Editor's Note: Below is a brief excerpt from Hedgeye Potomac Chief Political Strategist JT Taylor's Capital Brief sent to institutional clients each morning. For more information on how you can access our institutional research please email email@example.com.
“Things don't turn up in this world until somebody turns them up.”
-James A. Garfield
PASSING THE TORCH
Day three was immensely important for Democrats as it signified a passing of the party torch from President Obama to Hillary Clinton. In his speech, Obama emphasized Clinton’s vast experience as a leader in public office, touting her ability to adapt to any situation, while imploring voters to defend his legacy by electing her as president. VP Joe Biden vouched for Clinton’s character, recalling weekly breakfasts with Clinton, where he learned her true passions, intellect, and toughness.
Both hit on Donald Trump for his lack of substance and reluctance – even inability – to expand his limited knowledge of policy and international affairs, despite the information being at his fingertips. But the most vital speaker of the night was veep pick Tim Kaine, who introduced himself to an unfamiliar nation and highlighted the reasons why he was the right choice to round out the ticket.
MARK OF KAINE
In a year when the veep choice matters so much, two questions remain – can Kaine make enough of a positive impact and is he liberal enough to woo leftist voters? Clinton took the safe route by tapping Kaine as her running mate, but it’s yet to be seen if he’s too safe of a pick. His style is anything but electric and he really doesn’t ignite progressives or other party factions.
The Wall Street crowd is pleased with him because he is not Warren, and his pros ultimately outweigh his cons since VA is a highly contested swing state, his moderate views can corral undecided voters, and he speaks fluent Spanish. However, the pick is still a direct slap in the face to progressives as they feel they are not adequately represented.
CLIMBING CAPITOL HILL
Veep pick Mike Pence, a former congressman with close ties to the Hill, has helped Trump and his campaign step up its courtship of wary Republicans - and the efforts appear to be fruitful. The charm offensive comes after months of Trump picking on other Republicans and is aimed at rewarding surrogates who make the case for him around the Hill.
Pence is working hard to reel in Republicans who’ve kept an arm’s length – even extending an olive branch to those once against Trump. If this is any indication of how Pence will perform in the future, Trump has made the right decision in choosing him. It’s imperative he grows his army as he will need all the backup he can get in the coming months.