Quick Thoughts on Why Hillary Will Choose Kaine


Sure, why not? 


Typing this as we’re waiting on the text announcement, so I’ll probably look like an idiot if something comes through…

I think Hillary will choose Tim Kaine as her Veep, and not out of overcaution, either, or as a sign of which way she’s leaning to govern. I don’t think it is a sellout. I think what is most important to her, sincerely, is ability to step in. Kaine has executive experience, and is uninspiring, but competent, and probably wouldn’t be a disaster. Not to say the other guys would be, but he matches what she looks for.

Electorally…well, he won’t hurt. I don’t think he’ll add too much. Perez, who is my choice, and my favorite among those still in the running, might siphone some votes from white working class uneducated, since he is an amazing Labor Secretary who actually fights for them. He might also keep the Bernie coalition fired up. But I don’t know if it would be enough to make a significant number of them vote for Hillary or against Trump. So the calculation there is probably that he doesn’t add too much, is too unknown, and might face tough questions about ability to handle things outside his area of expertise (fairly or not). That said, the one charge that would normally be levied against him– he’s anti-business and too pro-labor– would ring hollow this year. I still hold out hope, but don’t expect it.

Kaine is a fine pick. There will be stuff we on the left can pick apart, but like Hillary, he governs where the party is. He’ll be more to the left than he would have been otherwise. And I like that the Sherrod-Warren-Sanders-(Feingold???)-et al coalition will be intact to keep their feet to the fire. Kaine isn’t inspiring, but he’s fine, and winning is what matters.

Well, Newt, You Gave It Your Best Shot!



Pictured: the face of a man who isn’t going to get to be the leader (possibly) of the civilizing forces. (Screengrab from TPM)


This is a man who isn’t getting the VP nod.

“A great deal of the coverage of what I said on Fox last night has been distorted,” Gingrich said. “The news media went into a hysteria overnight trying to over-exaggerate what I was saying. This is not about targeting a religion.”

“This is about looking for certain characteristics that painfully, we have learned time after time, involve killing people,” he elaborated.

But he seemed to take a different tack while discussing how to deal with a pattern of terrorist activity from American citizens, saying that it would be “impossible” to deport them.

“With an American citizen, deportation is impossible,” he said. “It’s not appropriate under the Constitution and there, historically we’ve always said, if you fought against the United States, that the correct answer were basically jail as opposed to deportation. I think we have to talk through what should be the right way of handling people who are here, but are not citizens.

And this was the man who still thought he had a chance.

“Western civilization is in a war. We should frankly test every person here who is of a Muslim background and if they believe in sharia they should be deported,” Gingrich told Fox News’ Sean Hannity.

Or, in the words of Hollywood Mark Perrone, “Once again the liberal media’s unabridged replay of the video of everything I said on a national broadcast just last night is dividing this nation.”

It’s a testament to Newt’s incredible mendacity and absolute lack of principle’s that he’s willing to disagree with his 12-hours-ago-self once he realized that being hatefully anti-American and totally fascistic wasn’t enough to get him a job he wanted. But he sure gave it the ol’ college try, if the college is the University of East Berlin. The man needs a team of Sherpas just to reach the moral basement.

Guys, I Don’t Think Trump Knows What He’s Doing


Pictured: Trump HQ


Here’s what you do when you’re running a con: delay, delay, delay. When the weight of your own failure (to build an actual campaign, to attract any potential partners worth a good goddamn, to actually think about the magnitude of what you are trying to do, to engage in even a second of reflection and realize that your life is a cruel karmic joke played upon the American people as revenge for our greed and inability to pay attention) catches up with you, you have to flailingly hope something better comes along. And hope that the people you pay to make you look good spin it as deliberate wisdom.

“I think that Mr. Trump has reached a decision, but he hasn’t — he isn’t prepared to announce it yet,” Paul Manafort told “Fox & Friends.” “Until he announces it, there’s no formal nominee.”

I don’t think he’s made a decision. I think he assumes that if he delays and says he’s going to have the greatest VP pick ever, something good will happen. I’m sure at some point between now and Monday they’ll make an announcement and say it’s what they were thinking all along, but I doubt there is any semblance of an actual campaign, an actual strategy. It’s all nonsense and misdirection. They can’t even get Tim Tebow to commit. He was their star!

The thing is, the terrorist attack in Nice is a reason not to announce, but does anyone believe that a delay wouldn’t have happened anyway? This isn’t a serious operation. It’s a family business in a business where the family has literally no experience. The kids probably settled on Pence because Ivanka read “most of an article” in National Review that said he was a smart choice.

This isn’t the gang that couldn’t shoot straight. This is the gang with fingers in their jackets telling you they have a tank, ok?

Although even throughout this, Manafort’s a pro.

“And you’re not worried about compromising Mike Pence’s opportunity to run for governor?” asked “New Day” host Chris Cuomo.

“Donald Trump, whoever he selects, and whoever he says is the selection, will honor his word,” Manafort responded. “That’s who he is.”

The fun of screwing over Pence aside, can you even imagine being able to say that with a straight face? Remarkable!

Update: It’s Pence. But come on: do you really think this was part of the plan, or any plan at all? Let’s have our top surrogate come out on Friday and say he has no idea what I’m doing and then an hour later tweet out a major announcement. Because that’s the smart way smart and successful businesspeople and serious politicians do stuff!

I still hold out some hope that next Wednesday Pence is going to stand up there and then a giant hook will yank him away and Sarah Palin will walk out. That “it’s a long flight” thing seems suspicious, doesn’t it?  I’d give eight dollars to see that.

A few thoughts on Mike Pence, Veep


If you are quiet, you can hear the youth flocking!

So the speculation tonight is reaching a fever pitch that Donald Trump is going to go with Mike Pence, the Indiana governor, as his VP pick. They are having a joint rally tonight, but Trump isn’t announcing him. Honestly, I’ll believe it when I see, and that it isn’t happening tonight is, to me, a sign that it might not. It’s just too…Indiana for Trump. There’s not a lot of pizzazz here, is there?  A VP announcement of a boring Indiana dude in suburban Indianapolis? In Westfield, home of overpriced malls? I guess it’s tacky enough, and Trump should have some good feelings for Indiana, which is where his dark path became inevitable.

Of course, Pence is still what all the smart set is speculating, and with good cause. Pence is the choice to reassure people that Trump is on the straight and narrow, and will pick someone who knows Washington, and can get things done. He’s the guy to make Trump seem like a normal candidate, who can be trusted. A few thoughts on that.

  • I know that thinking Pence provides balance — in this case emotional and experiential balance — makes sense, but is that what makes anyone on the fence about Trump? Is there someone out there thinking “Well, I agree with everything Trump says about Mexicans being rapists and about how with him we’re going to start winning so much we’re gonna puke our friggin guts out, but I want someone with him who can be a solid congressional liaison.” I suppose that person exists, and that Luntz will find him, but still…
  • That said, the fear is that the media will start treating Trump like a normal candidate, even though they’ve made tentative steps toward showing that he is equal parts wildly unqualified and dangerously fascistic. They’ve been looking for an excuse to make this a normal race, god knows. And if there is one thing Trump knows, it is how the media works. He knows that this would be a great way to play them.
  • Still, not exciting, right?
  • And not exciting in a very exact way: the base likes Pence, because he hates taxes and gays with equal fervor, but the base isn’t leaning toward Hillary. You aren’t going to sway youth or immigrants with someone who has the grim mien of Palpatine’s dad.
  • Yeah, the gay thing. Pence is so anti-gay that he managed to make NASCAR anti-Indiana, and just avoided Wal-Mart’s wrath. NASCAR and Wal-Mart! They are both on the Indiana state flag!
  • Yes, I know, NASCAR vs Indy Car, etc. NASCAR is very big in Indiana now. You get my point.

So yeah, overall, I don’t think Pence is a particularly good pick. The people who it will sway are, I think, virtually non-existent. It won’t help him crossover very much. I don’t know if Pence has the chops to stand up to the national spotlight, anyway. It will just highlight the incredible anti-gay coalition, including James Dobson and Michelle Bachman, he’s assembled around him. It would be a dumb pick. So please don’t actually take this as a prediction that he won’t.

So, maybe, Marsha Blackburn? That would be outstanding.