Saturday Morning Post: The Weekly View from Washington
In just under five months, Americans will head to the polls to choose their next president. Though that is certainly enough time for either of the two presumptive major party candidates — Democrat Hillary Clinton and Republican Donald Trump — to make moves that will change their political destinies for good or for ill, both campaigns are starting to get a sense of what’s to come. Here’s a look at both sides as political watchers settle in for what is sure to be a long summer.
Chaos Trumps Order
The modicum of hope among establishment Republicans that Donald Trump could be turned into a disciplined presidential candidate has gone out the window. Trump delivered a fairly sober speech following the end of the primary season. It’s been downhill since then. In the aftermath of last week’s shooting in Orlando, Trump suggested that President Obama had some connection to the Islamic State, reviving the conspiracy theorist persona he put on full display earlier in the campaign. There are also reports that the Republican National Committee is unhappy with the candidate, with Politico noting that Trump made it through only three of the 20 donors he promised RNC Chairman Reince Preibus he would call. Some are saying Trump could struggle to raise even $300 million in cash for his campaign, compared with the more than $1 billion Clinton is expected to bring in. That will leave his campaign even more vulnerable to attack.
Clinton Readies For War
The Clinton general election campaign is shaping up to be the well-disciplined operation many expected it would be. Clinton has found her line of attack against Trump — that he is “temperamentally unfit” for the presidency — and she is sticking to it, refusing to engage with Trump when he attempts to drag her into the mud on issues like her e-mail scandal and Bill Clinton’s past infidelities. She is letting loose the second batch of what will likely be a steady barrage of general election advertisements, with the latest round focusing on her work on behalf of families. Clinton has also made all of the right moves to court progressive voters. She praised Bernie Sanders and his campaign. She’s made expert use of Elizabeth Warren as a surrogate and is said to be seriously considering the Massachusetts senator as her vice presidential running mate.
There is still plenty of time left for this campaign to take new turns. There may still be time for Trump to find his footing or for Clinton to lose the plot. For now, though, the script is playing out like many initially expected — and with Trump slipping substantially in the latest polls, this is a movie the Democrats would like to see finished.
• Delegates are organizing against Trump
Don’t count the #NeverTrump movement out yet. Though replacing the businessman as the Republican Party’s nominee remains a very tall order, delegates around the country are still prepared to try and do just that. The Washington Post
• Bernie Sanders is still going
Bernie Sanders seems to know that he won’t be the Democratic nominee for President. That isn’t stopping him from continuing to campaign. The Vermont democratic socialist vowed to his supporters that he would make his way to the national convention and try to change the direction of the Democratic Party. Fortune
• Trump’s polling is historically bad With the general election beginning in earnest, the polls don’t look very good for Donald Trump. Seventy percent of people surveyed in a recent poll had an unfavorable opinion of Trump, a record for a modern candidate from one of the two major parties. Politico
Around the Water Cooler
• A Trump fan in Hillaryland
Being a Trump fan anywhere may draw dirty looks from your neighbors; being a proud Trump fan, lawn sign and all, in Hillary Clinton’s home base of Chappaqua, New York may be even more provocative. New York Times
• Paul Ryan is already threatening to sue President Trump
Speaker of the House Paul Ryan is in a tough spot. He wants to support the Republican nominee, but he is also trying to protect his party’s brand. He’s repeatedly spoken out about Trump’s suggestion to ban Muslims from entering the U.S., and now he is saying he would sue a potential President Trump to stop it. Business Insider
• Obama family is headed west
President Obama and his family are headed to Yosemite and to the Carlsbad Caverns National Park for summer vacation just like any other family — though we’re guessing they’re not taking a station wagon there. CBS News