Editors' Blog

This Is Astounding

So many stories in presidential politics, in all politics, are more sound and fury than substance. This one isn't. It's hard to overstate how big a deal it is. Donald Trump caught a lot of grief during the primaries for putting several of his companies through bankruptcies during his career. He's also made a point of arguing that he'd bring his brand of "deal-making" to the presidency. It now seems like both of those things may have been way more significant than maybe anyone realized.

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"The Nominee" Surges on Trump Endorsement Scorecard

Big news today on the Official TPM Elected Official Trump Endorsement Scorecard. Still pretty few endorsements for Trump but "the nominee" continues to surge with numerous elected Republicans saying they'll support him. ("the Nominee 2016" shirts are selling like crazy.) Meanwhile, Paul Ryan and other go into the Fuzzball category. (Keep your email tips coming - a huge resource for our team assembling the Scorecard.)

Trump is No Mystery. There've Been No Surprises.

Several times over the years I've told the story of the first big political prediction I got right - less than a year into my first job in journalism. It was the fall of 1998, in the build up to President Clinton's impeachment, and I was telling my officemates that I thought Democrats would pick up seats in the November election. I tried to write about it but my editor wouldn't let me. (He said I would embarrass the publication.) This was contrary to what virtually everyone else predicted. So what special insight did I have? Really, none. I watched the public polling and paid attention to what those polls were saying. Contrary to the widespread predictions of a GOP wave, they suggested a modest Democratic gain, which is precisely what happened. Everyone else saw the same polls. But almost everyone else had come up with explanations for why they couldn't be right.

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The Scorecard Grows

Our Official TPM Elected Official Trump Endorsement Scorecard continues to grow. See our five categories here. Check out the list and tell us if there are people we've left out. Remember we are only including sitting members of Congress and governors. At the moment we have only three in the "Endorse" category, though we know there are some members of the House that are still be added. Meanwhile, there are only three who are in the genuine "NeverTrump" category. The great majority are in the "support the nominee" or "fuzzball" category. Check it out and let us know who we're missing. Our panel of Trump taxonomy judges continues to evaluate where everyone stands.

Birds of a Bankruptcy Feather?

It looks like at a minimum, Donald Trump isn't planning on making much hay of Hillary Clinton's speech ties to Goldman Sachs. Why? Well, Trump's new national Finance Chair, Steven Mnuchin, is a longtime Goldman Sachs executive who spent 17 years at the firm.

But more notably, to paraphrase Austin Power's Dr Evil, Mnuchin seems to share with Trump a penchant for bankruptcy.

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It's worth taking a look at this to see just the level of clowns Donald Trump has surrounding him. Ben Carson, now running Trump's Veep search, suggests that Ted Cruz might take a quick appointment as AG to jail Hillary Clinton before being appointed to replace Antonin Scalia on the Supreme Court.

It's good to know folks in Trump land are clear that the Department of Justice isn't supposed to be the President's personal army.

Thank You, Guys

After Trump kept using "Start Me Up" as his walk-out music at rallies and victory celebrations, I was starting to think, I really hope the Stones aren't okay with this. And now they're asking him to stop. Thank God.

I would note though that "Sympathy for the Devil" has a certain element of appropriateness and "Brown Sugar" might represent either some very consistent race messaging or perhaps some subversive counter-programming from someone in the AV team. The song operates on a few levels.

The Great Moment Has Arrived, People!

Now that Donald Trump is definitively the Republican nominee, it's time to see whether he can unite the party. Who will endorse him? Will more than nine people stay in the #NeverTrump minyan? We want to help you track who's endorsing, who's not and the various grey areas of awkwardness in between. So starting this afternoon, after consulting statisticians, political scientists and ourselves, we've derived this five part taxonomy.

They are: 1) Endorse, 2) "Supporting the Nominee", 3) Mum's the Word, 4) Fuzzball and 5) NeverTrump.

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TPM Readers on Sanders #9

TPM Reader PL has a take on the Sanders-Clinton battle which I agree with in a lot of ways. As he puts it, he never thought Sanders would be the nominee. The aim was to push the party left and show the establishment that the the left-wing of the party is growing, strong and has teeth. Now, they refuse to go away.

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