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• Scooby Doo or Scooby Don’t? Hillary tries for authenticity
• 2016 GOP Power Index: Rubio rises
• Boning up: Walker on weeklong Euro trip
• Congress starts six-week grind
• That sinking feeling
SCOOBY DOO OR SCOOBY DON’T? HILLARY TRIES FOR AUTHENTICITY
You know, Bill had always seemed to be the Clinton who would be more likely to have a van. But it’s Hillary who’s rolling out the official phase of her 2016 run from a passenger seat in a minivan bound for Iowa. The question is whether voters will see humility or pandering. What if you knew she plotted her campaign strategy at the beachfront estate of Oscar de la Renta in the Dominican Republic? Yeah… Media outlets are trying to find “Scooby,” Clinton’s purported nickname for the vehicle that started out on I-80 bound for a Tuesday afternoon event in Iowa. (Hint: It’s the one traveling in a Secret Service convoy.) One supposes that if reporters haven’t found the vehicle by then, the campaign will have to send up flares or tow a blimp just to make sure. Whatever it takes to get the helicopter shot of her and the Sisterhood of the Traveling Pantsuit as it rolls across the Mississippi.
[The Economist offers a nifty snapshot of Clinton’s popularity over the decades.]
In 2008, Clinton tried to create terror in her rivals by choppering in for big rallies, which reinforced what people already knew about her: She’s rich, she’s powerful and she plays to win. Always. This time, she’s going for an aura of humility and “putting you first.” She’s very much following the Madison Avenue playbook of the moment. If it hadn’t been Clinton who had popped up after 90 seconds in her video, it might have been the CEO of Bank of America of Google selling a new product. It’s not by accident that big businesses have mastered such demographically targeted, slickly earthy spots and spend millions to make them. Those kinds of warm and fuzzy videos are designed to soften the image of corporate leviathans. But sometimes artificial folksiness backfires.
[Watch Fox: Chief White House Correspondent Ed Henry reports on Hillary’s campaign events live from Monticello, IA]
The logistics of getting one of the world’s most famous and powerful people across a 1,000-mile road trip and looking camera-ready for a campaign event must be no mean feat. One would suppose that wherever Clinton overnights this evening, she will be met by her staff for full preparations. A 19-month drive to the presidency can’t start with bed head and gaffes. And having acknowledged that she cannot be herself and win, how will Clinton respond when herself splurps through the cracks in the folksy veneer? Unlike big corporations that can almost completely control their public interactions, Clinton will have to face dozens of interviews, some press conferences and near-daily commentaries on current events. Rather than yet another reinvention, Clinton may end up wishing she opted to be herself or at least a version not so painful to maintain.
Team Obama - Taking up a central theme of the newly announced Hillary Clinton campaign, President Obama will hit the road Tuesday to mark Equal Pay Day. Laying out what the White House calls “stark” differences with Republicans, the president will push Congress to pass the Paycheck Fairness Act, which the administration says would significantly strengthen the Equal Pay Act of 1963 and give women additional tools to fight pay discrimination.
Poll: Dems and indies don’t want a Hillary coronation - About three quarters of Democrats and independents don’t like the idea of a Clinton coronation, according to a Bloomberg poll. Asked if Hillary Clinton should face serious competition for the nomination, 72 percent said it would be a good thing for the Democratic Party. Overall, the national poll gave Clinton a 48 percent favorable rating versus 44 percent unfavorable. Asked if they would vote for Clinton if she were the nominee 39 percent of respondents, a plurality, said they would definitely not vote for here, as opposed to 18 percent who said they would definitely vote for her.
Warren, Biden address unions, enviros today - Vice President Joe Biden and Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., will both address a gathering of environmentalist and labor groups in Washington today. It will be the first opportunity for both to face the public in the wake of their party’s presumptive nominee.
“You may say [Hillary Clinton’s vote for the 2003 Iraq war was] 12 years ago – that’s a big motivator for me running. If you show a lack of judgment, lack of doing homework then, what can we expect in the future?” – Former Gov. Lincoln Chafee, D-R.I., in an interview with CNN in which he all but declared his candidacy.
Meet you at Moe’s, Marty - Baltimore Sun: “Saturday Night Live poked fun at O’Malley in its cold-opening sketch featuring actress Kate McKinnon as Hillary Clinton practicing her campaign announcement. ‘I’m sure I will face some stiff competition from my fellow Democrats,’ McKinnon-as-Clinton says into her phone taking a video. ‘People like Martin O’Malley who could really give me a run for my money,’ The faux Clinton breaks into a fit of laughter, apologizing for losing it at the mere mention of O’Malley’s name. ‘Martin O’Malley instead of me,’ she adds, ‘he sounds like a ‘Simpsons’ character.’”
2016 Democratic Power Index - 1) Hillary Clinton; 2) Martin O’Malley; 3) Joe Biden; 4) Jim Webb; 5) Elizabeth Warren
[Quite so - “The secretary of state, happily, is able to not be involved in the presidential hurly-burly.” – John Kerry, referring to himself in the third person, declining to comment to ABC News about Clinton’s candidacy.]
[Watch Fox: Chris Stirewalt joins “The Real Story” in the 2 p.m. ET hour with the latest on who’s up and who’s down in the 2016 Power Index.]
GOP Sixteeners were ready to respond
“…it’s critical that we change the direction our country is heading. We must do better than the Obama-Clinton foreign policy. That has damaged relationships with our allies and emboldened our enemies.” – Former Gov. Jeb Bush, R-Fla., in a video response.
“.@HillaryClinton has the same Washington-knows-best mentality people around the country are looking to move beyond.” – A tweet in a series of posts responding to Clinton’s announcement from Gov. Scott Walker, R-Wisc.
“We’re ready for Hillary. We know exactly what to expect. Hillary Clinton represents the failed policies of the past.’” – Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, in a video response.
“I think that would be a sexist response to say, ‘Oh, my goodness, she deserves not to be treated as aggressively, because she’s only a woman.’” – Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., in an interview with CNN.
[Paul also began airing a campaign ad in Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carolina and Nevada saying Clinton “represents the worst of the Washington machine.”]
“.@HillaryClinton Congrats. Your announcement makes me nostalgic for our days doing political battle in Arkansas... #ImStillStanding” – Former Gov. Mike Huckabee, R-Ark., via Twitter
WITH YOUR SECOND CUP OF COFFEE…
Ever feel like you want to disappear? You can try boiling a black cat, eating magic beans or perhaps employing digital camouflage or getting light waves to bend around you. The New Yorker takes a look at a book by British science writer Philip Ball who leads us on a journey through invisibility, from myth and early magicians, to quantum physics. “Invisibility looms large in the kingdom of childhood—in pretend play and imaginary friends, in fairy tales and comic books and other fictions for kids—but it seldom receives sustained adult scrutiny. And yet, once you get past the cloaks and the spells, invisibility is a consummately grownup matter. As a condition, a metaphor, a fantasy, and a technology, it helps us think about the composition of nature, the structure of society, and the deep weirdness of our human situation—about what it is like to be partly visible entities in a largely inscrutable universe.”
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Real Clear Politics Averages
Obama Job Approval: Approve – 45.6 percent//Disapprove – 49.9 percent
Direction of Country: Right Direction – 30.5 percent//Wrong Track – 60.8 percent
SQUEEZED FOR COVERAGE, RUBIO LOOKS TO CAPITALIZE ON CLINTON CONTRAST
Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., surely wouldn’t have opted to compete with Hillary Clinton for air time today. But it’s not all downside for the scrappy Senate freshman. In terms of juxtaposition, Clinton’s launch offers Rubio something to work with. While the presumptive Democratic nominee is intentionally trying to make her filing a pedestrian, downscale affair, Rubio’s entry as a young, Hispanic, enthusiastic and credible Republican will make something of a painful juxtaposition for Clinton.
Hot take - David Drucker is in Miami for the launch of the presidential campaign of Marco Rubio, so let’s let Drucker set the scene for today’s festivities whilst he is sweating through his pocket silks: “[Rubio] is poised to announce for president Monday from the ‘Ellis Island’ of South Florida in a lofty talk that asks Americans to break with the past and join him in reclaiming America for the next generation. Rubio’s carefully crafted 2016 rollout is set for downtown Miami’s Freedom Tower, which once processed Cuban refugees and is now a museum honoring their flight from Fidel Castro’s dictatorship.… The backdrop and timing…comes within days of President Obama’s historic handshake with Castro’s brother and successor, Cuban strongman Raul Castro…[and] one day after the launch of presumed Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton…”
[Watch Fox: Campaign Carl Cameron reports on Rubio’s announcement live from Miami]
Rubio bio box…
* 43 years old, born in Miami
* Parents, Mario Rubio and Oria Garcia, emigrated to the U.S. from Cuba in 1956
* University of Florida, B.A. 1993; University of Miami, J.D. 1996
* Florida House of Representatives, 2001-2009
* Speaker of the Florida House of Representatives, 2007-2009
* U.S. Senate, member since 2011
* Married Jeanette Dousdebes, 1998
* Four children
* Roman Catholic
Power Play: Baier tracks GOP launch trajectory - As Republican presidential hopefuls make their 2016 White House bids official, Fox News “Special Report” anchor Bret Baier joins Chris Stirewalt to discuss the effectiveness of campaign launch strategies and how hot issues, like Iran and ISIS, are helping some candidates and hurting others. WATCH HERE.
[Watch Fox: In an exclusive interview King Abdullah II says his country’s airstrikes against ISIS inside Syria and Iraq have not only continued, they have increased since a Jordanian pilot was killed by the jihadi extremist group. The king said he has not ruled out using ground troops inside Iraq. – Watch the interview tonight on “Special Report with Bret Baier” in the 6 p.m. ET hour.]
2016 GOP POWER INDEX: RUBIO RISES
1) Jeb Bush; 2) Scott Walker; 3) Marco Rubio [+1]; 4) Ted Cruz [+1]; 5) Rand Paul [-2]; 6) Mike Huckabee; 7) Carly Fiorina [+1]; 8) Rick Perry [+1]; 9) John Kasich [-2]; 10) Chris Christie
On the Radar - Ben Carson, Rick Santorum, Bobby Jindal
What would you say? - Give us your take on the GOP field and we will share the best and brightest with the whole class. Send your thoughts to FOXNEWSFIRST@FOXNEWS.COM
BONING UP: WALKER ON WEEKLONG EURO TRIP
Sheboygan Press: “Gov. Scott Walker is becoming something of a globe-trotter as world affairs loom large in the 2016 Republican presidential race and attention has been drawn to his early foreign policy stumbles. He began a weeklong visit to Germany, France and Spain on Friday, and in May plans to go to Israel, a touchstone for many U.S. politicians with presidential aspirations. Meantime his political group, Our American Revival, has bulked up on staffers to coach Walker on foreign policy, a gap in his resume as he considers entering the GOP presidential contest.”
[Rep. Sean Duffy (R-Wis.) told a crowd at Young America’s Foundation Midwest Conference Saturday that he is backing his fellow Wisconsinite Scott Walker for the GOP presidential nomination.]
On the money - Businesspeople turned candidates Carly Fiorina and Donald Trump will each deliver a keynote address today at the State Financial Officers spring meeting in Charleston, SC.
Kasich tries social justice pitch in Detroit - Gov. John Kasich heads to Detroit to show off his economic tips that have helped Ohio stay on a strong financial track. Kasich will address the Detroit Economic Club.
Christie to N.H. this week - WSJ: “After 134 town-hall meetings in New Jersey, Gov. Chris Christie is taking his show on the road for the first time. The potential 2016 Republican presidential candidate plans to hold town-hall meetings Wednesday and Friday in New Hampshire, home of the first-in-the-nation primary and a place that views the give and take between politicians and voters as a time-honored tradition.”
DEM PLUTOCRATS TARGET STATEHOUSE TAKEOVERS
WaPo: “A cadre of wealthy liberal donors aims to pour tens of millions of dollars into rebuilding the left’s political might in the states, racing to catch up with a decades-old conservative effort that has reshaped statehouses across the country. The plan embraced by the Democracy Alliance, an organization that advises some of the Democrats’ top contributors, puts an urgent new focus on financing groups that can help the party regain influence in time for the next congressional redistricting process, after the 2020 elections. … The five-year initiative, called 2020 Vision, will be discussed this week at a private conference being held at a San Francisco hotel for donors who participate in the Democracy Alliance.”
‘REV THE VOTE’ IS A RED STATE ANSWER TO ‘ROCK THE VOTE’
Wash Times: “A new nonprofit is hoping to rev up motor sports fans to participate in campaigns and elections, seeking partnerships with racing giants like NASCAR and support from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce in an effort that political strategists say could increase GOP voter turnout. The campaign, called ‘Rev the Vote,’ originally launched during the 2014 election cycle as a nonpartisan campaign to engage a passionate racing fan base in the political arena. The campaign, modeled after MTV’s hugely successful ‘Rock the Vote’ effort, partnered with the Chamber to connect race fans with easy-to-use voter tools in their home states. Although the campaign never made it across the finish line in the last cycle, organizers are gearing up for an even bigger launch this year and have already recruited two former congressmen - Reps. Connie Mack of Florida, a Republican, and Democrat Heath Shuler of North Carolina - for the board of directors.”
CONGRESS STARTS SIX-WEEK GRIND
PBS: “Racing the calendar, Senate leaders are pushing toward congressional approval of a bipartisan compromise that reshapes how Medicare pays physicians as lawmakers return from a spring break tangled up in domestic and foreign policy disputes. Republican and Democratic senators are trying to influence an emerging nuclear deal with Iran, and there’s a fight over abortion. Also, President Barack Obama is awaiting Senate action on his long-delayed nomination of federal prosecutor Loretta Lynch to become attorney general. For Senate Democrats, the two-week break proved tumultuous. Minority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., announced he will not run for re-election in 2016. Reid anointed Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., to succeed him, creating uncertainty over the rest of their leadership posts.”
Dems sounding iffy on Iran deal - The Hill: “Sen. Richard Blumenthal (Conn.), a Democratic co-sponsor of a bill to review any deal with Iran, said Sunday a framework agreement dealing with Iran's nuclear program lacks specificity on key issues. ‘The more we see of it, the less there seems to be agreement on,’ Blumenthal said in an interview with John Catsimatidis on his show ‘The Cats Roundtable’ in New York. While President Obama has suggested sanctions on Iran won't be lifted until new limits on Tehran's nuclear program are in place for some time, Iran's supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, has demanded sanctions be immediately lifted, the lawmaker noted.”
THAT SINKING FEELING
Burlington (Vt.) Free Press: “Two men who were practicing landing and taking off from the ice on Lake Champlain escaped injury Saturday afternoon when their small aircraft began to sink through the surface between Milton and South Hero, a Vermont aeronautics official said. … The plane, a four-seat Cessna 172 based at Burlington International Airport, landed about three-quarters of a mile offshore from the Department of Fish and Wildlife's Van Everest fishing access in Milton. ‘Apparently, they were unable to depart the ice after they landed,’ said Guy Rouelle, aeronautics administrator with Vermont Aviation, a division of the Agency of Transportation. The pilot and passenger had to traverse melting ice, at times trudging through 3 to 4 feet of water, to reach solid ground, where rescue crews met them, [Milton Fire Chief Don Turner] said. A strong wind was whipping off the frozen lake from west to east, cooling the air considerably even in the warm spring sun.”
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 FoxNews.com. 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.