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Defying the Odds

Defying the Odds
New book about the 2016 election.

Sunday, August 25, 2019

Joe Walsh

In Defying the Odds, we discuss the early stages of the 2016 campaign, when many candidates were unknowns.  The update  -- recently published --includes a chapter on the 2018 midterms.  We are now in the early stages of the 2020 race.

Bobby Allyn at NPR:
Joe Walsh, conservative talk radio show host and former Tea Party congressman, is launching a long-shot primary challenge to President Trump. He's the second Republican to officially announce a run against Trump, who has a strong approval rating among his party's base.
Walsh, 57, supported Trump during his 2016 campaign but in recent months has been offering a bitter critique of the president, calling Trump a liar, bully and unfit for office. Walsh has also attacked Trump from the right.
"Mr. Trump isn't a conservative. He's reckless on fiscal issues; he's incompetent on the border; he's clueless on trade; he misunderstands executive power; and he subverts the rule of law. It's his poor record that makes him most worthy of a primary challenge," Walsh wrote in a New York Times op-ed this month.
On the Democratic side, meanwhile, 21 candidates are vying for the White House in 2020. But there are far fewer Republicans attempting to deny Trump a second term. Former Massachusetts Gov. Bill Weld is the only other person so far to announce he'll try to unseat Trump, whose support among Republicans usually polls in the 80s, making him a formidable party incumbent.
At WP, Aaron Blake notes some problems:
Last week, Peter J. Hasson pulled out a number of examples of Walsh’s tweets. They include the falsehood that former president Barack Obama is Muslim, employ the racist trope that he should “go back” to someplace other than the United States, and make frequent use of ethnic slurs... And this is just the tweets. Walsh has also been a radio host in recent years; imagine what he has said there that we don’t have a ready-made transcript of. We already know he was briefly pulled off the air for (similar to above) using racial slurs while discussing racial slurs. Then there’s the matter of the child-support dispute that marred his failed 2012 reelection race, in which his ex-wife accused him of being a deadbeat dad and owing her $117,000. (They later reached a settlement.)