Volta Insider: Paul Manafort and Reince Priebus Storm the DNC

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The Republicans have set up camp in enemy territory at a boxing arena in South Philadelphia where they will host a series of press conferences during the week of the DNC. Paul Manafort, Trump’s campaign manager, Reince Priebus, Chairman of the RNC, and Sean Spicer, Chief Communications Director of the RNC spoke on the record and organized a brief Q&A for the audience. Responding to questions about the DNC WikiLeaks, claiming that the Trump campaign and the RNC will not have the same problem, and do not have any involvement. The theme of their setup was “Enough” complete with dice, cornhole, and other games all “rigged” for Hillary to win as well as a poster with a “setlist” of her scandals dating back to the 1980s.

You can check out more of my convention coverage here.

Washington Insider: Sen. Chris Coons at the DNC

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WHC Insider and Bloomberg “Masters in Politics” co-host Tammy Haddad spoke with Sen. Chris Coons on his colleague in the Senate, Tim Kaine, who was picked as Secretary Hillary Clinton’s running mate. Sen. Coons also weighed in on the DNC email scandal which forced Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz to step down as Democratic National Committee Chair.

You can watch the full video here.

EXCLUSIVE: Manafort and Priebus Deny Any Possibility Trump or RNC Hacked

The Republicans have set up camp in enemy territory at a boxing arena in South Philadelphia where they will host a series of press conferences during the week of the DNC. Paul Manafort, Trump’s campaign manager, Reince Priebus, Chairman of the RNC, and Sean Spicer, Chief Communications Director of the RNC spoke on the record and organized a brief Q&A for the audience. Responding to a question from Tammy Haddad, CEO of Haddad Media, Paul Manafort and Reince Priebus denied any possibility of the Trump campaign or the RNC being hacked.

The theme of their setup was “Enough” complete with dice, cornhole, and other games all “rigged” for Hillary to win as well as a poster with a “setlist” of her scandals dating back to the 1980s.

You can watch the full video here.

Volta Insider: Rachel Greenberg Reflects on RNC 2016

RNC Reflection (rachel)

When I landed in Cleveland last week, I had 14 pages left of Game Change.

I didn’t know what to expect, had never been to a convention before, and while the collective conjecture of a “total shitshow,” was amusing, it was not helpful. That prediction proved accurate for the first 48 hours, then escalated in the final two days, even before Ted Cruz took the stage Wednesday night.

It was mid-afternoon when a crowd assembled around the entrance of the Q, Cleveland, Ohio’s center of gravity during the RNC. I abandoned my laptop and armed myself with a camera, running outside to see what all the commotion was about. At first it was just the media, aiming their massive black cameras over each others heads and inching closer and closer to a supposed protesters. Then there was the cops, a – of them, yelling for the press to move back and some sort of liquid was sprayed, forcing those in front of me and behind me to press backwards without dropping their equipment. I ducked out of the way after the man in front of me stepped on my foot.

The crowd had grown at this point, but maintained a humble volume. There was no roaring chant, no clear message. I looked around, wondering what the point of this demonstration was. I stood on my toes, trying to read the signs placed in front of the entrance.

They read:
“REVOLUTION – NOTHING LESS.”
“AMERICA WAS NEVER GREAT.”

I heard whispers of an attempted flag burning. But where was the smoke?

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Protestors at the RNC, Photo courtesy of Haddad Media

Behind me a train of police swept by, escorting three men with three-tiered signs. Sporting phrases like “The Pope is the Antichrist!” On their tail was a much shorter man holding up a piece of canvas which had “End the War on Drugs” sprayed in red and black ink.

I stepped back to the sidewalk to try to get a clear shot of what was going on. The masses were evenly matched with police, who maintained all the composure of a statue. Patient but firm, they sought order in squads of 5 or 6. A loud crack tore a hole in the murmurs and whistles as one of the signs snapped and fell two feet from where I stood. I discarded the recovery of the asset for the sound of some SJWs who looked like they hadn’t showered in at least 5 days.

“Go home you nazi scum! Go home you nazi scum!” They cried.

At this point, I was just confused. The flag burners were communist and the evangelicals, however dramatic, were far from anti-semitic nationalists. I learned later that the lady who had attempted to burn the flag had accidentally set herself on fire. It had to be the most ineffective protest I had ever witnessed.

I also found that this convention celebrated an ineffective use of language. The speeches lacked clarity, having resembled poorly written high school essays in both accuracy and flow. It was as if the whole convention had adopted Trump’s staccato speech pattern and on-the-spectrum scream. The only speeches that didn’t fit into this category were those of his children, Tiffany, Don Jr., Eric, and Ivanka. His children strike me as closeted democrats, or maybe they’re just normal republicans. I might have too much faith in language and fail to understand the appeal of these “outsider” tactics aimed at the disillusioned. But is “dumpster fire” the kind of locution the American voter wants to hear from a potential president?

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Police outside of the Quicken Loans Arena, the site of the RNC, in Cleveland, Ohio, Photo courtesy of Haddad Media

In Niccolo Machiavelli’s book The Prince, he questions if it is better to be feared or loved.
“A prince should inspire fear in such a fashion that if he do not win love he may escape hate.” He writes.

I don’t think Donald Trump has read this book, and if Paul Manafort has, he certainly isn’t applying that principle to Trump’s campaign.

On Monday morning, I sat in on a Bloomberg breakfast hosted by Al Hunt, where 15 reporters sat around a table and asked Mr. Manafort about the week ahead. He talked circles around each question brilliantly. His plan followed a disregard for the numbers; their plan to gain the loyalty of the Republican base and bring in people who have never voted before does not seem realistic for the general election. Trump will sway almost no Bernie supporters, maybe a few independents, but millennials and college educated women still despise him.

They can paint Donald Trump as a savior in a dark, dark world, like the light at the end of the establishment-built tunnel, but a win for the Trump campaign just isn’t very likely.

When I landed back home in Washington two days ago, I was happy to find the White House was somehow still standing. And I resumed to add a copy of Double Down was sitting in my Amazon cart.

I guess this ineffective, confusing, “dumpster fire” of a world will just keep spinning, no matter what happens.

You can catch more of my reporting from the conventions for my podcast, Volta Insider here.

Mark Halperin Moderates The Main Event: Nicolle Wallace vs. David Plouffe at Uber RNC Lunch

RNC Bloomberg Politics and Uber host Lunch with Nicolle Wallace and David Plouffe

The campaign veterans debated and discussed the phenomenal success of Donald Trump’s candidacy and the challenges ahead. Niki Christoff, Uber’s head of federal affairs introduced the breakfast which also included an appearance by Mark McKinnon, producer and host of Showtime’s The Circus.

Guests included Mason Harrison and Steve Hilton of CrowdPac, fresh off his Brexit victory, pollster Kristen Soltis Anderson, Bloomberg Masters in Politics podcast co-host Betsy Fischer Martin, journalist Dave Wiegel, and media mavens Kevin Madden, Steve Clemons, Zeke Miller, Megan Murphy, Robin Sproul of ABC News, Ted Johnson of Variety, Polson Kanneth and Craig Gordon.

Tech was well represented by Erin Egan of Facebook, Susan Molinari of Google, Amber Cottle and Becky Tallent from Drop Box.

Masters in Politics: Alex Castellanos Announces Pro-Trump Super PAC TV Ad Buy

Tammy Haddad and Betsy Fischer Martin, co-hosts of Bloomberg’s Masters in Politics podcast caught up with GOP political strategist and regular CNN contributor Alex Castellanos, advisor to the pro-Trump Super PAC Rebuilding America Now, about the convention and his plans for the PAC in the coming weeks. “A little bit of breaking news here, we’ll be getting up after this convention in 3 swing states: Florida, Ohio, and Pennsylvania. It will be on national cable, it will be a multi-million dollar buy, and we’re gonna stay on it till the election and try to rescue America from Hillary Clinton and try to make America great again by electing Donald Trump.”

Castellanos also revealed that Donald Trump’s campaign manager Paul Manafort gave the Rebuilding America Now PAC his blessing. “We had a meeting Wednesday with contributors and Paul Manafort called in, gave our contributors a briefing on the state of the campaign and let folks know that there’s no better way to help elect Donald Trump than to support our PAC Rebuilding America Now. Marty Obst, who is running the Mike Pence VP operation, also came and Governor Pence is going to be giving us part of his schedule to attend some events where we’ll be having an opportunity to raise a few dollars for the PAC. I don’t think any other PAC is getting that kind of encouragement.”

You can listen to the full podcast here.

Masters in Politics: Former RNC Chairman Mike Duncan

The hosts of Bloomberg Masters in Politics podcast Tammy Haddad and Betsy Fischer Martin are in Cleveland covering the Republican National Convention this week.

As the GOP is trying to quell divisions within their ranks, they spoke with the former head of the Republican Party, Mike Duncan.

Duncan discussed a couple of theories about the conspicuous number of empty seats at this year’s nominating convention. “I suspect that future conventions may learn something from this one. I’m not sure that we’re going to need four days in the future. I think maybe programs will be a little bit tighter in the future.”

Duncan also expressed optimism that Donald Trump would be able to unify the Republican Party.  “Party unity is important for anyone running for president,” Duncan said. “You’ve got to get somewhere around 90% of the support for your party to have a chance to get elected if you look at historic trends. I assume that that will continue in the future and I see Donald Trump moving toward that.”

He also made some predictions for Trump’s cabinet picks if he were to become president. “He’s talked about some of them.  I think you see Governor Christie obviously.  Newt Gingrich is someone being discussed in a very high role.”  Duncan said that he believed Trump would make announcements beforehand.  “That would be my recommendation.”

You can check out the full interview here

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Tammy Haddad Speaks With Former Trump Campaign Manager Corey Lewandowski

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Tammy Haddad, President and CEO of Haddad Media and co-host of Bloomberg’s Masters in Politics podcast caught up with Corey Lewandowski.

When asked about his plans for the convention Lewandowski says, “I’m just here to sit back and take it all in and enjoy it,” adding “I’m really excited for the Trump team and the Trump family tonight.”

On Eric Trump’s primetime speech he said, “It’s going to be a fantastic speech.”

You can watch the full clip here.

Making Lobbying Great Again at Heather Podesta’s RNC Breakfast

Heather Podesta RNC Breakfast 2016

One of the most famous names in democratic politics, lobbyist Heather Podesta, hosted a busy breakfast this morning at Mabel’s BBQ. As this convention proves comparatively bleak, the red stickers which read “MAKE LOBBYING GREAT AGAIN” were an exceptionally amusing accessory. Invitees resembled traditional Washington, D.C. demographics: lobbyists, legislators, and off duty press. Including Congressman John Ratcliffe, Indian Ambassador Arun K. Singh, Dede Lea, Andi Fisher, Betsy Fischer Martin, Rachel Pearson. HBO Film Executives Len Amato, Tara Grace and reporters Ruth Marcus, Daniel Lippman and Megan Wilson.

Check out the photos here!

Facebook + Glamour @ RNC Freedom Plaza

Rachel Greenberg, Volta Insider + Dayna Geldwert, Instagram Politics and Government Outreach

Rachel Greenberg, Volta Insider +
Dayna Geldwert, Instagram
Politics and Government Outreach

Facebook and Glamour gathered a happy, if a bit warm, group of politicos led by Politico Playbook’s Anna Palmer. Glamour’s editor Cindi Levie’s flight got canceled because of weather but the party continued and the launch of their campaign for women. #51MillionVoices

The pitch: “This November, 51 million women under the age of 45 will be eligible to vote. These young women have a lot to say. That’s why Glamour and Facebook teamed up this year — to investigate and elevate the political issues these voters care about most.”

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Erin Egan, Jay Roach, Tara Grace and Len Amato at Facebook Glamour RNC lunch

Erin Egan, Jay Roach, Tara Grace and Len Amato at Facebook Glamour RNC lunch