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Obama’s team isn’t laughing at Trump anymore

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Obamaworld laughed as it watched Donald Trump’s hostile takeover of the GOP. After eight years of Republican opposition, inconsistent policy demands and racialized hate against the first black president, President Barack Obama’s aides, past and present, thought Republicans had gotten what they deserved–and more, all but forfeiting the 2016 race to the woman they defeated eight years ago. They’re not laughing anymore. Going into Monday night’s debate, Obama’s team is…

Clinton vs. Trump: The only 30 minutes that matter

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Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump will debate for 90 minutes on Monday. But the winner likely will be determined in the first half-hour. That’s when Al Gore first sighed, Mitt Romney knocked President Obama on his heels, and Marco Rubio, earlier this year, glitched in repeating the same talking point — over and over and over. It’s when Gore tried, unsuccessfully, to invade George W. Bush’s space, Richard Nixon was…

Is Donald Trump qualified to be president?

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H.L. Mencken declared there was only one way to look at a politician – “down.” Likewise, there’s really only one way to look at the first presidential debate on Monday: as the first serious job interview for potential President Donald John Trump – an opaque candidate who has hidden behind a steel curtain of one-liners, faux familiarity and universal celebrity. Yeah, yeah, yeah, it’s a big night for Hillary Clinton…

How Cruz got from ‘vote your conscience’ to ‘vote for Trump’

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Minutes before Ted Cruz took the stage at the Republican National Convention in Cleveland, Texas Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick cornered the senator, huddling with him in a last-ditch effort to coax an endorsement of Donald Trump. It didn’t work. “A missed opportunity,” Patrick fumed after Cruz’s notorious snub. “He makes his own decisions.” Two months later, amid political troubles home in Texas, unyielding pressure from the Republican establishment in Washington…

Trump campaign quarrels over money woes

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Frustration is growing within Donald Trump’s campaign over the Republican nominee’s yawning money gap with Democratic rival Hillary Clinton — just as the presidential race heads into its final fall stretch. Trump’s top advisers have held a series of tense conversations in recent days about how to close a fundraising hole that’s grown to over $200 million – a deficit that’s led Trump to essentially cede the TV airwaves to…

Partisan fireworks over Clinton aides’ immunity deals

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The revelation that several Hillary Clinton staffers received partial immunity in the FBI email probe set off another round of partisan fireworks on Friday: Republicans said they’re increasingly convinced the Justice Department mishandled the investigation and Democrats accused the GOP of stoking the issue for maximum political damage in the heat of the presidential campaign. Oversight Committee Republicans seethed after the disclosure that Clinton’s lawyer Cheryl Mills was granted protection…

Trump’s English-only campaign

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It was just over a year ago, at a nationally televised debate, when Donald Trump chided Jeb Bush for speaking another language on the campaign trail. “This is a country,” Trump said standing at the lectern next to Bush, “where we speak English, not Spanish.” The crowd at the Ronald Reagan presidential library applauded. Ever since, Trump has stayed true to his word. With 46 days until the November elections,…

Inside Hillary Clinton’s debate prep

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Karen Dunn is polite, precise and barely more than five feet tall — but after Barack Obama’s dreadful first debate against Mitt Romney in 2012, she got up in the face of the leader of the free world. “You need to punch him in the mouth!” said Dunn. And Obama did – delivering a powerful, campaign-stabilizing performance at Hofstra University on Long Island, the location of Monday’s critical showdown between…

When America Met Hillary

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With red lips, blue eyes and big blond hair, a former newscaster and lounge singer named Gennifer Flowers had talked to a supermarket tabloid about how she had been presidential candidate Bill Clinton’s mistress for 12 years. It was up to his wife to fix it. So on Sunday, January 26, 1992, on 60 Minutes on CBS, in a time slot immediately following the Super Bowl, Hillary Clinton responded fiercely…

Democratic liberals, moderates feud over public option

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A liberal attempt to revive the so-called public option — a government-run insurance plan to shore up gaps in the Affordable Care Act — is opening old wounds between the Democratic Party’s liberal and moderate wings. Thirty-three mostly liberal Democrats, including all the Senate leadership, have signed onto a nonbinding Senate resolution introduced last Friday to add the public option to Obamacare, arguing that it is needed to fix problems…

GOP senators succumb to Trump’s war on trade

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Pat Toomey is your classic, pro-trade Republican. The former president of the free trade-promoting Club for Growth has backed a slew of trade deals during his 12 years in Congress, and last year he even praised President Barack Obama’s Trans-Pacific Partnership as an economic boon that would help Pennsylvania’s economy. Then along came Donald Trump and his America-first, trade-bashing platform. Now Toomey — among the most vulnerable incumbent Republicans up…

Trump’s campaign paid his businesses $8.2 million

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Donald Trump’s presidential campaign has paid his family’s businesses more than $8.2 million, according to a POLITICO analysis of campaign finance filings, which reveals an integrated business and political operation without precedent in national politics. The GOP presidential nominee’s campaign has paid his various businesses for services including rent for his campaign offices ($1.3 million), food and facilities for events and meetings ($544,000) and payroll for Trump corporate staffers ($333,000)…

Trump’s bizarre ad strategy

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It’s seven weeks before Election Day, five days before the highly anticipated first debate, and Donald Trump’s television advertisements have all but vanished. Trump’s ads last ran nearly a week ago in four battleground states: Florida, North Carolina, Ohio and Pennsylvania. Since then, the GOP presidential nominee has ceded the airwaves to Hillary Clinton — and is only poised to launch a limited, less-targeted ad campaign in the days before…

Clinton Foundation to lay off dozens of staff

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NEW YORK — The Clinton Global Initiative has alerted dozens of employees that their jobs will be eliminated at year’s end, even as it plans to retain some staff to continue working with donors, according to two former Clinton Foundation officials who remain in communication with staff. The winding down of CGI after this week’s glitzy gathering and the resulting layoffs stem from concessions made by the Clinton Foundation to…

Trump’s Guide to Winning Through Gaffes

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That Donald Trump’s campaign has had more returns from the dead than a soap opera villain is hardly a novel observation. What is noteworthy is the manner in which he’s bounced back. Time and again, Trump has survived what only a few years ago would have been considered career-ending gaffes—from calling women “pigs,” to boasting about his sexual prowess, to repeatedly insulting war heroes, to offending Mexicans during his off-the-cuff…