John McCain's 2008 chief strategist says Hillary Clinton has already won

Steve Schmidt says Donald Trump has already lost
(Image credit: MSNBC)

Steve Schmidt, the chief strategist for Sen. John McCain's (R-Ariz.) 2008 presidential run, was on MSNBC's 11th Hour on Monday night, and it was clear he had something to say when he started off attributing "one of the smartest things that anybody has ever said about politics" to David Axelrod, President Obama's 2008 chief strategist. Hillary Clinton, Schmidt said, is "under a relentless assault on her character and on her dignity, and her maintenance of that dignity is part of the test, and I think it prepares and serves her well when the inevitable happens, which is a substantial landslide victory on Nov. 8."

"And I want to be clear about something," Schmidt continued. "This race is over. Now, from a news perspective, I understand we can't say this, but I'm a political analyst, and I can look at the numbers, and I can look at the trajectory. The moment of impact of the Titanic did not signal the denouement of the ship; as you get closer to the moment of sinking, the violence of that act, the physics of it, takes over. But at first, after the strike, the ship didn't barely shutter. And that's the moment of the campaign we're in now." He pointed to the blueing of solid red states like Georgia, Arizona, and Alaska, then he took aim at Donald Trump and the GOP:

There are two things that are going on that are just extraordinary right now. We've had an uninterrupted peaceful transition of power since 1789 in this country, where one, we have all understood that sometimes we win, sometimes we lose, but the loser grants legitimacy; and secondly, we have a foreign power, a strategic adversary of the United States, trying to affect the outcome of this election with cyber-attacks, cyber-warfare against one of the most important institutions in this country, which is the Democratic Party, and Republicans are cheerleading it on. If Ronald Reagan were here, I guarantee you, Ronald Reagan would not be supportive of Russian attacks on the infrastructure of one of the most important political institutions in the country. [Steve Schmidt, MSNBC]

When Brian Williams turned to Democratic strategist Bob Shrum for the last word, it's hard to imagine that Shrum had much to add. Watch below. Peter Weber

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Peter Weber

Peter Weber is a senior editor at, and has handled the editorial night shift since the website launched in 2008. A graduate of Northwestern University, Peter has worked at Facts on File and The New York Times Magazine. He speaks Spanish and Italian and plays bass and rhythm cello in an Austin rock band. Follow him on Twitter.