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Congratulations, America: You Probably Won’t Like Your Next President
2016-08-31 14:03:20
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Congratulations, America: You Probably Won’t Like Your Next President

Received: 2016-08-31 14:03:20
August 31, 2016

Congratulations, America: You Probably Won’t Like Your Next President

Yeesh. Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton are now roughly equally disliked. That’s a small improvement for him, a small worsening for her:

The latest findings solidify their positions as the two most unpopular presidential candidates in polling dating back more than 30 years.

Among all adults, 56 percent now view Clinton unfavorably, up 6 percentage points in three weeks, compared to 63 percent who say the same about Trump.

Among registered voters, the two candidates have near-identical unfavorable ratings: 59 percent for Clinton vs. 60 percent for Trump.

Revelations about Hillary’s E-mails Just Keep Coming

You had better sit down for this shocker: It looks like Hillary Clinton lied about her e-mails.

The State Department said Tuesday it has found approximately 30 emails from Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton’s account that could be related to the 2012 attacks on two U.S. government facilities in Benghazi, Libya.

The new documents were found among the roughly 15,000 emails forensically recovered by the Federal Bureau of Investigation from Mrs. Clinton’s personal email server as part of its investigation into whether she or her aides mishandled classified information.

Those emails were turned over to the State Department in the wake of the FBI probe, which resulted in no charges against Mrs. Clinton earlier this year. The messages are expected to be made public in the coming months.

“Using broad search terms, we have identified approximately 30 documents potentially responsive to a Benghazi-related request. At this time, we have not confirmed that the documents are, in fact, responsive, or whether they are duplicates of materials already provided to the Department by former Secretary Clinton in December 2014,” said State Department spokesman John Kirby.

We can just assume that when Hillary Clinton uses the word “every”, “absolute” and “all”, there are exceptions that she is trying to hide from public view. Remember her first explanation to the public about her private server:

After I left office, the State Department asked former secretaries of state for our assistance in providing copies of work- related emails from our personal accounts. I responded right away and provided all my emails that could possibly be work-related, which totaled roughly 55,000 printed pages, even though I knew that the State Department already had the vast majority of them. We went through a thorough process to identify all of my work- related emails and deliver them to the State Department. At the end, I chose not to keep my private personal emails — emails about planning Chelsea’s wedding or my mother’s funeral arrangements, condolence notes to friends as well as yoga routines, family vacations, the other things you typically find in inboxes.

. . . I took the unprecedented step of asking that the State Department make all my work-related emails public for everyone to see.

. . . I have absolute confidence that everything that could be in any way connected to work is now in the possession of the State Department.

. . . I fully complied with every rule that I was governed by.

. . . The State Department announced they would begin to post some of my e-mails, which I’m very glad to hear, because I want it all out there.

These blanket pronouncements sound good, but they’re lies. You don’t use BleachBit if you want everything out there.

Trey Gowdy, a Republican congressman from South Carolina, looked to reignite criticism about Clinton’s handling of emails on a private server by saying her team used a software tool called BleachBit to have messages “deleted where even God can’t read them.”

“You don’t use BleachBit for yoga emails or for bridesmaids emails,” Gowdy said in an interview on Fox News Thursday. “When you are using BleachBit, it is something you really do not want the world to see.”

Clinton has said about 30,000 deleted emails were personal in nature.

A ‘Mini-Trump’ Is Not Trump

There’s no great sin in making a prediction that didn’t come true. But the heart of human folly may rest in being incapable of distinguishing what you want to see happen from what is likely to happen.

A few newsletters back, I wrote about the coverage at about the primary between House Speaker Paul Ryan and challenger Paul Nehlen that declared Ryan was “running scared”, that his team “terrified” of defeat Tuesday and that his “policy record is collapsing among voters here under scrutiny.” Of course, Ryan won, 84 percent to 16 percent.

Sometimes coverage of a race goes astray because of the journalist’s preferences for a candidate; sometimes it simply comes from the media’s appetite for a competitive race or a dramatic storyline.

Talking Points Memo, back in June:

“Rubio is going to have some challenges to overcome. Carlos Beruff, who is a Trump knock-off, is one of them,” Mac Stipanovich, a Florida-based Republican strategist told TPM. “Marco will be facing a Mini-me of the guy he lost to badly not too long ago.”

A Rubio vs. Mini-Trump contest would indeed be an exciting storyline! But Beruff wasn’t an almost universally recognized figure like Trump, nor could he dominate the airwaves the way Trump did in the weeks before the Florida primary. One of the less dramatic stories of this election cycle is that there is no Trump-ism without Trump. His surrogates and supporters are learning that Trump’s appeal does not transfer to lesser-known, less charismatic figures with the same stances — just as Jon Corzine and Creigh Deeds and a lot of Democrats learned that Obama’s appeal didn’t transfer in 2009 and 2010.

Last night, Rubio won 72 percent of the vote, Beruff won 18.5 percent of the vote. Despite the lopsided result, Beruff’s concession statement wasn’t exactly brimming with grace:

With regard to young Mr. Rubio, in my judgement [sic] he made a life mistake. A man’s word is the most important thing he has. Mr. Rubio must live with that decision.  Sadly, he could have learned a lot about America and about himself by leaving politics and spending some time in the real world.  Nonetheless, he is the best of the remaining options.

Elsewhere in Florida, Alan Grayson won just 17 percent of the vote in the Democratic Senate primary, which is probably the greatest service to the public Patrick Murphy will ever achieve. Good riddance to bad rubbish.

For what it’s worth, Rubio consistently and comfortably leads Murphy. Chuck Todd concluded, “Democrats really blew it when it comes to recruiting in Florida.”

Meanwhile, out in Arizona . . .

When John McCain won reelection in 2010, most observers probably thought it was his last term in the Senate. The editorial board of National Review endorsed McCain in the primary, partially a reflection of the flaws of his challenger, former congressman J. D. Hayworth. Not everyone at National Review agreed; Andy McCarthy publicly dissented. (This sort of thing is fine at NR. We’re a magazine and web site, not a Borg Collective.)

The man was 74: Surely, this would be his last term, right?

Apparently it isn’t, and I should stop calling people “Shirley.”

Last night, John McCain beat Kelli Ward, 51 percent to 39 percent.

From the perspective of our Alexis Levinson, that’s just above the threshold McCain needed to feel okay about November:

The senator is intensely disliked by many Arizona Republicans, and with Donald Trump underperforming in the state, some party strategists are quietly concerned that he could be in trouble in November against Representative Ann Kirkpatrick, a top Democratic recruit. If McCain can’t clear 50 percent of the vote Tuesday against a group of candidates who have largely failed to gain traction, it will be the clearest sign yet that he’s vulnerable with Republican base voters. And if he has to worry about his base, it will make beating Kirkpatrick a taller order: In the final 70 days, he’ll have to win over independents and some Democrats while at the same time working to keep Republicans in his camp.

There’s been surprisingly little polling of the general election in Arizona, but McCain should be the favorite; a CNN poll from earlier this month had him up 13 points.

ADDENDA: I’m scheduled to appear on CNN at 11 a.m. this morning, on a panel, discussing the state of the race.

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