By Chris Stirewalt
Published May 07, 2019
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On the roster: Buttigieg’s black voter problem - Johnson weighs breaking term-limit pledge - McConnell comes out swinging on Dems’ Barr efforts - Audible: same, same but different - #floridawoman
BUTTIGIEG’S BLACK VOTER PROBLEM
Politico: “Pete Buttigieg wants to have a conversation with African American voters. But he can’t seem to reach them. He scheduled a meet-and-greet Monday in Orangeburg — a city that is 76 percent black — but only a dozen or so people of color showed up in a crowd of more than 100. At a town hall the night before — held at a North Charleston high school where minority enrollment is 97 percent in a city that is roughly half-black — it was another overwhelmingly white audience. The composition of his audiences is a familiar issue for Buttigieg, who has surged in recent national and state polls but struggled to make inroads with one of the party’s most important constituencies. Recent polling shows Buttigieg winning only 2 percent among African Americans, so he needs to begin addressing the issue quickly…”
Klobuchar’s father: A backdrop for her campaign - WaPo: “Jim Klobuchar was from those parts, forged in the Iron Range, a region of miners, hard drinkers and isolated communities tied together by union organizing. He built his career as a champion of the forgotten workers, the likes of which he knew growing up. He remembered them in his writing, even as he forgot his daughter’s birthday. That wasn’t all Amy inherited from her father. Friends of Jim’s say they see a lot of him in Amy: the populist streak, the humor, and yes, the reports of a fierce temper. Intentionally or not, being the daughter of an alcoholic has become central to Amy’s presidential run. She brought him up during her star turn at a Brett M. Kavanaugh Supreme Court confirmation hearing, where she interrogated the beer-loving judge while appearing deeply unimpressed with his anger and self-pity. And last week, she announced a plan to combat addiction, making it an early campaign priority.”
Harris hates the ‘electability’ argument - Politico: “Kamala Harris is waging war on the chattering class. The California senator and 2020 Democratic hopeful believes the media narrative taking shape in the presidential race over who is best positioned to reclaim the Midwest for Democrats —essentially that only certain voters will back certain candidates, regardless of where they stand on issues — ignores big swathes of the electorate that she can excite, namely African Americans and women. Harris made clear during a two-day swing through urban and suburban Detroit ending Monday that she thinks the talking heads who draw conclusions from their desks in Washington and New York are ill-informed at best. … Harris' latest appraisal comes amid growing perception reflected in media that it will take a white man—perhaps former Vice President Joe Biden or Sen. Bernie Sanders—to defeat Trump in battleground states where he beat Hillary Clinton in 2016.”
What Republicans really want: Bernie - Politico: “Republicans like their chances of keeping the Senate in 2020. But there’s one thing they think would all but seal the deal: Bernie Sanders as the Democratic presidential nominee. Some GOP incumbents are practically cheering him on, confident there’s no way a self-described democratic socialist could win a general election against President Donald Trump and that he’d drag other Democrats on the ballot with him. ‘It would be good for us to have a nominee like that,’ said Sen. Joni Ernst (R-Iowa)… Trump and the Senate GOP have explicitly designed their 2020 strategy around Sanders, beating the anti-socialism drum incessantly and attempting to tether every Democrat on the ballot to what they call a creep away from capitalism and toward collectivism.”
JOHNSON WEIGHS BREAKING TERM-LIMIT PLEDGE
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel: “U.S. Sen. Ron Johnson rode to Washington, D.C., nearly a decade ago as anyone but a career politician and was re-elected after promising to leave office after just two terms. But now Johnson is embracing his new role as the leader of Wisconsin's Republican Party and is mulling a third term or even a bid for governor. That's because on the morning of Nov. 7, the U.S. senator from Oshkosh woke up as the only Republican representing the entire state of Wisconsin to survive the election the night before. The ‘last man standing,’ as he calls it. … Sources with knowledge of Johnson's plans say the senator is contemplating a choice: Whether to seek a third term in the U.S. Senate, run for governor of Wisconsin (or do neither and return to Oshkosh).”
Tillis draws a challenge from the right - Raleigh News and Observer: “Sen. Thom Tillis has drawn a Republican challenger in 2020. Garland Tucker III, the retired chairman and CEO of Triangle Capital Corporation and an author, filed paperwork with the Federal Election Committee to run in the Republican primary on Monday. Tucker wrote ‘Conservative Heroes: Fourteen Leaders Who Changed America — Jefferson to Reagan’ and was a senior fellow at the John Locke Foundation and on the board of the Raleigh-based Civitas Institute.”
Rematch in the making for Iowa House seat - Des Moines Register: “Former 3rd District Congressman David Young, who was ousted by Democrat Cindy Axne in 2018, will run to reclaim the seat in 2020, he told the Des Moines Register. ‘I spent a lot of time with folks around the 3rd District, listening to their priorities and listening to their voices, and they are not being heard right now in the U.S. Congress,’ Young said in an interview. ‘The policies that Cindy Axne is putting forward with Nancy Pelosi is not what Iowans are talking about or wanting.’ Young was first elected in 2014 and served two terms. He said he returned to his hometown of Van Meter after his term ended in January. Young said he's eager to begin campaigning against Axne, who now will have a voting record from her first year in Congress — ‘and it's not a very good record,’ he said.”
Rep. David Scott faces challenge from the left - AJC: “A Democratic Party insider launched a primary challenge against U.S. Rep. David Scott on Monday with a pledge to be a more visible progressive voice on income inequality, voting rights and cybersecurity. Former Cobb County Democratic Party chairman Michael Owens, a Marine Corps veteran who unsuccessfully challenged Scott in 2014, is seeking a rematch against the nine-term congressman in Georgia’s 13th Congressional District. Owens contends that Scott, 73, has been absent and out of step with his solidly-Democrat southwest Atlanta district, which sweeps from Powder Springs to Stockbridge.”
THE RULEBOOK: CHECK, PLEASE
“The elective mode of obtaining rulers is the characteristic policy of republican government. The means relied on in this form of government for preventing their degeneracy are numerous and various. The most effectual one, is such a limitation of the term of appointments as will maintain a proper responsibility to the people.” – Alexander Hamilton or James Madison, Federalist No. 57
TIME OUT: ‘HERE’S SOME MONEY. GO SEE A STAR WAR’
Atlantic: “The interconnected nature of the 22 Marvel movies means a single film like [Avengers] Endgame, which brings the entire ensemble together for a big goodbye, can have a sweeping effect. But pulling off such a project also requires a ton of coordination behind the scenes. Anthony and Joe Russo – who’ve directed four Marvel movies in total, including Endgame – have built a reputation for that kind of managerial mastery. Before the two were brought into the Marvel fold by the company’s chief producer, Kevin Feige, nothing about the Russos’ resume suggested that they’d be particularly suited to big-budget superhero storytelling. After being discovered by Steven Soderbergh at the 1997 Slamdance Film Festival, they … mostly worked in television… A look back at Arrested Development suggests the Russos’ adeptness for juggling massive casts in a way that allows everyone moments to shine—something the Marvel movies needed to do as the franchise rolled on.”
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Trump job performance
Average approval: 43.8 percent
Average disapproval: 52.6 percent
Net Score: -8.8 points
Change from one week ago: up 0.6 points
[Average includes: NBC News/WSJ: 46% approve - 51% disapprove; Quinnipiac University: 41% approve - 55% disapprove; Gallup: 46% approve - 50% disapprove; NPR/PBS/Marist: 42% approve - 54% disapprove; CNN: 44% approve - 53% disapprove.]
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**we now return you to our regularly scheduled political palaver**
MCCONNELL COMES OUT SWINGING ON DEMS’ BARR EFFORTS
Fox News: “Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, in a scorching floor speech on Tuesday, accused Democrats of rooting for a ‘national crisis’ for political gain as he appealed to lawmakers to move on from the Russia controversy now that Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s report is complete. ‘Case closed,’ McConnell, R-Ky., declared. ‘Case closed.’ Coming as Democrats clash with Attorney General Bill Barr over his handling of the report while using the findings to fuel their own investigations, McConnell suggested the political debate has shifted from the real problem of Russian interference in the 2016 election. … McConnell chastised his Democratic colleagues for extending the political battle over the Russia case, while suggesting they wanted the Mueller report to reveal illegal collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia. ‘They seemed to be hoping for a national crisis for the sake of their own politics,’ he said.”
House GOP wants Mueller to testify despite Trump tweet - Politico: “House Republicans say they're eager for special counsel Robert Mueller to testify about the findings of his investigation into links between President Donald Trump's campaign and Russia — despite Trump's Sunday declaration that ‘Mueller should not testify.’ Though Republicans have largely sided with Trump's claim that Mueller's 448-page report absolved the president of wrongdoing — despite laying out vivid details of Trump's repeated efforts to thwart Mueller's probe — the president's GOP House allies say they want to hear from the former FBI director. …House Republicans say their interest is less in Mueller's report than in whether he has any insight into how the FBI launched an investigation of the Trump campaign in 2016.”
Barr too - ABC News: “Attorney General William Barr still believes special counsel Robert Mueller should be allowed to testify before Congress, despite President Donald Trump's apparent objection, according to a source familiar with the attorney general's thinking. As the head of the Justice Department and Mueller's boss, Barr could attempt to block the testimony if he chooses. The president's tweet over the weekend raised questions about whether he was instructing Barr to stop the special counsel's requested testimony from happening.”
McGhan won’t comply with subpoena - Politico: “Former White House Counsel Don McGahn is refusing to comply with a congressional subpoena for documents related to special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation, deferring to a last-minute instruction from the White House to disregard House Democrats' demands. William Burck, McGahn’s attorney said that his client would defy the committee’s subpoena for documents that were due by Tuesday as part of the panel’s investigation into allegations that President Donald Trump obstructed justice. … The committee’s subpoena to McGahn also demanded that he testify publicly on May 21. A source involved in the negotiations said the White House’s request only applies to documents and is silent on whether McGahn would be permitted to testify in public later this month.”
‘How Americans – and Democratic candidates – feel about letting felons vote’ - FiveThirtyEight
Mnuchin denies House Dem's request for Trump's tax returns - Fox News
Group of GOP senators to hear Trump immigration plan Tuesday - Politico
AUDIBLE: SAME, SAME BUT DIFFERENT
“Margaret Thatcher, um, excuse me, Margaret Thatcher — Freudian slip.” – Former Vice President Joe Biden mixed up his names when talking about British Prime Minister Theresa May.
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Miami Herald: “When a Florida deputy asked a woman if she had anything else on her during a routine traffic stop, he wasn’t expecting what she did next. … The driver, Michael Clemons, 22, told deputies he and his passenger, Ariel Machan-Le Quire, 25, were trying to collect frogs and snakes from under the overpass. The deputy then asked permission to search the bags in the truck to make sure ‘they did not collect any wildlife they were not supposed to have,’ the deputy wrote in the report. Clemons consented and all of his bags had clothes and other personal items, the deputy said. Machan-Le Quire then gave permission to search her backpack, which was on the floorboard near her, according to the report. ‘Ariel opened the backpack that was on the passenger’s floorboard that revealed 41 small turtles,’ the deputy wrote in the report. Then she pulled [an] alligator [about one foot in length] from her pants. The Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission was then called to investigate.”
AND NOW, A WORD FROM CHARLES…
“It is one thing to take liberties with ambiguities [with Shakespeare]. Or to seize upon holes in the text to drive through one's own sensibility. But to do it in contradiction to the text is sheer willfulness.” – Charles Krauthammer (1950-2018) writing for The Weekly Standard on Dec. 13, 1999.
Chris Stirewalt is the politics editor for Fox News. Brianna McClelland contributed to this report. Want FOX News Halftime Report in your inbox every day? Sign up here.