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October 22, 2015
Morning Jolt
... with Jim Geraghty

A bare-bones Jolt today, as I rush to catch a flight . . .

Surprise! Biden and Clinton’s Public Friendliness Isn’t the Whole Story

It’s nice to know that our instincts about rivalries among Democrats are right . . .

Meetings with his foreign policy aides veered into lengthy discussions about Mrs. Clinton’s hawkish stance. At dinners with donors, Mr. Biden expressed astonishment at her handling of the controversy over her private email server. Those close to him say the mere mention of her name could make him fume, and he viewed her family’s potent, sometimes punishing political machinery with growing resentment.

The decades-long relationship between Mr. Biden and Mrs. Clinton has included many public expressions of warmth, but in private, it has been marked by an intense rivalry as they both imagined ascending to the highest office in the land. And as the Democratic establishment this summer increasingly fell into line behind Mrs. Clinton as the party’s best chance of winning the presidency, Mr. Biden felt slighted and hurt.

Trump: ‘I Think I Know More About National Security Than [Jeb] Does’

Do you think Donald Trump knows more about national security than Jeb Bush does? Is it as simple as the quite plausible contention that illegal immigration is a national-security issue, and thus anyone who’s less than 100 percent committed to a secure border and absolutely no path to citizenship for illegal immigrants is simply naively misjudging a key issue?

Trump says he is the candidate with the strong leadership skills that are the most important quality of a commander in chief, although he lacks traditional credentials for the job. He scoffs at the idea that Jeb Bush or Marco Rubio would make a more effective negotiator with, say, Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Bush this week wrote an op-ed article in National Review charging that Trump’s “bluster overcompensates for a shocking lack of knowledge on the complex national-security challenges that will confront the next president of the United States,” calling his views “dangerous.”

“Well, I think I know more about national security than he does,” Trump replies. “I think that I would be far more respected by people who run countries, whether it’s Putin or you go to China or you go anywhere. We’d have a far more respected administration and a far more respected country.”

Are House Republicans Capable of Uniting Behind Paul Ryan?

I’d like to see Republicans come out of this vote for speaker unified. I don’t think it’s going to happen, despite reports like this one:

Hard-line conservatives cleared a path Wednesday for Rep. Paul Ryan to become House speaker when some of his most disgruntled fellow Republicans signaled that they would support his bid for the top job.

The decision to back Ryan by the House Freedom Caucus, a group of nearly 40 lawmakers that has risen in power and stature since its founding this year, came after the Ways and Means Committee chairman spent much of his day courting its support.

The group stopped short of an official endorsement, which would have required 80 percent support, but members said a “supermajority” of the caucus would back a Ryan bid for speaker. Ryan set out a series of conditions Tuesday under which he would consider seeking the speakership; the most challenging of those was unity among all of the House Republican Conference’s warring factions. The support of the Freedom Caucus was regarded as one of the huge obstacles to meeting that condition.

Our Elaina Plott reports:

Representative Raul Labrador called it a “supermajority support” for Ryan. “We were not able to reach a consensus” on an official endorsement, he told reporters, but added that “two thirds of the caucus will be voting” for a Ryan speakership.

“If he wants to be speaker, he’s got the votes,” added Representative Mick Mulvaney.

Representative Louie Gohmert of Texas did not sound the least bit pleased with Ryan on the Blaze last night, hitting Ryan for supporting the Wall Street bailouts in late 2008. The thing is, anybody who you pick for speaker is going to have some votes that some faction of conservatives didn’t like.

How loud will the dissenters be? And how will grassroots conservatives greet Ryan?

ADDENDA: Close, but no cigar, Back to the Future. The Mets beat the Cubs to move on the World Series. 

Can California Be Saved?
The Season of U.S. Discontent
Fiscal Conservatives Should Force the Democrats’ Hand on the Debt Ceiling
The Real Congressional Immigration Showdown Will Happen in 2017
The Twitterverse Strikes Back against the Phantom Menace of Anti–Star Wars Racists!
How Paul Ryan Got from ‘Never’ to ‘All In’ for Speaker
The Deleted Emails of Hillary Clinton
By John Moe
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