THE BIG IDEA:
Alexander Butterfield, the Richard Nixon aide who publicly revealed the existence of the secret taping system that eventually helped force the president’s resignation, never turned over thousands of documents from his time in the administration to the National Archives.
Bob Woodward got access to all of them, and he interviewed Butterfield for 46 hours. “The Last of the President’s Men,” Woodward’s 18th book, will be published Oct. 13. It includes 75 pages of original documents from the trove.
“These are the last pieces of the Nixon puzzle,” the Washington Post associate editor tells Carlos Lozada, the paper’s nonfiction book critic. “Butterfield was the consummate gray man, in the background but potent.”
As questions about Hillary Rodham Clinton’s use of a homebrew email server at the State Department continue to swirl, the new book – coming more than four decades after Nixon’s resignation – is a potent reminder that fresh information can come to light long after you’d expect it to and that long-forgotten sources can help solve historical mysteries.
WHILE YOU WERE SLEEPING:
— Bernie has overtaken Hillary in Iowa. Among likely Democratic Iowa caucus-goers, according to a just-released Quinnipiac University poll, Sanders edges out Clinton, 41 to 40 percent, with Vice President Joe Biden placing third at 12 percent. It’s a big leap from July, when the poll was last conducted: Clinton led with 52 percent, with 33 percent for Sanders and 7 percent for Biden. Pollsters point to the fact that respondents found Sanders more “honest” and “caring.” By a 64 to 30 percent margin, Iowa Democrats said Hillary was “honest and trustworthy,” compared to an 86 to 4 percent margin for Bernie. By a 78 to 18 percent margin, Iowa Dems said Hillary cares about their “needs and problems,” compared to an 85 to 5 percent margin for Bernie. The horse race is in the margin of error, but its another warning sign that HRC is vulnerable.
— Separately, the Sanders campaign says 70,000 labor union members across the country participated in a conference call last night meant to rally rank-and-file workers.
— A new CNN/ORC national poll shows Trump far ahead of the rest of the GOP field, with 32 percent. That’s up 8 percent from CNN’s last poll! Ben Carson has risen 10 points to 19 percent. Jeb Bush is third with 9 percent, down 4 points since August; Ted Cruz is fourth with 7 percent. Mike Huckabee and Scott Walker follow at 5 percent. The other candidates are at 3 percent or less, including Marco Rubio. He’s fallen a statistically significant 5 points since August. A remarkable stat: 51 percent of Republicans think Trump is most likely to emerge as the GOP winner, and only 19 percent think Bush will eventually be at the top the ticket (down from 31 percent in the last poll). In July, 14 percent thought Walker was most likely to win; now it’s just 1 percent.
— Donald Trump goes after Carly Fiorina’s LOOKS in a new Rolling Stone profile: “Look at that face! Would anyone vote for that? Can you imagine that, the face of our next president? … I mean, she’s a woman, and I’m not [supposed to] say bad things, but really, folks, come on. Are we serious?” (Other nuggets from the piece are in the “what we’re reading elsewhere” section.)
Fiorina responded on, of all places, Megyn Kelly’s Fox News show: “Maybe, just maybe, I’m getting under his skin a little bit, because I am climbing in the polls.” George F. Will, for his part, again attacks Trump in his column today, calling him “a malleable mess.”
— Ben Carson rips into Trump. Asked in Anaheim to name a difference between him and The Donald, the retired neurosurgeon replied: “The biggest thing is that I realize where my success has come from, and I don’t in any way deny my faith in God. And I think that probably is a big difference between us.” Asked if Trump’s expressions of faith have been sincere, Carson invoked Proverbs 22:4, which says “The reward for humility and fear of the Lord is riches and honor and life.” He added: “That’s a very big part of who I am: humility, and fear of the Lord. I don’t get that impression with him. Maybe I’m wrong.” The dig comes after Trump criticized Carson’s medical background, saying it would be “very tough” for someone with his background to serve as president. The billionaire businessman replied to the religion comment with a tweet at 9:42 p.m. from Manhattan that noted he leads among evangelicals in all the polls.
GET SMART FAST:
- Federal Reserve officials “aren’t near an agreement” on whether to raise interest rates heading into a Sept. 16-17 policy meeting. Some are concerned about recent market fluctuations, especially in China.
- The head of the European Commission, Jean-Claude Juncker, unveiled a proposal to spread 160,000 asylum seekers across Europe, but this is fewer slots than there are already refugees on the continent. And the proposal would require assent from every member in in the bloc. (Michael Birnbaum)
- John F. Kerry said that the United States will open its doors to more refugees over the next year but would not say how many. (Carol Morello)
- A federal judge ruled that House Republicans can pursue part of their lawsuit challenging how Obamacare is implemented. The district judge decided they can sue Obama for spending money on new consumer health care subsidies that were not appropriated by Congress, but she also said they cannot pursue their claim that delays in enacting the employer mandate violated the Constitution.
- For $725 million, Rupert Murdoch’s 21st Century Fox will gain control of the iconic National Geographic magazine, its books and maps, following a spate of financial troubles. There’s widespread concern about Murdoch’s skepticism of climate change.
- Russia has sent two tank landing ships and additional aircraft to Syria in the past day or so and has deployed a small number of forces there, Reuters reports, “the latest signs of a military buildup that has put Washington on edge.”
- Apple unveiled improvements to its iPhones, iPads and Apple TV. The TV device will now function as a game console.
- A new discovery suggests that Rome was much bigger than previously thought in ancient times. (Nick Kirkpatrick)
POWER PLAYERS IN THE NEWS:
- One day after he criticized his brother for running up the deficit, Jeb Bush unveiled a tax plan that would add at least $1.2 trillion to the deficit over 10 years. That’s according to Republican economists who reviewed the plan on Bush’s behalf. Traditional modeling would suggest that the “Bush 45” plan would add $3.4 trillion. The Bush camp dismisses standard scoring models as “antiquated” and “irrelevant.” (Ed O’Keefe)
- President Obama will personally greet Pope Francis when he arrives at Andrews Air Force Base on Sept. 22 for his visit to the United States. John Boehner will also meet one-on-one with Francis at the Capitol.
- The House Benghazi panel summoned the State Department IT guy who set up Hillary Clinton‘s homebrew e-mail server to appear before the committee, even though he has said he will plead the Fifth. The decision to require an in-person appearance by Bryan Pagliano prompted a stern letter from his lawyer, who accused the panel and its chairman, Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-S.C.), of engaging in political theater and abusing its subpoena power. (Carol D. Leonnig)
- Both vice chairs of the Democratic National Committee, Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (Hawaii) and former Minneapolis Mayor R.T. Rybak, called for more Democratic presidential debates, echoing Martin O’Malley.
- The New York Times floats John Kerry in today’s paper as someone being “discussed among party officials … as an alternative” to Hillary. That is not going to happen, but it’s a reflection of the increasing unease with the frontrunner. The current Secretary of State is mentioned alongside Al Gore, Joe Biden and Elizabeth Warren.
- North Dakota Democratic Sen. Heidi Heitkamp announced that she will NOT run for governor next year, a huge break for Senate Democrats who worried about losing the red-state seat. (Fargo Forum)
The Right is giving Boehner more headaches — “GOP (leadership) tries to avert shutdown as right spoils for Planned Parenthood fight,” by Paul Kane and Kelsey Snell: “Boehner (R-Ohio) said Wednesday that there was ‘widespread support’ among House Republicans to approve a stopgap bill well into the fall to allow for more time to negotiate final budget numbers with President Obama. But, he acknowledged, GOP leaders have not decided how to handle the large demand for language in the funding plan that would strip Planned Parenthood of the small amount of federal funds it receives each year. The situation is complicated, however, by Boehner’s enemies, an emboldened conservative bloc which now boasts the signature of 31 Republicans on a letter pledging to oppose any spending measure that continues federal funding for Planned Parenthood. Rep. Mick Mulvaney (R-S.C.) suggested that congressional GOP leaders were not willing to fight hard enough. ‘We’re setting up for surrender,’ Mulvaney said Wednesday at a gathering of House conservatives. ‘Leadership is going to have to choose: Do they want it to be a talking point, or do they want to actually do something about it?'”
SNAFU shows congressional Republicans in disarray — “GOP’s populist revolt arrives at Capitol, complicating Iran debate,” by Mike DeBonis and Katie Zezima: “Shortly before noon, House Republican leaders canceled the scheduled procedural vote [on Iran] as a concession to conservatives and called a late-afternoon caucus meeting to discuss a path forward. Members emerged agreeing on a new plan to vote on a trio of measures designed to register disapproval with the president: a resolution indicating that Obama did not meet his obligations to send all relevant negotiating documents to Congress; a bill blocking Obama from lifting sanctions against Iran; and a separate measure approving of the deal, which is expected to fail. With Democrats poised to block any Senate action, the change in tactics is unlikely to have any practical effect on the implementation of the nuclear deal. But several House members leaving the closed-door session said the process will allow them to vote against Obama’s foreign policy in Iran and establish grounds to later sue the White House [for] illegally negotiated the deal.”
The Narrative: HILLARY THE HAWK — “In a break with Obama, Clinton lays out tougher worldview,” by Anne Gearan: “Again and again [during her appearance at the Brookings Institution], Clinton pointed to instances overseas where she would have taken a tougher stance than Obama, from arming Syrian rebels to confronting an expansionist Russia. In some cases, she was talking about policy debates she lost while serving as Obama’s first-term secretary of state, or about advice she suggested was not heeded. … The critique, delivered as part of a Washington speech focused on the Iran nuclear deal, was in many respects subtle — wrapped inside overall praise for Obama and never targeting him directly. But the differences were nonetheless striking for a candidate who has worked carefully to soften her hawkish national security reputation and who badly needs Obama’s liberal coalition of voters to gain the White House.”
Being the GOP frontrunner brings scrutiny — “The time Donald Trump’s empire took on a stubborn widow, and lost,” by Manuel Roig-Franzia: “The tale of Trump and the widow who wouldn’t sell arcs across the panorama of Atlantic City’s recent ups and downs. Coking and her husband bought the white, three-story house at 127 Columbia Pl. in 1961, long before the area was transformed by mega-casinos. She raised her children there. For a time, she operated it as a boarding house. For Coking, it was a place worth fighting over. And fight she did…In Coking’s telling, Trump first tried to charm her, then tried to stomp her.”
SOCIAL MEDIA SPEED READ:
–Pictures of the day:
Ted Cruz and Donald Trump hugged at their Capitol Hill rally against the Iran nuclear deal:
Boehner released the official photo of the 114th Congress:
–Tweets of the day:
Sarah Palin said President Obama “still hasn’t called off the dogs,” referring to Black Lives Matter protesters. The comment incensed the movement and other liberal activists:
Sarah Palin just called #BlackLivesMatter protestors “dogs.” Have video.
— Jesse Berney (@jesseberney) September 9, 2015
The dehumanization of our movement is fully underway. Now we are animals. https://t.co/04egC6V9Ie
— Shaun King (@ShaunKing) September 9, 2015
Rep. Mark Meadows (R-N.C.), the agitator behind a movement to oust Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio), spoke at the Trump-Cruz Iran deal rally:
Also spotted at the rally: Duck Dynasty’s Phil Robertson:
On the House side, Rep. Peter DeFazio (D-Ore.) spent the afternoon fighting “patent trolls” (of course, one man’s troll is another’s innovator…):
–Instagrams of the day:
Rep. Xavier Becerra (D-Calif.) wished Stephen Colbert a good first week on The Late Show:
Chris Christie attended a New Hampshire barbecue hosted by former Sen. Scott Brown at his home in Rye:
GOOD READS FROM ELSEWHERE:
— New York Magazine, “Sheldon Adelson is ready to buy the presidency. He just hasn’t decided which Republican candidate to back. Care to make a pitch?” by Jason Zengerle: “In his office at the Venetian Hotel, accessed via an inconspicuous elevator just off the casino floor, Adelson receives a steady stream of presidential hopefuls…And when the candidates aren’t physically visiting Adelson, they’re keeping close to him in other ways. Marco Rubio reportedly phones Adelson every other week. ‘Hey, did you see this speech? Did you see my floor statement on Iran? What do you think I should do about this issue?’ says one person close to Adelson. ‘It’s impressive. Rubio is persistent.’ Lindsey Graham is said to call almost as often. When Scott Walker took his first trip to Israel, in May, he did so aboard one of Adelson’s airplanes. Adelson loves the attention, but with such a crowded 2016 field, even he occasionally gets worn out. After Ben Carson paid him a visit in Las Vegas earlier this year, Adelson complained to a friend, ‘There are too many candidates!'”
— New York Times, “Justice Department sets sights on Wall Street executives,” by Matt Apuzzo and Ben Protess: “Stung by years of criticism that it has coddled Wall Street criminals, the Justice Department issued new policies on Wednesday that prioritize the prosecution of individual employees — not just their companies — and put pressure on corporations to turn over evidence against their executives…The new rules, issued in a memo to federal prosecutors nationwide, represent the first major policy announcement by Attorney General Loretta E. Lynch since she took office in April…In settlement negotiations, companies will not be able to obtain credit for cooperating with the government unless they identify employees and turn over evidence against them.”
— Boston Globe, “In swing states, Clinton may face gender bias,” by Annie Linskey: “Should Clinton be the Democratic nominee, her path to the White House goes directly through a cluster of bellwether states that have zero history electing a woman to the Senate or putting one in the governor’s mansion. In addition to Ohio, women haven’t been picked for the top slots in Colorado, Nevada, Pennsylvania, or Virginia…So even while the historic nature of Clinton’s candidacy is helping to buoy her chances in the primary contest by exciting the Democratic base, if Clinton wants to win the general election she’ll have to overcome obstacles that male candidates do not face. Winning-while-female means being both likable and strong, in touch with the common people and highly qualified. It also means living up to higher standards of ethical behavior than male candidates — the subject of Clinton’s most recent troubles.”
— Rolling Stone, “Trump Seriously: On the trail with the GOP’s tough guy,” by Paul Solotaroff: “Over the course of 10 days and several close-in encounters, I got to peer behind the scrim of his bluster and self-mythos and get a very good look at the man. What I saw was enough to make me take him dead serious. If you’re waiting for Trump to blow himself up in a Hindenburg of gaffes or hate speech, you’re in for a long, cold fall and winter. Donald Trump is here for the duration — and gaining strength and traction by the hour…As we stand there, hundreds of feet above New York, gazing on the Lilliputian tourists, it occurs to me to wonder: How on Earth, from this vantage, did Trump see into the hearts of underemployed white folk?…’I’m owned by the people!’ Trump says. ‘I mean, I’m telling you, I’m no angel, but I’m gonna do right by them!’ But the answer to my question is ringing in the air — specifically, in the echo of Trump’s accent. He was raised around lunch-pail guys in Queens and learned to talk like them trailing his father to building sites. He shares the syntax and sympathies of meat-and-potatoes types, and has crafted his message for their ears expressly, calling out the enemies on their list.”
HOT ON THE LEFT
Black ex-tennis star tackled by white NYPD cops. From the New York Daily News: “Retired black tennis star James Blake, in an NYPD double-fault, was slammed to a Manhattan sidewalk and handcuffed by a white cop in a brutal case of mistaken identity. The 35-year-old Blake, once ranked No. 4 in the world, suffered a cut to his left elbow and bruises to his left leg as five cops eventually held him for 15 minutes Wednesday outside the Grand Hyatt Hotel … The tennis great said he would like an apology from the department.”
HOT ON THE RIGHT
Meet Candy Carson, the ‘anti-Michelle Obama.’ From Michelle Malkin: “After nearly eight years of the East Wing’s politics of mope and complain, it’s refreshing to see a presidential candidate’s spouse who is always smiling. Candy Carson — wife of GOP 2016 hopeful Dr. Ben Carson, mother of three sons, and grandmother of two — is the anti-Michelle Obama. She’s a quiet but confident ray of sunshine: down-to-earth, devoutly Christian and proudly patriotic.”
— What’s happening today on the campaign trail: Hillary Clinton campaigns in Milwaukee and Columbus. Clinton also appears in a pre-taped episode of “The Ellen DeGeneres Show.” Donald Trump calls in to “The View.” Jeb Bush holds a town hall in Salem, N.H., and attends a tax policy event in Exeter. Scott Walker speaks at Eureka College in Illinois (Ronald Reagan’s Alma Mater). Ben Carson campaigns in Conroe, Texas, and Mike Huckabee holds a media availability in Conway, Ark. Bobby Jindal will criticize Trump during a morning speech at the National Press Club.
— On the Hill: The House hopes to start debate on the Iran deal and complete votes on Friday. The Senate reconvenes at 9:30 a.m. to resume consideration of the legislative vehicle for disapproval of the proposed Iran nuclear deal. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said he is “optimistic” the Senate will proceed with a procedural vote on the deal Thursday.
— At the White House: President Obama meets with veterans to discuss the Iran nuclear deal, participates in a conference call with rabbis for Rosh Hashanah and awards the 2014 National Medal of Arts and the National Humanities Medal. In New York City, Vice President Biden participates in events on the backlog of sexual assault kits and raising the minimum wage. In the evening, he will tape his interview for “The Late Show with Stephen Colbert.” We’re not sure whether to put Biden in the White House or campaign trail section…
QUOTE OF THE DAY: “I don’t admire very much about Mr. Putin, but the idea you can stand up and say ‘I will be your next president?’ That has a certain, you know, attraction to it,” Hillary Clinton joked at the Brookings Institution after her speech supporting the Iran deal.
NEWS YOU CAN USE IF YOU LIVE IN D.C.:
— “While showers are possible most any time, it is likely that the morning remains just cloudy. A few breaks in the clouds may allow highs to still sneak above 80 which might actually help kick up the thunderstorm potential in the afternoon,” the Capital Weather Gang forecasts.
— The Nationals got SWEPT by the New York Mets, finishing a three-game series with a humiliating 5-3 defeat and putting playoff hopes that much further out of reach. Matt Williams made the perplexing decision in the eighth inning to pull Stephen Strasburg for Drew Storen, who then blew the game. Thomas Boswell says they need a “stronger spine.”
— Several people got sick and were hospitalized with salmonella-like symptoms after apparently dining or drinking at Fig&Olive, the posh new eatery in City Center. (Prior to this, there’s already been buzz around town about folks getting bad service.)
VIDEOS OF THE DAY:
Hillary Clinton released a new campaign ad, titled “Stretched”:
The White House posted a celebrity-filled video promoting President Obama’s new community college plan:
Finally, here’s the gif of an aide to Mike Huckabee blocking Ted Cruz’s way in Kentucky on Tuesday: