In today’s edition our five hand-picked stories cover the reach of U.S. executive power on immigration policy, why Hezbollah lost respect in Lebanon, lawmaking in a time of impeachment, a retail challenge to the Salvation Army, and black culture in America according to author Darryl Pinckney.
First, why would a billionaire and the first black governor of Massachusetts each suddenly be pondering a run for president?
Well, Michael Bloomberg and Deval Patrick are probably looking through the lens of impeachment – a month or two from now.
Rather than sensing that President Donald Trump will be weakened by the impeachment process, they may be concluding that former Vice President Joe Biden will be the real political casualty of impeachment.
Mr. Biden hasn’t pulled away from the Democratic pack. In fact, he has fundraising woes.
Now, look at who Republicans want to testify at the impeachment hearings: Hunter Biden, two people who would likely promote a theory – since debunked – that Ukraine was behind 2016 election interference, and the whistleblower.
Remember, this is a political event. Democrats are trying to show that President Trump was involved in “treason, bribery, or other high crimes and misdemeanors.” The GOP wants American voters to wonder if the Bidens did something wrong. They’ll want to create a moral equivalency – or reasonable doubt – between the Bidens’ behavior and the president’s actions with Ukraine.
If they run, expect Mr. Bloomberg and Mr. Patrick to position themselves as centrists. Mr. Bloomberg offers a businessman’s pragmatism. Mr. Patrick, with close ties to Barack Obama, could draw African American votes from Mr. Biden. But many observers say Democratic voters, especially progressives, aren’t looking for more options. Washington Post columnist David Byler says: “Real-life, non-million-dollar-donor Democrats are happy with the candidates they already have.”
Will that change after impeachment?