- The Washington Times - Monday, November 6, 2017

On Tuesday, the rest of America can get their own copy of Donna Brazile‘s 288-page tell-all book when it is released by Hachette Books. Excerpts from “Hacks: The Inside Story of the Break-ins and Breakdowns That Put Donald Trump in the White House” already have blasted the political landscape, leaving several large craters and plenty of pockmarks. Since her book project began, Ms. Brazile has maintained that even as a lifelong Democrat, she considers herself “an American first” — ready to tell the truth about crisis in her own party, whether it was financial woes or the role Hillary Clinton‘s campaign played in compromising the presidential primary process in 2016, specifically directed against Vermont Sen. Bernard Sanders.

The book’s caustic effects took root way before the publication date.

“The damage has been done already. Hillary is now involved in a third big scandal. First, there was the Russian uranium deal, the Russian dossier was deal No. 2, and now, No. 3, rigging the Democratic nomination,” summarizes Fox Business Network anchor Stuart Varney.

“It’s hard to tell why Donna Brazile did this. By telling all, she’s divided her own party. Maybe she’s selling books with dramatic headlines. Maybe. But perhaps she’s fed up with all the excuses Hillary and the Democrats are using for their loss to Donald Trump. Either way, the Clintons are done in politics, and the Democrats are going to struggle to unify behind a winning message, and a winning candidate — if they can find one,” says Mr. Varney.

Indeed, there have been many dramatic headlines about the book in the last 24 hours. Just a few of the many: “Democrats shaken and angered by Brazile book” (Politico), “Brazile revelations stir confusion, anger among Democrats” (The Hill), “By waiting a year to tell all, Donna Brazile gets tongues wagging” (The Daily Beast), “Brazile breaks Hillary’s spell over Dems” (Fox News).

Meanwhile, Ms. Brazile is busy. She is beginning a stint as a visiting fellow at The Shorenstein Center on Media, Politics and Public Policy at Harvard University, where she will “write about understanding American democracy after the cyber-attack on the 2016 election,” the organization advises. The author also has a national tour in the works, including a book-signing in New Orleans next week and an appearance at the National Press Club next month.


The mainstream news media typically supports Democratic candidates from sea to shining sea, lending the impression that Republicans might as well give up. The poll numbers tell a different story, however.

“A Democratic advantage in preference for the 2018 midterm elections fades to insignificance among the most likely voters in the latest ABC News/Washington Post poll, signs of the Democrats’ enduring challenges in turning out their voters in off-year contests,” reports Gary Langer, an ABC analyst and the pollster behind the survey.

Among registered voters who say they are certain to vote — and have voted in previous mid-term election — the bout between a Democratic candidate (48 percent) and a Republican one (46 percent) is essentially at a dead heat. The poll also found that 60 percent of Americans say they’re inclined to “look around for someone new” in their congressional districts.


“The campaign for governor of Virginia remains up for grabs, with Democrat Ralph Northam up a negligible two points against Republican Ed Gillespie,” reports a new Monmouth University poll. “The race has become an appeal to each party’s base. The two candidates have solidified support in their regional strongholds leaving the Commonwealth’s central region as the kingmaker. At the same time, voters have soured on the tone the campaign has taken in the last six weeks.”

And the numbers: 47 percent of likely Virginia voters support Mr. Northam, Virginia’s sitting lieutenant governor, and 45 percent support Mr. Gillespie, the former chairman of the Republican National Committee. It could be “anybody’s game” on Tuesday, according to Monmouth polling director Patrick Murray.

“Virginians head to the polls Tuesday to choose a new governor in a neck-and-neck race that began as a genteel affair but devolved into an intense battle that mimics the country’s deep partisan divide. And the political world is watching the results from Virginia for clues about the national political landscape in the Trump era and a hint of what may come in next year’s midterms,” notes a Richmond Times-Dispatch election guide.

Mr. Gillespie is upbeat about his chances, and he’s convinced the Democratic Party is jittery.

“They’ve known they’re in a close race for some time now. They’ve been throwing the kitchen sink at us, unveiling awful, vile ads,” the GOP nominee told Fox News on Tuesday. “That shows the desperation. They know that the momentum is clearly on our side.”


A cultural change, perhaps? Christie’s, the world’s leading auction house, reports that bourbon is now an important collectible, right along with all those swanky rare wines and spirits favored by connoisseurs and rich folk.

“There was a time not so long ago when it was only the finest single malt Scotch whiskies that attracted interest from collectors at the highest level, but those days are now behind us — American whiskey is now a great focus for collectors across the world,” says Christie’s specialist Noah May, who adds that one barrel of Blade and Bow bourbon distilled in 1991 went for $95,550 at an auction in Manhattan.

“Pre-Prohibition bourbon is arguably the area of the market that carries the highest level of interest for collectors. The importance of these pre-1920 bottles lies in the insight they offer into a unique time in American history and culture,” says Mr. May, who notes that a gallon of Blue Ribbon Kentucky Whiskey Old Style Bourbon, distilled in 1901, could fetch about $8,000, while a gallon of Belmont Bourbon from 1900 could go for about $7,000.


69 percent of people in the Philippines have confidence President Trump will “do the right thing” in world affairs; 53 percent feel the same about Chinese President Xi Jinping.

58 percent of people in the Vietnam have confidence Mr. Trump will do the right thing in world affairs; 18 percent feel the same about Mr. Xi.

24 percent of people in Japan have confidence Mr. Trump will do the right thing; 11 percent feel the same about Mr. Xi.

17 percent of people in South Korea have confidence Mr. Trump will do the right thing; 38 percent feel the same about Mr. Xi.

Source: A Pew Research Center poll of 4,019 adults in Philippines, Vietnam, Japan and South Korea conducted Feb. 17-May 8 and released Friday.

• Kindly follow Jennifer Harper on Twitter @HarperBulletin

• Jennifer Harper can be reached at jharper@washingtontimes.com.

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