Patterico's Pontifications


Looking To 2024: Donald Trump Heads To Iowa

Filed under: General — Dana @ 10:56 am

[guest post by Dana]

Just checking in with the Republican Party to see how the next presidential election might shape up:

Former President Donald Trump plans to hold a rally in the first-in-the-nation caucus state of Iowa as he continues to tease a third run for the White House.

Details for Trump’s trip are still being worked out, but it comes on the heels of visits to the state by other high profile Republicans also eyeing a run for president.

Other Trump Republicans have already made the trip to Iowa this year, including Mike Pence, Nikki Haley, Mike Pompeo, Gov. Kristi Noem, Sen. Ted Cruz, Sen. Marco Rubio, and Sen. Tom Cotton. However, if Trump throws his hat in the ring, it’s anybody’s guess… but it appears that plans are underway for just that:

…Trump has started to lay the groundwork for a bid. Earlier this month, he hired two operatives in Iowa — Eric Branstad and Alexander Latcham — to cover a “broad political portfolio focused on advancing Save America’s goals of electing strong, Pro-Trump, America First conservatives,” according to a spokesperson.

Trump mentioned his plans to visit Iowa during an appearance on the right wing Todd Starnes radio show on Monday. Multiple Trump aides confirmed plans are in the works. Whether or not Trump decides to enter the race will also not have any bearing on the Iowa GOP caucus. When asked if the caucus will still be open even if Trump decides to run, Iowa GOP spokesperson Kollin Crompton said “yes, absolutely.”

I don’t know about you, but I’m exhausted at the mere thought of Trump’s crazy circus rolling back into town.


President Biden To President Ghani: You’ve Got Some “Perception Problems”

Filed under: General — Dana @ 10:48 am

[guest post by Dana]

Reuters has an eye-opening report about the leaked transcript of a phone call on July 23 between President Biden and now-in-exile Afghan President Ghani. It’s surprising how President Biden didn’t seem concerned about a Taliban threat. However, it was only weeks before that he told us that “the likelihood there’s going to be the Taliban overrunning everything and owning the whole country is highly unlikely,” so… Anyway, the phone call centered on “perception problem,” and Biden’s thoughts on how to address those:

In the last call between U.S. President Joe Biden and his Afghanistan counterpart before the Taliban seized control of the country, the leaders discussed military aid, political strategy and messaging tactics, but neither Biden nor Ashraf Ghani appeared aware of or prepared for the immediate danger of the entire country falling to insurgents, a transcript reviewed by Reuters shows.

In much of the call, Biden focused on what he called the Afghan government’s “perception” problem. “I need not tell you the perception around the world and in parts of Afghanistan, I believe, is that things are not going well in terms of the fight against the Taliban,” Biden said. “And there is a need, whether it is true or not, there is a need to project a different picture.”

Biden told Ghani that if Afghanistan’s prominent political figures were to give a press conference together, backing a new military strategy, “that will change perception, and that will change an awful lot I think.”

The American leader’s words indicated he didn’t anticipate the massive insurrection and collapse to come 23 days later. “We are going to continue to fight hard, diplomatically, politically, economically, to make sure your government not only survives, but is sustained and grows,” said Biden.

After the call, the White House released a statement that focused on Biden’s commitment to supporting Afghan security forces and the administration seeking funds for Afghanistan from Congress.

While President Biden didn’t appear to feel that time was of the essence, President Ghani at least had an inkling of what might come:

Ghani told Biden he believed there could be peace if he could “rebalance the military solution.” But he added, “We need to move with speed.”

“We are facing a full-scale invasion, composed of Taliban, full Pakistani planning and logistical support, and at least 10-15,000 international terrorists, predominantly Pakistanis thrown into this,” Ghani said. Afghan government officials, and U.S. experts, have consistently pointed to Pakistani support for the Taliban as key to the group’s resurgence.

The White House has not responded to the report.

It’s still mind-boggling to me that there didn’t appear to be any real concern that the Taliban would rise up en masse at the opportunity and that we might find ourselves scrambling to get our people out. And most unbelievably, while completely reliant on the generosity of the Taliban. I’m guessing that whoever leaked the transcript of Biden and Ghani’s phone call must have felt an even more intense shock and revulsion.


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