1. I’m doing this for no other reason than to pretend there’s some sense of normalcy.
2. Bernie is the worst. Always has been. He’s selfish. Self-righteous, delusional and entirely out sync with what the democratic party actually wants. SOME of his policy ideas have helped move the Overton Window, and that’s a good thing. But promising policy success based on a false idea of leading a revolution (he said this…go read his interview with the NYT ed board) is (a) insane (b) Trumpian.
3. Bernie’s won like 5 counties (we’re not counting South Dakota, because we’re just not) in the last 2 weeks and those were just by a handful of votes. His promised massive turnout is as insane as the media’s refusal to push him on how he’ll pay for his policies (weird how they forced Warren to do account for hers, right?)
4. It was inexcusable for Bernie to stay in as long as he did in 2016, it’s is unconscionable and dangerous for him to do so now. Dangerous towards the presumptive nominee in that he has to spend money now and undergo ongoing attacks — nearly identical — from Trump’s Red Hats and Bernie Bros and finally…NO ONE SHOULD BE CAMPAIGNING NOW for basic health reasons (let alone 2 dudes pushing 80).
5. This week’s debate should prove once and for all that Clown Car Pile Ups (debates with more than like 5 people) are not in anyone’s interest, nor is holding them in front of an audience and spin rooms are just the worst. Hopefully that’ll be one plus from this pandemic.
6. Let’s play make believe! Joe was bold in declaring he’ll pick a woman as VP (it was fairly obvious he was going to anyway, but good move to double down) and bizarre Bernie wouldn’t do the same. Assume Kamala Harris or Gretchen Whitmer — full stop. Everyone loves Stacey Abrams, but I envision the “Sarah Palin Paradox” with that. While Abrams is undoubtedly brilliant and likely capable of doing the job of POTUS, her lack of federal experience is going to be a blazing issue w/ the 77 year old Joe at the top of the ticket. Masto of Nevada’s name keeps creeping up too (esp by J.B.)
7. Not sure how I’m going to get 10 this week.
8. The Trump administration (read: Jared and Donald) have once again demonstrated the need for competence. You don’t need to be inspirational or even have the support of the majority of the country, but you do need to be competent. Part of being competent is not falling for your own bull sh!t.
9. It is impossible to say how this fall is going to play out. If there’s no campaigning, if there’s a massive economic downturn, if there’s thousands dead… there’s just no way to forecast this.
10. …


Morning After Thoughts 3/11/2020

1. Feel like that was the first full, deep, cleansing breath I’ve taken in weeks (as an airborne epidemic sets in…)
2. Last week Bernie blamed the “establishment” for Pete, Warren and Amy K dropping out…rather than ya know, common sense and the ability to add numbers. We c/should hope common sense pushes Bernie to get out ASAP. I’ll be surprised if it’s immediate, he’s far too selfish of a jerk, surrounded by kool aid drinking cheerleaders.
3. Two things are clear: Democrats didn’t want a protracted primary fight and primary voters — who traditionally swing hard left — think Joe Biden is the person best positioned to beat that guy in the WH who takes medical advice from illuminated medieval manuscripts.
4. Sanders theory of the case was to do what Trump did…win the nomination with like 30–35% of the vote. But whereas the GOP field remained intact and split for a long enough time for Trump to slide through, Dems managed to end it.
5. Bill de Blasio is really the worst. His being a sycophantic surrogate for Bernie has somehow made him even more intolerable.
6. As a whole host of ppl have been saying (going back 4 yrs), some of Bernie’s message may have propelled him but it was mostly he was the “Not Hillary” candidate.
7. You cannot win the democratic nomination if you’re losing 70+% of the African American vote in any state. (Which Sanders ALSO did regularly in 2016)
8. In 2016 in both MI and MO, white men voted for Bernie by 20+%, yesterday it was 49/46 (Sanders) in MI and Biden beat Bernie by 4% in MO.
9. About 1.175m folks turned out to vote in 2016 in MI, yesterday it was 1.478m. Bernie got 574,600 yesterday vs 595,232 in 2016 AND he lost EVERY county. So much for that new voter theory.
10. All that has mattered since Nov 9, 2016 is beating Donald Trump and of possible, beating him so badly that he and his willfully-ignorant, hate-mongering, lying, fact and science-denying, self-serving, profiteering, bigoted, mobster-ish cult disappear from American public life. Russia wants him so badly? …


Morning After Thouts 3/4/2020

1. Biggest “Phew” yet. Three pseudo-surprises: Biden won TX and MA, Bloomberg did nothing and Warren hasn’t dropped out yet.
2. A few weeks after the midterms in ’18, our “we’re on hiatus” podcast — Taking Ship (links in the comments) — held a live show in which we went through the dem primary NCAA tourney style. We ranked candidates using some metrics we invented that allowed us to do apple to apple comparisons. Given the makeup of the audience (who voted candidates through the tournament) and the hosts lack of excitement for Joe Biden, it was surprising that he won. Kinda feels like we called it…
3. Nearly 1 million more people voted for Biden than Bernie. More targeted to Bernie’s imaginary voters coming out of the woodwork… in 2016 he won VT with 115,900 votes (out of the 134,238 cast), while there was an increase in the total number of votes yesterday, (148, 578), Bernie LOST ground, even adding his numbers and Warren’s number he’s more than 15k short of his total in ’16.
4. Real good reason to believe Bloomberg prevented Biden from winning CO and UT. An argument could be made that he fcked up CA too… my guess is he drops out this week or sticks through Florida and drops after that.
5. Will be interesting to watch if BernieBros flip their arguments (again) as to why Bernie should get the nomination even if he isn’t leading the delegate count.
6. At this point, Bernie is essentially running a 3rd party candidacy w/in the democratic party (just like last time!), I’m legitimately curious why Biden wouldn’t start rolling out his administration now. Demonstrate that Bernie has no one to staff a cabinet — or administration — with. For Biden, aside from VP, it’s relatively easy to guess the 1–3 names for each of the top cabinet posts. He’d gain more surrogates and fundraisers and more for less-than-enthusiastic Biden supporters to get excited about. Particularly if they aren’t currently elected officials.
7. Warren’s campaign was terrible. She had some great people working for her and some AMAZING people volunteering for her. YOU GOTTA WIN YOUR OWN STATE. This wasn’t about name recognition or inability to raise money (she had both). Was there bias about why SHE had to defend/explain the cost of her programs and Bernie didn’t? Yep. But her campaign sh/could have used that to attack Sanders and make him explain his plans. Warren’s failure to win anything (yet), also once again shows just how Twitter in no way shape or form is representative of real life. If she drops out soon, I can imagine Biden asking her to be VP, or in above scenario being the Treasury Secretary designee….though there’s a GOP gov in MA and losing a senate seat ain’t good planning.
8. Calendar only gets harder for Sanders from here. You see the Castro-complimenting, Israel-bashing Bernie winning Florida?
9. Biden’s campaign is not great, he’s not on his A game. There’s a lot they need to straighten out to wrap this up and truly challenge Trump.
10. …


1. When I was writing these 4 years ago, we weren’t aware that #DumbestTimelineAmerica had begun. Had we known, it would have been obvious that Donald Trump was going to be the GOP nominee, that Hillary Clinton would have to battle an extended primary against a socialist who is still not a member of the party he’s seeking the to be nominated by, and finally it would have been obvious that Trump was going to win. Alas, ignorance was bliss. Indeed, according to every rule of #DumbestTimelineAmerica that we have been able to discern made it inevitable that Bernie Sanders (I-VT) would become the clear frontrunner to be the Democratic Party’s nominee for president.
2. Biden coming in second and still having a good chance to win SC keeps this whole mess of a field shook up for the at least the next 10 days.
3. I kind of understood the Warren strategy of not knocking Bernie for the first few months of the race. It allowed her to propose something really crazy but defend it by saying “it may be new and different, but at least it’s not as crazy as what Bernie is proposing.” That strategy ceased making sense around New Years when she HAD to differentiate herself and proclaim herself as the ONLY progressive candidate (by getting rid of Bernie).
4. Bernie will KILL down ballot democratic candidates. Dems retook the House by winning the exact districts they’ll get killing in w/ Bernie atop the ticket.
5. There is little hope of regaining the Senate. With Bernie atop the ticket it’s gone entirely. PLUS as PW pointed out, there’s a GOP governor in VT, so even if Bernie were somehow to win the presidency, his seat goes GOP.
6. Sanders wasn’t scrutinized in 2016. He’s NEVER been scrutinized. He’s been given a pass. That needed to have ended 6 weeks ago. I don’t know that there’s enough will power in the other candidates — or time — to do it now. Estimates say his proposals will double the size of the government and cost some $60 trillion dollars. His tax proposals — which he says American will eagerly pay more — don’t come close to $60 trillion. Warren had to defend her Medicare for All plan, but Bernie doesn’t have to defend any of his?
7. JS posted some excellent polling from Kaiser Family Foundation about Medicare for All. People like it, until they learn what it really is. 67% of Medicare for All supporters think they’ll be able to keep their current health insurance. Sanders’ plan would get rid of private health insurance. (like to the study in the comments)
8. I’ve been saying all week that there is no way the Democratic party nominates Bernie Sanders. I’m still hoping that’s true.
9. Either Sanders runs away with this thing on Super Tues, or the reality of a contested convention becomes much more plausible. Don’t look forward to that option. It’ll be sheer insanity.
10. …


“Morning After Thoughts”
1. This is chaos and Super Tuesday is going to be the cherry on top of that chaos sundae.
2. Bernie as the nominee is too on the nose even for #DumbestTimelineAmerica. It would be catastrophic. That he lost to and then inched by a 2-term mayor of the fourth largest city in Indiana, suggests he is neither as popular as people think nor has the party gone as loony left as the media and republicans would like you to think. The three moderates (Joe, Amy, Pete) got way more votes than the two commies (Bernie, Warren).
3. Turnout is down from 2016, but Dems say they are enthusiastic to vote Trump out. Not sure what that suggests other than there is a lot of room for candidates to pick up voters still. Bernie’s total vote # was down more than 50% from 4 years ago. Yes, there are more candidates, but still!
4. This is going to get super ugly. Knives are going to come out super hard for Bernie. Comrade Sanders has never faced a competitive race, never had full oppo dumped on his head. It’s coming.
5. I’m more shocked by Warren’s poor showing in NH, than I was w/ Biden’s poor showing in IA. Warren’s collapse in NH should have helped Bernie out a lot more. Curious why it didn’t.
6. For weeks I’ve been telling folks to wait for SC. First 2 states may shake things up a bit, NV will likely solidify that shake-up, but we won’t know anything until SC. Really we won’t know anything until the Bloomberg effect hits for Super Tues.
7. Pay no attention to the senator from Minnesota. (Feels like that should be a theme for the Dem party over the last 50 yrs)
8. Pay lots of attention to the nice man from South Bend. He’s onto something, but again let’s wait for SC. Those of you who have been paying attention will remember I told you to watch for Pete, well over a year ago)
9. Bloomberg is already taking on incoming, but his campaign’s theory of the case is that a the overwhelming majority of democratic voters (possibly voters overall) would vote for a squirrel over Donald Trump and not only is Mike not a squirrel, but he has $55b and a track record plus Trump is terrified of him.
10. …


Four years ago, in response to a deluge of emails and texts from friends and co-workers about my reaction to the Iowa Caucuses, I typed out my first “Morning After Thoughts” and posted it on Facebook. I continued the practice after each primary, convention, and general election debates (and then archived them all on Medium).

By popular demand, I’ll be doing it again this year. While this isn’t the morning after, I thought I’d pound out a few of my top-line thoughts on the election in general as a preview before Monday’s big event.

1. Believe it or not, Donald Trump has a way better chance of being re-elected than being…


Herewith, in no particular order — and with a bevy of grammatical and spelling mistakes — what I’m looking forward to in 2020:


It’s not unusual for me to skip out on cultural flashpoints or moments where it seems like everyone you know is focused on one thing. I’ve never read or watched any Harry Potter. I’ve never seen a John Hughes movie and the only Patrick Swayze movie I’ve seen is Point Break. I’ve also managed to avoid reading Dickens, but that may be more the fault of the schools I attended. Several weeks ago, I decided that the first two Democratic primary “debates” would be another moment I’d just skip out on.

As my phone continued to ding and chime and flash with messages and tweets, I smiled to myself comfortable in my decision. But when asked, earlier today, by one of the people texting me why I hadn’t watched, it took me a beat longer than I expected to explain the reason. …


“Morning After Thoughts”

To start, I’m still in a bit of shock and trying to process what happened last night (hangover is not helping). It’s like that cliché of waking up next to someone you dislike and not knowing how you got there.

I am sorry.

About 11 hours ago, I posted a mea culpa. I stand by it. I was wrong. I was basing my predictions on information that was apparently entirely wrong. The experts got it wrong, the Committees got it wrong, the campaigns got it wrong. That’s not an excuse, it’s just reality. When you base assumptions and make predictions on flawed data, the outcome is gonna suck.(lots and lots of explanations from pollsters needs to come right quick. …


My “What to watch for/survival guide” for Election Day 2016.

1. Stay off social media, it’ll only freak you out. Don’t watch TV until about 8p (oddly, I’d suggest watching FOX for the returns) and do not obsessively check news websites. They won’t know anything until polls start to close.

2. Don’t pay attention to exit polling results unless you really understand how to read them (I don’t). Alternatively, I’ll probably be obsessively looking at Votecastr.us.

3. According to the AP more than 46 million people (~40% of electorate) have already voted. That means this thing could already be pretty much over and/or out of reach. …

About

Elie Jacobs

Political junkie, public affairs & p.r. consultant at EJ Strategies and a partner with the Truman Nat'l Security Project

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