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Analysis and perspective about what's happening in the political realm.

Donald Trump Issues a Warning to Republicans

Only a few weeks ahead of the Republican National Convention, Donald Trump is preparing for what’s likely to be a charged event, as some Republicans look to upend the gathering. How? The Republican National Committee and the Trump campaign are threatening to keep those who are not in favor of the party’s nominee from taking speaking slots at the gathering, according to The New York Times.

It’s the culmination of a heated primary season that began with 17 Republican presidential candidates and that, over time, narrowed, as Trump swept states across the nation. And right now, it’s unclear if some of those who exited the race will be permitted to speak at the convention, given Trump’s conditions. Take Senator Ted Cruz: He dropped out of the race in May, and he still has not endorsed Trump. But as the Times notes, however much Trump may want to bar the Texas senator, it may not be possible for him to keep Cruz from speaking. That’s because, since Cruz “won a majority of delegates in at least eight states, he would probably be able to have his name entered into nomination, guaranteeing him a speech under...

Why Hillary Clinton Should Worry About Brexit

The out­come of the pres­id­en­tial elec­tion will hinge on wheth­er dis­af­fected voters be­lieve it is a choice between two can­did­ates or—like Brexit—a ref­er­en­dum on the dir­ec­tion of the coun­try. Hil­lary Clin­ton holds ad­vant­ages over Trump in nearly every way can­did­ates are usu­ally meas­ured: She’s qual­i­fied for the job, she’s run­ning a bet­ter cam­paign, and she has the tem­pera­ment to be com­mand­er in chief. But if anxious voters want to take out their deep-seated dis­sat­is­fac­tion on a feck­less and feath­er-nest­ing es­tab­lish­ment—con­sequences be damned—Clin­ton should be run­ning scared.

If there’s a par­al­lel between the Brit­ish vote to with­draw from the European Uni­on and Don­ald Trump’s pres­id­en­tial cam­paign, it’s the dis­con­nect between the elite and the people they rep­res­ent. The vast ma­jor­ity of the Brit­ish polit­ic­al es­tab...

Donald Trump's Coalition of Restoration

The failure to construct a credible general election fund-raising and field organization eminently justified Donald Trump’s decision this week to fire his combative campaign manager Corey Lewandowski. But it’s likely that Trump himself has already made the decisions that will most shape—and constrict—his general-election prospects. 

As a first-time candidate with no record in public office, the most important decision Trump faced was how to define himself to the public. From the outset, he has stressed three principal identities. One is as a savvy business executive who would use his private-sector smarts to turn around the government and economy. The second is as a political outsider untethered to special interests who will clean up a self-serving political system. But through the primaries he subordinated each of those to a third emphasis: his role as the embodiment of resistance to America’s rapid demographic and cultural change.

A major national poll released Thursday morning illuminates how strong a tailwind that definition provided to Trump during the Republican primary—and how fierce a headwind it presents for him in a general election. The poll also helps clarify why the contest between Trump and Hillary Clinton is likely to pivot...

Is Trump’s Presidential Run Nothing More Than a 'Scampaign?'

Donald Trump’s US presidential campaign has just $1.3 million in cash on hand, the latest Federal Election Commission filings (pdf, pg 2) for the month of May show—compared to $42.5 million for Hillary Clinton.

The small amount of cash on hand, coupled with his small staff (a few dozen, compared to hundreds for Clinton) has led to a new round of speculation that Trump isn’t waging a serious campaign.

Nonetheless, Trump continues to collect $75 to $1,000 donations from retirees, housewives, warehouse workers, and car dealership owners, through the Great America PAC and his own campaign.

At the same time, the campaign paid out hundreds of thousands of dollars to Trump-owned businesses (and offspring) in the first five months of 2016, according to an itemized list of disbursements.

The Mar-a-Lago club, part of Trump’s Palm Beach, Florida residence, received the most, for “facility rental/catering” fees, but many other Trump connections fared well too. This chart doesn’t include every Trump-connected payout, only some of the biggest. (Tag Air is his private airline, Eric is his son).

Trump making payments from his campaign’s funds to his own companies is nothing new—as...

Why the Left Can Probably Live With Tim Kaine as the VP Nominee

There’s little doubt that Sen. Tim Kaine of Vir­gin­ia is qual­i­fied to be vice pres­id­ent, and there­fore pres­id­ent if it came to that.

But wheth­er the former gov­ernor, lieu­ten­ant gov­ernor, may­or, and na­tion­al party chair is qual­i­fied to win the sin­cere em­brace of grass­roots pro­gress­ives who flocked to Bernie Sanders’s cam­paign is a trick­i­er ques­tion.

As Sanders’s in­sur­gent bid enters its en­dgame, the ques­tion of who Hil­lary Clin­ton will tap for her tick­et looms lar­ger.

Kaine is a short-list main­stay. The 58-year-old has down­played the pos­sib­il­ity of be­ing Clin­ton’s choice while stop­ping well short of tak­ing him­self out of the run­ning.

The topline case for Kaine in­cludes his re­cord of vic­tor­ies in a cru­cial swing state (he’s nev­er lost an elec­tion), his flu­ency in Span­ish, and for­eign policy heft from ser­vice on the For­eign Re­la...

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