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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
Inboxes on Capitol Hill are full of unread Clinton emails having received the Clinton-FBI interview notes. The Republican caucus is now sifting through pages of detailed summaries, inspecting every nook and cranny for a smoking gun. You could see this coming from a mile away - it’s an election year and Republicans are slipping and have little to show on the accomplishment front for the past seven months. No new findings are expected, but the House Judiciary Committee plans to press the FBI in next month on allegations that Clinton committed perjury. As we’ve seen in the past, Republicans do have a tendency to overextend, and while it truly does deserve a vetting, let’s hope it doesn’t supplant the duties of Congress (pass a budget).
SCORCHED EARTH POLICY?
Freshly-minted Campaign Chair Steve Bannon’s mission is almost perfectly aligned with Trump’s – he’s a rabid fighter, enraged by Washington and Wall Street insiders, the Republican establishment and the Clintons. Known as a devil-may-care conservative, Bannon’s populist and nationalist sympathies reflect his longstanding disgust with both major political parties, which perfectly outlines his overall objective - disrupt the narrative. Bannon has been floating around the campaign for a while now, and is expected to be an expansion of Trump’s mind and values. With the Republican party also in his crosshairs, the Trump campaign may widen the gap between themselves and the party, and run their campaign however they may choose.
FISH OR CUT BAIT
Usually a campaign shakeup this late in the game shows a struggling candidate righting the ship, but not here - more Trump is expected, and the move is irking Republicans. A letter, signed by more than 120 Republicans, warned the RNC that Trump is a threat to House and Senate seats, and the RNC should refocus resources to down-ballot races instead. The RNC is standing by Trump…for now, and won't make a decision until the fall. Not wasting any time, Republican PACs are investing heavily in down ticket races, while ignoring the presidential campaign. With the final leg of the election kicking off after Labor Day weekend, the RNC will need to make a final decision – keep him or toss him back in the water. Either way, the party is likely to feel the repercussions for cycles to come.