THE CLOCK: 442 days until Election Day 2016 …
THE DEBATE CLOCK: 20 days until the next Republican debate … 47 days until the first Democratic debate.
STIFLING THE BIDEN BID: POLITICO’s Gabriel Debenedetti reports: HILLARY CLINTON’s team is getting tired of the JOE BIDEN talk. And this week, they want to kill it. The Democrat’s strategy heading into Democratic National Committee meeting in Minneapolis on Friday is aimed at dismissing the idea now fueling Biden supporters that her campaign is going off the rails, strategists, donors and political allies familiar with Brooklyn’s thinking told POLITICO.
The workmanlike approach is meant to convince Democratic power brokers and big-money donors that they don’t need to place side bets on the vice president — and to suggest to Biden himself that there’s no role for him here; there’s no race to save.
The campaign is inviting its top fundraisers to Brooklyn headquarters for a day of strategy sessions with top aides next week, and Clinton’s operation told that group of “Hillblazers” that it would soon start getting regular policy briefings via conference calls with one of Clinton’s closest policy aides, Jake Sullivan. Her team also has made a show of promoting an endorsement from Tom Vilsack — an influential former Iowa governor and a Cabinet member who served alongside both Biden and Clinton. And the biggest pro-Clinton super PAC, Priorities USA Action, unveiled its first ad of the cycle on Thursday. Read more at POLITICO http://politi.co/1hIROll
TGIT, the weekend looms, and welcome to today’s 2016 Blast. Henry C. Jackson (@henrycjjackson) is here to guide you through today’s campaign news. Send your tips, complaints and hottest hot takes to: [email protected].
TRAIL MIX: Here’s what’s popping on the campaign trail
In today’s campaign news, HILLARY CLINTON talks gun violence in Ohio, rips Republicans on women’s health and has a plan to smother BERNIE SANDERS and stanch Joementum. As JOE BIDEN thinks about 2016, his decisions as VP could haunt him. DONALD TRUMP campaigns in South Carolina, smack-talks JEB BUSH and allows someone to touch his hair.
THE DAILY CLINTON
OHIO RETURN: Cleveland Plain Dealer: HILLARY CLINTON took her first political trip to Ohio since the 2008 presidential election cycle … In her nearly half-hour speech, Clinton presented herself as a champion of civil rights and voting rights … Clinton also connected last year’s fatal shooting of 12-year-old Tamir Rice at the hands of a Cleveland police officer with a Wednesday shooting in Virginia that took the lives of two television journalists. In doing so, Clinton made a pitch for gun control. “I know politics are hard,” she said. “I’ve got the scars to prove that. And I know when it comes to gun violence … a lot of people just basically say, ‘You know, it’s just too hard, we’re not going to try this again.’ Well, I am going to tell you, I am going to keep going. I am not giving up.” http://bit.ly/1hizkHA
WAR ON ANALOGIES: New York Daily News: HILLARY CLINTON touched off a cascade of GOP criticism Thursday after she drew a parallel between terrorists’ and Republicans’ views on women. Clinton, talking at Case Western University in Cleveland about GOP efforts to defund Planned Parenthood, said: “Extreme views about women — we expect that from some of the terrorist groups. We expect that from people who don’t want to live in the modern world. But it’s a little hard to take coming from Republicans who want to be the President.” http://nydn.us/1hIHt8U
EMAIL PRESSURE: The New York Times: “Democratic leaders are increasingly frustrated by HILLARY RODHAM CLINTON’s failure to put to rest questions about her State Department email practices and ease growing doubts among voters about her honesty and trustworthiness. On top of that, many say, her repeated jokes and dismissive remarks on the email controversy suggest that she is not treating it seriously enough. Interviews with more than 75 Democratic governors, lawmakers, candidates and party members have laid bare a widespread bewilderment.” http://nyti.ms/1EZMvTp
SUPER WOMAN: POLITICO’S Gabriel Debenedetti reports: “ HILLARY CLINTON’s campaign staffers are working methodically to build the fail-safe they think can secure the nomination, and it’s pegged to a single day on the calendar: March 1, 2016. That’s when, according to their plans, Clinton’s financial advantage, combined with early planning and strategizing, can deliver the knockout punch.” http://politi.co/1EnhbmC
DNC DEAL: POLITICO’s Edward-Isaac Dovere and Gabriel Debenedetti report : “After months of discord and delay, the Democratic National Committee announced Thursday that it signed a joint fundraising agreement with HILLARY CLINTON’s presidential campaign. The document will enable the DNC and the campaign to conduct events and other fundraising activities together that will generate money for both entities. Clinton wouldn’t have access to the money unless and until she’s the nominee — but this is seen as an essential step for banking cash to counter what’s expected to be massive Republican spending next year.” http://politi.co/1PWbrkV
THE PROGRESSIVE RESISTANCE
LABOR LUNCH: POLITICO’s Edward-Isaac Dovere reports: Continuing his consideration of a 2016 run, Vice President JOE BIDEN had AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka over for lunch Thursday at the Naval Observatory, according to a source familiar with the meeting. Biden has been actively engaged in sounding out a late entry into the Democratic primary race — saying Wednesday on a call with Democratic National Committee members that he is trying to sort out whether he and his family have the “emotional fuel” to go forward, all while encouraging a small circle of advisers to actively explore the intricacies of a run. http://politi.co/1PB4KnM
DOVISH TENDENCIES: POLITICO’s Michael Crowley reports: [ JOE] BIDEN’s bin Laden call may haunt him as he considers taking on HILLARY CLINTON for the 2016 Democratic nomination, in a fight that will hinge in part on who’s better equipped to be commander in chief. As Clinton likes to remind audiences, she advised Obama to take the gamble. “I respected [Biden’s] concerns about the risk of a raid,” she wrote in her 2014 memoir, “Hard Choices,” “but I came to the conclusion that the intelligence was convincing and that the risks were outweighed by the benefits of success. http://politi.co/1i4rj9I
GUN PUSH: Bloomberg: MARTIN O’MALLEY promised to push for “sensible gun safety legislation” if elected president … O’Malley said the priority must be mandatory background checks for firearm purchases.”The most important thing is background checks,” he said. “And databases that are actually connected and open for law enforcement to share information.” http://bloom.bg/1Im5BmB
TRUMP ON THE STUMP
BUSH WHACK: The Wall Street Journal: DONALD TRUMP offered a new round of insults about establishment favorite JEB BUSH, jabs at the media and rhetorical victory laps about the latest polling numbers. Perhaps the most telling statement from Mr. Trump was the reason his unorthodox campaign continues to draw unprecedented media attention: He declared that opponents are unable to guess what he’ll do next. “We need some unpredictability, we really do.” http://on.wsj.com/1F0yAwa
NOT THE ONION: “I don’t wear a toupee. It’s my hair. I swear!” WATCH: http://wapo.st/1JoUJIM
MENTAL PROBLEM: POLITICO’s Nick Gass reports: DONALD TRUMP “lamented the state of mental illness in the United States on Thursday, calling it ‘just a massive problem,’ one of many the country has. But Wednesday’s shooting that killed two journalists in Virginia and injured another woman represented ‘a mental problem,’ not ‘a gun problem,’ Instead of focusing on gun control, Trump said … he would focus more on dealing with mental health issues.” http://politi.co/1U8Uhqf
COMING ATTRACTIONS: The Associated Press: Presidential candidates DONALD TRUMP and TED CRUZ are planning to appear together at an upcoming Capitol Hill rally against the proposed nuclear deal with Iran. Trump announced the event during an appearance Thursday in South Carolina, saying it would be “in the next few weeks.” Cruz aides confirmed Trump’s statement.
BUDDY FLICK: CNN: “ DONALD TRUMP said Thursday that while Texas Sen. TED CRUZ and retired neurosurgeon BEN CARSON are surging behind him in the polls, he doesn’t want to attack them because they’ve been nice to him. ‘I cannot hit him. He’s been so nice to me,’ Trump said Thursday at an event in South Carolina of Carson, adding that Cruz fell in the same category.” http://cnn.it/1MRiUSi
KOCH CONNECTIONS: The Intercept: “After investing a sizable fortune into building a political machine that now rivals the size and budgets of both major political parties, the conservative billionaire brothers Charles and David Koch are seeing some of their top operatives take jobs with the presidential campaign of DONALD TRUMP. The fact that many of Trump’s political positions are at odds with those of the Koch brothers does not seem to be a factor.” http://bit.ly/1NXQiFH
AVOIDING FO-PO FAUX PAS: Bloomberg: “There comes a time in every presidential campaign when the candidate must make his case to voters that he should be trusted to be the commander in chief of the U.S. military and the leader of the free world. That moment is now for Wisconsin Governor SCOTT WALKER, and he is fighting for his own foreign policy identity against rivals like JEB BUSH and MARCO RUBIO.” Walker is pledging he will be “demonstrably different from Bush on foreign policy by scuttling the Iran deal as soon as he took office.” http://bv.ms/1hI0U1x
PUNDITS PANNING: National Review: “China experts across the political spectrum are not keen on Republican presidential candidate SCOTT WALKER’s demand that President Obama cancel Chinese President Xi Jinping’s state visit to the White House. They’re calling the proposal, echoed on Wednesday by rival GOP contender CARLY FIORINA, both ‘childish’ and ‘harmful’ to U.S. credibility.” http://bit.ly/1PB5J7s
STRATEGIC TRUMPING: Time: “[ DONALD] TRUMP has been eating away at” SCOTT WALKER’s “poll numbers and tantalizing his fundraisers and supporters. Walker built his campaign on a melodramatic retelling of his courageous battles against the Wisconsin public sector unions, but as Trump has risen, bolder and brasher than anyone around him, the governor has been overshadowed…. Now Walker is trying to turn the page. The new strategy: show Republicans that he can out-Trump Trump without losing himself.” http://ti.me/1EYU8cy
CANTOR CORONATION: POLITICO’s Mike Allen scoops: Eric Cantor, former House majority leader, will endorse JEB BUSH on Thursday evening and will be named a Virginia state co-chair of his presidential campaign… Cantor was courted intensely by other candidates. Cantor retains a strong political network in Virginia, a key primary and swing state. And he has enviable connections among Jewish business leaders who can be key supporters and donors. http://politi.co/1LyQIlE
DYNASTY DRAMA: Washington Examiner: How bad is JEB BUSH’s Bush problem? A new Quinnipiac poll suggests it is very bad. The national survey shows Bush running well behind DONALD TRUMP and BEN CARSON, tied for third place … But that is not the most serious problem for Bush in the poll. … By far, the first word that the most people thought of about Jeb Bush was not a word at all, but rather his last name. What’s the first thing you think of when you think about Jeb? Bush. And then the next most common response was “family.” And then “brother” and “dynasty” and “George.” http://washex.am/1NDhYmd
CAROLINA CREW: Charlotte Observer: “U.S. Rep. Patrick McHenry on Thursday was named chair of Republican JEB BUSH’s North Carolina presidential campaign. And state Rep. Charles Jeter of Huntersville was named a co-chair along with Sens. Tom Apodaca of Hendersonville and Brent Jackson of Sampson County. Jonathan Felts, a former senior adviser to Gov. Pat McCrory, is the state campaign adviser. The state’s presidential primary is expected to be March 15.” http://bit.ly/1ElzoAP
SURVEYING THE 2016 LANDSCAPE
EVANGELICAL EDGE: WORLD Magazine: “Strong debate performances catapulted MARCO RUBIO and CARLY FIORINA forward by double-digit margins in the second WORLD evangelical insiders survey, while JEB BUSH slumped from second to fourth place. The findings are from a monthly survey of 103 evangelical leaders and insiders, 88 of whom participated in August … The results are not scientific or representative of all evangelicals, but they offer a snapshot of how a group of well-connected evangelicals are leaning in the 2016 election.” http://bit.ly/1NCrR3x
‘LIVES’ VOTE: BuzzFeed: The Democratic National Committee is expected on Friday to adopt a resolution expressing its support for the Black Lives Matter movement … The resolution … will be voted on by the full body during the general session on Friday at the DNC’s summer meetings in Minneapolis. The draft of the resolution mentions by name Patrisse Cullors, Opal Tometi, and Alicia Garza, the founders of the Black Lives Matter organization. http://bzfd.it/1LyQg6R
CHAFAGE: POLITICO’s Ben Schreckinger reports: “South Carolina’s Republican power brokers are facing a LINDSEY GRAHAM dilemma. Wide-open nominating contests don’t happen every day, and … few believe their senior senator has a real shot at being that nominee, but his operation has worked hard to lock down support in the state.” http://politi.co/1Jnl9dT
NEXT NEWS CYCLE
HILLARY CLINTON, MARTIN O’MALLEY, BERNIE SANDERS, LINCOLN CHAFEE, JIM WEBB and JOE BIDEN are in Minnesota for the DNC meeting.
JEB BUSH campaigns in Virginia.
SCOTT WALKER gives a foreign policy speech at the Citadel, in South Carolina.
MARCO RUBIO campaigns in South Carolina.
CHRIS CHRISTIE is slated to be in New Hampshire.
CARLY FIORINA is in Iowa.
THE DAILY NUMBER
61: That’s the percentage of Americans, per a new Quinnipiac poll, who say HILLARY CLINTON lacks honesty and trustworthiness. http://bit.ly/1fHZjXA
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