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As Trump’s impeachment heads to the Senate, Democrats should push for witnesses (including Hunter Biden)

Originally published at NBCNews.com

Witnesses or no witnesses? That is the question dogging senators of both parties, as they gear up for a Senate trial on the articles of impeachment against President Donald Trump.

On the one hand, you have Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., saying that a fair trial must include hearing from the president’s acting chief of staff, Mick Mulvaney, former national security adviser John Bolton and possibly others.

On the other, you have Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, who says that if Trump wants Hunter Biden called, or the whistleblower, the Senate should allow that.

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Opinion: Trump Is The Biggest Show On TV. Impeachment Will Be Bigger.

Originally published at BuzzFeed, and co-authored with Gur Tsabar.

 

In the days since the news broke that President Donald Trump made a request/demand that Ukrainian prosecutors investigate Joe Biden’s son, the president’s allies have blanketed cable news with allegations against the former vice president. A New York Times reporter reminded MSNBC viewers that “there’s a story here” about Joe Biden and his son, and Trump himself accused the Bidens of corruption on Monday.

To say Democrats are losing the ability to control this story would be an understatement. The allegations led to Biden to angrily jamming his finger in a reporter’s face when asked about his son over the weekend, in an attempt to place the focus back where it belonged.

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What An Impeachment Address By Pelosi Would Look Like

Earlier today, former GOP Representative David Jolly tweeted out an interesting idea:

Jolly gets it. In the era of news under Donald Trump, drama and intrigue draws media focus and attention. I don’t like it. I don’t think it’s good for our country.  But I’m also not so naïve as to think it will change any time soon, before Trump is gone. Democrats can whine about it, or can beat Republicans at this game.

As the story of Trump and the Ukraine slowly morphs into one about Biden and the Ukraine, thanks to right-wing news outlets continuing to amplify Trump’s allies, Speaker Pelosi would be wise to take Jolly’s advice, and use the new media rules in her favor, by taking strong, dramatic action that would drive a new narrative, and place the focus back where it belongs… on Trump’s corruption.

So, what would such a speech look like?  I imagine it would be something like this:

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Other Presidents Have Inspired Good. Trump Inspires Violent, Deranged Hate.

Talk to members of the Greatest Generation, and they’ll tell you how FDR’s words inspired a nation, reeling from the depression, to rise up and defeat the forces of evil that were threatening liberty.  Most people born to the Baby Boom generation would talk about how John Kennedy’s words inspired them, or someone they knew, to take an active role in civic life, join the Peace Corps, or enter public service.  Listen to anyone from Gen-X, and they’ll recount how Ronald Reagan’s words helped heal a nation after the Challenger disaster, or how Bill Clinton helped us process what happened in Oklahoma City.

There is one historic truism that we know is true, because we’ve all lived through it – a president’s words can inspire thoughts and actions, like no one else.

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Republican Tax Plan Ad Concepts – Free!

One of the toughest parts of being in progressive political communications is that our side doesn’t have money like the other side, especially when it comes to off-years.

I can’t tell you how many incredibly good television ad scripts I’ve read that were never produced, because no group had the money to do it.

So it is, again, with the fight over the GOP tax bill. This time, though, rather than look at some scripts, sigh, and shove them away in the purgatory of the hard drive, I thought I’d post them here. Continue reading


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Spicer’s Lies and Laughter

Spinning is something all of us in political public relations do.  It’s our job. We take a bit of bad news, and try to rationalize to the media why it’s not so bad. Or we take a bit of good news for an opponent, and find the dark cloud we can place over it. Sometimes it comes off as ridiculous. Sometimes it works. But, spinning is taking the truth and working from there.

Sean Spicer lied.

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