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one is the loneliest number
January 8, 2019

As the partial government shutdown stretches into Day 18, with no obvious end in sight, President Trump is "fighting a virtual one-man messaging battle for his border wall," and he's "growing frustrated that he doesn't have more public defenders in his shutdown fight with Congressional Democrats," reports Politico's Eliana Johnson. So Trump has undertaken "a manic, one-man public-relations effort to sell the shutdown" while griping "to associates that [he] hasn't seen enough administration officials on the airwaves defending him during the shutdown fight."

Trump and Vice President Mike Pence met with 20 outside surrogates about the shutdown on Monday, Politico reports, and "aides continue to show Trump television clips featuring outside advisers offering praise on cable news shows," but Trump "has cited the diminishing praise from within his own ranks, wondering why more of the people who work for him are not stepping up to defend him on the television airwaves."

Publicly, Trump claims to have broad support for shutting down the government over border wall funding, but privately, "he's sitting there going, 'Why the f--k isn't there anybody saying good stuff about me? Why is there nobody on TV that's defending me?'" a former senior administration official tells Politico.

At New York's Intelligencer, Jonathan Chait suggested one possible explanation. "Nobody in the administration had a clear understanding of just what a shutdown would entail," and "they blundered into it almost by accident, without any understanding of what they are doing nor any plan for success," he writes. Democrats don't have any incentive to give Trump even a "token ransom" to reopen the government, and "voters in general tend to blame the president for problems. This holds true even when Congress is responsible for the problems, but it especially holds true when the president personally engineers the calamity and announces beforehand on camera that he won’t blame the other side for it." Peter Weber

March 7, 2017

The conservative advocacy group Heritage Action for America on Tuesday slammed Republicans' health care proposal for not being a "genuine effort." "In many ways, the House Republican proposal released last night not only accepts the flawed progressive premises of ObamaCare but expands upon them," said Heritage Action's chief executive officer, Michael A. Needham.

Many other Republicans have also skewered the bill, with Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) saying Tuesday: "This is ObamaCare lite. It will not pass. Conservatives aren't going to take it … It won't work." The conservative advocacy group Club for Growth also slammed the proposal as "RyanCare," writing that "the problems with this bill are not just what's in it, but also what it's missing: Namely, the critical free-market solution of selling health insurance across state lines."

Leading conservative health care reform advocate Avik Roy called the ObamaCare replacement "great" — except for the fact that it will "make coverage unaffordable for millions." Freedom Partners wrote in a letter to House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) that "as the bill stands today, it is ObamaCare 2.0. Passing it would be making the same mistake that President Obama, Harry Reid, and Nancy Pelosi made in 2010."

It almost seems as though the bill has only one fan outside of its authors. "Our wonderful new [health care bill] is out now for review and negotiation!" President Trump tweeted. Jeva Lange

October 14, 2016

Donald Trump has a funny way of turning newspapers blue. Even publications that have historically, or perhaps even always, endorsed a Republican candidate for president are picking Hillary Clinton over the GOP nominee this election cycle.

At this point, the pattern is glaring. Here is a look at the current state of endorsements by newspapers with circulations of more than 75,000:

In Donald Trump's defense, he doesn't have zero endorsements: He gets to boast of being supported by the very paper that found Elvis' seven secret love children, discovered Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia was "murdered by a hooker," and had the "exclusive" on Hillary Clinton's "lesbian lovers." Jeva Lange

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