With Breanne Deppisch
THE BIG IDEA: Hillary Clinton leads by 6 points in a fresh poll of Wisconsin likely voters from Marquette Law School. Not one survey this year has shown her trailing. Ronald Reagan was the last Republican to carry the Badger State in a presidential election.
But Donald Trump, eager to expand a very narrow path to the presidency, campaigned in Eau Claire last night, and aides say he will potentially return to Wisconsin multiple times before Tuesday.
-- What’s he thinking? The GOP nominee has seen survey data showing that he’s performing exceptionally well in the rural parts of Wisconsin, which have been hard hit economically, and his team believes that the FBI announcement about new emails potentially pertaining to its Clinton investigation will bring home recalcitrant Republicans in the Milwaukee suburbs where he has struggled.
Republican strategist Mark Graul, who directed George W. Bush’s 2004 campaign in Wisconsin, said Trump could win the state if he outperforms Bush by five points in these rural areas and avoids getting blown out in the southeastern part of the state. “Every time it’s about Clinton, Trump starts doing better in Wisconsin,” he said. “If this election is about Clinton for the next five days, then Trump has a fighting chance.”
Trump’s team is also emboldened by evidence that African American turnout has dropped off compared to 2012 and hopeful that college students in the liberal enclave of Madison may not be as enthusiastic as they were in the last presidential campaign, when Barack Obama won the state by seven points.
Encouraged by Reince Priebus, the Republican National Committee chairman from Kenosha, Trump also believes that he benefits from a tightening U.S. Senate race and a get-out-the-vote infrastructure that has been built out by Scott Walker’s political team over the past six years. “Wisconsin does not have partisan registration, although there are numerous strong indicators in the early vote electorate so far,” said RNC political director Chris Carr. “When examining some of [Mitt] Romney’s strongest counties from 2012, turnout appears significantly higher compared to this point in 2012.”
-- The Badger State is now seeing a sudden flurry of activity. Both campaigns have gone up on the air with TV ads. Democratic vice-presidential nominee Tim Kaine stopped in Appleton and Madison yesterday afternoon. Sen. Bernie Sanders, who defeated Clinton in Wisconsin’s April primary, is flying to Milwaukee tonight for a rally at Turner Hall. Chelsea stumps for her mom today in Eau Claire and Oshkosh and hits Milwaukee tomorrow.
“We got one week till the most important election in my lifetime, and Wisconsin is absolutely key,” Kaine said during his speech in Appleton. “You are not a state at the edge or a state in the afterthought zone. You are absolutely key. … We got to have you, Wisconsinites. … If we win Wisconsin, it is very, very difficult for the other side to win this race.”
-- I checked in with nearly 20 operatives and veterans of Wisconsin politics to get a sense of what’s going on:
-- Everyone agrees that Trump is doing especially well in rural parts of the state. The biggest bright spot for him is the Green Bay media market. It has historically been quite competitive. Obama won the area in 2008 and lost it 51 percent to 49 percent in 2012. But Trump has consistently led by double digits. Aside from the declining manufacturing base, Clinton’s unfavorability has been notably higher in polling all year long.
Former Democratic congressman David Obey, who represented northwestern Wisconsin in the House for 42 years before retiring in 2010, acknowledged that Trump will do better than previous Republicans in other sparsely populated swaths of the state. He explained that the realty TV star appeals to “a lot of rural folks who ordinarily would be very, very, very skeptical of someone from a Manhattan penthouse posing as the savior of the middle class.”
“But, but, but, there’s enough of these frustrated workers to make it somewhat competitive,” he continued. “Trump is getting support from people who have been in the lower middle class economically and have not been taken very good care of by government over the past two decades or more. A number of them will, I don’t know how best to put it, let their frustrations get the best of them.”
Obey said the decline of organized labor helped create this opening for The Donald. “You don’t have the transmission belt that can bring information down to the grass roots for a lot of these blue-collar workers,” he said. “The labor movement used to be the information transmission belts for those people. They’re a much smaller percentage of the workforce than they were 20 years ago. That hurts.”
A woman in Eau Claire got in line at 4 a.m. to see Trump speak at 7 p.m. “I’ve never been so excited about a presidential candidate in my 40-plus years of voting,” she said, adding that she is so confident Trump will win that she has already purchased her plane ticket for the inauguration. (Video by Whitney Leaming)
-- Reality check: Trump still has a big league problem in the vote-rich Milwaukee suburbs. Traditionally the Milwaukee suburbs are actually the reddest part of the state and have the highest turnout for Republicans. Trump continues to dramatically underperform Romney in what locals call the WOW counties: Washington, Ozaukee and Waukesha. Like suburbs in other states where Trump has struggled, this area is more highly educated and white-collar than the rural parts of the state.
Charlie Sykes, an influential talk radio host in the Milwaukee area, has been one of the conservative movement’s most eloquent Never Trumpers nationally. He’s writing in Evan McMullin and has urged listeners to do the same.
“At this point, I think most Wisconsin voters would rather have a root canal, colonoscopy or almost even see the Vikings in the Super Bowl than hear one more word about Trump or Clinton,” Republican consultant Wendy Riemann, who served in the Walker administration for nearly five years, said from her native Sheboygan. “Wisconsinites don’t like Clinton, but Trump does not represent Midwestern values, and it will cost him greatly in some Milwaukee suburbs.”
Trump lost the Wisconsin GOP primary to Ted Cruz by 13 points in April. He lost Waukesha County by 39 points. Our Bob Costa interviewed white, upper-middle-class Republicans at a Starbucks in Waukesha yesterday. Trump continues to have a serious problem there, he relays, though there were also indicators that some holdouts are coming around. The two key quotes from Bob’s dispatch:
“You’re in a town that’s about going to college and raising a family. People are polished and hard-working. He’s not one of us,” said Andy Schwichtenberg, a 28-year-old stockbroker. “I did try,” he added with a sigh. “I went to a rally.” But he was not swayed and he was turned off by the crowd, which he noted was packed with guys “who came there on Harleys.”
Robin Moore, president of the Republican Women of Waukesha County, argued that the Clinton email news helped. “Republicans here have moved from lesser of two evils to one evil. That’s progress,” the 53-year-old said. “It’s been hard for some women, and those tensions [with Ryan] didn’t help. At the end of the day, we have to save the Supreme Court, and we have to stop her.”
-- A senior adviser tells me that Trump is likely to go back to this area to shore up his support in the coming days.
-- Obey, the former Democratic congressman, stressed that Trump’s weakness among GOP elites goes beyond the WOW counties. He pointed out that retiring Republican Rep. Reid Ribble, whose district includes Green Bay, has refused to support Trump, too. “I think Wisconsin is competitive but I still believe there is a range of competitiveness,” Obey said. “While it’s reasonably competitive, in the end sanity will prevail and Trump will get the rejection he deserves.”
-- In the final stretch, elected Republicans are trying to use the email story to motivate these reluctant and recalcitrant Republicans:
Ron Johnson, the GOP senator in a tough reelection fight with Russ Feingold (D), said in an interview yesterday that Clinton's use of a private email server is “an impeachable offense,” should she win. "She purposefully circumvented [the law],” he told the Beloit Daily News. “This was willful concealment and destruction.” Johnson cited 18 U.S. Code 793 (f) and 18 U.S. Code 2071, which have to do with the willful destruction or removal from proper custody of information relating to national defense. Johnson homed in on the latter of the two, which reads in part that anyone found to have concealed or removed records "shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than three years, or both; and shall forfeit his office and be disqualified from holding any office under the United States." "I'm not a lawyer, but this is clearly written," Johnson said. "I would say yes, high crime or misdemeanor, I believe she is in violation of both laws."
Speaker Paul Ryan, who confirmed that he cast an early ballot for Trump, cites the emails as a reason for registered Republicans to go to the polls even if they don’t like their party’s standard bearer. “This is what life with the Clintons look like,” Ryan said yesterday on Fox News. “There’s always a scandal, one after another. … She can come in with a Democratic Congress — [the] worst of all possible things — if Republicans do not turn out and do not vote.” The congressman, who represents Janesville, is campaigning around the country for down-ballot candidates and did not attend Trump’s Eau Claire rally. But he’ll participate in a bus tour this weekend with Johnson.
Scott Walker yesterday posted a picture on his social media accounts of Obama and Clinton embracing at the Philadelphia convention. This led to a snarkfest on Twitter, with senior members of the Clinton operation thanking their foe for helping with get-out-the-vote efforts. But Walker, the first Republican to drop out of the presidential race last year, knew what he was doing. The incoming chairman of the Republican Governors Association, who appeared with Trump at his rally last night, is trying to gin up the high-propensity Republicans in the WOW counties who remain reluctant to board the Trump Train, people close to him say.
-- The Clinton campaign is ramping up its Wisconsin efforts but still expresses a high degree of confidence about the durability of its lead. Her advisers say their early vote modeling looks strong. The campaign is also spending six figures to air three ads across three media markets (Milwaukee, Madison and Green Bay), but allies note that a massive cash advantage ($62 million to $16 million in the final FEC reports) allows them to easily match Trump’s spending.
-- In a related note, Clinton’s campaign is also going on television this week in Michigan and New Mexico for the first time, and it is returning to the airwaves in Virginia and Colorado. Brooklyn says all of those states will get a six-figure investment, per Abby Phillip.
-- Where’s Hillary? You can read a lot into how the campaign sees the race by looking at where she spends her time. While surrogates are fanning across the state, the candidate herself has not come since the start of the general election. Aides say this is a reflection of their confidence. "Hillary Clinton and our coordinated campaign have been running hard in Wisconsin for months,” said Jake Hajdu, her state director.
Obama, in contrast, came several times in 2012. Clinton and the president were scheduled to come to Green Bay together in June, but the event was canceled after the Orlando shooting.
Interestingly, Clinton has gone multiple times to Michigan — another state Trump is trying to put in play. She will go back to Detroit on Friday.
Kaine, though, noted last night when he got to Madison that this was his third trip to the university town since Clinton put him on the ticket. He marveled that one of the campaign’s staffers made an “H” out of cheese using an ice cream scooper. “Just for this event,” he said. “I mean, don’t we have an amazing staff? I mean, talk about attention to detail!”
Former Democratic governor Jim Doyle, Walker’s predecessor, said he totally understands why Hillary has not come. “I never want to jinx anything, but I feel pretty good about it,” he said, calling on his drive home from Kaine’s event. “I don’t want to say anything should be taken for granted. And the Clinton campaign is paying attention now, which is good.”
The mood on the ground in 2016 just does not compare to previous election — when both sides fought tooth and nail, Doyle said: “[John] Kerry had Bruce Springsteen with 100,000 people. [Bill] Clinton and [Al] Gore had 80,000 for an event. I just don’t think we’re one of the real battleground states this fall. … I live in Madison, which would be the heart of Bernie country, and I don’t see any big anti-Hillary feeling or anything like that. The Bernie people have come home.”
-- Another thing working in Trump’s favor: There is a strong GOP organization in the Badger State. The 2012 recall fight helped build an impressive voter file and turnout infrastructure. The state GOP has 30 offices open around the state. Not only is the state party full of grizzled veterans from the recall fight, but because Priebus was the former state party chairman, the local operatives have always been able to get whatever resources they want. Ryan, a prolific fundraiser, has also worked to keep the party’s coffers flush.
But, as I wrote yesterday, GOTV programs are like special teams units. They are only good for a field goal — not a touchdown.
Welcome to the Daily 202, PowerPost's morning newsletter.
WHILE YOU WERE SLEEPING:
-- Two police officers are dead in Des Moines following “ambush-style attacks.” From Travis M. Andrews: The attack came in two parts. The first shooting occurred at 1:06 a.m. when an Urbandale officer responded to a report of shots fired. This officer was shot and killed while sitting alone in his patrol car. The second shooting occurred precisely twenty minutes later, just two miles away. Police are currently developing suspect information, and will release more details at a press conference this morning.”
Clinton campaign cancelling Des Moines GOTV rally with Kaine and Bill Clinton and Ben Harper because of police shooting— Sam Stein (@samsteinhp) November 2, 2016
-- Do you believe in miracles? The Cubs beat the Indians last night, forcing a Game 7 that will decide the World Series. “The authentic hairy scary 103-win Cubs were suddenly fully awake in a 9-3 win that will convince some fans that Game 7 will simply be a continuation of this momentum shift,” Thomas Boswell writes. “The best news for the Cubs by far was that their dormant heart of the order — Kris Bryant (four hits, including a homer), Anthony Rizzo (three hits with a homer), Ben Zobrist and Russell — went a scorching 11 for 19 with eight runs and all nine RBI.” Tonight’s showdown in Cleveland could be a game for the ages. First pitch is at 8 p.m. ET.
-- A brand new Washington Post-ABC News tracking poll finds Clinton and Trump tied nationally at 46 percent. Trump has opened an eight-point advantage on which candidate is more honest and trustworthy (46-38). A full 59 percent of likely voters said they disapprove of Clinton's handling of questions regarding her private email server.
-- A Bloomberg Politics poll finds Clinton holding a three-point lead over Trump (30-27) among likely independent voters. Clinton leads Trump 39-35 among independent likely voters in a two-way race, with 26 percent saying they remain undecided.
-- A Monmouth University poll in Missouri shows Trump with a strong 14-point lead in the state, but Sen. Roy Blunt is basically tied (47-46) with Democratic challenger Jason Kander. The state’s gubernatorial race is also tied, with both Democratic Attorney General Chris Koster and former Navy SEAL Eric Greitens at 46 percent each.
-- A Franklin & Marshall College Poll finds Clinton up 11 points in Pennsylvania.
-- A WRAL News poll in North Carolina shows Trump with a seven-point lead (51-44).
-- A KTVT CBS 11-Dixie Strategies Poll has Trump safely up 13 points in Texas (52-39).
-- The Cook Political Report now ranks Arizona, Florida and Ohio as “toss-ups." It also figures that one electoral vote in both Maine and Nebraska could be up for grabs. Without winning any of those toss-ups, Clinton is still at 293 electoral votes.
-- A Pew Research survey finds that 6 in 10 Clinton supporters have a hard time respecting Trump backers. Nearly the opposite is true for those supporting the Republican nominee, with 56 percent of Trump backers saying they have no trouble respecting a Clinton supporter.
-- A Suffolk University poll finds that 3 in 4 Americans think the news media wants Clinton to win. In an AP/GkF poll released last week, 51 percent of Clinton supporters said the media is biased in her favor, while just 8 percent said it's biased against her.
GET SMART FAST:
- Iraqi commandos swept into eastern Mosul, outgunning suicide attacks, snipers and roadside bombs as they breached the Islamic State stronghold for the first time in two years. Officials “can only guess” at how hard militants will fight to defend the city, their last major stronghold in Iraq. (Loveday Morris and Mustafa Salim)
- Meanwhile, Moscow’s defense ministry likened the U.S.-backed offensive to the situation in Aleppo, the Syrian city surrounded by Russian-aided government troops. State Department officials called the comparison “ludicrous” and “absolutely insulting.” (Karen DeYoung)
- Syrian President Bashar al-Assad met with a group of Western reporters this week, touting his leadership and blaming U.S. and Islamist militants for bloodshed in the country. Assad “radiated confidence and friendliness” in the meeting, reports the New York Times’ Anne Barnard. “It was as if half his citizens had not been driven from their homes and nearly half a million had not been killed in the bloody fighting.” Assad told the group he plans to stay in power until the end of his term in 2021.
- Obama said his administration is considering ways to reroute the Dakota Access oil pipeline, following protests culminating in a series of violent clashes this week. In an interview, the president said White House officials are “monitoring the situation closely." “We’re going to let it play out for several more weeks and determine whether or not this can be resolved in a way that I think is properly attentive to the traditions of First Americans,” he said. (Derek Hawkins)
- A deadly gasoline pipeline explosion in Alabama has driven up fuel prices across the U.S. for the second time in less than two months, as it temporarily cuts off more than a third of the supply delivered to the entire East Coast. (Steven Mufson)
- Less than a week after members of the Bundy family were acquitted for their armed standoff at an Oregon wildlife refuge, they are threatening a second protest. This time, the family objects to Obama’s plans to create a national monument in a Nevada wilderness area next to their ranch. (Kevin Sullivan and Juliet Eilperin)
- Scientists are studying venom from the incredibly deadly blue coral snake – known to take down formidable predators such as king cobras and krait with just a single bite – and believe it could hold the key to a new class of strong, non-narcotic painkillers. (Ben Guarino)
- NASA is sending a laser-based “nose” to scan for signs of life on Mars. The machine will scan the Red Planet for amino acids and other organic molecules. (Ben Guarino)
- Venezuelan authorities stopped a Washington Post reporter at a Caracas airport and denied him entry into the country in the latest case of the government blocking a foreign correspondent from covering the country’s mounting political and economic turmoil. (Joshua Partlow)
- Meanwhile, Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro is under fire after suggesting city dwellers take up farming to curb the country’s severe food crisis, even though it is almost entirely a result of government mismanagement and sky-high inflation. Many point out that urbanites have no land to farm on, with Venezuelans cultivating just eight out of 4,600 square miles of originally-promised farmland for the project. (Sofia Barbarani)
- New Jersey rejected a fiscal recovery proposal from Atlantic City, setting the stage for a potential state takeover of the struggling gambling haven. (Wall Street Journal)
- Federal jurors began deliberations in the “Bridgegate” trial, determining the fate of two top former aides to Christie after six weeks of testimony. (Newark Star Ledger)
- Parents of an 11-year-old cancer survivor are urging changes to school bullying policies after torment from her peers apparently drove the survivor to suicide. The Columbus girl and her friend were not permitted to plaster “buddies, not bullies” signs across the school. (Lindsey Bever)
- A Wisconsin high school stands accused of taking its driving safety drill too far after telling students that four of their classmates were killed in a car wreck. Many were crying, texting family members and frantically attempting to make contact with peers involved in the “crash” before they were told it was fake. (Amy B Wang)
- The number of homeschooled children in the U.S. has spiked, according to new national data, more than doubling numbers from the 1990’s. Parents this year said “providing religious and moral instruction” was the primary reason for keeping children in the home. (Emma Brown)
- When that face-biting teen in Florida was being taken into custody for killing two people this summer, police said the 19-year-old began asking for help. “I ate something bad,” he reportedly told officers. “Humans.” The newly-released documents come as police continue to investigate the bizarre murders, working to determine whether the teen was under the influence of a powerful synthetic drug. (Sarah Larimer)
- A Washington state couple is facing charges for allegedly injecting their three young children with heroin, which they had dubbed their “feel-good medicine.” Authorities said even the youngest child, age two, had bruises from the heroin needles. (Lindsey Bever)
- On a lighter note: Several weeks after she announced plans to send energy drinks to Syrian refugees, Lindsey Lohan is back in the spotlight – this time, for adopting a new foreign accent. Reporters speaking to Lohan about a new nightclub said the actress sounded “like a combination of different countries.” (New York Magazine)
-- African Americans are failing to vote at the robust levels they did four years ago in several critical states. The reasons appear both political and logistical, with lower voter enthusiasm and newly enacted impediments to voting at play. Fresh numbers from the New York Times’ Jeremy Peters, Richard Fausset and Michael Wines:
- In NORTH CAROLINA, black turnout is down 16 percent and white turnout is up 15 percent.
- In OHIO, voter participation in the heavily Democratic areas near Cleveland, Columbus and Toledo has been down.
- In FLORIDA, the share of African Americans that has gone to the polls in person so far has decreased from 25 percent in 2012 to 15 percent today.
-- Rep. Alcee Hastings (D-Fla.), who is African American, complained to Politico about the Clinton campaign’s efforts: “They're not doing enough in the black community. I have been screaming for months about this and nothing changed and now look what's happening."
-- New conventional wisdom: The Clinton email controversy may save the Senate for Republicans. From Karen Tumulty and Paul Kane: "As recently as a week ago, the Republicans’ chances of holding on to the Senate appeared to be slipping away. But now, Republicans see a chance to change the subject and remind voters of the drama and perceived moral ambiguity that has surrounded the Clintons for more than a quarter-century. However the latest FBI investigation of Abedin’s emails turns out, the fact that they are even at issue goes back to Clinton’s initial misjudgment … [which] can be traced to the secretive impulses that have so often driven the candidate and her inner circle. Though it is an implicit acknowledgment of the fact that the Democrat remains more likely than not to win the White House, Republicans are seizing upon an argument that they must retain control of Congress to be a check on Clinton — not only on her agenda but on the behavior of her administration.”
-- Some congressional Democrats are having eerie flashbacks to the final weeks of 1996: Bill Clinton was cruising to reelection when a controversy exploded over the fact that Democrats had been taking large donations from foreign entities that are forbidden from donating to U.S. campaigns. A number of those illegal donors had access to the Clinton White House. “That’s a good parallel” to the effect that the resurgent email controversy could have today, a senior House Democrat told Karen. In 1996, Bill’s big lead held up, BUT House Democrats — who hoped to win the majority after losing it in 1994 — picked up fewer than five seats.
-- Pennsylvania offers the clearest illustration: “Hillary Clinton’s latest chapter in her ongoing email scandal, saga, is just a reminder of how much corruption there is in Washington and how disturbing this is,” embattled Sen. Patrick J. Toomey (R-Pa.) told voters this week at a diner in the town of Media. He noted that the administration of Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf (D) is resisting a court order to release more than 50,000 emails that Toomey’s Democratic opponent, Katie McGinty, sent while she was the governor’s chief of staff. “Her devotion to Hillary Clinton is so complete that now she’s decided that she has to have her own email scandal,” Toomey quipped.
For down-ballot Democrats, Sharon Jankauskas is their nightmare: The 60-year-old nurse practitioner who lives outside Philadelphia said she sees the presidential race as the “lesser of two evils.” She plans to vote for Clinton and Toomey. “We can always impeach her and get her out,” she told Paul when he asked about Hillary.
Quote du jour: “We used to say in prosecution, it’s primacy and recency. The closing argument reintroduces all of the most pertinent issues,” said Rep. Patrick Meehan (R-Pa.). “This is almost the personification of the trust issue.”
The Republican Party of Pennsylvania updated its scripts for volunteer phone callers and canvassers to identify, and ultimately turn out, voters who support Toomey and Clinton, It’s an indicator that local GOP leaders believe the Keystone State is out of reach for Trump, but that the senator can still survive, Jonathan Martin and Alex Burns write in the Times.
-- Warnings of a rigged vote have stoked deep paranoia about the integrity of the electoral process. A great read from the New York Times’ Alan Rappeport: “There was the myth of Trump supporters sending wild dogs to scare off black voters in Ohio. In Texas, some of the voting booths supposedly became possessed, switching ballots cast for [Trump] to [Clinton]. And then there was the amateur genealogist said to be committing voter fraud by jotting down names found on gravestones. ‘I saw a couple of Seeing Eye dogs, one miniature horse wearing a campaign sign and another rather large but friendly dog on a leash,’ [said the chair of Hamilton County’s election board]. In Butler County, Ohio, Leah Edwards notified the authorities about voter fraud when she saw a man taking notes and photographing gravestones at a cemetery. ‘I can’t think of any other reason a person would be doing this,’ she said. But the man detained was photographing markers for a “find the grave” memorial project, and later assailed Edwards for her irresponsibility. 'Sorry to dispel your conspiracy theory,' he said. 'If you would have stopped and talked to me, I could have let you know that I am a registered Republican!'"
THE DAILY HILLARY:
-- Libertarian vice presidential candidate Bill Weld “vouched for” Clinton in the wake of Comey’s email announcement, stopping short of a full endorsement as he acknowledged an ideological split with his running mate. "Gary and I have not agreed on a number of substantive issues in this campaign,” Weld told MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow, when asked about a campaign press release criticizing the Democratic nominee. “I do not agree with that release.” He added, "I'm here vouching for Mrs. Clinton, and I think it's high time somebody did.”
-- The FBI released more than 120 pages of documents pertaining to Bill Clinton’s pardon of fugitive Democratic financer Marc Rich, making public a 17-year-old trove of documents just days after James Comey’s bombshell announcement. From Rosalind S. Helderman, Tom Hamburger and Sari Horwitz: "The seemingly random reminder of one of the darkest chapters of the Clinton presidency drew immediate rebuke from Clinton spokesman Brian Fallon, who asked whether the agency planned to publish unflattering records about Trump as well. For the second time in five days, the FBI had moved exactly to the place the nation’s chief law enforcement agency usually strives to avoid: smack in the middle of partisan fighting over a national election, just days before the vote. The Rich documents provided little new information — and FBI agents called the timing of their release 'coincidental' — but they serve as a reminder of the once-aggressive criminal probe into the matter.”
-- This looks bad: The Justice Department official who told Congress Monday that the agency will "dedicate all necessary resources" to the reopened email probe has a close relationship with Clinton campaign chair John Podesta, hacked emails show. From the Washington Examiner: "Peter Kadzik, assistant attorney general, sent his son to seek a job on the Clinton campaign given his personal relationship with Podesta. He was invited to a small birthday gathering for Podesta's lobbyist brother last year. Kadzik also dined with Podesta at his home in January, when the first FBI probe was well underway. In 2008, Podesta raved about Kadzik to Cassandra Butts, a member of President Obama's transition team, and noted Kadzik was ‘willing to help’ with vetting for Obama's Cabinet.”
-- Attorney General Loretta Lynch and James Comey met on Monday to discuss reviewing, “as swiftly as possible,” the newly discovered emails that could be related to Clinton’s email probe. From NBC: “The Justice Department originally was opposed to the FBI's plan to notify Congress about the discovery of the new emails.… However, Comey concluded that it was better to inform Congress sooner rather than wait until after the election. "In the end, we decided it was better to keep Congress informed," an FBI official said.
-- “The FBI never asked [Clinton's] top aides to turn over all the computers and smartphones they used while Clinton was secretary of state, an omission that is now triggering questions from Republican lawmakers,” Politico’s Josh Gerstein reports: “While the FBI made a concerted effort to obtain all the computers that were used as Clinton's private server and ultimately asked two of Clinton's lawyers for laptops used to review her email messages, investigators never requested or demanded all equipment her top staffers used for work purposes during her four years at State.… The decision left the FBI at least partially dependent on the aides' attorneys' decisions about which messages were work-related and therefore might have contained classified information the agents were looking for. GOP lawmakers say the decision not to demand the aides' electronics, or even to ask for them, raises doubts about how the FBI and prosecutors handled the probe.”
-- Republicans are starting to talk about the new email development in paid media. The pro-Trump super PAC Future 45 is launching a $10 million campaign around Comey’s announcement. The spot, which goes on the air today, opens with footage of Richard Nixon saying people have “got to know whether or not their president's a crook." It concludes with the question, "How can we elect someone who is under FBI investigation?" (Julie Bykowicz/AP)
-- Clinton campaign manager John Podesta signed a $7,000-a-month contract with the foundation of a major Clinton donor in 2015 who “made a fortune” selling types of mortgages that critics say contributed to the housing collapse. From Politico’s Ken Vogel and Danny Vinik: “In February of last year, as Podesta was working to lay the groundwork for Clinton’s soon-to-launch campaign … he signed the contract with the Sandler Foundation, which was started by Herb Sandler and his late wife Marion Sandler. The contract … is still active, according to Herb Sandler, who said that it calls for Podesta to provide advice on grant-making and other foundation functions. It’s unusual for the full-time chairman of a general-election presidential campaign to maintain an active side deal with a major donor to that campaign — let alone to raise money from that donor for the campaign. But the hacked emails show that Podesta did both, while also maintaining a close personal relationship with Sandler.”
-- Clinton made her most direct appeal yet for women to reject Trump’s candidacy, recounting at length his history of degrading statements about women and allegations of unwanted sexual advances during an event in Florida. From John Wagner: Clinton, who called Trump “someone who wants to bully us,” was introduced at the rally by former Miss Universe Alicia Machado, whom Trump berated as “Miss Piggy” after she gained weight and became the subject of a massive online attack the aftermath of the first presidential debate. “It’s really clear that he does not respect women,” Machado said. “He just judges us on our looks. He thinks he can do whatever he wants and get away with it.”
THE DAILY DONALD:
-- Most unhelpful endorsement of the year? The official newspaper of the Ku Klux Klan formally came out for Trump, devoting an entire front-page spread to defending his message. “America was founded as a White Christian Republic,” the article reads, “and as a White Christian Republic it became great." (Peter Holley)
-- The Post’s David Fahrenthold tracked town a $20,000 Trump portrait that the real estate developer bought in 2007 using money from his charity: “On Tuesday, artist Michael Israel — the ‘speed painter’ who painted the portrait of Trump — released the first public photos of the portrait. Israel painted the piece in just five or six frenetic minutes, during a charity gala at Trump's own Mar-a-Lago Club in Palm Beach, Fla. Afterward, Israel auctioned the portrait off. Trump's wife Melania won the auction, with a bid of $10,000. Then the auctioneer convinced her to double it. Half of the proceeds went to Israel, the painter, and half went to the charity that hosted the event, then called the Children's Place at Home Safe, [which] helps children and families harmed by domestic violence.” Tax experts say that if Trump hung the painting at one of his homes or businesses — as he appears to have done in other instances — he may have violated laws against "self-dealing.”
-- Sean Hannity issued an apology after falsely claiming on his radio show that President Obama deleted tweets endorsing Clinton. The false information could be disproven with a simple Twitter search. From CNN’s Brian Stelter: "The progression of events illustrates how fake news stories expand and spread from fringe web sites to nationally syndicated radio shows with millions of listeners. In this case, the fake news originated on a dubious site called ‘Your News Wire,’ which publishes a mix of true, slanted and made-up news. Then, like a game of telephone, by the time the story got to Hannity, even the fake facts were wrong."
-- A largely on-script Trump appeared in Pennsylvania yesterday, showing flashes of a cohesive closing argument. From Jenna Johnson, John Wagner, and Sean Sullivan: Stumping alongside Mike Pence and a spate of other Republican lawmakers, Trump called for the eradication of the Affordable Care Act and renegotiation of a sweeping trade pact. He also attempted to strike a more “uplifting” tone, offering streamlined policy initiatives and more traditional campaign accoutrements seemingly geared towards moderate voters. “If we unlock the potential of this country and its incredible people, no dream is outside of our reach,” he said, reading a script someone handed him.
-- Trump urged people who already voted for Clinton to go back and change their votes. He noted that state laws in places like Wisconsin allow early voters to change their ballots if they go back in person. “A lot of things have happened over the last three days,” Trump said in Wisconsin, per Jenna Johnson. “This is a message for any Democratic voters who have already cast their ballots for Hillary Clinton and who are having a bad case of buyer's remorse — in other words, you want to change your vote — Wisconsin is one of several states where you can change your early ballot if you think you've made a mistake. A lot of stuff has come out since you voted.” Trump's campaign also began circulating this information on Twitter earlier in the day, with his director of social media tweeting out phone numbers that voters in each state can call to change their vote. It seems certain this ploy won't have any sort of tangible effect; the email thing helps Trump with Republicans, not the kinds of people who already went to vote for Clinton. The country is too polarized for that.
-- Trump’s campaign sought to play down the news that pollster Tony Fabrizio is being stiffed of $767,000. Communications director Jason Miller said Fabrizio is still “very much” a part of the team and said the campaign is simply questioning the payment amount. "We are making sure that Mr. Trump is paying the correct amount,” a campaign official said. (Matea Gold)
-- Trump really has no idea how government actually works, cont.: He vowed yesterday to call a special session of Congress to repeal and replace Obamacare as soon as he’s elected. Outside Philadelphia, he said: "I will ask Congress to convene a special session so we can repeal and replace,” he said. "We will do it and we will do it very, very quickly." The Los Angeles Times notes the Constitution gives the president the authority "on extraordinary occasions, to convene both houses or either of them." But the last one was nearly 70 years ago. Not to mention, if Trump won, Congress would come into session anyway! Asked about his plan by a pool reporter, Trump said he has not reached out to Congress yet, adding: "We will very soon."
-- Our Amy Goldstein, who covers the health beat, looked at what both candidates say they would do with the health-care system. To put their views in perspective, in part through analyses from experts across the ideological spectrum, she annotated each candidate’s official position using the Genius app. Check it out here.
-- The places in the U.S. most unsettled by rapid demographic change are the very areas most drawn to Trump, according to an analysis on the front page of today's Wall Street Journal: “Small towns in the Midwest have diversified more quickly than almost any part of the U.S. since the start of an immigration wave at the beginning of this century. [Census data] shows a distinct cluster of Midwestern states — Iowa, Indiana, Wisconsin, Illinois and Minnesota — saw among the fastest influxes of nonwhite residents of anywhere in the U.S. between 2000 and 2015. In 88% of [these] rapidly diversifying counties, Latino population growth was the main driver. Mr. Trump won about 71% of sizable counties nationwide during the Republican presidential primaries. He took 73% of those where diversity at least doubled since 2000, and 80% of those where the diversity index rose at least 150%.… That shift helps explain the emergence of [Trump] as a political force, and signals that tensions over immigration will likely outlive his candidacy.”
-- In that vein, Trump is outperforming traditional Republicans in the North Country of both Maine and New Hampshire, where gun rights are sacrosanct and good jobs vanished along with the paper mills that traditionally propped up the economy. From the AP’s Patrick Whittle: “Maine awards two electoral votes for the statewide winner, and one for each of the state's two congressional districts. The proving ground is the 2nd District, which covers the state's vast northern and eastern reaches. Rural Maine has lost thousands of well-paying jobs to paper and textile mill closures, including the Madison mill this year, and it's a place where many people hunt for sport and food. The district also is the home base of Republican Gov. Paul LePage, a Trump supporter popular with — and twice elected by — rural Maine conservatives.”
-- Newly uncovered video footage shows Trump with reputed mob figure Robert LiButti, contradicting his recent claims that he “never knew” the high-stakes gambler. From Yahoo’s Michael Isikoff: LiButti can be seen standing alongside Trump in the front row of a 1988 “WrestleMania” match in Atlantic City. According to LiButti’s daughter, who also attended the event, they were Trump’s guests at the event. Video footage shows him sitting in a front-row seat alongside Trump and then-wife Ivana during the event. “The “WrestleMania” event is just one of many times that Trump was close to Bob,” says author David Cay, who extensively interviewed LiButti before his death in the early 90’s. Trump has consistently downplayed his relationship with the gambler, saying in 1991 “If he was standing here in front of me, I wouldn’t know what he looked like.” Earlier this year, Trump said in an email: “During the years, I very successfully ran the casino business, I knew many high rollers. I assume Mr. LiButti was one of them, but I don’t recognize the name.”
-- Donald has spent his life trying to overcompensate for something... --> “Trump’s Math Takes His Towers to Greater Heights,” by the New York Times's Vivian Yee: “Of the many rivals [Trump] has accumulated over four decades in business and, now, presidential politics, one of the earliest was a New York City skyscraper with the boldness to stand taller than his own. In 1979, as Mr. Trump inspected a model of the black-and-gold Fifth Avenue high-rise that would come to serve as his home, office, fortress and personal monument, he could find only one flaw to spoil the moment: the GM building, which, in real life, was 41 feet higher and a few blocks away.…’My building looks a little small,’ he said, according to a model maker. Assured the scale was accurate, Mr. Trump had an inspiration on his next visit. 'Can you make my building taller?’ Mr. Trump asked. No, he was told. ‘Well, can you make the G.M. building shorter?’ [They] sawed off the top third [of the GM building], leaving Trump Tower — in the one-thirty-second-scale model, at least — the tallest in the neighborhood. As a review of his Manhattan building portfolio shows, Mr. Trump repeated his Trump Tower innovation at least seven more times."
-- More headaches for North Carolina Sen. Richard Burr. The day after he took heat for blocking his state’s second biggest newspaper from covering his events and apologized for a joke about putting a bulls eye on a picture of Hillary…
McClatchy reports that the Intelligence Committee chairman played a central role 11 years ago in relaxing U.S. controls over the export of bomb-grade uranium: “In 2005, the Republican lawmaker won passage of controversial legislation to ease restrictions on U.S. shipments abroad of highly enriched uranium – material that terrorists could employ to build a Hiroshima-type nuclear bomb. … In 2012, Congress reversed course and passed new restrictions. … Parties that support relaxed export controls have showered Burr with upward of $100,000 in campaign contributions since he first pressed his amendment in 2003.”
CNN posted audio of the senator promising to block any Clinton SCOTUS nominee, no matter who, which gives lie to his bromides about bipartisanship. It also contradicts his insistence earlier in the year that the next president should get to pick Antonin Scalia’s replacement. “If Hillary Clinton becomes president, I am going to do everything I can do to make sure four years from now, we still got an opening on the Supreme Court,” he tells volunteers now.
-- Nevada Republican Senate candidate Joe Heck said he still does not know who he is voting for. “Well, I can tell you I’m not voting for Hillary Clinton,” Heck told the Las Vegas NBC affiliate. “We still have six days before I walk into the booth. On November 8th, I’ll have a decision.”
-- The Juice --> “Van Hollen campaigns hard for Senate seat that is within reach,” by Jenna Portnoy: “It’s a good time to be Rep. Chris Van Hollen. His party is favored in the race for the White House, he’s overwhelmingly expected to win the seat of retiring Sen. Barbara Mikulski, and — no matter which way the balance of power in the upper chamber falls — he stands to benefit. If Democrats win control of the Senate … a possible President [Clinton] would need allies there who have relationships in the House of Representatives … and who can negotiate good-faith deals with leadership. That means Van Hollen, a polite and well-liked policy wonk who was a top lieutenant to [Nancy Pelosi], should find multiple ways to flex his budget, foreign affairs and political muscles. While his [Senate] opponent touts the surprise 2014 victory of Gov. Larry Hogan as proof she can win in deep-blue Maryland, experts say the Democrats’ 2-to-1 voter registration advantage is a much steeper hurdle when the White House is also in play."
SOCIAL MEDIA SPEED READ:
The Daily News endorses HRC on its cover today:
Trump offered support for Darrell Issa in his tough reelection fight in California:
.@DarrellIssa is a very good man. Help him win his congressional seat in California.— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 1, 2016
Here's how Issa's Democratic challenger replied:
Yes, it really was Issa's birthday.
It's fall in D.C.:
Trump canvasser positions are available in Florida:
Just to give you an idea of how prepared the Trump campaign is: A Fla. GOTV vendor sent out an email TODAY trying to hire Trump canvassers. pic.twitter.com/LjsWvOQagV— Kenneth P. Vogel (@kenvogel) November 1, 2016
Bad news for the GOP down the road?
Still lots of Halloween-themed posts yesterday. Here's the White House dressed up for Halloween:
Montana Sen. Steve Daines's spokeswoman, Katie Waldman, dressed up:
It's Halloween at the Capitol pic.twitter.com/rkQQjr4xkN— Burgess Everett (@burgessev) October 31, 2016
Donald Trump Jr.'s family trick-or-treated on the Upper East Side:
Trump Jr. entertained this costume idea:
Lena Dunham as a grabbed ... well, you know:
Josh Gad as Ken Bone:
Kirsten Gillibrand as a witch:
Pat Toomey's son:
Happy Halloween! My son Duncan will be trick-or-treating as General George Washington tonight, and will march in his school’s parade today! pic.twitter.com/y5Kqd0qjBc— Senator Pat Toomey (@SenToomey) October 31, 2016
Sean Duffy's kids:
And Elizabeth Warren's family:
GOOD READS FROM ELSEWHERE:
-- New York Times Magazine, “When Hillary and Donald Were Friends,” by Maureen Dowd: “In this historically dreadful and mesmerizing election … the New York aspect has been largely overshadowed. As the Clintons fashioned a new life [here], Trump was transforming himself as well — from a risk-taking developer facing bankruptcy to a low-risk licenser of his name for other people’s projects, from a brazen builder to a gilded reality-TV star … He had come out of Queens, a pushy New York kid with family money but no social tools to climb the society ladder. The story of how [Trump] and [Clinton] rose and reinvented themselves and embraced and brawled is the story of New York itself. It is a tale of power, influence, class, society and ambition that might have intrigued Edith Wharton, whose family once owned a grand home down the block from what is now Trump Tower.”
-- The Stanford sexual assault victim who delivered a powerful testimony against former swimmer Brock Turner was named Glamour’s “Woman of the Year." In an essay, she recounts what she’s dealt with since the case became public: “So now to the one who said, I hope my daughter never ends up like her, I am learning to say, I hope you end up like me, meaning, I hope you end up like me strong. I hope you end up like me proud of who I’m becoming. I hope you don’t ‘end up,’ I hope you keep going. And I hope you grow up knowing that the world will no longer stand for this. Victims are not victims, not some fragile, sorrowful aftermath. Victims are survivors, and survivors are going to be doing a hell of a lot more than surviving.”
On the campaign trail: Clinton holds a rally in Tempe, Ariz.; Kaine is in Dubuque and Des Moines, joined at the latter event by Bill Clinton; Obama speaks in Raleigh, N.C.; Biden speaks in Tampa and West Palm Beach, Fla.; Sanders is in Kalamazoo and Traverse City, Mich. and Milwaukee, Wis.; Warren is in Carson City and Reno, Nev.; and Bill Clinton also stops in Sioux City and Waterloo, Iowa. Trump is in Miami, Orlando and Pensacola, Fla.; Pence is in Mesa, Ariz., Las Cruces, N.M., and Loveland, Colo.
At the White House: See above.
On Capitol Hill: The Senate and House are out.
QUOTE OF THE DAY:
During a debate with his opponent, Rep. Tom Reed (R-N.Y.) was asked, “What qualities does your opponent possess that would cause you to vote for them?” The congressman’s response? “You recently got married to a beautiful lady. And that maybe is a reason why I would consider voting for my opponent, given the relationship that he has there.” (Huffington Post)
NEWS YOU CAN USE IF YOU LIVE IN D.C.:
-- A Maryland commuter bus collided with a school bus in Baltimore, killing six and injuring 10 others. No children were aboard either vehicle, as the school bus had not yet begun picking up children, but both drivers and four commuter bus passengers were killed. (Lynh Bui and Dana Hedgpeth)
-- A Virginia woman was dragged into a ditch and sexually assaulted after a car crash in Fredericksburg. The woman was reportedly driving on a highway around 3 a.m. on Monday when her car was struck by another vehicle, authorities said. The driver of the other vehicle then proceeded to pull her from her car and drag her into a nearby ditch. She was sexually assaulted over a two-hour period. (Martin Weil)
-- A group of eight youths beat up and robbed a man in front of his Pennsylvania Avenue hotel on Monday night. Police said the victim was talking on his cellphone around 7:30 p.m. when he was punched and knocked to the ground by a young male. The rest of his assailants — four male and four female – repeatedly kicked and punched him before taking off with his cellphone. The attack occurred about 7:25 p.m. in the 2400 block of Pennsylvania Avenue NW, near the Melrose Georgetown Hotel at Washington Circle. The victim said the kids were wearing masks. (Peter Hermann)
-- The D.C. Council voted to give initial approval to “death with dignity” legislation, moving forward a measure that would allow physicians to prescribe fatal drugs to terminally ill residents. City officials said they expect the bill to become law when it is officially voted on later this month. (Fenit Nirappil)
-- The Washington Redskins left tackle Trent Williams was suspended for four games after violating the NFL’s substance-abuse policy. They did not specify his infraction, though several sources said Williams had missed the drug test. (Liz Clarke and Mike Jones)
-- The Capitals beat the Jets 3-2.
-- Today gets a “nice day” stamp from the Capital Weather Gang: “High pressure centered over the southeast United States is perfectly placed to give us a light but mild breeze from the south-southwest. That sends morning temperatures rising steadily through the 50s and into the 60s. And with partly to mostly sunny skies, afternoon highs top out in the mid-70s to near 80. The record highs for the day (in the mid-80s) seem out of reach.”
VIDEOS OF THE DAY:
Trump's closing ad frames the election as a "choice" between "two Americas":
Another new Trump ad calls the Clintons corrupt:
Clinton released another spot targeting Trump over his comments about women:
Here’s a sneak peek at Russ Feingold’s closing ad, which goes up today:
Samantha Bee brutally mocked Trump for his frequent use of the phrase "some people are saying":
Seth Meyers took a closer look at the latest drama surrounding Clinton's emails:
Huma Abedin, who has not been by Hillary's side since Friday, went trick-or-treating with her son:
Nathan Lane floated a potential line-up of shows for Trump TV:
Joe Biden tried to be funny as he made a pitch for early voting:
Trump stopped at a Wawa:
This video assembled all of Trump's compliments of Clinton:
Vice News sat down with Kaine:
Rep. Martha McSally (R-Ariz.) released an ad starring her dog:
Finally, check out these clips of the Obamas' last White House Halloween (click to watch):