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The New Abnormal: Rockstar Obama Sure As Hell Triggered Trump


New podcast from the Daily Beast hosted by Molly Jong-Fast and Rick Wilson

August 20, 2020

It’s night three of the Democratic National Convention and The New Abnormal team are getting a little punchy. Molly Jong-Fast and Rick Wilson are joined by Hillary Clinton’s former senior advisor Phillipe Reines and it’s a barnburner.There were always going to be two gigantic rockstar performances from Barack Obama and Kamala Harris tonight that were going to trigger President Trump—”and sure as hell, they did!” said Rick. “You could disagree with Barack Obama about every policy thing under the sun, but you could always remember that the guy was a spectacular speaker and communicator, and he brought that shit tonight. I mean, he peeled the paint off the damn walls without raising his voice.”Reines nailed Trump’s fury at Obama. “He brings something to the table that really no one else in the world does, which is he can’t be called a loser… He was elected president twice. He got more votes twice. I think there’s an intimidation there.”Molly has warm words for Hillary Clinton’s focus on winning the election itself, and Reines praises his old boss: “She refrained from mentioning Jim Comey, which is always a positive.”The team agree that Trump is “the platonic ideal of an asshole” but debate whether it would be worth trading a few more years of Trump in office if it meant Don Jr. and Jared Kushner wound up in jail.“Donald Trump can be president for life,” said Rick. “If I can watch Jared torn apart by a pack of wild dogs.” Want more? Become a Beast Inside member to enjoy a limited-run series of bonus interviews from The New Abnormal. Guests include Cory Booker, Jim Acosta, and more.

Molly Jong-Fast and Rick Wilson were up late to fight crime after a “seamless” night two of the Democratic National Convention. Former Democratic presidential candidate Rep. Eric Swalwell joined a special edition of The New Abnormal which asked—after the publication of the Senate Intelligence Committee’s final report on Russian electoral interference—what the Hell happened with Robert Mueller?

Molly’s interpretation of the 1,000 page report was pretty clear: “It seemed like a lot of shoes dropped in that the Trump campaign was giving clues to Roger Stone, which got passed to Julian Assange to influence the 2016 election. But it seems like Mueller dropped the ball on this… I’m no expert, but it, it sort of looks like collusion.”

“Is Mueller incompetent? is Mueller corrupt? What is happening with him?” she asked.

Rick, a former Republican insider, suggested that the failure of the Mueller report to nail the Trump campaign came down to Mueller’s temperament. “I think Mueller was too much of an institutionalist and too much of an incrementalist. And I think when you’re that kind of person, you have trouble understanding sometimes just how fucking wily and corrupt people like this are.”

Rep. Swalwell had another answer. “He did not pursue the finances. And also he did not put the President’s ass in a witness chair. And those, I think, were the two shortcomings.”

Trump’s failure to stand up to Russia on behalf of the U.S. has left a huge opening for former Vice President Joe Biden and Rick was impressed by his move to lock down the kind of voters who backed Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush.

“The Democratic Party for the first time, in a lot of ways, since John F. Kennedy seized control of the national security narrative again, and position themselves as the party of strength because they came right out and made it a centerpiece of tonight,” he said.

Molly suggested the DNC also did well to contrast the potential First Ladies. “It seems almost unfair, you know, to watch Jill Biden in the school she is teaching at versus Melania building a tennis pavilion.”

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