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• Sorry, no Scooby Doo-over for Hillary
• Dems hassle Hillary over trade
• Iowa straw poll kaput
• Bush lands big Florida backers
• Lawmakers address pressing concern of bird bias
SORRY, NO SCOOBY DOO-OVER FOR HILLARY
It’s not America’s fault that Hillary Clinton decided to launch her campaign on a security camera in a Chipotle in Ohio. So why should she be entitled to subject the country to her do-over?
Dogged by scandal, Clinton opted to launch her second presidential campaign from behind the tinted windows of a Secret Service van. And for two months she has persisted with a bubble wrapped, phony campaign.
Now, much of political press is giving her lavish coverage for the kind of kickoff event that normal presidential candidates hold. But at the same time we are strenuously warned that nothing of substance will be discussed.
The big scoop, reported in some embarrassingly gushy tones, is that Clinton will re-frame her candidacy as an homage to her mother’s struggles. But even that is not new. When Clinton was trying to stave off defeat in Iowa’s 2008 caucuses, she deployed the exact message that will be the theme of her re-re-launch. Seen as out of touch and entitled by voters, Clinton put her mother in a TV ad. The only difference now is that Clinton is able to add the word “grandmother” to the script.
Covering as major news something a candidate has done before and said before is pretty small beer. Covering it thusly when the candidate is shutting down the press and ducking relevant questions about her own conduct as well as the issues of the day is pure malpractice.
Do you remember that brief period of time in which reporters were acting uppity about how the Clinton campaign was abusing them and how the candidate was hiding from very real controversies? Well that was like so three weeks ago. The ADD political press has tired of the whole accountability thing and is totes ready to cover a non-existent horse race.
On Wednesday, Bill Clinton felt so confident in the forgetfulness of the press that he told Bloomberg: “Has anybody proved that we did anything objectionable? No.” While it may be true that no one has proven the Clintons have done anything illegal, “objectionable” would be a pretty charitable term for people who hid donations and personal income from unsavory sources and who destroyed more than 30,000 emails on a secret server inappropriately used during government work.
Since the 1970s, running for president in the United States has meant one thing: filing with the Federal Elections Commission declare your candidacy.
Clinton made her official filing on or about April 12. Despite her story about coming to the final decision on a visit to Oscar de la Renta’s beachfront villa in December, she has, practically speaking, never stopped running for president since the moment after her 2000 election. So what’s the point of Saturday’s event? Proving that she really, really wants to be president? We’ve got that part.
Jeb Bush has done a thorough job making a mockery of that disco-era legal threshold. Bush will, however, take his one bite at the apple on Monday. He will file for office, make a speech about it and then return to the campaign trail. It’s not high drama, but for a candidate who started to look like he might not pull the trigger, it is at least something.
Clinton, though, wants to exploit legal loopholes that allowed her to build her personal fortune and avoid public accountability whilst relying on affiliated outside groups to build her campaign before she filed for office. So far so good – or at least so typical of modern politics at the highest level.
Where she fell off the buggy, however, was on her caravan trip to Iowa. Clinton felt obliged to launch a campaign because of her scandals. So she needed to show Democrats she was serious and start hiring operatives with whom to coordinate her response. But neither could she face scrutiny. So she headed for the Scooby van.
Now, believing that enough time is past and the press has lost interest in the many questions still unanswered Clinton is ready for another round of candidate launch coverage. This time, she wants the press to tell America that she loves her mother and that she is what Eleanor Roosevelt would have been in a less-sexist era.
Sorry, but no. Every candidate would like to control the timing, scope and theme of the coverage of their campaigns. It’s our job not to let them get away with it.
DEMS HASSLE HILLARY OVER TRADE
A razor-thin result excepted, today’s critical House votes on trade authority – it’s complicated – brings to a crescendo weeks long arm-twisting by proponents and opponents alike (go to FoxNews.com/Politics for the latest). While the battle has made for unlikely alliances and brought the kettle to a boil on both the left and the right, the lasting political heat is falling on the Democrats. Whether or not President Obama walks away with a victory, a deafening silence on the issue from the party’s de facto leader, Hillary Clinton, continues to frustrate her base. Clinton received a double-barrel blast Thursday with rival Bernie Sanders exhorting "If she’s against this, we need her to speak out. Right now. Right now,” and New York Mayor Bill de Blasio dangling his endorsement of the Democratic frontrunner on a “very clear statement” of opposition. Clinton’s evasion will doubtless continue as she waits to see which way the winds blows post-vote.
[Watch Fox: Chief Congressional Correspondent Mike Emanuel reports on the trade vote live from Capitol Hill.]
WITH YOUR SECOND CUP OF COFFEE…
Bernard Cigrand had humble beginnings in Waubeka, Wisc. As a young man, he held numerous jobs to pay for his education, including selling scrap metal, and working on a steam barge before he could afford to go off to dental school. Cigrand was named a contributing editor of the Encyclopedia Americana the same year he got his dental degree. It was for the encyclopedia that he began writing about his love of the American Flag, and eventually proposed a national holiday commemorating the flag adopted by the Continental Congress on June, 14, 1777. The message took hold in his local school district, and they began hosting observances the third Sunday of June. The movement grew, but sadly Cigrand would not see his holiday made official. He died of a heart attack in 1932, and it was not until 1949 that President Harry Truman signed the legislation. This Sunday’s Flag Day remember not only the commemoration of a flag, but the man who made it so.
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Real Clear Politics Averages
Obama Job Approval: Approve – 44.5 percent//Disapprove – 50.6
Directions of Country: Right Direction – 29.0 percent//Wrong Track – 61.6 percent
IOWA STRAW POLL KAPUT
Des Moines Register: “The Iowa Straw Poll is dead. The governing board for the Republican Party of Iowa voted unanimously to cancel the straw poll, a milestone on the path to the White House that had passed the strategic tipping point. It was no longer a political risk for presidential campaigns to walk away from the straw poll, and too many of the 2016 contenders had opted to skip it for it to survive…Back in January, the Iowa GOP board unanimously to proceed with the event, a daylong political festival meant to showcase the party’s presidential candidates and to bring Iowa Republicans together for food, music and field-winnowing…The decision comes as the party fundraiser appeared to be on the verge of falling flat because so many presidential contenders were steering clear of it. Some candidates had said they might show up to give a speech, but wouldn’t spend money trying to win the straw poll. That meant the fundraiser would likely have struggled to break even, much less garnered hundreds of thousands for the party as it has in the past.”
FIORINA SAYS SHE IS WHAT A FEMINIST LOOKS LIKE
The lone woman in the Republican field, Carly Fiorina, made waves in Washington with a speech that sought to redefine feminism. “A feminist is a woman who lives the life she chooses. … A woman may choose to have five children and home-school them. She may choose to become a CEO, or run for President,” said the presidential candidate at the Competitive Enterprise Institute.
Fiorina’s campaign platform has largely been based on her ability to take on Hillary Clinton woman to woman, but Thursday’s address fortified her platform with detailed ideas. As a Republican and former CEO, Fiorina seeks to marry the party’s free-market principles with a friendlier dialogue about women’s issues as exemplified by her discussion of how over-the-counter access to birth control would drive down prices without subsidies. Fiorina has a deep deficit in the polls though, with low name recognition, and many voters questioning whether a non-politician can hold the high office of president.
But she heads to friendly territory this weekend for former Massachusetts’s Gov. Mitt Romney’s E2 Summit in Utah where she will have the chance to stand out against her political counterparts with her business savvy. Gov. Scott Walker, R-Wisc., and Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., both plan to address the uber-rich congregation and Rubio might as well be a counselor at Camp Mitt. But don’t count out Fiorina yet, as unlike Rubio, her momentum seems to steadily rise.
“Most of the businesses we’re destroying are small and family-owned businesses. That’s important because they create two thirds of the new jobs employ half the people…We have to compete for every job and the federal government can do a lot to make competing for those jobs harder - as it's doing now - or easier.” - Carly Fiorina on “Special Report with Bret Baier” Watch here.
The Romney Primary continues - Republican presidential contenders make their case this weekend at Romney’s weekend retreat of political and financial gurus. Thursday’s kickoff was just the start to the three-day event, which features all the top tier candidates sans former Gov. Jeb Bush, R-Fla.
“I want people who are in leadership positions, whether in government or in the private sector or in the voluntary sector to learn from one another about the qualities of leadership and to talk about the direction for the country and ultimately some of these people are going to get behind people running for president and a lot of us make as informed a choice as they possibly can.” -- Former Gov. Mitt Romney, R-Mass., on “The Kelly File”
[Watch Fox: Gov. John Kasich joins Neil Cavuto today on Fox Business Network’s “Cavuto: Coast to Coast” from noon to 2 p.m. ET]
BUSH LANDS BIG FLORIDA BACKERS
Tampa Bay Times: “Jeb Bush will gain endorsements Friday from a host of top Florida Republicans, including Attorney General Pam Bondi, Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam and Chief Financial Officer Jeff Atwater. Bush will also be endorsed by 11 of the state’s 17 Republican members of the U.S. House. The endorsements, obtained first by the Miami Herald and Tampa Bay Times, come as Bush prepares for his official announcement on Monday in Miami, home also to U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio, who has emerged as a strong candidate for the Republican presidential nomination.”
Ahoy there - WaPo: “Wealthy hedge fund managers, bankers and private equity investors have signed on to host one of the first official fundraisers for Jeb Bush's soon-to-be-announced presidential campaign, a June 24 breakfast reception in New York that is on track to bring in at least $1 million. Already, three dozen heavyweight players have committed to raise a minimum of $27,000 each for the event, according to a copy of the invitation obtained by the Washington Post.”
POWER PLAY: BETTING BIG ON NEW HAMPSHIRE
There’s a lot, perhaps everything, riding on New Hampshire for several 2016 GOP hopefuls. National Review’s Eliana Johnson and WashEx’s David Drucker join Chris Stirewalt to discuss which candidates have the most to win or lose in the Granite State. WATCH HERE.
A Sununu, maybe. A Bush, probably not - National Journal: “In voicing their concerns about Jeb Bush, New Hampshire Republicans say they're hesitant to elect a third member of one family's political dynasty. But there's another Republican in the state who's the third leg of a political dynasty…Republican Chris Sununu, the son of former New Hampshire Gov. John H. Sununu and the brother of former Sen. John E. Sununu, is seen as a possible gubernatorial candidate—and initial surveys show him polling highly among the state's constituents….”
Christie says colleges ‘drunk on cash’ - WSJ: “In a speech in Iowa Thursday, [Gov. Chris Christie, R-N.J.] criticized universities for needless spending that had inflated tuition rates and called for more transparency in colleges’ books…‘Some colleges are drunk on cash and embarking on crazy spending binges, just because they know they can get huge revenues from tuition.’”
Is that Walker-Rubio or Rubio-Walker? - Bloomberg: “Walker said both he and Rubio often hear the suggestion that they should combine forces, potentially even before the first nomination voting in Iowa in February 2016, as a way to stand out amid a crowded field…Some who have talked privately to Walker about a possible pairing with Rubio say they have been surprised by how seriously the Wisconsin governor seems to be taking the prospect…Walker said he likes governors and their executive experience better than senators as potential presidents and vice presidents, but that Rubio stands out…‘I do like Marco Rubio,’ he said. ‘I think he and I have similar thoughts on national defense and foreign policy.’”
[The NYT focuses their aim on Walker in a deep dive on his continuing war with government-worker unions.]
Power Play: A candidate against the Times - 2016 candidate Marco Rubio’s rise in fame and acclaim has also put him in the crosshairs of criticism. Can Rubio make the scrutiny work for him or does he risk a blowout? WashEx’s David Drucker and National Review’s Eliana Johnson give Chris Stirewalt their take. WATCH HERE.
LAWMAKERS ADDRESS PRESSING CONCERN OF BIRD BIAS
WTOP: “Tom Wharton didn’t think twice about bringing his beloved cockatoo, Tootsie, with him on camping trips, until the duo were kicked out of two campsites following complaints about his feathered companion. Rhode Island lawmakers are considering changing the law that only allows four-legged friends likes dogs and cats to accompany their owners to campgrounds…Wharton, a regular camper, has brought his 21-year-old parrot with him on several camping trips over the years, he said. Tootsie occasionally would leave his 31-foot Airstream, he said, but she doesn’t make any noise… ‘I feel bad she has to stay home. She loves to ride in the car. I take her to music festivals,’ Wharton said.”
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.