Fox News First

Save the phony drama on Iran vote

Senator and 2016 candidate says he will re-oppose and increase sanctions as president


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Buzz Cut:
• Save the phony drama on Iran vote
• Hillary matches 2008 lows, struggles with women
• Trump pivots to Hispanic outreach
• Kasich poaches Perry’s New Hampshire director
• Where there’s smoke, there’s ribs

Like a theater company trying to pump up a third-rate script, the press has been overheating the drama over Senate Democrats proclaiming support of President Obama’s Iran nuclear deal.

Getting 34 of 46 members of the Democratic caucus to not rebuke him ought not to be too tough. When folks are stoking speculation over how reliably partisan Senators will vote, one gets a strong sense that reporters and the White House are faking it. Will Sen. Maria Cantwell vote with the president or Sen. Tom Cotton on a nuke deal? Drama!

That’s not to say that there aren’t political stories here.

For the small number of red-state Democrats left, their acceptance of the deal could have electoral liabilities. For instance, will Sen. Joe Manchin vote for the resolution against the deal but then not vote to override the veto and try to have it both ways. There’s also the question of how the remaining pro-Israel Democratic voters will see the deal. And how will Hillary Clinton’s throaty support for the plan play with the general electorate?

And there is also an insight on one of the biggest political stories of a generation.

It has long been fashionable to complain about partisanship as it relates to issue-specific compromise. The lack of negotiated settlements on things like taxes and spending have frustrated the pundit class since Al Hunt was knee-high to a talking point. But that depends on whether one thinks the potential compromises are good or bad.

The place where partisanship has done the clearest damage has been on the separation and balance of powers designed by the country’s founders. The fight over the Iran nuclear deal was framed on its merits. The actual fight should have been over who has the power to make a treaty with another nation. President Obama is making a treaty with Iran in everything but name, and a consequential one at that.

As the administration has repeatedly pointed out, other presidents have done the same thing. That’s exactly the point. The endless usurpation of Congress’ rightful role has left what was intended to be the bulwark of the three branches as seldom more than a receptacle for silly talk and campaign contributions.

And that suits many of its members just fine. With each new depredation, lawmakers shrug, silently relieved that they won’t have to do anything that might mess with the divide-and-conquer, base-versus-base politics of today. By ceding their greatest powers to the president – to tax, to regulate, to make war, etc. – lawmakers protect their offices but not the republic.

There was a time when the Senate in bipartisan fashion might have smacked down a president for trying to run a bootleg treaty. Now they cheer when they get enough votes to protect his maneuvers.

[Yeas and nays - WSJ provides an updated list of where your Senators stand on the Iran deal]

WaPo: “It’s been a bad summer for Hillary Rodham Clinton’s polling numbers, and a new Washington Post-ABC News poll brings additional bad news for her brand…Fully, 53 percent have an unfavorable impression of her, the highest since April 2008 in Post-ABC surveys … Clinton’s image is surprisingly weak among some core groups that helped elect Barack Obama, including younger Americans and women. Her ratings are 48 percent favorable to 51 percent unfavorable among women. Biden draws a similar 45 percent favorable-45 percent unfavorable split among women.”

Trumka praises Biden, says Hillary doesn’t connect with workers - WSJ: “The country’s top labor leader praised Vice President Joe Biden, who is considering a presidential bid, but he slammed Republican candidates and chided Hillary Clinton for not taking clearer stands on some issues important to workers…‘She has to really figure out a way to energize workers, and that’s come up with a narrative that, one, she believes in and, two, she is willing to fight for, ’cause that’s the litmus test that workers look at.”

[Biden will appear during the opening week of “The Late Show with Stephen Colbert.”]

Biden brings Miami heat to Democratic ‘malaise’ - AP’s Ken Thomas reports: “Vice President Joe Biden is headed to Florida, where he’s sure to get a glimpse of his presidential prospects as he considers a late entry into the 2016 Democratic primaries. Biden plans to appear at Miami Dade College and headline a private fundraiser for Senate Democrats on Wednesday as he mulls a potential challenge to Democratic front-runner Hillary Rodham Clinton. Interest in a Biden bid has intensified in recent weeks as Clinton has struggled with what some Democrats consider a lackluster start to her campaign and scrutiny over her use of a private email account and server as President Barack Obama's secretary of state. ‘There's a malaise inside the race right now with Clinton. People I know who are supporting her are not necessarily withdrawing, but are unenthusiastic,’ said Tony Bisagnano, an Iowa state senator who backed Biden’s campaign in 2008 and wants him to run again.”

It was 70 years ago on this day that the Japanese empire formally surrendered to Allied forces on the deck of the USS Missouri in Tokyo Harbor. If you are looking for a way to acknowledge that fulcrum point in human history you might keep a thought or a prayer – or whatever you keep – of gratitude for the Americans who did it. But you also ought to read a crackling eyewitness account of the day and that moment on the big ship from the rightly revered war correspondent Murlin Spencer:

“But MacArthur still was gambling. There were three million armed Japanese in Japan and barely 25,000 Americans. … MacArthur rode into the capital alone with only Japanese police standing along the road to protect him. At the embassy, which is on the only piece of American soil in all Japan, he gave directions to Gen. Eichelberger: ‘Have our country’s flag unfurled in Tokyo’s sun. Let it wave in its full glory as a symbol of hope for the oppressed and as a harbinger of victory for the right.’”

Got a TIP from the RIGHT or the LEFT? Email FoxNewsFirst@FOXNEWS.COM

Real Clear Politics Averages
Obama Job Approval:
Approve – 44.9 percent//Disapprove – 51.1 percent
Directions of Country: Right Direction – 28.7 percent//Wrong Track – 63.3 percent

NYT: “[Donald Trump] invited Javier Palomarez, president of the United States Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, to his Manhattan office for a meeting to clear the air. Each were joined by two staff members for a 90-minute meeting that Mr. Palomarez described as surprisingly cordial and productive. ‘He was very mannerly, very hospitable and never once did he interrupt me,’ Mr. Palomarez said, noting that Mr. Trump listened more than he talked during the meeting.”

[Trump, who was scheduled to discuss immigration on Geraldo Rivera’s radio show today, reportedly also intends to participate in a public question and answer session at the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce on October 8.]

Jeb swats - Time: “In a strikingly personal attack, [a Bush campaign internet quiz]…asks voters whether they would prefer a candidate who ‘is a germophobe when it comes to shaking hands,’ a reference to Trump’s documented phobia, [former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush], meanwhile is cast as a candidate who ‘strives to shake every hand everywhere.’ After collecting users’ email addresses and zip codes, the quiz presents its results. ‘You have clear Democratic tendencies,’ it spits out if too many Trump items are selected. ‘You’re looking for the candidate who proposed record new tax hikes, supported single-payer health care, and supported an assault weapons ban. You’ve found your man in Donald Trump.’”

Legitimized and antagonized - As top Bush talker Tim Miller told David Drucker: “If Trump is going to attempt to run a legitimate campaign, he needs to be treated as a legitimate candidate, and we’re going to treat him as such. We’re not going to duck and hide and hope he flames out; that’s not a path to success.”

Power Play: The Bush-Trump feud - The gloves are off and the jabs are flying in the bout between Donald Trump and Jeb Bush. Chris Stirewalt gives us the lowdown from ringside in just 60 seconds. WATCH HERE.

Fiorina for the win - The Hill: “The network announced Tuesday that it will include any GOP candidate in the prime-time debate who polls in the top 10 of the field in an average of recognized polls between Aug. 6 and Sept. 10. That’s expected to help [Carly Fiorina] the most — her poll numbers have shot up since the Aug. 6 Fox News debate.”

[Chris Stirewalt talked with Megyn Kelly about how Fiorina will debate and who ought to be nervous. Watch here.]

Muslims angry over Walker remarks on Islam - In a campaign stop last month in New Hampshire, Gov. Scott Walker, R-Wisc., said there were, “handful of reasonable and moderate followers of Islam,” drawing criticism from a group of interfaith leaders. The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports that group has now sent a letter to the governor calling on him to apologize.

[Walker is on the trail in the Lone Star State with meet and greets in Dallas and San Antonio, Texas.]

Rubio rips Obama’s global warming plan - Ahead of his meeting with energy leaders in Oklahoma, Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., writes in an op-ed for National Review, “Here’s another common-sense step I will take as president: I will stop the EPA’s Clean Power Plan, which, if enacted, would have a devastating impact on affordable energy in exchange for little to no environmental benefit…It would truly be one of the most costly regulations ever created. Despite these consequences, Hillary Clinton has pledged to make defending and expanding it a ‘top priority.’”

[Great, greater, greatest - Rubio alluded to Trump saying, “There’s one other candidate running, he says he’s going to make America great again…The issue is not that we’re not great. The issue is whether we will remain great. The issue is, we can be even greater than we are now.”]

Christie touts pro-life record - In a new ad out today, Gov. Chris Christie, R-N.J. highlights his record of defending life, not just regarding abortion, but also those who suffer from addictions. Christie says, “Because I believe that every one of those lives is a precious gift from God and it’s not up to us to decide when that life ends.”

Kasich poaches Perry’s New Hampshire director - Former Texas Gov. Rick Perry’s flagging campaign suffered another blow today as his top remaining New Hampshire operative, Dante Vitagliano, announced that he was abandoning Perry for Ohio Gov. John Kasich’s surging Granite State effort. Perry’s Iowa director ditched the campaign last week.

[Slams Dubya - On “The Laura Ingraham Show” Kasich said of Jeb Bush’s big brother, former President George W. Bush, “How ’bout the first term when they blew the $5 trillion surplus that we all created and spent it all away?”]

Kasich backs minimum wage hike - The Hill: “Ohio Gov. John Kasich (Ohio) said he backs a ‘reasonable’ federal minimum wage increase Tuesday, becoming one of the few GOP presidential candidates to do so.”

A man in Fresno, Calif., knew his priorities when a pre-dawn fire broke out in his apartment building. First, save the kids. Second, save the ribs. Robert Wright was up smoking a slab or two when he saw the flames. KHMP was at the scene reporting on the blaze and stopped to interview witnesses. (If you read the story, you will see no one was seriously injured.) Wright, still holding his rack of rescued treasure, told his tale. After getting his children out of the building, he knew what needed to be done: “I thought, I ain’t going to let my ribs burn and stuff. I take pride in what I do.” So this brave artisan went back and got his prize before assisting others out of the building. Now that is dedication to your craft. If the video does not make your morning great, you might have to ask yourself if you really love America.

“I think what might happen in the coming debate is that we’re going to have the focus on other people who haven’t now been in the spotlight. Of course starting with Fiorina, but, you know, with Carson now, tied in Iowa, it’s going to be a lot of focus on him. At the other end of the spectrum, Rand Paul is the one hanging on the edge who could be kicked off the main stage. I think he’s now at number 11. So you could get a real shuffling.” – 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

Chris Stirewalt joined Fox News Channel (FNC) in July of 2010 and serves as politics editor based in Washington, D.C. Additionally, he authors the daily Fox News Halftime Report political news note and co-hosts the hit podcast, Perino & Stirewalt: I'll Tell You What. He also is the host of Power Play, a feature video series on Stirewalt makes frequent appearances on network programs, including America’s Newsroom, Special Report with Bret Baier and Fox News Sunday with Chris Wallace. He also provides expert political analysis for FNC’s coverage of state, congressional and presidential elections.