“President Trump’s own top aides didn’t think he fully understood what he had done last Sunday, when he fired off a trio of racist tweets before a trip to his golf course,” the Washington Post reports.
“As is often the case, Trump acted alone — impulsively following his gut to the dark side of American politics, and now the country would have to pick up the pieces. The day before, on the golf course, he hadn’t brought it up. Over the coming days, dozens of friends, advisers and political allies would work behind the scenes to try to fix the mess without any public admission of error, because that was not the Trump way.”
New York Times: “Over decades in business, entertainment and now politics, Mr. Trump has approached America’s racial, ethnic and religious divisions opportunistically, not as the nation’s wounds to be healed but as openings to achieve his goals, whether they be ratings, fame, money or power, without regard for adverse consequences.”
Bloomberg: “An elected Democratic official in the state, speaking on condition of anonymity, complained that if Biden has a campaign in Iowa, he doesn’t know who’s working on it or how many.”
“In contrast, Elizabeth Warren, who jumped into the race four months before the former vice president, has built one of the most robust operations in the state, positioning her to capitalize on her surging national poll numbers and her steady rise in Iowa, Democratic operatives say.”
“Federal Reserve officials signaled they are ready to lower interest rates by a quarter-percentage point later this month, while indicating the potential for additional reductions, despite the recent surge in market expectations of a half-point cut,” the Wall Street Journal reports.
“Plagued by anemic polling and underwhelming fundraising, some campaigns are falling into a spiral of perceived hurdles that are becoming increasingly self-fulfilling, making it hard to find money to build an expansive campaign organization,” the AP reports.
“The anxiety is building ahead of September’s presidential debate, which impose tougher qualification rules that will winnow the field from two dozen candidates. That’s a humbling prospect for senators and governors who have spent their political careers building what they hoped would be strong resumes for a White House run only to face the reality that voters aren’t interested or, worse, don’t know who they are.”
“The Democratic National Committee is getting smoked by its GOP counterpart in fundraising — and some major Democrats are panicked it could hurt their chances at defeating President Trump next year,” Vice News reports.
“The DNC brought in just $22.9 million over the last three months including $9.5 million in June, according to a campaign finance report filed Saturday night with the Federal Election Commission. That’s less than half the Republican National Committee’s haul over the same time period: $51 million.”
Harry Enten: “The Trump strategy is pretty simple: 1. Drive up the unfavorable ratings of his Democratic rival as he did in 2016 in order to compensate for his own low ratings. 2. Bank on an electoral college/popular vote split as he did in 2016. 3. Use a campaign of racial resentment to drive up turnout even more among groups favorable toward the President.”
“Remember, Trump lost the popular vote in 2016. He won because he flipped a congressional district in Maine (good for one electoral vote) and the states of Florida, Iowa, Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin from blue in 2012 to red in 2016. If the 2020 Democratic presidential candidate wins all the states Hillary Clinton won, then she or he only needs to win the closest of those three Trump flipped (Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin). It seems simple enough.”
“The potential problem for the Democratic candidate lies in Wisconsin.”
New York Times: “Lawmakers choreographing the hearings before the House Judiciary and Intelligence Committees warn that bombshell disclosures are unlikely. But over about five hours of nationally televised testimony, they hope to use Mr. Mueller, the enigmatic and widely respected former F.B.I. director, to refashion his legalistic 448-page report into a vivid, compelling narrative of Russia’s attempts to undermine American democracy, the Trump campaign’s willingness to accept Kremlin assistance and the president’s repeated and legally dubious efforts to thwart investigators.”
“For a party divided over how to confront Mr. Trump — liberals versus moderates, supporters of impeachment versus staunch opponents — the stakes could scarcely be higher.”
“President Trump has instructed aides to prepare for sweeping budget cuts if he wins a second term in the White House… a move that would dramatically reverse the big-spending approach he adopted during his first 30 months in office,” the Washington Post reports.
“Trump’s advisers say he will be better positioned to crack down on spending and shrink or eliminate certain agencies after next year, particularly if Republicans regain control of the House of Representatives.”
“But this second-term ambition is already sowing confusion about how the White House should approach the current slate of negotiations, in which some conservatives want Trump to push for spending restraint.”