THE BIG IDEA:
Donald Trump’s hard-line position on immigration is the main reason he is favored to win the Arizona Republican primary on Tuesday — and lose the Utah caucuses.
The chasm between the neighboring states on this issue is extraordinary.
In Arizona, Trump has the strong support of Sheriff Joe Arpaio and former governor Jan Brewer, who signed the controversial SB1070 law in 2010. Last summer, during a rally in Phoenix, Trump said illegal immigrants “flow in like water.” His best-known promise is to build a border wall and make Mexico pay for it. Even nine months after he started talking about this, his crowds went wild when he brought it up around the state this weekend.
But just to the north, in Utah, nearly two-thirds of the population is Mormon. Many served on mission trips overseas, including to Latin America, when they were young. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints settled there to escape persecution in the east. As a result, religious tolerance and inclusiveness are central tenets of the faith. That makes many Mormons acutely uncomfortable with Trump’s call for banning Muslims from entering the United States. The church even released a rare statement last year condemning Trump’s proposal; it quoted church founder Joseph Smith.
When 26 Republican governors announced that Syrian refugees were not welcome in their states last fall, Utah’s Gary Herbert (who is Mormon) was the lone Republican governor to declare his state would accept them.
“The LDS church has spent years lobbying for ‘compassionate’ immigration reform,” McKay Coppins, who himself is Mormon, writes on BuzzFeed. “In 2011, church leaders offered a full-throated endorsement of ‘the Utah Compact,’ a state legislative initiative that discouraged deporting otherwise law-abiding undocumented immigrants and offered a path to residency for families that would be separated by deportation. These pro-immigrant attitudes are common among rank-and-file believers. … Mormons are more than twice as likely as evangelicals to say they support ‘more immigration’ to the United States, according to Notre Dame political scientist David Campbell. And a 2012 Pew survey found Mormons were more likely to say immigrants ‘strengthen’ the country than they were to call immigrants an overall ‘burden.’”
Trump has fared terribly in areas where Mormons concentrate, from Nevada to Wyoming and Idaho. “In Idaho’s heavily Mormon Madison County, Trump captured less than 8 percent of the vote, and he pulled in less than 20 percent in other southern Idaho counties that have large LDS populations,” Katie Zezima notes from Utah.
Trump’s controversial call for a ban on Muslims has been popular among majorities of Republican primary voters in exit polls. Not so in Utah. Matt Miles, a political scientist at a satellite campus of Brigham Young University (which is controlled by the Mormon church), told the Salt Lake Tribune that Trump’s call for a ban on Muslims is a huge issue and stirs fear among the faithful. The paper notes that a Trump spokeswoman made the problem worse when, defending the policy, she mistakenly referred to the federal government shutting down “Mormon churches,” when she actually meant the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, a breakaway sect that practices polygamy.”
-- “Sheriff Joe” should be viewed as a Trump antecedent, a right-wing populist who capitalized on fears of a growing minority population. The sheriff has been elected six times in a county that includes Phoenix and two-thirds of Arizona’s population. “He forced jail inmates to wear pink underwear and live outside in tents during triple-digit heat,” the AP recalls. “He launched dragnets to round up people in the country illegally, and a judge ruled that his operations illegally targeted Latinos. Arpaio then launched an investigation that … ended up targeting the judge. … He faces civil contempt charges over his department's defiance of orders to stop racial profiling.”
"My secret weapon is just like Donald Trump: Go to the people," Arpaio told the AP, noting that he's done more than 4,000 TV interviews in his two decades as sheriff.
-- Cruz has momentum in Utah. Mitt Romney announced Friday that he will caucus for Cruz and called on his followers to vote for the senator in forthcoming contests. It was a big blow to John Kasich just as he arrived for three town halls in the state. “I would have voted for him in Ohio,” the 2012 nominee wrote on Facebook. “But a vote for Governor Kasich in future contests makes it extremely likely that Trumpism would prevail."
The challenge for Cruz in the Beehive State is getting past 50 percent, which would entitle him to all 40 available delegates. Otherwise they’re divided up proportionally. A Cruz at 42 percent, Trump at 21 percent, Rubio at 17 percent and Kasich at 13 percent. Sen. Mike Lee and Glenn Beck campaigned around the state for Cruz this weekend, warning Utahns that a vote for Kasich is a vote for Trump.poll commissioned by the Deseret News, conducted in the days before Rubio dropped out, pegged
The Trump campaign has basically written off Utah; their goal is just to prevent Cruz from getting past 50 percent. "I wouldn't say this a place where we are expected to perform exceptionally well," spokeswoman Hope Hicks told the AP.
Just how bad is Trump’s Mormon problem? The Deseret News, which is owned by the Mormon Church, ran a story on the front page of the Sunday paper saying that Hillary Clinton would probably carry Utah if he wins the Republican nomination. "I believe Trump could lose Utah. If you lose Utah as a Republican, there is no hope," former Utah Gov. Mike Leavitt (R) told the paper.
It’s more than immigration: Mormons, while not monolithic, also resent Trump’s lack of decorum and manners. “His blatant religious illiteracy, his penchant for onstage cursing, his habit of flinging crude insults at women, his less-than-virtuous personal life and widely chronicled marital failures — all of this is anathema to the wholesome, family-first lifestyle that Mormonism promotes,” Coppins notes in his BuzzFeed piece. “And demographically speaking, Mormons tend to reside outside Trump’s base of support anyway. They have higher-than-average education levels, whereas Trump does best among voters without any college education; they are more likely to be weekly churchgoers, while Trump performs better with Christians who attend services infrequently.”
Campaigning in Salt Lake City on Friday night, Trump questioned Romney’s faith. “Are you sure he’s a Mormon? Are we sure?” he asked one of his smallest crowds in a while.
-- Laying a marker: Cruz could definitely score an upset in Arizona. The public polls this month have put Trump up double digits (+12 and +14), but they had small samples.
Here are five factors that keep Arizona in reach for Cruz:
- It’s become essentially a two-man race: Because it’s winner-take-all, Kasich has not really campaigned in the state. So we’ve got the closest thing to a head-to-head match-up of any primary this year. In national polls, when GOP voters are forced to pick between Trump and Cruz, Cruz often wins.
- Cruz has a superior ground game. Neutral observers say his team is a lot more organized than Trump. His state director elected many Republican members of the legislature.
- It’s a closed primary, meaning only Republicans can vote. Trump has struggled in closed primaries.
- Cruz has scored a bunch of late endorsements: Rep. Matt Salmon announced his support last night.
- Cruz is still perceived as strong on border security. He visited the border with Mexico on Friday and pledged to secure it as president. (He just doesn’t use the kind of racially-insensitive language that Trump does and he did embrace his proposed ban on Muslims.) Although the bulk of GOP base voters very much want to crack down on undocumented immigrants, and the issue works to Trump’s advantage, it bears mentioning that both of Arizona’s senators, John McCain and Jeff Flake, support comprehensive immigration reform and were part of the Gang of Eight.
-- But early voting, and high turnout, is a problem for Cruz. Trump has very likely locked in a sizable lead when Rubio and others were still in the race. “In Maricopa, the state’s largest county, the number of early voters in 2016 is already nearly 90 percent of the county’s total GOP turnout in the primary four years ago,” Politico reports. “Constantin Querard, Cruz’s Arizona state director, noted the campaign had gained momentum since Rubio dropped out but added, ‘We don’t know how much of a deficit we have to overcome.’ … In Maricopa County, which includes the Phoenix area and accounts for 60 percent of Arizona’s total population, 249,702 of the 708,941 registered Republicans had returned their ballots as of Friday. In Pima County, Arizona’s second largest and home to Tucson, more than 60,000 voters had cast ballots by Friday — roughly 85 percent of the 2012 turnout.”
-- The stakes: A Cruz sweep, with all the delegates from Arizona and Utah, would make it meaningfully harder for Trump to secure the Republican nomination before the convention in July. It would also give the Texas senator meaningful momentum going into Wisconsin the week after next and then a relatively quiet period on the calendar after that.
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WHILE YOU WERE SLEEPING:
-- "Starwood is taking a revised buyout bid from Marriott, three days after the hotel called off their deal in favor of an offer from a group of investors led by Chinese insurance company Anbang," the AP reports.
- Trump put $6.9 million more of his personal money into his presidential campaign. "Since he began his White House bid last year, the billionaire real estate developer has lent or given his campaign nearly $25 million, according to Federal Election Commission reports. Although he maintains that he is self-funding the effort, his supporters have contributed $9.5 million, including $2 million in February. ... He raced through nearly $9.5 million (in February), largely on media buys ($3.46 million), printing and design services ($1.1 million) and event production ($587,000). Trump campaign manager Corey Lewandowski’s New Hampshire-based consulting company was paid $75,000 for the month, including $25,000 the day after the Iowa caucuses."
- "Cruz sped through $17.5 million in February, his costliest month so far, running down his cash reserves. The senator raised $11.9 million last month, up from the $7.6 million his campaign collected in January. But Cruz entered March with $8 million in the bank, down from the $13.6 million he had at the beginning of February."
- "Kasich faces a more dire financial predicament. He pulled in only $3.4 million last month, leaving him with just $1.25 million as he headed into the March primary contests. The governor spent $3.6 million in February, more than he raised, a rate that puts him on track to quickly run out of cash unless his fundraising ramps up significantly."
- "Sanders outraised Clinton for the second month in a row, pulling in $43.5 million to her $30.1 million ... But the new figures also indicate that he plowed through far more cash, spending $40.9 million to her $34.3 million. That left the senator with $17.2 million in the bank as March began, while Clinton had $30.8 million."
- Jeb Bush put $407,000 of his personal money into his failing campaign during its final weeks so it could pay the bills.
OBAMA ARRIVED IN CUBA LAST NIGHT, the first sitting U.S. president to set foot on the island since 1928.
-- He hopes reaching out to Cuba will encourage "a generational evolution" and normalize relations between the two countries. (Karen DeYoung, Nick Miroff and Juliet Eilperin anchor our coverage.)
-- Obama and his family were greeted by Cuba’s foreign minister and the head of the U.S. section of Cuba’s Foreign Ministry, as well as Jeffrey DeLaurentis, the senior U.S. diplomat in Cuba.
"It is wonderful to be here," Obama said in his first comments on the ground:
-- Obama will meet with Cuban President Raúl Castro at the presidential palace today for an official welcoming ceremony, though some noted his absence at the airport:
Wow, President Obama just landed in Cuba, a big deal, and Raul Castro wasn't even there to greet him. He greeted Pope and others. No respect— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 20, 2016
(Ben Rhodes, Obama’s deputy national security adviser, said it was “never contemplated or discussed” that Castro would be at the airport, adding that Cubans consider Monday’s ceremony with both Obama and Castro to be the official welcome event.)
-- There were familiar signs that change will not come easily: Cuban authorities arrested 50 protesters shortly before Obama’s arrival in Havana. The protestors, known as the Ladies in White, march each Sunday to demand improved human rights.
-- Eight senators are in the presidential delegation, including two Republicans: Dick Durbin, Jeff Flake, Dean Heller, Heidi Heitkamp, Patrick Leahy, Amy Klobuchar, Tom Udall and Sheldon Whitehouse. There are also 31 House members, including Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi. U.S. lobbyists from major agricultural and business groups are also along for the ride, Catherine Ho writes.
-- Cuban Americans in Miami are split over Obama's trip, Jonelle Marte reports. More than 200 protesters took to the streets in the Little Havana neighborhood yesterday to march against the president’s trip.
GET SMART FAST:
- A team of researchers from Johns Hopkins University broke Apple’s iMessage encryption system. (Ellen Nakashima)
- Turkish authorities believe the suicide bomber who killed Americans in Istanbul on Saturday had links to ISIS. (Liz Sly)
- Australia committed to increase defense spending to combat China’s growing bellicosity. (A. Odysseus Patrick)
Republicans on the House Oversight Committee launched a broad probe of the federal workforce, asking a variety of agencies to supply information about compensation, awards and use of time by union representatives. (Joe Davidson)
- A former Pennsylvania state trooper shot and killed two people while attempting to rob a turnpike toll booth. The 26 year veteran, who retired honorably in 2012, was later fatally shot by police. (Justin Wm. Moyer)
- Former “Little House on the Prairie” star Melissa Gilbert launched a congressional bid: Gilbert, who played Laura Ingalls Wilder in the 1970s series, is running as a Democrat in Michigan’s 8th district. (Steve Friess)
- A University of Kansas professor who used the “n-word” during a discussion about racial issues will get to keep her job, following a four-month internal investigation. The professor said she used the word in the “context of retelling a factual event." (Peter Holley)
- Caitlyn Jenner is appearing in a social media campaign to support a transgender rights bill in Massachusetts. (Boston Globe)
-- Sen. Mitch McConnell ruled out the possibility of a lame-duck vote to confirm Merrick Garland, dismissing speculation that Republican senators might rush him through if Hillary wins on multiple Sunday shows.
-- Harry Reid predicted McConnell will cave because GOP members don’t “want to go over that cliff.” “This is going to break,” the minority leader said he told Garland when they met privately. “You're going to become a Supreme Court justice.”
-- Vice President Biden will make a forceful call for Garland’s confirmation in a Thursday speech to students and faculty at Georgetown University Law Center. In a Medium post shared with The Post before its release, Biden previews his remarks, saying “all 100 senators have a duty to provide advice and consent on nominees [to] determine who sits on our nation’s highest court … The full Senate must be able to work its will.” More from Mike DeBonis: “Writing on a day when activists across the country are planning protests of the GOP blockade, Biden says the speech touches on ‘real-life consequences’ of an eight-member court divided 4-4 along ideological lines: ‘It’s dangerous. Every single American needs to know what it would mean.’ He also plans to speak ‘squarely to his colleagues.’ ‘Take a look at the argument you’re making. Consider, truly, whether it’s good for the country,’ Biden writes. ‘The track you’re on is a loss for the American people … Do the right thing.’”
-- The New Yorker’s Jeffrey Toobin has a smart take on what the Garland pick says about Obama: “Presidents reveal themselves, and often replicate themselves, in the Justices they nominate to the Supreme Court. When Obama nominated Garland, he illuminated both the strengths and limitations of his Presidency. Like Obama’s two previous nominees, Garland possesses impeccable, very traditional qualifications for the job … [These] nominees, all fine choices, reflect Obama’s boundless faith in the meritocracy. … The Garland nomination also revealed the President’s distaste for vulgar realities of politics. A court vacancy gave Obama a chance to inject himself into this year’s elections. He could have chosen a nominee to rally core supporters, thus assisting his party up and down the ballot. But this President prefers technocrats to Democrats … The underlying rationale for Garland’s nomination appears to be: if this sober, reasonable choice is right for the President it will be right for his party as well.”
-- George F. Will said in his Sunday column that the GOP obstruction is “indefensible." The conservative thought leader praised the judge's record of deference, including in the Heller case. "If Republicans really think that either their front-runner or the Democrats’ would nominate someone superior to Garland, it would be amusing to hear them try to explain why they do," the conservative writes.
-- Trump promised last night to release a list of five to 10 possible justices he'd nominate to the Supreme Court this week, seeking to ease concerns that he would appoint liberal justices should he become president. “I’m going to get judges that everybody respects, likes, and totally admires,” Trump said in a speech to the Palm Beach County Republican Party. “I guarantee it personally … like we do in the world of business.”
DRIVING THE DAY IN D.C.: The American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) is holding its annual conference.
-- Vice President Biden, speaking yesterday, passionately defended Obama’s policy toward Israel and took a direct shot at Trump’s divisive rhetoric. “As the Jewish people know, any action that marginalizes one religious or ethnic group imperils us all,” Biden said to loud applause. “It is incumbent on all of us to stand up against those who traffic in pernicious stereotypes, who seek to scare and divide us for political gain.” Biden also said he was “pessimistic” about Israeli-Palestinian peace talks, acknowledging insufficient political will on both sides and calling on Netanyahu to stop continued expansion in occupied territories. (Greg Jaffe)
-- Hillary Clinton will speak later this morning, followed by Trump, Cruz, and Kasich later in the day. Sanders is the only presidential hopeful skipping this year’s conference, saying he's too busy campaigning in the west.
-- The Anti-Defamation League is "redirecting" the $56,000 it has received from Trump over the past decade. The prominent Jewish religious organization issued a sharp rebuke of the GOP front-runner last night and said it will send his money to anti-discrimination education programs. (Jose A. DelReal)
THE DEMOCRATIC RACE
-- The Clinton campaign is building an oppo book to attack Trump after Cleveland, via Anne Gearan and Abby Phillip: “Clinton will attempt to do what GOP rivals couldn’t: show that Trump’s business dealings and impolitic statements make him unfit to be commander in chief. According to Clinton allies, Trump isn’t Teflon: Republicans simply waited too long to go after him, and went about it the wrong way. ‘What Republicans did was too little too late,’ said pro-Clinton super PAC leader David Brock. ‘It was petty insults … it wasn’t strategic.’ The former secretary of state plans to counter Trump with high-road substance, policy and issues … showcasing her readiness for the job without lowering her into Trump’s ‘gutter.’ [But] given Trump’s willingness to attack his opponents — and his pivot to going after Clinton in recent days — one clear presumption has emerged about the fall contest: It will be ugly.”
-- Sanders drew more than 30,000 people to three Washington State rallies yesterday, a last-minute surge of support before the caucuses there next Saturday. The state is a must-win for Sanders. He needs to net 58 percent of delegates in the remaining states in order to catch up to Clinton. (John Wagner)
-- In Arizona’s Democratic primary: In a testament to the primacy of the immigration issue in Arizona, Sanders also visited the border Saturday (though to decry inhumane treatment of migrants and to pledge he would halt deportations if elected). Clinton, who leads in public polls, carried the state over Barack Obama in 2008, and she’s running ads touting the support of ex-Rep. Gabrielle Giffords. From today’s Arizona Republic: “Sanders is betting big on the Grand Canyon State, where 75 of 85 Democratic National Convention delegates will be proportionally distributed based on the statewide vote and the vote in each of Arizona's nine congressional districts. In addition to appearances in downtown Phoenix, Tucson, Mesa and the Navajo Indian reservation near Flagstaff, Sanders is investing at least $1.5 million in Arizona television ads, at least three of them highlighting his support from Rep. Raul Grijalva, D-Ariz., one of the most liberal members of Congress.”
SOCIAL MEDIA SPEED READ:
¿Que bolá Cuba? Just touched down here, looking forward to meeting and hearing directly from the Cuban people.— President Obama (@POTUS) March 20, 2016
We've been preparing for this for weeks and yet seeing Air Force One on ground at Jose Marti is still completely surreal.— Michael Weissenstein (@mweissenstein) March 20, 2016
Live shots overlooking Old Havana pic.twitter.com/88yTbzvLDN— Josh Lederman (@joshledermanAP) March 20, 2016
1) And while some vintage cars in Havana are gleaming... pic.twitter.com/bELFvnBB7D— Juliet Eilperin (@eilperin) March 20, 2016
2) Others are not. pic.twitter.com/st8M3BhPqt— Juliet Eilperin (@eilperin) March 20, 2016
Valerie Jarrett shared these images:
Pope Francis joined Instagram under the handle Franciscus:
The White House photographer captured this shot of early spring:
Another celebrity running for office? Fabio could be next, according to the New York Post:
Trump defended campaign manager Corey Lewandowski after video footage showed him appearing to yank a protestor by the collar. Trump called security in the area “lax” and credited Lewandowski for his “spirited” approach, Jose A. DelReal reports. Here's a screen grab of the moment:
Here is Donald Trump's campaign manager in the Tucson crowd grabbing the collar of a protester. pic.twitter.com/JZ9RntWlHY— Jacqueline Alemany (@JaxAlemany) March 19, 2016
Why is it that the horrendous protesters, who scream, curse punch, shut down roads/doors during my RALLIES, are never blamed by media? SAD!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 20, 2016
The protesters blocked a major highway yesterday, delaying entry to my RALLY in Arizona by hours, and the media blames my supporters!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 20, 2016
Cruz continued to go after Trump on social media:
Hillary Clinton has been involved in corruption for most of her professional life!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 18, 2016
Then why did you contribute thousands of dollars to her? https://t.co/wd6UCZSEd2— Ted Cruz (@tedcruz) March 18, 2016
The New Yorker poked fun at Trump after he said he consults himself on foreign policy:
Trump celebrated son Barron's birthday:
He also continued going after Megyn Kelly all weekend:
So the highly overrated anchor, @megynkelly, is allowed to constantly say bad things about me on her show, but I can't fight back? Wrong!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 20, 2016
Kara Swisher is not happy with Joe Scarborough for saying Clinton should smile more:
@JoeNBC I'm serious! The GOP front runner talks about wanting to punch some in the face & you tell a lady to smile. Sorry to notice contrast— Kara Swisher (@karaswisher) March 18, 2016
Scarborough clarified his thoughts in a piece for The Post:
My Latest ~> Memo to ALL Politicians: 😀Smile or Don't😁I'm cool either way👹— Joe Scarborough (@JoeNBC) March 17, 2016
--The Washington Post😳 https://t.co/NPu8sd5xtW
@JoeNBC - good Joe- props for the pivot and change...— Randi Weingarten (@rweingarten) March 17, 2016
Ivanka celebrated Purim with her family:
Looks like Rep. Eric Swalwell (D-Calif.) got engaged:
-- A second baby eagle hatched at the National Arboretum on Sunday morning. (Donna St. George has the story.)
HOT ON THE LEFT
“Cheap Oil Is Taking A Major Toll On Pirates” From HuffPost: “Oil companies aren’t the only ones scaling down operations in the face of low oil prices. Low prices are making tanker heists off Africa’s western coast not worth the risk. ‘Since the price dropped, there has been a decline in piracy and the numbers are there,’ Bolaji Akinola, a maritime consultant. ‘The low oil price is a deterrence. Piracy is not much of a worthwhile venture any longer.’”
HOT ON THE RIGHT
“More Than 100 UK Politicians Tell Obama To Keep Out Of Brexit Debate” From the Daily Caller: “More than 100 members of parliament signed a letter to the U.S. ambassador in London warning Obama to avoid intervening in the UK’s vote on membership of the European Union. Obama will visit the U.K. in April and is expected to endorse the Remain campaign … [British politicians] supporting a Brexit are furious the president is intervening in what they view as a domestic political issue.”
On the campaign trail: Trump, Cruz and Kasich speak at the AIPAC Policy Conference in Washington, D.C. Trump also meets with influential Republicans at Jones Day around lunchtime and holds an event at the Old Post Office building. The candidates from both parties participate in an evening town hall on CNN. On the Democratic side:
- Clinton goes to Phoenix.
- Sanders: Flagstaff, Ariz.; Salt Lake City, Utah
At the White House: In Cuba, President Obama will participate in a wreath-laying ceremony, tour the Jose Marti memorial, hold meetings with President Raul Castro and attend a state dinner. Vice President Biden travels to Seattle to attend a fundraiser luncheon for Sen. Patty Murray and tour the Riddell Lab at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center. Later, he'll travel to Cincinnati.
On Capitol Hill: The Senate is on recess. The House meets at 2 p.m. for legislative business, with six suspension votes scheduled for 6:30 p.m.
At the Supreme Court: The court takes up a long-running political fight about whether Virginia lawmakers redrew the state’s congressional map to protect the commonwealth’s lone African American congressman — or to make sure he was not joined by a second. "The court will consider whether Republican lawmakers packed African American voters into Democratic Rep. Robert C. ‘Bobby’ Scott’s district to comply with the Voting Rights Act or to make surrounding districts more hospitable to white candidates ... A panel of federal judges [previously] said the commonwealth’s plan veered from partisan gerrymandering aimed at protecting incumbents into racial gerrymandering, which the Constitution forbids," Robert Barnes and Jenna Portnoy report. "The questions for Virginia are ‘how much can you think about race in construction of districts, and is the use of race in aid of partisan gerrymandering problematic?’ If SCOTUS upholds the lower court decision, law professor Persily said Virginia might provide a real-life answer to theoretical musings about how changing district lines affects results.”
QUOTE OF THE DAY:
“It’s kind of mutually assured destruction: Both sides line up their nukes. It’s going to be just ugly and nasty and icky,” a Democrat with longtime ties to the Clinton family said of a Donald vs. Hillary general election. “The winner will not be the least bad of the two. The winner will be the one in the contest of that mutually assured destruction who also has a vision and a message about the future that is both inspiring and credible for the rest of the country.”
NEWS YOU CAN USE IF YOU LIVE IN D.C.:
-- Just one more day of cold before we get back to spring temps! The Capital Weather Gang forecasts: “We start the day in the chilly 30s and, despite a good dose of strong March sun, struggle to hit 50 degrees.”
-- Maryland congressional candidate David Trone is rumored to have spent over $10 million on his self-funded campaign to succeed Chris Van Hollen, though official numbers will not be released until next month. (Bill Turque)
-- The Pittsburgh Penguins beat the Capitals 6-2.
-- The Montgomery County mother suspected in the 2014 disappearance of her two young children, Catherine Hoggle, has attempted to escape from her psychiatric hospital eight times. (Dan Morse)
-- The sheriff’s office in Harford County, Md., is refusing to release the names of three deputies who shot and killed an Army staff sergeant after a standoff in Bel Air this month. (Baltimore Sun)
VIDEOS OF THE DAY:
Ahead of his visit to Cuba, Obama recorded a skit with popular Havana-based comedian known as Pánfilo, whose show is widely watched on the island. In the video, Panfilo regularly tries to call the White House — but to no avail. He then inadvertently reaches the Oval Office when he is trying to get the weather forecast for Tuesday’s exhibition game between Cuba’s national team and the Tampa Bay Rays. “It made a big impression on me,” Havana resident Deroy Aponte, who said he had never seen a political figure do something like that, told Juliet Eilperin. Watch:
What if Obama nominated Whitey Bulger or Tyrion Lannister to the Supreme Court? Jimmy Kimmel's show asked people on the street and they believed it:
HBO host Bill Maher said Trump’s rise isn’t about racism, but rather 40 years of worship at “the altar of self-esteem.” “This is what happens when you tell people the most important thing is to love themselves,” he said, playing clips of Trump claiming he’s “the best” at building walls, being tough, and loving the Bible.
Donald Trump and Ben Carson standing on stage slightly dancing to "Stand By Me." pic.twitter.com/00utSJYV4W— Sopan Deb (@SopanDeb) March 20, 2016
HuffPost has a rundown of the funniest things to happen so far during March Madness:
With Easter just six days away, a 30-second video on how Peeps are made:
Finally, if your spirits need a lift, watch this clip out of Iran, where a family danced to help lift a young boy's spirits after a funeral: