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On the roster: Biden looks to donors as he prepares to enter race - I’ll Tell You What: Beto, Biden and bonsais! - Beto says he could win Texas in the general - Dem senator readies pre-made agenda for next POTUS - A true ‘dilly, dilly’ moment
BIDEN LOOKS TO DONORS AS HE PREPARES TO ENTER RACE
Fox News: “Former Vice President Joe Biden told a group of supporters on Tuesday that he is planning to run for president in the 2020 and needs help securing contributions from donors, according to a report. Biden, who ranks high in polls among Democratic favorites, said he wanted to raise enough donations that were comparable to what Rep. Beto O’Rourke, D-Texas, and Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., raised shortly after announcing their candidacy, a source knowledgeable on the matter told the Wall Street Journal. … Biden told his supporters on Tuesday that his candidacy would be judged by how quickly it could raise donations, the Wall Street Journal reported. But despite signs indicating that Biden is prepping for a presidential bid, he has yet to make a formal announcement. Biden seemingly slipped during a speech in Delaware on Saturday, telling the audience: ‘I have the most progressive record of anybody running for the --- anybody who would run.’”
He continues to lead the pack in the polls - Fox News: “Former Vice President Joe Biden and Sen. Bernie Sanders lead the large field of Democratic presidential contenders in a new national poll. But Sen. Kamala Harris of California and former Rep. Beto O’Rourke of Texas are also distancing themselves from the remainder of the pack in the survey, released Tuesday by CNN. Twenty-eight percent of Democrats and Democratic-leaning independent voters said they would most likely support Biden for the party’s 2020 presidential nomination. … Harris, the former California attorney general, enjoyed the biggest bump in the survey. She jumped eight percentage points from CNN’s December poll to now stand at 12 percent. Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts stood in fifth place, at 6 percent, with former Secretary of State John Kerry at 4 percent. Sens. Cory Booker of New Jersey and Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota stood at 3 percent.”
World leaders have also given Biden love - Politico: “When Joe Biden attended the annual Munich Security Conference last month, the wonky foreign policy confab promised an escape from the nonstop speculation back home about the former vice president’s political plans. Instead, Biden’s 2020 intentions were the talk of the conference. When Armenian President Armen Sarkissian ran into him in a hallway, a TV camera captured him asking Biden: ‘Are you going to run?’ (Biden whispered an inaudible answer.) And in several conversations with European leaders in Munich, Biden heard a repeated refrain, according to a conference attendee familiar with the conversations: The world needs you. Citing Biden’s long foreign policy track record and longtime commitment to the trans-Atlantic alliance, some of the leaders — echoing views from across the continent — told Biden that his return to the White House would be a sure way to restore western alliances that President Donald Trump has dramatically fractured.”
McAuliffe won’t make a 2020 decision until Biden does - WaPo: “When [Terry McAuliffe] left office in January 2018, McAuliffe appeared to be well positioned for a White House run as a socially liberal, business-friendly Democrat from an important swing state. But 14 months later, it’s unclear if there is room for McAuliffe, 62, in a party that seems to be pulling leftward. … Complicating McAuliffe’s deliberations — his self-imposed March 31 deadline for a decision is looming — is former vice president Joe Biden. A friend of 40 years, Biden would occupy the same center-left, establishment lane. If Biden gets in, McAuliffe would more than likely stay out, some friends say. ‘The only time you’ll ever see the words ‘deferential’ and ‘Terry McAuliffe’ in the same sentence is [with regard to] Joe Biden,’ said one associate, who like others spoke on the condition of anonymity to be candid about McAuliffe’s private deliberations.”
THE RULEBOOK: THERE MUST BE CONSEQUENCES FOR ACTIONS
“If there be no penalty annexed to disobedience, the resolutions or commands which pretend to be laws will, in fact, amount to nothing more than advice or recommendation.” – Alexander Hamilton, Federalist No. 15
TIME OUT: NEW FOSSIL ALERT
NatGeo: “About 115 million years ago in what's now northwest China, a female bird was on the verge of motherhood. But somehow, her life on an ancient lakeshore took a traumatic turn, triggering a pregnancy complication that killed the egg forming inside her and may have even led to her death. Entombed ever since, this mother bird is now a paleontology milestone: Named Avimaia schweitzerae, the newly described species is the first fossil bird known to science that contains an unlaid egg. … Described this week in Nature Communications, the egg could shed light on reproductive disorders in ancient birds. And if its pigments are preserved, the fossil could reveal more about how ancient birds nested. Previous research has shown that the colors and speckles on dinosaur eggshells may vary depending on the dinosaur's nesting behavior, such as whether the species buries its eggs or broods them. This pattern holds true in the only dinosaurs alive today: birds.”
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Trump job performance
Average approval: 41 percent
Average disapproval: 53.6 percent
Net Score: -12.6 points
Change from one week ago: down 1.8 points
[Average includes: CNN: 43% approve - 51% disapprove; Gallup: 39% approve - 57% disapprove; Monmouth University: 44% approve - 52% disapprove; Quinnipiac University: 38% approve - 55% disapprove; IBD: 41% approve - 53% disapprove.]
I’LL TELL YOU WHAT: BETO, BIDEN AND BONSAIS!
This week, Dana Perino and Chris Stirewalt hash out who constitutes the top tier of the Democratic nominating process and Dana reveals where to find secret Cherry Blossoms and bonsai trees in D.C. Plus, Chris goes through the mailbag and Dana fires off some trivia. LISTEN AND SUBSCRIBE HERE
BETO SAYS HE COULD WIN TEXAS IN THE GENERAL
Fox News: “Beto O’Rourke predicts that if he wins the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination, he’ll take his native state of Texas in the general election. The former congressman from El Paso also said he would ‘absolutely’ support his campaign staff if they wanted to unionize. He also would consider lowering the federal voting age to 16, scrapping the Electoral College, increasing the number of justices on the Supreme Court, and eliminating the filibuster in the Senate. Speaking with reporters after holding his first event in New Hampshire as a presidential candidate, O’Rourke said, ‘Yes I think we can win Texas. I think we’ve proven we know how to campaign.’ … Winning Texas and its 38 electoral votes would be a major coup for the Democrats. The last Democrat to take the state in a presidential election was Jimmy Carter in 1976. Republican President Donald Trump won Texas in 2016 but by a smaller margin than GOP nominee Mitt Romney in 2012.”
Gillibrand admits errors in handling of sexual misconduct claim - AP: “New York Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand acknowledged Tuesday that there were some ‘post-investigation human errors’ when her Senate office investigated allegations of sexual misconduct against various staffers. Gillibrand, campaigning in Iowa for the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination, also confirmed that her deputy chief of staff, Anne Bradley, was resigning but said only that ‘the decision was her own.’ Bradley’s handling of a sexual harassment claim made by a female staffer against one of Gillibrand’s male aides came under fire after Politico reported the aide was kept on despite the allegation. … ‘We decided that because of some post-investigation human errors that future investigations should be done by our new chief of staff, who actually has experience in this area,’ Gillibrand said, a reference to Joi Chaney, who joined the senator’s staff in January and previously served in the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission during the Obama administration.”
2020 hopeful Delaney says Electoral College talk a waste of time - Fox News: “Democratic presidential candidate John Delaney thinks it's a waste of time for candidates to talk about the Electoral College. ‘I would love to get rid of the Electoral College because I don’t think it’s the right way -- but it’s not changing. I think to some extent it’s a total waste of time to talk about it,’ the onetime Maryland representative said on ‘The Story with Martha MacCallum.’ ‘I’d rather talk about improving public education, creating a better health care system, lowering drug prices, investing in infrastructure. Doing things that matter to the American people.’ … Delaney also addressed the topic of age, and the question of whether fellow candidates like Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., 77, and former Vice President Joseph Biden, 76, were too old to run, reacting to a column in The Washington Post asking if the two veteran politicians had waited too long to pursue the high office.”
2020 Dems give green-light for their own campaigns to unionize - Fox News: “Democratic 2020 presidential hopefuls are quickly warming to the idea of allowing their own campaign workers to unionize… It's an idea that has caught on among a wide Democratic field seemingly willing to entertain a range of proposals that would have been non-starters in past cycles. … While [Bernie] Sanders became the first candidate to actually go ahead with unionization, former San Antonio Mayor Julian Castro announced in January that he will pay all campaign workers, including interns, $15 an hour or more. … Meanwhile, on Tuesday night, former Rep. Beto O’Rourke, D-Texas -- who entered the race last week -- said that if campaign workers want to unionize, he would ‘support it all the way’ as he made a laundry list of promises to potential campaign staff.”
Give this a read: ‘A political awakening: How Howard University shaped Kamala Harris’ identity’ - LAT: “It was at Howard that the senator’s political identity began to take shape. Thirty-three years after she graduated in 1986, the university in the nation’s capital, one of the country’s most prominent historically black institutions, also serves as a touchstone in a campaign in which political opponents have questioned the authenticity of her black identity. ‘I reference often my days at Howard to help people understand they should not make assumptions about who black people are,’ Harris said in a recent interview.”
DEM SENATOR READIES PRE-MADE AGENDA FOR NEXT POTUS
Politico: “Brian Schatz is no household name. But he's already positioning himself as an influential figure in the 2020 presidential race — someone who can unite the party around a shared agenda even if the primary inevitably turns ugly. Schatz, the senior senator from Hawaii, says he is eager to help Democrats avoid ‘that whole stupid, unproductive, toxic debate’ of 2016, when voters were seemingly forced to choose between Bernie Sanders’ bold-but-vague proposals and Hillary Clinton’s detailed-but-modest legislative prescriptions. To do so, he’s been consulting with many of his Democratic colleagues running for president, often serving as an informal sounding board for their big ideas. Schatz has also penned his own series of proposals — on health care, climate change and economic inequality — to provide Democrats with a ready-made agenda should they take power in 2020. And Schatz’s plans are gaining traction with Senate Democrats pursuing the White House.”
Senators rally around McCain legacy after fresh barrage of Trump attacks - Fox News
DCCC raises record of $11.6 billion in February - Politico
Gov. Larry Hogan pitches Maryland for Amazon’s second headquarters - WaPo
Andrew Gillum launches Florida based voter registration group ahead of 2020 election - Politico
AUDIBLE: EYE ON THE PRIZE
“You’re wasting your time, unless the evidence is so conclusive that the Republicans will understand. Otherwise, it's a gift to the president. We take our eye off the ball.” – Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., defending her impeachment stance despite criticism from members of her party.
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A TRUE ‘DILLY, DILLY’ MOMENT
KLKN-TV: “On Sunday, Kyle Simpson and his friend, Gayland Stouffer, were surveying flood damage on property [near Linwood, Nebraska] where Simpson runs a duck hunting club. … Just as they were getting ready to leave, Stouffer noticed something laying in muddy field. Simpson thought it was a black box. Stouffer said otherwise - that it was actually a mini refrigerator full of beer. … [I]t was, fully stocked with Busch Light and Bud Light - about three cases worth, according to Simpson. … Simpson texted the pictures to a friend, who posted them in a Facebook group. … But the social media post did more than just garner laughs - it got Simpson in contact the fridge's owner. After talking to the owner, Simpson said he learned the fridge had also been involved in a fire at the family's cabin in 2007. … [Simpson is] making arrangements to reunite the fridge with its rightful owner, but says it'll be a little lighter than it was when they found it.”
AND NOW, A WORD FROM CHARLES…
“But there’s a deeper reason for this rush to banish Confederate symbols, to move them from the public square to the museum. The trigger was not just the massacre [at Emanuel AME Church] itself, but even more tellingly the breathtaking display of nobility and spiritual generosity by the victims’ relatives. … Such grace demands a response.” – Charles Krauthammer (1950-2018) writing for the Washington Post on June 25, 2015.
Brianna McClelland contributed to this report. Want FOX News Halftime Report in your inbox every day? Sign up here.