Well, “bomb stuff” is one way to put it, but it seems like the “bomb stuff” just came to an end with the apprehension of a suspect in Florida based on DNA evidence. The perpetrator of the bomb scare, which targeted high-ranking Democratic officials and some liberal media personalities, has, apparently, been identified as Cesar Sayoc Jr., according to NBC News. I’m reporting all this with slight reluctance since the news broke a short time ago and early reports are sometimes inaccurate, so take everything as subject to change.
More from the report:
A man in Florida was taken into custody Friday and will be charged in connection with the series of bombs found this week addressed to critics of President Donald Trump, law enforcement officials said shortly after the latest two devices were found.
Cesar Sayoc Jr., 56, who has been arrested before, is currently in custody, law enforcement officials said. DNA evidence played a role in the arrest, law enforcement told NBC News. Sayoc was previously arrested in 2002 for threatening to throw a bomb, and pleaded guilty, but was given a special sentence in which probation is ordered but a formal conviction is not made. He was also arrested for theft in 1992 and 2014.
Sayoc filed for bankruptcy in 2012, and is registered as Republican, according to public records.
Investigators in the Plantation, Florida, parking lot where Sayoc was arrested could be seen placing a tarp over a van with windows covered with dozens of pictures of Trump and decals, one of which appeared to be a version of a presidential seal. Sayoc is a Florida resident, originally from New York, law enforcement officials said.
Here’s a shot from Yahoo news via Twitter showing the suspect’s picture and van, covered in pro-Trump and anti-Democrat stickers, which allegedly belongs to him:
— Yahoo News (@YahooNews) October 26, 2018
What doesn’t make any sense here, and probably speaks to the mental status of the alleged bomber, is that this type of behavior would naturally lend itself to harm the President and possibly garner sympathy for Democrats. Why would the originator of these bombs, who apparently supports the President, be so brazen in doing this before an election and provide an opening for Democrats and media personalities to attack the President for using heated rhetoric? That’s how a sane person would think, of course, but we’re clearly not dealing with a full deck here.
A few hours ago, the President made this comment on Twitter:
Republicans are doing so well in early voting, and at the polls, and now this “Bomb” stuff happens and the momentum greatly slows – news not talking politics. Very unfortunate, what is going on. Republicans, go out and vote!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 26, 2018
He’s getting hammered for the “bomb stuff” phrase, even by some conservatives:
“This ‘BOMB’ stuff.”
— The president of the United States. https://t.co/xIoPLj9XHB
— Bill Kristol (@BillKristol) October 26, 2018
“…now this ‘Bomb’ stuff happens…” https://t.co/svA8wpTTIS
— Jake Tapper (@jaketapper) October 26, 2018
To be clear: Someone mailed pipe bombs to 2 former Presidents, 1 former Vice President, 1 former Sec of State, & other government officials, and the current President 2day lamented how this "bomb stuff" was going to hurt Republicans in the midterms.
Smh. Trump is just a bad guy.
— Joe Walsh (@WalshFreedom) October 26, 2018
Thankfully no one was hurt and none of these bombs ever exploded, and it doesn’t appear they were designed to do anything other than spread fear.
Back to Regular Programming
Now that the “bomb stuff” is over, Roll Call gets us back to the midterm coverage by pointing out that millions of voters have already voted, so the “bomb stuff” might not actually change momentum all that much:
And how about that economy? As the markets have taken a hit, the president has pivoted from his stewardship of the economy to a vague promise to cut taxes. This comes after the national GOP long ago concluded it had lost the messaging war on the tax cut the president signed into law less than one year ago.
Immigration? Well, there’s that caravan of folks from Central America heading toward the Southern border. Trump likes talking about this.
Voter turnout? Early voting in places like Nevada and Texas suggest we could be on pace to match turnout for a presidential voting year. This follows the record turnouts in special congressional elections since last year.
Brett M. Kavanaugh? The confirmation of the newest Supreme Court justice fired up partisans all around, and seemed to wake at least a few Republicans from their midterm doldrums. It also seemed to communicate to Democrats what the GOP has known for a long time: the high court is a high-stakes jam.
Jamal Khashoggi? The murder of the dissident Saudi journalist in Istanbul by Saudi operatives has strained relations with an ally and put the always tense Middle East in another precarious spot. And the president’s hesitancy to condemn the murder of an articulate Washington Post employee at the hands of an autocratic regime adds to the sense of dread.
Make no mistake, the pipe bomb news is traumatic. But there’s more going on that will factor into the midterm results.
In our current environment, this news cycle will be gone by tomorrow and it’ll be back to politics as usual by Monday. By Sunday evening we should see some polling out which claims to answer the question of “how does the bombing affect voter enthusiasm?” My guess is it won’t change much.