Bernie Sanders campaigns in New Hampshire (Reuters/Brian Snyder)

THE BIG IDEA: Bernie Sanders will not be the Democratic nominee, but he is tapping into an emerging liberal tea party movement.

Democrats are coming to terms with Hillary Clinton. The latest NBC/Wall Street Journal polling, which posted overnight, has the former secretary of State pulling 75 percent nationally, with Sanders in second place at 15 percent. Just 8 percent of Democrats said they could not eventually support her.

If Clinton is the nominee and loses the general election, there will be intense backlash from progressives who have felt for eight years that Barack Obama failed to live up to their hopes and would feel like Clinton lost because she was insufficiently liberal. The energy level on the left in 2017 could mirror what we saw on the right in 2009. Sanders, an independent from Vermont, is giving us an early taste of what this could look like.

Here are five takeaways from Bernie’s bounce:

–Sanders is winning over the Draft Warren crowd. Polling shows that the same folks who wanted the Massachusetts senator to run earlier this year are backing Bernie now. Sanders, 73, points out that he was taking on Wall Street, calling for higher taxes on the rich and backing defense cuts long before anyone knew who Warren was. “I’ve known Elizabeth Warren since before she was Elizabeth Warren,” he told PowerPost’s Kelsey Snell in an interview, posting this morning, about how he’s using his perch as the top Democrat on the Senate Budget Committee to influence the debate over spending and taxes. “I knew her when she was merely a professor of law at Harvard and a very good writer … There’s very little she’s done that I don’t agree with.”

–Sanders was always better suited to rise in New Hampshire than anywhere else: A Suffolk University poll last week found Sanders at 31 percent there, 10 points behind Clinton. He won 39 percent of self-described liberals. Post pollster Scott Clement notes that, because he represents the neighboring state of Vermont, Sanders is much better known there than in the other early state of Iowa. He and Clinton are roughly on par at this point on favorability among Democrats in the Granite State (62/9 for him and 72/19 for her in the Suffolk poll). In Iowa, 40 percent of Democrats had no opinion of Sanders in the most recent Bloomberg/Des Moines Register poll and less than half viewed him favorably.

–Sanders’ strength might wind up being worse for Rand Paul than Hillary Clinton: The Vermont socialist is exciting many of the college-aged, privacy-minded voters who the Kentucky libertarian has banked on galvanizing. In 2012, the Iowa caucuses took place during winter break. This time, they are on Feb. 1 when universities are in session. Paul bets that he can expand the GOP electorate by luring non-traditional voters. John Deeth, a progressive blogger from the college town of Iowa City, calls Paul “the biggest loser” of Sanders success. “They’re competing for some of the same voters,” he emails.

–Voters crave authenticity, and Sanders is tapping into that. He exhausts crowds with meandering speeches and by taking every question. On Twitter, @berniesanders does mini-tweet storms with no links (which makes it harder to harvest emails or raise money). He’ll post five or six tweets in a row that resemble a direct speech. Usually one or two of those tweets goes viral. It fits his style well, they’re in his voice and most importantly they don’t sound message-tested

–But it’s not clear that Sanders can turn big crowds into a meaningful organization. Five thousand came to see the senator in Denver over the weekend, but will they actually go to work on his behalf? Sanders’ campaign announced the hiring of five more staffers yesterday, including Robert Becker, who ran Iowa for Bill Richardson in 2008 and worked for Bill Bradley in 2000. Three of the five come from the “Run Warren Run” group that recently disbanded. Arnie Arnesen, a progressive New Hampshire radio host who is neutral, is unsure. “He comes from Vermont,” she told us. “He’s always had to manage 12 people, not 12 million … Does he have the capacity to pull together the people he can trust? Can he maintain his values and maintain his ‘difficultness’ and organize a national campaign? It’s hard to do for anyone, but it’s even harder for someone who has always been a maverick … But a strong, successful loss changes the country. He can change the conversation. He’s the only one who can lose and win.”


— Momentum continues building to get rid of the Confederate flag across the South: South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley’s call for removing the Confederate flag from the grounds of her state capitol yesterday afternoon was endorsed by many of the state’s leading Republicans, the leading 2016 candidates and congressional leaders, including Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell. Then late last night, the conservative speaker of the Mississippi state House declared that his state should consider changing its flag to remove the Confederate symbolism. “We must always remember our past, but that does not mean we must let it define us,” Philip Gunn said in a statement. “As a Christian, I believe our state’s flag has become a point of offense that needs to be removed. We need to begin having conversations about changing Mississippi’s flag.”

It is significant that much of the Republican rhetoric supporting the removal of the flag, including Gunn’s, is couched in Scripture. Mark Sanford, who knows something about grace, invoked 1 Corinthians 10:23 to endorse Nikki Haley’s move: “All things are lawful, but all are not profitable … all do not edify.” The former governor, now back in the House, noted that, “Rather than having on the State House grounds something that divides some of us, I think we would be wise to take the wisdom of the Apostle Paul there in Corinthians.”

This is a remarkable moment in the history of the South. Henry Barbour, the state’s Republican National Committeeman and the nephew of Haley Barbour, tweeted that he had supported a 2001 statewide referendum that chose to keep the flag by a two-to-one margin. “But I’m 4 change,” Barbour wrote. “I understand why many will want to keep it – respect that. Just disagree.”

The Taliban continued to converge on Kunduz, Afghanistan, “triggering fears that they could capture their first Afghan city since U.S.-backed forces toppled the hard-line Islamist regime in late 2001.” The Post’s Sudarsan Raghavan reports from Kunduz that, “The government in Kabul has dispatched reinforcements, including Afghan special forces and their U.S. advisers and trainers, to try to repel the insurgents and rescue about 75 soldiers and police officers trapped inside their district base. But as of Monday evening, the Taliban remained in control of the districts, including one separated from Kunduz city only by a wide, brown river.”

— The Pentagon disclosed that a June 15 airstrike in Mosul has killed Ali Awni al-Harzi, who officials believed was involved in the 2012 attacks in Benghazi that killed U.S. Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens and three other Americans. the Pentagon said Monday.


  1. Obama is poised to get the 60 votes he needs in the Senate today to advance Trade Promotion Authority as a stand-alone measure, which will be a big win.
  2. It turns out that the Chinese actually had access to the personal data of an estimated 18 million current, former and prospective federal employees, CNN reported overnight, based on a closed-door briefing that FBI director James Comey gave senators. That’s four times what the Office of Personnel Management has publicly acknowledged. Those who have already been alerted are already waiting on hold for hours to get assistance.

  3. Jeb Bush is seizing on the hack and promising to make cybersecurity a top priority if elected president. The governor is also prodding Obama to get rid of OPM director Katherine Archuleta, who he notes served as the National Political Director for Obama’s 2012 reelection. “What message will it send to other managers throughout the government — and private sector — if there isn’t accountability?”, Bush asks in an op-ed for Medium.
  4. The White House said it will try to pare back the size of the National Security Council staff, which is believed to now number about 400, roughly twice the size it was at the end of the George W. Bush administration. (Karen DeYoung)
  5. Donors have given or promised at least $20 million to various pro-Walker fundraising groups, including an allied super PAC.
  6. The Supreme Court added a decision day for this Friday, in addition to the one already planned for Thursday. That means the term could wrap up as early as next Monday.
  7. CNN executives profusely apologized to the Supreme Court after an intern was caught recording footage with a GoPro camera that he had strapped to his chest inside the closed-to-cameras press room.
  8. Jeb Bush’s super PAC formally launched with a new web site and introductory video.


  1. Larry Hogan, the recently-elected governor of Maryland, has been diagnosed with late stage 3 non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, which he described during a press conference as “a very advanced and very aggressive” form of cancer. He’s about to start an 18-week chemotherapy regimen that will begin with four days in the hospital.
  2. Cami Anderson, installed by Chris Christie to run Newark’s public schools, is stepping down on July 8 “after four tumultuous years and widespread community protests over her plan known as One Newark.” (Lyndsey Layton)
  3. Chris Christie’s approval rating is 30 percent, with disapproval at 55 percent, in a Fairleigh Dickinson PublicMind poll of New Jersey released this morning.
  4. President Obama will go to Charleston on Friday to deliver the eulogy at the funeral of Reverend Clementa Pinckney. The vice president will accompany him.
  5. Pete Hegseth, a Fox & Friends co-host, accidentally struck a member of the West Point marching band with an axe on the air.


“Meet Kristin Beck, a transgender former Navy SEAL running for Congress,” by Ben Terris: “Two years ago, Beck publicly came out as a woman, but by her account she still ‘looks like a dude in a dress.’ Even on a day when she was wearing jeans and a black jacket with white trim. And anyway, she’s running for Congress — not so much as a transgender candidate as a candidate who happens to be transgender. That’s why she didn’t bring up gender issues as she walked through Shaw’s upper-middle-class black neighborhood in Maryland, seeking votes in her long-shot primary bid against Steny H. Hoyer, the second-most-powerful Democrat in the House of Representatives. Beck, 48, almost certainly isn’t going to win. She doesn’t have much name recognition or money. She doesn’t even have the backing of the major gay and transgender advocacy groups. They have hesitations about her propensity to offend parts of the community and take issue with her attempt to oust Hoyer, a staunch ally for LGBT rights. But what Beck does have is an incredible life story, a slightly jumbled platform of about 70 issues, and a message that the district is ready for a change.”

“From Piyush to Bobby: How does Jindal feel about his family’s past?” by Annie Gowen and Tyler Bridges in Khanpur, India: “Discouraged by a lack of engagement, some of Jindal’s early donors have faded away, according to Sanjay Puri, chairman of the U.S. India Political Action Committee. Jindal’s top-contributors list now includes such recognizable names as cosmetics mogul Georgette Mosbacher. Suresh C. Gupta, a Potomac doctor, gave a fundraiser for Jindal’s first gubernatorial bid. But he said Jindal has actively tried to disassociate himself with the Indian-American community in recent years. ‘So what if he’s Republican? So what if he’s Christian? I don’t care about those things,’ said Gupta, who is a Democrat. ‘But you can’t forget about your heritage. You can’t forget about your roots.’ When Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi came to the United States to visit last September, a host of politicians attended his rally at Madison Square Garden. Jindal did not. When Jindal’s name was mentioned, he was booed by the crowd.”


— ZIGNAL VISUAL: For better or worse, Monday belonged to Ted Cruz. His strongly-worded comments opposing gun control post-Charleston vaulted the Texas senator to the top of the White House pack in terms of overall mentions across traditional, online and social media. By 2 p.m. Eastern Monday afternoon, 25 percent of all the 2016 conversation was about Cruz. He garnered more mentions than the next four GOP contenders (Bush, Paul, Perry and Rubio) combined, per our campaign analytics partner Zignal Labs.

At about 2 p.m. Eastern, news broke that South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham would call for the Confederate flag to be removed from state grounds. On the chart below, we see Graham mentions spike:

But by the evening news cycle, Cruz was once again front and center. Chatter about him and guns overtook Graham. Partly this is also because many South Carolina GOP politicians, as well as Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, came out for getting rid of the flag. So the conversation was not isolated to Graham, the dark horse candidate. Here’s how the full chart looked as of 10 p.m. Eastern:

Associated Press photos from Iowa, which posted over the weekend, generated outrage on the right. As you can see below, the photos make it look like a gun is pointed at Cruz’s head. An AP spokesman responds that, “The images were not intended to portray Sen. Cruz in a negative light.”

Ted Cruz speaks during a “Celebrate the 2nd Amendment Event” on Saturday at CrossRoads Shooting Sports in Johnston, Iowa. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)


Pictures of the day:

Washington Post reporter Chico Harlan posted snapshots from South Carolina (his piece about the flag debate is here):

For how much longer will this thing be flying? (chicoharlan)

All the talk is about one flag, but thousands of them that mark SCarolina’s racial landscape. (@chicoharlan)

Meanwhile, the Post’s Christopher Ingraham shared a photo of the Mississippi flag taken from the Capitol subway line:

Lawmakers who take the US Capitol subway pass by the Confederate (Mississippi) flag every day. h/t @kathoh (@_cingraham)

Tweets of the day:

Political leaders and presidential hopefuls, with a few exceptions, weighed in on the flag debate:

Ted Cruz threw his support behind Rep. Mark Meadows (R-N.C.) after he was punished by House GOP leadership:

Donald Trump kept trolling:

And Elizabeth Warren celebrated her 66th birthday:

Thank you all for making my birthday so special – and thanks to our staff for the yummy cupcakes! (@SenWarren)

Instagrams of the day:

Bobby Jindal shared a family photo ahead of his campaign announcement on Wednesday:

Monday Funday. (bobbyjindal)

While Kevin McCarthy shared a photo with Sonny Corleone and Harry Callahan:

In Frank Luntz’s Oval Office with James Caan and Clint Eastwood to help @garysinisefoundation honor those who defended us. (repkevinmccarthy)


— New York Times, “Grading the Common Core: No Teaching Experience Required,” by Motoko Rich: “Pearson, which operates 21 scoring centers around the country, hired 14,500 temporary scorers throughout the scoring season, which began in April and will continue through July. About three-quarters of the scorers work from home. Pearson recruited them through its own website, personal referrals, job fairs, Internet job search engines, local newspaper classified ads and even Craigslist and Facebook. … For exams like the Advanced Placement tests given by the College Board, scorers must be current college professors or high school teachers who have at least three years of experience teaching the subject they are scoring.”

— Los Angeles Times, “High court strikes down L.A. law on motel, hotel registry inspections,” by David G. Savage: “The Supreme Court on Monday struck down as unconstitutional a Los Angeles city ordinance that authorized police to instantly inspect hotel and motel guest registries at any hour of the day or night. The ruling in Los Angeles vs. Patel marks one of the rare times the high court has restricted the right of government officials to access business records. But in a 5-4 decision, the justices unexpectedly concluded that the ordinance violated the 4th Amendment’s ban on ‘unreasonable searches’ because the mostly small-business owners had no right to object to the surprise inspections, even if they suspected the police were harassing them needlessly.”

— McClatchy, “Supreme Court decision on federal raisin rules likely to reshape industry,” by Michael Doyle: “The Supreme Court has pruned a long-running federal raisin supply management program and called its future into question, with a ruling that the government must pay for raisins kept out of the marketplace. In a victory for Fresno County grower Marvin Horne and other dissident California raisin producers, the court said Monday the program that compels some raisins to be held back in a reserve is subject to the just compensation commands of the Fifth Amendment. ‘Raisins are private property, the fruit of the growers’ labor, not public things subject to the absolute control of the state,’ Chief Justice John Roberts, Jr. wrote. ‘Any physical taking of them for public use must be accompanied by just compensation.'”

— USA Today, “High Court blocks Madoff case claw-back bid,” by Kevin McCoy: “The court-appointed trustee pursuing Ponzi scheme mastermind Bernard Madoff’s assets won’t be allowed to claw back money from hundreds of former customers who profited from the infamous scam. Ruling without comment, the U.S. Supreme Court Monday left intact a lower court decision that blocked trustee Irving Picard from seeking the funds on behalf of the thousands of other former Madoff customers who collectively lost as much as $20 billion in one of history’s largest frauds. Picard had hoped to recover an estimated $2 billion from so-called net winners, former Madoff customers who withdrew more than the principal they’d invested before the scam’s December 2008 collapse.”

— Reuters, “Polish airline, hit by cyber attack, says all carriers are at risk”: “No airline is safe from the type of cyber attack that grounded aircraft and hundreds of passengers at Poland’s busiest airport at the weekend, the chief executive of Polish national carrier LOT said on Monday. Poland’s domestic intelligence agency said it had been called in to investigate, but there was no word on who might be responsible for the attack, which disabled the system LOT uses for issuing flights plans … Around 1,400 passengers were stranded at Warsaw’s Chopin airport when the flight plan system went down for around five hours on Sunday. He said the problem was most likely caused by what is known as a Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attack — when a hacker deluges an organization’s system with so many communication requests that it overloads the server, and it can no longer carry out its normal functions.”


Politico, “House conservatives lash out at Boehner’s ‘culture of punishment,’” by Lauren French and Jake Sherman: “A key bloc of conservatives is laying plans to throttle legislation on the House floor and will meet privately this week to discuss a shake-up of GOP leadership. The group is irate at what one called a “culture of punishment” that Speaker John Boehner’s leadership team has instituted against dissenting members.”

The Hill, “Senate approves new TSA chief,” by Jordain Carney: “The Senate voted 81-1 on Coast Guard Vice Adm. Peter Neffenger’s nomination to take over the embattled agency. Sen. Ben Sasse (R-Neb.) was the lone “no” vote …  Neffenger will be the agency’s first full-time administrator since John Pistole resigned.”

— National Journal, “House ethics panel extends review of Azerbaijan trip,” by Rachel Roubein: “The House Ethics Committee is extending its review of a trip nine lawmakers took to Azerbaijan that the state-owned oil company reportedly sponsored … The committee’s statement named nine lawmakers who took the trip: Reps. Jim Bridenstine, Yvette Clarke, Danny Davis, Rubén Hinojosa, Sheila Jackson Lee, Leonard Lance, Michelle Lujan Grisham, Gregory Meeks, and Ted Poe.”


Here’s how Caitlyn Jenner spent Father’s Day. From MSNBC: “Caitlyn Jenner celebrated Father’s Day surrounded by the two things she arguably loves most: her family and fast-moving vehicles. ‘Great day yesterday for Father’s Day. We had so much fun off-roading,’ the trans star tweeted on Monday. Her love of racing was well documented on ‘Keeping Up With the Kardashians’ when she was known as Bruce.”


Here’s how Megyn Kelly became the new star of Fox News. From Variety: “Kelly, 44, a former corporate litigator who continues to gain prominence at the country’s biggest news network, is poised to become a force in the 2016 election, and is already set to co-moderate an Aug. 6 Republican primary debate. She will need to seize that opportunity to try to prove her detractors wrong, particularly the many liberals who still distrust her, and insist she’s way too soft on her subjects.”


On the campaign trail: Hillary Clinton will attend fundraisers in Chicago and St. Louis and a community meeting in Florissant, Mo. Jeb Bush will attend a fundraiser in Greenwich, Conn. Scott Walker will speak at an Orange County Republican fundraiser and reception. Donald Trump will speak to Maryland Republicans at a fundraising dinner in Baltimore.

On Capitol Hill: The Senate is expected to vote on cloture for TPA before lunch. The House will vote on a bill to repeal the Affordable Care Act’s Independent Payment Advisory board along with 14 suspension bills. The Senate Banking Committee will hold a hearing on the National Flood Insurance Program, while the Senate Commerce Committee examines the recalls of defective Takata air bags in a hearing.

At the White House: President Obama has no public events scheduled. Press Secretary Josh Earnest will brief the media at 12:30 p.m.

QUOTE OF THE DAY: “Patents endow their holders with certain superpowers, but only for a limited time.” – Elena Kagan packed several “Spiderman” puns in a 5-4 majority opinion on a patent case in which she sided with Marvel.


— “Today is likely to be the hottest day since July 2, 2014 when we hit 99 degrees,” per the Capital Weather Gang. “The humidity compounds the discomfort and then we must confront a potential line of strong to severe storms toward the evening rush hour. This looks to be a fast-moving line, so we should clear and cool off for most of the evening and tonight. Conditions improve tomorrow through Friday with gradually cooling temperatures. In fact, by this weekend, we could be faced with the coolest weather in weeks with lots of clouds and rain potential as well.”


Ted Cruz sings “Amazing Grace” to the tune of the “Gilligan’s Island” theme: 

“The entire political team was in panic … But somehow I survived.” (C-SPAN)