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• Wait. What? Hillary calls for ‘restoring trust’ in politics
• Clintons didn’t disclose donations tied to uranium deal figure
• Big speech today in Jeb’s evangelical outreach
• Rubio Israel amendment could kill Iran deal
• She’s a lowrider
WAIT. WHAT? HILLARY CALLS FOR ‘RESTORING TRUST’ IN POLITICS
Facing a scandal that threatens to capsize her quest to return to the White House, Hillary Clinton debuted her first major policy speech since the official launch of her current campaign. Clinton focused on a call to end “mass incarceration” in America and denounced racial injustice in the legal system, but her focus was on the question of “trust” saying “we must urgently rebuild the bonds of trust and respect among Americans. …Restoring trust in our politics, our press, our markets.” That’s a pretty tall order for a woman who is now widely distrusted by the American electorate and facing accusations that she and her husband raked in part of their massive fortune through payola from people doing business with her State Department. Remember the last time Clinton spoke in so public a setting in New York, she was explaining that she had destroyed 31,000 emails from her time in office.
It’s quite a switch for Clinton to join President Obama and Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., in anti-imprisonment crusade. Clinton has long heralded the tough-on-crime policies of her husband’s administration – laws credited with helping to end the bloody drug turf wars of the 1990s but blamed for a booming black prison population. Under the Clinton administration, federal prosecutors stepped up drug prosecutions and today, and today most federal inmates are behind bars for drug offenses. Facing pressure from her left and a skeptical black electorate, Clinton had no trouble making the reversal.
Clinton swung hard on the subject and seemed to score – at least with reporters. One called her speech “truly remarkable” and another called it “compelling.” But how about the issue of moral authority? Clinton is no doubt right that Americans, and not just black Americans, have lost confidence in the basic institutions of the Republic. What is unclear is how a woman who has been at the core of the bipartisan establishment for decades and is embroiled in what is only the latest corruption scandal of her long career can credibly claim the mantle of change. The candidate who is famous for shady dealing and intense secrecy doesn’t sound like the one to make the pitch for reform.
CLINTONS DIDN’T DISCLOSE DONATIONS TIED TO URANIUM DEAL FIGURE
Bloomberg: “There are in fact 1,100 undisclosed donors to the Clinton Foundation, [Frank Giustra] says, most of them non-U.S. residents who donated to CGEP. ‘All of the money that was raised by CGEP flowed through to the Clinton Foundation—every penny—and went to the [charitable] initiatives we identified,’ he says. The reason this is a politically explosive revelation is because the Clinton Foundation promised to disclose its donors as a condition of Hillary Clinton becoming secretary of state. Shortly after Barack Obama was elected president in 2008, the Clinton Foundation signed a ‘memorandum of understanding’ with the Obama White House agreeing to reveal its contributors every year. The agreement stipulates that the “Clinton Giustra Sustainable Growth Initiative” (as the charity was then known) is part of the Clinton Foundation and must follow ‘the same protocols.’ It hasn’t.”
Bubba to take donors on nine-day Africa junket - WaPo: “A delegation of 20 major Clinton Foundation donors — many of whom have also supported Hillary Rodham Clinton’s political campaigns — will accompany former President Bill Clinton on a nine-day foundation trip to Africa that starts Wednesday. … The Africa trip would appear to provide a select group of big dollar contributors the unique opportunity to travel abroad with the former president, spending days in his company. The Africa trip had already come under fire because it will conclude with a meeting of the Clinton Global Initiative in Morocco, an event being partially funded by a company owned by the Moroccan government.”
Obama’s Millennial clout doesn’t transfer to Hillary - In an early indication that Hillary Clinton will not be able to replicate the success President Obama had with millennial voters, a poll out today from Harvard’s Institute of Politics says that generic Democratic candidate leads a generic Republican candidate by 15 points among millennial voters. That sounds big until you compare it to history. President Obama carried voters ages 18 to 29 by 23 points in 2012, and an astonishing 34 points in 2008. The 2016 forecast looks much more like 2004 when then-Democratic nominee John Kerry beat then-President George W. Bush in the demographic by 9 points.
O’MALLEY’S CRIME CRACKDOWN AS MAYOR DRAWS HEAT ON RIOT TOUR
WaPo: “Former Maryland governor Martin O’Malley was heckled on a packed street corner in West Baltimore Tuesday, after he cut short a trip to Europe to return to the city he led as mayor for seven years. O’Malley (D), who is preparing to launch a White House bid, waded into a crowd near the burned-out shell of a CVS pharmacy that was destroyed and looted Monday night. He was confronted by two men on motorcycles who shouted expletives and blamed the recent violence in the city on O’Malley’s tough-on-crime policies from 1999 to 2007. … In his travels to early nominating states, O’Malley has…trumpeted progress made during his tenure, including a steep drop in violent crime, which is attributed in part to a zero-tolerance approach that led to a sharp increase in arrests.”
[Bird on a wire - NYT describes O’Malley’s walking tour of an angry Baltimore and his defense of his tough-on-crime policies in a city that long reigned as the murder capital of America.]
Pow! - Kevin Williamson writes: “Black urban communities face institutional failure across the board every day. There are people who should be made to answer for that: What has Martin O’Malley to say for himself? What can Ed Rendell say for himself other than that he secured a great deal of investment for the richest square mile in Philadelphia? What has Nancy Pelosi done about the radical racial divide in San Francisco?”
Enter Sand-man - Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., will announce Thursday he’s challenging Hillary Clinton for the Democratic nomination, the National Journal reports: “[A] senior Sanders adviser confirmed…he’s made a decision on 2016—and that he’s going to go for it…[though] the latest polls show him in single digits…some more liberal Democrats hope that Sanders’ run could get Clinton talking about more [liberal] policies…”]
WITH YOUR SECOND CUP OF COFFEE
The long, cold winter covered much of Lake Michigan with sheets of ice, but now that the ice has retreated the water is remarkably clear. (The cold held back seasonal algae blooms that make the water murky in warmer weather.) As a result, the many shipwrecks that dot the floor of the second largest of the Great Lakes are visible through the blue waters. NPR reports: “Photos from the flight out of the Coast Guard’s Traverse City, Mich., air station show a variety of ships resting on the lake bottom, including the James McBride, a 121-foot brig that sank in 1857. … ‘An estimated 6,000 vessels were lost on the Great Lakes with approximately 1,500 of these ships located in Michigan waters,’ according to the state Department of Environmental Quality, which calls the wrecks ‘irreplaceable records of our cultural history.’”
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Real Clear Politics Averages
Obama Job Approval: Approve – 45.0 percent//Disapprove – 49.4 percent
Direction of Country: Right Direction – 29.1 percent//Wrong Track – 61.6 percent
BIG SPEECH TODAY IN JEB’S EVANGELICAL OUTREACH
Speaking at his first major forum after huddling with major donors in Miami, Jeb Bush heads to the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference in Houston, Texas today. With more than 1,000 Hispanic evangelical leaders expected, this is a big opportunity for Bush to keep making inroads with the socially conservative voters who could deliver the nomination for him, as they did for his older brother. In addition to talking about his personal history with Christianity, and family he’ll also need to address his stances on education and immigration. Bush has taken heavy criticism for his position on Common Core, which is widely detested by conservative Christians. Bush’s position on immigration, however, will be his calling card with the group today.
[Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee also addresses the crowd at NHCLC today providing Bush the opportunity to align with the evangelical favorite.]
Prominent evangelical minister likes Jeb - Although much disappointed with Republican leadership so far, Samuel Rodriguez says that he remains ‘hopeful’ about Bush’s candidacy. Read the full interview with Bloomberg here.
Contra Cruz - WaPo looks at the way Bush and Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, an evangelical Hispanic himself, are making their appeals to Hispanic voters. Cruz answers questions from the head of the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce at a Washington event today.
Backs Puerto Rico statehood - Tampa Bay Times: “On Tuesday in Puerto Rico, Bush spoke in English and Spanish and talked about immigration. As the Washington Post reported, Bush ‘reiterated his support for Puerto Rican statehood and said that the next president should help make Puerto Rico a state if residents vote to do so.’”
Jeb weak on establishment endorsements - FiveThirtyEight: “So far, Bush has won very few endorsements. No current Republican senators or governors have endorsed him, and only five members of the House of Representatives have done so, all from his home state of Florida. Fortunately for Bush, none of his rivals are doing much better.”
How James Baker cost Jeb a donor whale - National Review: “The bad blood between Bush and [Sheldon Adelson] is relatively recent, and it deepened with the news that former secretary of state James Baker, a member of Bush’s foreign-policy advisory team, was set to address J Street, a left-wing pro-Israel organization…Adelson sent word to Bush’s camp in Miami: Bush, he said, should tell Baker to cancel the speech. When Bush refused, a source describes Adelson as ‘rips***’; another says Adelson sent word that the move cost the Florida governor ‘a lot of money.’”
RUBIO ISRAEL AMENDMENT COULD KILL IRAN DEAL
Time: “Sen.Marco Rubio has proposed a change to the Iran nuclear review bill that could unravel a carefully crafted compromise and kill the Obama Administration’s negotiations. At issue is a one-page amendment from the Florida Republican and 2016 presidential candidate that would certify as part of the deal that Iran’s leaders have publicly accepted Israel’s right to exist as a Jewish state, a proposal earlier pushed by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Earlier this month, President Obama rejected that idea...Many Republicans support the idea, however, while some influential Democrats, such as New York Sen. Chuck Schumer, have declined to comment on any amendments.”
NO PRESS FOR WALKER’S ISRAEL TOUR
BuzzFeed:“Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker isn’t inviting reporters to come along with him on his first political trip to Israel next month, a spokesperson said. ‘Gov. Walker’s trip to Israel will be a listening tour,’ said AshLee Strong, a spokesperson for Walker’s PAC, Our American Revival, last week. ‘It’ll happen mid-May and we won’t be having any press join.’”
Governors have a rougher run - Noted smart person Josh Kraushaar explains why the conventional wisdom about governors being better positioned for presidential runs than senators is probably bunkum (especially in the era of social media and the nationalization of local controversies).
CHANGING FORTUNES FOR RAND IN NEVADA
David Drucker surveys the changing landscape in libertarian-leaning Nevada: “Some Paul supporters worry that a move by Nevada Republican leaders to replace the 2016 caucuses with a standard primary election could diminish the Kentucky senator’s prospects. Some Paul backers view this as the party’s way of diminishing Paul’s viability, an accusation GOP officials say is categorically false. A primary would attract a broader array of rank-and-file Republicans. Caucuses, where people meet publicly in small groups, tend to attract fewer, more committed voters.”
SOUND OFF: READERS RESPOND TO 2016 POWER INDEX
“The index showing Bush in the lead has a large flaw. He is so well known and attracts polling and money from a crowd that has already made up its mind, that we have to question whether any amount of money can get him more voters on a primary level.” – Richard Nelson
“The two ‘gainers’ this week in the Fox Power Index were Marco Rubio (now #2) and Carly Fiorina (now #6). Both are proving standouts ‘on the stump’. For the GOP to win in 2016, the ticket will require very smart, articulate and aggressive candidates--Rubio and Fiorina are showing the way.” – Jim Hartman
“It’s too early to be sure, but I'm thinking now that the dream ticket for the Republicans would be Rubio/Fiorina. They’re both strong on the issues, and they each bring tremendous additional strengths.” – Danny Bass
SHE’S A LOWRIDER
The Guardian: “A tortoise in Pembroke, west Wales, who faced a grim future after it was attacked by a rat during hibernation, has been given a new lease of life by its owners. They have aided their pet, named Mrs T, with wheels taken from a model aircraft to help with its mobility. The wheels are glued onto a frame that fits around Mrs T’s shell.”
AND NOW, A WORD FROM CHARLES…
“…[T]here are two issues in the inner cities. One is single parenthood and the other is the worst schools on earth. Of the first, we have no idea how to solve that, of the second, we do. If you can’t improve the schools, give the kids a choice to go to better schools. The parents begged to have that opportunity but the teachers unions won’t allow it and thus the Democrats won’t. ” – Charles Krauthammer on “Special Report with Bret Baier.”
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.