The TPM Senate Scoreboard currently stands at Democrats 50, GOP 49, Toss Up 1. (This count includes independents with whichever party they caucus with.) Beneath the numbers the Democrats look well positioned to control the Senate in 2017.
In the novel we're currently living in, this would be an unrealistic plot development. The editor would strike it from the narrative. But Donald Trump has no editor. So this is happening. Trump is hiring Bill Stepien, a central, implicated and almost immediately fired, figure in the Christie Bridgegate scandal as his national field director. Yes, that's happening. And yes, you're supposed to have a national field director before late August. And quite possibly, yes, this means the Trump field campaign will focus on engineering a crippling election day traffic jam in every black neighborhood in the country. Here's the full story.
This is far from the biggest problem plaguing Donald Trump's campaign. But as we get into the thick of the fall campaign, it's worth noting. Kellyanne Conway now carries the label campaign manager. But that does not appear to be what she's doing. Campaign Managers seldom make many press appearances. Frequently they're almost totally invisible to the public. In part that's because it's a different skill set. But the bigger issue is that being campaign manager requires a huge investment of time. You simply don't have time to do the job while making constant TV appearances - especially self-destructive, or at least campaign self-destructive appearances like Conway's appearance on Rachel Maddow's show.
From Sarah Ellison's latest report on the Ailes' scandal ...
In less than two weeks, however, [Ailes] was out. The wooden door that famously cordoned his office suite from prying eyes was removed. Within, two handguns were discovered—one a Glock, the other a Smith & Wesson—with ammunition for both. (“Roger has a permit for those two guns,” Ailes’s attorney, Susan Estrich, told me, adding that her client has a license to carry a handgun in New York, “for his personal protection.” She continued: “Those guns are licensed and appropriate.” Ailes has repeatedly denied all allegations of sexual harassment.)
When we publish transcripts of speeches it's usually in our news pages, not the Editors' Blog. But I think Hillary Clinton's speech on the Trump campaign and the mainstreaming of white supremacists hate groups into the GOP is one of the more important speeches of the election cycle. So I'm putting the transcript here in full, after the jump.