Delaware

Cup of Joe – November 17, 2022

Donald Trump has filed paperwork with the Federal Election Commission to run for president in 2024.  “Donald Trump, the only president impeached twice, plans to seek a return to the Oval Office in 2024, he announced Tuesday night, two years after voters ousted him and a week after they rejected his hand-picked candidates in several pivotal Senate races,” NBC News reports.

“Advisers knew former President Trump, bleeding support among Republicans for his wild antics over the past week, needed a reset during last night’s 2024 announcement. So the text was deliberately low-key,” Axios reports.

“Trump’s delivery was so restrained, even languid, that it was widely derided as ‘low energy’ — Trump’s devastating jab at former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush during the 2016 primaries.”

“The tightly scripted, staff-driven speech reflected Trump’s weakened position post-midterms. None of the cocky swagger and energy of his 2016 announcement.”

Ahead of Donald Trump’s expected 2024 presidential campaign announcement, a small prop plane flew repeatedly near Mar-a-Lago carrying a banner that read: “You Lost Again Donald! #DeSantis2024”

Security blocked the doors and wouldn’t let some of the crowd leave early during Donald Trumps announcement of his 2024 presidential campaign.

New York Times: “ABC, NBC and CBS all decided to stick with previously scheduled entertainment programming…”

On cable, Fox News Channel aired most of the speech live while CNN carried the first 25 minutes before switching back to a panel discussion after Trump formally announced his 2024 candidacy. MSNBC, however, chose not to air the speech, choosing instead to stick with Alex Wagner’s 9 p.m. show.”

To say the New York Post downplayed Donald Trump’s announcement of a 2024 presidential bid is a bit of an understatement.  It was buried on page 26.

President Biden was ready for tonight’s announcement by releasing a video titled “Donald Trump failed America.”

“Ivanka Trump said late Tuesday that she would play no part in her father’s 2024 presidential campaign, one day after The Post reported the former commander-in-chief had pleaded with her to be on stage with him when he announced his run,” the New York Post reports,

Said Trump: “I love my father very much. This time around, I am choosing to prioritize my young children and the private life we are creating as a family. I do not plan to be involved in politics.”

Donald Trump Jr. missed his father’s 2024 campaign launch because he was hunting in the mountains and was unable to get a flight to Florida, the Daily Beast reports.

Timothy O’Brien: “It would matter, of course, if Trump managed to seize the powers of the US presidency again. But in terms of gauging the influence he wields inside the Republican Party after a midterm election in which voters rejected most of the rodeo clowns he endorsed, his press conference was just performance art. I suspect he engineered his prime-time gala for one main reason: He wants the GOP and the public to know he isn’t going away. And he’ll try to devour any Republican who gets in his way.”

“It has always been thus with Trump. He needs the spotlight and affirmation like others need air. There was no chance he would let his last national political act be a midterm train wreck that left him roundly labeled as a loser…”

“Trump has a firm grip on the hearts and minds of about a third of Republican voters. A majority of Republicans identify as MAGA, and an abundance of GOP voters want Trump to run for president again. Trump will swing that loyalty like a cudgel against party elders who are considering abandoning him. They may sincerely want to court moderate Republicans and independent voters to avoid repeating the midterm debacle when the 2024 election rolls around, but Trump will start to attack them for it soon enough.”

Bret Stephens: “Last week, the realization finally dawned on his devoted supporters that Trump can no longer deliver what they want most: power. Or, let me put it in language more congenial to them: Whatever purpose they believe he was meant to serve — bringing working-class voters back to the Republican fold; restoring nationalism to conservative ideology; rejecting the authority of supposed experts — has been served. Others can now do the same thing better, without the drama and divisiveness. He’s yesterday’s man.”

“This is an observation made from an objective reading of political reality: Trump cost Republicans dearly in the midterms.”

Ross Douthat: “The intended flex is obvious: The early announcement is meant to cow potential rivals, force them to come off the blocks explicitly running against him, seize the media spotlight, run up endorsements and fund-raising totals, and hopefully elevate the former president in national polling.”

“It’s also intended as a pre-emptive political strike against any potential indictment that might be awaiting him, assuring Republican primary voters that the Biden Department of Justice is coming after him only because they want to keep him from the White House.”

“Even before the midterm results, though, it was a sign of Trump’s potential weakness that such calculation was even necessary. If the former president were as strong as he wished everyone to imagine him to be, he could have afforded to wait in Mar-a-Lago, accepting supplicants, while any pretenders exhausted themselves with futile campaigning and the people clamored for their once and future king.”

Dennis Aftergut: “For all the merit of those explanations, though, they pale in comparison to another: He’s scared witless at the possibility of prosecution. It seems likely that indictments are on their way from Fulton County, Georgia, District Attorney Fani Willis (over Trump’s interference in the 2020 election in Georgia) and from Attorney General Merrick Garland (over Trump’s purloined national security secrets taken to Mar-a-Lago).”

Rep. David Cicilline (D-RI), a former Trump impeachment manager, is circulating a letter to Democrats rounding up support for legislation to bar Donald Trump from office under the 14th Amendment because he “engaged in insurrection or rebellion.”

“Stephen Schwarzman — chairman, CEO and co-founder of private-equity giant Blackstone — says in a statement to Axios that he’s defecting from former President Trump for the 2024 presidential race,” Axios reports.

Said Schwarzman: “America does better when its leaders are rooted in today and tomorrow, not today and yesterday. It is time for the Republican Party to turn to a new generation of leaders and I intend to support one of them in the presidential primaries.”

“Poland said early Wednesday that a Russian-made missile fell in the country’s east, killing two people, though U.S. President Joe Biden said it was ‘unlikely’ it was fired from Russia,” the AP reports.

“Three U.S. officials said preliminary assessments suggested the missile was fired by Ukrainian forces at an incoming Russian one amid the crushing salvo against Ukraine’s electrical infrastructure Tuesday.”

New York Times: “Inside the West Wing, a small group of presidential advisers has been working to develop a plan for how Mr. Biden and the White House will respond to what they expect will be a constant stream of invective from the former president now that he is formally a candidate…”

“Mr. Biden will continue to underscore his belief that Mr. Trump is a threat to democracy, advisers say. But his political handlers are determined to show that Mr. Trump’s four years did not yield actual accomplishments for the American people.”

Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-KY) fended off the long shot challenge from Sen. Rick Scott (R-FL) by a vote of 37-11, the New York Times reports.

“Though Mr. McConnell won convincingly, the contest exposed a divide over strategy among Senate Republicans that is likely to complicate their attempts to counter the Democratic majority over the next two years.”

“Meeting behind closed doors for more than three hours, Republican senators sat at desks in the Old Senate Chamber, a semicircular room adorned with marble columns and an ornate central table hung with crimson fabric, to hash out their differences and vote. In a final tally of 37-10, with one person voting present, Mr. McConnell easily defeated Mr. Scott.”

Playbook: “The point of the doomed-to-fail challenge wasn’t to can him — the group of rebels knew it was a long shot — so much as signal discontent about the midterms.”

“Senate Republicans let their fury and frustration out at one another during a lengthy closed-door meeting that revealed the bitter feelings left over from a crushingly disappointing midterm election,” The Hill reports.

“An at-times nasty and personal discussion took place at the Senate GOP lunch, where Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) and Sen. Rick Scott (R-FL), who have been at odds for months, traded recriminations over who was to blame for the GOP’s failure to win back the Senate.”

“The GOP’s post-election finger-pointing intensified Tuesday, with two senators calling for an audit of the National Republican Senatorial Committee,” Politico reports.

“During a tense, three-hour-long meeting of the Senate GOP Conference, Sens. Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) and Thom Tillis (R-NC) said there should be an independent review of how the party’s campaign arm spent its resources before falling short of its goal of winning the majority.”

New York Times: “Now the question of will she stay or will she go has given way to a potential third option that some people close to Ms. Pelosi, 82, argue is a serious possibility for her: stepping down from leadership but remaining in Congress in a sort of emeritus role that would allow her to offer counsel to her colleagues and support the agenda of President Biden, 79, whom she has urged to run for re-election in 2024.”

“Such an arrangement would allow Ms. Pelosi to manage her own exit from the political scene while passing the torch to a new generation of leaders that many Democrats have argued for years was long overdue to take over from the three octogenarians currently running the House. She has hinted at just such a possibility.”

Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) has previously said she doesn’t want to be president pro tempore of the Senate — third in line to the presidency — but when asked about it by Insider, the 89-year old seemed unaware that she’d issued a statement.

Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) “gave a blunt assessment on Tuesday of Republicans’ shortcomings in the midterm elections, getting in a not-so-subtle dig at former President Donald Trump not long before Mr. Trump is expected to announce a third White House bid,” the New York Times reports.

Said DeSantis: “There were a lot, a lot of disappointments. That’s just the reality. It was a hugely underwhelming, disappointing performance, especially given that Biden’s policies are overwhelmingly unpopular.”

“The governor made no mention of the former president. But he appeared to relish contrasting the poor showing last week by many of Mr. Trump’s endorsed candidates with his own landslide re-election victory and successes by other Republicans in Georgia, Ohio and Texas.”

Washington Post: “Jeb Bush was also an Inevitable. Hillary Clinton was an Inevitable (twice!). Neither’s inevitability yielded the presidency. That’s the tricky thing about being an Inevitable.”

Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) beat Rep. Andy Biggs (R-AZ) to become the GOP nominee for speaker of the House, 188 to 31, Punchbowl News reports. He now has to spend the next seven weeks working to get 218 supporters to win the floor vote on January 3.

Former Rep. Justin Amash has offered to serve as a non-partisan Speaker of the House “who ensures the institution works as it’s supposed to—a place where all ideas are welcome and where outcomes are discovered through the process, not dictated from above.”

“Republicans in both chambers of Congress mounted challenges to their leaders on Tuesday as disappointment over their lackluster performance in the midterm elections manifested in infighting and instability in the Capitol,” the Washington Post reports.

“The discord came just hours before Donald Trump was expected to announce his presidential reelection bid from Florida, injecting another note of turmoil on the Hill between those who remain staunch allies of the former president and others who are beginning to publicly question whether Trump contributed to the party’s stunning failure to win more seats last week.”

“The Senate on Wednesday voted to start debate on legislation that would codify same-sex marriage protections, paving the way for it to pass by the end of the week,” The Hill reports.

“Senators voted 62-37 to advance the measure, with 12 Republicans joining with every Democrat. Lawmakers are expected to vote once again tomorrow to invoke cloture, setting up a final vote by the end of the week.”

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints said Tuesday it will support a bill to codify the right to same-sex and interracial marriage, Axios reports.

Politico: “Over the next few months, the White House will be deferring to the Democratic National Committee when it comes to dealing with Trump and the rest of the Republican field. Whoever winds up as the GOP nominee, Democrats intend to make them pay for embracing Trump’s policies and excusing his worst behavior, aides said.”

“Quietly, however, the White House and the DNC are taking some early steps to prepare for the Biden re-elect campaign. There are discussions about having multiple, allied super PACs with one or two dedicated to Black and Latino media, according to a senior Democrat. Two other Democrats confirmed that there are general discussions about an outside paid Latino media effort but said it was unclear if it would be through a super PAC or some other entity.”

Politico: “Senior administration officials see little chance of attracting any Republican votes for a bipartisan debt limit hike during the short session. And they don’t believe they have the 50 Democratic Senate votes needed to slam through a hike using the budget reconciliation process that would allow them to avoid a Republican filibuster.”

“The House committee investigating the Jan. 6, 2021 attack on the Capitol says it is considering ‘next steps’ after former President Trump failed to appear for his Monday deposition following a subpoena last month,” The Hill reports.

Former Trump National Security Adviser turned conspiracist Mike Flynn lost his fight against a Georgia grand jury subpoena compelling his testimony in its probe of Trump’s 2020 election interference scheme. Flynn, a retired Army lieutenant general, was challenging the out-of-state subpoena in Florida state court. He is due to testify Nov. 22.

Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp (R) “appeared Tuesday before an Atlanta-area grand jury investigating interference in the 2020 election, marking a major resumption of the panel’s public work following a pause in the run-up to last week’s midterm elections,” USA Today reports.

A Fulton County judge has overturned Georgia’s six-week abortion ban, ruling that two key parts of the law “were plainly unconstitutional when drafted, voted upon, and enacted” and writing that the law cannot be enforced, the Washington Post reports.

“Legislative leaders in New Jersey are proposing a constitutional amendment that would enshrine abortion as a basic human right with the intention of seeking voter approval in the November 2023 general election,” the New Jersey Globe reports.

Democrats think the measure will help drive voter turnout in Assembly and state Senate races next year.

After months of delays, Artemis 1 finally launched last night on its way to the moon.

New York Times: “This flight, evoking the bygone Apollo era, is a crucial test for NASA’s Artemis program that aims to put astronauts, after five decades of loitering in low-Earth orbit, back on the moon.”

“For NASA, the mission ushers in a new era of lunar exploration, one that seeks to unravel scientific mysteries in the shadows of craters in the polar regions, test technologies for dreamed-of journeys to Mars and spur private enterprise to chase new entrepreneurial frontiers farther out in the solar system.”

CNBC: “The producers price index, a measure of the prices that companies get for finished goods in the marketplace, rose 0.2% for the month, against the Dow Jones estimates for a 0.4% increase.”

“Excluding food, energy and trade services, the index also rose 0.2% on the month and 5.4% on the year. Excluding just food and energy, the index was flat on the month and up 6.7% on the year.”

“The collapse of crypto exchange FTX has dealt a blow to the crypto industry’s hopes of pushing favorable legislation through Congress in the near term and ratcheted up pressure on the Securities and Exchange Commission and other regulators to crack down,” the Wall Street Journal reports.

Michelle Obama told the BBC that Donald Trump’s 2016 presidential election win “still hurts” and even made her question her husband’s legacy.  Said Obama: “When I’m in my darkest moment, right, my most irrational place, I could say: ‘Well maybe not, maybe we weren’t good enough.’”

Former First Lady Michelle Obama said she thinks President Biden is “doing a great job,” but stopped short of a full-throated endorsement for another White House run, CNN reports.  Said Obama: “You know, I, I – I will have to see.”

She added: “It’s a personal decision that he and his family have to make. Probably, if I hadn’t been through it, I would feel more cavalier about opining on it. But I know it’s a personal call and I don’t want to be one of the millions of people weighing in on what he should do, he and Jill should do.” 

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

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