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• Hold the stinkburger: Hillary denounces ‘pure partisanship’
• ObamaCare still crashing
• Power Play races to watch
• History reconsiders Bush the elder
HOLD THE STINKBURGER: HILLARY DENOUNCES ‘PURE PARTISANSHIP’
Listening to 2016 Democratic frontrunner Hillary Clinton’s comments to a women’s group on Thursday, one might be tempted to forget that she is famous as one of the nastiest campaigners and most vindictive politicians in the game – and has been for a long time. At the Women in the World summit in the New York honing her pitch to be the nation’s first female president, Clinton lamented “pure ideology, pure partisanship” in American politics today and warned that “we cannot afford to have people who deny the right and the need for compromise.” It’s a good pitch for Clinton who needs to soften her political image and develop a rationale beyond her gender and 90s nostalgia for voters to grant a third Clinton term in the White House. But it’s not very good for President Obama who, halfway across the country, was escalating his partisan attacks to a new, weird level.
[Dems join GOP for ObamaCare changes - Eighteen Democrats joined with House Republicans in voting to scrap ObamaCare’s 30 hour-a-week definition of full time work. More.]
This stinkburger tastes gamy - While Clinton was oozing bipartisanship in New York, Obama went to the University of Michigan this week to attack Republican (but not Democratic) opponents of his call to increase the federal minimum wage by 40 percent. How about Republican counterproposals like the fiscal plan on offer from House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan? If it was a sandwich at a local delicatessen, Obama said, Ryan’s plan would have to be called “the stinkburger” or the “Meanwich.” Keeping with the attack mode of taunting GOPers as he did in his remarks Tuesday celebrating the end (kind of) of the open enrollment period for his health-insurance entitlement program, Obama was revving up the base with just the kind of “pure partisanship” decried by Obama’s 2008 rival and prospective successor. This dichotomy is likely to only get worse as Democrats face a difficult choice in a difficult election year: embrace the base with Obama-style attacks or run to the middle, a la Clinton. As Hillary Clinton’s husband hits the campaign trail in Arkansas this weekend, which do you suppose he will be selling?
[Byron York looks at emerging fissures in the coalition supporting the immigration overhaul backed by President Obama.]
Bubba stumps – America’s favorite Democrat, former President Bill Clinton, will be campaigning in his native Arkansas this weekend. Arkansas, by the way, is home to one of the Democrats who oppose Obama’s minimum-wage hike, the highly vulnerable Sen. Mark Pryor, D-Ark. Arkansas also has a state-level alternative to Obama’s minimum wage plan designed to protect low-income jobs. The 42nd president will campaign for his former head of Emergency Management., James Lee Witt who is seeking Rep. Tom Cotton’s, R-Ark., House seat as Cotton takes on Pryor. Clinton heads to Little Rock on Sunday to campaign for Democratic Mayor Pat Hays. The high pressure from expected midterm losses, compounded by 2016 positioning, is threatening to break apart what remains of the Obama’s once-doughty coalition.
[Inky and Hinky - Noonan: “Given a program whose complexity is so utter and defeating that it defies any normal human attempt at comprehension, two things will happen. Those inclined to like the spirit of the thing will support it on the assumption the government knows what it’s doing. And the opposition will find it difficult to effectively oppose – or repeal the thing – because of the program's bureaucratic density and complexity. It's like wrestling a manic, many-armed squid in ink-darkened water.”]
OBAMACARE STILL CRASHING
Enrollments trail cancellations in Maryland - CNSNews: “The head of the Maryland Health Insurance Exchange testified Thursday before the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee that only 60,000 people have signed up for Obamacare through the state’s exchange - 13,000 less than the number of individuals reported to lose their insurance due to Obamacare.”
State blight roundup - WSJ: “Oregon's website still isn't fully functional: Applicants can't secure a policy without a worker finishing the task by hand. Maryland this week voted to scrap its exchange and build a new one at an expected cost of $40 million to $50 million. Hawaii's exchange has attracted just 7,242 enrollees, not enough to keep it financially viable in the long run, state officials said. The exchange also is struggling to process a backlog of 11,000 applicants who didn't get coverage by the March 31 enrollment deadline.”
Insurance lockout - AP: “Many people who didn't sign up during the government's open enrollment period that ended Monday will soon find it difficult or impossible to get insured this year, even if they go directly to a private company and money is no object. For some it's already too late. With limited exceptions, insurers are refusing to sell to individuals after the enrollment period for HealthCare.gov and the state marketplaces. They will lock out the young and healthy as well as the sick or injured.”
Deadline redux - Fox News: “The White House announced Thursday that April 15 will be the new deadline to sign up for ObamaCare. The two-week extension came after a series of technical glitches earlier in the week prevented people from filing new online applications. According to the Department of Health and Human Services, more than 100,000 people were using the system on March 31 – the previous deadline to sign up for President Obama’s signature [law].”
RIGHT TIME, WRONG PLACE…
WaPo: “After he’d finished a lengthy opening to his question, a staffer slipped [Sen. Dan Coats, R-Ind.] a piece of paper. Coats read it to himself, looked up, and said, ‘I just got a note saying I’m at the wrong hearing’…”
[Wow - “I think the American people should know that the members of Congress are underpaid…I understand that it’s widely felt that they underperform, but the fact is that this is the board of directors for the largest economic entity in the world.”-- Rep. Jim Moran, D-Va., in an interview Thursday with Roll Call.]
FOX NEWS SUNDAY: SOLDIER SAFETY IN FOCUS
In the wake of another tragic shooting at Ft. Hood, host Chris Wallace discusses safety and security at our nation’s military installations with House Homeland Security head Rep. Mike McCaul, R-Texas and Senate Armed Services committee member, Sen. Tim Kaine, D-Va. “Fox News Sunday with Chris Wallace” airs at 2 p.m. and 6 p.m. ET on Fox News. Check local listings for air times in your area.
WITH YOUR SECOND CUP OF COFFEE...
When Americans look up from their social media streams long enough to consider the future, we mostly seem to envision worlds populated by zombies or other dystopian opportunities for individual heroism. It was not always so. This summer will mark the 50th anniversary of the New York World’s Fair, which sprang from and helped shape a Midcentury culture not only obsessed with futurism but imbued with the belief that the toil and strife that had marked every chapter of human history could be swept away by ever more prosperity and technology. Americans of the era seem largely to have believed that the future would be like their present, in which Postwar affluence, common purpose and the wonders of science would produce the culture of which Progressives had long dreamed. Until James Rosen no doubt one day writes an even better book on the topic, we will have “Tomorrow-Land” from Joseph Tirella, a historian whose native Queens played host to the fair. Lauren Zelt reviews Tirella’s work for The Weekly Standard, harkening to a time when 51 million people in a nation of 190 million would come to marvel at the mirage of a future that seemed so real.
Got a TIP from the RIGHT or LEFT? Email FoxNewsFirst@FOXNEWS.COM
Real Clear Politics Averages
Obama Job Approval: Approve – 43.2 percent//Disapprove – 52.6 percent
Direction of Country: Right Direction – 30 percent//Wrong Track – 61.8 percent
Generic Congressional Ballot: Democrats – 41 percent// Republicans 39.4 percent
POWER PLAY: POLITICAL PROS WITH POWERS AND ROLLINS
In this week’s edition of “Power Play with Chris Stirewalt: Political Pros” Republican Consultant Ed Rollins and Fox News contributor Kirsten Powers give us their take on the pivotal Senate races in Iowa and Georgia. Click here for some great insight from our political power players.
BRALEY WANTS OUT OF IOWA WOODSHED
Facing reporters for the first time since his videotaped gaffe belittling Iowa farmers, Democratic Senate candidate Rep. Bruce Braley, D-Iowa, leaned on his rural family upbringing to try to soften the blow with voters. “I made a mistake. Braley said. “And good people who listened to my comments – people who I respect and admire – were upset by what I said. If my dad were still alive, he'd probably be telling me not to get too big for my britches.… My parents both grew up on Iowa farms during the Great Depression. It deeply influenced who they are and who I am, and gave me a profound appreciation for what Iowa farmers do for the world” Des Moines Register has more.
Sister state support - Weekly Standard: “Nebraska senator Deb Fischer will travel next door to Iowa in support of a fellow female Republican running in a tough primary for U.S. Senate. According to a press release from ShePAC, a conservative women’s group, Fischer will go to Des Moines later this month to campaign for Joni Ernst, who is running for the seat currently held by retiring Democrat Tom Harkin. Ernst is locked in a primary battle with four other Republican candidates, including leading candidate Mark Jacobs.”
[Iowa Republican Senate contender Mark Jacobs displays the “extra effort” he put in as paper boy in his latest ad.]
SASSE BOASTS CASH IN NEBRASKA SENATE RACE
Midland University president Ben Sasse raised over $850,000 with over $1 million cash on hand in the first three months of the year ahead of Nebraska’s GOP Senate primary. Sasse is chasing frontrunner, former state Treasurer Shane Osborn who announced a $550,000 cash haul earlier this week, but today updated his claim to $610,000 raised in the quarter with $715,000 on hand.
SOUTH DAKOTA CASH ABOUNDS FOR ROUNDS
Argus [S.D.] Leader: “U.S. Senate candidate Mike Rounds had his best fundraising quarter to date, his campaign says. Rounds' campaign manager Rob Skjonsberg said in an email that Rounds expects to report around $730,000 in total fundraising receipts for January through March. That’s more than Rounds has raised in a three-month period since entering the race.”
[Splitsville? - The Hill: “A second independent candidate is jumping into the South Dakota Senate race, but former state Sen. Gordon Howie is running as an avowed conservative.”]
PERDUE’S OUTSIDE PITCH
Georgia Republican Senate hopeful David Perdue is using his business experience to sell himself as Washington outsider in his latest ad. The ad begins with a field of whining babies in from the U.S. Capitol before Perdue appears saying, “I’ve never run for office but I have over 40 years of experience in the real world…Real world change sometimes takes an outside perspective. Just like it did at Reebok and Dollar General…”
[Republican challenger Jack Kingston has launched an ad featuring a President Obama impersonator leaving a voicemail asking him to back off his fight against Obama’s health law.]
MANESS LINKS CASSIDY TO LANDRIEU IN LATEST AD
In his latest ad, Louisiana Republican Senate challenger Bob Maness ties Rep. Bill Cassidy, R-La., to Sen. Mary Landrieu, D-La., saying both hang out saying both hangout in Washington’s K Street “Lobbyist Alley” while Maness hangs out with “us regular folks” in Madisonville, La. The ad further touts his military record and service distinctions.
WV DEM UNDERDOG TO GET HELP FROM HEITKAMP
Roll Call: “ [Sen. Heidi Heitkamp, D-N.D.] will headline three fundraisers in Morgantown and Charleston on Friday and Saturday for West Virginia Secretary of State Natalie Tennant, a Democrat trying to hold one of the party’s most vulnerable open seats. The freshman senator will also join Tennant in meetings with young Democrats and state energy leaders, according to the campaign.”
PICK SIX: FRANKEN ON THE FRITZ?
Republicans are hoping to pick up six seats to gain control of the Senate this November. Which Democratic-held seats will prove to be the most likely flips for the red team? Based on your tweets and e-mails, the current consensus among Fox News First readers is: Arkansas, Montana, Louisiana, South Dakota, North Carolina and West Virginia. But reader E. Hyatt argues recent polling showing the vulnerability of Sen. Al Franken, D-Minn., should put the North Star State on the list.
[Minnesota Republican Senate hopeful Mike McFadden’s campaign tells BuzzFeed it made a mistake in using an image of Agawa Bay in Ontario, Canada as a backdrop for McFadden’s Web site. “We’re not a typical campaign and we’re willing to admit when we’ve made a mistake.”]
Share your top six picks. Email them – just your top six, please – to FOXNEWSFIRST@FOXNEWS.COM or tweet @cstirewalt.
Pick your bracket buster - Until the end of the NCAA men’s basketball tournament, Fox News First wants you to pick your midterm bracket busters. Choose a candidate who looks like an easy out on paper but who you just know isn’t a sure lock. Tweet your long shot selections to @cstirewalt and we’ll share the best ones here.
HOUSE SPEAKER MAKES FIRST AD SPLASH IN FOUR YEARS
AP: “[House Speaker John Boehner] plans to spend $125,000 for two weeks of ads in southwest Ohio. While Boehner is expected to easily win his primary and then his November re-election, the ad buy represents the first time the GOP leader is airing commercials in his Cincinnati-area district since 2010. … Boehner aides cast the decision to buy television ads as a way to help the Ohio Republican Party and candidates running for lower offices, such as county commissioner or township trustees…”
WILL OBAMA DIG DEEPER FOR BIG DONORS DOLLARS?
The Hill: “The White House wouldn't say Thursday whether President Obama would use Wednesday's Supreme Court decision on campaign financing to solicit donations from those who would have maxed out under existing rules. The White House denounced the 5-4 ruling overturning caps on aggregate campaign giving, but press secretary Jay Carney didn’t rule out the president hitting up high-dollar donors to max out on behalf of Democratic candidates.”
[Washington Free Beacon - Reid Attacks Koch for Offenses Committed by Reid Donors]
#mediabuzz: BOB BECKEL, THE LOYAL OPPOSITION
Host Howard Kurtz’s special guest is Bob Beckel, who talks about life as a lonely liberal on “The Five” along with the media coverage of the Obama presidency. Plus, The Blaze’s Amy Holmes, Democratic blogger John Aravosis and Fox News contributor Lauren Ashburn. And buzz some more with The Hollywood Reporter’s TV reporter, Marisa Guthrie. Watch “#mediabuzz” Sunday at 11 a.m. ET, with a second airing at 5 p.m.
#followfriday w/@laurenashburn - With the latest Supreme Court decision allowing wealthy liberal or conservative donors to contribute to as many candidates as they want, here are some leading legal lights to follow: @shannonbream covers the court for @foxnews and is the anchor of “America’s News Headquarters” on Sundays from 12-2 p.m. ET. @VolokhC stands for the Volokh Conspiracy, a blog founded by UCLA law professor Eugene Volokh who is a conservative legal scholar. The blog was acquired recently by @washingtonpost. @dahlialithwick is a liberal columnist who writes about the courts and law for @slate. She wrote, “Justice Roberts doesn’t care that money corrupts politics.”—Check out Lauren Ashburn’s “Top Twitter Talk” here.
HISTORY RECONSIDERS BUSH THE ELDER
NYT looks at how history is growing fonder of former President George H. W. Bush: “As it happens, history is not done with Mr. Bush, at least not if his advocates have anything to say about it. More than 800 supporters, allies, aides and even former opponents of Mr. Bush, the 41st president, will gather in College Station, Tex., on Friday for a three-day reunion to mark the 25th anniversary of the first Bush administration and try to burnish its legacy along the way…”
[43 has his debut - WSJ: “George W. Bush is hoping to shine some light on his foreign policy efforts as president with a new art exhibit—his own. The former president will unveil on Friday more than 24 portraits of world leaders he painted.”]
IF ONLY SOMEONE HAD THOUGHT OF WRITING THINGS DOWN BEFORE!
Ever wish for something more permanent in our ephemeral Internet world of clever tweets than just “liking” them? If you have, there may be something more tangible out there, for a price of course. Inspired by this tweet, Brian Thompson, a writer and marketing pro, decided to act on his wife’s frustration over his Twitter obsession and launched #PermanentRetweet on April 1 (not a prank says he). “If you really, really like a tweet, you now can get it laser-etched onto a small piece of wood or metal,” Yahoo news reports. Thompson’s custom “permanent tweets’ cost $20 for wood, $25 for metal. The entrepreneur also offers the tweet that inspired him to customers. “’That tweet,’ Thompson told Yahoo, ‘just got me off my ass to actually execute the idea.’… As for his wife’s point about Thompson being a little too distracted by Twitter? ‘Of course,’ he concedes, ‘now I probably spend more time looking for great tweets, so that backfired on her.’”
Chris Stirewalt is digital politics editor for Fox News. Want FOX News First in your inbox every day? Sign up here.
Chris Stirewalt joined Fox News Channel (FNC) in July of 2010 and serves as digital politics editor based in Washington, D.C. Additionally, he authors the daily "Fox News First" political news note and hosts "Power Play," a feature video series, on FoxNews.com. Stirewalt makes frequent appearances on the network, including "The Kelly File," "Special Report with Bret Baier," and "Fox News Sunday with Chris Wallace." He also provides expert political analysis for Fox News coverage of state, congressional and presidential elections.