2016 Democrats, Debates, New York, State of the Race, Strategy, Uncategorized

Brooklyn Debate Recap: Reconcilable Differences

April 15, 2016

In case you didn’t catch the debate or a clip or seven, Bernie and Hillary went at it. It made strategic sense for neither to back down, and they both pushed. Angry Uncle Bernie was at his best, for whatever good it may have done. Hillary won on points if that matters.

Over the next couple/few days, you’ll hear a loud narrative about the increasingly negative/bitter tone on the Democratic side. Both candidates are frustrated. Hillary wants him to go away. Bernie wants her to quit dismissing him.

While they definitely stuck to the issues as they threw punches, this was not the nice polite exchange of ideas we saw in the first few Democratic debates. Their respective weaknesses are now well known and both attempted to exploit the other’s. Continue reading

2016 Democrats, Debates, New York, Strategy, Uncategorized

Brooklyn Debate Prep: Hillary’s Choice

April 14, 2016

Hillary Clinton enters the long-debated Brooklyn debate on the precipice. A victory next Tuesday and the nomination is finally hers. Sure, Bernie would/will continue the struggle to California and the convention. Ted Kennedy did in 1980, Sanders will now. But Hillary is the nominee.

A loss and all hell breaks loose. Math is really important until it’s not. If Hillary can lose New York, she can lose any other upcoming state. Bernie is already even in an increasing amount of national polls. Aside from participating in an ill-advised skit with NYC Mayor De Blasio over the weekend, she’s run a solid primary campaign in her sorta mostly home state.

She’s ahead. Not by that much though. The latest survey from Siena College has the spread at 10. It’s outside the margin of error, from a pollster with plenty of in-state experience. However, when they last surveyed five weeks prior, Clinton was up 21. Continue reading

2016 Democrats, Debates, New York, Strategy, Uncategorized

Brooklyn Debate Prep: Bernie’s Moment

April 14, 2016

Is Bernie clutch? Hillary’s recent commentary about how he’s holding up under the New York spotlight aside, he’s not a choker. But is he clutch?

He hasn’t blown a debate the way Marco Rubio did. Any campaign errors were structural, like not doing enough organizing in mid-2015, or trying to make all his Senate votes.

He’s struggled to connect with many African American voters, but it’s not like he participated in a questionable skit with Bill DeBlasio or had his spouse get into an extended argument with black protestors. Continue reading

2016 Republicans, Counting Delegates, Debates, New York, Trump, Uncategorized

The Trump Family Hour

April 12, 2016

I tuned into the latest in an endless series of presidential town hall “events” with practiced disinterest and some amount of scorn. CNN is doing a three day run of GOP candidates with their families. John Kasich was on yesterday, Ted Cruz is up tomorrow.

I’m embarrassed to say I managed to catch almost every “town hall” for the first several months of the campaign. I’ve seen every damn debate, most in real time. Again, I say this with regret, not pride. A few weeks ago, I started missing a few of these manufactured events, mostly because I couldn’t keep track of them.

Kasich wasn’t close enough in the polls for me to remember to tune in last night. I’m sorta curious to see the Ted & Heidi Show tomorrow, but it’s Kobe’s last game, the Warriors are going for 73, and I’ll be enjoying steaks and scotch with a few friends. Continue reading

2016 Republicans, Debates, State of the Race, Uncategorized

If a Kasich Speaks and the National Media Doesn’t Hear Him, Does He Make a Sound in Wisconsin?

March 29, 2016

For those of us outside Wisconsin, it’s a two-way fight for the GOP nomination. Clips of Donald Trump and Ted Cruz blanket the airwaves, as they attack and defend. In fairness, they are actually talking about a number of other things too, but many of us┬álike a brawl, so most of the clips are combative.

There is a third contestant. His name is John Kasich. You may remember him as the guy who won his home state of Ohio and has yet to repeat the feat on the road. For some reason, finishing fourth in Arizona, behind a candidate no longer in the race, is causing the political class to ignore or scorn him. Continue reading

2016 Democrats, Debates, Strategy, Uncategorized

The Trouble With Advisors

March 28, 2016

Being a political advisor is hard. You work long hours, under tons of pressure. A relatively small group of people are responsible for the day-to-day decisions that can make the difference between electing a president and creating a punch line.

There is a consolation prize. Once you’ve reached the inner circle in an important campaign, you can spend the rest of your existence as a CNN panelist. It’s good work, and many would trade places, but also not the same as being in the arena.

David Axelrod and Karl Rove can write their own ticket for the rest of their lives because they won. Twice. Remember the guys and gals who lost to them? Didn’t think so. They’re there on TV, but don’t have the same clout or income earning potential. Continue reading

2016 Republicans, Debates, State of the Race, Strategy, Uncategorized

Trump Ends Debate

March 16, 2016

Fox News scheduled a debate for next Monday in Utah. Donald Trump decided not to play. He’s speaking to AIPAC, the big fish of pro-Israel fundraising and lobbying organizations a couple thousand miles away on the same day and wasn’t willing to cancel.

Welcome to the post-March 15th Republican world. Trump has an edge on his pursuers and is going to play any card he has to stay ahead. As is often the case with a Trump gambit, this is a two-fer. Continue reading