Fox News First

Fox News is ready for Hillary

HiIlary Clinton listens before signing a copy of her book, Hard Choices, on Tuesday June 10, 2014, at Barnes and Noble bookstore in New York.

HiIlary Clinton listens before signing a copy of her book, Hard Choices, on Tuesday June 10, 2014, at Barnes and Noble bookstore in New York.  (AP)

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Buzz Cut:
• Fox News is ready for Hillary
• With Hillary on hot seat, Obama looks for friendly faces
• Barack Milhous Obama
• J.C. Watts steps up for Shannon in Okla. showdown
• Though the dog, for one, was probably relieved

So here’s the scene -
The Brits are ready to go back to regular relations with Iran in the latest sign that the Islamist country, still officially a pariah state in the eyes of the U.S. government, is going mainstream. Everyone is so chipper about the mullahs these days not because of an outbreak of moderation in Tehran, but because of what’s going on in Iraq. Across the border, a jihadi army is making yet new gains in its push to establish an Islamist state even more radical than the one in Iran. There’s more good news for hardliners in Iran: The Iraqi government, the same one midwifed by the United States, is out denouncing the longtime U.S. allies in Saudi Arabia as “responsible” for the siege. That’s a vicious charge and one that shows Iraq spinning farther into Iran’s orbit. It also contradicts a report to the State Department on Iran’s own longstanding efforts to destabilize Iraq. Not an ideal time to be out touting the foreign policy achievements of the Obama administration, right? But as Hillary Clinton would surely tell you, she’s not one to shy away from a challenge.

[The latest Fox News poll shows that voters disapprove of President Obama’s foreign policy 56 to 34 percent, from June 1-3.]

The deets – The interview, pegged to the rollout of Clinton’s foreign policy campaign tome “Hard Choices” begins tonight in “Special Report with Bret Baier” which airs 6 p.m. ET. The Clinton interview will carry over into “On the Record with Greta Van Susteren” which begins at 7 p.m. ET.

Baier Tracks: Prep work… - “I think I am safe in speaking for Greta to say that we are very much looking forward to talking with former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton tonight. And the interview certainly comes at a significant moment. Secretary Clinton’s time in the Obama administration gives her a unique position from which to provide valuable insight to a number of things happening right now. And while some of those have been discussed, there is much more to delve into that is not in her book – and which has not been followed-up on in various interviews. To make the most of our 30 minutes with the former first lady, Greta and I will split the questioning into four parts: 7 minutes for me, 7 minutes for Greta, 8 minutes for me and 8 minutes for Greta. We hope you'll tune in.” – Bret Baier

[Clinton’s last interview on Fox News Channel was with Van Susteren in January 2013. Her husband, however, has a different kind of experience.]

They were warned - Fox News: “Counterterrorism officials warned about Iran’s meddling in Iraq as part of its report on state sponsors of terrorism.  ‘Despite its pledge to support Iraq’s stabilization, Iran trained, funded, and provided guidance to Iraqi Shia militant groups,’ the report said.”

[An ABC News/Washington Post poll conducted two weeks ago found 59 percent of registered voters approved of Hillary Clinton’s foreign policy, an 8-point drop since she left her post as secretary of State.]

What Hillary may be debating in 2016 - New Yorker’s Dexter Filkins ponders what the future may hold in Iraq: “It is not difficult to imagine a multinational war, fought along a five-hundred-mile front, and along sectarian lines, waged ultimately for regional supremacy.”

Hillary’s unified theory of modern political history -
“If you take the eight years of Bill Clinton, the eight years of Barak Obama and you compare it to the eight years of [Ronald Reagan] the eight, the eight years of [George W. Bush]. The country was so much better off with progressive, energetic, Democratic presidents. The economy was stronger. Out fiscal health was much better ordered. We are starting to get heath care, something [British people] take for granted” – Hillary Clinton in a BBC interview last week. Watch full interview here.

Channels Bush - In Hillary Clinton’s literary interview with the New York Times Book Review, Hillary the author sounds an awful lot like Hillary the politician. Asked for her literary influences, Clinton knowingly gave the safest answer: “At the risk of appearing predictable, the Bible was and remains the biggest influence on my thinking. I was raised reading it, memorizing passages from it and being guided by it.”

Whatever could she mean? - AP: “Clinton told [German] weekly Stern that the U.S. lags behind countries such as Germany, Chile and Brazil because it’s never had a woman as head of state or government. In excerpts published Monday, Clinton is quoted as saying that she ‘will do everything I can to make that happen.’”

Clinton ducks on pipeline in Canada - AP: “Clinton made a speech in Toronto on Monday … before taking questions from Frank McKenna, Canada’s former ambassador to the U.S. McKenna noted the Obama administration’s delayed decision… Clinton says she ‘did not see it nor should it be a proxy for the relationship. It is after all one pipeline.’”

Missed expectations - Although Barnes & Noble reports Hillary Clinton’s campaign tome is a “best seller,” sales are not living up to expectations. Weekly Standard: “…‘Between us, they are nervous at [Simon & Schuster],’ says the source, who gave permission for his email to be published. ‘Sales were well below expectations and the media was a disaster.’ According to this source, a Simon & Schuster insider, ‘They sold 60,000 hard covers first week and 24,000 ebooks.’ The publishing house was ‘hoping and praying for 150,000 print first week.’…It's been reported that one million copies of Clinton's book were shipped weeks before the June 10 publication date. ‘They will be lucky to sell 150,000 total lifetime,’ the source writes in the email.”

With Hillary Clinton left to defend on the campaign trail a foreign policy beset on all sides, what is the commander in chief up to? Rallying his base and raising bucks. President Obama will be courting donors at a New York City lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender gala and headlining fundraising events for Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid’s political action committee and another one at the home of “Vogue” editor and close Obama ally, Anna Wintour. Obama will come bearing gifts, too. He is getting ready to sign an executive order with new protections for non-heterosexual employees of federal contractors. The move is likely largely symbolic given the existing polices of major government contractors. The Hawaii-born president also plans to announce a major federal land grab, closing off a huge chunk of the central Pacific Ocean to energy exploration, a move sure to please big-time donors.

Hillary Clinton
’s first job in Washington after graduating from Yale Law School was as a staffer for the Democrats on the House Judiciary Committee in 1974 drawing up articles impeachment against President Richard Nixon. So she might have read with interest Peggy Noonan’s juxtaposition of the Watergate scandal and the current scandal over the targeting of President Obama’s political enemies by the IRS: “The 18½ minutes of destroyed evidence had a galvanizing effect on an already galvanized national scandal. ….And Richard Nixon’s government of course came crashing down, as did he. Why is this pertinent? Because the Obama administration is experiencing what appears to be its own Eighteen-and-a-Half Minute moment. In a truly stunning development in the Internal Revenue Service scandal, the agency last week informed Congress that more than two years’ of Lois Lerner’s email communications with those outside that agency—from 2009 to 2011, meaning the key years at the heart of the targeting-of-conservatives scandal—have gone missing. Quite strangely. The IRS says it cannot locate them. The reason is that Lerner’s computer crashed.”

[Today is the anniversary of the 1972 arrests for breaking and entering at the Watergate office building that began the long, slow unraveling of the Nixon presidency.]

Not the light most favorable to the defendant - Washington attorney Cleta Mitchell, who represents True the Vote, a conservative group targeted by IRS, released a letter she sent to the Justice Department on the revelation that the IRS has “lost” former agency executive Lois Lerner’s hard drive which includes thousands of Lerner’s e-mail records. From Powerline, the Mitchell letter says: “Federal courts have held, in the context of trial, that the bad faith destruction of evidence relevant to proof of an issue gives rise to an inference that production of the evidence would have been unfavorable to the party responsible for its destruction.”

[Watch Fox: Cleta Mitchell will be a guest on “The Kelly File” tonight, in the 9 p.m. ET hour]

Whatever you think about the hurly-burley of technological change in our society, it’s nearly indisputable that we live in a golden age of music. Not only are people discovering new styles and sounds, but musicians are free to collaborate and innovate. Musician Gary Moskowitz explains part of the phenomenon for The Atlantic: “I’ve joined half a dozen bands almost entirely through Craigslist and similar sites like Gumtree, Musolist, and others. As a result, I’ve performed and recorded lots of music with complete strangers. Some of those strangers have since become close friends and tour mates, some I’ve known only briefly, and some I’ve had arguments with and will probably never play music with or see again. It starts out simple enough: I post an ad that says ‘Trumpet Player Available.’ Then the responses land in my inbox. Some get to the point quickly: ‘Can you play like Miles Davis?’ ‘Nobody over 30.’”

Got a TIP from the RIGHT or LEFT? Email FoxNewsFirst@FOXNEWS.COM

Real Clear Politics Averages
Obama Job Approval
: Approve –  42.5 percent//Disapprove – 53.5 percent
Direction of Country: Right Direction – 29.1 percent//Wrong Track – 63.6 percent
Generic Congressional Ballot:  Democrats – 42 percent// Republicans 42 percent

Former Rep. J.C. Watts, R-Okla., who endorsed Oklahoma state Representative and Senate hopeful T.W. Shannon against Rep. James Lankford, R-Okla., in the race to succeed retiring Sen. Tom Coburn, R-Okla., appears in a new ad discrediting the ‘false attacks’ against Shannon. “I know T.W. We have broken bread together, prayed together and worked together for the conservative cause.” Watts continues, “Now negative ads try to destroy his record. The truth? T.W. Shannon will opposed more debt and fight to balance the budget.” Shannon and Lankford face off in the June 24 primary.

Des Moines Register: “A new attack ad by Republican U.S. Senate candidateJoni Ernst says her Democratic opponent is making ‘false attacks.’ ‘Washington politician Bruce Braley is already running a dirty campaign,’ a male narrator says as an image pops on screen of Braley in Congress. ‘He insults farmers. His ads? Called sexist. He even mocked Chuck Grassley for not having a law degree. The press call Braley’s attacks elitist, false, misleading… Ernst, a three-year state senator from rural southwest Iowa, and Braley, a seven-year congressman from Waterloo, are competing to replace retiring U.S. Sen. Tom Harkin [D-Iowa], in a high-stakes race being closely followed nationally. The negative campaigning began the day after Ernst won the five-way GOP primary earlier this month.”

The (Louisville) Courier-Journal: “Showing that she can’t talk about coal enough, Alison Lundergan Grimes, on Monday, released photos of her trip Friday to an underground coal mine in Floyd County. The photos and her ubiquitous attack on U.S. Sen. Mitch McConnell -- saying he hasn’t done enough to protect Kentucky coal mining jobs over the past 30 years -- comes as the race centers more and more around what was once Kentucky’s signature industry.”

Grimes accused of ‘lie’ about coal - The Kentucky Opportunity Coalition released a new TV ad that will hit Kentucky airwaves today. “Alison Grimes just got caught in a big lie. Before a Washington fundraiser with anti-coal Senate boss Harry Reid, Grimes insisted she’d fight for Kentucky coal,” a narrator says. “Turns out she lied, Grimes didn’t mention coal, not one word.” Grimes challenges Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell in November.

Republicans are setting their sights on at least six seats to gain control of the Senate. Which Democratic held seats are the most likely GOP pickups? The current consensus among Fox News First readers: Arkansas, Montana, Louisiana, South Dakota, North Carolina and West Virginia. Fox News First reader Judy Keller from Lafayette, La. says, “Most are not amused by [Sen. Mary Landrieu, D-La.] and her father’s “cutesy” ads, but don’t sell her short just yet. Just like [House Majority Leader Eric Cantor], she only knows us at election time.”

Share your top six picks. Email them – just your top six, please – to FOXNEWSFIRST@FOXNEWS.COM or tweet @cstirewalt.

WaPo: “A leading super PAC spending money on behalf of Democratic candidates for U.S. House just reserved about $6.2 million in fall TV airtime in 22 media markets, bringing its total investment for the fall ad war to more than $12.6 million. The group...reserved more than $800,000 in the Sacramento media market, which spans the districts of Democratic Reps. John Garamendi and Ami Bera, among others...In West Virginia's 3rd district, where Rep. Nick Rahall (D) is trying to fend off a challenge from state Sen. Evan Jenkins (R), House Majority PAC made its first fall reservation. The group has reserved more than $900,000 in markets covering Rahall's district.”

NRCC raised $900,000 on Monday - Roll Call: “The National Republican Congressional Committee raised $900,000 Monday at its annual House leadership fundraiser in Manhattan, according to a source familiar with the event. Speaker John A. Boehner, Majority Leader Eric Cantor and Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy were all in attendance at the New York City event, held just days before the House GOP conference will hold leadership elections.”

Out of the blind - AP: “A nephew of ‘Duck Dynasty’s’ Phil Robertson says he is running for the Louisiana congressional seat held by Vance McAllister, who was elected with the TV family’s support and later was wrapped up in scandal when video surfaced showing him kissing a married staffer.”

Gohmert wants study post - Daily Caller: “Texas Rep. Louie Gohmert is telling colleagues that he plans to run for chairman of the Republican Study Committee, the caucus of GOP lawmakers that promotes conservative principles in the House of Representatives. It’s up in the air when the next election for RSC chairman will take place: Its current chairman, Louisiana Rep. Steve Scalise, is running for House majority whip. If he wins that contest, the election to replace him could be soon. If not, the committee will elect a new leader after the midterm elections this fall.”

After MoDo shared her “scary experience” when she ate an entire pot candy bar in Denver, Colorado officials are reviewing the potency of edible marijuana treats. USAT: “A statewide working group is meeting Wednesday for a fourth and final time before proposed rules on the issue are made public -- most likely in the next couple of months...”

WAVE: “A small house fire spread quickly when a [Louisville] woman tried to extinguish it with water from her dog’s bowl, not knowing that her daughter had filled the bowl with gasoline. Investigators say that a 3-year-old girl mistakenly filled the water bowl with gas from a nearby canister. When the mother discovered a small fire in the rear of their S. Shelby Street home, she quickly grabbed the bowl and threw the gasoline on the fire, Maj. Rob Milliner of Louisville Fire and Rescue said…. It took about an hour for crews to put out the fire, which had spread to the neighbor's house. Nobody was hurt at either house.”

“When [President Obama] left, he said, ‘we’ve ended the war. I’ve left behind a stable and secure and sovereign Iraq.’ He did not. The fact is, that it was relatively stable and secure as a result of that fact that Americans were deeply involved. He removed the involvement, he removed the glue, and now he has to undo that, at least in part… It isn’t as if the situation is hopeless, but simply asking that [Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki] reform himself overnight, is not going to work.” Charles Krauthammer on “Special Report w/ Bret Baier” Watch here.

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 politics editor based in Washington, D.C. Additionally, he authors the daily Fox News Halftime Report political news note and co-hosts the hit podcast, Perino & Stirewalt: I'll Tell You What. He also is the host of Power Play, a feature video series on Stirewalt makes frequent appearances on network programs, including America’s Newsroom, Special Report with Bret Baier and Fox News Sunday with Chris Wallace. He also provides expert political analysis for FNC’s coverage of state, congressional and presidential elections.