I Am On Team Shark

Going right to the latest election betting odds:

Candidate EBO Win
Donald Trump 34.6% -0.4%
Joe Biden 33.2% -0.2%
Gavin Newsom 8.4% +1.7%
Nikki Haley 6.2% +1.9%
Robert Kennedy Jr 3.6% -0.5%
Michelle Obama 3.0% -0.3%
Ron DeSantis 3.0% -0.7%
Kamala Harris 2.0% -0.1%
Other 6.0% -1.4%

Executive summary: Newsom and Haley are surging, because they are neither Biden nor Trump. But they remain waaay behind. According to the folks wagering their own money.

  • Where the tall corn grows. Rolling Stone reporter Peter Wade covers a Trump speech in beautiful Ottumwa Iowa.

    “Who the hell wants to watch a football game? This is better,” Donald Trump told the crowd at the beginning of his speech in Iowa on Sunday afternoon. What followed was a rambling rant that ran the gamut from a 17-minute ragefest against Ron DeSantis to debating whether he’d rather die by electrocution or by shark to his impending legal issues.

    The context on that electrocution/shark thing is that he imagines himself in a sinking electric-powered boat, but sees a shark off to starboard. A tweeted video is helpfully provided:

    Being Rolling Stone, I'm somewhat surprised they didn't conduct a reader poll. "How would you prefer Trump to join the Choir Invisible? (a) electrocution by boat battery; (b) chomping by shark; (c) both, simultaneously."

    Note: when I say I'm on Team Shark above, that's strictly my own choice of demise. I wish the Donald continued good health, albeit somewhere other than the White House.

  • Searching for a winning campaign message. Noah Rothman reports on a recent televised speech from that very White House: Biden Devotes His Speech on Threats to U.S. Security to How Awful Americans Are.

    The president might have limited his remarks to this stirring call to action. But he did not. Instead, the president veered wildly into a neurotic digression in which he dwelled on the hatreds that supposedly consume Americans in times of trouble — a mindless barbarism that afflicts the American soul, which Biden scorned from his Olympian remove.

    “We have to be honest with ourselves,” the president scoffed. “In recent years, too much hate has been given too much oxygen, fueling racism, a rise in antisemitism and Islamophobia right here in America.” The October 7 attacks have intensified those hatreds, Biden warned. He condemned with righteous and justifiable contempt one psychopathic murder of a Muslim child and the stabbing of his mother as well as the climate of fear descending upon America’s Jewish community. “We must, without equivocation, denounce antisemitism,” Biden said. “We must also, without equivocation, denounce Islamophobia.” Hardly controversial stuff there. But what might have been a throat-clearing deviation from the serious business of preserving American hegemony against an axis of revisionist nations consumed much of the rest of the speech.

    Biden urged Americans to resist the “fear and suspicion, anger and rage” to which they so readily succumb in times of insecurity. “When I was in Israel yesterday, I said that when America experienced the hell of 9/11, we felt enraged as well. While we sought and got justice, we made mistakes,” Biden added. “So, I cautioned the government of Israel not to be blinded by rage.” Biden’s preemptive admonition of Israel, advising it to avoid doing things it is already not doing, is repellent enough. The line gives succor to those who retail defamatory allegations against Israel, which serve only to promote the notion that Israel is defending itself with inhumane zeal. But beyond that, Biden’s admonition contains the implication that Americans were similarly blinded by hate after the September 11 attacks. That is slander.

    I can't help but compare with Jimmy Carter's things-are-sure-awful speech back in 1979. Widely known as the "malaise speech", even though he didn't use that word. Which was also pretty bad, full of lousy ideas on how to deal with the "energy crisis". (Turned out the answer was: elect Ronald Reagan.)

    But what Jimmy didn't do was lecture Americans on their proclivities for bigotry and hatred. Let's see if that's a winning tactic for Joe.

  • A reminder of how fast things can change. This article from Morton A. Klein ("National President of the Zionist Organization of America") is dated October 5, just two days before the Hamas barbarity: President Biden’s extraordinary hostility to Israel.

    Let's not be fooled. Extolling "ironclad friendship" between America are simply meaningless and phony words when Biden is enriching the Iranian terror regime with billions of dollars in funds and sanctions relief; pressing Israel to cede her sovereignty and security to a Palestinian terror state on "Auschwitz lines" that would render Israel indefensible; and sending over $1.5 billion to Hamas-allied UNRWA and to the Palestinian regime thereby freeing up funds for the Palestinian Authority to continue paying Arabs lifetime pensions to murder Jews and Americans.

    What follows is many, many, Biden Administration measures that (added up) support Klein's charge. I don't think Joe's going to be chanting "From the river to the sea" anytime soon, though. Well, at least not in public.

  • Who indeed? Jeff Maurer wonders If Not Biden, Who?.

    Count me among those who think that it’s risky for Democrats to go all-in on Joe Biden in 2024. I like Biden, but he’s older than wool underwear, and I worry that he won’t stay cogent through 2029. And polls show that a lot of people have the same concern.

    Biden’s only primary challenger is Marianne Williamson, a woman who seems like she should be running a shop in Portland that sells hemp tampons. That’s not ideal. Some feel that Biden should face a real primary challenge, and others want him to rethink the VP slot given the non-zero chance that he might suddenly disintegrate into nothingness, Obi-Wan Kenobi-style. Of course, the appeal of any possible alternative scenario waxes and wanes based on the “who” in the question “who else?” So, let’s look at who else could conceivably run.

    Click over for Jeff's takes on Gretchen Whitmer, J. B. Pritzker, Jared Polis, Raphael Warnock, and (finally) Gavin Newsom.

    What’s his deal?

    Newsom is in his second term as Governor of California, and has recently begun raising his national profile. He’s made appearances across the country and the world, which is totally something that someone not running for president would do. He has delighted Democrats by picking public fights with Florida governor Ron DeSantis, and the two will debate in November, which is, again, a completely normal act for a person who is not running for president. Newsom has a progressive record on issues like climate change and gun control, but he recently angered progressives by breaking with them on issues relating to transgender rights and homelessness, almost as if to position himself for a national run. But, of course, he’s not running for any nation-wide office, how dare you even suggest such a thing.

    So, I should probably buy “Newsom2024.com”, “Gavin4President.com”, and “GoGavin24.com” so that I can sell them back to him in a month or two, right?

    I would be stunned if he does not already own these addresses.

    And more, if you're not averse to reading an article containing the word "douche-rocket".