Democrat woes multiply. The party must cope with a giant field of 2020 presidential hopefuls, the ongoing clash between establishment Democrats and newly elected upstarts plus the increasing appeal of socialist beliefs. President Trump’s consistent victories in the economy, his startling fundraising and campaign readiness, the weakened state of the Mueller report, and Mr. Trump’s rising favorability numbers are worrisome. Meanwhile, the clock is ticking. Democratic presidential debates begin June 26.
The media is now noticing that Democrats are getting jittery — and they are covering it.
“Can a woman beat Trump?” NBC News asks.
“Wall Street Democrats are absolutely freaking out about their 2020 candidates,” New York magazine reports.
“Coming to some kind of consensus, picking a plausible candidate they felt they could all live with and throw their considerable money behind — that was a far-fetched proposition,” writes analyst Gabriel Debenedetti.
“The anti-corporate, anti — Wall Street direction of the Democratic Party is driving Democrats into the Trump camp, which is, in most cases, the last place they want to be,” Kathryn Wylde, CEO of the Partnership for New York City, told the analyst.
Even a certain Democratic power couple is jumpy.
“The Clintons are on edge about 2020. Like pretty much every other Democrat in America, Bill and Hillary are nervous that their party’s primary field is too large, that it’s going to be dominated by the wrong kind of debate, that the candidates will succumb to their worst instincts, and that President Donald Trump will out-bully them anyway,” writes Edward-Isaac Dovere, an Atlantic writer who was in the audience when the Clintons addressed a select group in the nation’s capital.
“Do not grow weary,” Mrs. Clinton told them, admitting she sometimes “can’t bear keeping up with the news.”
The former president had dramatic advice.
“There are no permanent victories and defeats in politics, and if you think about it, we are repeatedly called upon in new and different circumstances to refight battles with our oldest demons which lurk inside all our hearts,” Mr. Clinton said.
REAGAN AND RUBIO
The Ronald Reagan Presidential Foundation and Institute opened an office in Washington last year — simply called the Reagan Institute and founded to tend to “Reagan’s unfinished business.” The organization hosts Sen. Marco Rubio on Tuesday — and the Florida Republican will mark the 35th anniversary of Reagan’s historic speech at Fudan University in Shanghai, citing the significance of the speech and parsing current relations between the U.S. and China.
“Neither of us is an expansionist power. We do not desire your land, nor you ours. We do not challenge your borders. We do not provoke your anxieties. In fact, both the United States and China are forced to arm themselves against those who do. The United States is now undertaking a major strengthening of our defenses. It’s an expensive effort, but we make it to protect the peace, knowing that a strong America is a safeguard for the independence and peace of others,” Reagan told his audience in 1984.
“Often we have found agreement, but even when we have not, we’ve gained insight into each other, and we’ve learned to appreciate the other’s perspectives on the world.
“This process will continue, and it will flourish if we remember certain things. We must neither ignore our problems nor overstate them. We must never exaggerate our difficulties or send alarms for small reasons. We must remember that it is a delicate thing to oppose the wishes of a friend, and when we’re forced to do so, we must be understanding with each other,” the 40th president said.
The afternoon event also features a panel discussion with former Sen. Jim Talent, now a member of the U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission and Jacqueline Deal, president and CEO of the Long Term Strategy Group.
ONE FOR ED
A highlight from the recent White House Correspondents’ Association dinner: Fox News Channel chief national correspondent Ed Henry was honored with The Merriman Smith Award, which recognizes fine presidential news coverage under strict deadlines. Mr. Henry garnered notice for his exclusive interview with then-Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt, conducted April 4, 2018.
“Scott Pruitt was already in trouble over ethical matters when he sat down for an interview with Ed Henry. If he thought he was going to get softball questions, he soon learned otherwise. Henry, in the words of The Washington Post, lobbed question after question at Pruitt to ask him about big pay increases for cronies and a sweetheart deal for renting an apartment from a lobbyist. Pruitt struggled to answer and soon found himself out of a job. Henry was prepared, knew his facts and marshalled them for a penetrating interview, which made news, all under deadline pressure,” the judges noted in their rationale.
HELPFUL: PLANETARY DEFENSE AT THE READY
Now underway just outside the nation’s capital: The four-day International Academy of Astronautics Planetary Defense Conference in which authentic world experts gather to discuss the threat to Earth posed by asteroids and comets — and what actions can be taken to deflect such a threatening object. Among the hair-raising topics: “Impact consequences and disaster response,” “What can go wrong even if we deflect an asteroid?” and “The Earth-impact risk from manx comets.”
The group will also confront a realistic but hypothetical scenario which features a 984-foot-wide asteroid barreling toward the Earth in an impact threat scenario developed by NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory.
“These exercises have really helped us in the planetary defense community to understand what our colleagues on the disaster management side need to know,” advises Lindley Johnson, NASA’s Planetary Defense Officer.
POLL DU JOUR
• 45% of Americans say social media companies should protect the public from objectionable content shared by users; 47% of Republicans, 40% of independents and 54% of Democrats agree.
• 43% overall say the companies should moderate content created by users; 36% of Republicans, 45% of independents and 49% of Democrats agree.
• 41% overall say removing user-created content is “suppressing free speech”; 53% of Republicans, 44% of independents and 35% of Democrats agree.
• 34% overall say seeing offensive content on social media “doesn’t really bother me”; 43% of Republicans, 36% of independents and 29% of Democrats agree.
• 26% overall have regretted posting something on social media; 24% of Republicans, 26% of independents and 30% of Democrats agree.
Source: A YouGov Real Time poll of 1,245 U.S. adults conducted March 26-27 and released Monday.
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