Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders appear on stage at the start of last night's CNN Democratic debate at the Brooklyn Navy Yard. (Photo by Melina Mara/The Washington Post)


There is near consensus that Bernie Sanders lost last night’s debate because of his tone.

The Vermont senator preached to the choir and did not do enough to win over fresh converts, which he needs to change the trajectory of the Democratic nominating contest. He often seemed caustic, angry and bitter. His cantankerousness was off-putting.

Dripping sarcasm and ironic snark do not a governing coalition make…

As a former Michigan congressman put it...

Or take this from Obama's former chief speechwriter:

“I doubt it was any sort of strategy,” Chris Cillizza writes, “but rather a reflection that he has been running against Clinton for a long time and is sick of listening to her talking points. … It might not be as smooth a path as she and her team imagined but she will win unless Sanders can start changing hearts and minds.”

ABC News political director Rick Klein thinks maybe Bernie has internalized what his supporters are saying about Clinton so much that he’s lost sight of the larger goal.

-- Each candidate oozed disdain for the other. The latest debate was the most rancorous yet. It was quintessentially New York: Lots of shouting. An unruly audience. And a race to the left.

The nastiness grows from Clinton’s resentment and frustration that she has not been able to put the race away and Sanders’s late-in-the-game belief that he really could win the nomination. Clinton’s willingness to mix it up also reflects a sense of urgency as Tuesday approaches: the New York primary offers more delegates (247) than any of the previous 29 states to vote, by far.

-- The biggest loser last night might have been party unity. 

“It’s questionable that many minds were changed,” Dan Balz writes. “The tone and tenor suggested the degree to which both sides are now dug in for a contest that, despite Clinton’s advantages in pledged delegates, will go all the way to the end of the primary season. The real question is how long it continues after that. … After a long season of primaries, caucuses and debates, nerves are frayed and tensions between supporters of the two campaigns have increased noticeably. … What happens Tuesday won’t end the debate. It may shift the conversation about the state of the delegate race, but for now, Clinton and Sanders remain on a personal collision course.”

“Early on, I thought Sanders was making Clinton a better candidate,” writes New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof. “But as this feud becomes more poisonous, I fear it tarnishes both.”

-- Clinton has held, and possibly expanded, her double-digit lead in New York after two weeks of pretty intensive campaigning. An NBC/Wall Street Journal/Marist College poll shows her with a 17-point lead over Sanders in the Empire State ahead of Tuesday’s primary. Their poll last week put her up 14 points.

-- But Sanders’s sharpened attacks are taking a meaningful toll on her public image nationally. Typically at this stage in the process Democrats would be starting to rally around their presumptive nominee. BUT Clinton’s numbers actually continue to fall. A Gallup poll published yesterday showed that only 66 percent of Democrats view Clinton favorably. (As a point of comparison, that’s not too much higher than the percentage of Republicans who view Donald Trump favorably). Three in 10 Democrats say they dislike Hillary. When Clinton got into the race a year ago, her net favorability was 63 percent. Now it’s 36 percent.

-- Sanders has really moved the Democratic discourse leftward, which could make Hillary’s life harder if she’s the nominee and faces a credible GOP rival. Clinton got booed when she said she wants a $12 national minimum wage last night. Why? Because it is not the $15-an-hour that Sanders supports. Going from $7.25 to $12 would be a 67 percent increase, Dave Fahrenthold notes. But that’s not good enough for the ideologically pure, holier-than-thou liberals who packed the Duggal Greenhouse in Brooklyn. “I want to get something done,” Clinton protested. As Sanders hammered her while she tried to make a point, moderator Wolf Blitzer chided both of them: “If you’re both screaming at each other, the viewers won’t be able to hear either of you.”

This is why last night might have been the final debate. Despite her string of recent losses, Clinton continues to maintain a large lead in both pledged delegates and votes, which will only grow in the coming weeks, and her team has declined to commit to any future meetings with Sanders. The ugliness of the two-hour showdown on CNN – and the harshness of the attacks – will disincline Clinton advisers to agree to any more before the convention in Philadelphia.

-- Jane Sanders teased the idea of a contested Democratic convention in a series of television appearances yesterday afternoon, predicting Clinton will fall “just short” of the pledged delegates she needs.

-- Even though Sanders pledges to support Clinton if she’s the nominee, will he be able to rein in the anger that he’s tapped into on the left? Before the debate, the senator was forced to condemn remarks by a warm-up speaker at a huge rally in Manhattan from the night before. Paul Song, executive chairman of the progressive Courage Campaign, had said Clinton’s allies in Congress are “corporate Democratic whores” who ought to be replaced by “Berniecrats.”

Sanders also suspended his Jewish outreach coordinator yesterday over vulgar criticisms of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Facebook. She had been hired just two days before.

(CNN handout)

Other key moments—

-- Hillary’s crime bill answer was vintage Clintonian. She’s always eager to claim credit for the popular parts of her husband’s record and quick to take offense when people try to blame her for unpopular parts. “My husband has apologized,” Clinton said when asked about the 1994 legislation that she traveled the country advocating for. “He was the president who actually signed it.”

“I’m sorry for the consequences that are unintended, and have had a very unfortunate impact on people’s lives. I’ve seen the results,” she added. “I want to focus the attention of our country, and to make the changes we need to make.”

Sanders, who voted for the legislation as a member of the House, attacked Clinton for referring to “super-predators” who must be “brought to heel.”

“It was a racist term, and everybody knew it was a racist term,” Sanders said.

-- As commander-in-chief, Clinton left no doubt she would be much more inclined to use military force than Obama. The former Secretary of State sounded strong as she talked about flying through the night to deal with a Middle East crisis and mocked Sanders for his lack of knowledge about foreign policy during his sit-down with the New York Daily News editorial board. But her strident defense for supporting intervention in Libya and Syria will concern dovish progressives, especially in light of her vote to invade Iraq.

CNN’s Blitzer noted that Obama recently said the worst mistake he made in office was not preparing for Libya after Moammar Gaddafi was removed from power. Asked if she is responsible for that, Clinton argued that she had done “a great deal” to prepare for that scenario.

Sanders then highlighted news reports that Clinton pressed a hesitant Obama to be more hawkish. Clinton acknowledged that was true and said the current chaos in Syria shows why regime change can be good.

“Nobody stood up to Assad and removed him, and we have had a far greater disaster in Syria than we are currently dealing with right now in Libya,” she said. “Yes, when I was secretary of state I did urge, along with the Department of Defense and the CIA that we seek out, vet, and train, and arm Syrian opposition figures so that they could defend themselves against Assad. … The president said no. Now, that's how it works. People who work for the president make recommendations and then the president makes the decision.”

-- Losing on guns, Sanders flipped-flopped on immunity. Two weeks ago, he told the New York Daily News that the Sandy Hook families should not have the right to sue the manufacturers of the weapons. Last night, he said: “They have the right to sue, and I support them and anyone else who wants the right to sue.”

-- Sanders promised that today he will finally release his full 2014 tax return. This is a shift because he and his wife have repeatedly claimed (inaccurately) that they already released it. He declined to commit to release prior years.

-- Sanders said he would ask President Obama to withdraw Merrick Garland as his Supreme Court nominee if he wins, so that Republicans could not confirm the judge in a lame duck. He criticized Garland for not making it “crystal clear” that he would overturn Citizens United.

Clinton pointedly declined to take a position on whether she’d want Garland pulled to avoid a lame-duck confirmation. “I am going to support the president. When I am president, I am going to take stock of where we are and move from there,” she said.

-- Hillary hardened her anti-Wall Street rhetoric and suggested she might break up banks. The moderators, and Sanders, repeatedly pressed her on why she refuses to release the transcripts of her speeches behind closed doors to Goldman Sachs (for $225,000 per appearance). Martin O’Malley  tweeted during the debate that she should.

But Sanders was unable to offer a specific example of when Clinton’s millions from Wall Street corrupted her. “He cannot come up with any example, because there is no example,” Clinton replied. She explained that she “called out” Wall Street as New York’s senator. Sanders ridiculed her: “Secretary Clinton called them out? Oh, my goodness, they must have been very upset by this.”

FACT CHECK—Glenn Kessler and Michelle Ye Hee Lee explore 14 fishy comments made by the candidates. Highlights:

  • Sanders exaggerated the contributions that Clinton has received from the oil and gas industry.
  • Clinton’s attack that Sanders voted to deregulate swaps and derivatives is “pretty unfair.”
  • Bernie claimed he’s raised “millions” for the DSCC, which is probably an overstatement.
  • Clinton’s support for the $15 minimum wage has been more nuanced than she claimed.
  • Sanders used “a very slippery figure that is almost certainly wrong” when he said the U.S. covers 75 percent of the cost of running NATO.

-- Read our team’s annotated transcript of the entire debate here.

-- If you missed it, our video team created a 3-minute highlight reel here:

-- How it's playing in the Big Apple:

What's popping on TV this morning -- 

-- The Sanders campaign just debuted a TV ad that highlights Clinton’s paid speeches and opposition to a $15 minimum wage nationally. Watch:

-- Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.), on CNN this morning, suggested Hillary is poised to release the transcripts of her private speeches to Goldman Sachs. “I think she will. I think she’s been clear that she’s going to. Yes, I would,” the senator said. “I like transparency and accountability. I know Hillary does as well. I think she wants to bring accountability into government. … and I think she will release those speeches at the appropriate time.”

Welcome to the Daily 202, PowerPost's morning newsletter.
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-- North Korea tried but failed to launch an intermediate-range missile, dealing the regime an embarrassing blow on an important national holiday. (Anna Fifield)

-- In a huge victory for teacher unions and a setback for reform efforts, a California appeals court upheld the state’s laws regarding tenure, dismissal and layoffs. "The ruling overturns a lower court’s 2014 decision that found after a 10-week trial that job-protection statutes for teachers had created illegal inequalities: Poor and minority children were more likely to be saddled with ineffective teachers who were difficult to fire," Emma Brown reports.


  1. The FBI said it has found “no links to foreign terrorists” on the iPhone of the San Bernardino terrorist, but investigators still hope to uncover more details about the attack through further analysis of the device. (Ellen Nakashima and Adam Goldman)
  2. Microsoft sued the Justice Department over its “gag order" statute, which prevents the company from telling people when the government obtains a warrant to access their personal information. The tech giant called the secrecy order “unconstitutional,” revealing that federal courts have issued nearly 2,600 orders for customer data in the past 18 months alone. (Ellen Nakashima)
  3. The White House issued new regulations governing offshore oil rigs in an attempt to prevent future oil-well blowouts. The guidelines come six years after BP’s Deepwater Horizon explosion. (Brady Dennis)
  4. Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam (R) vetoed a bill that would have made the Bible the state’s official book, saying the bill raised constitutional issues and trivializes a “sacred text.” (Elahe Izadi)
  5. Pope Francis will not meet with Bernie during his trip to the Vatican. (New York Times)

  6. Clinton and Sanders joined the Democratic Party in suing the state of Arizona over voting problems in last month’s primary, including long lines that forced residents to wait as many as five hours to vote. (Sari Horwitz)  
  7. Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah) got chewed out by his Senate GOP colleagues during a contentious lunch after he announced his desire to run for a leadership spot currently held by John Barrasso, who is popular in the caucus. (The Hill)
  8. Canada introduced legislation to legalize physician-assisted suicide for patients “suffering intolerably” from a serious medical condition. (Elahe Izadi and Sarah Larimer)
  9. A Connecticut judge rejected a request from gun manufacturers to dismiss a lawsuit filed by relatives of those killed in the Sandy Hook school massacre in 2012, allowing the lawsuit to go forward. (Mark Berman)
  10. House Republicans blew through today’s budget filing deadline. The intra-party deadlock comes as an embarrassment to Speaker Paul Ryan, who pledged to show Republicans could handle the basic job of funding the government. (Kelsey Snell)
  11. Speaker Ryan laid out his foreign policy views. “I’m not a neocon,” he told reporters, explaining that he believes in “peace through strength" but also restraint. (Karoun Demirjian)
  12. Gas prices are likely to rise in the second half of the year as supply gets scaled back and demand grows. (Steven Mufson)
  13. The Citadel is considering a request from an admitted student that she be allowed to wear a hijab in keeping with her Muslim faith, despite the military academy's strict uniform requirements. (Susan Svrluga)
  14. President Obama will deliver the commencement addresses at Howard University, Rutgers University and the Air Force Academy. (CNN)
  15. Attorneys for former House Speaker Dennis Hastert argued that a “groin rub” between a teacher/coach and a student/athlete should not be classified as sexual misconduct. (CNN)
  16. Gabriel Snyder resigned as editor-in-chief at The New Republic. After taking over in 2014, he said the June issue will be his last. (CNN Money)

-- Exclusive: Rep. Barbara Comstock (R-Va.) raised $636,000 in the first quarter. Her Democratic challenger, LuAnn Bennett, raised $419,000 during the period. Comstock holds the Northern Virginia seat that had been long occupied by Frank Wolf.


Trump speaks during the New York Republican State Committee Annual Gala last night. (AP Photo/Kathy Willens)

-- All three presidential candidates appeared at a GOP Gala in New York last night. The event was something of a homecoming for Trump. “He began with the Grand Hyatt Hotel in the 1970s," Philip Rucker and Jenna Johnson write. "He spoke extensively about the difficulties of preparing ice in a skating rink without a freon leak, as he did at Wollman Rink in Central Park. He told old stories that made the crowd laugh, he name-dropped, he wondered why ‘all of my construction friends’ were seated in a back corner. He even deemed politics 'boring.’ And he forcefully defended “New York values,’ a concept that Cruz has tried to use against him. New York values, Trump said, means a work ethic, devotion to family and energy so big that if Jeb Bush moved to town ‘he’d have much more energy than he has right now.’  New Yorkers are builders who make things happen, he said, and who are courageous and have a tremendous sense of community service.”

  • Cruz received a VERY different reception: “Guests chatted with each other and some milled around the ballroom as the senator delivered a variation of his stump speech, struggling to keep the audience’s attention or at times even be heard above the noise.” John Kasich was more positively received.
  • Trump’s appearance at the gala prompted hundreds of protesters to gather outside the Grand Hyatt hotel in midtown Manhattan, carrying signs that declared him a racist and an Islamaphobe. Others chanted “How do you spell racist? T-R-U-M-P.” At least 31 people were arrested.
A man dressed as Trump dances around as protestors chant outside the New York State Republican Gala. (Jabin Botsford/The Washington Post)

-- Trump has opened an 18-point lead among Republicans in a national Fox News poll. The GOP front-runner tops Cruz 45 percent to 27 percent, with Kasich at 25 percent.

-- Kasich has slipped to third in Pennsylvania: A Monmouth University poll shows Trump leading in the Keystone State with 44 percent of Republican voters, with Cruz at 28 percent and Kasich at 23 percent. Among Democrats, Clinton is up by just 2 points, down from 13 last month.

-- During a meeting with Jewish media outlets and activists, Trump declined to say how he would refer to the West Bank. He passed the question, meant to elicit a specific response on a politically-freighted issue, to an aide. There are “many words that I’ve seen to describe it,” said Trump, before deferring to the aide. (Foreward)

-- The New York Post endorses Trump in today's edition.

-- John Kasich is thriving as the #NeverTrump movement takes a short hiatus in New York. “While Cruz has returned to New York for two television town halls and a rally, his spending in New York is limited," explains David Weigel. "Kasich, meanwhile, has turned into a one-man advertising agency for the state's greatness. [His] hope of coming in second place here, in votes and delegates, rests on being as non-confrontational as possible. ‘There’s not a greater place in the world than New York. And that's not pandering. I really love it,’ said Kasich (during a televised town hall last night). When MSNBC host Chris Matthews … seemed skeptical, Kasich allowed that ‘traffic and things like that’ would keep him from living in the state. He otherwise made no criticism of the state's politics at all. He navigated a series of questions about gay marriage, which was legalized here with Republican support, by saying he supported the traditional definition of marriage but wouldn't change the law. ‘Exactly where it is now, I'm fine with it,’ he said."

Former Gov. (and failed presidential candidate) George Pataki endorsed Kasich, saying the Ohio governor has a “history of bringing people together” and can unify the party to beat Clinton.

-- Cruz is already looking beyond New York to California, Indiana and Nebraska, states where his strategists believe the delegate rules and natural political tendencies work in his favor. "California is going to determine the Republican nomination," he said earlier this week. (Katie Zezima and Sean Sullivan)

-- An op-ed in today’s Wall Street Journal under Donald Trump’s byline decries the delegate selection process and ties it to a broader rationale for his candidacy. “Politicians furiously defended the system. ‘These are the rules,’ we were told over and over again. … Let me ask America a question: How has the ‘system’ been working out for you and your family? I, for one, am not interested in defending a system that for decades has served the interest of political parties at the expense of the people. … The only antidote to decades of ruinous rule by a small handful of elites is a bold infusion of popular will. On every major issue affecting this country, the people are right and the governing elite are wrong. … The great irony of this campaign is that the ‘Washington cartel’ that Mr. Cruz rails against is the very group he is relying upon in his voter-nullification scheme. … The political insiders have had their way for a long time. Let 2016 be remembered as the year the American people finally got theirs.”

-- The Republican National Committee fires back at Trump’s argument that the system is a rigged in a memo going out to reporters this morning. “On October 1 of last year, 50 states, 5 territories, and the District of Columbia submitted finalized plans for how delegates would be chosen for the Republican National Convention,” RNC strategist Sean Spicer writes. He does not name Trump but does not need to. “As a party, we believe in the freedom of the states to make decisions about how they will select delegates to the National Convention. And for decades, this grassroots-driven, democratic process has been transparent and effective. This cycle is no different. The rules surrounding the delegate selection have been clearly laid out in every state and territory and while each state is different, each process is easy to understand for those willing to learn it. It ultimately falls on the campaigns to be up to speed on these delegate rules.

-- Trump surrogate Sarah Palin canceled a planned speech at the Wyoming Republican Party convention this weekend, without explanation. Trump’s not going either. (Politico)


Tom Steyer is the No. 1 contributor to super PACs this cycle. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite, File)

-- "The new Gilded Age: Close to half of all Super PAC money comes from 50 donors," by Matea Gold and Anu Narayanswamy: "Since 2015, super PACs have raised $607.7 million and have spent $452 million.The top 50 donors together have supplied $248.2 million—41 percent of the money raised to date. The largest share of the money has come from donors who have given between $1 million and $5 million. Five contributors giving more than $10 million each contributed 14 percent of the total raised."

The report includes a really cool graphic on how wealthy donors, and ghost corporations, whose financing can't be identified, influence elections. At the top of the list of the 50 biggest super PAC donors is Tom Steyer, the environmentalist who has given $17 million to a climate-change focused super PAC; he's followed by the Wilks family, whose fortune was made off the fracking boom. They have plowed $15.3 million into efforts to support Cruz; placing third is former AIG head Maurice "Hank" Greenberg, who along with his affiliated businesses, channeled $15 million into super PACs supporting the now-defunct campaigns of Jeb Bush and Marco Rubio. Eight of the top 10 most profligate super PAC donors are giving to Republican causes; in the Democratic-giving camp, only Steyer and George Soros ($8 million) rank that high.

-- SCARY: “The Capitol may be ready for a terrorist attack. But is your favorite D.C. bar?” by Dan Zak: “The briefing was held in a private banquet room about 1,000 feet from the White House. The FBI was there. The Department of Homeland Security was there. So were staffers from the 9:30 Club and the Black Cat, and dozens of other nightlife spots and restaurants. The message was both dire and obvious, once unthinkable and now unavoidable: You know those terrorists who want to attack Washington? Forget the Capitol. Next time, they might come for your happy hour. ‘These guys were terrifying,’ says Bill Duggan, proprietor of Madam’s Organ … [And] to hammer it home, officials shared images of Islamic State and al-Qaeda propaganda that encourage attacks on American social spots. ‘By God, as we struck France at the center of its abode in Paris, then we swear we will strike America at its center in Washington,’ said a man identified as ‘Al Karar the Iraqi’ in an alleged Islamic State propaganda video released shortly afterward. Does that mean the White House? Or your favorite brunch spot?”

-- “Whitewashing history? Tug-of-war over Confederate monuments rages on,” by Natalie Pompilio: "Last month, [New Orleans officials] held a special meeting for contractors interested in taking on a city job estimated at $170,000. That’s not typical. Neither were the concerns of the attendees: Could they work at night or in the early morning, when they were least likely to draw protesters? Would the city provide security if necessary? The job was to haul off three Confederate monuments that have been a topic of increasing debate for almost a year. The businesses currently considering the job to remove them are understandably wary: In January, the company originally retained to do the work withdrew after the owner, his family and his employees said they had received death threats. Less than a week later, the owner’s 2014 Lamborghini … was found aflame. While those who want to preserve the monuments continue to press their legal options in federal courts, New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu is confident that … [the offending statues] will soon be removed from public view. “I’m clear that the future does not belong to small, sleepy Southern cities that revere the Confederacy.”


— ZIGNAL VISUAL: Last night offered the latest illustration of how Sanders seems to more deeply penetrate social media (due in large part to his younger following) and also how Clinton Twitter traffic is more driven by critics.

Mentions of Clinton and Sanders on social media were about even during the debate. Clinton edged Bernie out slightly in mentions, 53 to 47 percent. But what people were saying across social media about the two candidates, and what the candidates themselves were saying, was very different. 

As the race has evolved, according to our analytics partners at Zignal Labs, Sanders has been able to drive most of his own social media traffic and narrative. That is, as the calendar progresses, the official Sanders social media presence has played a larger and larger role. Just look at the top tweets mentioning Sanders during Thursday's debate. They all came from his own campaign. The most popular were about free college, treatment of the Palestinians and putting a tax on carbon:

For Clinton, the top tweets that came from her social team were mostly message-less (not issue specific):

Kasich ran into former OSU football star Braxton Miller. (The NFL draft is in New York from April 28-30.)

A fight broke out in front of the GOP gala:

Protesters came out in force:

Sanders compared himself to FDR in a fundraising email:

General Electric CEO Jeff Immelt continued to slam Sanders for his criticism of the company: 

After authorities declined to prosecute Trump campaign manager Corey Lewandowski for battery, former Breitbart reporter Michelle Fields kept the door open to a defamation suit. The Trump manager's lawyer responded with a not-so-veiled threat:

We also learned that Trump personally intervened on his aide's behalf:

-- Lewandowski went on CNN this morning to say he called Michelle Fields the night of the incident but she never returned his call.Asked by Chris Cuomo about not having apologized, Lewandowski said “that night, it was never reported, but I called Michelle Fields because I didn't know what happened, honestly. And the interaction with Michelle Fields lasted a sum total of about three seconds of my entire life. I had never met her before and the only time I've ever interacted with her was on that videotape.  And three seconds may sound like a long time, but it was a brief interaction. I didn't -- it wasn't memorable to me and I'm sorry about that.”

-- The New York Times continues to investigate Trump's manager, today focusing on an episode from his time in New Hampshire: "To Ross McLeod, a prosecutor and selectman in Windham, N.H., it was a harmless hobby: running a small fantasy football league with a handful of friends and a pot of around $200 a year. But when local activist named Corey Lewandowski discovered Mr. McLeod sometimes did this during work hours, and using his office email, he ran with it … ‘Mr. McLeod is using county resources to engage in some type of gambling ring,’ he wrote to Mr. McLeod’s boss … ‘We are prepared to call for his immediate termination and prosecution for this illegal activity.’ .. It was in Windham, a well-off [Boston] suburb … that Lewandowski honed his insurgent style of politics, making himself the town’s most outspoken watchdog and agitator. 'He never struck me as a nice guy,' Ms. Skinner, a Republican in local government, said. 'I guess ‘arrogant’ would be the word to use,' she added."

Reactions varied to news of Col Allan's retirement as editor of the New York Post:

Obama was gracious about his Chicago Bulls losing their record for most wins in a regular NBA season:

Biden hung out with Gloria Steinem:

Sen. Tammy Baldwin (D-Wis.) met with Garland (so did Elizabeth Warren and Colorado's Michael Bennet):

Chuck Schumer is #sheddingforthewedding:

Rep. Mark Takano (D-Calif.) 3D-printed a message to Senate Republicans:

Connecticut Sen. Chris Murphy's kids have some creative foreign policy ideas:

Left-leaning pundits poked fun at the latest TIME cover:

Jeb Bush's former communications director, now working for an anti-Trump group, urged caution when it comes to joining a possible Trump administration:

Rep. Linda Sanchez (D-Calif.) is getting ready for baseball season:

Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi talked about Kobe Bryant:


“Even Ken Starr Thinks Mitch McConnell Should Allow A Vote On SCOTUS Nominee,” From HuffPost: The former Reagan administration appeals court judge [and Clinton prober] thinks Republicans should hold hearings and a vote on Obama’s Supreme Court nominee. “Starr served six years on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. circuit, where Obama’s nominee, Judge Merrick Garland, now presides as chief judge, before becoming President George H.W. Bush’s solicitor general. ‘He’s superbly qualified,’ said Starr of Obama’s nominee. ‘I had the privilege of knowing the chief judge for many years. Unfortunately, I never served with him, but we have rubbed shoulders professionally for several decades and he is, again, superbly qualified.’”



“Tim Tebow eyed for open Florida House seat, 'a shoo-in',” from the Washington Examiner: “The surprise retirement of a key Florida congressman has Republican strategists eager to give the ball to former Florida Gators quarterback Tim Tebow … ‘We do not pick favorites,’ … said a strategist, but ‘obviously a huge Florida football star would be an interesting candidate for our side of the aisle.’ He recently expressed interest in an eventual political run. During his foundation's recent Jacksonville golf tournament, the former Heisman Trophy winner was asked by Fox about politics and said, ‘If there's a chance you can make a difference someday in something, then that would be intriguing.’”


On the campaign trail: Sanders goes to Vatican City to speak at a Catholic conference. Here's the rundown stateside:

  • Trump: Hartford, Conn.
  • Cruz: Bimghamton, Rochester, N.Y.
  • Kasich: Watertown, Utica, N.Y.

At the White House: No public events are scheduled.

On Capitol Hill: The Senate is not in session. The House meets at 9 a.m. for legislative business.


“I bet I’m the only senator who learned to swim at a whorehouse swimming pool,” Harry Reid said in a radio interview.


-- The District will do its best “southern California impression” this weekend, at least according to The Capital Weather Gang: “High temperatures in the 62-67 degree range is a fairly small region-wide temperature differential, but we’ll enjoy it! Way more sun than clouds and a refreshing light 5-10 mph easterly wind off the bay and Atlantic should help keep you comfortable when experiencing the high (August-level!) sun angle.”

-- The Capitals beat the Philadelphia Flyers 2-0, in Game 1 of the teams’ first-round series in the Stanley Cup playoffs.

-- The Nationals swept the Braves, winning 7-1. Bryce Harper hit a grand slam, his 100th career home run.

-- The NFL released the Redskins schedule for next season. See it here.

-- The federal investigation into the 2010 shadow campaign of former D.C. Mayor Gray ended partly due to questions over the credibility of “star witness” Jeffrey Thompson. (Ann E. Marimow)

-- Rep. Chris Van Hollen released a new ad using Obama to attack rival Rep. Donna Edwards in the race for Maryland’s open Senate seat, less than a week after Edwards was criticized for doing the same thing. (Rachel Weiner)

-- More than a hundred Metro passengers had to be evacuated from a Blue Line train that became stuck near Rosslyn for more than an hour, causing major delays throughout the system. (Paul Duggan and Faiz Siddiqui

-- Metro scrapped its plans for a high-tech fare-paying system after spending $25 million on its testing and design, citing a “tepid” response from the public. Officials say its completion would have cost an additional $150 million. (Paul Duggan)

-- Gov. Terry McAuliffe (D-Va.) signed several bills to change how law enforcement processes rape kits, after it emerged that thousands of kits in the state have gone untested. (Jenna Portnoy)


BuzzFeed staffers tried Trump vodka -- pretty funny:

Seth Meyers riffed on Trump's delegate troubles:

Jimmy Fallon found unexpected details in photos of Sanders, Vladimir Putin:

Fallon also imagined a phone call between Trump and Cruz:

This guy took his Aston Martin on a tour of D.C., called the traffic a "nightmare":

Trump's top lawyer reveals that he's a registered Democrat and won't be able to vote for his boss in the primary:

American Crossroads compares Hillary to Richard Nixon in a video that juxtaposes footage of Clinton talking about her emails against Nixon talking about Watergate: