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Trump's obsession with 2020 weighs on his political power — and his political future – CNN

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(CNN)Fixated on relitigating the 2020 presidential election, former President Donald Trump has often argued since leaving office that Republicans cannot have a successful future — either at the ballot box or legislatively — if they turn a blind eye to the past.

But this week, primary voters in Georgia appeared to firmly reject that approach. Voting overwhelmingly for two key Republicans — Gov. Brian Kemp and Secretary of State Brad Raffensberger — who have flatly dismissed Trump’s false claims about election fraud, Republicans in the Peach State sent a clear signal to the former President that his continued obsession with 2020 is not only bad for his preferred candidates but could be a liability for him in key battleground states as he considers another presidential bid in 2024.
“Georgia was a valuable lesson. Trump has found that he’s altered the rules of politics, but not all the rules of politics,” said Bryan Lanza, a former Trump aide who remains close to the ex-President.
Whether Trump internalizes any critical lessons at this juncture remains to be seen, however. Although he is far less likely “to stick his neck out” with endorsements in upcoming primaries following a string of defeats and the still-uncertain outcome of Pennsylvania’s Senate GOP primary, said one former Trump aide, he has shown no indication that he intends to recalibrate his approach amid Tuesday’s setbacks — even as those around him admit that a course correction might be necessary if he wants to stand a chance in a future presidential contest.
“A very big and successful evening of political Endorsements,” Trump wrote on his Truth Social website Wednesday, hours after Kemp and Raffensberger soundly defeated their Trump-backed challengers, former Sen. David Perdue and Rep. Jody Hice.
“It was a bad night for revenge and Georgia was his ultimate revenge stop,” said one Trump adviser.
The adviser also noted that Trump “made a strategic mistake abandoning Mo Brooks,” the Alabama Senate GOP candidate who advanced to a runoff contest on Tuesday despite losing the former President’s endorsement just two months prior over his repeated calls for Republican voters to move beyond the 2020 election.
Multiple Trump allies and advisers who spoke with CNN on the condition of anonymity said the defeats the former President has suffered this month — in Georgia, Idaho, Nebraska and North Carolina — would typically force anyone to reevaluate their strategy, but that Trump is notoriously resistant to acknowledging weakness or error.
He will “just plow forward like he always does,” said one former Trump campaign official.
Another former top campaign aide to Trump said Georgia should teach the former President that he can’t deploy a one-size-fits-all approach to every Republican primary, especially when he is going up against popular incumbents. A Fox News poll released just days before Tuesday’s primary showed Kemp with a net-positive approval rating of 46 percent among Republican primary voters in the state.
“Going after an incumbent in a southern state like Georgia is fraught with danger. Local politics matter and dominate,” the aide said.
“Some states are so insular politically,” this person added, “that voters take exception to anyone trying to come into their state and tell them what to do.”
Meanwhile, the former head of Trump’s 2016 Georgia campaign operation had some choice words for MAGA candidates who centered their campaigns around the former President instead of local and statewide issues.
“So come to find out, running an issueless campaign… isn’t a winning strategy,” tweeted Seth Weathers, a Georgia Republican strategist who oversaw Trump’s field effort in Georgia during his first presidential run.
Weathers also criticized Hice, Trump’s pick in the secretary of state race. While Hice followed the former President’s lead, Raffensberger described Trump’s claims about fraudulent election activities in Georgia as “just plain wrong” in the immediate aftermath of the 2020 election and held to it in the year and a half since. His office has also cooperated with a special grand jury that is investigating Trump’s efforts to overturn the election results in Georgia.
Raffensperger won the primary handily.
“[Hice] seemed to take the same bad strategy, just not as bad as Perdue,” Weathers said, adding that Raffensberger “also ran nonstop ads trashing [Hice] and I didn’t see him respond in kind.”
Trump, who boasted about “record turnout” in Georgia ahead of the primary on Tuesday, has not yet commented on the collapse of his preferred statewide candidates. In addition to Hice and Perdue, Trump-backed challengers to Insurance Commissioner John King and Attorney General Chris Carr failed to oust their opponents.

Looking ahead to a potential run

Despite Trump’s continuous peddling of lies about the past election and his resistance to a midterm message that is less backwards-looking, there is one notable area where he has been eager to talk about the future.
Over the past few weeks, the former President has been chatting up friends and advisers about the looming 2024 presidential contest, including taking their temperature on an earlier-than-expected campaign announcement.
Trump has repeatedly told his supporters — from the throngs of MAGA devotees who have shown up at his midterm rallies to top allies in conservative media — that they will be very happy with his ultimate decision on 2024. And aides to the former President, who would be 76 years old during a third presidential campaign, tend to universally agree that he will run again barring any major changes to his health.
While many of those same aides were under the impression that Trump would wait until after the November midterms to reveal his next move, he has recently solicited their thoughts on entering the fray sooner. One Trump adviser, who noted that former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush announced he would “actively explore” a presidential bid just one month after the 2014 midterms, said Trump has been thinking about launching an exploratory committee in October — just before this year’s midterm contest.
“In the last month, people have been telling him it may be smart to announce in October because we will be pretty certain by then whether Republicans are going to take over both chambers and he will become more of a topic related to the midterms and how he helped make that happen,” the adviser said.
This person said Trump already plans to be on the campaign trail frequently later this summer “and it wouldn’t be difficult to add a campaign rollout to all of that.”
“He’s always been an impatient person and he wants to start his political operation sooner,” the adviser added.
A second Trump adviser, who said the odds of Trump launching an exploratory committee prior to the November 8 midterm elections were “50/50,” claimed the former President remains in the early stages of determining the best timing for such an announcement. Trump has been closely tracking President Joe Biden’s poll numbers as he looks for any openings with independents and suburban voters who fled the GOP in 2020.
“If he thinks it will help him, he will do it before November. If he concludes it’s better for him to wait, he’ll wait,” the adviser said.
But there may be a second reason for Trump’s impatience.
As his once sterling endorsement record has unraveled this month, Trump has grown increasingly aware of the other GOP power players who are eyeing the party’s presidential nomination in two years. In addition to Kemp and Raffensberger defeating their Trump-endorsed opponents on Tuesday, Trump’s picks in gubernatorial primaries in Nebraska and Idaho earlier this month also lost, and he was dealt another unexpected blow when Rep. Madison Cawthorn, who Trump had publicly vouched for as the freshman congressman battled numerous scandals, lost his primary to North Carolina state Sen. Chuck Edwards.
In the midst of these defeats, the former President has been paying close attention to Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, whose popularity has soared among Trump’s own base amid his recent clashes with the progressive left.
Trump has also kept watch on his one-time vice president, Mike Pence, who actively campaigned for Kemp in the closing days of the Georgia gubernatorial primary, and his former secretary of state, Mike Pompeo, who endorsed David McCormick in the Pennsylvania Senate primary, which is heading to a recount as McCormick remains deadlocked against his Trump-endorsed opponent, Dr. Mehmet Oz.
“Having read ‘The Art of War,’ one of the rules there is that the greatest victory is defeating your opponents without having to have a fight. Trump is well aware of that passage,” one of the Trump advisers said.

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It's all about the stats: What politics and baseball have in common – CBC.ca

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In his final column as host of The House, Chris Hall talks with three political strategists to examine the intersection between two of his favourite subjects: politics and baseball.

There’s a saying that life imitates art. But for my money, there’s another comparison that’s equally true. Politics imitates baseball.

Here’s the pitch.

Politics and baseball are filled with tradition. There are a lot of rules; some are written, and some really just time-honoured traditions. 

Today, both are becoming more reliant on modern-day metrics — data and statistics — to attract new supporters, and to win.

In baseball, those stats help managers decide when to deploy the infield shift, or put an extra person in the outfield to prevent the best hitters from getting on base.

In politics, the numbers tell campaign managers which ridings to visit and which campaign promise to promote. They know how many swing votes are available in each voting district. Parties keep data banks that tell them which address is home to a supporter, and which is home to a voter who might be convinced to join their side.

So it’s not surprising that many politicians and their strategists are also baseball fans. 

The House’s politics (and baseball) panel, left to right: Anne McGrath, national director for the NDP, Jason Lietaer, president of Enterprise Canada and the former Conservative strategist; and Zita Astravas, former Liberal spokesperson and current chief of staff to Bill Blair. (Submitted by Jason Lietaer and Zita Astravas, Fred Chartrand/Canadian Press)

There is a powerful connection between running the bases and running a campaign, according to Anne McGrath.

“I think that all campaigns are, or strive to be, data-driven now,” said McGrath, the NDP’s national director and a veteran of both federal and provincial campaigns.

“It is the key in politics. You have to find the people who support you and get them out to vote. So you have to know who they are and know where they are and know what they care about.”

McGrath was a die-hard fan of the Montreal Expos. The club moved years ago to Washington and she’s still not over it. But McGrath sees a lesson in the move, about the importance of not just maintaining a fan base, but finding ways to get new ones to the ballpark.

“You do have to know who your base is and you have to expand it. You have to bring more people in. And you have to do it in a way that is attentive to changing demographics and changing ways of communicating with people and getting people interested and involved and motivated,” she explained.

CBC News: The House9:32Take me out to the poll game

In one of his last shows, host Chris Hall combines two of his passions: baseball and politics. He speaks with three fellow baseball diehards who happen to be political insiders: Liberal staffer Zita Astravas, Conservative strategist Jason Lietaer and NDP national director Anne McGrath.

Jason Lietaer grew up reading baseball box scores and waiting impatiently for the weekend newspaper that included the stats for every American League player, including members of the hometown Toronto Blue Jays.

Lietaer, a former Conservative campaign strategist who now runs the government-relations firm Enterprise Canada, is a believer in mining data for insights into a player or into a campaign. But just gathering that data doesn’t guarantee victory in either baseball or politics, he said.

Sometimes the bottom of the ninth happens a month before the game even starts.– Jason Lietaer

The players on the field, or the candidates knocking on doors continue to play a key role in determining whether you win or lose. Plus, it’s important to interpret that data correctly

“And I would say in politics, we’re still sort of struggling with some of that,” Lietaer said. “You know, is there only one or two ways to read the data? How important is digital communication? How important is this piece of information?”

The Toronto Blue Jays Alejandro Kirk hits a single during a game against the Boston Red Sox in Toronto on June 28, 2022. (Jon Blacker/The Canadian Press)

A key lesson is figuring out what the statistics are telling you before the end of the game or before election night, to better adapt to the changing circumstances and give your team a better chance at victory.

“Sometimes you don’t realize you’re winning or losing an election [until] you’ve already won or lost it,” he said.

“Sometimes the bottom of the ninth happens a month before the game even starts.”

The politics and baseball panel was one of the last interviews Chris Hall did as the host of The House. He retired from CBC in June 2022. CBC Radio created this ‘farewell’ baseball card to mark the occasion. (Ben Shannon/CBC)

Zita Astravas is another political insider who spends a lot of time watching baseball. She’s worked on both federal and Ontario Liberal campaigns and is now chief of staff to Emergency Preparedness Minister Bill Blair.

“I think one of the things that drew me to politics and baseball is statistics, and I think it’s one of the things that you can find common ground in,” she said.

“You do it every day on a political campaign: you look at different ridings and craft who your best candidates are, what your target ridings are, just as you do on different players.”

It’s all about finding a hidden meaning in the numbers, an edge to exploit on the field or in the hustings.

It’s all in the hopes of answering the key question, McGrath says: “Did we hit it out of the park?”

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Politics Report: The People Asked for Time and Now They Get Time Because What They Really Wanted Was Time – Voice of San Diego

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Early Monday, our Lisa Halverstadt learned that the City Council was not going to vote on a proposed settlement over 101 Ash St. after all. Serves us right for expecting a climax in any long-running San Diego political affair. 

Maybe the settlement didn’t have the five votes it needed, maybe some new information materialized, or maybe the mayor’s explanation that they heard the public’s call that it needed more time to process the terms of the agreement was all there was too it. That last explanation would perhaps be the most exciting, since it would mark the first time in city history that a proceduralist consideration wasn’t just poorly disguised cover for some substantive difference of opinion. 

Nonetheless, former Mayor Kevin Faulconer jumped on KUSI Thursday to say he was happy that Mayor Todd Gloria had decided to delay the vote for a month until the public had ample time to fully absorb the particulars of a settlement that would have ended some city lawsuits, continue others, and lead to the acquisition of two massive pieces of downtown real estate for a City Hall redevelopment that hasn’t been planned and won’t be within the next month. The public would also then have enough time to grok the city attorney’s dissenting opinion on the settlement, or both legal and policy reasons. 

“I think you have to make sure that any proposed settlement is going to be a benefit to the city, a benefit to taxpayers and it’s not something that should be rushed,” he said. “I think we’ll hear a lot more about that in the coming months.” 

Clearly, now that we’ve made the difficult, brave decision not to rush the matter, ignoring the screaming hordes from the pro-rush caucus, we don’t need to be in any hurry to articulate whether the deal actually is a benefit to the city and taxpayers or not. The important thing is that now we have time.  

Brief CAP Opposition from the Cap’s Top Champion 

Back in Gloria’s first stint in the mayor’s office – in an interim position that didn’t really exist – Nicole Capretz led the charge within his administration for what became his landmark achievement during that time, even though it wasn’t passed until Faulconer was in office: the city’s Climate Action Plan. 

The city adopted a plan that said it would half its carbon footprint by 2035 by, among other things, transitioning to 100 percent renewable energy and getting half of people who live near transit to bike, walk or take transit to work by that same year. San Diego basked in national praise from the New York Times and elsewhere.  

This week, though, Capretz – who now runs a nonprofit group that pushes San Diego and other cities to do more within their climate plans – came out as an opponent of the updated version of the same Climate Action Plan that Gloria is now trying to pass. Even though the plan is ramping up its goals – the city would now by 2035 reach “net zero,” when the level of its greenhouse emissions are equal to the level absorbed by the environment (or new technology that removes carbon from the atmosphere) – Capretz and her group urged a “no” vote from a Council committee, because the city lacked a timeline and cost estimates for its commitments. They eventually got on board when city staff agreed to provide that by February. 

Still, it was interesting to hear Capretz, maybe the city’s top salesperson for the climate plan, acknowledge that proponents had made mistakes with the first plan by not setting clear cost and time requirements for each of the policies included in it. 

“We did not insist on an implementation plan for the first Climate Action Plan,” she told our MacKenzie Elmer. “We’re not going to make that mistake again.”  

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Murphy's Logic: Politics trumps public interest | CTV News – CTV News Atlantic

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The initial reluctance of governments, federal and provincial, to appoint a public inquiry into the N.S. mass shooting, was difficult to understand. It took the heartfelt pleas of the victims’ families and the fast rising tide of public opinion to make the politicians act.

And now we likely know why they were so reluctant.

Imperfect though it may be, the inquiry eventually appointed has now exposed the obscene political considerations that were already at play in the days that followed the horror of April 2020.

The evidence reveals that political leaders, who should have been overwhelmed only with grief and concern for the trauma and misery wrought by a madman, instead seemed to seize an overwhelming opportunity to advance their own partisan interests in toughening gun control.

There is reason to believe the PM or his people, certainly his Ministers, were attempting to dictate, manipulate or at least influence parts of the RCMP the narrative. That’s unacceptable, a brazen display of politics put ahead of public interest, moreover, it’s heartless.

The Commissioner of the RCMP should not have been making promises to her political masters about the release of information about the sort of weapons used by the shooter but more pointedly, the politicians shouldn’t have been asking for such promises about that or anything else.

The Mass Causality Commission has already exposed many shortcomings on the part of the RCMP.

The force’s politically charged relationship with the government is yet another fault, yet another reason to demand changes in the way the RCMP operates.

The arrogance laid bare by the Trudeau government’s apparent willingness to interfere, to capitalize on the timing of a tragedy for crass political advantage, also suggests it may also be time to change the government.

   

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