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• Email news wipes Hillary’s second reset
• Biden ridin’ high in new poll
• Carson drills ‘P.C. culture’ while Trump ducks
• ¿Qué? Jeb says multiculturalism ‘wrong approach’
• Oh yeah, then where was his goatee?
EMAIL NEWS WIPES HILLARY’S SECOND RESET
Hillary Clinton’s furious effort to refocus her struggling campaign on something other than the scandals that have dogged it from the start just ran smack into a brick wall.
First, the WaPo reported that Clinton had misrepresented why she turned over emails from her private server. It wasn’t routine records keeping as Clinton claimed, but the discovery of her secret email server more than a year ago that triggered the request for her documents and her eventual compliance. That dropped just as Clinton hit the Des Moines Register for a meeting with editors and she was caught flat-footed.
The shambles of her initial claims about her email is nearly complete. Pro tip: When you are busted being shady, don’t be shady in your explanation.
Clinton was hoping to get back to her new focus: trying to paint herself as more liberal than the Obama administration (seriously!) as she pushes for a huge increase in refugees from the Syrian civil war and for – quite suddenly – the rejection of a new oil pipeline from Canada. Clinton’s goal is to paint herself as left of Vice President Joe Biden.
It’s revealing that Clinton has set her new ideological position in the space between Biden and the Democrats’ version of Ron Paul, Sen. Bernie Sanders. That’s a weird space, dude. And it’s one in which a general election bid would have a cramped launch pad, to say the least. She must really be worried about defeating a historically weak field to torch so many general election votes.
Transparent, rapid-fire pandering is usually bad news, but it’s still better than being reduced to legalistic dissembling in front of a gaggle of reporters. Yet there Clinton was, watching the second reset of her second campaign fall apart like cheap shoes in a rainstorm.
But her bad day wasn’t over yet. Not by a long shot.
Bloomberg was about to report that the FBI probe into Clinton’s handling of secret documents as secretary of state had unlocked the more than 30,000 documents that Clinton in March had declared destroyed.
The sounds of heads exploding in Brooklyn could be heard across the land.
Remember that Clinton took the brazen step of destroying evidence she said would exonerate her. She claimed she handed over all official emails and destroyed the rest in the interest of her family’s privacy. It would clear her name against allegations of ethical and national security misconduct, but she didn’t want anyone nosing around her and her husband’s emails.
It sounded absurd, but hey, if the server was “wiped” or shredded, cooked on high in a microwave for an hour and then dumped into the Marianas Trench, there wasn’t anything that could be done about it.
Unless Clinton was foolish enough to have deemed the emails gone when they really weren’t and when the server itself wasn’t in her custody. Which now, it appears, was the case. She was bluffing.
As Stephan Dinan reports, though, the FBI isn’t exactly advertising its findings. The agency is refusing even to discuss the investigation with the State Department, which was ordered by a judge to try to collaborate with the Justice Department to determine what might be recovered from Clinton’s email.
How, when and if the contents of the once-secret server are made public are all open questions. But, if the emails Clinton said she ordered be destroyed have been recovered and if that discovery is confirmed, the emails can be had by congressional investigators.
It goes like this: The first and most immediate threat to Clinton’s campaign and, potentially, her freedom is the possibility of criminal prosecution for knowingly mishandling state secrets. If she is even charged with a crime for her email practices, she’s toast. And if the emails she said would “remain private” reveal any sensitive government business, she’s burnt toast.
But even if the emails Clinton wanted destroyed yield no charges for her or her intimates, they will certainly be sought by the House committee investigating the 2012 Benghazi terror attack. And that’s where the risk of the discovery of something not criminal but politically devastating comes into play.
Outside of the real, but still unlikely chance that Clinton would get popped for national security violations, the existential threat to her bid to return to the White House is in her and her husband’s convoluted and ethically dubious moneymaking practices of the past decade. If the committee gets evidence that supports the claims that Clinton did inappropriate favors for patrons while in office, that’s probably a death knell, depending on how gross of a violation.
And then there’s the embarrassment factor of what was said by Clinton and her top aides in unguarded conversations.
BIDEN RIDIN’ HIGH IN NEW POLL
A Bloomberg News poll out today shows Vice President Joe Biden in a strong position if he does indeed mount a challenge to his party’s once-inevitable frontrunner. Biden was the pick of 25 percent of Democratic voters, just 8 points behind Clinton, who announced her candidacy nearly six months ago. Biden is one point ahead of left-wing heartthrob Sen. Bernie Sanders.
But the worse news for Clinton is the poll also shows Clinton at her lowest favorability rating yet among the general electorate – 38 percent, down 10 points from April – with Biden riding to a new high of 49 percent. Biden is seen more favorably by Democrats, too. Seventy percent said they had a favorable opinion of Clinton compared to 80 percent for Biden.
Power Play: Hillary’s boxing out Biden - With all the buzz about a Joe Biden challenge, Hillary Clinton has been launched some preemptive strikes in his direction. What’s behind Hillary’s not so welcome wagon? Chris Stirewalt has the answer, in just 60 seconds. WATCH HERE.
WITH YOUR SECOND CUP OF COFFEE…
America is mourning today the passing today of one of its true originals, Yogi Berra. He didn’t get the chance to play for his hometown St. Louis Cardinals, but had a legendary career as catcher and later manager of the New York Yankees. But Berra was really a philosopher in pinstripes. The NYP collected some of his best malapropisms, jokes and bits of wisdom, including the very best when one is facing uncertainty with difficult choices in life: “When you come to a fork in the road, take it.” How many of us have been sorry we failed to choose when we had the chance? RIP.
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Real Clear Politics Averages
Obama Job Approval: Approve – 45.5 percent//Disapprove – 50.1 percent
Directions of Country: Right Direction – 28.6 percent//Wrong Track – 62.6 percent
[Watch Fox: New Fox News Poll results on the 2016 Democratic & Republican nomination races and favorability ratings on The Pope and the Catholic Church. All release on “Special Report with Bret Baier” 6 p.m. ET]
CARSON DRILLS ‘P.C. CULTURE’ WHILE TRUMP DUCKS
Ben Carson is riding a wave of new support following his unapologetic refusal to support a hypothetical Muslim candidate for president. Carson, who remained adamant in an interview Tuesday with Megyn Kelly, says he is seeing a surge in contributions.
Meanwhile, the candidate Carson is chasing in the polls, Donald Trump, is ducking questions surrounding his own Islamocentric controversy. Appearing on “The Tonight Show,” Trump continued to refuse to respond to questions about whether he still believes President Obama is lying about being American-born.
Trump has steadfastly refused to comment on the president’s nativity or whether Obama is a secret Muslim since an audience member in New Hampshire last week declared Obama Islamic and referenced Trump’s onetime status as the leading proponent of a conspiracy theory that the president had covered up the location of his birth.
Though Trump in another interview seemed to defend the question as legitimate – or at least the part that relates to Muslims in America “being a problem” – he is so far dodging questions on his own beliefs.
This has created a considerable opening for the already surging Carson, who isn’t afraid to tackle the topic, perhaps owing to not toting any birther baggage of his own. While Carson says he is trying to “fix the P.C. culture,” Trump suddenly seems to be trying to abide by it.
The frontrunner instead is doing his best to revive old feuds and start new ones in hopes that personality conflicts will overshadow his recent troubles.
¿Qué?: Jeb says multiculturalism ‘wrong approach’ - DMR: “Bush offered a sharp rebuke of the notion of multiculturalism in America during a diner stop [in Iowa]. ‘America has done immigration so much better than other countries because it’s a set of values that people share that defines our national identity, not race or ethnicity or where you come from,’… He added that the ‘assimilation process’ in America has been ‘retarded’ by instances in which immigrant groups have remained isolated from broader communities and emphasized the need for new Americans to learn English. ‘A common language is important. We need to get back to that,’ he said. “We’re creeping toward multiculturalism and that’s the wrong approach.’”
[Bush is in Washington today where he and his wife Columba will attend a Mass celebrated by Pope Francis.]
Rubio bucks pope on economy - Sen. Marco Rubio said on “Special Report with Bret Baier” that he believes Pope Francis is off-target when it comes to the economy. When he “pronounces himself from the chair of Peter,” the Pope speaks with “incredible authority” on moral issues, Rubio, who is a Catholic, told Baier. “I have a difference in opinion with him on economic models,” Rubio said, “We have the same goal, of providing more prosperity and upward mobility. I just honestly believe free enterprise is a better way of doing it.” Watch here.
Fiorina: nix the China dinner - AP: “The former Hewlett-Packard CEO said…she still would meet privately with [Chinese President Xi Jinping]. But she said she would cancel the dinner as just one step in a new hard line against Beijing…Fiorina identified China, together with Russia and Iran, as aggressors that she would curtail if elected. Obama has dealt meekly with the three nations, Fiorina argued, comparing the trio to misbehaving children. ‘What happens If you let your teenager do bad stuff over and over again, what do they do? Bad stuff,’ she said, drawing a mix of laughter and applause at The Citadel military college in Charleston. ‘Well, it’s true of China and (others).’”
[Fiorina officially files for South Carolina Primary ballot as she continues a three day tour of the Palmetto State.]
OH YEAH, THEN WHERE WAS HIS GOATEE?
AP: “A man who claimed at trial that his ‘evil twin’ robbed 10 gas stations, convenience and beer stores in eastern Pennsylvania must spend at least 60 years in prison. The (Allentown) Morning Call reports 34-year-old Steven Felton, of Emmaus, was sentenced to 62 to 124 years on Monday. Lehigh County Judge Kelly Banach said she was offended by Felton’s arrogance. A jury last month convicted Felton in the 10 robberies in the Lehigh Valley, all of which occurred during the fall of 2012. Most of the heists were caught on video, which clearly showed Felton’s face as he wielded a pellet gun. Chief Deputy District Attorney Matthew Falk asked for a long sentence, saying some traumatized clerks are unable to return to work due to Felton’s ‘reign of terror.’”
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 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 FoxNews.com. 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.