The Thinker: Rich Galen


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Elections? What Elections.

Rich Galen

Thursday November 8, 2018

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  • I was a much better predictor in 2018 than I was in 2016. In 2016, you'll remember, I was flat wrong.

  • In Monday's column I predicted:
    -- Democrats will pick up 30-35 seats and take control of the U.S. House.

    -- Republicans will pick up two seats in the U.S. Senate.

    -- Democrats will pick up 6 Governors' seats.

  • As of this writing,
    -- The Ds have taken control of the U.S. House picking up 29 seats (with about a dozen still outstanding).

    -- Republicans appear to have picked up three seats with the possibility of another still in the balance.

    -- Democrats have turned over seven Governors' mansions.

  • Thank you, and good night.

  • It was certainly not a bad night for Donald Trump. He worked hard, in the final two weeks, to keep his base fired up - not just in the arena he was working on any given night, but across the country.

  • He is correct in saying he did better than Barack Obama did in his first mid-term in 2010. Republicans won 63 seats and took control of the U.S. which they will hold until about January 3, 2019.

  • At his post-election press conference, Trump did not say he wished Republicans had done better in the House. He mocked some of the Republicans who lost by name, at the podium, on national TV.

  • One of those was Barbara Comstock in Northern Virginia. I've known Congresswoman Comstock for decades, since she was a staff lawyer in the House and I was the comms director at the National Republican Congressional Committee.

  • She didn't win re-election, but it wasn't because she did anything wrong. Her district got away from her - becoming much more Liberal - and all she could do was be the best Representative she could be for her constituents R or D.

  • She has served well.

  • Trump used his press conference as much to fight with reporters as to cast any light on how he intends to deal with a Democratic House.

  • At one point Trump said that if House Dems start investigating and issuing subpoenas and all that the White House would go, in effect, on war footing. As ABC News reported Trump's remarks:
    "They can play that game," he said of possible House Democratic investigations, "but we can play it better, because we have a thing called the United States Senate."

  • I've been trying to remember a time one Article I Chamber formally investigated the activities of the other Chamber. If you can, please let me know.

  • Trump obviously believes this syllogism: (a) He campaigned for a number of Senate Candidates; (b) A number of those Senate candidates won; therefore (c) He owns the U.S. Senate.

  • Trump does own the Justice Department. After dodging questions about the future of Attorney General Jeff Sessions during the press conference, it was made known that Sessions had been fired.

  • And in the classy fashion which I hope we never come to accept, Trump fired him on Twitter by announcing that Session's chief of staff, Matthew Whittaker, would be Acting AG.

  • Whittaker was installed by the White House to be CoS to Sessions not because he was the best paper shuffler available; but, because he is a Trump loyalist who could regularly report back on what Sessions, Deputy AG Rod Rosenstein, and - especially - Special Counsel Robert Mueller.

  • It was reported earlier this week that Mueller will (or has) indict Donald Trump, Jr. for lying about whether he discussed that infamous Trump Tower meeting with his father.

  • Say what you will about Donald Trump (Sr). He never runs out of shiny objects to use as a distraction.

  • Lose the House? LOOK OVER HERE!

  • Fire Jeff Sessions.

  • On the Secret Decoder Ring today: Links to CNN's updated results page, to's summary of Trump's presser, and to the story about Don, Jr. perhaps headed toward an indictment.

    The Mullfoto is looking out the front doors of the storied Willard Hotel in Washington, DC last week.


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