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• What will she say? Hillary heads to Hill as Iran deal drops
• Hairy eyeballs on populist pitch
• Sanctuary cities released 8,000 facing charges
• Dems go ballistic over Walker
• The most popular car thief in Texas
WHAT WILL SHE SAY? HILLARY HEADS TO HILL AS IRAN DEAL DROPS
Hillary Clinton’s long-scheduled visit to Capitol Hill today was intended as still more base stroking by the Democratic frontrunner – outreach to the Balkanized ethnic caucuses that comprise the party’s minority in the House and reassurances to liberals that she really will play rough with her friends on Wall Street.
But instead, Secretary of State John Kerry has dumped a tureen of foreign policy in her lap.
Whatever the deal announced today with Iran is – a historic achievement, an over-hyped nothingball, a capitulation to Islamists, the start of an arms race in Armageddon’s designated zip code – it is a headache for Clinton.
Public opinion polls on an Iran deal are a seeming paradox. Voters want a deal with Iran, says the administration. That’s true. But voters are also pretty sure that this one won’t work. Citing public support for a deal in general as support for this deal in specific would be like saying that almost everyone likes pizza to argue for support for your order of a large with anchovies and onions.
That’s complicated enough for any politician, but for Clinton it’s a spider web. Obama’s former secretary of state has sounded supportive but cautious about the negotiations, and some of her hawkish supporters have even hinted that she is opposed. There’s even a little overlay with the scandals that have dogged her campaign.
As we saw with Clinton’s vote for the Iraq war but then against the troop surge there, she is ever mindful of the political consequences of her foreign policy choices. If Clinton sounds sour about Obama’s deal, mistrustful doves may back away. But if Clinton backs a deal that turns out to be a botch, she will have further damaged herself on foreign policy, which was supposed to be her strong suit in this cycle. Ugh.
The deal, which appears to be a five-month test drive in which sanctions are lifted, money flows to Tehran and the regime there allows nuclear inspectors into its facilities, faces real opposition from lawmakers in both parties. The president has threatened to veto any effort to block the deal, but that would hardly reinforce its legacy-building clout for him.
It’s becoming increasingly easy for Democrats to part company with the lame-duck president on difficult issues. Especially this one. Obama is trying to make it easy by reminding members of his party that all that is required is to do nothing, which is the long suit for members of Congress. They can express worries and concerns, but as long as they vote right, it will be fine.
It’s not so easy for Clinton. While she will certainly play cuttlefish today on Iran – praise diplomacy, express cautious optimism, promise to carefully review; lather, rinse, repeat – even she is likely to have to take a position. And from that new establishment Democratic orthodoxy, no dissent can be tolerated.
Consider the case of Gov. Maggie Hassan, D-N.H. Hassan is worrying over whether to challenge to Sen. Kelly Ayotte, R-N.H., who is a defense hawk in a state that appreciates that sort of thing. Last week, Clinton condemned the effort by American liberals to boycott Israel. But Hassan’s church, the liberal United Church of Christ, recently voted last month to boycott Israel. When pressed on where she stood, Hassan sided with her party’s presumptive nominee rather than her denomination. Now that’s clout.
Imagine that kind of pressure applied to something more than just symbolic votes by church elders, like say support for a nuclear Iran.
[“I think we now have enough information to understand that Hillary Clinton as Secretary of State has engaged in gross dereliction of duty. She has engaged in a cover up, and she has blood on her hands.” – Carly Fiorina on “The Kelly File” Watch here.]
HAIRY EYEBALLS ON POPULIST PITCH
Hillary Clinton’s high-price-tag economics speech, laced with swipes at 2016 Republican rivals Bush, Rubio and Walker, was notable for being – as FiveThirtyEight observed – “light on specific proposals” and “sound[ed] familiar to anyone who’s been listening to President Obama over the past eight years.” Politico notes: “[S]he left out many hard specifics on tougher tax policy toward the rich and corporate America. And she offered limited pledges to crack down on big Wall Street banks while hitting her strongest notes promising to toss rogue bankers in prison while ripping recent worker-productivity comments from former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush.” Yet for all her veering to the liberal base, what Clinton left out of her speech, Bloomberg finds, is drawing fire from that quarter: “Clinton’s language on the financial industry was carefully calibrated as she positioned herself as tough on Wall Street but not a slash-and-burn critic.”
[Not Bernie - WaPo looks at four ways Clinton distanced herself from rival Democrat Bernie Sanders]
Bernie says economic growth is overrated - WaPo: “He’s saying that America’s leaders shouldn’t worry so much about economic growth if that growth serves to enrich only the wealthiest Americans. “Our economic goals have to be redistributing a significant amount of [wealth] back from the top 1 percent,” Sanders said in a recent interview, even if that redistribution slows the economy overall….It is this kind of unorthodoxy that has helped galvanize liberal voters in New Hampshire and Iowa and elevate Sanders in early polls. It is also represents a sharp challenge to front-runner Hillary Rodham Clinton, who wants to maintain broad appeal even as she expands her support among liberal Democrats.”
Not feeling the Bern - CNN: Former Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley isn't worried about Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders' recent surge in the polls because, in his view, the Vermont senator is the candidate of the summer, not the eventual winner. After speaking at the National Council of La Raza in Kansas City, O'Malley told reporters that Sanders' recent surge is because ‘this is the summer of anger and discontent,’ casting the liberal senator as more of a flash in the pan.
[O’Malley hosts a roundtable today at the New York Immigration Action Fund in Manhattan, where he will unveil his proposals for immigration reform.]
Team O’Malley banking big on Iowa - AP: “O'Malley's team says that Iowa offers his best path to 2016 relevance. ‘The caucus process is uniquely suited to give Governor O'Malley an opportunity to make his case to Iowa caucus goers,’ reads a campaign memo shared with The Associated Press that describes the Iowa summer strategy as ‘going all in.’”
SANCTUARY CITIES RELEASED 8,000 FACING CHARGES
Wash Ex: “Some 276 ‘sanctuary cities,’ nearly 50 percent more than previously revealed, released over 8,000 illegal immigrants with criminal records or facing charges free despite federal requests that they be turned over to Immigration and Customs Enforcement for deportation, according to an explosive new report…those releases from cities that ignored federal demands came over just eight months and are just part of an even larger release of 17,000 illegals with criminal records.”
Victim’s brother slams White House - Fox News Insider: “On ‘The Kelly File’ [Monday night], Kate Steinle’s brother opened up about the tragic incident that took his sister’s life and also slammed the controversial sanctuary city policy…He also told Kelly that the policy of sanctuary cities is overreaching. He said it ‘essentially rolled out the red carpet for a convicted felon’ to come into the city.’”
“And unfortunately, because of the lack of structure and just the lack of people taking a stand for what’s right and getting things right, I think the system has failed my sister miserably.” – Brad Steinle talking on “The Kelly File” last night about his sister, Kate Steinle, who was murdered by an illegal immigrant in San Francisco last month.
BIPARTISAN CRIMINAL JUSTICE OVERHAUL HEADS TO THE HILL
The Coalition for Public Safety and the Edward M. Kennedy Institute for the United States Senate bring both sides of the political aisle together to discuss criminal justice reform in their event today “Across the Aisle.” Senators planning to participate include: Sens. Cory Booker, D-N.J, John Cornyn, R-Texas, Mike Lee, R-Utah and Sheldon Whitehouse, D-RI. The event begins at 3:30 p.m. ET today in the Kennedy Caucus room in the Russell Senate Office, and will also be livestreamed. Watch here.
WITH YOUR SECOND CUP OF COFFEE…
Their concrete withstood two millennia of attacks and a majority of their structures still stand tall. Why was Roman concrete able to retain such strength? Discovery discovered that Roman concrete bares many similarities to rocks formed inside a dormant volcano. “Tiziana Vanorio, professor at the Geophysicist Department, Stanford’s School of Earth, Energy & Environmental Sciences, discovered that a natural process reflecting that of the engineering of the Roman concrete occurs in the subsurface of Campi Flegrei (Phlegraean Fields), a large volcanic area west of Naples. The rock’s microstructures in these sunken volcanic fields have shown an exceptional strength, able to withstand tremendous strains.”
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Real Clear Politics Averages
Obama Job Approval: Approve – 46.4 percent//Disapprove – 49.7 percent
Directions of Country: Right Direction – 30.0 percent//Wrong Track – 60.5 percent
DEMS GO BALLISTIC OVER WALKER LAUNCH
Judging by the response on the left, Scott Walker’s newly announced candidacy is something close to pure evil. Rolling Stone headlined their article on Walker “America’s Top Union Leader Just Destroyed Scott Walker in Six Words.” Well, considering Walker’s major policy triumph in Wisconsin was ending the collective bargaining rights for unions it’s understandable that the head of the unions wouldn’t be his biggest fan. And the quote that supposedly destroyed Walker? “Scott Walker is a national disgrace.” Okay… But Richard Trumka, head of AFL-CIO isn’t the only liberal with a rallying cry on the evils of Walker. Hillary Clinton said in her economic speech Monday that Walker made his name, “stomping on workers’ rights.”
But some liberals took a different tactic. Instead of igniting over Walker others tried to diffuse his entry by saying he wasn’t that important anyway. The New Republic said that, “Scott Walker is the most boring presidential candidate ever.” Whatever words they use to describe Walker, all these reactions show one thing: he poses enough of a threat that Democrats feel the need to stamp him down before his campaign even takes off.
[Walker begins his early state sweep in Nevada today where he will meet with voters.]
Hit from the right, too - The fulminations were not just on the left. Former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum warned social conservatives that Walker’s wife was problematic. Her tender sentiments about a gay relative could mean Walker could flinch on same-sex marriage. “Spouses matter,” Santorum told the Daily Caller.
Working blue in a red crowd - As part of the intro for Gov. Scott Walker’s announcement Monday, Rachel Campos-Duffy, a television personality and wife to Rep. Sean Duffy, R-Wisc., took a jab at former President Bill Clinton over what he is most remembered for. Campos-Duffy said, “Scott has been married to Tonette for 24 years. Twenty four is Bill Clinton’s favorite age.” As part of the Walker freak out wave, this line really set the press off. WaPo’s Chris Cillizza tweeted, “Jeez,” while NBC’s Luke Russert said, “Um, that escalated quickly…”
[Rep. Duffy has an op-ed today on the issue of hearing loss among veterans, and how the VA cannot keep up with the demand for hearing specialists.]
SOUND OFF: READERS RESPOND TO 2016 GOP POWER INDEX
“IF the pundits are correct, there are more ‘working stiffs’---translate middle class voters---than there are voters on either the Raging Right or the Loony Left. If that is indeed true, watch Walker rise to the top two or three Republican candidates by the end of September.” – James Douglas
“Trump may be overwhelming some, but he is telling it straight & telling the truth. I believe that he is a man of his word, unequivocally easy to understand and is resonating with ‘We the People,’ who are fed-up with business as usual.” – John Rochotte
“I really like Carly. She is smart and articulate, the total opposite of Hillary. I am an educated woman that is disgusted by a charlatan like Hillary Clinton!” – Rita Harding
DON’T FORGET TO TAKE FIVE
Pick the five Republican-held Senate seats you think are the most vulnerable to a Democratic takeover in 2016 and send them to FOXNEWSFIRST@FOXNEWS.COM – we’ll tally the votes and report back to you this Thursday and every week thereafter. Please send along any analysis you’ve and we will share the best bits with the whole class.
JEB HITS BACK AT HILLARY OVER JOBS
Des Moines Register: “‘Hillary Clinton has attacked me in the last few days. Which by the way, for the record: Bring it on,’ [Former Gov. Jeb Bush, R-Fla.] told an audience of about 200 at a Story County GOP dinner at Prairie Moon Winery in rural Ames on Monday evening. ‘This warms my heart that she’s upset that I’m saying that 6½ million people in this country are working part time when they want to work full time,’ said Bush, a former Florida governor. ‘The workforce participation rates are abysmally low and our economic growth is not enough.’”
Hot in the Hamptons - NYDN: “We’re told that [Woody Johnson] who signed on as Bush’s national finance chairman in May, was so pleased with the Maine fund-raiser [in Kennebunkport last week] that he thinks his candidate can continue to raise money in the left-leaning Northeast. That includes potentially squeezing the green out of blue bloods in the Hamptons who fancy themselves socially liberal and fiscally conservative. Since the beginning of his campaign, Bush has raised more than $100 million. He has nearly two dozen fund-raisers on his calendar between now and mid-September.”
[Bush has a meet and greet in Council Bluffs, Iowa today.]
What Rubio’s cash haul means – Sen. Marco Rubio’s, R-Fla., $12 million campaign fundraising effort, combined with his supported PAC money, gives him nearly $45 million fighting for the 2016 nomination. This puts Rubio in the top bracket of fundraisers, and makes him a notable contestant for fellow Floridian Jeb Bush. As Walker looks to compete with Bush, Rubio looks to end him. And now he’s got the funds to pose a stronger threat than previously believed.
NYT responds to Cruz controversy - In a statement released Monday night the head of NYT Communications, Eileen Murphy, said the controversy over leaving Texas Sen. Ted Cruz’s book off the best-seller list is unfounded. Murphy said, “Conservative authors have routinely ranked high on our lists…I can’t speak to the statements by Amazon or Harper Collins…but we are confident in our conclusion about the sales patterns for the Cruz book for the week in question.”
YOU GOTTA HAVE HEART…
Tune in to Brian Kilmeade’s show “Kilmeade & Friends” to hear a familiar voice today: Chris Stirewalt. Chris hosts today’s show with a packed lineup of guests including conservative author, and President of the American Enterprise Institute Arthur Brooks. His new book, “The Conservative Heart” is out today. Listen live here or tune in to Sirius XM channel 450. Don’t have digital radio? Check here to see if we’re on your local station.
THE MOST POPULAR CAR THIEF IN TEXAS
KHOU: “A family’s stolen SUV was returned to them with repairs, thanks to a thief. Shane Peters’ silver 2004 Dodge Durango has deer damage, one missing window and the engine starts with tools instead of keys; still, Peters and his wife, Chelsea, see a beautiful thing…The Durango is Peters’ only ride to work but it broke down in Cleveland on Highway 59 near Midline Road in June. Unable to buy a tow, Shane left his Durango until he could afford to move it. However, a thief beat him to it…The thief fixed the SUV’s drive shaft, installed three new wheels and also dumped drugs in the center console…Peters is not sure how much repairs will cost, he’s just glad to have back his ride to work.”
AND NOW A WORD FROM CHARLES…
“This was more I think a stump speech than a soaring announcement speech, but in essence, that’s exactly who Scott Walker is and how he’s running. He is - that was a workmanlike speech, he’s a workmanlike guy.” – Charles Krauthammer on “Special Report with 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 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.