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Outsiders vs. Insiders: Frustrated American pols fruitlessly seek help for Trump obsession

If you’ve ever been offered assistance for an important mission by someone whose help you neither sought nor desired you have a pretty good idea of how some Democrats feel these days as they shift into high campaign gear ahead of November’s midterm elections.

President Barack Obama’s pulling out old political suits from his moth-infested DC closet intending to stump on behalf of Democrat candidates all across the country. There’s only one problem – some of those fellow Meghan McCainDemocrats are retorting “no thanks” to the chosen one’s seemingly bighearted overtures.

Alexander Bolton and Amie Parnes of The Hill reported, “Obama has kept a low political profile since leaving office, but sources familiar with his plans say he will soon hit the campaign trail to help Democrats in their quest to take back the House, protect vulnerable Senate incumbents and win state legislative races.

“The former president will kick off his push by delivering a speech at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign on Friday. In the weeks ahead, Obama will also campaign in California, Illinois, Ohio and Pennsylvania, a person familiar with his schedule said.

“Not all Democrats want Obama’s help. Democratic candidates running in states that President Trump won by double digits in 2016 would prefer that the former president stay far away.”

Reading Bolton’s and Parnes’ piece was mildly amusing. One can only imagine what it’s like for red state Democrat senators to receive a call from Barry O offering advice and support and then needing to tell him to go pound sand. Reactions probably range from bemusement to horror when gently suggesting to the most powerful Democrat alive that he’s toxic to the voters and should therefore stay out of Dodge.

Here’s the likely scene at campaign headquarters: Campaign volunteer: “Senator Tester, President Obama is on the phone – he says he wants to come out here to the rocky mountain west to breathe in the crystal-clean high plains air and help you win in November.”

Tester: “Uh…tell him I just polished off a big platter of poached grizzly bear for lunch and can’t extricate myself from the bathroom to talk with him. Insinuate that he call back the day after the election and I’ll be happy to have him out for a hastily thrown-together ceremony to restrict more federal lands or ban fracking from Montana forever or something. If he comes out here now those Trump ‘deplorables’ will get all riled up and I’ll lose for sure.”

Of course North Dakota Senator Heide Heitkamp’s response would be similar to Tester’s. The Peace Garden State has a curious habit of electing Democrat senators despite being overwhelmingly rural, energy-production dependent and conservative Republican in orientation. Nonetheless it doesn’t take a genius to figure Heitkamp is treading on dangerous ground this year. President Donald Trump won her state’s electoral votes by over 26-points in 2016 and he’s been very public about wanting to see a GOPer head to Washington from there next year.

Theoretically Montana should be easy pickings for Republicans as well. Trump prevailed there by just over 20-points and Tester’s liberal mindset and senatorial record is much farther to the left than the state’s voters. Tester also ran afoul of President Trump earlier this year by blatantly lying about the president’s nominee to head the Veterans Affairs Department (Ronny Jackson). Trump swore revenge and we should assume he remains angry about it heading into the fall campaign season.

On the other hand Obama could conceivably be useful in rousing the Democrat faithful in other places (like Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, Ohio, Florida and Missouri) with large minority populations. But the leftist Trump-hating Democrat base is already activated to turn out to vote for party candidates – who’s to say whether Obama’s smiling face and waving hand alongside endangered Democrat senators would be a good thing or not?

Practically speaking is there a benefit to having anyone – former president or not – appear at campaign rallies on behalf of federal candidates? Sure, it might be a great way to raise money during the stretch run and perhaps collect a little more contact information for party databases, but how truly valuable is a famous presence where it counts most -- in the voting booth?

If you’re saddled with a crappy leftist candidate without a platform on the morning of Obama’s visit you’re still stuck with a crappy leftist candidate without a platform after he boards his big-donor funded private jet to return him to his swanky Georgetown digs in the nation’s capital.

Obama is as powerless as they come these days. His presidency proved to be one failure after another – failed to build the economy, failed to foster peace abroad and failed to blaze political trails for Democrats in Congress or in state houses. Thanks largely to him, during Obama’s eight years the Democrat party lost a ton of seats at every level, a practically unrivaled disaster in American political history. If he’d stayed on as president the party might’ve ceased to exist.

Okay, probably not. But we can dream, can’t we?

The exact opposite is true for Donald Trump and Republicans. The Donald’s approval rating among the party faithful is sky-high – near 90 percent. GOP candidates can’t get close enough to Trump this year and his willingness to delve into primaries has been welcome if not refreshing in most cases.

That’s not to say all GOP incumbents feel the same way. Wishy-washy Republicans in Virginia, for example, weren’t wild about Trump’s proposed federal employee pay freeze last week. David M. Drucker reported in the Washington Examiner, “Tens of thousands of federal employees live in Virginia, and Trump’s move to freeze their salaries, citing a federal bloated budget — though probably quite popular elsewhere — isn’t likely to go over well. For some Virginia House Republicans already under siege, it’s yet another challenge to overcome in the midterm elections.

“’I strongly oppose eliminating the pay raise for civilian federal employees and will work with my colleagues to have the pay raise included in our appropriations,” Republican Rep. Barbara Comstock said in a strongly worded statement. She represents a suburban Washington, D.C., district in Northern Virginia.

“’Our office opposes this and will be working with other offices next week on this issue,’ added Republican Rep. Scott Taylor via Twitter. He represents a Southeastern Virginia seat with a major federal presence.”

It's not to claim these Virginia Republicans don’t care about the ballooning federal budget deficit –they’re just held hostage to the heavy presence of federal employees in their districts. Comstock is my representative and by all appearances she’s crawling on pins and needles hoping not to offend anyone ahead of November.

Federal workers in these parts make plenty of money so they don’t merit much sympathy (direct your complaints and rotten tomatoes elsewhere, please), but cost of living in the always booming Washington DC region inspires a strong incentive to corral as much cash as possible. Just affording a mortgage is a challenge here and thanks to the ever-expanding federal leviathan there’s a rush for available properties whenever they hit the market.

It would therefore be shocking if Comstock or Taylor actually sided with Trump on the pay freeze issue. To do so is akin to telling constituents they don’t deserve an increase – and what politician would do such a thing? As an elected official and perpetual candidate how can you tout the burgeoning Trump economy and then say to voters they don’t deserve a slice of it?

If other Republican candidates go along with the freeze, that’s a different story. A congressman from a rural conservative district could be all-in with Trump on this one.

You don’t have to like or agree with Trump to appreciate the help he lent to candidates in their primary fights. Last week Florida’s Ron DeSantis won (the GOP nomination for governor) thanks in part to Trump’s enthusiastic backing. 2020 Democrat hopefuls similarly are using this year’s elections to try and best their opponents before the fun even starts.

The Democrat presidential campaign is already taking shape. Alexander Bolton reported at The Hill, “Washington’s focus is currently on the battle for control of the Senate and House, which will most likely be decided on Nov. 6. But the following day will mark the unofficial start of the 2020 presidential election cycle, and the field of Democrats vying to challenge President Trump will be crowded.

“There are at least six likely presidential candidates in the Senate Democratic Caucus: Cory Booker (N.J.), Kirsten Gillibrand (N.Y.), Kamala Harris (Calif.), Jeff Merkley (Ore.) and Elizabeth Warren (Mass.), as well as Bernie Sanders (Vt.), an Independent who caucuses with the Democrats.

“But there are other possible contenders, ranging from Sens. Sherrod Brown (Ohio) and Chris Murphy (Conn.) to House lawmakers such as Rep. Eric Swalwell (Calif.). And Rep. John Delaney, a three-term lawmaker from Maryland, formally announced his presidential campaign in July 2017.”

Bolton also listed several Democrat governors who are purportedly considering a run for the party nomination as well as a couple “outsiders” (former Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz and billionaire financier Tom Steyer). Maybe Schultz could throw-in a free Starbucks coffee for every name and email address he collects along with a check to his campaign.

If all or most of these would-be Democrat competitors actually runs it would make the 18-strong 2016 GOP presidential field look petite by comparison. There’d be so many Democrats vying for their slice of the leftist Democrat primary pie that they might need three separate debate stages to accommodate them all. The “undercard” forums would be ferocious, with power-obsessed but poll number challenged Democrats savaging President Trump – and each other – relentlessly to gain traction for an upward move.

“Outsiders” won’t have much chance in the Democrat party, however, so attempting to emulate Trump’s once-in-a-lifetime run isn’t realistic. Trump came to the race three years ago with near-universal name recognition, his own money to finance his campaign, a well-defined issue platform that differed markedly from the swampy GOP establishment’s agenda – and a personality that attracted gobs of “free” news coverage (even if it was overwhelmingly negative).

Should a man like Steyer try to trace Trump’s footprints he’d be overwhelmed by well-established Democrats who beat him to the political dance long ago. What’s Steyer going to do, run to the left of Bernie Sanders and (insert generic Democrat candidate X’s name here)? The only possible opening for any “outsider” Democrat would be to the center (at least in their own minds) and Joe Biden would occupy that space already if the Obama VP tries for the presidency again (and receives O’s endorsement).

Democrat contenders will execute so many left turns they’ll eventually collide with each other.

Right now it’s impossible to predict which Democrat will emerge from the unruly scrum to challenge Trump in 2020. Trump’s shadow is incredibly long – it even showed up at John McCain’s funeral last weekend. The president wasn’t there (McCain’s dying wish, apparently), but people were still obsessing over him nonetheless.

Matt Margolis wrote at PJ Media, “I never expected this to happen at the funeral services for John McCain. When he barred President Trump from attending his funeral it may have been petty, but understandable. But, it seems now that the move merely gave those delivering eulogies the opening to bluntly attack President Trump.

“The saddest part was that John McCain’s daughter Meghan used a moment in her eulogy to bluntly attack Trump ... ‘The America of John McCain does not need to be made great again, because America was always great.’

“It’s hard to wrap my head around that fact that Meghan made the conscious decision to give the media, and basically the world, the opportunity to boil down her eulogy into a Trump smear rather than an ode to her father’s lifelong legacy. She just cemented her father’s legacy, not as a war hero and longtime U.S. senator, but as an enemy of Donald Trump. I’m sure even John McCain would rather be remembered for more than that.”

Margolis pointed out it doesn’t make Trump look bad to be attacked at a funeral. Just the opposite. It’s just another sign Trump’s battle against elitist swamp “creatures” is hitting its target.

President Trump occupies the minds of both Democrats and Republicans these days. With two months to go until the midterm elections – and the 2020 presidential campaign starting just after – Trump shows no signs of relinquishing his position as leader of the American political scene.

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Real President v Fraud Hack

It would be monumental to see the Liar and Chief debate in public the vetted and qualified POTUS Donald Trump...The only reason the Fraud would want this is as a last ditch stand(indictment) to keep his butt out of prison for treason, he is moving in the direction of being the only man ever to occupy the Oval Office as a con artist to be impeached and incarcerated and treason is weight heavy in this mix of disgracing the nation....The Clinton wall has been fractured in many places, the swamp critters and the RINO/Lib Crime Consortium are stressing, the whistle blowers and snitches are coming out of the walls and real Americans are looking to give their input about he known conspiracy to subvert a legally elected President so as to regain all power and seize power absolute over all Constitutional parameters of this nation rule of law...aka, the end of America....MAGA is the goal........America for American is a fact....