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• Hillary hopes to beat the rap on a technicality
• Report: Biden leaked son’s dying wish
• Trade deal squeezes Hillary
• Carly: ‘I am distinctly horrifying to liberals’
• A light blue towel with bloodshot eyes is wanted for questioning
HILLARY HOPES TO BEAT THE RAP ON A TECHNICALITY
Have you ever watched a courtroom drama in which the judge dramatically declares that a whole swath of evidence is inadmissible because its origins were tainted?
That’s what Hillary Clinton is hoping Democrats do for her today with her first television ad.
The new spot no doubt will add further anguish to Republicans contemplating the speakership of Kevin McCarthy. And it will, no doubt, certainly help frame the former secretary of state’s testimony later this month about the deadly raid of 2012 in Benghazi, Libya.
But the point here is primarily about locking up a primary which has proved remarkably difficult for Clinton. She should not be trailing the 74-year-old socialist senator from Vermont anywhere, not even New Hampshire.
And Vice President Joe Biden’s bubble should’ve popped a long time ago. While the two of them have certainly had their disagreements, she and Biden represent essentially the same part of the Democratic Party. Remember: that’s why Barack Obama picked Biden as his running mate in 2008.
Her problems certainly stem from her acknowledged struggle to interact with human beings. A manful effort by her media partners at NBC for the past week notwithstanding, Clinton still struggles with empathy.
But Clinton’s biggest problem is the same one that her establishment counterpart on the Republican side has: electability. Usually the domain of underdogs and outsiders, it is the runners in the inside lanes who have the electability woes in this topsy cycle.
For Jeb Bush, his electability problems don’t relate to him as much as they relate to his last name (though he certainly is making an effort to be his own man in that regard, too).
For Clinton, the reason she is faring so poorly against her would-be general election rivals is that Americans broadly mistrust her and there is baggage still to unpack. Given her misleading, obfuscatory and facile answers to the persistent scandals that have dogged her candidacy, Democrats have good reason to believe that there is more to come.
With Clinton comes of possibility of catastrophic failure. That’s true of any candidate. But in Clinton’s case the percentage possibility is just too high that her campaign for the White House could end with a press conference in a U.S. attorney’s office or the release of emails so politically damaging that she has to pull the plug on her own campaign.
Even if it were only a 10 percent chance of total meltdown, it would be too high for most Democrats.
So what Clinton is trying to do is get off on a technicality – to rule much of the evidence against her inadmissible. No one would know about the server, or the classified emails if it wasn't for those pesky kids in Congress.
And while it might seem a little too rich to have one of the most politically calculating operators in recent memory complaining about political calculation in others, it won’t take much to convince Democrats that the Republicans are out to get her.
The revival of the impeachment-era effort to declare facts void because of their provenance may in fact help Democrats rally to her side in this time of need, but it will be the evidence that is revealed that will damn or save her campaign. It’s what is revealed over the next year that counts, whatever context in which Clinton places it.
So just to recap what ought to cause Democrats worry, regardless of how the scandal sled got going:
Monday revealed long-time Clinton aide Philippe Reines misled reporters about his own use of private email at the State Department when reports surfaced that he had corresponded with reporters about official business on his own private email.
Another Clinton aide, Huma Abedin, triple-dipped while working for the State Department, Clinton Foundation, and consulting firm Teneo simultaneously. Documents pertaining to her will come out later this week.
Clinton claimed that she willingly turned over all of her emails to be transparent, but… nope.
She also promised the public (and her party) that her server would remain private and that potentially embarrassing emails had been destroyed, but it’s now being combed through by the FBI.
And speaking of that server, Clinton also claimed she didn’t send any classified material. Oops.
REPORT: BIDEN LEAKED SON’S DYING WISH
It’s getting rough out there... In a story that must thrill Team Hillary, Politico reports that “…it was Biden himself who talked to [NYT Columnist Maureen Dowd], painting a tragic portrait of a dying son, Beau’s face partially paralyzed, sitting his father down and trying to make him promise to run for president because ‘the White House should not revert to the Clintons and that the country would be better off with Biden values.’”
[Milbank: “Finally, it can be reported: Joe Biden is running for president, unless he isn’t. He will announce his decision this weekend, unless he doesn’t.”]
Trade deal squeezes Hillary - Monday’s announcement of a Pacific trade pact puts Hillary Clinton in a tight predicament: please her liberal base or risk the wrath of her former boss. Sen. Bernie Sanders came out fast, calling the trade deal “disastrous,” and with union support in the balance Clinton can ill-afford to add to the erosion on the left. But with chaffing points on issues like Syria and the Keystone XL pipeline already raw, an open break by Clinton on a key Obama legacy policy could result in the president nudging Joe Biden to run. Clinton’s ambiguous wait-and see position on the trade deal presumably at an end, pressure to cease the waffling is quickly building.
Bernie’s gun conundrum - WaPo: “Sanders (I-Vt.), said Monday that his campaign is assembling a ‘comprehensive package’ of measures to address gun violence and that he believes there is a way to bridge the country’s deep political divisions over the issue…Gun control remains a challenging issue for Sanders, who by nearly every other measure has the most progressive record in the Democratic field. But Sanders represents a largely rural state with a strong hunting tradition and relatively few restrictions on firearms, and he has a mixed voting record that includes opposition to the landmark Brady Bill in 1993 and support of legislation in 2005 that shielded gun manufacturers from lawsuits.”
[Watch Fox: Colorado Sen. Cory Gardner joins Gretchen Carlson on “The Real Story” at 2 p.m. ET.]
WITH YOUR SECOND CUP OF COFFEE…
The Telegraph: “The sketches and paintings, if proved to be authentic, would be worth an estimated [$785,701,000]. Experts said that after two years of rigorous analysis, they had found ‘remarkable similarities’ between the newly-discovered works, kept in a castle in Milan, and the known works of Caravaggio. But the announcement came out of the blue, caused an immediate storm in the art world and raised as many questions as it answered. The historians apparently managed to keep their research a secret for two years, but on Friday their findings will be published in a lavish, two-volume, 600-page e-book in four languages. The works are believed to date from Caravaggio’s earliest years as a painter, when he was a young apprentice under Simone Peterzano, a mannerist painter in Milan, from 1584 to 1588.”
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Real Clear Politics Averages
Obama Job Approval: Approve – 45.5 percent//Disapprove – 49.3 percent
Directions of Country: Right Direction – 27.2 percent//Wrong Track – 62.3 percent
CARLY: ‘I AM DISTINCTLY HORRIFYING TO LIBERALS’
WashEx: “Republican presidential nominee Carly Fiorina acknowledged that as she moves up in the polls, media outlets will up their attacks on her. Fiorina feels the attacks will continue because she is conservative, she said on [‘The Kelly File’] Monday night. ‘There are a lot of liberals who find me kind of scary right now, because I am doing really well in the polls and – horror of horrors – I am a conservative woman,’ Fiorina said, referring to a recent attack by MSNBC against her for allegedly mismanaging money and failing to pay vendors for their work on her 2010 California Senate campaign. The former Hewlett-Packard CEO explained that those debts were paid, and then called out the media for failing to make a story out of Hillary Clinton’s campaign debt, which she held for over four years that was roughly 40 times the size of Fiorina’s.”
It’s like Uber, but for presidential campaigns - Sen. Marco Rubio addresses a crowd in New York today on the challenges government and business face in the “sharing economy.” In an advance look at his remarks, Rubio says, “And it’s not just the fact that the economy is changing; it’s the fact that it’s changing faster than ever. It took the telephone 75 years to reach 100 million users. It took CandyCrush one year! Yet while our economy is changing, our government is not. And both parties are to blame.”
[Senior National Correspondent John Roberts takes an inside look at Rubio’s family life and time on the trail. Watch here.]
Cruz’s Nevada team looks beefy - Las Vegas Sun: “Nevada Assembly Majority Whip Jim Wheeler … is backing Ted Cruz for president…Wheeler is the second prominent Nevada leader to endorse a presidential candidate in two days after Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker backed out of the race two weeks ago.”
Walker mega-donor backs five GOPers- WaPo: “Stanley Hubbard, a major financial backer of Scott Walker before his campaign for president fizzled, recently made the maximum allowable contribution to Jeb Bush’s campaign … he gave to former Hewlett-Packard chief executive Carly Fiorina, Sen. Marco Rubio (Fla.), retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson and New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie.”
Jeb sticking with Iowa effort - Ahead of an Iowa sweep this week, Jeb Bush is out with a new video highlighting his record as Florida governor. Bush starts his three-day trip today in the Quad Cities.
BAIER TRACKS: TRUMP TIME ON ‘SPECIAL REPORT’
“Donald Trump is seemingly omnipresent in the media – but tonight he makes his first-ever appearance on ‘Special Report’ since he joined the race in June. (It’s also the first time Trump will sit down with any of the three moderators from the Fox News debate in August.) We are 118 days away from the Iowa Caucuses and while Trump still leads big in almost every poll - the race seems on the cusp of a shift as his opponents jockey for position behind him. I plan to ask about foreign policy and domestic policy as well as his brand of presidential politics… plus some things that he has not been asked before. Tune in tonight at 6 pm ET.” - Bret Baier.
[What now? - Watch Chris Stirewalt on “The Kelly File” lays out Trump’s potential paths forward as public opinion shifts.]
READERS REACT: 2016 GOP POWER INDEX
“Ted Cruz’[s] #1 Power Ranking should put fear into the hearts of Republicans who actually want to win the 2016 general election. The nomination of either Donald Trump or Ted Cruz will assure a Democrat in the White House – Trump has huge negatives in surveys among all voters…” – Jim Hartman
“You are liberal republican fantasy purveyors. The more [T]rump is denigrated, the more respect he will get. Trump or 3rd party for non-country club establishment [R]epublicans!!!!!!!” – Roy Upton
“Doesn’t anyone listen to Marco Rubio! So far I have not heard him trying to get brownie points by trashing anyone. By far he is the most eligible to be the next president. Just listen to what he has to say. Fiorina has done her homework as far as knowing what to say, but not enough knowledge to be president.” – Peggy McCormack
WHAT HAPPENS IN VEGAS… WILL PROBABLY BE THOUGHTFUL, ERUDITE
The American Enterprise Institute and the Brookings Institution will host another pre-debate panel, this time in Las Vegas ahead of the first Democratic showdown on Oct. 13. The lunchtime panel will discuss demographic changes in 2016 with a special emphasis on the Mountain West. Data gurus Ruy Teixeira and Karlyn Bowman will both be in the mix. So if you’re a reporter, pundit or political big brain headed out for fight night, how about starting at Spago Las Vegas? You can invite yourself here.
A LIGHT BLUE TOWEL WITH BLOODSHOT EYES IS WANTED FOR QUESTIONING
The Youngstown Vindicator: “[Austintown, Ohio] police were called to a home Friday night by a man who complained he was ‘too high’ after smoking marijuana. According to a police report, authorities were called … by a 22-year old male who had smoked the drug. The officer who responded to the home could hear the man groaning from a room. The officer then found the man lying ‘on the floor in the fetal position’ and ‘was surrounded by a plethora of Doritos, Pepperidge Farm Goldfish and Chips Ahoy cookies,’ the report said. The man also told police he couldn’t feel his hands. A glass pipe with marijuana residue, two packs of rolling papers, two roaches and a glass jar of marijuana were recovered from the man’s car after he gave the keys to police. The man declined medical treatment at the home Friday night. Austintown police have not charged the man in the incident as of late Monday morning.”
AND NOW A WORD FROM CHARLES…
“What [Hillary Clinton] is counting on – which I think actually works – is that the public is not going to follow each of these statements.” – 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 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.