Trump yanked from briefing mid-sentence by Secret Service after suspect shot outside White House

Trump yanked from briefing mid-sentence by Secret Service after suspect shot outside White House

2020, you’re full of surprises.

And somehow each one is weirder and more disturbing than the last.

To cleanse the palate, here’s something new for the ballooning “stuff I never thought I’d see” file.

There are no details about what happened, who the suspect is, or why he was shot as I write this at 7 p.m. ET. A reporter in the briefing room seems to believe it was the Secret Service who fired, not regular D.C. police, so maybe there really was an attempt to enter the White House.

No police or USSS were injured, thankfully.

Speaking of presidential brushes with mortality, we may be less than a day away from the oldest would-be president in American history announcing who his VP nominee will be. If you want to know why Biden’s pick is being so closely watched despite the fact that running mates almost never matter on Election Day, Rasmussen has data suggesting this one might matter a lot.

The latest Rasmussen Reports national telephone and online survey finds that 59% of Likely U.S. Voters believe it’s likely Biden’s running mate will be president before the end of Biden’s four-year term if he wins this fall, with 39% who say it’s Very Likely. Thirty-five percent (35%) consider it unlikely that Biden’s vice presidential choice will be president before his four-year term ends, but that includes only 14% who think it’s Not At All Likely.

Even 49% of Democrats think it’s likely Biden’s vice president will become president in the next four years, although that compares to 73% of Republicans and 57% of voters not affiliated with either major party.

If more than half of all voters believe they’re voting for Biden’s VP to become president as much as they’re voting for Biden himself then in theory this is a momentous pick. In practice, though, not so much: Just 45 percent say Biden’s choice will be “very important” to their vote this year. Normally 76 percent or so of Americans say a nominee’s running mate is important to their vote. What explains the lower interest in Biden’s choice despite his age? I think it’s the simple fact that, for so many people, the election is a referendum on Trump himself. It doesn’t matter who the Democratic VP nominee is; it really doesn’t matter who the Democratic presidential nominee is either, so long as he’s sufficiently generic (and Biden is). This is an up-or-down vote on Trump. Even the perceived likelihood that Biden will die in office can’t affect that.

In lieu of an exit question, here’s a … Biden-esque soundbite from today’s presser.

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David Strom 8:01 AM on February 03, 2023