* Frank Rich is going to turn some heads by comparing Donald Trump – not to Pat Buchanan or George Wallace or some “populist” leader of the past – but to Ronald Reagan.
But Reagan’s and Trump’s opposing styles belie their similarities of substance. Both have marketed the same brand of outrage to the same angry segments of the electorate, faced the same jeering press, attracted some of the same battlefront allies (Roger Stone, Paul Manafort, Phyllis Schlafly), offended the same elites (including two generations of Bushes), outmaneuvered similar political adversaries, and espoused the same conservative populism built broadly on the pillars of jingoistic nationalism, nostalgia, contempt for Washington, and racial resentment. They’ve even endured the same wisecracks about their unnatural coiffures. “Governor Reagan does not dye his hair,” said Gerald Ford at a Gridiron Dinner in 1974. “He is just turning prematurely orange.” Though Reagan’s 1980 campaign slogan (“Let’s Make America Great Again”) is one word longer than Trump’s, that word reflects a contrast in their personalities — the avuncular versus the autocratic — but not in message. Reagan’s apocalyptic theme, “The Empire is in decline,” is interchangeable with Trump’s, even if the Gipper delivered it with a smile.
I’d pay good money to watch Peggy Noonan’s reaction to that one.
* Last week when the Clinton campaign released a video going after Trump for hoping to make money off of a real estate crash followed the next day by a speech from Sen. Elizabeth Warren making the same charge – yeah, that was no accident.
Perhaps the biggest sign that a new effort is underway among liberals to begin healing fissures within the party comes from Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), the heroine of the left. Although Warren still has not endorsed Clinton — and remains the lone Democratic woman in the Senate not to do so — she has stepped up her attacks on Trump, and her advisers have begun communicating regularly with the Clinton campaign.
“We are in regular contact with her team and are very excited about the prominent role she has taken in defining what’s at stake in the election,” said Clinton spokesman Brian Fallon.
* Somebody is itching to get going on this campaign.
Obama is chomping at the bit to get out and “get people fired up,” a White House source said, but the President will remain largely on the sidelines until the Democrats have a nominee.
Obama expects to “explode onto the scene” once the nominee is selected and “knows his power” to fire up the Democratic base, the source said.
“It’s driving him crazy” to be mostly hands off at this time, the source added.
* It should come as no surprise that Jon Favreau, Obama’s former speech-writer, has an inside track on what the President wants to communicate when he heads out on the campaign trail.
Democracy is not about I or us vs. them. Democracy, as Obama often says, is about the word we. It is big, messy, and noisy. It is inclusive, welcoming, and tolerant. It’s about a willingness to compromise and assume good faith in others. It’s about a belief that America is not the project of any one person, party, race, or religion — that we all have a responsibility to find a way forward, together, even if we don’t get everything we want, even if we don’t always win the argument, even if sometimes we take two steps back.
* Texas insists on discrimination as their policy.
Texas Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick called Tuesday for all public schools in the state to ignore new guidelines from the Obama administration on how to accommodate transgender students.
Patrick said that he plans on sending letters to all superintendents in the state urging them to disregard the letter from the Education and Justice departments.
Sometimes an image captures it best.
* Finally, here is a side of Hillary Clinton that we don’t often see portrayed in the media.