‘Underwhelmed:’ Political Pros React to Trump Phone Transcript At Heart of New Impeachment Push

impeachment Trump households climbed middle classCharlie Cook is a well-respected analyst whose Cook Political Report is a must-read for campaign pros on both sides of the aisle. And his take on the released transcript of Trump’s Ukranian phone call?


“I don’t Tweet very much but reading the transcript has moved me to comment,” Cook tweeted. “I was totally underwhelmed by the transcript. After the build-up, [there] was not much more inappropriate said than we hear from him in a typical week. This will not move malleable voters.”

While Democrats, and even some Republicans, offer high-flung rhetoric about threats to the Republic posed by President Trump’s phone call, political consultants and campaign strategists are trying to determine the practical impact of the Ukraine story on the average–or as Cook called them, “malleable”– American voter.

The early betting is that Democrats don’t have enough to turn the Ukraine story into a political winner–yet.

Thanks to President Trump releasing the transcript, the facts about the Ukraine phone call aren’t in dispute. Democrats say that, while there may be no specific quid-pro-quo arrangement mentioned, Trump’s request for help from a foreign government to look into former Vice President Joe Biden, a likely 2020 opponent, is enough for impeachment.

“There is no requirement there be a quid pro quo in the conversation,” Pelosi said Tuesday.

“Even if there were absolutely no quid pro quo, the demand itself is a betrayal of the presidency and abuse of the office,” Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) followed up on Wednesday.

And, some Democrats believe, this will motivate their base. “If a highly motivated person drags her mother and her husband and her second cousin twice removed to the polls, then it makes a difference,” Iowa Democratic Party activist Kurt Meyer told Reuters.

Republicans like Sen. Lindsey Graham disagree.  “This is a nothing (non-quid pro quo) burger,” he tweeted, later telling reporters: “From my point of view, to impeach any president over a phone call like this would be insane.”

Who’s right? For Team Trump, the answer is obvious:

“Because of their pure hatred for President Trump, desperate Democrats and the salivating media already had determined their mission: take out the President,” Trump 2020 campaign manager Brad Parscale said in a statement.  “This is just another hoax from Democrats and the media, contributing to the landslide re-election of President Trump in 2020.”

Hoax or not, is the Trump campaign right to believe the Democrats’ rush to impeachment will help keep him in the White House?

“I predict Trump’s base voters are going to go up about 20 points in intensity now that Democrats are actually starting the impeachment process,” DC GOP strategist Alex Vogel told InsideSources, while “independent voters are fundamentally focused on how this country, and in particular, how our economy is working and putting food on their tables and cars in their driveways.

“Independents don’t seem to have shifted much in response to any of this – and I don’t think that is going change,” Vogel said.

“The bottom line is the impeachment inquiry will ultimately hurt Democrats,” said New Hampshire-based GOP consultant Michael Dennehy, a veteran of the John McCain presidential campaigns. “Middle America will be asking every day, ‘what about my healthcare? What about illegal immigration? What about the opioid crisis? Why are we spending everyone’s time on impeachment rather than these issues?’”

Republican strategist Doug Heye sees a similar problem for the Democrats’ 2020 field. “For Democrats running for president, breaking through on healthcare or the economy just got a lot tougher. Impeachment will be the dominant topic for a long time,” Heye said.

One area where impeachment is already paying off for the GOP–literally–is fundraising. Trump 2020 and the Republican National Committee sent out a slew of fundraising emails on Tuesday on behalf of what they’re calling the “Official Impeachment Task Force.” According to Politico, they raised about $1 million by the end of the day.

And while it’s too early to have polling of the public’s reaction to the transcript itself, a new Quinnipiac survey taken as the story was unfolding found that a solid majority of Americans– 57 percent — don’t want Trump removed from office, while only 37 percent support it.  More significant, only 34 percent of self-identified independent voters, whose views are more likely to be “malleable” during the coming campaign, support impeachment.

Democratic consultant Joel Payne, who worked on the Hillary Clinton 2016 campaign, sees the issue as a wash. “Both parties’ bases were amped up already,” he tells InsideSources. “I think this fight just keeps them both on track. The question is how moderate voters react to impeaching President Trump. Which side will win the message war? That remains to be seen.”

Reprinted with permission from - Inside Sources - by Michael Graham

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Aaron P Lopez
10 months ago

I for one, am tired of the Democrats attempt at trying to impeach our President simply as a power grab. My biggest concern is how the rules of engagement have changed in politics, if you don’t win the election your mission is to discredit the winning candidate till you get your person in place of power through any means necessary even to the point of lying and fabrication. Makes me sick !!
Im Hispanic, and I’m proud to call myself a Republican !
This nonsense that Dems are throwing out is absolutely insane! They’re pandering to the weak minded.

Shuttle Guy
10 months ago

Watch Fox News tonight. The truth will be told about Biden. Again Trump will come out WINNING! MAGA 2020!

Natalie Nischan
10 months ago

I am a senior citizen and growing up in a democratic state has molded my perspective on social- economic issues. What saved me from voting Democrat when I “believed” in a cause, was the issue of choosing life. Without the sanctity of life we spiral downward as we have as a nation. Looking back on how I perceived other issues was a result of public education and public universities. Taking a handout and having a bigger government to regulate my car, taxes, business and healthcare was no big deal. Then as I “grew” up, I soon realized that this conditioning… Read more »

carolyn hilt
10 months ago

Every week something new. It was said that someone would try to assassinate the president when he took office. He has been assassinated on an almost daily basis. A sad, sad commentary on our “democracy.” Each time something new surfaces, then the previous issue seems to disappear. Haven’t heard much on Comey, Mueller, Russia lately. Or Stormy D, Avenatti, etc. HMMM. Now it is Ukraine. What’s next? In this way, the Dems do not have to admit they had nothing previously. They just start something new.

10 months ago

I think the Democrat that we see now I would never be a part of. I voted Demo for a few years but they have gotten off track. Completely. Some say I switched parties when I learned how to read.

Stephen Russell
10 months ago

Backfire on the Dems big time, Big nothing.Downside: No foreign leader will call US for fear phones “tapped” for opposing forces to use & US & said nation suffer, Have to go to a Secure Line for overseas calls, Thanks Dems

10 months ago

The impeachment insanity began on the day Trump was elected. Much has been left undone by both the disbelieving Republicans who when they had control of Congress kept bumping into each other like the policemen in The Pirates of Penzance and got nothing done. Then when the Democrats took control of the House it intensified so that still nothing is being done in Congress about the greatest issues of our time: healthcare affordability, illegal immigration, the opioid crisis, economic development, social security and so many other import issues. The Democrat Party and the MSM collusion in keeping the government ineffective… Read more »

10 months ago

L G B T, Let God Bless Trump.

10 months ago

As soon as this blows over, the Democrats will have another issue next week.

10 months ago

Considering flagrant quid pro quo that Biden strong-armed Ukraine over his son’s major shady financial vestment… the Dems making an issue of this puts them in the spotlight of shame. Absolute shame. Don’t they have any better way to spend workdays as regional elected representatives of the people?

John A Bird
10 months ago

Trump has been under a microscope by the Democrap Party long before being elected President of the United States of America and the only abuse of power has come from the “Deep State” or the Party itself. We need to line them all up at the base of the nearest tree outside the White House and hang’m all until pronounced dead for the treasonous acts!

10 months ago

Democrats don’t seem to understand that Americans see right through them. Every week it seems they have some new breaking witch hunt cry (Russia collusion hoax , Kavenaugh hearings, then more lies about Kavanaugh leading to Impeach Kavanaugh hoax) what the vast majority of Americans see clearly is : The Democrats know they cannot win an election And the American people clearly see that Dems are saying to us “American people your vote does not matter”, that we truly understand if their hatred of Trump far outweighs any concern for the USA . We see through what they are doing,… Read more »

10 months ago

Yeah, and since when did we start calling someone who is illegally spying on and phone tapping an American President a “whistleblower?” Can the rest of us do that? Can we all just start phone tapping and spying on important people just because we want to, because it’ll give us “dirt” on someone in power. I’d love to tap into Pelosi, Schumer, Biden, Obama, Comey’s phone calls… etc., on the lib progressive socialist side. I bet if we “little people” could do what the Dems have been doing, we’d hear outright treason.

10 months ago

I think its time to totally elimate the Democratic Party – they all seem to be just plain stupid. Donald Trump is, I believe, God’s man for this time in history. We should be PROUD of him and all he has done to pull us up from former Democratic president … who obviously did not do a good job! Nancy Pelosi needs to RETIRE — and stay at the house she has built with government money!

10 months ago

Complete and unabated insanity is the current democrat platform. The question is, how well will this sell to the American voter?

Irvin C
10 months ago

It’s so obvious the DemoncRATS are only out to overthrow our President. I’m sorry but isn’t that treason? Sedition?
Where is the real law?

10 months ago

As usual. Dems throwing something against the wall again, hoping it will stick. It won’t.

10 months ago

The Democraps and RINO’s will do or say anything to oust Trump. Their attempts are juvenile and baseless. Americans are starting to get wise to their smoke and mirrors games.

Rick J.
10 months ago

In plain English, another “crock of crap”, brought to us by the democraps! They will not stop until
this nation is torn apart.

10 months ago

Asking a liberal for an opinion is like ordering an empty cup of coffee!

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