* Trump-benefiting, Russian meddling in the 2016 election–sowing division and peeling off key Democratic votes from Trump’s opponent–is a given everywhere outside the Oval Orifice. That’s because Trump needed separation from Vlad Putin, his handler and Helsinki helper. He also needed vanity-driven distance from insinuations that his presidency might be less than electorally valid. That’s a familiar story line, but now we have an unexpected, updated 2020 variation of the Russian theme.
It’s being aired out by, yes, Hillary Clinton, who knows a thing or two about Russian interference and influence in American presidential elections. “I’m not making any predictions, but I think (the Russians) have got their eye on someone who’s currently in the Democratic primary and are grooming HER to be the third-party candidate,” coyly noted Clinton. “SHE’s the favorite of the Russians. They have a bunch of sites and bots and other ways of supporting her so far.” Clinton didn’t actually name that female candidate, but no one thought she was referring to Elizabeth Warren, Kamala Harris, Amy Klobuchar or even Marianne Williamson.
Which leaves: Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, who responded like someone who had just been targeted as a Putin enabler. “Thank you @ Hillary Clinton. You, the queen of warmongers, embodiment of corruption and personification of the rot that has sickened the Democratic Party for so long, have finally come out from behind the curtain.” That’s not typically how a presidential candidate talks about the party’s most recent nominee. That can’t be helpful.
* Mayor Pete Buttigieg hit the media triad last Sunday with appearances on “Fox News Sunday” CNN’s “State of the Union” and NBC’s “Meet the Press.”
* “I am more than ready to assume the office of president of the United States. … To put it bluntly, I’m back.”–Sen. Bernie Sanders.
* “My son’s statement speaks for itself.”–Joe Biden’s Hunter statement that speaks volumes.
* “He has committed crimes in plain sight. As a former prosecutor, I know a confession when I see it”–Sen. Kamala Harris.