Progressive Breakfast for July 28

Morning Message

Obama “Passes the Baton”

With President Obama literally “passing the baton” to Hillary Clinton – and Clinton choosing dramatically to join him on stage after he roused the audience to “keep it going” – the Clinton campaign clearly has chosen to present her candidacy as a continuation of the Obama era ... With Obama clearly more popular than either Clinton or Trump, the reason for the strategy is clear. But with some two-thirds of Americans thinking the country is on the wrong track and looking for change, the campaign has chosen to argue for continuity ... Each speaker gave a shout out to Bernie Sanders and his followers ... But the Sanders indictment – that the economy is rigged for the few and our politics corrupted by big money – was essentially discarded...

Obama and Kaine Feel The Bern

Obama and Kaine embrace Sanders. The Nation’s John Nichols: “…the president declared: ‘….if you agree that there’s too much inequality in our economy, and too much money in our politics, we all need to be as vocal and as organized and as persistent as Bernie Sanders’ supporters have been.’ … Kaine ad-libbed … ‘We all should feel the Bern and we all should not want to get burned by the other guy!’ … Both men understand that there are a lot of people in this convention hall who would like to cheer a few more times for Bernie Sanders.”

Will Clinton mention TPP tonight? The Hill: “Labor unions want Hillary Clinton to put a stake in the heart of the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal once and for all on Thursday when she accepts the Democratic nomination for president … Unions feel they have strong leverage this week as the Clinton campaign has made it a top priority to win over liberals … They have met with lawmakers and delegations from across the country to ensure there aren’t any Democratic defections after the election in case Republican leaders try to bring the trade deal to the floor in December.”

But Also Eye Republicans and Independents

Obama reaches out to Republicans. W. Post’s Philip Bump: “… Clinton, he said, has ‘made mistakes, just like I have, just like we all do …That’s what happens when you’re the kind of citizen Teddy Roosevelt once describe … someone “who is actually in the arena”‘ … By contrast, Obama said, there was Donald Trump. ‘Ronald Reagan called America “a shining city on a hill.” Donald Trump calls it “a divided crime scene”‘ … Conservatives didn’t miss that contrast.”

And Michael Bloomberg woos independents. Yahoo! News quotes: “There are times when I disagree with Hillary Clinton. But let me tell you, whatever our disagreements may be, I’ve come here to say: We must put them aside for the good of our country. And we must unite around the candidate who can defeat a dangerous demagogue.”

Dems becoming “values” party, says Bloomberg’s Jonathan Bernstein: “The Philadelphia Democrats tended to express their very liberal values in deeply religious language. Trump’s acceptance speech was entirely secular. While the Democrats constantly referred to God and religious values, the Republicans in their references to religion were specific — repealing the ‘Johnson amendment,’ protecting bakeries from having to cater gay weddings.”

And the “security” party, says Politico’s Michael Hirsh: “Wednesday night confirmed a dramatic shift, perhaps even a reversal, of the roles the two major parties have been identified with for several decades. For the first time, perhaps, since Vietnam, the Democratic Party is now the party of national security expertise—not just in its own rhetoric, but in the eyes of national-security specialists on both sides.”

Anti-war delegates chant “no more war” during former CIA Director Leon Panetta’s convention address. The Hill: “… the jeers took the sting out of Panetta’s jab at Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump, landing just as he was about to criticize Trump for saying he hoped Russia was in possession of … Clinton’s private emails … As Panetta continued to speak, the lights were dimmed over the sections of Sanders supporters, an apparent effort to silence them. But the protesters were undeterred and lit up cell phone flashlights in protest.”

Are Dems That Divided?

Democratic divisions not that deep. NYT: “Despite a modest walkout after the roll call and a march on the convention hall by Sanders supporters as Mr. Clinton spoke on Tuesday, the convention has offered each night a broad cross-section of the party leadership that has allied behind Mrs. Clinton … polls showed that a substantial majority of Mr. Sanders’s backers said they would vote for Mrs. Clinton over Mr. Trump, and if history is any guide, those numbers will only grow as Election Day approaches.”

Trump plugs Jill Stein at Ohio rally. The Hill quotes: “I think a vote for Stein would be good — that’s the Green Party. Because I figure anyone voting for Stein is gonna be for Hillary. So I think vote for Stein is fine.”

Breakfast Sides

Clinton plans tax increase on wealthy. The Hill: “…Clinton is proposing to expand an existing 3.8 percent surtax that applies to high earners to pay for her new higher education and healthcare plans, the Democratic presidential nominee’s campaign told the nonpartisan Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget … applying it to income earned by the owners of pass-through businesses, or businesses where owners pay the taxes on their business profits on their individual tax returns.”

Speaker Paul Ryan tries to nudge his party to focus on poverty. The Hill: “Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) is calling out Republicans for not being ‘on the field enough’ in the national fight against poverty in an online documentary series that will be released Thursday … The documentary provides a behind-the-scenes look at some of Ryan’s years-long effort to combat poverty [which] focuses on getting people back to work and out of food-stamp and other safety-net programs — what Ryan has called the ‘hammock’ of dependency.”

Sen. Jim Inhofe confronted by his granddaughter on climate change. The Hill quotes Inhofe: “My own granddaughter came home one day and said … ‘Popi, why is it you don’t understand global warming?’ … the stuff that they teach our kids nowadays, they are brainwashed.”