Night Music: Bobby Vee – “Take Good Care of My Baby” (1961)

Pop music legend Bobby Vee died early Monday morning of complications of Alzheimer’s disease. He was 73.

“Take Good Care of My Baby” was written by Carole King and Gerry Goffin. Bobby Vee made the song famous when he released it as a single on July 20, 1961. His version reached No. 1 on September 21, 1961, and spent three weeks atop the charts.

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On the Hustings

whw_2016_election_banner_1NBC News: Poll: Republican Party fractured as Hillary Clinton maintains solid lead

Washington Post: Trump stops holding high-dollar fundraisers that were raising big cash for the GOP

Newsday: Colin Powell endorses Hillary Clinton for president

Politico: Florida spirals away from Trump

Democracy Corp: Clinton in 12-point lead, potential for down-ballot gains

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The Cook Political Report now expects Democrats to take the Senate

cookIt’s not over till it’s over, but respected elections handicapper Charlie Cook thinks it might be time to call the U.S. Senate for the Democrats. 

Assuming that Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton wins the White House, the party needs four seats to tie the chamber, leaving the Vice President as the tie breaking vote. For much of the cycle, we have expected Democrats to score a net gain of between four and six seats.


[W]e are increasing the range of expected Democratic pick ups to five to seven seats. This means that we feel that the prospect that Democrats will have at least 51 seats is greater than the odds of a tied Senate, or of Republicans somehow holding their majority.

Citing the now infamous Access Hollywood tape as the turning point, Cook notes that Senate Republicans have begun to see a dip in their expected vote in places like Florida, North Carolina, New Hampshire, Nevada and Pennsylvania.

There is still time for something to change, but this is good news for Team Hillary.

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Quote of the Day

img_0223I believe Donald Trump is one of the handsomest billionaires that’s ever lived. I don’t think he had to grope a single women ever. I think they threw themselves at him, so it’s all a lie.

-Conservative radio and television personality Wayne Allyn Root

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Too marvelous for words: Down-ballot Republicans hitch wagon to President Obama

imageNow that it is becoming clear Donald Trump could do serious damage to down-ballot Republicans, it seems that some of them are trying to re-write history bigly.

Roll Call reported on Monday that “Sen. Rob Portman, R-Ohio, released three radio ads with African-American pastors from across the state talking about his bill to help former prisoners with education and job training. Each ad includes the line that “Rob Portman authored a bipartisan law signed by President Obama to break the grip of heroin addiction.”

Obviously, featuring African-American pastors on the issue of criminal justice reform is about reaching out to African-American voters who might be more inclined to vote for a Democratic candidate.

Strangely, Portman appears to be in no real danger of losing to his Democratic opponent, former Ohio Gov. Ted Strickland, and even stranger, as Roll Call notes, “the opioid and heroin epidemic is often seen as a white epidemic.” Guess he wants to be really sure.

And then there’s Republican Rep. Darrell Issa in a competitive race for re-election in California who has put out a piece of campaign literature “praising Obama for signing a Survivors’ Bill of Rights.”

President Obama is, however, having none it, calling this kind of thing “the definition of chutzpah,” especially in Issa’s case given how critical Issa has been of Obama on a whole range of issues.

It’s not hard to figure out what’s going on, not when President Obama’s approval rating has been butting up against the upper 50 per cent range recently. And being a politician is about a lot of things but before anything else it’s about getting elected.

For Democrats who fear that very little positive can happen in Congress given how split the country is, I would suggest they continue to work towards beating Republicans at the ballot box as a tried and true way to get them to work across the aisle.

Some will continue to be intransigent due to a notion of ideological purity, but others will come around to the realization that at the end of day their favourite policy position is getting re-elected.

Though it may difficult to see now, I suspect Hillary Clinton will be an effective and popular president. And I suspect a surprising number of Republicans will think about the implications of taking her on. Love Obama, but she’s a different cat altogether.

We’ll see.

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If I were 6′ 7″ and could play basketball I might have had a shot in the NBA

My namesake Rick Barry

My namesake Rick Barry

For the record, I’m 5′ 7″ -ish and have absolutely no basketball skills (though I share a name with an NBA Hall-of-Famer).

Speaking on Face the Nation yesterday, Republican strategist Frank Luntz said this election “should have been a slam dunk for the GOP…if [Trump] had stayed the voice and the vision for those people who have been left behind, this race would be a lot different than it is right now.”

To my point about being not tall, Luntz said that the GOP presidential nominee needed a campaign “that the Trump campaign has not had …about the voice of the voters, not the voice of Donald Trump.”

Instead, Luntz said he has never seen a campaign with “less discipline” or “less focus.”

So, if Donald Trump had found a way to be someone other than Donald Trump, he might be winning this election. Great analysis, Mr. Luntz.

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Quote of the Day

image“I don’t know any consultant on either side, any strategist, who privately believes that Donald Trump will win this election”

-David Axelrod, chief strategist for President Obama’s 2008 and 2012 campaigns speaking on CBS’s Face the Nation.

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This Day in American History: October 24, 1931 – The George Wasington Bridge opens to public traffic

Almost as interesting a date as September 9, 2013 when some guy in New Jersey ordered lanes closed on the bridge to show what kind of a jerk he is.

George Washington Bridge

George Washington Bridge

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How about you let us enjoy things for a while?

Kelly Ayotte

Kelly Ayotte

The media is starting to turn away from covering the presidential election and towards the possibility that the Democrats might win control of the Senate.

Now that we are two weeks from Election Day, however, journalists with little else to do want us to know that even if the Democrats do achieve a net gain of four seats required to take the Senate, they are unlikely to hold it in 2018.

Thank you for that.

Speaking only for myself, I’d like to enjoy Trump’s collapse along with how it is destroying the chances of Republican Senate candidates like Richard Burr in North Carolina, Kelly Ayotte in New Hampshire and Joseph J. Heck in Nevada.

The numbers for that year are stunning: 25 Democratic or Democratic-affiliated independents are up for reelection, compared with just eight Republicans. That’s as lopsided an election cycle as you will ever see.

But a look inside the numbers makes the Democrats’ challenge in 2018 all the more daunting. Fully 20 percent of the 25 Democratic seats are in states that then-Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney carried in 2012 (and even Trump is likely to carry on Nov. 8): Indiana, Missouri, Montana, North Dakota and West Virginia.

Add to that that 2018 will be the first midterm election for President Hillary Clinton, and things look dire indeed.

I don’t care. I’m going to enjoy the next two weeks and no one can take that away from me. Let’s get through all the good news before we come up with some bad, of which there will be plenty.

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On the Hustings

whw_2016_election_banner_1ABC News: Clinton vaults to a double-digit lead, boosted by broad disapproval of Trump

CBS News: Clinton leads in Florida, Trump narrowly leads in Texas – CBS Battleground Tracker

Reuters: Clinton far ahead in Electoral College race: Reuters/Ipsos poll

New York Times: Hillary Clinton presses her advantage over a struggling Trump

Washington Post: Buoyed by rising poll, Clinton shifts to a new target: the House and Senate

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