THE BIG IDEA: Good morning from an Amtrak train bound for Philadelphia.
The Democratic National Convention was supposed to be the flawless, slickly-produced one where the establishment struck back. Now, it threatens to devolve into a mess, maybe not as untidy as Cleveland but probably not the celebratory coronation that the Hillary Clinton campaign has spent the seven weeks since California’s primary trying to orchestrate.
Stepping on the message of unity and competence, Democratic National Committee chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz resigned under pressure Sunday. She was forced aside after the emergence of thousands of internal emails that angered various constituencies within the party.
But the Florida congresswoman did not go quietly or without a fight. It took pressure from the White House – including a phone call with President Obama – to get her to finally see the writing on the wall. Two reliable sources say Wasserman Schultz was trying to make top aides take the fall, rather than take personal responsibility. Until the end, she struggled to understand what a lightning rod she’s become.
“There was a lot of drama,” a Democratic member of Congress involved in the discussions leading up to her resignation told Philip Rucker. “She made this as painful as she could. She did not want to go. ... She wasn’t going to resign until the president called her. She put a lot of people through hell.”
“The emails revealed a DNC official apparently discussing how to use Bernie Sanders’s religion against him to help Clinton ahead of the Kentucky and West Virginia primaries,” Anne Gearan, Abby Phillip and Rucker report. “In another email, a Clinton campaign lawyer suggested to the DNC how it should respond to claims from the Sanders campaign that it was improperly using a joint fundraising committee with state parties.” Also in the cache: DWS saying Sanders has “no understanding” of how the party works and calling his manager Jeff Weaver “a damn liar.”
There was also lots of trash talking about major donors: The deputy finance director refers to some of the party’s biggest contributors as “clowns,” and there’s behind-the-scenes commentary about who should get to sit next to POTUS – with the fundraisers moving people they don’t like further away. In one of the emails, Alexandra Shapiro, the Mid Atlantic and PAC Finance Director, said it was “f------- stupid” that Obama would not come to Chevy Chase for 20 minutes to raise $350,000. (Matea Gold dove deep into the cache and has an excellent piece with juicy details about how a May 18 fundraiser with the president came together. Sausage making is never pretty. Search the DNC emails that have been released so far here.)
It would have gotten messier had the congresswoman tried to cling to power. Some Bernie Sanders delegates planned to turn their backs on her in a show of protest during the convention.
-- But while Sanders and his campaign have been calling for her head since the spring, close Clinton allies also said good riddance last night:
"On the whole I’d rather she not be in Philadelphia,” said James Carville, alluding to the old W.C. Fields line.
“It was the right thing to do,” said Terry McAuliffe, who was DNC chair during the contested 2004 primaries. “You have to be neutral and if I found out my staff had written those kinds of emails where they were denigrating his religion, I would have fired them right on the spot,” the governor told our Jenna Portnoy after a welcome reception for Virginia Democrats at the Lowes hotel. “It’s just outrageous. You have to be neutral and if you can’t be neutral you can’t be in that job.”
“Myself and other Democrats who were Clinton supporters, we have been saying this was serious. It truly violates what the DNC’s proper role should be,” said former DNC chairman Edward G. Rendell, the former Pennsylvania governor. “The DNC did something incredibly inappropriate here” and needed to acknowledge that.
-- Republicans, naturally, are trying to pour fuel on the fire. "The DNC was tipping the scale the entire time for Hillary Clinton,” RNC Chairman Reince Priebus said at a pre-convention event in Philly last night.
For Priebus, it’s personal. Wasserman Schultz trolled him with this last week:
It could all make for an awkward couple days. Here are 10 questions that we will find out the answers to by this time next week—
1. How many additional DNC staffers depart the committee?
Several Democratic leaders expressed hope that pulling off the Band-Aid prevents the story from getting the kind of legs that will allow it to ruin the convention. But other officials warn that more senior staffers from the committee could leave in the coming days.
Former Minneapolis Mayor R.T. Rybak, a DNC vice chairman, told my colleagues that Wasserman Schultz did the right thing by resigning and “allowing the rest of us to clean up this mess so that we can quickly pivot to talking about Hillary Clinton.” Rybak called for any DNC staffer who wrote emails aiming to discredit Sanders to be “fired immediately, no question.”
Clinton campaign manager Robby Mook — and some cyber experts — blamed the Russian government for leaking the private messages to WikiLeaks. The argument is that Vladimir Putin wants Trump to be president and will meddle in the election to help him. While some experts remain skeptical of a Russian role, the hacking incident has caused alarm within the Clinton campaign and also in the national security arena, Tom Hamburger and Ellen Nakashima report. "Last month, the forensic firm CrowdStrike said two competing Russian intelligence hacker groups penetrated the DNC’s computers. In the past 24 hours, cybersecurity experts have said that the email cache released by WikiLeaks on Friday appears to have been given to the anti-secrecy group by Russian intelligence." (Trump campaign officials rejected Mook's suggestion as “absurd.”)
Democratic officials say the Russians have many thousands of additional emails that they will wait to release until moments when they can inflict maximum damage or embarrassment, such as on the day of a debate or to blunt any momentum Clinton might get.
One ameliorating factor: “Unlike some of the Cleveland follies — the Michelle Obama plagiarism, the Keystone Kops response to the Michelle Obama plagiarism, the (Ted) Cruz non-endorsement — the email leak was not a mess of the Clinton campaign’s creation,” Ruth Marcus notes. Indeed, some of the emails show top DNC staffers trashing the operatives in Brooklyn…
2. Who replaces DWS as chair?
Wasserman Schultz will formally resign upon the close of the convention. Democratic strategist Donna Brazile will take over as interim chair. But the party must choose a permanent replacement who is both loyal to Clinton and acceptable to others.
Post reporters are hearing three names being mentioned: former Michigan governor Jennifer Granholm, Rep. Steve Israel (N.Y.) and EMILY's List President Stephanie Schriock.
This person must be able to shore up fundraising and clean up the committee.
“People feel the culture of the DNC is not right, and it starts at the top,” a top Democratic official said.
3. Sanders won’t pull a Cruz, but can Bernie turn his revolutionaries into foot soldiers for Hillary?
Of the 4,765 delegates to the convention, 1,894 are in theory pledged to Sanders.
The Vermont senator has already endorsed Clinton. He wants to use his speech tonight to celebrate his 22 primary and caucus victories while outlining how he wants to keep “the political revolution” going.
But thousands of supporters who are in town are not ready for Hillary. At a “People’s Convention” in a Quaker meeting hall yesterday, some held signs that said “Never Crooked Hillary” and “#BernieOrBust.”
4. Will there be any drama on the floor?
Some Berniecrats are determined to cause as much embarrassment as possible for HRC.
Volunteers with the Sanders campaign were at delegation breakfasts this morning gathering signatures for a petition calling on the DNC to do a roll call tonight at the convention, Josh Hicks reports from the Maryland gathering. The volunteers said the Sanders campaign has staff at every breakfast.
Fortunately for Clinton, there’s seemingly no one with the stature of a Mike Lee or Ken Cuccinelli who wants to make mayhem.
But, but, but: There’s a quixotic effort by some on the left to try removing Tim Kaine from the ticket and picking a more liberal alternative. This is going to fail, but parliamentary motions could be catnip for cable news.
“On Sunday morning, Norman Solomon, a progressive author and Sanders delegate from California, held a news briefing on the new Bernie Delegates Network, an association of 1,250 convention delegates whom he intended to organize for protests on the floor,” David Weigel and John Wagner report. “Eighty-eight percent of them, Solomon said, opposed the Kaine pick; only 300 delegates were needed to nominate a rival candidate from the floor. Solomon could not name a rival candidate who would join the fight — the most-mentioned progressive alternatives to Kaine, such as Sen. Elizabeth Warren (Mass.) and Sen. Sherrod Brown (Ohio), are friends of Kaine and supporters of the ticket.” (And in interviews on three Sunday shows Sanders offered measured praise for Kaine.)
“Supporters of Clinton have been surprised as even minor slights set off heated arguments,” Weigel and Wagner add. “A Sunday meeting of the party’s credentials committee, which heard challenges to the seating of some Clinton delegates, spent more than an hour on the fate of a Sanders delegate from Maine. Toward the end of the meeting … a Sanders delegate from Iowa rose to make another heated point. Party members were referring to Clinton as ‘the nominee,’ and not as the ‘presumptive’ nominee.”
5. How much does HRC try to gin up the base vis-à-vis reaching out to the middle?
Trump’s convention focused primarily on galvanizing recalcitrant Republicans. His speech Thursday could have been delivered in the midst of the primaries. Clinton advisers promise to make more of an effort to appeal to independent voters who are frightened of the GOP nominee but have doubts about Clinton.
Former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, who mulled an independent bid for president, will deliver a Wednesday night speech endorsing Clinton in prime-time, the New York Times[nytimes.com] reports.
But the campaign also wants to excite more liberal millennials, single women, African Americans, Hispanics and other core Democratic constituencies.
“There have been debates inside Mrs. Clinton’s operation over how much her nomination this week should be focused on women,” Amy Chozick reports in the New York Times. “Some advisers believe that overemphasizing Mrs. Clinton’s historic achievement as the first woman to accept a major party’s nomination could backfire, driving away men … and alienating younger women who are less motivated by gender. The result is what Democrats describe as a cautious mix, attaching the women’s movement to issues like the economy and health care. … ‘This has been a long, drawn-out debate,’ said Tracy Sefl, a Democratic strategist who worked for Mrs. Clinton in 2008 and 2016.”
Watch for special outreach to the troops, who the campaign hopes are concerned about Trump’s rhetoric. Remarkably, Trump never acknowledged the troops who are fighting and in harm’s way during his speech. Mitt Romney made the same mistake at the 2012 convention and suffered politically for it.
Clinton, who sat on the Senate Armed Services Committee before becoming Secretary of State, will not omit the troops. She’s also given a primo speaking slot on Thursday night to retired Marine Gen. John Allen, who previously commanded U.S. forces in Afghanistan. (Will he stick to script better than Michael Flynn did last Monday, when he pushed Joni Ernst out of prime-time? We’re guessing yes.)
6. Do Democrats talk more about God than Republicans?
One of the biggest fiascos at the 2012 convention in Charlotte came when Democrats omitted any reference to “God” in their platform and took out the plank that said Jerusalem is the capital of Israel. Obama had to personally intervene to add the “G” word back into his party’s platform. Some far-left progressives on the floor objected to this, shouting down and booing Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa as he asked for verbal permission to amend the platform. The nays were far louder than the yeas, but he declared that there was support anyway.
Amazingly, Trump also did not mention “God” or his faith at all last Thursday night. It was, by far, the least religious Republican convention in modern history.
This gives the Clinton campaign a big opening – if they’re willing to capitalize.
Just as he once engaged in birtherism with Obama, Trump has suggested – outrageously – that Clinton is a non-believer. “We don’t know anything about Hillary in terms of religion,” he told pastors last month.
Clinton will almost certainly mention her Methodist faith Thursday night. But how much farther will she go? On the trail, she’s alluded to John Wesley, the founder of the church. “Do all the good you can, in all the ways you can, for all the people you can," she says, paraphrasing one of his most famous quotes.
She and her surrogates could talk about how studying the Bible as a young woman in Park Ridge, Illinois, motivated her to pursue social justice. They could talk about how she taught Sunday school as the First Lady of Arkansas.
Kaine especially can talk about his year as a Jesuit missionary in Honduras and how his faith motivated him to a life in public service. Yesterday the V.P. nominee and his wife attended the Sunday service at their longtime parish of St. Elizabeth’s in Richmond. “This parish has meant so much,” Kaine’s wife, Anne Holton, told the congregation. “We are starting a new chapter now … we will really need your prayers.” The rest of the service proceeded more or less normally, even after Kaine was selected as the soloist for the Communion hymn. "We needed some prayers today, and we got some prayers, and we got some support, and it really feels good," the senator said after the service, per Laura Vozzella.
One hiccup here: Kaine talking about his Catholicism risks drawing unwelcome attention to his somewhat wobbly record on abortion rights. He’s had a firmly pro-choice voting record since getting elected to the Senate in 2012, but he’s personally pro-life. He noted this in ads during his 2005 run for governor and agreed to requiring some forms of parental consent in Virginia, plus a partial-birth abortion ban.
7. Can Obama do for Hillary what Bill did for him in 2012?
If the programming on stage is primarily Trump bashing, this week will not be effective. To keep the White House, the convention must offer an affirmative case for Clinton and flesh out a vision for where she wants to take the country.
Specifically, Democrats must rebut the dark portrait of America that Trump painted last Thursday night without becoming cheerleaders for the status quo. A vast majority of the electorate believes the country is on the wrong track, so it’s important to thread the needle between touting how far the country has come since the economic collapse of 2008 while also acknowledging how many working-class folks are still struggling.
Because her tenure as Secretary of State is so central to her pitch, the convention will forcefully push back on the idea that Clinton has made the world less safe. Former Defense secretary Leon Panetta, former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright and former ambassador Wendy Sherman will each work on a piece of this, Josh Rogin reports.
But the most crucial messenger is Barack Obama.
Back in 2012, locked in a tight race, Bill Clinton assumed an informal role as the Secretary of Explaining Stuff. In Charlotte, he went almost totally off script and gave a long, but super effective, speech about how Obama was making the economy better for everyone.
Now it’s the president’s turn to reciprocate, anointing his onetime rival as his rightful heir. He wants Clinton, his onetime rival, to win to validate his agenda and protect his legacy. The onus will be on him more than anyone else to make the case that the country Trump described is not the one real people are living in. He previewed his comments a little last Friday.
Obama speaks Wednesday night, and he’s giving an interview to NBC’s Savannah Guthrie that will air Wednesday morning on the “Today” show.
And tonight Michelle Obama will make a similar case. “In nearly eight years as first lady, she has deliberately avoided partisan issues — but in her address she will fully endorse Clinton,” Krissah Thompson previews. “She plans to talk about the role a president plays in the lives of the nation’s children, shaping their values and aspirations. She will also discuss why she thinks Clinton has the ‘character, temperament and experience’ to be president, and how Clinton’s career reflects ideals such as ‘opportunity, equality, inclusion.’”
8. Conventions create stars. Who will this year’s be?
Ironically, Obama’s Wednesday speech falls on exactly the 12th anniversary of the DNC keynote in Boston that catapulted him to national prominence – when he was still an Illinois state legislator running for a promotion to the U.S. Senate.
If you have 18 minutes, it is fun to go back and watch:
This year, pundits have often said Democrats don’t have a deep bench. This is partly because of the big losses the party suffered in the 2010 and 2014 midterms. It’s also because the only person who had the gumption to credibly challenge Clinton for the nomination was a septuagenarian socialist who was not even a Democrat when he entered the race.
But that conventional wisdom ignores some impressive, dynamic members of the House and Senate – as well as members of Obama’s cabinet – who have bright futures if they play their cards right. The veepstakes process has highlighted and elevated a few of them. So will prime-time speaking slots this week.
Among the undercard speeches you should watch closely:
Tonight, Rep. Joe Kennedy of Massachusetts – the next generation of the Camelot dynasty – will speak. If Warren decides not to run again in 2018, he’s the favorite to pick up her seat – held for so long by his great uncle. (He’s Bobby’s grandson.)
On Tuesday, Jimmy Carter’s grandson Jason will speak. The former Georgia state senator ran for governor in 2014, and he might have won had it not been such a horrible cycle for Democrats.
New Mexico Rep. Ben Ray Lujan, the chair of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee and a favorite of Nancy Pelosi, speaks Wednesday.
Some of the most impressive Democratic Senate candidates get slots Thursday, along with the New York Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney – the co-chair of the LGBT Equality Caucus – an up-and-comer in the lower chamber. (See the full schedule here.)
9. How many people speak Spanish from the main stage?
No one spoke Spanish on stage during the RNC. Instead, in English, the crowd chanted “Build the Wall.”
Expect several speakers to address the crowd en Espanol, especially Kaine.
He’s given interviews to both Univision and Telemundo that will air today.
The Virginian is fluent in Spanish and became the first person to ever deliver an entire Senate floor speech in the language during the 2013 immigration debate. Watch it here:
A DREAMer will also speak tonight, along with California Rep. Linda Sanchez and other members of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus.
10. How much bigger a splash will the protesters make in Philadelphia than Cleveland?
Nightmares about open carry, the New Black Panther Party and riots in Cleveland did not come true.
Many expect it will be worse in the City of Brotherly Love, between the Berniecrats and Black Lives Matter protestors who are more seriously organizing.
The Philadelphia Daily News says there were between 5 thousand and 10 thousand people at a march against fracking yesterday. That’s bigger than any of the protests last week.
Been in Philly for a 1/2 hour and I've already seen more protesters than I did my entire week in Cleveland.— Jill Colvin (@colvinj) July 24, 2016
Paula iasella, 61 from southern New Hampshire said she is leaving Democratic Party after 42 years pic.twitter.com/syehogtLDQ— Steve Bohnel (@Steve_Bohnel) July 24, 2016
"We are absolutely ready," Philadelphia Police Commissioner Richard Ross said last night. "We always say success is never final," added Secret Service Director Joseph Clancy. "That doesn't mean we're not dialed in and focused."
-- Three polls out this morning show Trump getting a post-Cleveland bounce.
Morning Consult was in the field through last night, and their new national poll puts Trump up 4 points over Clinton (44 percent to 40 percent). Clinton led by 4 points in the site’s pre-convention poll. Pollster Kyle Dropp attributes the 8-point shift to marginal consolidation among Republicans (85 percent of Republicans say they will vote for Trump, up from 79 percent a week ago) and a sample that identifies as slightly more Republican (which usually happens after conventions). This is the first time Trump has ever led in the Consult polling.
A CNN/ORC poll shows Trump gaining 6 points from the convention, and he’s in better shape than any time since last fall. His personal image improved: 52 percent of registered voters now say Trump is running for president “for the good of the country” rather than personal gain, while just 44 percent said the same of Clinton. And 43 percent say he’s honest and trustworthy, with nearly half (46 percent) of voters saying he’s in touch with problems “ordinary Americans face” in their daily lives.
Meanwhile, a CBS News poll finds that the race remains tied: Both Trump and Clinton net 42 percent support. In their poll, 49 percent of Democrats said they are glad Clinton tapped Kaine while 61 percent of Republicans said the same of Mike Pence.
After the RNC, GOP voters are far more likely to say their party is united – 44 percent – compared to just 16 percent who said their party was united just over a week ago.
Most voters said they’ve made up their minds: 94 percent of Clinton voters saying their choice is set. 90 percent of Trump voters said the same.
-- HAPPENING TOMORROW: For the next installment of “The 202 Live,” I will interview California Gov. Jerry Brown at The Post’s headquarters in Philadelphia on Tuesday at 12:30 p.m. We have a cool space at City Tap House in Logan Square. The conversation will livestream on washingtonpost.com and Facebook Live. If you’d like to come by for the event, RSVP here.
|Welcome to the Daily 202, PowerPost's morning newsletter. |
With contributions from Breanne Deppisch (@breanne_dep) and Elise Viebeck (@eliseviebeck) Sign up to receive the newsletter.
WHILE YOU WERE SLEEPING:
-- Gunfire erupted outside a “teen party” at a nightclub in Fort Myers, Florida, early this morning, leaving two dead and at least 14 injured. Authorities say injuries range from minor to life threatening. At least one person of interest has been detained in connection with the shooting. (Katie Mettler)
-- A 27-year-old Syrian man killed himself and injured 12 others in southern Germany after being denied asylum in the country. He set off a bomb outside an open-air music festival in the city of Ansbach after he was denied entry. Meanwhile, another 21-year-old Syrian refugee in the country was arrested this weekend after killing a woman and injuring several others in a machete attack.
GET SMART FAST:
- Verizon finalized a deal to buy Yahoo for $4.8 billion. The deal puts an end to Yahoo’s years-long battle to survive as a standalone internet company. (Todd C. Frankel, Brian Fung and Hayley Tsukayama)
- The International Olympic Committee stopped short of imposing a “blanket ban” on Russia for the upcoming Rio games, permitting some athletes from the country to compete amid strong evidence of a state-sponsored doping conspiracy. Under the new restrictions, individual sports federations are tasked with the responsibility of deciding which athletes are cleared to compete. (Rick Maese)
- Meanwhile, in another proof point that Rio is going to be a mess, Australia is refusing to let its athletes stay in the Olympic Village. The government says problems with gas, electricity and plumbing make it “unlivable." Keep in mind, the games start in two weeks! (Courier Mail)
- Islamic State attackers in Kabul detonated a series of coordinated blasts Saturday that killed 80 and injured 230 others. The target was Afghanistan's Shiite ethnic Hazara minority, and it has raised fears of rising Sunni-Shiite violence. (Sayed Salahuddin and Pamela Constable)
- Lawyers in Turkey say they have gathered “credible evidence” of serious human rights violations by the Erdogan administration. The government claims it is following due process, but thousands are allegedly being held in horse stables and face abuse. More than 9,000 people are in custody related to the failed coup, and an estimated 50,000 were fired from their jobs. (Loveday Morris)
- The Turkish government announced that it has now seized more than 2,250 social, educational and health-care institutions connected with political dissidents since the Friday before last. (AP)
- A Georgia appeals court ruled that taking pictures up a woman’s skirt in a public place is not actually a crime, siding with a grocery store employee who was captured taking inappropriate cell phone videos. (Katie Mettler)
- Dallas police report a 344 percent spike in employment applications following the July 7 shooting that killed five officers. The surge comes after the chief said officers were under “too much strain” and urged Black Lives Matter protesters to become part of the solution. “We’re hiring,” Brown told demonstrators. “Get off that protest line and put an application in!” (Jacob Bogage)
- Work that involves complex thinking and social interaction can potentially help ward off Alzheimer’s Disease, according to research presented in Toronto. The study found that occupations with the highest levels of insulation include lawyer, teacher, social worker, engineer and doctor. (Tara Bahrampour)
- Chris Froome, 23, became the first British cyclist to win the Tour de France three times, cruising to victory over Romain Bardet of France in the 70-mile final stage of the race. Froome previously won in 2013 and 2015. (Cindy Boren)
- Ken Griffey Jr. was inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame Sunday. He used his ceremony to make some zany fashion statements: The center fielder donned a pinstripe suit reading “Hall of Fame Class of 2016,” custom wingtip shoes made with pieces of a game-used bat built into the heels and socks adorned with prints of a Jackie Robinson portrait. (Jeremy Gottlieb)
- College football players can be stand-up guys: A University of Florida linebacker leaving a bar spotted a 34-year-old man sexually assaulting an unconscious 19-year-old woman. He stopped the assault and chased the perp down as he attempted to flee. (Peter Holley)
- A University of Iowa football player said he was “happy to be alive” after four police officers stopped him at gunpoint while he was playing Pokémon Go at a park, mistaking him for a bank robber. The 23-year-old detailed his harrowing experience in a Facebook post. (Cindy Boren)
- White Sox pitcher Chris Sale was suspended for five games after cutting up throwback uniforms from the 1970s, taking a knife to the “uncomfortable” jerseys so they could not be worn in an upcoming game. “While we all appreciate Chris’ talent and passion, there is a correct way and an incorrect way to express concerns about team rules and organizational expectations,” said White Sox General Manager Rick Hahn. (Cindy Boren)
- A TV anchor from Georgia was tragically swept over a waterfall in Asheville, North Carolina, plunging more than 185 feet to her death while on a hike to celebrate her 25th birthday. She was wading in a river with some friends when she lost her footing on algae-covered rocks. (Jacob Bogage)
-- Both Trump and Clinton chose steadiness over flashiness.
-- After the convention, Clinton and Kaine will do a joint bus tour through Pennsylvania and Ohio. They’ll emphasize economic issues, with stops planned in Harrisburg, Pittsburgh, Youngstown and Columbus.
-- The running-mates’ first joint interview aired on CBS’s “60 Minutes” last night: The duo stressed that they will not engage in an “insult fest.” Clinton said she was “saddened,” not threatened, when convention-goers chanted “lock her up.” “I don’t know what their convention was about, other than criticizing me,” she told CBS’ Scott Pelley. “I seem to be the only unifying theme that they had.”
Clinton said she tapped Kaine because he is “ready to be president.” Asked by Pelley if he would be ready, Kaine said he would. "I think I'm ready to lead. I'm ready first to be a supportive vice president so that the presidency of Hillary Clinton is a fantastic one," he said. "But if something were to put that in my path, as much as any human being would be ready, I'd be ready. And you’ve got to approach it with humility.”
-- “Kaine not liberal enough? Just ask Virginians,” by John Wagner: “For those who know Kaine well in his home state … there is rich irony to the blowback from liberal advocacy groups upset that Clinton did not pick someone more progressive … ‘Throughout his time in politics here, there has always been this question about whether Kaine was too liberal for Virginia,’ said Bob Holsworth, a longtime political analyst. ‘No one has ever suggested this was a moderate who couldn’t be counted on to support liberal values.’ Holsworth said that part of the friction between Kaine and these groups can be attributed to an evolving definition of what it means to be a progressive. Kaine’s progressivism is rooted in a civil rights and social justice tradition, Holsworth said. But now ‘there’s a growing emphasis on more adversarial relationships with large institutions,’ including Wall Street firms and large corporations. ‘That’s not the kind of tradition Tim Kaine comes out of.’”
-- The Tick Tock --> "How Clinton proposed," by Karen Tumuly and Dan Balz: “When Clinton delivered the news to Kaine that he was her pick for running mate, the senator from Virginia was in Rhode Island doing that most prosaic of political work: raising money for his colleague Jack Reed at the Newport Shipyard. The call came through at 7:32 p.m. Friday. Clinton offered the job, Kaine accepted and then the former secretary of state said: ‘Now, I don’t want to alarm you, but John Podesta is outside your building right now.’”
- Clinton started with an initial list of close to 30 names. “Each was given an initial vet, the results of which were delivered to her Chappaqua, N.Y., home by Podesta, the campaign chairman, shortly after the April 19 New York primary.”
- “Finalists were summoned to meet privately with Clinton, starting with Kaine, 58, who had his first serious conversation with her about the vice presidency on Thursday, July 14. ‘Why don’t you come back to the house later?’ she asked him after they appeared together at their joint rally in Annandale. The meeting at her home on Whitehaven Street — within walking distance of where Kaine will live, if she is elected — lasted an hour and a half. Podesta sat in on the beginning of it, then left them to themselves.”
- “Kaine would be the only candidate called back for a second meeting with the nominee-in-waiting. That one took place over lunch at her house in Chappaqua on Saturday, July 16. Kaine brought his wife, and Clinton was joined by former president Bill Clinton, daughter Chelsea and son-in-law Marc Mezvinsky.”
-- Those who agreed to be vetted by the Clinton campaign had to turn over every password for every social media account for every member of their families, Politico reports. “They had to list every piece of property they’d ever owned, and copies of every résumé that they’d put out for the past 10 years. Every business partner. Every gift they’d ever received.”
-- Kaine is always thinking about what he calls “The Kaine Brand”: Rosalind Helderman goes through the archived emails from his four years as governor to paint a telling picture of how he reacted after Obama passed him over for Joe Biden in 2008. She also writes about how hard he worked to deliver the commonwealth for his longtime friend that fall. (Read the full story.)
-- The Trump camp’s initial response was surprising and short-sighted: Trying to depress Berniecrats, Trump and his surrogates spent the weekend “attacking” Kaine as a pragmatic moderate. This is weird because that might make the ticket more attractive to a swath of the very voters who are uncomfortable with Trump.
From Chris Christie’s chief strategist:
Are we really attacking the pick as too centrist? When did the playbook change? https://t.co/ZfCGO6noL2— Mike DuHaime (@MikeDuHaime) July 23, 2016
Finally last night, Trump chairman Paul Manafort changed up messaging a little bit. He called Kaine and Clinton “career politicians … who have been a part of government most of their lives.” This makes much more sense.
-- One of the best knocks on Kaine is that he accepted gifts as governor, but Trump risks overplaying his hand. From Politifact: “Trump, speaking about gift-taking, said, ‘Bob McDonnell took a fraction of what Kaine took.’ Kaine accepted $162,083 in gifts as lieutenant governor and governor, all of which was disclosed as required by state law. McDonnell disclosed accepting $275,707 in gifts as attorney general and governor. And there was another $177,000 that he didn’t disclose. That comes to a total of $452,707 in gifts - almost three times Kaine’s total. Trump has got this one dead wrong. We rate his statement Pants on Fire.”
-- Kaine agreed to come out against TPP. He voted for trade-promotion authority and said as recently as Thursday that he was undecided on the final Pacific trade deal, but he told Clinton he would come out against the deal. Clinton herself has embraced protectionism to shore up the left. (Huffington Post)
-- Kaine’s wife Anne Holton, who he met at Harvard Law, is Virginia’s secretary of education and has an extensive record when it comes to advocating for children, particularly foster youth. (Profile by Moriah Balingit and Emma Brown)
-- Three Senate colleagues weigh in on his selection:
From the Arizona Republican who Trump told would lose in November (though he’s not on the ballot until 2018):
Trying to count the ways I hate @timkaine. Drawing a blank. Congrats to a good man and a good friend.— Jeff Flake (@JeffFlake) July 23, 2016
From the South Carolinian who’s never disguised his distaste for Trump:
I find the VP candidates -- Governor Mike Pence and Senator Tim Kaine -- more palatable than the presidential nominees.— Lindsey Graham (@LindseyGrahamSC) July 23, 2016
From the Garden Stater who got passed over:
KAINE IS ABLE!!!— Cory Booker (@CoryBooker) July 23, 2016
A good observation from our politics editor:
Kaine will get to debate Pence in his home state, not too far from where his wife, Anne Holton was born.— Steven Ginsberg (@stevenjay) July 23, 2016
MORE ON THE CHAOS AND CONTROVERSY GREETING DEMOCRATS IN PHILLY:
-- Just as Republicans avoided Trump, many swing-state Democrats are steering clear of the DNC. CNN's Tal Kopan identifies six candidates for statewide office who are staying home:
- Russ Feingold, running for his old seat against Sen. Ron Johnson in Wisconsin
- Rep. Patrick Murphy, who is challenging Marco Rubio in Florida
- Rep. Ann Kirkpatrick, challenging John McCain in Arizona
- Former Nevada Attorney General Catherine Cortez Masto, running to replace Harry Reid
- Missouri Secretary of State Jason Kander, challenging Sen. Roy Blunt
- North Carolina Attorney General Roy Cooper, challenging Gov. Pat McCrory
-- Al Gore is also skipping Hillary's coronation, despite being a Tennessee superdelegate. A spokeswoman for Gore blamed unspecified “obligations in Tennessee.” It's ironic since Gore also ran away from the Clintons in 2000, which potentially cost him the presidency... (The Tennessean)
-- The Rules Committee voted on a compromise deal that will bind about two-thirds of “superdelegates” to the results of their state’s primaries and caucuses in 2020 and beyond. Members of Congress and governors will remain unpledged and free to support their nominee of choice, but that remaining unpledged delegates will be required to cast their vote in proportion to the vote received for each candidate in their state, Weigel reports. The committee technically voted to create a commission to iron out the details. “Clinton's campaign, which held a commanding majority on the committee, did not give up very much ground. If the compromise rule changes had been adopted for the 2016 presidential primaries, Clinton would likely have maintained a lead over Sanders, losing superdelegate support in some states but coming out ahead. While Sanders favored the involvement of independents in primaries, the unity guidelines suggest that independents must join the Democratic Party, if only on Election Day.”
-- “Sanders Team Wanted DNC To Pay For Private Plane For Fall,” by BuzzFeed's Ruby Cramer and Evan McMorris-Santoro: “The Sanders campaign considered demanding a private plane staffed and funded by the DNC as part of negotiations with Clinton heading into this week’s convention, according to a Sanders memo. … The plane was to be used ‘for a series of fall rallies in battleground states,’ according to the ‘Bernie 2016’ memo … drafted in the days before Sanders’ sound defeat in the June 7 California primary. The memo begins with a pressing question: Should Sanders concede defeat and endorse Clinton, appeasing the Democratic establishment? Or should he fight through the convention and ‘force a roll-call vote for the nomination,’ re-opening ‘a divisive critique of Clinton’ and casting the party’s controversial superdelegate system in a negative light?” (Read the full text here.)
-- The official themes driving this week:
- Tonight: “United together: Putting families first” will feature addresses by First Lady Michelle Obama, in addition to Sanders and Warren
- Tuesday: “A lifetime of fighting for children and families” will try to soften HRC's image. Bill Clinton will be the headliner, and “the mothers of the movement" will speak -- including women who have lost sons and daughters to gun and police violence.
- Wednesday: “Working together" will star Kaine, Obama and Vice President Joe Biden.
- Thursday: “Stronger together." Chelsea will introduce Hillary, and several women senators will speak.
-- Joe Biden, 73, does not rule out running again in an interview with the Delaware News Journal. “Biden added that while he has no ‘intention’ of running for public office again, he won't formally rule it out. ‘If something happens and it's appropriate for me to be engaged,’ he said, trailing off. The vice president said Friday that he hasn't ‘approached anybody about having to make a living.’ But he plans to continue advocating for women's rights, criminal justice reform, quality education and other issues central to his platform, explaining that he measures public servants' sincerity and devotion by their willingness to remain involved in their private lives. Biden said his wife, Jill, is weighing an offer to head up an international organization focused on helping women, which he declined to name. He also said he is in preliminary discussions with the University of Delaware about collaborating on a facility, possibly a vice presidential library. In 2014, Biden donated nearly 2,000 boxes of his Senatorial papers to UD.”
-- Can the GOP break its convention curse? It occurred to me while driving to the Cleveland airport Friday that no Republican has carried the state that hosted his nominating convention since George H.W. Bush won Texas in 1992. Mitt lost Florida. McCain lost Minnesota. W. lost New York and Pennsylvania. Dole lost California. Obama lost North Carolina after the Charlotte convention in 2012, but he won Colorado in 2008. Kerry won Massachusetts, Gore when California and WJC won Illinois and New York. Before Obama in 2012, Michael Dukakis was the last Democrat to lose the state that hosted his coronation. He lost Georgia in 1988 by 20 points! Trump, of course, cannot lose the Buckeye State. Not only is it central to his Rust Belt strategy, but no Republican has ever won the White House without Ohio.
THE DAILY HRC:
-- Boston Globe, “Hillary Clinton’s road to nomination paved with grit,” by Annie Linskey: “Hillary Clinton’s Boeing 737 campaign charter was swapped out for a sleek little private jet. Gone were the hundreds of staff. The motorcade shrank to just a few cars. It was the summer of 2008, and Clinton — along with her downsized entourage — barnstormed the country for a man they had spent the past year-and-a-half trying to defeat. As ever, Clinton carried on. Propelling her were a steely determination and grit that are among her most consistent traits in 25 years of public life. People close to Clinton, who stood with her through defeats and victories, marvel at her ability to keep going despite the headwinds that always seem to accompany her. … To endure such public scrutiny, Clinton’s friends say, she has constructed thick personal armor that both protects her and also makes her less accessible — harder for many to connect with as a person, harder to know or fully trust.”
- “She doesn’t take sympathy well,” wrote former Clinton administration labor secretary Robert Reich. “She’s so intent on seeming strong that she doesn’t realize how much hurt and anger she shows just below the surface …”
--Politico, “Why Can’t Hillary Stop Fudging the Truth?” by Todd S. Purdum: “Hillary Clinton is, by temperament and training, a lawyer, and a perennially cautious one at that. She is a literal, linear thinker. … But a fuller explanation for the personality trait in Clinton that makes her shrink from full disclosure would seem to have some deeper source, whether in a reluctance to confess failure or error to a father who was perpetually demanding and judgmental, or in 40 years of living with a husband who often had more than his share of family secrets to keep. Clinton’s resilience—her ability to slog on in the face of the worst possible reverses—is the trait that has helped her get within reach of the biggest prize of her life. The flip side is that her capacity for a level of defensiveness and denial that sometimes seems to border on magical thinking might yet keep the ultimate goal out of her grasp.”
-- “The Clintons presented themselves to the country in 1992 as a new kind of partnership in politics. His charisma paired with her discipline; his gut with her spine,” Karen Tumulty writes. “Starting with her decision to follow her boyfriend Bill Clinton and his ambitions to Fayetteville, the next quarter-century of her life would be a push and pull between her desire to forge her own identity and put her stamp on the causes she cared about, and the tight and traditional confines of being a political spouse. … More than once, she would learn the hard way that stepping beyond those bounds carried a cost — both for herself and for her husband. And more than once, her performance in a supporting role would be crucial to his survival. She also would become a Rorschach Test of how the country felt about the changing expectations of women, at home and at work. Was Hillary Clinton at the vanguard of the feminist movement, or had she betrayed it by marrying power, rather than earning it?”
-- L.A. Times, “Hillary Clinton has all kinds of policies — that's the problem as she seeks a coherent message,” by Evan Halper: “The convention is a crucial opportunity for Clinton to shift the narrative and define herself as something beyond the anti-Trump. But Clinton has strained for months to come up with an overarching message despite a website filled with policy plans and a think tank scholar’s grasp of most every imaginable issue … The struggle to come up with a defining message is familiar for candidates trying to win a third consecutive election for their party. After two terms, voters almost always are in the mood for change, and addressing that hunger while defending the status quo is a tough assignment. Rep. Xavier Becerra, who has been helping lead the Clinton campaign’s outreach to Latinos, summed up the task before Democrats in Philadelphia by quoting one of Vice President Joe Biden’s favorite lines: Don’t compare me to the almighty; compare me to the alternative.’ ‘[Clinton] will tell you she has made mistakes,’ Becerra said. ‘She is not the almighty. But she is not the alternative.’”
-- USA Today spoke with Clinton supporters across the country to determine why they support the presumptive Democratic nominee. Among their findings:
- Clinton’s qualifications matter more than her gender: “Many supporters of the candidate who’ll be America’s first female presidential nominee don’t care that she’s a woman any more than they care her opponent’s a man. ’She has probably the most experience of any man or woman ever nominated,’ declared Rod Washington, 40, a Monroe, La., public relations man. She couldn’t be more qualified, said Jeanne Cumby, 54, of Asheville, N.C., ‘unless she’d been to the moon.’”
- Supporters say Clinton has been “tested” throughout her career. "If she can stand up to what she has stood up to, the Benghazi hearings and the email stuff, she can stand up to anybody,” said one New Mexico supporter. “ … She’s proven she has the balls to do it."
- Clinton Nation is a long way from Trump Nation: “It does not share Trump Nation’s nostalgia for America as it was. Annette Jacobs, 41, of Mesa, Ariz., likes Clinton because she’ll ‘make sure that America stays the way it is.’ Tony Goben, 47, of Evansville, Ind., agreed: ‘This country is great as it is. It doesn't need to be made great again.’
- Why are they with her? “Her supporters cite their own identities – racial, vocational, relational … Some in Clinton Nation struggle economically, no matter their class … Personal experience also explains why some forgive Clinton’s alleged faults, such as flip-flopping on issues.”
THE DAILY DONALD:
-- Former KKK Grand Wizard David Duke announced he is launching a Senate bid in Louisiana, likening his trade and immigration policies to Trump's. “I'm overjoyed to see him and most Americans embrace most of the issues that I've championed for years," Duke said in an announcement video. "My slogan remains 'America First.'" The white supremacist and Nazi sympathizer joins a crowded field to succeed retiring Sen. David Vitter (R) and entered as a Republican, though the NRSC quickly condemned his bid. (The Times-Picayune)
-- Trump rebuked Duke’s candidacy on Sunday, saying he would likely back a Democratic candidate over the white supremacist: "I guess, depending on who the Democrat [is], but the answer would be yes," he told Chuck Todd on “Meet the Press.” The Republican nominee said he wanted to make clear he rebuked Duke “as quick as you can say it.” "Because last time with another person in this position, I did it very quickly. And they said, 'He didn't do it fast enough,’” Trump said. "Rebuked. Is that OK? Rebuked, done."
-- Trump said he prevented Cruz from being “ripped off” the stage in Cleveland by entering the arena. “You know what, he’s lucky I did it,” Trump said of his dramatic entrance in an interview with Bloomberg’s Mark Halperin. "I walked in and the arena went crazy. ... Had I not walked in, I think that audience would have ripped him off the stage. I think I did him a big favor." When asked point blank if he entered the arena at the conclusion of Cruz's speech to "tweak" his former rival, Trump said: "Tweak him? I would never do a thing like that. But yes." Other highlights:
- Trump said that he considered not letting Cruz speak at the convention after reviewing his speech, but decided against it. “When I first read it, I said you know what, first of all it’s not a very good speech,” Trump said. “This is not very exciting. Second of all, let’s throw him out.” Trump later changed his mind, concluding that it would be “a bigger deal if we throw him out than if he reads it and doesn’t endorse, what difference does it make?”
- Trump defended Melania's plagiarism. "It wasn’t Melania’s fault," he said. "It was really nobody’s fault. It was just something that could happen … I could understand it.” His acceptance speech, he added, was “fully checked by computers” as a precaution.
-- Trump made clear that he has NOT rolled back his controversial proposal to ban Muslims from entering the U.S., despite the RNC and other allies insisting that he had. The rumors began in the wake of Trump’s Thursday night acceptance speech, in which he said the country "must immediately suspend immigration from any nation that has been compromised by terrorism …” but did not mention Muslims specifically. “I don’t think it’s a rollback,” Trump said on NBC’s “Meet the Press.” In fact, you could say it’s an expansion. … People were so upset when I used the word 'Muslim': 'Oh, you can't use the word "Muslim."' Remember this. And I'm okay with that, because I'm talking territory instead of Muslim." (Jenna Johnson)
-- RNC Chairman Reince Priebus defended Trump’s decision to revisit his discredited conspiracy theory linking Cruz’s father to the Kennedy assassination: "He’s got a right to talk about whatever he wants to talk about," Priebus said last night. Then he suggested Trump will not be talking about the issue any more. "It was something he referred to, he’s talked about it and gotten off of it. As far as I’m concerned, we can move on.” (LA Times)
-- Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban expressed support for Trump, citing support for his anti-immigration proposals. “As a European, I myself could not have phrased better what Europe needs,” said Orban, who has built razor-wire border fences to stop migrants. (Wall Street Journal)
-- Michael Moore predicted Trump will win. “I’m sorry to be a buzzkill,” the documentarian writes in an op-ed for the Huffington Post. Among the reasons he believes Trump will take home the win in November:
- “Midwest Math, or Welcome to Our Rust Belt Brexit”: “From Green Bay to Pittsburgh, this, my friends, is the middle of England - broken, depressed, struggling, the smokestacks strewn across the countryside with the carcass of what we use to call the Middle Class.”
- “The Hillary Problem”: “The enthusiasm just isn’t there,” Moore says of Clinton. “And because this election is going to come down to just one thing — who drags the most people out of the house and gets them to the polls — Trump right now is in the catbird seat.”
- “The Depressed Sanders Vote”: “Returning to the Clinton/Bush era for them is like suddenly having to pay for music, or using MySpace or carrying around one of those big-a** portable phones.”
- “The Jesse Ventura Effect”: “Do not discount the electorate’s ability to be mischievous or underestimate how any millions fancy themselves as closet anarchists once they draw the curtain and are all alone in the voting booth … In the same way like when you’re standing on the edge of Niagara Falls and your mind wonders for a moment what would that feel like to go over that thing, a lot of people are going to love being in the position of puppetmaster and plunking down for Trump just to see what that might look like.”
-- Trump is no Ronald Reagan, continued... “Beyond tactical calculation, Reagan had an in-bred distaste for the politics of derogation that have become a Trump hallmark,” writes Lou Cannon, the premier Reagan biographer who covered both of his gubernatorial campaigns and all four of his presidential campaigns. “Reagan would have been appalled by Trump’s description of opponents as ‘Lying Ted’ or ‘Crooked Hillary.’ … I could count on the fingers of one hand the number of times he engaged in personal put-downs. When he did, he regretted it and sought to make amends. … Reagan didn’t believe the American political system was ‘rigged’ … When Reagan was campaigning for reelection as governor in 1970, a worker at a plant gate yelled at him: ‘When are you going to clean up politics?’ Reagan answered, ‘Politics is far more honest than you think.’”
SUNDAY SHOW HIGHLIGHTS:
-- Obama said Trump’s ability to win the Republican primary shows the party is undergoing a “major shift”: “I think it says something about what’s happened to the Republican Party over the course of the last 8, 10, 15 years,” Obama said of Trump’s success on CBS’s “Face the Nation.” “If you think about what a Bob Dole, or a Jim Baker, or a Howard Baker, or a Dick Lugar, or a Colin Powell stood for, yeah, they were conservative. … But they also understood that our system of government requires compromise, that Democrats weren’t the enemy, that the way our government works requires us to listen to each other.”
He also defended Clinton as the “most prepared” candidate to assume the presidency in modern history, though he added that he remains clear eyed about her strengths and weaknesses. “She’s not flashy,” he told host John Dickerson. “There are better speechmakers ... but she knows her stuff, and more than anything, that is what is ultimately required to do a good job in this office.”
-- Trump said he plans to create and fund super PACs aimed at “ending the political careers” of fellow Republicans Ted Cruz and John Kasich, should either of his former presidential rivals choose to run for office again. "I'll probably do a super-PAC, you know, when they run - against Kasich for $10 million, to $20 million against Ted Cruz,” Trump said, adding that he would bankroll the outside groups against fellow Republicans “at the appropriate time.”
-- The mogul also defended ousted Fox News CEO Roger Ailes, questioning the motives of the two-dozen women who have now accused him of sexual harassment. “I can tell you that some of the women that are complaining, I know how much he's helped them, and even recently,” Trump told host Chuck Todd. “And now, all of a sudden, they're saying these horrible things about him … It's very sad because he's a very good person. I've always found him to be just a very, very good person. Look what he’s done. So I feel very badly.” Trump added that "a lot of people are thinking he's going to run my campaign," but he wouldn't say whether those people were correct. (Jenna Johnson)
SOCIAL MEDIA SPEED READ:
— ZIGNAL LABS VISUAL: Over the weekend, there were 213,000 traditional and social media mentions of the Democratic National Convention. DWS was the hottest topic, followed by Kaine and immigration:
-- Facebook says these are the five most talked about political topics on the site over the past month:
- Crime & Criminal Justice
- Government Ethics
- Racial Issues
- Homeland Security & Terrorism
Some embarrassing early signs out of Philadelphia:
ABC's political director:
Cleveland was a logistical dream. Philadelphia a logistical nightmare. Nobody knows anything about where one can go and when.— Rick Klein (@rickklein) July 24, 2016
We often get criticized for not reporting all sides of a story. DNC hasn't responded to a single request for comment since Friday.— Rick Klein (@rickklein) July 24, 2016
The DNC gave Stephen Colbert less access than the RNC:
An offer from John Dingell:
Does this mean there's an open spot to speak at the DNC? I'll do it, but I'm not leaving my chair in the living room. I can Periscope in.— John Dingell (@JohnDingell) July 24, 2016
How the tables turn:
2012: Dems mock GOP for tough Russia talk.— Steven Ginsberg (@stevenjay) July 23, 2016
2016: Dems mock GOP for being besties with Russia, adopt tough talk.
Trump referred to Wasserman Schultz as "highly neurotic":
The highly neurotic Debbie Wasserman Schultz is angry that, after stealing and cheating her way to a Crooked Hillary victory, she's out!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 24, 2016
Anti-Semites on Twitter responded favorably:
Who knows what Trump intended, but anti-Semitic users are predictably celebrating "neurotic" tweet as a wink to them pic.twitter.com/s5JWHdTEhz— Benjy Sarlin (@BenjySarlin) July 24, 2016
Ann Coulter drew widespread criticism with this tweet:
I like hearing CNN's Fareed Zakaria ask in a thick Indian accent, "What kind of America do we want to return to?"— Ann Coulter (@AnnCoulter) July 24, 2016
Another offensive tweet:
One conclusion to be drawn:
The undeniably worst part about 2016 is how so many people now think being openly racist and anti-Semitic is Totally Fine™— Hayes Brown (@HayesBrown) July 24, 2016
The president of the American Federation of Teachers apologized to Sanders on behalf of the DNC:
Spotted on Instagram:
Another image of Donald Jr.:
Turns out Trump's convention ratings weren't that great after all:
Trump speech had same number of viewers as Romney in 2012, 10 million fewer than McCain in 2008. SAD https://t.co/JsLLpw07VF— Bill McQuillen (@bmcquillen) July 25, 2016
Finally, for everyone thinking about moving to Canada after this election:
HOT ON THE LEFT:
“WNBA Drops Fines for Players Who Wore Protest Shirts,” from The Root: “The WNBA has reversed its decision to fine the teams and players who wore black protest warm-up shirts saying ‘Alton Sterling,’ ‘Philando Castile,’ ‘Black Lives Matter’ and ‘Dallas 5.’ … WNBA president Lisa Borders said in a statement Saturday that the league was rescinding the $5,000 penalties … levied against [players] for wearing the shirts, which began after police killed two black men on video.” Some police officers covering the games walked off the job because of the shirts. “While we expect players to comply with league rules and uniform guidelines, we also understand their desire to use their platform to address important societal issues,” Borders said
HOT ON THE RIGHT:
"“Why Obama’s half-brother says he’ll be voting for Trump,” from the New York Post: “President Obama’s Kenyan half-brother wants to make America great again — so he’s voting for Trump. ‘I like Donald Trump because he speaks from the heart,’ Malik Obama (said) from his home in the rural village of Kogelo. ‘Make America Great Again is a great slogan. I would like to meet him.’ Obama, 58, a longtime Democrat, said his ‘deep disappointment’ in his brother Barack’s administration has led him to recently switch allegiance to ‘the party of Lincoln.’ Obama plans to trek back to the US to vote for Trump in November.”
On the campaign trail: Trump is in Roanoke Va. and Winston-Salem, N.C. Clinton is in Charlotte, N.C.
At the White House: Obama meets with Treasury Secretary Jack Lew and Defense Secretary Ash Carter.
On Capitol Hill: The Senate and House are out.
QUOTE OF THE DAY:
"If you want to be right, be a pessimist. If you want to do right, be an optimist." -- Tim Kaine relays advise his mother gave him
NEWS YOU CAN USE IF YOU LIVE IN D.C.:
-- THE HEAT DOME IS HERE. The Capital Weather Gang brings us today’s *stifling* forecast: “This is the day when most spots rise into the upper 90s and we may even hit 100, 101 or 102. Today’s record is 100 from 1930 and we have a 50-50 chance to get there. If we manage to hit the century mark, it will be the first time since July 26, 2012. Even if the air temperature falls shy of 100, the combination of heat and humidity produce a punishing heat index over 105 degrees this afternoon into the early evening. Isolated 110-115 heat index readings cannot be ruled out. Hydrate and avoid strenuous activity for long periods. Air conditioning is your best friend on a day like today.”
-- The Nationals lost to the Padres 10-6.
-- The Coast Guard is searching for a caller in the D.C. area who has phoned in 28 fake nautical emergencies over the past two years. Officials say he has ran up a tab of nearly $500,000 with the calls, which are "a deadly and serious offense.” (Martin Weil)
-- Police arrested a suspect in the killing of Alonzo Jackson, the 68-year-old who was murdered in cold blood as he pumped gas on the way to take his friend to a doctor's appointment. The suspect, 20-year-old Demarko Wheeler, was charged with first-and second-degree murder. (Faiz Siddiqui and Martin Weil)
-- A 36-year-old Brentwood man died of blunt force trauma after leading police on a high-speed chase from Maryland to D.C. and then crashing his car into a tree in Northeast. (Theresa Vargas)
VIDEOS OF THE DAY:
College Humor imagined the team that runs Trump's Twitter feed:
The Daily Show asked RNC delegates when America was last great -- and some of the answers are pretty funny:
Bill Maher devoted his monologue to the GOP convention:
Jimmy Fallon penned a couple of 2016-related thank-you notes:
Seth Meyers performed his favorite jokes of the week:
Jon Stewart took over Stephen Colbert's "Late Show" desk Thursday night to go after Trump and Roger Ailes:
Correct the Record released a new mini-documentary on Clinton:
Thousands marched in Philadelphia to protest the Democratic convention:
What's the best advice George W. Bush ever gave Obama?
Finally, watch kids do impression of Trump: