The FBI may have her server, but Hillary’s still got the GOP

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Buzz Cut:
• The FBI may have her server, but Hillary’s still got the GOP
• Ignatius: Intel anger over Hillary’s ‘disrespect’
• Walker raises stakes on ObamaCare repeal
• Rand, McConnell look to save ballot double billing
• ‘I don’t know much about tiger logistics’

It should be a happy summer for Republicans. Democrats look unable to turn the rudder from the candidacy of Hillary Clinton, who, despite more than a decade of practice, is really bad at running for president.

How bad? Her campaign network is dropping $20 million to start “war on women” attacks on the GOP 15 months before the election and seven months before there’s any chance that Republicans could pick a nominee. The money will do damage, but without an actual target, it sounds more like bleating.

Hillary has plenty to worry about with her own party before she can start making the argument that voting Republican and opposing her return to the White House is explicitly sexist. (Though, perhaps part of the intent of the campaign is to remind Democrats that her rivals have been identified as straight, white males. Indeed.)

Clinton’s rapid, vast and ethically questionable building of a fortune that rivals Mitt Romney’s was the topic of the spring. That matter concluded with her assertion that the money showered on her and her husband by those with business before the government simply did not affect her judgment. Oh, in that case…

Now, the topic of the late summer is an FBI investigation of her unhygienic email practices as secretary of state. And given Clinton’s failed evasions, that topic may be around long after the first frost. When you’ve managed to exasperate Eugene Robinson, you’ve found a special way to fail as a Democratic candidate.

So Republicans ought to be doing the Carlton. They can take their pick from a cornucopia of candidates – as many as a half-dozen of which are potentially viable – and, thanks to a sped-up primary calendar, be ready to take the fight to Clinton. After two presidential defeats and the endless hazing by the Obama administration, the Republican Party gets its moment. Clear hearts, full eyes, can’t lose, or something.

But in a new poll out today from CNN, the Republican Party is neither fired up nor ready to go. The poll found Republicans actually trailing Democrats in voter intensity. While GOP primary voters are overall more enthusiastic than their Democratic counterparts, those who identified themselves as “extremely enthusiastic” held steady from last month at 28 percent.

But extreme enthusiasm among Democrats shot up from 18 percent in July to 33 percent this month. How much of that is the Democratic base finally feeling their feels with Bernie Sanders? Hard to say, but optimism for keeping the White House in 2016 certainly has something to do with it.

And Republicans would seem to agree with their rivals on how things are shaping up. In the same survey, 58 percent of Republican primary voters said they would have a better chance at the presidency if the nominee were someone other than frontrunner, Donald Trump.

And look at the favorability scores for Trump and second-place Jeb Bush in the poll: nearly identical. Both are known to nearly every registered voter and Trump has a net score of negative 20 and Bush has a score of negative 22. By comparison, Hillary Clinton has a net negative rating of about 8 in an average of recent polls.

The standard bearers for the insurgency and for the establishment in the GOP are both a shambles when it comes to public sentiment and, worst of all, they are already household names. Changing perception of people so famous wouldn’t just be expensive, it would be nearly impossible.

So the table is set for a costly, ugly war between rival factions of the Republican Party, this one perhaps more vitriolic than any before and on behalf of candidates broadly detested outside of their own regimental lines. What’s ahead could make the face-meltingly awful attacks of 2012 look like a brony convention by comparison.

Yes, it is possible that the two could pin each other down and allow the chance for a candidate with better numbers to sprint through the opening. But those chances are rare and with so much ordinance exploding all around, surviving in no-man’s land would be tricky indeed.

For right now, anyway, Hillary Clinton can say that the FBI may have her server, but at least she’s got the GOP.

Ignatius: Intel anger over Hillary’s ‘disrespect’ - Free Beacon: “Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email server as Secretary of State to send classified information made the national security community nervous and angry for her ‘disrespect for the system,’ Washington Post columnist David Ignatius said Tuesday. Appearing on MSNBC’s Morning Joe, Ignatius was asked by host Joe Scarborough what his sources in the intelligence field felt about the revelation that more than 300 emails on Clinton’s unsecured server have been flagged for potentially having top-secret information. ’I think people are genuinely upset,’ Ignatius said. …’You have to remember we just have had a CIA director, David Petraeus, one of the most decorated generals in our modern history, who had to plead guilty to a criminal charge involving this question of unauthorized use of classified information. It’s not a trivial issue. Secretary Clinton wandered into this with her email server. She’s been scrambling ever since.’”

Eva Holland
, a Canadian freelance writer who covers extreme sporting events delivers for SB Nation a soul-searching account of her trip with seven other women through the Yukon Quest: a 445 miles endurance race by canoe from Whitehorse down the fast-moving Yukon River. “I wanted to know what it felt like to hallucinate from exhaustion. I wanted to push my body to a point where I didn’t recognize it anymore. Most of all, I wanted to know: Could I do it?” Several times Holland had her doubts: “I was abruptly, violently angry, but I was also mortified, and both feelings were amplified, distorted by my exhaustion – they banged and crashed around inside me like I was a teenager going through puberty again. I didn’t want to be the one dragging my ass towards the finish line while the others soldiered on, I thought. I didn’t want to be a liability.” It’s a ripping read.

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Real Clear Politics Averages
Obama Job Approval:
Approve – 44.8 percent//Disapprove – 49.5 percent
Directions of Country: Right Direction – 28.4 percent//Wrong Track – 62.6 percent

With the contours of the Ohio Senate race already pretty clear – a gruesome swing-state battle between former Democratic Gov. Ted Strickland incumbent GOP Sen. Rob Portman – Americans for Prosperity, part of the network founded by brothers Charles and David Koch is jumping in the race early. Like really, really early. The group is dropping more than $1 million on a testimonial ad knocking Strickland on job losses. “When Ted Strickland governed Ohio, the state actually fared worse than many of its neighbors,” said the group’s president Tim Phillips in a statement. “It wasn’t just the economic downturn that hit the nation, it was tax-and-spend policies that sent companies fleeing to other states with more reasonable business environments.”

Fox News: “Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker is rolling out his first big policy proposal Tuesday in Minnesota as he unveils his plan to repeal and replace ObamaCare. Walker says ObamaCare’s backwards approach has driven up health care costs and reduced access to medical care for too many people. The GOP contender's ‘Day One Patient Freedom Plan’ consists of five steps: repealing ObamaCare in its entirety, ensuring affordable and accessible health insurance for everyone, making health care more efficient, effective and accountable by empowering the states, increasing quality and choice through innovation, and providing financial stability for families and taxpayers.”

Rand, McConnell look to save ballot double billing - AP: “Republican Rand Paul says he has contributed $250,000 and pledged another $200,000 to pay for a proposed GOP presidential caucus in his home state of Kentucky next year. State GOP officials are scheduled to vote Saturday on rules for the proposed March 5 caucus. The state party's proposed switch from a primary to a caucus would allow Paul to run for president and re-election to his U.S. Senate seat simultaneously without violating a state law banning candidates from appearing on the ballot twice. In a letter to party officials, Paul says he transferred $250,000 to a state GOP account. He pledged to raise or transfer another $200,000.  … Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said Monday that Paul is sticking to his commitment to defray caucus costs. McConnell has endorsed the caucus.”

“Trump is far ahead, and the pundits say, ‘well he has reached his limit’  I say BS.  Take out 8-9 lousy candidates at the bottom, who have numbers, and trump will gain more.  There is 17 people being listened to, so take out the dead wood, and you have lumber.  Then Trump goes to 40 % , and then what will you make excuses for?????Where are your brains????  The pundits that Fox uses are as dumb as black holes in space., and Fox doesn’t question their answers.  Wow.” Larry Hulshoff

“Jeb Bush, Rubio, Walker, Kasich, Cruz, Fiorino, Carson, Trump, Paul, Christy” – Karen  Morrow

“The Donald Trump sideshow is a huge distraction in selecting the actual GOP nominee. Early exits now by little supported Gilmore, Pataki, Graham, Santorum, Jindal and Perry would be ‘for the good of the party’ ---  thereby helping  GOP voters to focus on their realistic alternatives.” Jim Hartman

“After watching all of the candidates up to now I am most impressed with Ben Carson and Carly Fiorina.  I am glad to see Trump stir things up...the republicans needed that.  We don’t need another Bush in the White House even though they are a likeable family.  I also believe that Ted Cruz would be a good president...a very bright guy.  The rest of the field are not as impressive with the exception of Rubio...he needs to get a few more years under his belt first, but would also make a good president.” – Martha Bruggeman

“Carly #1 or #2. Pair with Rubio or Walker to defeat the Hillary beast.” Trevor Roe

“As pressure mounts on certain candidates to suspend their bids for the good of the party, and they run out of money, the field will sort itself out for the stronger candidates - - not Bush, Walker or Rubio, but Cruz and Fiorina. If establishment Republicans want to stop Trump, then they better get behind Cruz now!” Ed Vidal

Detroit Free Press: “British photographer David Yarrow booked a two-day photo shoot at Detroit’s Packard Plant. Only problem was, he apparently didn't tell anyone at the plant that he was bringing a tiger, two wolves and a bobcat with him. … ‘I got a call from a friend who asked me to help them get this tiger out of a staircase,’ said Andy Didorosi, 28, of Detroit. ‘He asked me if I had a leafblower, and I said I had a weedwhacker, so he told me to bring that. ... I stopped what I was doing, grabbed my tools and hopped in my truck, because, you know, tiger. ... I don't know much about tiger logistics, but we were told to be this huge blue tarp monster with the weedwhacker and try to be scary and make loud noises. That just made him angry. You could say he got tiger rage, so we retreated.’” And yes, there is video.

“[I]t shows you once again, if you needed repetition, how bad a candidate [Hillary Clinton] is. That attempt at self-deprecation about Snapchat is groan-worthy, cringe-worthy, it doesn’t work, and it shows how ham-handed she is. If she had the charm of her husband it might work, but it doesn’t.” – Charles Krauthammer on “Special Report with Bret Baier” Watch here.

Chris Stirewalt is digital politics editor for Fox News. Want FOX News First in your inbox every day? Sign up here.