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On the roster: Dems hustle to separate black voters from Biden - Hearings done, House plots next steps on impeachment - Trump says Pompeo may run for Senate - Get your hooves did
DEMS HUSTLE TO SEPARATE BLACK VOTERS FROM BIDEN
WaPo: “[Pete] Buttigieg and [Cory] Booker were just two of the Democratic candidates fanning out across Atlanta and the South on Thursday, following Wednesday’s contentious debate in that city, in an increasingly urgent effort to court black voters. The multiple events highlighted a puzzle central to the Democratic primary: Can anyone chip away at black voters’ support for former vice president Joe Biden — and if not, what does it mean for the Democrats’ chances? … Thursday also saw some Democrats turning on each other on racial issues, with increased pressure to make headway before the Feb. 3 Iowa caucuses. … [Kamala] Harris and Booker are both prominent African American political figures, but they also have struggled to attract significant support from black voters. In an apparent effort to change that, both Harris and Booker ramped up their rhetoric on racial issues Wednesday night. Biden, for his part, boasted that he has more support from black leaders than any other candidate — ‘because they know me, they know who I am.’”
Warren makes plea to black women - Politico: “Sen. Elizabeth Warren made a full-throated pitch to black women in a much-hyped speech [in Atlanta] on Thursday night as she tries to tear into former Vice President Joe Biden’s durability with black voters. ‘The fighters I want to talk about tonight are black women,’ Warren said at Clark Atlanta University, a historically black college. … Warren cast her own campaign as learning from workers battles led by black women, from washerwomen in 1881 to the formation of the National Domestic Workers of America in the 1960s and ‘70s. … Black women, the Democratic Party’s most loyal voting bloc, led every part of the program on Thursday with the exception of Warren herself.”
Biden heckled over Obama-era deportations - Fox News: “A seemingly frustrated Joe Biden advised a protester to ‘vote for Trump’ Thursday after being confronted about the Obama administration’s record on deportations. It happened at a South Carolina town hall event for the former vice president, before about 800 people at Lander University in Greenwood. Biden seemed to lose his cool when Carlos Rojas, an immigration activist with a group called Cosecha Movement, pointed out that more illegal immigrants were deported during Obama's first two years as president than during Trump’s. … ‘You should vote for Trump. You should vote for Trump,’ Biden retorted, turning away from the man. … At that point a group of protesters -- many holding signs reading ‘Not 1 More Deportation’ – began to chant that very phrase, demanding Biden pledge to stop deporting all illegal immigrants if he’s elected president. ‘No matter what happens, if someone commits perjury, they should be deported,’ Biden pressed.”
Buttigieg campaign staffers unionize - HuffPo: “Field organizers on the presidential campaign of Mayor Pete Buttigieg of South Bend, Ind., have joined a union, the campaign announced on Thursday. It said in a statement that the campaign had ‘voluntarily recognized’ that IBEW Local 2321 would serve as the sole union representing campaign staffers who have the title ‘organizer.’ Staffers were informed that the organizers were forming a union, and the campaign supported that move on Thursday afternoon. In a statement, Buttigieg campaign manager Mike Schmuhl said the campaign welcomed the workers’ decision.”
Continetti: Why candidates matter most - Free Beacon: “The coverage of recent Democratic victories in Kentucky and Louisiana has emphasized President Trump's failure to drag Republicans past the finish line. Analysts have focused on Democratic strength in the suburban regions of these states, as well as in the suburbs of Mississippi where the Republican won by a surprisingly slim 5 points. Both of these storylines are important. But so is this one: Candidate attributes and positions matter more than a state or nation's partisan tilt. President Trump and his 17 Democratic challengers might want to pay attention. … Likability and empathy matter more than wonkiness and purity. … How ironic if Democrats so concerned with electability in the primary find themselves backing a flawed and uninspiring candidate in the general. Because, you see, fate can work that way in the Twilight Zone.”
Bloomberg files federal papers to join race - WaPo: “Former New York mayor Mike Bloomberg filed federal papers Thursday declaring himself a Democratic candidate for president, a potentially disruptive move that could upend the party’s nomination fight this spring. The filing, coming just eight months after Bloomberg ruled out a bid because he believed it would be too hard to win the Democratic nomination, reflects his view that the field of Democratic contenders was not well positioned to win next year and that a candidate with his experience, political moderation and deep pockets would have a better chance of defeating President Trump in a general election. Advisers said Thursday that the filing was a step toward running for president, following several state ballot registrations, but not an official announcement or public signal that he had made a final decision.”
Obama warns Dems about ‘purity tests’ in the primary - AP: “Former President Barack Obama warned Democrats on Thursday against adopting ‘purity tests’ in the presidential primary and said any adversity the candidates face in the contest will make whoever emerges an even stronger nominee. Obama spoke to about 100 donors during a question-and-answer session with Democratic National Committee Chairman Tom Perez in Los Altos Hills, California. The event came a day after the fifth Democratic presidential primary in Atlanta and as the 17-person field continues to expand, with the expected entry of former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg in the coming days. … Obama urged Democrats to ‘chill out,’ saying, ‘The truth of the matter is that every candidate on that stage believes we should provide’ better health care and education and address climate change.”
John Hendrickson: What Joe Biden can’t bring himself to say - Atlantic: “Maybe you’ve heard Biden talk about his boyhood stutter. A non-stutterer might not notice when he appears to get caught on words as an adult, because he usually maneuvers out of those moments quickly and expertly. But on other occasions, like that night in Detroit, Biden’s lingering stutter is hard to miss. He stutters—if slightly—on several sounds as we sit across from each other in his office. … Biden looks down. He pivots to the distant past, telling me that the letter s was hard when he was a kid. ‘But, you know, I haven’t stuttered in so long that it’s hhhhard for me to remember the specific—’ He pauses. ‘What I do remember is the feeling.’”
THE RULEBOOK: SHORT AND SWEET
“It may perhaps be asked, how the shortness of the duration in office can affect the independence of the Executive on the legislature… One answer to this inquiry may be drawn from the principle already remarked that is, from the slender interest a man is apt to take in a short-lived advantage, and the little inducement it affords him to expose himself, on account of it, to any considerable inconvenience or hazard.” – Alexander Hamilton, Federalist No. 71
TIME OUT: NOT ALL BLARNEY
Smithsonian: “Martin Scorsese’s The Irishman provides a decades-spanning look at one man’s relationship to organized crime, organized labor, and the truth – however slippery that concept may be. That man, Frank Sheeran, played by Robert De Niro, was a union official and mob associate whose story intersects with labor organizer Jimmy Hoffa, the Mafia, and the Kennedys. The film, Scorsese’s first to stream exclusively on Netflix, is adapted from the 2004 Sheeran biography I Heard You Paint Houses by writer Charles Brandt, in which Sheeran claims that he killed Hoffa, amongst other figures. Hoffa’s sudden disappearance in 1975 still looms large as one of America’s longest-standing unsolved mysteries…. And while many Hoffa scholars think Sheeran’s claims are bogus, and that Scorsese … got the story wrong, the film’s portrait of how organized crime became interwoven with the labor movement and the highest levels of government in the 20th century carries many elements of truth.”
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DEMOCRATIC 2020 POWER RANKING
Biden: 27.6 points (no change from last wk.)
Warren: 22.6 points (no change from last wk.)
Sanders: 17.6 points no change from last wk.)
Buttigieg: 7.6 points (no change from last wk.)
Harris: 3.2 points (no change from last wk.)
[Averages include: Monmouth University, NBC News/WSJ, ABC News/WaPo, Fox News and IBD.]
TRUMP JOB PERFORMANCE
Average approval: 43.2 percent
Average disapproval: 53.8 percent
Net Score: -10.6 percent
Change from one week ago: ↑ 2.8 points
[Average includes: NPR/PBS/Marist: 44% approve - 51% disapprove; Gallup: 43% approve - 54% disapprove; Monmouth University: 45% approve - 52% disapprove; NBC News/WSJ: 45% approve - 53% disapprove; ABC News/WaPo: 39% approve - 59% disapprove.]
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HEARINGS DONE, HOUSE PLOTS NEXT STEPS ON IMPEACHMENT
Politico: “The public phase of the House Intelligence Committee’s investigation of President Donald Trump’s Ukraine scandal appears to have wrapped. But even most House Democrats aren’t clear what happens next. The Judiciary Committee will draft and vote on articles of impeachment and send those to the full House for debate, that much is clear. But how the Judiciary panel completes the already unorthodox impeachment process is still up in the air. Though lawmakers and aides expect the 1998 proceedings against former President Bill Clinton to be the model for the Trump case, they’re quick to emphasize they haven't been told how the endgame will play out. In fact, Judiciary Committee members have received little guidance from party leaders on how the panel will conduct the proceedings or the timeframe for completing them, according to interviews with more than a dozen Democratic lawmakers and aides.”
White House, Senate GOP plan for brief trial starting in January - WaPo: “A group of Republican senators and senior White House officials met privately Thursday to map out a strategy for a potential impeachment trial of President Trump, including rapid proceedings in the Senate that could be limited to about two weeks, according to multiple officials familiar with the talks. The prospect of an abbreviated trial is viewed by several Senate Republicans as a favorable middle ground — substantial enough to give the proceedings credence without risking greater damage to Trump by dragging on too long. Under this scenario, described by officials who spoke on the condition of anonymity to recount a private meeting, the Senate trial could begin as early as January if the Democratic-controlled House votes to impeach Trump next month as appears increasingly likely.”
Graham readies hearings to target Biden - WaPo: “Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Lindsey O. Graham sent a letter to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Thursday requesting documents related to former vice president Joe Biden and his communications with Ukrainian officials, a step seen as a GOP effort to counter the House impeachment investigation of President Trump. The inquiry by Graham (R-S.C.) is focused on any calls Biden may have had with Petro Poroshenko, then the Ukrainian president, regarding the firing of the country’s top prosecutor, as well as any that referenced an investigation of Burisma, the Ukrainian natural-gas company that employed Biden’s son Hunter Biden. Graham’s document request suggests he is seeking to legitimize Trump’s accusations that Biden, then vice president, put pressure on Ukraine to fire its lead prosecutor to protect his son, a claim without evidence that has been disputed by officials familiar with the investigation.”
Fear the mustache - Fox News: “Former National Security Adviser John Bolton, whose name has repeatedly surfaced in the impeachment hearings as a witness to key events, returned to Twitter on Friday following an unexplained hiatus since his resignation in September -- cryptically vowing to share the ‘backstory’ while saying his account had been ‘suppressed unfairly.’ ‘Glad to be back on Twitter after more than two months. For the backstory, stay tuned….’ Bolton tweeted early Friday. … Later, Bolton tweeted again, adding: ‘We have now liberated the Twitter account, previously suppressed unfairly in the aftermath of my resignation as National Security Advisor. More to come…’”
Report: FBI lawyer altered document related to Carter Page - NY Post: “A former FBI lawyer allegedly altered a document related to surveillance of Trump campaign adviser Carter Page during the 2016 election, a report said Thursday. The evidence of the altered document was turned over to federal prosecutor John Durham, who is investigating how intelligence was gathered by agencies including the CIA and FBI during the probe into the Trump campaign, CNN reported. It’s not clear what role the altered document played in the investigation into Page — or if a FISA warrant against him would have been okayed without the fudged document, according to the report.”
The Judge’s Ruling: Beware of dangers of an imperial presidency - This week Fox News Senior Judicial Analyst Judge Andrew Napolitano discusses Attorney General William Barr’s role in the impeachment inquiry: “Throughout the House of Representatives' impeachment inquiry, President Trump has been pushing Attorney General William Barr to make a public statement on the president's behalf. …The attorney general, to his credit, has declined to comply with the president's wishes. But he did stir the pot earlier this week with a partisan speech on the nature of the modern American presidency. That speech -- by its assertion that liberals have neutered the presidency or shackled it in chains -- must have been written in an alternate reality. … However, there is something much larger here than Barr's attempts to placate his boss. Barr’s impolitic speech was also a full-throated defense of the imperial presidency, no matter which party occupies the White House.” More here.
TRUMP SAYS POMPEO MAY RUN FOR SENATE
The Kansas City Star: “President Donald Trump acknowledged on Friday that his secretary of state, Mike Pompeo, is mulling a run for Senate in Kansas next year. In a lengthy phone interview with Fox & Friends, Trump said Pompeo would ‘easily’ win the seat opened by retiring Republican Sen. Pat Roberts. ‘He loves the people of Kansas. If he thought that there was a chance of losing that seat, I think he would do that and he would win in a landslide because they love him in Kansas,’ Trump said. Pompeo’s office declined to comment on the president’s remarks, which come after months of speculation that he might give up his post as top diplomat to launch a Senate run. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Kentucky, has repeatedly encouraged the former Wichita congressman to enter the race. Pompeo has downplayed his interest, but Trump’s comments ensure that the buzz will persist. Kansas has a filing deadline of June 1, later than many states.”
Trump signs stopgap spending bill to avoid government shutdown - WSJ
“I doubt it. I sincerely doubt it.” – Oliver Davis, the longest-serving African-American man on the South Bend, Ind. City council, on whether his mayor, Pete Buttigieg, could win a national election given his meagre support among non-white voters. Davis was speaking with reporters to announce his decision to snub Buttigieg and endorse his rival, Joe Biden.
ANY GIVEN SUNDAY
This weekend Mr. Sunday will sit down with Rep. Eric Swalwell, D-Calif. Watch “Fox News Sunday with Chris Wallace.” Check local listings for broadcast times in your area.
#mediabuzz - Host Howard Kurtz has the latest take on the week’s media coverage. Watch #mediabuzz Sundays at 11 a.m. ET.
FROM THE BLEACHERS
“Chris, as a reformed Catholic I hooted at this descriptor. Like a ‘near occasion of sin?’ My wife and I love your report and cocktail nightly sharing bits and pieces with each other. We read for balance and you never fail to produce.” – David and Paula Perino, Arivaca, Ariz.
[Ed. note: That sounds so lovely! I’m pleased to be a part of it if only in digital form!]
“In re: Monday's podcast: you're totally correct about it being too early for Christmas music, and I share your love of good Advent hymns. You're probably already familiar; but if not, here's the one I have on constant repeat for the season: The John Rutter Christmas Album. Cheers and a happy Thanksgiving to you and yours.” – Deanna Ducher, Hillsdale, Mich.
[Ed. note: Funny you would say so Ms. Ducher! So wonderful are our readers and listeners that I can scarcely sometimes believe it. First, a little context for folks who may have missed the podcast: This is a challenging time of year musically for Christians. Thanksgiving is not quite here and Advent is still more than a week away. Meantime, every store, suggested playlist, Uber driver’s sound system and seemingly every show you watch is trying to cram full-blown Christmas cavalcade down your gullet. But this is a season of Thanksgiving and meditation on those great, good gifts which we have received. It is a time of quiet, thoughtful joy, not bells pealing and hosannas shouting. What to do? Well, what I did was talked to my friend Dana Perino about it and good folks like you overheard. But the gold star goes to Laura Whitney of Paradise, Utah. A self-described “choir nerd,” she offered us an entire playlist of just this kind of music. Most of it is sacred, but it could be enjoyed by anyone. Really beautiful stuff. It included some of my favorites of all time – “It Is Well With My Soul,” “How Can I Keep From Singing?,” Beethoven’s “Eroica,” “Abide With Me” and the magnificent “Come Thou Fount Every Blessing.” The ever-obliging Brianna was kind enough to put it all into a Spotify playlist for us all to enjoy. Because of some platform issues we weren’t able to exactly replicate Ms. Whitney’s original on Spotify, and at least in one case I made the editorial decision to pick Johnny Cash’s version of “I’m Bound For The Promised Land.” But hey, it’s Johnny Cash. We hope you find it as delightful as we do. It will be something wonderful to listen as you are giving thanks and preparing to make merry.]
Share your color commentary: Email us at HALFTIMEREPORT@FOXNEWS.COM and please make sure to include your name and hometown.
GET YOUR HOOVES DID
WFMY: “Morgan Taylor, a High Point University Student, says she was getting her nails done Wednesday evening at Diamond Nails on N. Centennial Street. Taylor said one nail technician began to butcher a deer right in front of her eyes. ‘Hunting for a new nail salon in High Point, North Carolina?’ She wrote on social media. ‘Talk about multitaskers: manicures, pedicures, and amateur deer butchers. Oh deer!’ She used the hashtag #OhBuckNo.”
AND NOW, A WORD FROM CHARLES…
“The celebration of [Bernhard] Goetz is understandable--he took on the punks and the system--but it retains a curiously surreal quality: the characters, hero and villains alike, are all abstract, marquee characters. Indeed, the whole Goetz phenomenon is life gone to the movies.” – Charles Krauthammer (1950-2018) writing in Time magazine on June 24, 2001.
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.