The Republican Party was in turmoil again Wednesday as party leaders, strategists and donors voiced increasing alarm about the flailing state of Donald Trump’s candidacy and fears that the presidential nominee was damaging the party with an extraordinary week of self-inflicted mistakes, gratuitous attacks and missed opportunities.
“A new level of panic hit the street. It’s time for a serious reset.”
— Veteran operative Scott Reed
Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus was described as “very frustrated” and stressed by Trump’s behavior over the past week, having run out of excuses to make on the nominee’s behalf with donors and other party leaders, according to multiple people familiar with the events.
“The current race is which of these two is the more unacceptable, because right now neither of them is acceptable. Trump is helping her to win by proving he is more unacceptable than she is.”
— Newt Gingrich
Meanwhile, Trump’s top campaign advisers are failing to instill discipline on their candidate, who has spent the past days lunging from one controversy to another while seemingly skipping chances to go on the offensive against his Democratic opponent, Hillary Clinton.
“A new level of panic hit the street,” said veteran operative Scott Reed, chief strategist for the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. “It’s time for a serious reset.”
Trump allies on Wednesday publicly urged the candidate to reboot, furious that he has allowed his confrontation with the parents of dead U.S. Army captain Humayun Khan to continue for nearly a week. They also are angry with Trump over his surprising refusal in a Tuesday interview with The Washington Post to endorse House Speaker Paul D. Ryan (R-Wis.) or Sen. John McCain (Ariz.) — two of the party’s top elected officials — in their upcoming primary campaigns.
“The current race is which of these two is the more unacceptable, because right now neither of them is acceptable,” Gingrich said in a Wednesday morning telephone interview. “Trump is helping her to win by proving he is more unacceptable than she is.”
Gingrich said Trump has only a matter of weeks to reverse course. “Anybody who is horrified by Hillary should hope that Trump will take a deep breath and learn some new skills,” he said. “He cannot win the presidency operating the way he is now. She can’t be bad enough to elect him if he’s determined to make this many mistakes.”
Reed, who managed Bob Dole’s 1996 presidential campaign, recommended that Trump “stop doing silly interviews nine times a day that get you off message” and deliver a major address seeking to reset the campaign establishing himself as the change candidate. Read the rest of this entry »
The departure of Mr Ailes could have an impact on the Republican party. Supremely well connected, he has helped shape the Republican agenda for more than a decade.
Roger Ailes is heading for the exit at Fox News Channel, the influential cable network beloved by American conservatives, with Rupert Murdoch and his sons in agreement that he should leave amid allegations of sexual harassment.
“Three of Fox News’ biggest stars — Bill O’Reilly, Sean Hannity and Greta Van Susteren — have clauses in their contracts that would allow them to depart if Mr Ailes were to leave the network…”
The timing and terms of the departure of the man who turned Fox News into a media and political powerhouse were unclear on Tuesday evening. Mr Murdoch, executive chairman of 21st Century Fox, the channel’s parent company, and Lachlan, his older son and co-chairman, would prefer to wait until after this week’s Republican convention, two people briefed on the matter told the Financial Times.
James Murdoch, Mr Murdoch’s younger son and chief executive, was pushing for Mr Ailes to go as soon as possible, those people said.
Late on Tuesday, the Drudge Report said that Mr Ailes had left Fox News with a $40m severance package. 21st Century Fox denied the report in a tweeted statement, saying: “Roger is at work. The review is ongoing. The only agreement that is in place is his existing employment agreement.”
“In another blow to Mr Ailes, New York magazine reported on Tuesday that Megyn Kelly, arguably Fox News’ biggest star, told lawyers leading the internal investigation that Mr Ailes had sexually harassed her a decade ago. 21st Century Fox declined to comment on the report and Fox News referred queries to its parent company.”
In 2012, the last year for which Mr Ailes’ pay was disclosed in the company’s proxy filing, he earned a total of $21m, including a $5m salary. Read the rest of this entry »
“He said that he took it from his mom. And he told me his mom didn’t know he had the gun… Yeah, it was his gun but his mom took it from Dylann.”
A friend of Charleston shooter Dylann Storm Roof spoke with Greta Van Susteren tonight. He told Greta Dyllan took the gun from his mother that he used in the mass murder. He said Dyllan’s mom didn’t trust him with it so she took it away.
“Effective today, the president? A photo-op? or something in between?” Susteren asked.
“Photo-op. Complete photo-op. This indicative of a global failure of his foreign policy.”
Higbie explained. “He has toted that he is behind the troops before and he stands in front of these guys, gets a photo-op, everything like that, while saying he’s going to send 3,000 guys to combat Ebola, but I’m not going to send any to combat an actual enemy that’s really threatening America.”
“What do you think they think? I mean, I suppose it’s kind of a mixed bag?” Susteren pressed.
“I’d say most of the troops. Probably over 90 percent, do not support the president.”
Susteren then asked Higbie about his time as a Navy SEAL, “As a Navy SEAL, you have trained foreign troops? Right? How many times? More than one trip to Iraq?”
“Absolutely, we did two deployments,” Higbie said. Read the rest of this entry »
[VIDEO] Rumsfeld: ‘This White House, and State Department, Has Failed to Get a Status of Forces Agreement. A Trained Ape Could Get a Get a Status of Forces Agreement’Posted: March 25, 2014
U.S. Relationship With Karzai Has Gone Downhill ‘Like a Toboggan’ Under Obama
I missed the original broadcast but saw the late evening replay of Greta’s interview with Rumsfeld, and it was ‘blistering’, indeed. it motivated me to go find the video or audio of his comments. Above is a short video segment featuring the former Secretary of Defense’s most pointed criticism. Full interview on this page, scroll down to the second video.
From the Washington Free Beacon:
Former Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld issued a blistering critique of the Obama administration for the deterioration of the United States’s relationship with Afghanistan Monday on Fox News.
Rumsfeld squarely blamed the White House for failing to secure what should have been an easy status of forces agreement with Afghanistan.
Washington Post Profile of Megyn Kelly Makes it Exactly Nine Words Before Saying ‘Eyelash Extensions’Posted: December 13, 2013
Fox News’ Rising Star
This is a bizarre profile. It starts with four paragraphs of fetishistic narrative of Kelly’s pre-show cosmetic work. Of course. Why not begin the story by treating her like a model rather than a journalist? This is the Washington Post. Even more unsettling, Dan Zak indulges in writerly self-reflection, interrupting his profile of Kelly with a surreal inner dialogue, writing about writing about his subject. Is he writing about himself? Or his subject?
Is it in part to excuse his shallow observations? Or these stylistic flourishes are meant to help sell the story? Or he had trouble during the deadline, and lost his way? Or because Megyn Kelly‘s overpowering personality and rapid success unnerved him? Part of me hopes it’s the latter.
(I have a few more comments at the end of the profile, after the jump, about the media’s earth-shattering Megyn Kelly trumped-up ‘Santa Claus’ controversy.)
Megyn Kelly is a force of nature, that’s for sure. Actually it’s not a bad profile. Maybe this is how Dan Zak writes all the time. I’ll let the reader decide. He begins with cosmetics, cosmetics, cosmetics, but ends up with an engaging profile that’s fair and fun to read. How many words before he mentions eyelash extensions? I count nine.
Dan Zak writes: The anchor who might beat Bill O’Reilly gets her eyelash extensions applied one at a time, with tweezers and dabs of glue, about 90 minutes before showtime, right after a motorized gun sprays foundation over her face, neck, shoulders, collarbone and sternum, wiping out a galaxy of light freckles that spreads across her —
Would you write this way about a man?
About O’Reilly himself?
At least that’s what Megyn Kelly might ask at this point. Kelly, 43, is the host of “The Kelly File,” a live TV program that airs weeknights at 9 p.m. on the Fox News Channel, where she interrupts and challenges guests whenever they resort to talking points or petty distractions. It debuted just over two months ago, and so far its ratings among 25-to-54-year-olds have exceeded those of “The O’Reilly Factor” six times. In November, her first full month in prime time after years in daytime, Kelly was second only to O’Reilly in the overall ratings, which means she’s the No. 2 person on cable news’s No. 1 channel.
“It’s like working on a supermodel every day — a brilliant supermodel,” says makeup artist Maureen Walsh, as she air-brushes Kelly’s skin from milky white to Technicolor.
The small makeup room is hot from the blow dryer. Pen in hand, Kelly, a former corporate lawyer, reads an article headlined “For Democrats in 2014, the Web site is still the problem,” her eyes zipping over text as Maureen smudges heavy plum-colored eye shadow on her lids.
According to the Drudge Report, there is a major shakeup under way at Fox News. For the first time in a decade, changes are underway in the network’s top-rated primetime schedule.
Afternoon anchor and rising cable news superstar Megyn Kelly is moving into the 9PM hour currently occupied by Sean Hannity.
Hannity hosts one of the top two or three hours in all of cable. So it would be a major surprise if “Hannity” wasn’t moved into another primetime slot.
This post will be updated as new reports come in.
Follow John Nolte on Twitter @NolteNC
First, the US delegation decides to stick around for one of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s speeches at the UN, and then the highest-ranking US diplomat at Turtle Bay takes a powder when Israel’s Prime Minister gets up to speak. Instead, UN Ambassador Susan Rice chose to attend a luncheon in which she wasn’t even the highest-ranking American diplomat. If I didn’t know any better, I’d say there’s a message being sent by the Obama administration, and both Greta Van Susteren and John Bolton agree:
Katie Pavlich puts this in perspective:
At a time when Iran is closer than ever to a nuclear weapon, it seems our U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. doesn’t really care about the only true democracy in the Middle East, Israel. Just like this administration doesn’t seem to care about using the word terrorism to describe the war we are in. This move by Rice came just days after President Obama blew Netanyahu off so he could go party with Jay-Z, Beyonce, the ladies from The View and David Letterman.
I must say that if I’d been told three years ago that the Obama administration’s UN delegation would attend an Ahmadinejad speech and snub Benjamin Netanyahu, I’d have scoffed at the notion. Not even this administration could be that tone-deaf and arrogant, I’d have said. And I’d have been wrong.