Fox News Halftime Report

Bubba, much diminished, looks to turn convention

Clinton records show money came from unnamed third party sources


**Want FOX News Halftime Report in your inbox every day? Sign up here.**

On the roster: Bubba, much diminished, looks to turn convention - Time Out: Ben’s Brigade - Power Play: Are Dems taking Trump seriously? - Audible: Disloyal porridge - Vegans in a froth

PHILADELPHIA – Four years ago, Bill Clinton was the hero of the Democratic convention, dubbed by President Obama as the “secretary of explaining stuff.”

Back then, he might have expected that this week would bring him even greater glories. He would be explaining stuff for his own wife, poised to take the Democratic nomination and restore the House of Clinton after a 16-year interregnum.

But it has not been a very good for year for the Clintons, certainly when it comes to explaining stuff.

Clinton’s explanations about the massive fortune he and his wife made for being famous and connected, or his foundation’s unsavory donors, or his wife’s mishandling of state secrets or, most painfully of all, his past sexual misconduct.

We have long known about Hillary Clinton’s declining popularity, but in the span of Obama’s second term, Clinton went from being the most popular living American politician to something quite ordinary.

In September of 2012, the NYT/CBS poll found the former president with a 66 percent favorability rating. In May of this year, it was 45 percent.

Part of this surely the change in the Democratic Party and the left in general. Obama’s successful insurgency of 2008 moved the window for what was considered politically plausible. Obama’s success made it harder to shut down the vocal, hard-left part of the party.

Clinton’s law-and-order, welfare-reforming, free-trading, triangulated Third Way sounds like selling out to Democrats who don’t remember how hard it was for their party in the Reagan years.

Part of it is also how the world has changed. Americans, particularly on the left, have become much more intolerant of any whiff of abuse of women. What Democrats were ready to laugh off in 1998 as the president being a bad boy now sounds shocking.

Added to all of this is that Clinton, now 69, seems to have lost his gift for easy escapes. Rather than a nimble, smooth-talking rascal, Clinton often seems reedy, red-faced and frustrated.

All that brings us to tonight, when he might once have expected to experience a new high in his career. A two-term president and beloved figure in his party to whom tribute would be paid in the form of seeing his wife elevated to presidential nominee.

Instead, Clinton is keynoting the second night of the convention and doing so as a buffer between the ugliness of the opening day and the most important speaker of the convention other than the nominee: Barack Obama.

This is not how it was supposed to be for Bubba, who might even have to endure a few boos from rump Sandersistas.

The question for the former president is whether he can find a way to remind Democrats why he was their favorite. The success of his wife’s convention could depend on it.

[Today’s speaker lineup: Bill Clinton is the main speaker on the lineup today along with Eric Garner’s mother, Gwen Carr, Trayvon Martin’s mother, Sybrina Fulton, Michael Brown’s mother, Lezley McSpadden, and other mothers of those killed by police or in police custody]

Historical Society of Pennsylvania: “Though men had [banded] together to fight fires in other cities well before 1736, the Union Fire Company [established in Philadelphia] was the first formally organized company.  At the helm of its formation was Benjamin Franklin, who announced the city’s needs for fire engines and firefighters in his newspaper, the Pennsylvania Gazette, in the early 1730s. …Unlike other fire societies that generally assisted only their paying members when fires occurred, members of the Union Fire Company resolved to help anyone in distress. The Union Fire Company remained very active in the city throughout the eighteenth century.  Membership began to decline in the early nineteenth century, however, and the company officially disbanded in 1843.”

Flag on the play? - Email us at HALFTIMEREPORT@FOXNEWS.COM with your tips, comments or questions

Average of national presidential polls: Clinton vs. Trump: Trump +2.4 points
Generic congressional vote: 
Democrats +2.8

The start of the Democratic convention was pretty chaotic with divisions between the Bernie Bros. and the Hillary Clinton supporters. Will the party be able to unite before the convention is over? Karine Jean-Pierre, national spokeswoman for, explains her theory to Chris Stirewalt. WATCH HERE.

Dems look to Obama to get it done - David
Drucker explains that divisions at the Democratic convention run deep and only President Obama may be able to fix them. WashEx: “Democrats called for unity in their party Monday night, but after a day of protesting from Bernie Sanders supporters, it might be up to President Obama to actually deliver it when he speaks Wednesday night. Hillary Clinton was booed repeatedly on the convention floor by supporters of Sanders who felt burned by the Democratic National Convention. The spectacle destroyed her campaign’s plan for a perfectly choreographed convention, and that’s why Obama speech to conventioneers is suddenly more important.”

Trump says Sanders lost his energy, can sway some supporters - Fox News

Sanders supporters push for a roll call vote - LAT

Trump calls Pence ‘like the most perfect human being’ in the veep vetting process - WashEx

Trump stays away from attacks on Michelle Obama - The Hill

Koch-backed super PAC launches first ad in Indiana Senate race - The Hill

DCCC won’t fund Wasserman-Schultz race - Roll Call

“You sold your birthright for a bowl of porridge!” – An attendee of the DNC reacting to Elizabeth Warren’s speech at the convention on Monday night.

“Except for Mike Pence.” – Donald Trump after telling reporters that “all politicians” are disloyal when referring to Hillary Clinton’s treatment of Debbie Wasserman Schultz

“Thanks for printing my idea [about the air conditioners at the DNC], Chris. We met several years ago in Des Moines at the Embassy Suites but I am sure you don’t remember all the Iowans you meet. I enjoy your work very much.” – Wayne Van Heuvelen, Urbandale, Iowa

“Poor Debbie is just the latest Clinton casualty to be thrown under Hillary’s bus after giving her all to support the Clinton campaign. Plus, if anyone really believes that the DNC did not coordinate its anti-Sanders work with the Clinton campaign they need a better brain transplant.” – Alan Utter, Los Angeles, Calif.

The Oregonian: “A popular Portland mini doughnut shop has found itself in the midst of a hiring flap after including a prohibition against dietary restrictions in its help-wanted ad. On July 21, Northeast Portland’s Pip’s Original Doughnuts listed a Poached Jobs ad looking for a new barista that has basic skills, a friendly, outgoing personality and [no] non-medical, non-religious dietary restrictions ‘would stop you from tasting, accurately representing our treats and maintaining quality control.’ ’After receiving as much hate email as we have in the last two days, I’m more steadfast and sure of our position than ever,’ Snell wrote in a lengthy Facebook comment. ‘I’d rather have the freedom to run my business in a way that is both lawful and representative of my own hard-earned right of choice than capitulate to bullying, fear tactics and intimidation.’”

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 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.