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On the roster: Trump looks to handcuff Hillary on law and order - Power Play: Can dissident delegates derail trump? - Audible: Creepin’ - Taste of your own medicine
TRUMP LOOKS TO HANDCUFF HILLARY ON LAW AND ORDER
CLEVELAND – Who could be against law and order?
Donald Trump and the Republican Party are going to work hard today to convince you that Hillary Clinton is.
Back-to-back murders of multiple police officers, first in Dallas and then in Baton Rouge, La., have cast a pall over the 2016 election, just as the Republican convention is set to begin.
While police officers are all too often killed in the line of duty, these assaults, which are almost militant in style, and the accompanying racial tension are something different. In a year that has often felt out of control, these attacks add a new degree of anxiety.
They also pose a profound challenge to the two major party candidates as they begin the stretch run of campaign. And for now at least, the burden is heaviest on Clinton and the Democrats. Having embraced, to varying degrees, the anger and energy behind anti-police brutality protesters, Clinton now finds herself in danger of being cast as anti-cop.
And that’s never a good thing to be in American politics.
To meet the moment, Republicans are adding a new emphasis on law enforcement to their opening night here. And Trump himself has been repeating his refrain that he is the “law and order” candidate.
Clinton, meanwhile, is on the southern side of the state to address the NAACP in Cincinnati. That would be a tough room under normal circumstances for Clinton, whose outreach to black voters has been fraught at best. Clinton enjoys overwhelming support from minority voters, and did so in this year’s Democratic primaries. But that seems to be more about ethnic partisan identification, Barack Obama’s legacy, and the unsuitability of her opponents.
Trump declined the invitation to speak to America’s largest African American civil rights organization, a tacit acknowledgement that the GOP will continue to substantially cede black votes to Democrats.
But what Clinton says to the NAACP will matter to voters of all ethnicities. Obama has struggled to find the right line between legitimizing the Black Lives Matter protest movement while still acting as an advocate for law enforcement.
Clinton has nothing like the clout with black voters that Obama does, and has been eager to appear supportive of the anti-police brutality movement. She went so far as to repudiate the tough drug sentencing laws that were a cornerstone of her husband’s own “law and order” candidacy twenty years ago.
Democrats have long been plagued with the reputation for being less supportive of police and law enforcement than Republicans. As Trump channels 1968 winner Richard Nixon’s message, he is invoking a painful chapter for Democrats as Republicans reached generational dominance fueled in part by anxiety over race riots and urban unrest.
As the circle of history would have it, it was Bill Clinton who broke that cycle. He ran as tough on crime, pro-death penalty, and a Democrat who was willing to scold black activists for not condemning “cop killer” lyrics in rap music.
Trump is hammering away on Clinton in hopes that she is so pinned down on the subject that she won’t be able to fight back and reclaim her family’s brand on the subject.
Given how awkwardly Clinton has navigated this and other freighted issues it’s not a bad bet for the GOP standard bearer to make.
[Scheduled to speak in Cleveland tonight: Melania Trump, Former Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn, Sen. Joni Ernst, R-Iowa, Jason Beardsley and Rep. Ryan Zinke, R-Mont.]
Cleveland Historical: “As you approach the southwest quadrant of Public Square you will see a bronze statue of a man. This famous figure stands frozen in time, keeping watch over the very town that bears his name. Moses Cleaveland (1754-1806)…served as a General in the Continental Army during the Revolutionary War. Moses was a shareholder in the Connecticut Land Company which purchased land in the Western Reserve, or New Connecticut. This involvement led Moses Cleaveland on an expedition into the Ohio wilderness…Ninety-two years later, in 1888, the Early Settlers Association of the Western Reserve erected a statue of Cleaveland on the very Public Square that his men had once plotted…Despite the honored position that Cleaveland holds in the city’s history, however, it is spelled Cleveland -- without the extra ‘a.’ One legend has it that in 1830 the city’s newspaper could not fit the ‘a’ in its headline, so the city became Cleveland.”
Flag on the play? - Email us at HALFTIMEREPORT@FOXNEWS.COM with your tips, comments or questions
Average of national presidential polls: Clinton vs. Trump: Clinton +3.8 points
Generic congressional vote: Democrats +2.8
POWER PLAY: CAN DISSIDENT DELEGATES DERAIL TRUMP?
Today, dissident delegates at the Republican National Convention will mount their final effort to derail or at least delay Donald Trump’s nomination. How could it work? What are the rules? Former RNC Chairman Mike Duncan joins Chris Stirewalt in Cleveland ahead of today’s official convention opening to talk about his experience as heading a convention and whether anti-Trump forces slim shot of upended the convention has any possibility of doing so. WATCH HERE.
But… - David Drucker explains how delegates striped themselves of their own power to hold on to Trump as the nominee. WashEx: “Republican delegates went to extraordinary lengths to protect Donald Trump, neutering their institutional power over of his nomination. Delegates serving on an influential committee moved, on the eve of the convention that will formally nominate Trump, to strengthen party rules that bind their votes to the presidential candidate that won the primary or caucus in their state. The rules changes protected Trump from a small but aggressive delegate insurgency intent on derailing his nomination on the convention floor.”
Trump’s answer for Pence’s Iraq war vote? Doesn’t matter - WaPo
Trump aims to soften image at convention - Time
Security fears hang over the convention - The Hill
Trump still taking Lewandowski’s advice - NY Magazine
“I just don’t want to say it, so I’ll keep it quiet, just among us, I’ll be [at the convention all tonight]. I want to watch. It will be very exciting.” – Donald Trump on “Fox & Friends” this morning talking about possibly speaking or attending tonight’s opening of the RNC
FROM THE BLEACHERS
“Chris, you are becoming the Johnnie Miller of politics. In case you’re not into golf, Johnnie is always ready to point out how bad a player’s next shot could be. You may not like Trump, but get used to him. Your guys lost, it just might be because they hit more ‘bad shots’ than Trump.” – Bill Zebedee, Medford, Ore.
[Ed note: We try not to “like” or “dislike” any candidate. In fact, our job is to be as fair and balanced as we can. Our analysis may not always be right, but it is always rendered with the intent to see the whole picture and take no sides. Plus, if I was really the Johnnie Miller of politics, I would find a way to make every note about something I had done in my own career!]
TASTE OF YOUR OWN MEDICINE
Ottawa Citizen: “Ottawa Hospital CEO Dr. Jack Kitts recently ate hospital food, and you won’t believe what happened next. Well, if you have ever eaten hospital food, you probably will. He and other managers didn’t particularly like what they tasted and saw. After food managers choked down three meals a day for a week, there was a consensus that things had to change. The hospital, after hearing complaints from patients for years, is now revamping its patient menus, introducing quinoa salad and other more contemporary foods, ditching its unpopular retro standby, chicken à la king, and contemplating a future in which patients can order room service late in the evening.”
Chris Stirewalt is digital politics editor for Fox News. Sally Persons contributed to this report. Want FOX News Halftime Report 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.