My suggestions to ride out the tough years of a Hillary administration: Get a job in the defense industry or as a social worker. And if she keeps up her belligerence toward Russia, dig a bomb shelter.

Veteran California columnist John Seiler now is a freelance writer. His email:writejohnseiler@gmail.com

This piece was originally published by Fox and Hounds Daily

Never Trump’s Bed Wetters and Washington Generals

As Bill Clinton apparently said to every woman other than his wife that he ever met, let’s get the sex thing out of the way first.

Years ago Donald Trump engaged in piggish locker room talk, leaving the media and the NeverTrump pearl clutchers in a frenzy. To be painfully blunt, any male who has been in athletic locker rooms and claims not to have heard or participated in such blather is either lying or a candidate for Vestal Virgin status. Doubting that there are many Vestals among either the media or NeverTrump, the conclusion is clear – they’re all lying, as frankly are 99 percent of the locker room talkers.

This is the same media that labelled the waddling sot from Massachusetts, Ted Kennedy, as the “lion of the Senate,” ignoring that he murdered a young woman. This is the same media that winked, chuckled and guffawed at the eight-year occupant of the Oval Office who was accused of rape and serial molestation. Their protestations about words, not deeds but words, are as sincere as Captain Renault’s about gambling in Rick’s Café.

The NeverTrumpers having fainting spells over the comments need to put on their big boy pants, get over it and put the good of the country above their prissy, prudish, holier-than-thou theatrics. Mike Huckabee referred to them as “bed wetters,” and they richly deserve that title.

As to the plethora of women coming forth to say Trump committed various sorts of sexual battery on them, some as long as 30 years ago, their accusations don’t pass the smell test. We are to believe that all of them – not some, not most, but all – kept these indignities to themselves all these years, and coincidentally decided to step forward a month before the election. Right.

In the wake of Trump’s words – again, not actions but words – NeverTrump recruited some new members for their Quisling Caucus to make the media rounds denouncing the only candidate who can keep Hillary from shredding the Constitution. The new batch came in three varieties. Has-been, mainly vociferously pro-abortion politicians, members of the GOP establishment’s consultant corps and inside-the-beltway lobbyists. These folks were rewarded with their 15 minutes of fame and then some, because they are Republicans, at least technically. Though a better name for them and their fellow NeverTrumpers would be the Washington Generals.

washinton-generalsReaders of a certain vintage will remember the Harlem Globetrotters. Since the 1930s they have been a wonderfully talented and entertaining basketball team, which is still touring. Their “games” combine athleticism, comedy and theatrics. They do play basketball, but with this asterisk. Their opponents are always a team called the “Washington Generals,” and the Generals always lose. Over the thousands of games they’ve played, the Generals have beat the Globetrotters only once.

The similarities between the NeverTrump leadership and the Washington Generals is striking. Both groups get paid well for what they do, which is put up a good, entertaining “fight” … and then lose. The Trump candidacy would never had gotten traction if the self-appointed, insular, ossified conservative “leaders” in the D.C./New York axis had the slightest feel for rank-and-file conservatives or had successfully opposed President Obama the past eight years.

The Trump insurgency was and is powered by grassroots conservatives who got wise to the game and realized that while the show could be entertaining, the results were always the same – we lose. They want to replace the GOP’s and conservative movement’s Washington Generals with a team that knows how to win.

For that feeling, for wanting a team that plays to win, these conservatives are sneered at and belittled by the likes of the supercilious, ever smirking Billy Kristol and the strutting popinjay George Will. They are mocked and mercilessly attacked in the pages of magazines like the Weakly Standard and the once proud National Review.

There is little risk and in fact substantial upside in this for NeverTrump’s Washington Generals. Their sinecures (for UCLA grads that means a position requiring little work but that pays well) as the liberal establishment’s favorite conservatives will continue and be enhanced by a Trump loss.

It’s a win-win for the liberal establishment and NeverTrump’s Washington Generals. The liberals can continue to surround themselves with a trained poodle act of non-threatening Republicans and conservatives. Our Washington Generals can continue to pull down large lobbying contracts, appear on Sunday morning TV talk shows, exhibiting their intellectual and moral superiority to bumpkins and rubes who don’t understand that all power and wisdom resides inside the D.C. beltway.

There will be many salutary effects of a Trump victory, the main one being preventing Hillary from filling the federal judiciary and bureaucracy with Stalinist activists who will launch search-and-destroy missions against conservative institutions, conservative individuals and conservative thought. Not far behind that benefit however will be the retirement – or irrelevance – of the conservative movement’s Washington Generals. Our country, our movement and our party deserve a team that is interested in winning, not just putting on a good show. It’s time to trump the Washington Generals.

Bill Saracino is a member of the Editorial Board of CA Political Review.

WikiLeaks: Clinton Strategists Considered Moving CA Primary to Aid Campaign

hillary-clinton-biopics-cancelled-ftrProminent Democratic strategists who would eventually get top posts in Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign debated the political strategy of moving the date of California’s primary election, according to hacked emails recently released by WikiLeaks.

In December 2014, prior to Clinton announcing her candidacy, Robby Mook and John Podesta (who would become Clinton’s campaign manager and campaign chairman, respectively) discussed their preference to keep blue stats like California late in the primary process.

Mook had been contacted by another Democratic strategist, Chris Lehane, who served in Bill Clinton’s administration. According to the email, Lehane had called Mook about the California primary after speaking with Podesta, who had given Lehane the impression that he wanted to move the date.

Mook sought clarification, as he believed there was already a strategy in place to keep reliably Democratic states late in the primary process.

“FYI–Lehane called me about CA primary and I told him that the operating strategy is to keep blue states late (i.e. don’t move CA),” Mook wrote to Podesta. “He said he was at dinner with you and was under the impression that you wanted to move it earlier. He’s wondering how to proceed and I said I’d try to get us on the same page and go back with an answer. Are you ok with me saying that we both want CA to stay where it is?”

There was no reply from Podesta in the email dump. But an email from March 2015 — just weeks before Clinton officially announced her candidacy — showed Mook hoping California Senate President Pro Tempore Kevin de Leon would weigh in on the timing of the primary.

“I met with Cal State Senate President. Super enthusiastic,” Podesta wrote to Mook in an email with the Los Angeles Democrat’s name in the subject line. “Do anything including travel to other states. Also volunteered to line up other state senators.”

“Fantastic,” Mook exclaimed. “Did he mention moving the primary date at all?”

A spokesman for de Leon did not immediately return requests for comment. Clinton’s campaign did not immediately respond as well.

Complaints of a rigged process

This election cycle has been rife with complaints and conspiracy theories that the Democratic nomination process was skewed toward Clinton.

Former Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley complained the Democratic National Committee scheduled the debates to favor Clinton. Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders had his own concerns.

Indeed, the complaints of a rigged process from the public and Clinton’s primary opponents and their supporters — some of the complaints were supported by other Wikileaks dumps — were so great that Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz was ousted from her perch atop the DNC.

No biggie?

As voters know, the date of California’s primary did not change. And Clinton won handily in June, as well as in 2008 against Barack Obama.

According to John J. Pitney, Jr., a Roy P. Crocker professor of politics at Claremont McKenna College, those two facts should quiet concerns of a “rigged” election in a “Clinton-friendly state.”

“Conspiracy-minded Democrats might pounce on the staff chatter, but it’s not the kind of thing that makes a difference to voters,” Pitney said. “The issue might get more traction if there are revelations that states did shift dates in a deliberate effort to help Clinton, or if Clinton herself was involved in the effort.”

This piece was originally published by CalWatchdog.com

Strong Debate for Trump, But Did It Shake Up the Race?

clinton-trump-debateAs reported by Fox News:

Donald Trump had his strongest debate performance here in Las Vegas, and Hillary Clinton had to deal with probing questions about Wikileaks disclosures, late-term abortion and open borders.

In the end they were evenly matched, an outcome that favors Trump as the less experienced debater. But the 90 minutes moderated by Chris Wallace did little to change the dynamic of a race in which the Republican nominee is trailing.

Instead, in an unusually substantive and largely civil encounter, the candidates played to their respective bases on such issues as immigration and abortion.

So while Trump supporters have reason to cheer their man, who was far more sure-footed than in their first faceoff on Long Island, he did not shake up the race.

But Trump may have undone whatever progress he made with a single answer, refusing to say he would accept the results of an election he has increasingly described as rigged. “I will look at it at the time,” he said, adding that “the media is so dishonest and so corrupt” that it has “poisoned the minds of voters.” Clinton called that answer “horrifying” and said Trump often blames a loss on a rigged system, even when his “Apprentice” show didn’t win an Emmy three years in a row.

That will undoubtedly be the big headline coming out of the debate and will dog Trump between now and Election Day. …

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