The Morning Jolt

Yes, Hillary’s Numbers Speak For Themselves

No Jolt Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday; Happy Veterans’ Day.

Yes, Hillary’s Numbers Speak For Themselves

This morning Hillary Clinton’s Twitter account declared, “Hillary’s spent 40 years in public service, and the numbers speak for themselves.”

No kidding: four dead. Thirteen hours. One perpetrator brought to justice. Zero firings. Thirteen additional security personnel denied. More than 400 e-mails on a private server with classified information. Twenty countries that received approval for arms sales after donating to the Clinton Foundation. Sixty-one percent of Americans concluding she is not “honest an trustworthy.”

If that made you smile, contemplate helping me out.

The New GOP Debate Lineup Exposes Some Blatantly Unfair Polling

Remember when everybody said Lindsey Graham won the “undercard” debate? Now we see just how much good it did him:

Next week’s GOP presidential undercard debate just lost its best comic.

U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham did not make the cut for the early debate Tuesday in Milwaukee on Fox Business News after failing to win 1 percent of support in four recent polls.

The Seneca Republican was declared the winner of two previous undercard debates, scoring points with his humor and wit. During a California debate, Graham suggested Republicans and Democrats needed to drink more to solve their differences.

Graham’s campaign was unhappy that one of the polls used to determine the debate field, NBC/The Wall Street Journal, listed just 10 GOP candidates, rather than the full 15-candidate field, including the senator. The Wall Street Journal is co-hosting the debate next week with Fox Business.

“It is ironic that the only veteran in the race is going to be denied a voice the day before Veterans Day,” Graham campaign manager Christian Ferry said.

Wait, a major pollster just stopped asking about Bobby Jindal, Rick Santorum, Lindsey Graham, George Pataki and Jim Gilmore?

It’s just about impossible for any of those five guys to rise if they’re not listed as an option, and their supporters have to volunteer their name. Jindal’s putting his eggs in the Iowa basket; he’s seventh in the RealClearPolitics average, at 4 percent in the CNN poll there, and 6 percent in the PPP poll there. Sure, that doesn’t sound like much, but that’s ahead of the two previous winners of the Iowa caucus.

Anyway, next week, Chris Christie, Mike Huckabee, Jindal, and Santorum will make up the undercard debate, and Graham and Pataki aren’t invited. (Maybe they should meet and debate outside.)

Allahpundit makes a fair point:

And for cripes sake, if you’re going to insist on booting the lower-polling candidates into an undercard debate, at least have the basic common sense to put more candidates in that one than in the main event. The more second-tier candidates participate in the undercard, the greater the incentive is to watch. By limiting the debate to marginalia like Graham and Pataki, you’re basically saying that you’re holding the event as a desultory show of “fairness” rather than as an important forum that undecideds should strongly consider viewing. Sheesh.

Media Tries to Cut Down and Puncture Carson’s Stabbing Narrative

Let me get this straight — Ben Carson’s getting grief for not stabbing people or attacking them with a hammer?

Really, Carson’s in the odd position of declaring that the media’s accusation that he never stabbed anyone or attacked anyone is “a smear.”

Somewhere there’s some more traditional-minded spin doctor thinking, “It wasn’t a ‘stabbing’. It was ‘early surgery practice.”

He’s got a point here.

Carson also asserted in the interview that Democratic frontrunner Hillary Clinton and President Obama did not undergo the same level of scrutiny by political journalists.

“Give me a break. Are you kidding?” Carson said, laughing. “What you all did with president Obama doesn’t even come close — doesn’t even come close to what you guys are trying to do in my case.”

“I want you to ask Hillary Clinton the same questions you ask me. Will you do that? Promise you’re going to do that?” he asked. “We’re waiting.”

Remember how stunned journalists were when they realized that some of the people in Obama’s autobiography didn’t exist?

Donald Trump, this morning: “With Ben Carson wanting to hit his mother on head with a hammer, stab [sic] a friend and Pyramids built for grain storage — don’t people get it?”

Washington Post: Maybe Rubio Didn’t Misuse His Credit Card After All

The Washington Post Fact-Checker goes through the saga of Marco Rubio and his credit cards and the Florida GOP and finds . . . no scandal, and as far as anyone can discern at this point, no lie or misleading statement:

Rubio also says the Republican Party “never paid a single personal expense of mine — personal expense.” Notice the emphasis here. There was an instance when Rubio did repay the party for an expense that should not have been charged to the party; he double-billed the party and the state for airline tickets for state business. So, that is one example where he repaid the party rather than paying American Express directly, as he often notes. But technically, it was not for a personal purpose.

We don’t make a judgment call on whether Rubio should have made personal charges, or whether some of the charges the party paid for should have been considered as “party business.” But what readers should remember is that Rubio’s total charges — about $160,000 total on the corporate card — were relatively small compared to other state party officials who ran up $500,000, even $1.3 million, on their party cards. And although other presidential hopefuls, and even media outlets, keep pointing to the February 2010 news coverage that revealed Rubio’s personal charges, subsequent reports by the independent auditor and Florida Ethics Commission are worth reading, because they tell a fuller picture of how the saga unfolded.

Rubio’s carefully worded explanation doesn’t quite rise to the level of a Geppetto Checkmark, but it is accurate enough that it does not warrant even a single Pinocchio. Perhaps the release of the 2005-2006 card statements will change the outcome.

We’ll be keeping an eye on this issue but based on the information released so far, a mountain’s been made out of molehill, by the media and Rubio’s opponents.

ADDENDA: Bob Kevoian, radio legend and friend of National Review, announced he’s retiring after a long and phenomenally successful career. Best to him and Becky!

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