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Paul Krugman: The real reason Clinton is winning is not what the pundits tell you

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- Commentary

It’s not exactly a secret that Paul Krugman has been a Hillary Clinton supporter in this election. On Friday, the columnist examines what her strong debate performances and now apparent large lead reveal about her, and dispels what he sees as the fiction that she is a “terrible candidate.”

If she’s such a terrible candidate, Krugman wonders, how did she pummel Trump in all three televised debates, using strategies that looked even smarter in the days after, and now lengthened her lead so substantially? “The usual suspects are already coalescing around an answer,” Krugman writes, “namely, that she just got lucky. If only the Republicans hadn’t nominated Donald Trump, the story goes, she’d be losing badly.”

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Big question, what Republican would have been better? One time establishment darling Marco Rubio, say? Let’s review per Krugman:

Many people remember Mr. Rubio’s brain glitch: the canned lines about “let’s dispel with this fiction” that he kept repeating in a disastrous debate performance. Fewer seem aware that those lines actually enunciated a crazy conspiracy theory, essentially accusing President Obama of deliberately weakening America. Is that really much better than the things Mr. Trump says? Only if you imagine that Mr. Rubio didn’t believe what he was saying — yet his insincerity, the obvious way he was trying to play a part, was surely part of his weakness.

That is, in fact, a general problem for establishment Republicans. How many of them really believe that tax cuts have magical powers, that climate change is a giant hoax, that saying the words “Islamic terrorism” will somehow defeat ISIS? Yet pretending to believe these things is the price of admission to the club — and the falsity of that pretense shines through.

Krugman cries foul in the usual concept of political talent, which usually matches “a very limited set of archetypes: the heroic leader, the back-slapping regular guy you’d like to have a beer with, the soaring orator.”

Admittedly, Clinton is none of those. She is, for one thing, a little too womanny. But the debates showed she is something else, a “self-possessed, almost preternaturally calm under pressure, deeply prepared, clearly in command of policy issues.” Does her poise not add up to a kind of charisma? Krugman asks.

He also credits her with actually caring about her signature issues: helping children and families and fighting for women’s rights and racial justice.

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The rest of the pundits may never come around to crediting Clinton with being the formidable person Krugman sees her as, although this week’s debate may move the needle on that just a little.


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Two impeachment articles expected against President Trump: reports

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Democrats are expected to announce on Tuesday two articles of impeachment against Donald Trump, US media reported Monday evening, after laying out their case at a hearing against a president they branded a "clear and present danger" to national security.

The articles will focus on abuse of power and obstruction of Congress, The Washington Post said, citing three official familiar with the matter.

It added that the full House of Representatives would vote on the articles next week, ahead of a trial in the Senate.

CNN said a third article on obstruction of justice was still being debated, and the network's sources cautioned that plans were still being finalized.

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Ambassador McFaul ‘shocked’ Trump invited Sergey Lavrov back to the Oval Office: ‘What are they thinking?’

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Former Ambassador to Russia Michael McFaul repeatedly said he was shocked that President Donald Trump will meet with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov on Tuesday.

McFaul was interviewed Monday evening by Lawrence O'Donnell on MSNBC "The Last Word," where he contrasted how Trump is treating the Russian government of President Vladimir Putin to the Ukrainian government of President Volodymyr Zelensky.

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House Judiciary to vote on Thursday to impeach Donald Trump: report

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Democrats are moving ahead with the impeachment of President Donald Trump following another day of testimony on Monday.

"House Democrats plan to unveil at least two articles of impeachment Tuesday, charging President Donald Trump with abuse of power and obstruction of Congress, according to multiple lawmakers and aides. The Judiciary Committee plans to vote on the articles on Thursday, setting up a vote on the House floor next week to make Trump the third president in history to be impeached," Politico reported Monday evening.

"Democratic leaders plan to formally announce the articles at a press conference Tuesday morning. Judiciary Committee Democrats intend to meet ahead of the announcement and review the articles," Politico reported. "The decision to move forward with specific impeachment charges is the most significant move yet for the year-old Democratic House majority, a legacy-defining moment for Speaker Nancy Pelosi that sets up a Senate trial for Trump in early 2020."

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