Cup of Joe – November 12, 2022

“Former President Donald Trump plans to go ahead with announcing another White House run during primetime next Tuesday, despite pleas from top party officials and informal aides to hold off,” Politico reports.

“Though he is prone to change his mind, Trump, officials say, has been unpersuaded by arguments that he should hold off on making an announcement until after the mid-December runoff election in Georgia. Rather than being chastened by GOP criticism of the role he played in the Republican Party’s lackluster midterm elections, he has cast blame elsewhere and taken swipes at a potential rival.”

“Trump spent Thursday at rain soaked Mar-a-Lago fuming about the midterm election results and what he and his advisers saw as an unfair blame for the lack of a red wave.”

Trump’s announcement is now scheduled for Tuesday, Nov. 15, at 9 p.m. Donald Trump confirmed that he will be holding a “special announcement” at Mar-a-Lago on Nov. 15 in a press release on Thursday night, The Hill reports.

Daily Beast: Trump is “ready for war” with2024 presidential announcement.

Longtime Trump adviser Jason Miller confirmed to Steve Bannon that Donald Trump intended to announce his 2024 presidential bid next Tuesday.

Said Miller: “President Trump is going to announce on Tuesday that he is running for president and it’s gonna be a very professional, very buttoned-up announcement. We did a run-through this morning with the logistics team that some great folks that are on board.”

He added that Trump is “fired up.”

Since this makes little sense politically, there must be other considerations.

Robert Costa: “Dark time in Trump’s inner circle. Spoke to several longtime friends, donors, and aides in the past 24 hours. Many say he’s listening to very few people, isolated, and meanspirited about his potential rivals. Several of them say they’re tired of his rants and are avoiding him.”

Said one adviser: “I have never seen him more irresponsible and chaotic then he is today. He seems to be in self-destruct mode. It is irresponsible to attack DeSantis and Youngkin, and it’s irresponsible to announce in any time in the near future.”

CNN: “Two of the people familiar with Trump’s mood say he has also been on the outs with his wife, Melania Trump, after a post-election day news report said she got the brunt of his ire after Dr. Mehmet Oz’s loss Tuesday in his run for the US Senate. The New York Times reported that Donald Trump blamed Melania Trump for his endorsement of the TV doctor; during a rally this year, he mentioned his wife was a big Oz fan.”

“Showing up in a news story is not something the ultra-private Melania Trump enjoys, and Trump was soon apologizing on Truth Social to her for what he called “made up” stories about her involvement. The damage, however, say the two people, was done. Plus, everyone steers clear of the former president when he’s in a bad mood, including his wife.”

Donald Trump claimed, without any evidence, that he helped prevent the 2018 election from being “stolen” from Ron DeSantis by sending the FBI and prosecutors to investigate apparent voter fraud, Newsweek reports.

Said Trump: “I was all in for Ron, and he beat Gillum, but after the Race, when votes were being stolen by the corrupt Election process in Broward County, and Ron was going down ten thousand votes a day, along with now-Senator Rick Scott, I sent in the FBI and the U.S. Attorneys, and the ballot theft immediately ended, just prior to them running out of the votes necessary to win. I stopped his Election from being stolen.”

This would be a major crime if true, and it is most assuredly not. And it doesn’t even make sense.

Jonathan Chait: “In both 2016, and the aftermath of the insurrection, there was no unified Republican alternative. The non-Trump candidates in 2016 infamously failed to coordinate, and even devoted most of their energy to attacking each other in the belief that the last non-Trump standing would automatically prevail. ‘Jeb, Rubio, Christie, Kasich, Walker… every one of these guys was as hyped as DeSantis is now. Trump beat them all,’ argues Adam Jentleson. But that is the point – beating them all was easier than beating a single opponent with unified conservative movement support.”

“After the insurrection, a brief window opened to move on, but the party lacked any obvious figure to rally around. (DeSantis had yet to make the key moves consolidating his support on the right.) And in between these events, Trump was president.”

“What this meant is that abandoning Trump required siding with the Democrats. In 2016, remaining anti-Trump meant supporting Hillary Clinton’s election, and in 2021, it meant accepting the legitimacy of Joe Biden’s presidency. Now, however, it means standing with DeSantis. And while circa-2016 Trump’s opponents had appeal in the mainstream of their party, DeSantis draws support from its entirety, very much including the far right.”

Virginia Lt. Gov. Winsome Earle-Sears (R), who once worked to rally African American support for Donald Trump, on Thursday publicly broke with the former president, saying it’s time for the GOP to move on, the Richmond Times Dispatch reports.

Said Earle-Sears: “The voters have spoken and they have said that they want a different leader. And a true leader understands when they have become a liability.”

“Some of the toxicity of Donald Trump, and the persona that he has made for the Republican Party, has turned off educated people.” — Wisconsin Assembly Speaker Robin Vos (R), quoted by the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.

Rep. Liz Cheney (R-WY) said that the 2022 midterm elections marked a “rejection” of former President Donald Trump and a “victory for team normal,” Insider reports.

Said Cheney: “Well, I think that it was a clear victory for team normal. We believe in standing up for the Constitution, and for the Republic and a real rejection of the toxicity, and the hate, and vitriol, and of Donald Trump.”

Donald Trump is obsessing about Gov. Ron DeSantis in a long series of posts tonight: “Ron came to me in desperate shape in 2017—he was politically dead, losing in a landslide… And now, Ron DeSanctimonious is playing games! The Fake News asks him if he’s going to run if President Trump runs, and he says, ‘I’m only focused on the Governor’s race, I’m not looking into the future.’ Well, in terms of loyalty and class, that’s really not the right answer.”

Donald Trump lashed out against Virginia Gov. Glenn Youngkin on Friday, saying he “couldn’t have won without me,” Axios reports. Said Trump: “Young Kin (now that’s an interesting take. Sounds Chinese, doesn’t it?) in Virginia couldn’t have won without me.”

Surprising no one, Donald Trump posted on Truth Social that he believes the Arizona and Nevada elections were “rigged.”

Wall Street Journal: “Republicans’ weaker-than-expected performance in the midterms has complicated House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy’s path to becoming the next speaker of the House and created potential headaches if he does get the top job…”

“The GOP’s showing—after Republican officials and some forecasters had predicted a ‘red wave’—has fueled grumblings from colleagues about whether he is the right person to lead them, according to interviews with several lawmakers and GOP aides.”

Politico: “Kevin McCarthy’s fractious crew of pro-Trump conservatives is openly debating whether to back his speakership dreams as it pushes for major House rules changes.”

“How real of a rebellion the Freedom Caucus can muster when it has no alternative candidate yet, however, is another question entirely.”

NBC News: “So far, no one has stepped forward to challenge McCarthy. He shouldn’t have a problem winning a simple majority of Republicans at a closed-door meeting of his members on Tuesday. Former President Donald Trump has endorsed McCarthy for speaker, as have other potential rivals and Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, a Freedom Caucus leader.”

“But a small handful of Republicans could keep McCarthy from winning the speaker’s gavel during the public vote on Jan. 3, the first day of the new Congress. He needs 218 Republican votes on the House floor — Democrats won’t help — meaning it’s possible fewer than a dozen conservatives could derail McCarthy’s chances and throw the process into certain chaos.”

Said Rep. Chip Roy (R-TX), a member of the Freedom Caucus: “No one currently has 218.”

“Members of the pro-Trump House Freedom Caucus are withholding their support for House GOP leader Kevin McCarthy’s speakership bid and have begun to lay out their list of demands, putting the California Republican’s path to securing 218 votes in peril if the party ultimately takes the House with a slim majority,” CNN reports.

Trump adviser Jason Miller told Steve Bannon that if House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R) wants to be elected House speaker in January, “he must be much more declarative that he supports President Trump in 2024.”

Playbook: “The public pressure to openly commit to Trump’s 2024 campaign comes as scores of his members are questioning whether the Republican Party should follow Trump over yet another electoral cliff.”

“Now we’re looking at a situation where Trump is going to want all other Republicans running for leadership posts to declare their loyalty as well.”

It should be noted that Rep. Elise Stefanik (R-NY) didn’t wait to be asked.

Punchbowl News: “Turmoil has broken out among Senate and House Republicans, as key lawmakers in both chambers have begun to push against their leadership.”

“A number of prominent Senate Republicans are calling for a delay in the leadership elections which are slated to be held next week…”

“In the House, a number of restive conservatives have said that House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy is not suited to be speaker of the House if the GOP takes the majority. Most estimates indicate that Republicans can only win 220 seats, leaving McCarthy a two-seat cushion to be elected to the chamber’s top job. A number of Republicans in the House are also calling to delay the leadership election — scheduled for Tuesday — but the leadership has shown little appetite to push it off.”

Playbook: “Last night, the New York Republican became the first member of GOP leadership to formally endorse Trump’s 2024 campaign — even though it hasn’t yet been announced. The move, which came in the form of a fawning statement in Breitbart, caught some Republicans off guard — especially those who’d prefer that Trump just fade away into the background — and we’ve received more than a few texts musing about the motivations behind it.”

“Stefanik, the congressional darling of MAGA World, is currently running for the No. 4 House leadership post. But many believe her ambitions go well beyond that. With McCarthy staring down a possibly difficult path to the speakership, some Hill GOP sources wonder if she’s eyeing the gavel — though others say that’s unlikely given that the job looks like it will be as thankless as it is grueling, given the slim margin of the expected House majority.”

Publicly at least, she is fully behind McCarthy for the post.

Punchbowl News on what Pelosi and the Democratic Leadership is going to do: “The answer – No one knows yet. And that’s frozen the rest of the House Democratic leadership in place.”

“Still dealing with the aftermath of the brutal attack on her husband, Paul Pelosi, the speaker hasn’t informed anyone what her plans are. Or at least not anyone who’s willing to disclose those plans. Pelosi will be interviewed on two Sunday shows this weekend, yet we don’t anticipate she’ll be making any announcement on her future.”

“Of course, a lot of what happens will depend on the outcome in House races, and it may be some time before those are finalized. What’s clear is that Democrats have beaten the odds and kept Republicans to shockingly small gains for midterm election. There remains a chance that Democrats could keep the House. Slim, but possible.”

Rep. Joe Neguse (D-CO) said in a letter to Democratic House colleagues Thursday that he is running for Caucus Chair, the fourth highest position among Democrats if they maintain their majority and third if they switch to the minority, CNN reports.

Politico: “Control of both chambers of Congress is uncalled, and House Democrats’ long-simmering leadership reckoning is temporarily on hold. Two pivotal Senate races are being tabulated with molasses-like speed. If Democrats don’t win both of them, another Georgia runoff in December could determine control of the chamber.”

“And Congress is returning to Washington next week for high-stakes post-election legislating, with the unpredictability affecting plans for what could be a stressful session regardless of the midterm outcome.”

“A federal judge in Texas on Thursday struck down the Biden administration’s student-debt forgiveness plan, imperiling a key administration priority that would have canceled up to $20,000 in student loans for tens of millions of borrowers,” the Wall Street Journal reports.

Wrote Judge Mark Pittman: “No one can plausibly deny that it is either one of the largest delegations of legislative power to the executive branch, or one of the largest exercises of legislative power without congressional authority in the history of the United States.”

Elon Musk told Twitter employees on Thursday the company may have a “net negative cash flow of several billion dollars” next year, adding that “bankruptcy is not out of the question” if the company can’t “bring in more cash than we spend,” The Information reports.

“After losing thousands of employees and top compliance officials at Twitter, Elon Musk’s deputies are racing to contain heightened concerns that staff will be held liable for security lapses,” Bloomberg reports.

“Musk’s lawyer Alex Spiro, who is guiding the legal team following the billionaire’s acquisition, sought to reassure employees that they would not go to jail if the company is found in violation of a Federal Trade Commission consent decree.”

Casey Newton: “Just after lunchtime on the West Coast, Musk held an unannounced all-hands meeting with staff — his first as CEO. Musk had given employees just one hour’s notice; he arrived 15 minutes late. Over the next hour Musk shared more bad news with the company. Depending on the length and severity of the recession, he said, the company could lose several billion dollars next year. He would not speculate how much runway Twitter had left.”

He added: “Bankruptcy isn’t out of the question.”

“Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell is facing a brewing challenge to his position as the top Republican in the Senate,” NBC News reports.

“Several senators are campaigning to delay a vote scheduled for next week that was expected to return McConnell to the top job. The Kentucky Republican has held the position since 2007, making him the longest-serving GOP leader in Senate history.”

“Going into the midterm elections Tuesday, McConnell appeared to have a firm grasp on the leader’s job and Republicans appeared poised to take control of the Senate. But now, however, both remain uncertain.”

HuffPost: Mitch McConnell faces mutiny as GOP senators call for delayed leadership elections.

Politico: “Senator Rick Scott of Florida was poised to challenge McConnell, Republicans briefed on his plans told me, until he decided against a bid Wednesday morning, when it became clear Republicans may not capture the majority and there was to be a Senate runoff in Georgia.”

“Scott had cut an announcement video declaring his intentions, word had reached some prominent conservatives outside the Senate and a handful of GOP senators had gotten wind of his plan and started calculating just how many votes his longshot campaign could accrue at the leadership vote next week in the Capitol.”

You come at the king, you best not miss.

“The Biden administration gave no signal to state officials on Friday of plans to end the Covid-19 pandemic’s status as a public-health emergency, in turn leaving the designation in place past January,” the Wall Street Journal reports.

“Supercharged by a supermajority in the House and Senate, Florida legislative leaders broke their silence Wednesday and confirmed they are prepared to further tighten abortion restrictions in Florida in the next year,” the Miami Herald reports.

“But how far they will go is the big question, and interviews with the presiding officers indicate they already appear to be taking different approaches.”

Jonathan Bernstein: “President Joe Biden has had a very good week. The midterms turned out better for Democrats than anyone expected and went unusually well for an incumbent president’s party. Russia retreated further in Ukraine. And new data suggested that inflation was moderating, increasing the chances that the U.S. can avoid a painful recession.”

“So much for the easy part. Biden now will have to maneuver shrewdly if he is to advance Democrats’ priorities and set the stage for the 2024 presidential campaign, whoever the Democratic nominee is. He could start by using the lame-duck session to push for a couple of critical pieces of legislation.”

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky’s chief of staff on Friday morning mocked Russia’s humiliating retreat from the occupied city of Kherson, the Daily Beast reports.

Said Andriy Yermak, on Twitter: “The Russian army leaves the battlefield in triathlon mode: running with obstacles, long jumps, swimming.”

South Korea will for the first time sell artillery shells destined for Ukrainian forces through a confidential arms deal between Seoul and Washington, a move that reflects a global scramble for munitions after months of war with Russia,” the Wall Street Journal reports.

“Routing the deal through the U.S. allows South Korea to stick to the letter of its public commitment not to send lethal military support to Ukraine while assisting Washington, Seoul’s paramount ally in deterring North Korea.”

Andrew Sullivan: “Let’s first herald the truly good news. Democracy surprised almost all of us, as it sometimes does. It made some of us look a bit foolish… It defied most predictions and historic analogies. The election ended up with a super-close race for both House and Senate — highly unusual for a midterm when inflation is soaring and most people are super bummed about the country…”

“And it behooves me to note that Biden’s speech on democracy last week was in retrospect right in its priorities. Voters are worried about democracy’s survival and Biden’s distinction between MAGA Republicans and the rest obviously worked with some, including Republicans. Voters who ‘somewhat disapproved’ of Biden’s record nonetheless broke for the Dems when the alternative was a MAGA loony.”

“The losers of this year’s midterm elections are winning praise for doing something that would be entirely unremarkable in another era — admitting defeat,” NBC News reports.

“From Maine to Michigan, Senate to state legislature, Republican to Democrat, most high-profile candidates who fell short in the 2022 midterm elections are offering quick concessions and gracious congratulations to their opponents. And that includes candidates who earned endorsements from former President Donald Trump by embracing his false claims that elections are rigged against Republicans.”

Well, except Kari Lake.

“We lost in ’18. We lost in ’20. We lost in ’21 in Georgia. And now in ’22 we’re going to net-lose governorships, we’re not going to pick up the number of seats in the House that we thought and we may not win the Senate despite a president who has a 40% job approval. There’s only one person to blame for that, and that’s Donald Trump.”— Former Gov. Chris Christie (R), quoted by the Associated Press.

“Conservatives are elected when we deliver. Not when we just rail on social media. That’s how we can win. We fight for families and a strong America.”— Former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, on Twitter.

New Hampshire Gov. Chris Sununu (R) told Julie Mason that Sens. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) and Rick Scott (R-FL) cost the Republicans in the midterm elections with their respective comments on abortion and Social Security. 

John Ellis: “The more the Republican Party embraces it, enables it, ignores it, pretends it’s not crazy, the more likely it is that ‘persuadable voters’ will vote against them.”

“The attempted murder of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s husband, and the unwillingness of so many Republicans to say anything empathetic about it (lest they annoy former President Trump) was chilling. A short time after the attempted murder of her husband, Trump called Nancy Pelosi ‘an animal.’ That’s crazy politics.”

Although President Biden was mocked for using the term “MAGA Republicans,” he was actually on to something.

Rich Lowry: “Litmus tests have their role in politics. They establish an orthodoxy in a political party, and once a party has uniformly adopted a position, the chances of it eventually getting realized in legislation or executive action goes up dramatically.”

“But there is no case for making a belief in — or a willingness to pretend to accept — Trump’s lurid fantasies about the 2020 election the price for entry for winning a GOP nomination for federal office.”

“The more passionately sincere a candidate is about buying into the Trump view, the more likely it is he or she will lack mainstream appeal…”

“Trump started out promising winning and now specializes in explaining away losses. He began as a stunningly fresh presence in American politics whose act now runs in well-worn ruts. He initially brought a focus to neglected issues that people cared about, but now devotes inordinate attention to his just-so story about 2020.”

David Shor: “I’d say that the No. 1 most salient fact about this election is that Republican turnout was very strong relative to Democratic turnout. You can see this in a host of different data sources. Whether you’re looking at administrative data on early voting, or the AP VoteCast exit poll, or ecological regressions off of the county level results, it’s just really clear. It’s hard to get an exact number. But, back of the envelope, it looks like the electorate was about 2 percent more Republican than it was in 2020. Republicans literally outnumbered Democrats, according to the AP’s VoteCast. And yet Democrats still won.”

“And they won for a few reasons. First, Democrats won independent voters, which may be the first time that a party that controlled the presidency has won independents in a midterm since 2002. Second, they got a lot of self-identified Republicans to vote for them. And third, they did those things especially well in close races. The party’s overall share of the national vote is actually going to look fairly bad. It looks like we got roughly 48 percent of the vote. But that’s because Democratic incumbents in safe seats did much worse than those in close races.”

The Cook Political Report is tracking the national vote.

Politico: “Interviews with more than 20 strategists and senators from both parties highlight the reasons for Republicans’ stumbles this year: former President Donald Trump played kingmaker, and the party reasoned it could do little about it besides trying to ride historical tailwinds.”

“Senate Republicans’ disinterest in further damaging their fractious relationship with the former president saddled them with losing candidates in Pennsylvania, Arizona and New Hampshire as popular governors took a pass on running. And the chip still on Scott’s shoulder from his own 2010 gubernatorial primary — where he toppled an establishment favorite — shaped the NRSC’s approach this cycle, for better or worse.”

“Nonetheless, many Republicans spent the week feeling caught in a replay of 2012 and 2010, when poor GOP nominees squandered winnable races and cost them shots at the Senate.”

Delaware politics from a liberal, progressive and Democratic perspective. Keep Delaware Blue.

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