What I am watching today = June 19, 2019
Curation and commentary from Marc A. Ross
Reporting from Alexandria, Virginia
Trump 2020, Globalization, Apple, Alyssa Milano, Air Force One, Mary Meeker
✔️ Globalization is moving past the US and its vision of world order
✔️ The US is purging Chinese cancer researchers from top institutions
✔️ Aviation companies bet on electric at Paris Air Show
✔️ Trump kicks off a new campaign reprising his old themes
✔️ Apple weighs 15%-30% capacity shift out of China amid trade war
503 days until Election Day 2020: How Trump Wins + 2020 Themes
As we look at the campaign today, Trump starts his campaign with a strong economy, the massive advantage of incumbency, and a network wealthy GOP donors -- all important assets that historically predict victory and a second term.
However, we are talking about Trump, the most unconventional candidate we have seen in the modern era hitting the campaign trail at a time where personality trumps policy.
Trump is never far from controversies and the hard-right agenda of his first term have kept his approval rating hovering around 40%. Plus he will be facing engaged and committed voters on the left which should translate into unusually strong voter turnout in 2020.
Watching his reelection campaign Tuesday night, the rally was trapped in time, full of grievances, bumper-sticker friendly slogans and solutions, plus a stable of villains used as a foil, all tools that propelled him to victory the first time around.
How Trump Wins:
Winning the popular vote doesn’t matter = Securing the most electoral college votes in 2020 is all that matters. Campaign resources and energy will turn to the swing states rich in those electoral college votes. Wisconsin, Florida, Iowa, Michigan, Ohio, and Pennsylvania stand out because Trump managed to flip them from the Democrats in 2016. A total of 270 electoral votes are needed to win the election; Trump took 306 electoral votes in his victory over Hillary Clinton in 2016.
Ignore the polls = Trump's campaign manager says polling is no longer reliable, days after a big leak of unflattering internal polling data. "I just think the country is too complex now to call a couple hundred people and ask them what they think," Brad Parscale told CBS News hours ahead of Trump's event Tuesday evening in Orlando, FL., to officially kick off his 2020 campaign. Plus the numbers will never be good for Trump. For the next two years, it is not hard to see Trump being behind in every poll, be it national or battleground. Plus, we will be reminded constantly the polls were wrong in 2016 and they will be wrong in 2020.
They + them vs us = Trump will embrace raw, partisan populism throughout the campaign. Not so much good vs. evil, but “us” (Team Trump) versus an ominous mob of left-wing wackos and intellectual elites. Trump has made clear that he seeks to turn out his base with appeals to their fear of immigrants and their hostility toward Washington and the Democratic Party.
“Imagine having a Democratic president and a Democratic Congress in 2020"
“This election is a verdict on whether we want to live in a country where the people who lose an election refuse to concede and spend the next two years trying to shred our constitution and rip your country apart.”
Team Trump's election machine = The last time Trump ran a by-the-seat-of-the-pants campaign befitting someone who'd never once held elected office or frankly knew what he was doing. Not this time. Team Trump brims with campaign professionals, complete support and use of the Republican National Committee, at present a $40 million COH, and a world-class omnipresent online and offline campaign strategy. Plus, Trump just raised a record $24.8 million in less than 24 hours Tuesday as he officially kicked off his reelection campaign - this one-day total is more than any Democratic presidential candidate raised in the entire first quarter.
Twitter Trump = Trump’s Twitter account reaches more than 61 million followers and it’s now joined by a sophisticated digital media operation that is outpacing Democrats. Unlike last time, his campaign now has a professional, even corporate communications structure matched with paid staff across the country coupled with targeted paid advertising already underway.
Keep economy hot = Trump needs to land a trade deal, remind voters of tax breaks, suggest the need to pass infrastructure spending, and use the NYSE as his barometer. When you run the economic numbers used to shape the news, plus favored by economists and political scientists to predict incumbent performance, these data points consistently suggest Trump will win reelection.
Demonize + define the Democrat = Trump will move fast define his DEM opponent as washed-up, years of failure, and DC insider (Biden) or he’ll define his Dem opponent as a scary, Venezuela is around the corner, hard-left socialist (Warren).
The DEM’s big bet is more campaign and less cause = Democrats running for president are banking on the idea that most Americans are ready to return to a more predictable and “normal” presidency. DEMs have criticized Trump for departing from norms, undermining US allies, engaging in sporadic foreign policy, and leaving the public in a constant state of anxiety about what he might do next. But Trump speaks of us, you, and a movement, plus it will be impossible for his voters to forget they were called deplorable by their last candidate.
“You sent me to the White House”
Captain chaos = Create as much chaos in DEM primary as possible. That starts next week when he live-tweets the first DEM debates and Chuck Todd is forced to decide to ignore said tweets or rip up the script and inject Trump’s latest rant into the debate.
Immigration is Trump's most polarizing issue = When polled, consistently swing voters identify the issue as either the top reason for supporting him or the number one reason for opposing him. Trump made immigration central to the 2018 midterm election and there is no sense he will drop the issue for the 2020 election. In Tuesday’s rally, he blamed Democrats for immigration laws that he called “a disgrace” and cited with particular disgust California’s attempts to give health benefits to some of those in the country illegally.
Remain the change candidate = 8 of the last 10 elections the change candidate has won. Even though he lives in the White House and works in the Oval Office Trump remainers an outsider and is frankly despised around DC. The trick for him is to remind his voters that work to change America has just become and he needs four more years to finish the job.
Judges = At present, Trump has 145 judge appointments available to him and 107 have already been appointed. This is huge. Even if he loses re-election, Trump has changed the nation for a generation and has already won. His voters over-index on judges, and where the DEMs put forward flower-child policies, Team Trump is codifying a right-wing, conservative judicial branch.
Globalization is moving past the US and its vision of world order: WSJ reports, as Trump deploys tariffs as weapons in international disputes, he has ceded the American role as champion of global trade. But globalization has become such an elemental feature of life that it is probably irreversible.
Bloomberg: Trump moves from trade war toward currency war
President’s ECB tweets mark rare intervention by a US leader.
He’s backed off ‘strong dollar’ policy of his predecessors.
Nearly 800 million people lack access to drinking water, sanitation: Significant progress has been made in ensuring that people around the world have access to drinking water and proper sanitation facilities, according to a new WHO and UNICEF report published today, but nearly 800 million people still lack access to basic infrastructure.
How Hong Kong defied Xi Jinping: The Chinese leader has been given a ‘bloody nose’ by protesters. How will he react? https://on.ft.com/2IpkC24
The US is purging Chinese cancer researchers from top institutions: Bloomberg reports, the NIH and the FBI are targeting ethnic Chinese scientists, including U.S. citizens, searching for a cancer cure. Here’s the first account of what happened to Xifeng Wu.
According to the International Spy Museum in DC, an educational and historical center of US intelligence documentation and artifacts, there are “more than 10,000 spies in Washington.”
Trump and Chinese Xi agreed to meet in Japan next week on the sidelines of the G20 summit.
Kevin Rudd: Where will it end? The US-China trade war and the threat to the global economy. Trump and Xi may strike trade deal at G-20 but a deeper decoupling has barely begun. https://s.nikkei.com/2IrnBHm
Germany seeks 'level playing field' in China: DW reports, the German economy minister has described China as a partner and competitor. He said it is time to establish better trade rules that don't put European companies at a disadvantage.
FT: UN finds ‘evidence’ of Saudi prince role in Khashoggi case
Tory leadership race: Dominic Raab has endorsed Boris Johnson’s campaign for Downing Street, saying he is the “only candidate” who will take the UK out of the EU on October 31.
Therese Raphael: Who won the Tory leadership debate? Nigel Farage: None of the hopefuls connected with the audience. It's easy to see why the Conservatives are so fearful of an election.
Today: Conservative Party MPs hold the third ballot of the process to elect a new leader.
Brexit: Corbyn to back second referendum.
Africa is projected to overtake Asia in births by 2060, and will account for half of all babies being born in the world by the year 2100.
KLM and TU Delft aim to make aviation more sustainable with V-shaped aircraft: Dutch airline KLM has teamed up with TU Delft to create the Flying-V aircraft concept, which is designed to consume 20 percent less fuel than Airbus' A350.
Aviation companies bet on electric at Paris Air Show: AFP reports, the aircraft industry is facing growing criticism over greenhouse gas emissions that are set to soar as more people take to the skies. Dozens of firms at the Paris Air Show this week are touting their green credentials, with the industry pledging to halve its carbon dioxide emissions from 2005 levels by 2050.
Brewers: Last year, there were 7,450 breweries in the US, a major rebound after a tough century or two. In 1873, there were 4,131 breweries, a count that fell to 89 brewers by 1978 as the business consolidates. Anheuser-Busch and Molson Coors have seen their market share fall from 78 percent in 2008 to 64 percent in 2018.
Chanel invests in Boston startup making sustainable silk: Evolved by Nature’s trademarked Activated Silk is derived from actual silkworm cocoons, which can be used in fabrics, cosmetics, and medical products, according to the company. Someday, the eco-friendly silk might even find its way into one of Chanel’s $475 scarves.
Mary Meeker’s 2019 Internet Trends Report: http://bit.ly/2InS5K9
503 days until Election Day 2020.
LAT: Trump kicks off a new campaign reprising his old themes
Trump signals re-election bid will echo 2016 themes: WSJ reports, Trump drew thousands of supporters for the ceremonial kickoff of his re-election campaign, a display of political force just as polls show him facing a challenging path to a second term.
AP: Trump, now an insider, pitches self as outsider for 2020 bid
FT: Trump launches White House re-election bid
US president vows to maintain America First policy and focus on illegal immigration.
Trump vows to save American dream from ‘radical socialism’ at campaign launch.
Trump launches reelection bid with familiar themes, redoubling focus on his most avid backers: WP reports, while the high drama and persistent controversies that have defined the Trump White House are a continuation of how he conducted his 2016 campaign, he is now an incumbent with a record of actions that have affected people’s lives.
Bloomberg: Trump falls back on insurgent's rage in kicking off 2020 bid
@BNNBloomberg: Trump formally announces re-election in grievance-filled speech
@peterbakernyt: Trump introduces re-election slogan of "Keep America Great" but so far has offered nothing more than a typical rally, repeating consistent themes without articulating a new vision for what he would do in a second term.
Jonathan Bernstein: What have Trump’s rallies accomplished?No president in at least a century has had a greater need to win over new voters. Yet Trump doesn’t even try.
"Enough of the chaos, the division, the schoolyard insults, the self-aggrandizement, the corruption, and especially the lies." -- Orlando Sentinel - Editorial
Trade on the campaign trail: It’s easier to say “Buy American” than it is to disrupt global supply chains carefully fine-tuned over decades. It's easier for voters to support "Buy American" than it is to vote for smooth running global supply chains.
Tom Friedman: Trump’s only consistent foreign policy goal is to one-up Obama: He talks big but without strategic plans, as shown with Iran and North Korea.
Guns in America: Guns contributed more than $52 billion to the US economy and generated over $6.8 billion in federal and state taxes in 2018.
Trump announced on Twitter that acting Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan has withdrawn from consideration to be confirmed as Pentagon chief.
Vice President Mike Pence's communications director Jarrod Agen is leaving the administration after two and a half years.
WP: Trump plans Air Force One flyover of Mall for July Fourth celebration
FYI: Actress Alyssa Milano holds off on 2020 presidential endorsement
Biden/Sanders, Warren/O'Rourke to be center stage at first debate: NBC News reports, the candidates with the highest polling averages will stand side-by-side at the NBC-sponsored face-off on June 26 and 27.
Andrew Edgecliffe-Johnson: Business finds itself left out of the party: Politicians will see few votes in backing corporate America until its priorities change.
Tyler Cowen: Trump is wrong about the dollar — and so is Warren: Whether in China, Europe or the U.S., currency manipulation is overrated as both a problem and a solution.
Domino's is launching self-driving pizza delivery in Houston, TX later this year.
Blue Apron just completed a "reverse stock split" — It's combining 15 shares into 1 share.
SweetGreen makes first acquisition, delivery company Galley Foods.
Airbus unveiled its new A321XLR jet to overshadow Boeing on Day 1 of the Paris Air Show.
LA officials aren't happy with how the one-year pilot program for scooter rental companies is going so far: The city is just three months into the program, but issues abound, including complaints that neighborhoods are oversaturated by the devices and that the scooters are parked improperly, causing tripping hazards. “I don’t think any of the scooter companies are living up to the expectations I hoped they’d be at this point,” Los Angeles City Councilmember Mike Bonin said at a meeting of the council’s transportation committee.
WSJ: Harley-Davidson finds partner to make small motorcycles in China
How Facebook raced to build Libra coin: Social network quietly assembled a crypto team and courted partners for more than a year. https://on.ft.com/2IpkyiQ
Nikkei: Apple weighs 15%-30% capacity shift out of China amid trade war
Tech giant asks suppliers to review costs in Southeast Asia and Mexico.
Adidas three-stripe trademark ruled invalid by EU court: Reuters reports, Adidas' three-stripes have been ruled invalid as a trademark by a European Union court which said they lacked a distinctive character recognizable throughout the 28-country bloc.
Adidas can appeal against Wednesday's decision to the European Court of Justice, the bloc's highest court.
WarnerMedia reportedly close to $500M contract for top director JJ Abrams.
Duty-free: Last year, people spent some $76 billion at duty-free and travel shops around the world, an incomprehensibly high number and up from $43 billion in 2010.
Who's calling? In May alone Americans endured an estimated 4.7 billion robocalls.
Blackstone’s Schwarzman gives Oxford record gift of $188 million: WSJ reports, Stephen Schwarzman, the billionaire co-founder of the Blackstone Group, is giving $188 million to the University of Oxford to create a center for the humanities that he hopes will help steer the ethical adoption of artificial intelligence.
More than $1 billion of cocaine seized from ship in Philadelphia: WSJ reports, US authorities said they seized more than $1 billion of cocaine from a ship at a Philadelphia port, calling it one of the largest drug busts in American history.
FIFA Women's World Cup = Today
Japan v England @ 3:00 pm ET
Scotland v Argentina @ 3:00 pm ET
Knockout stage qualified teams:
The top two placed teams from each of the six groups, plus the four best-placed third teams, will qualify for the knockout stage.
Enjoy the ride + plan accordingly.