I’m never going to get used to watching liberals use softness on Russia as a club against the right. Whether the criticism is fair or not.
Two tidbits for you from today’s PPP poll of Virginia, asking Trump voters and Clinton voters how they feel about Putin vis-a-vis the country’s two most prominent Democrats:
Obama was on the trail today in (where else?) Pennsylvania, where a Clinton win would all but seal a national victory and where she needs help turning out minority voters to counter Trump’s white rural support. The weaker her campaign gets — and after the Big Swoon, it’s as weak right now as it’s been all summer — the more likely you are to see O campaigning this fall. If you believe the latest WaPo/ABC poll, his job approval is up to … 58 percent. No other survey has him that high, but he’s reliably above 50 in other polls these days, no doubt due in part to Clinton’s and Trump’s dinginess making him seem not so bad to voters by comparison. Take three minutes and read this WaPo analysis of how improving numbers for Obama tends to mean improving numbers for Clinton too. Just because an incumbent president is popular doesn’t mean a successor from their own party is a sure thing; see, for instance, Dwight Eisenhower and Bill Clinton, both of whom were rocking 58 percent job approval when their VPs lost nailbiters to the other party. JFK and Dubya were strong, mainstream candidates, though, while Trump is not. Hillary’s tried hard to turn this race into a referendum on Trump, but lately, thanks to Trump’s greater discipline, it’s begun to seem more like a referendum on Clinton, which is dangerous territory for Democrats. If that’s still the dynamic after the debates, their best play will be to have Obama out there every day, schedule permitting, to try to turn the election from a referendum on her into a choice between Trump and four more years of Obama. It really may be that the only way the Dems can avoid Buckner-ing what should have been an easy win is to remove Hillary from the equation as much as possible and let O try to convince his coalition to cast a symbolic vote for Obama-ism by electing her.
Elsewhere today, he assured the crowd that he is “really into” the idea of Hillary Clinton as president, a feeling shared by literally no one, including Bill Clinton.