The Mexican Tariff Cliffhanger; Joe Biden’s Very Bad Week
Author: Greg Valliere
June 6, 2019
CAN TRUMP TAKE YES FOR AN ANSWER ON MEXICAN TARIFFS? Donald Trump is the reality show master, always eager to let suspense build ahead of a key decision. So we’re in for several more days of guessing whether he will impose trade tariffs on Mexico on June 10.
THE MOOD IN WASHINGTON THIS MORNING is that a delay is possible as both sides continue negotiations; the Mexicans are showing a willingness to crack down on the stream of Central American immigrants flowing through their country, and Republican critics of the tariffs are hoping to avoid an ugly fight over the tariffs that would pit them against their constituents, who support Trump unconditionally.
EVEN TRUMP’S HARD-LINE TRADE HAWK, Peter Navarro, said yesterday that the U.S. has obviously gotten Mexico’s attention, and that an agreement could be reached that avoids new tariffs. So there’s room for Trump to spin Mexican concessions as a victory, but he’s reportedly furious over the surge of illegal immigrants in May; 140,000 were arrested, the highest monthly total in seven years.
ONE OF MANY REASONS WHY TRUMP IS SO DIFFICULT TO ANALYZE is that there’s often no clear end-game. He can’t possibly think that the flood of immigrants will be reduced to zero in one month, so what’s his objective? A sharp reduction? We’ll be glued to the Sunday talk shows, because the outcome won’t be clear until Monday — if then.
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JOE BIDEN, IN TROUBLE ALREADY: He’s the Democrats’ clear frontrunner; he leads Trump narrowly in a new Texas poll and is comfortably ahead in the crucial state of Michigan — but the former vice president has had a very bad week.
PLAGIARISM DEJA VU: Biden’s 1988 campaign imploded after it became clear that he lifted whole portions of a speech by a British politician, and never cited the source. One would think that his 2020 campaign would be extremely vigilant to avoid any fresh allegations of plagiarism, yet The Washington Post and others found nearly verbatim portions of his health care proposal were lifted from other candidates’ platforms. The Biden team immediately corrected this, but . . .
A MORE SERIOUS ISSUE FOR ACTIVISTS is Biden’s refusal to call for the abolition of the Hyde Amendment, which curtails federal funding for abortion for mostly poor women. Advocating the amendment’s abolition is virtually mandatory in the party, and is part of the Democrats’ platform. Unless he adroitly pivots on the issue, Biden will be bogged down by abortion through the primaries.
AND TO CAP OFF THIS DISASTROUS WEEK, Biden joked at a recent meeting about his reputation for caressing women, and then made comments about a pretty ten year old girl in his audience that could be interpreted as harmless — or creepy. He then rubbed her shoulders.
PARTY LEADERS HAS BEEN ASTONISHED by Biden’s surge in the polls; they know that if he can win Michigan and Pennsylvania, he’s got a shot at ousting Trump. But this week’s developments — especially the abortion issue — are a warning signal that he’s not in touch with younger voters, that he’s still in the 1980s. He’s a very shaky frontrunner, just a gaffe away from a free-fall.
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