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Hillary’s nightmare haunts Dems

Reports of growing concern among Democrats over handling of email controversy


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Buzz Cut:
• Hillary’s nightmare haunts Dems
• Clinton aide emails raise conflict questions
• Trump still on fence over signing pledge
• Walker says time to get tough on foreign policy
• After all, we all scream for ice cream

Democrats should be living the dream. Hillary Clinton is leading challengers by double digits, flush with cash and backed by a massive campaign machine. With the frontrunner set to address the Democratic National Committee summer meeting today, even some chaffing between the campaign and the DNC over shared fundraising has been resolved. So are party officials basking in late August warmth in Minneapolis?  Uh, better grab a sweater.

Instead, delegates are shivering as the nightmarish reality of Clinton’s campaign plays on. Her brand name has been tattooed with “liar,” adding to doubts about her electability. Her response to the email scandal, from joking, to maybe it wasn’t the “best choice” has many Democrats bewildered and donors hedging their bets.

Given Clinton’s presumed nominee status, the party’s options aren’t great. Bernie Sanders is drawing big crowds but has a problems with key elements of the base and his the narrowcast populist platform make electability doubtful as well. Other declared candidates are hardly blips on the political radar screen.

Then there’s Joe: a sitting vice president wondering aloud to DNC attendees if he has the heart to run. Biden won’t be in Minnesota, but his backers are and they’ve been selling their man as party’s last best savior. His polling numbers are stronger than Clinton’s against Republicans, but the some of the glow that has built up around Biden is bound to dissipate if he decides to take the plunge.

As for Hillary, the space she’s been giving Joe to “make the right decision” has apparently reached its limit. Word is out that her campaign has heard enough Biden talk and is launching a massive messaging effort at the DNC meeting to counter doubts about her vulnerability. Whether that’s convincing enough to still the jitters among the party elite remains to be seen.

One thing is certain: however effective her presentation may be, the 3-day summer meeting ends this weekend. The drip, drip, drip of Hillary’s email mess will be with her for the foreseeable future.

[Watch Fox: Chief White House Correspondent Ed Henry reports on the DNC summer meeting from Minneapolis.]

DNC docket - Clinton, Bernie Sanders, Martin O’Malley and Lincoln Chafee will take to the podium at the Democratic National Committee’s Summer Meeting in Minneapolis today.

Clinton aide emails raise conflict questions - Fox News: “Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, questioned whether Huma Abedin’s status as a Special Government Employee (SGE), which enabled her to hold four positions simultaneously, created conflicts of interest…Grassley’s letter was prompted by emails from Abedin’s official State Department account obtained by Fox News…[in the messages] Abedin discusses diplomatic matters as well as issues related to her work for both the Clinton Foundation and Teneo, a firm co-founded by a longtime aide to former president Bill Clinton.”

Hillary says GOP have terrorist-like views on women’s issues - Speaking in Ohio Thursday, Hillary Clinton slammed the GOP on women’s issues in an incendiary comparison. She said, “Now, extreme views about women? We expect that from some of the terrorist groups. We expect that from people who don’t want to live in the modern world. But it’s a little hard to take coming from Republicans who want to be president of the United States.”

POWER PLAY:  Planned Parenthood factor
Shocking videos of Planned Parenthood hawking fetal organs has evoked outrage and placed the nation’s largest abortion provider squarely into the presidential debate. Democrat Marcie Stech and Republican Hadley Heath Manning join Chris Stirewalt to discuss how the candidates are handling the issue. WATCH HERE.

In the continued openness that Pope Francis seeks to bring to the Chair of Saint Peter, the Vatican announced its blessing to name a square in Rome after German priest Martin Luther, reports RNS. The move is surprising due to the tense history between the two. In 1517 Luther, displeased with the corruption he saw in the Church, particularly the selling of indulgences, wrote up a list of devastating criticisms against the Church. After nailing his 95 theses to the chapel door at the University of Wittenberg where he was studying, Pope Leo X tried to end Luther’s defiance and force him to recant his statements. Luther, however, continued his teachings, and directly attacked the papacy. He was not only excommunicated, but also declared a heretic. Luther’s teachings divided the Catholic Church and led to the Protestant reformation. And now he will have his own square…right next to Vatican City. What’s nearly five centuries between friends, anyway?

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Real Clear Politics Averages
Obama Job Approval:
Approve – 44.3 percent//Disapprove – 51.7 percent
Directions of Country: Right Direction – 29.3 percent//Wrong Track – 62.8 percent

In an interview with the NYT in South Carolina Thursday, Donald Trump still seemed unsure about signing a pledge requiring candidates to support the eventual Republican nominee, whoever that may be. Signing the pledge is mandatory in order to participate in the South Carolina primary next year. Trump cited his business ethics as part of the reason he’s on the fence. Trump said after his speech at the Upstate Chamber of Commerce in Greenville, S.C., “I don’t make commitments and break them.” NYT report also adds, “[Trump said] if he did sign but lost the nomination, he would not run as an independent, a concern among many Republicans.” Trump also dispelled the HuffPo piece that said he assured local party members he would sign the pledge saying “I haven’t told anybody that.” Trump has stated in the past that he wouldn’t run as a third party candidate if he felt he was treated well, but what exactly he means by that is…well, up to him.

Trump, Cruz get cozy on Capitol Hill - The Hill: “Donald Trump and Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) are jointly hosting a rally on Capitol Hill on Sept. 9 to protest the nuclear deal with Iran. The event, being organized by Tea Party Patriots, the Center for Security Policy and the Zionist Organization of America, will be staged on the West Lawn of the Capitol, the groups said in a statement. Cruz, the keynote speaker, invited Trump to speak, the statement said.”

[The Weekly Standard’s Fred Barnes writes the despite having candidates like Cruz, Rubio, and Jindal, all of who tout proud immigrant stories, the GOP is still plagued with anti-immigrant rhetoric. Barnes writes, “Sadly, it’s a theme far more likely to hurt the party’s chances in the 2016 election than help, notably in winning Hispanic support.”]

POWER PLAY:  Teflon Trump?
Donald Trump seems to survive controversies that would incinerate other candidates. How does he do it? Democrat Marcie Stech and Republican Hadley Heath Manning share their perspective on the Republican frontrunner's resilience with Chris Stirewalt. WATCH HERE.

#mediabuzz - Host Howard Kurtz breaks down the hot media topics of the week. Donald Trump and Jorge Ramos’ feud took the national spotlight, but was soon eclipsed by tragedy with the shooting of a Virginia television crew. Kurtz and his guests give their take on the media’s coverage of the shooting. Watch “#mediabuzz” Sunday at 11 a.m. ET, with a second airing at 5 p.m.

Dubya to headline fundraiser for little bro - Former President George W. Bush is set to headline a fundraiser in New York for his little brother on September 10. The original fundraiser was supposed to be earlier, but due to scheduling conflicts, Bush will be in New York on the day before the 14th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks. Former Gov. Jeb Bush, R-Fla., is not expected to attend the event.

[Bush holds a veteran’s town hall meeting today in Norfolk, Virginia.]

Jeb gets Cantor endorsement - Former House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, R-Va., endorsed Jeb Bush Thursday, and is set to join the Bush campaign’s Virginia base. Cantor tweeted, “@JebBush is a true leader w/ a long-term vision for our country and the know how to implement it– not just talk about it. I’m #AllInForJeb.” Cantor’s endorsement provides Bush access to Cantor’s extensive political and financial network within the crucial state.

[Trump tweaks - “Who wants the endorsement of a guy (@EricCantor) who lost in perhaps the greatest upset in the history of Congress?” Donald Trump tweeted Thursday.]

Walker: Time to gets tough on foreign policy - Milwaukee Journal Sentinel: “In his first foreign policy speech in his presidential bid, Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker on Friday will link the threats of Iran and the Islamic State and stress the need to adopt an aggressive military stance. ‘As president, I will send the following message: the retreat is over,’ Walker plans to say, according to excerpts of his speech released by his campaign. ‘American leadership is back and, together with our allies, we will not surrender another inch of ground to terrorists or any other power that threatens our safety. ‘America will not be intimidated. And neither will I.’”

Rubio defines China-policy - In an WSJ op-ed, Marco Rubio details how his administration would handle China. Rubio says it’s a balancing act between being tough, and still keeping trade open. Rubio writes, “If elected U.S. president next fall, I will approach China on the basis of strength and example, not weakness and appeasement…But to achieve a new era of productive relations between our nations, America must stand on the side of the Chinese people rather than their autocratic rulers.”

Copy Cat? - After Scott Walker has been talking China for days team Rubio decided to put out an op-ed solely focused on China. Could be coincidental with what’s happening in the markets now, but Bloomberg’s Mark Halpern gives a look back that seems to build a pattern of team Rubio mimicking Walker’s moves over the past month.

HP board member defends Carly - WSJ:Tom Perkins, the one-time [Hewlett-Packard] board member and storied venture capitalist who co-founded Kleiner Perkins Caulfield Byers, rose to Ms. Fiorina’s defense Thursday with a full-page letter published in the New York Times and paid for by Ms. Fiorina’s super PAC, or political action committee. ‘Critics often claim Carly was fired at HP because she was unsuccessful,’ Mr. Perkins wrote. ‘As a member of the board, I can tell you this is not true. In truth, it was the Board I was a part of that was ineffective and dysfunctional.’”

‘Go West’ young Rand - WaPo: “[Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky.] was barnstorming the West because its Republican voters would cast votes in March 2016. Each of them had a large cache of delegates, and no one else was campaigning for them. In 2012, New Hampshire would send 12 delegates to the next Republican convention. Alaska, where only 14,130 people participated in the caucuses, would send 27 delegates.”

Mr. Sunday has tough-talking New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie on the docket for his take on the state of the 2016 race. Also up, Liz Ann Sonders,Senior Vice President, Chief Investment Strategist, Charles Schwab & Co. Inc., and Nicholas Lardy, Senior Fellow at the Peterson Institute for International Economics, talk about the week’s wild ride in the market. 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.

Texas-based Blue Bell Creameries announced that it is bringing back some of its flavors this month after a four-month absence following a listeria outbreak. You would think would please their customers, but that is not the case. The company has been announcing the list of the first returning flavors on Instagram including:  Cookies ‘n Cream, Homemade Vanilla, Dutch Chocolate, and The Great Divide…which is half chocolate…and half vanilla…Some customers are complaining that the company should put one of their other unique flavors back on shelves, such as Pecan Pralines ‘n Cream and Southern Blackberry Cobbler, since those simple flavor folks can get their chocolate and vanilla fix. One comment on Blue Bell’s Instagram read, “You are already releasing Dutch chocolate and Vanilla separately. Why this one then? It should have been Strawberry.”

Chris Stirewalt is digital politics editor for Fox News. Want FOX News First in your inbox every day? Sign up here.