**Want FOX News First in your inbox every day? Sign up here.**
• Biden out of time: Yes or no, Joe?
• Hillary shoves off Obama on ISIS
• Trump wobble on immigration draws heat from right
• Power Play: Cuyahoga countdown
• Why? Because America, that’s why
BIDEN OUT OF TIME: YES OR NO, JOE?
Back when he was being lampooned for inappropriate nape nuzzling and Hillary Clinton’s nomination was so iron-clad that she had pondered delaying her campaign launch until this very month, whether or not Joe Biden did or didn’t make a third presidential bid was political piffle.
After a withering spring and a continuing string of troubling revelations, however, Clinton looks like damaged goods. She’s still in for a coronation, but her claim to the Democratic throne looks far weaker than it did when she announced her candidacy.
Independent socialist Bernie Sanders, who has about the same share of the Democratic vote as Donald Trump does on the Republican side, is not going to beat Clinton. But he demonstrates the appetite for a candidate for whom “fighter” is not a word suggested by consultants. And if anyone fits that bill, it is Biden.
So now that resident Clintinologist Ed Henry reports that a member of team Biden is breaking bread with an Obama mega donor, speculation is getting rampant about a potential Biden bid.
And with a new poll showing that Biden does just as well with potential GOP nominees, Sheriff Joe looks very different now than he did six months ago. But that also means pressure for Biden. What had been fodder for late-night comedy is now a matter of concern for party bosses and the Clinton campaign.
With other eyes on Secretary of State John Kerry and other dark-horse candidates, Biden’s decision timeline is now a matter of real import.
If he stays on the fence even until Labor Day, Biden could reasonably be accused of hindering his party’s chances.
HILLARY SHOVES OFF OBAMA ON ISIS
Saying President Obama had not heeded her advice, Hillary Clinton staked out fresh distance from her old boss’s handling of the fight against ISIS. “I did advocate early on when I was still secretary of state for more help to the moderate rebels against Assad in Syria,” Clinton told theSkimm, “That was not the policy that was adopted at that time.” The Democratic frontrunner’s jab, delivered in an interview with the newsletter aimed at women interested in news, echoes a critique a year ago when she said “failure” to help build up the moderates left a vacuum filled by the jihadist terror group. Clinton backed off her split with Obama then. This time Clinton said she didn’t want to appear to be “second guessing” but reiterated that the effort to train Syrian moderates is now “much more difficult.”
Hmmmmm… - AP: “A new list of donors to the Bill, Hillary and Chelsea Clinton Foundation shows a marked surge in donations and the numbers of contributors to the family charity in the first half of this year -- at the same time that Hillary Rodham Clinton ramped up her campaign for the presidency….The foundation’s latest list shows that even as Hillary Clinton began campaigning and attending lucrative fundraisers in advance of the 2016 race, some of her top political supporters were increasing their donations to the Clinton Foundation, as were numerous corporations and foreign governments with interests before the U.S. government.”
Hillary calls to lift Cuba embargo – “The Cuba embargo needs to go, once and for all,” Clinton will say in a speech from Miami today. The call to lift an embargo imposed by her husband in 1996, puts Clinton in line with President Obama, who moved to normalize Cuban relations last year. Congress must act to lift the embargo, but the move faces stiff opposition from Republicans lawmakers.
[Watch Fox: Chief White House Correspondent Ed Henry is live from Miami covering the Clinton’s speech and the email release.]
Rubio retort - “After Secretary Clinton’s failed ‘reset’ with Putin, now she wants to do a ‘reset’ with Castro. She is making another grave mistake. Unilateral concessions to the Castros will only strengthen a brutal, anti-American regime 90 miles from our shore. President Obama and Secretary Clinton must learn that appeasement only emboldens dictators and repressive governments, and weakens America’s global standing in the 21st century. As president, I will stand with the Cuban people and only support an end to the embargo that is accompanied by real democratic reform.” – Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., on Hillary Clinton’s anticipated remarks today on lifting Cuba’s embargo.
Clinton lawyer has thumbdrive with 30,000 Hillary emails - Politico: Hillary Clinton’s private lawyer has a thumb drive containing classified information from as many as five U.S. intelligence agencies — but the State Department told POLITICO the law firm is taking “appropriate measures” to secure the files. The agency declined to detail steps made to protect the sensitive information in attorney David Kendall’s possession, but the issue is raising concern among Republicans on Capitol Hill who’ve criticized Clinton’s handling of the email controversy. The thumb drive has copies of emails Clinton kept on a private server while she served as secretary of state, a trove now known to contain classified documents.
New Clinton email dump today - WashEx: “State Department officials are set to release roughly 4,400 pages of Hillary Clinton's emails Friday amid reports that the former secretary of state mishandled classified information on her private server. It will be the second time State officials have been forced to publish a substantial batch of Clinton's emails under a Freedom of Information Act case…”
[Watch Fox: Fox News will have full coverage of today’s release of the latest batch of Clinton emails.]
Power Play: Can Hillary warm up the left? - Hillary Clinton wants solar panels, and lots of them. What’s that about and who is she looking to please? Democratic strategist Christy Setzer and Republican Strategist Lisa Boothe discuss the political angles of Hillary’s recent energy proposal with Chris Stirewalt. WATCH HERE.
Ummmmm…. - Washington Free Beacon: “The [chairwoman] of the Democratic National Committee was momentarily speechless after being asked an awkward question about her party and socialism on Thursday. ‘What is the difference between a Democrat and a socialist?’ MSNBC host Chris Matthews asked Rep. Debbie Wasserman-Schultz (D., Fla.). ‘Uh,’ Wasserman-Schultz responded…‘The difference between—the real question is what’s the difference between being a Democrat and being a Republican,’ Wasserman-Schultz said. Matthews didn’t let her off easily. ‘Yeah but what’s the big difference between being a Democrat and being a socialist?’ Matthews said. ‘The relevant debate that we’ll be having over the course of this campaign is what’s the difference between being a Democrat and being a Republican,” Wasserman-Schultz repeated.”
WITH YOUR SECOND CUP OF COFFEE…
A Virginia woman is on a quest for beauty. Meagan Abell, a photographer, routinely hunts through old photos from thrift stores or sales for inspiration. A recent set of photographs has captivated her. The Beeb tells the story of Abell’s quest that began with a picture of a woman on the beach in vintage attire circa 1950s. Abell said, “I’m used to seeing old scratched up negatives. I’d never seen anything like this.” She launched an internet hunt to try and find anyone with a lead on the people involved in the photograph. Anyone with information is encouraged to contact Abell via her website.
Got a TIP from the RIGHT or the LEFT? Email FoxNewsFirst@FOXNEWS.COM
Real Clear Politics Averages
Obama Job Approval: Approve – 45.6 percent//Disapprove – 50.0 percent
Directions of Country: Right Direction – 29.7 percent//Wrong Track – 61.3 percent
TRUMP WOBBLE ON IMMIGRATION DRAWS HEAT FROM RIGHT
Is Donald Trump going wobbly on immigration? After weeks of brash talk, Trump seemed to serve up some word salad. Trump also touted his
“big heart” saying, “I actually have a big heart … I mean, a lot of people don’t understand that, but the DREAMers, it’s a tough situation, we’re going to do something, and one of the things we’re going to do is expedite — when somebody’s terrific, we want them back here…” But how will this go over with his supporters? Not well, according to Breitbart’s Ben Shapiro.
“His rise is not due to his supporters’ anger at government. It is a gesture of contempt for government, for the men and women in Congress, the White House, the agencies. It is precisely because people have lost their awe for the presidency that they imagine Mr. Trump as a viable president. American political establishment, take note: In the past 20 years you have turned America into a nation a third of whose people would make Donald Trump their president. Look on your wonders and despair.” – Peggy Noonan in her WSJ column.
Walker scores mega-donor - WaPo: “The Ricketts family sweepstakes are over and Scott Walker has won handily, according to Unintimidated, the super PAC supporting the Wisconsin governor and presidential candidate. Federal election filings will soon show that billionaire investor Joe Ricketts and his wife, Marlene, have together given $5 million to the Walker-allied group — a significant haul from one of the GOP’s biggest donors.”
Jeb reaches out to minority groups at Urban League - In his planned speech to the National Urban League Conference today, former Gov. Jeb Bush, R-Fla., looks to focus on his history of promoting minority groups. His released remarks read, “You’re not going to get good judgment in government when everybody comes from the same life experience. We increased the number of black Floridians serving in the judiciary by 43 percent. And I was particularly proud that during my governorship, the state's use of minority owned businesses tripled.”
[Bush, Clinton, Sanders, former Gov. Martin O’Malley, D-Md., and Ben Carson are on the docket today at the National Urban League conference in Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.]
Rubio Senate donors not ponying up for presidential bid - Wash Ex: “More than 250 individuals who donated to Sen. Marco Rubio’s, R-Fla., Senate re-election campaign have declined to transfer their contributions to his presidential committee, according to a new report by Bloomberg News…only seven of the 267 refund recipients fulfilled Rubio's request to transfer their previous donations to his presidential campaign committee, according to Bloomberg.”
POWER PLAY: CUYAHOGA COUNTDOWN
Anticipation is high as Republican candidates prepare to take the stage in Cleveland. Republican Strategist Lisa Boothe and Democratic strategist Christy Setzer join Chris Stirewalt to talk about the high stakes involved as they preview the first presidential debate. WATCH HERE.
#mediabuzz - Eyes on Cleveland as Chris Stirewalt joins host Howard Kurtz for a preview of Thursday’s Fox News Debate. Other topics this Sunday: Donald Trump, Tom Brady, and Mike Huckabee’s week in the media. The panel breaks it all down. Watch “#mediabuzz” Sunday at 11 a.m. ET, with a second airing at 5 p.m.
FOX NEWS SUNDAY: KASICH AND PERRY- Gov. John Kasich, R-Ohio, joins Chris Wallace on his recent jump into the campaign. Also on the docket, former Texas Gov. Rick Perry, R-Texas talks border control and Donald Trump. Watch “Fox News Sunday with Chris Wallace” airs at 2 p.m. and 6 p.m. ET on Fox News. Check local listings for air times in your area.
YOU’VE BEEN GRASSLEYED
“So put that in your pipe and smoke it, the senator from New York.” — Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, the chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, at a hearing telling Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., how Republicans were outpacing Democrats record in judicial confirmations.
WHY? BECAUSE AMERICA, THAT’S WHY
Popular Mechanics: “The X15 flamethrower is a personal, consumer flamethrower that exists purely because of course it does. Who hasn’t wanted to stand with a tank on their back, arms akimbo while spewing great gusts of fire into the sky? Now you can, for $1,600. When I asked XMatter, the folks behind the X15, why they decided to sell consumer flamethrowers, co-founder Quinn Whitehead immediately responded, ‘Why not? This is America, land of the free,’ before laughing and digging into his real pitch.”
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.