Is it really a fundraiser for Biden? Practically speaking, the bad press from this egregious mistake means it’ll operate more as a fundraiser for Trump.
Andrew Weissmann, former lead prosecutor on Mueller’s special counsel team, is headlining a June 2nd virtual fundraiser for Biden. pic.twitter.com/3lq7ld5m0u
— Ken Thomas (@KThomasDC) May 21, 2020
I can believe that either Team Joe or Weissmann would have the terrible judgment to formally rebrand the Mueller investigation as a Democratic campaign ploy this way but I’m amazed that they both would. Weissmann’s inviting people to view his work for Mueller as a partisan hatchet job (to the extent they don’t already) and Biden’s handing Trump high-powered ammo to press his case about Obamagate. “I told you the prosecutors on the Russia probe were liberal hacks out to get me! They made an in-kind contribution to Biden’s campaign with the investigation and now they’re back to contributions the old-fashioned way.”
Biden’s campaign might as well tell James Comey to put on a “Deep State” t-shirt and dial in as a surprise guest.
I don’t understand why they even want Weissmann. Is he that big of a draw for Democrats after the Mueller probe failed to prove collusion by Trump or his campaign staff? It’d be like the Trump campaign hosting a fundraiser featuring special guest Matt Whitaker. If Biden wants to raise some money off of a well-known lawyer whom Dems love and Trumpers hate, he could have asked Sally Yates to do it instead.
Or how about George Conway? I bet he’d do it just to get under Kellyanne’s skin.
Elsewhere in campaign news, sources tell the Daily Beast that Trump misses the glory days of being able to run against Hillary Clinton:
It’s also prompted some Trump lieutenants, and even the president himself, to start practically longing for the good ol’ days of having Clinton as their foe. As recently as last month, Trump privately joked how great it would be if Biden ultimately didn’t secure the nomination this summer and Clinton would have to step in, so that he could beat her harder than he did last time around, according to two sources close to the president…
It’s not as if the president and his team haven’t been trying to meld the last two Democratic candidates together. In interviews with half a dozen Trump aides in the administration and his re-election effort, each said that there was a concerted campaign to “make Biden the new Hillary,” in the words of one campaign official, whether it be by accusing him of engaging in shady foreign dealings, charging him with a embracing a culture of “corruption,” or portraying him as an immigrant-loving elitist…
“While Biden has universal name-ID, unlike Hillary Clinton he hasn’t spent the last two decades as the principal boogeyman among conservatives, and beyond that, he’s generally been pretty undefined politically, other than the fact that he was Barack Obama’s VP,” said a Republican close to the Trump campaign.
Yeah, Biden’s an interesting nominee in an era of negative hyperpartisanship in that he’s so bland and such a known quantity that it’s hard to get worked up about him, a problem Republicans usually don’t have to reckon with in presidential elections. Obama and both Clintons all became lightning rods for righty grievances for different reasons, and John Kerry took a beating in 2004 for dovishness in the wake of 9/11 and the invasion of Iraq.
In the past 30 years, I think the only Democratic nominee whom Republicans weren’t highly motivated to defeat was Al Gore in his pre-environmentalist days. Like Gore, Biden is a moderate former VP who doesn’t have much of a personal political “brand.” It’s hard to write a good rant about a “Flight 93 election” when the target is the dictionary definition of a generic Democrat. Unlike Gore, Biden doesn’t have the disadvantage of trying to win a third consecutive term in the White House for his party. Trump’s straining to find ways to get GOPers excited about beating him — Hunter Biden and Ukraine, Obamagate, maybe Tara Reade, maybe his leftward lurch to woo Bernie voters — but at the moment the election still looks like a referendum on him and his handling of the pandemic more so than a choice between him and Biden. That’s a bad dynamic right now, but a shrinking death toll and growing economy in the fall will make it much better.