— No more shock and awe, Jeb Bush has become just another guy in a crowded field of presidential aspirants. The former Florida governor spent 86 percent of the money he collected over the past three months, burning through $11.5 million of the $13.4 million that he raised. “He should have (raised) at least $25 million,” a major Republican fundraiser told Matea Gold and Philip Rucker.

Jeb’s third quarter report, filed hours before last night’s deadline, showed Bush with less cash on hand right now than Ted Cruz, Marco Rubio and Ben Carson. The struggling campaign has slashed staff salaries and tried to cut costs in other ways, including requiring the use of cheaper hotels.

Jeb’s haul is still a lot of money, for sure, but it is a staggeringly underwhelming figure for the son and brother of former presidents, both of whom hosted multiple events to shake the family network’s money tree. “Some donors are really nervous,” another top Bush fundraiser told Matea and Phil.

Despite tons of pro-Bush ads airing in the early states, and Jeb’s aggressive schedule, his numbers are lingering and languishing in the single digits. The campaign chalks up its high burn rate to building an infrastructure that can win over the long haul, but insiders fear Jeb is overly dependent on his super PAC. The big open question is whether establishment Republicans are nervous enough to start thinking about throwing their weight behind another candidate or whether they will stick with Jeb in the long-term out of loyalty to the Bush dynasty.

— Bigger picture, the summer was a terrible time to be an establishment Republican trying to dial for dollars.

John Kasich could only muster $4.4 million. It was his first quarter as a candidate, when you’re supposed to be able to grab the low-hanging fruit by hitting up your friends. Kasich, after all, is in his second term as Ohio governor, spent time as a financial services executive and served two decades in Congress. To his credit, Kasich’s burn rate was only 40 percent.

Chris Christie’s money machine is a shadow of its former self. The New Jersey governor raised an even smaller $4.2 million in what was also his first quarter as a candidate. He spent $2.8 million and has $1.4 million in cash on hand, a 67 percent burn rate. A Rutgers-Eagleton poll released yesterday found that Christie is only getting 5 percent among Republicans in his home state. The Bergen Record notes that Christie scored 12 percent in August. Overall, 67 percent of registered voters in his state think Christie should drop out of the race.

Bobby Jindal, who like Christie previously chaired the Republican Governors Association, could only collect $579,000. He has barely a quarter of a million bucks in his coffers — not a good sign with the Iowa caucuses three months away.

— Meanwhile, outsider candidates are faring surprisingly well in the money chase. Compared to the guys above, it’s truly amazing that candidates who have never held elected office – and others like Ted Cruz, who openly bucks the establishment – have been able to bring in so much.

Ben Carson raised $20 million, the most of any GOP candidate. Last night, his report showed that he’s received money from 402,000 individual donors. (Although, in fairness, he spent a whopping $11 million on fundraising expenses.)

Carly Fiorina raised $6.8 million during the 3rd quarter, seeing spikes in donations after her two strong debate performances. She spent just $2.2 million, a 34 percent burn rate. Fiorina has $5.5 million in cash on hand and only 16 paid staffers.

Even Donald Trump, who is not actively fundraising, raised $3.8 million in unsolicited contributions in Q3. His campaign said the average gift was about $50, and 71 percent of the money came from donors giving less than $200.

— Democrats are outpacing Republicans when it comes to individual contributions. Five Democratic candidates reported raising $120 million this year to their campaign committees, while 15 GOP candidates pulled in $141 million total. Hillary said that nearly 400,000 supporters have given her money, up from 250,000 in the first quarter. Bernie Sanders got money from 650,000 supporters. “While GOP candidates put an intense focus early in the year on raising huge sums for independent groups, many have had less success in attracting smaller donations that are the lifeblood of campaign operations,” Matea and Phil note in the Post’s main fundraising story.

Martin O’Malley is the exception. He was outraised again by several Democratic candidates for CONGRESS. The two-term Maryland governor, and a former chairman of the Democratic Governors Association, could only muster a paltry $1.3 million, and his campaign did not even announce its cash on hand. For context: Rep. Chris Van Hollen (D), running for Sen. Barbara Mikulski’s (D) seat in the same state, brought in $950,000. Kamala Harris, running for an open Senate seat in California, raised $1.8 million. Illinois Democratic Senate candidate Tammy Duckworth, who faces a competitive primary to take on a GOP incumbent, raised $1.46 million.

— Finally, here are three other nuggets from the FEC filings:

Martin Shkreli, the Turing Pharmaceutical Company CEO who raised the price of a life-saving drug by 4,000 percent and became public villain #1, maxed out to Bernie Sanders’ campaign in September in the hopes that he could get a sit-down with the senator. David Nather, writing for a new site called Stat in the Boston Globe, said the Sanders’ campaign will donate his $2,700 contribution to the Whitman-Walker health clinic in Washington. “We are not keeping the money from this poster boy for drug company greed,” a spokesman said.

Rand Paul clinging to his presidential dreams. The Paul campaign spent more last quarter than it raised, bringing in $2.5 million and spending $4.5 million. They’ve only got $2.1 million left. The FEC filing shows Paul moved another $57,000 this past quarter from his Senate reelection fund to his presidential campaign, bringing the total transferred to $1.6 million so far. Federal law only allows one-way transfers. A Paul adviser says that saying the campaign transferred funds is an oversimplistic reading of the FEC report. Paul has a joint fundraising account that lets him raise money for both his presidential and Senate campaigns, called “Rand Paul Victory.” The money transferred from that fund was the presidential campaign’s share of joint events or donations. The Kentucky senator has insisted that he’s not dropping out of the presidential contest anytime soon, even though he continues to seek reelection in the Bluegrass State.

Scott Walker’s eye-popping spending helped doom his bid: The Wisconsin governor burned through $1.9 million on payroll and $1.1 million on direct mail during the brief period he was a declared candidate. Walker dropped out with at least $1 million in debt, per the Wall Street Journal. The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel highlights some hard-to-justify numbers: “The governor’s campaign manager made more than $50,000 for 71 days of work, while Walker’s sons, Matt and Alex, drew nearly $10,000 in salary between them over those 10 weeks.” Several staffers were poised to make more than $200K a year, including the political director and communications director. See who got paid what here.


Donald Trump said this morning that CNBC has caved after he threatened to boycott their debate, assuring him that it will run two hours, including commercial breaks. The Republican frontrunner was angry about the length of the CNN debate last month.

The Justice Department charged a hacker from Kosovo, who we captured in Malaysia, with stealing the personal data of U.S. service members and passing it to the Islamic State, which then used it to urge online supporters to attack them, Ellen Nakashima reports. It’s the first time a suspect has been charged for cyberterrorism and hacking. The case is particularly alarming because it is at the intersection of two of our biggest vulnerabilities: cyber and terror.

— The Democratic National Committee is in disarray, and internal turmoil is boiling over: A top Democratic official unleashed yesterday on DNC Chair Debbie Wasserman-Schultz in an unusually fierce and public way. Vice Chair R.T. Ryback, the former Minneapolis mayor, accused DWS of making “flat out untrue” statements and questioned her qualifications for the party’s top job in an interview with the New York Times. The spat started over DWS’s insistence on one Democratic presidential debate, despite pushback from some candidates and another DNC Vice Chair, Hawaii Rep. Tulsi Gabbard. Ryback and Gabbard say they weren’t consulted about the debate schedule, something the chair denies. After an Oct. 5 MSNBC appearance calling for more debates, Gabbard said the DNC chief of staff disinvited her from the Las Vegas face-off.

“This is becoming about much more than debates,” Ryback told Maggie Haberman, adding that DWS is “creating self-made dramas.” He added: “It is becoming increasingly clear that the chair doesn’t have the political skills — or more likely, want to execute the skills — to make this party a big tent. I blame myself for trying to stuff it, and trying to make things work when it’s clear we have a problem. I am seriously questioning whether she has the capacity to do what has to be done.”

— Joe Biden sending fresh signals that he’s moving toward a run. His inner circle is moving to quiet talk that his window of opportunity to get in the presidential race has closed after Hillary won this week’s debate. Former Delaware senator Ted Kaufman sent an e-mail yesterday to Biden’s political support network to say that a campaign by the vice president would be “optimistic,” “from the heart” and “unscripted”: “If he runs, he will run because of his burning conviction that we need to fundamentally change the balance in our economy and the political structure to restore the ability of the middle class to get ahead.”

“Kaufman’s words are arguably less significant than the author behind them,” The Post’s Dan Balz and Paul Kane, who obtained the letter, explain. “Kaufman has been frequently portrayed as the most reluctant of the trio of inner-circle aides to the vice president to launch a bid and is known to be angry at the frequent portrayals of Biden as being on the brink of announcing his candidacy. Any note from him to the alumni network is treated with more credulity than any leak to the national press corps.”

“According to those tracking the vice president’s deliberations, a decision could come at any time, although the only certain timetable is the one set by the deadlines for qualifying for the primary and caucus ballots around the country. Those deadlines began to take effect at the end of the month.

Great historical anecdote to deploy in conversation at cocktail parties this weekend: “Some of those partial to Biden have seized on a little-remembered fact from 1992 to offer hope that early defeats need not drive a candidate out of the nomination contest. In that campaign, Bill Clinton lost 10 of the first 11 contests, from early February through the first days of March. He then secured a string of victories in western and southern caucuses and primaries, followed by wins in Illinois and Michigan that effectively broke the back of his opponents.”

— Don’t mess with Iowa or screw around with Chuck Grassley: The administration is reversing course and plans to start serving pork in prisons again. On Oct. 1, federal prisons stopped serving pork to inmates. This has been quite a scandal on the right, presented as the government kowtowing to Muslims. But it’s been an even bigger deal for pork producers, who fear the loss of 106,000 inmate-customers. Chuck Grassley, the senior senator from Iowa, is chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, which oversees the federal prison system. After he made clear there would be consequences to the agency, The Bureau of Prisons tells The Post’s Lisa Rein that they will back off. Pork roast will immediately be back on the prison bill of fare.

— The Jeb vs. Marco feud is going to get a lot nastier, especially if Bush continues to sink. Jeb Bush Jr. said last night that Rubio should stop skipping Senate votes or drop out of the presidential race. “As a Floridian, I’m a little disappointed, because he’s missing, like, 35 percent of his votes,” the candidate’s son told College Republicans at NYU, per Politico Florida. “And it’s just, kind of, like, dude, you know, either drop out or do something, but we’re paying you to do something. And it ain’t run for president.” He also slammed Rubio for not having a campaign office in Florida.

Around the same time, within five minutes of the Bush team putting out their numbers, the Rubio campaign sent a press release noting that they had slightly more cash on hand despite being massively outraised. That prompted Bush campaign staffers to tweak Rubio on Twitter. Bush campaign officials also stressed that their cash on hand only includes $270,000 in general election money, while Rubio’s includes $1.2 million. So if you just look at primary money, they noted, they have more money available to spend than Rubio.

It was an arcane, in-the-weeds fight over something that not a single real voter cares about, but it highlighted the intensifying internecine warfare between the Florida Republicans. In recent days, Jeb himself has said Rubio followed his lead in Tallahassee and slammed him for voting against the use of military force in Syria back when it might have prevented the Russians from joining the conflict.


  1. The Mets ended the Dodgers’ season, winning 3-2 in Game 5. New York now faces the Cubs in NL Championship Series, starting Saturday.
  2. Tens of millions of seniors will see no annual cost-of-living adjustment in their Social Security checks in 2016 for just the third time in 40 years. This also flattens benefit payments for retired federal workers and service members. (Lisa Rein)
  3. For the first time in decades, Adolf Hitler’s “Mein Kampf” is about to go back on sale in German bookstores. (NBC)
  4. “The man charged with leading the 2012 attacks in Benghazi, Libya, that killed four Americans is expected to make his first U.S. court appearance since January when a federal judge on Friday hears his challenge to the constitutionality of his seizure and interrogation by U.S. forces,” Spencer S. Hsu reports.
  5. The final US Airways flight is scheduled for today before the merger with American is finalized tomorrow.
  6. Illinois will give IOUs to any state lottery winner who wins more than $600 until a state budget stalemate is resolved. (USA Today)
  7. The Washington Post has pulled even with the New York Times in online readership. (Washingtonian)
  8. Fossils for duck-billed mini-dinosaurs, who could have looked a lot like the Ducky character in the 1988 animated film “The Land Before Time,” were uncovered in Mongolia. (CBS)
  9. A 31-year-old doctor and reporter with ABC News’ medical unit, Jamie Zimmerman, drowned while on vacation in Hawaii. (Honolulu Star Advertiser)


  1. Jeb Bush made $8.3 million in adjusted gross income in 2014, about $1 million more than he received the previous year, according to a 2014 tax return that the campaign sent out at the same time as its fundraising numbers to minimize press coverage. They included positive-looking medical records in the dump too. (Tom Hamburger)
  2. Hillary, pushing for stricter gun control in Texas yesterday, suggested that she would “look really hard” at HUD Secretary Julian Castro as a potential running mate and for “anything” else. (Reuters)
  3. Lamar Odom remains on life support and in a coma in a Las Vegas hospital, but ESPN reports that the former basketball star has “continued to make small progress over the past 24 hours.” It’s unclear how much brain damage he suffered in the hours before he was found unconscious in a brothel, where he reportedly spent $75,000.
  4. Dennis Hastert has reached a tentative plea deal with federal prosecutors. Neither side would say what charges the former Speaker is copping to nor what amount of prison time is involved. We’ll find out on Oct. 28. The deal may mean that details of the past misdeeds he was allegedly trying to cover up will never be aired in open court, Mike DeBonis notes.
  5. John Kasich, laying out a plan to balance the budget within eight years, mainly proposed fresh tax cuts: lowering the top individual rate to 28 percent, the corporate rate to 25 percent and the long-term capital-gains rate to 15 percent. (Bloomberg)
  6. Bobby Jindal called on Senate Republicans to use the nuclear option to end the filibuster. ( op-edErick Erickson responded that, if you’re a conservative, this is a terrible idea.)
  7. Ted Cruz, playing as hard as anyone for evangelicals, is organizing a huge rally at Bob Jones University in South Carolina on Nov. 14.
  8. Paul Ryan would become the youngest House Speaker (45) since Maine Republican James Blaine in 1869 if he runs. Blaine would go on to win the GOP presidential nomination in 1884 but narrowly lose the general to Grover Cleveland. (Smart Politics)


He claimed to be ex-CIA and was quoted as an expert on Fox News. Prosecutors say it was a lie,” by Matt Zapotosky: “Wayne Simmons claimed to be something of an American James Bond, and if you watched TV or ran his name through Google, you’d have no reason to doubt him. In his public speaking engagements and frequent appearances on Fox News, the purported former CIA operative spoke authoritatively about terrorism and clandestine intelligence operations, which he claimed he helped run for nearly three decades … But according to federal prosecutors, his claims of a 27-year career with the CIA were lies, and it was only by repeating such falsehoods that Simmons was able to briefly get actual security clearances and real government contracting work in more recent years. On Thursday, federal authorities arrested Simmons and charged him with making false statements, major fraud against the United States and wire fraud.”

Visit by South Korean president to Washington highlights Obama’s foreign policy challenge in Asia,” by David Nakamura: “It was a stark and, to some observers, jarring image: Park Geun-hye, the democratically elected president of South Korea, standing shoulder to shoulder with the authoritarian leaders of China and Russia at a lavish military parade in Beijing last month … The Obama administration’s strategic rebalancing of U.S. foreign policy toward Asia is aimed at establishing new partnerships and drawing allies closer as a hedge against China’s growing influence. And though the White House has offered no public criticism of Park’s decision, her broader efforts to deepen ties between Seoul and Beijing is expected to be at issue when President Obama welcomes her for a summit meeting Friday.”

— “White House projects marginal ACA enrollment growth in 2016,” by Amy Goldstein: “The Obama administration is predicting a meager increase next year in the number of Americans with private insurance through the Affordable Care Act — a forecast, far below previous government estimates, that signals the obstacles to attracting people who remain uninsured. Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia Mathews Burwell announced Thursday that an expected 10 million Americans will be covered by late 2016 on the federal and state insurance exchanges created under the law. That figure is just half the most recent forecast by congressional budget analysts, who have long expected 2016 to usher in the biggest surge in enrollment.” That’s up from the 9.1 million Americans who are expected to have plans on the exchanges by the end of 2015.


— ZIGNAL VISUAL: The word cloud of Jeb mentions is a muddle, but the five most retweeted Bush-related tweets from Thursday capture another bad news cycle.

— Pictures of the day:

A Hillary Clinton supporter took fandom to a whole new level:

Clinton got a kick out of it:

Donald Trump signed his tax return, all 7+ stacks of it:

Rep. Jim Himes (D-Conn.) celebrated LGBT youth on Spirit Day, along with his dog, “Bella the Fab Lab”:

–Tweets of the day:

DSCC Chairman Jon Tester weighed in on the Speaker fight in the lower chamber:

Carly Fiorina’s deputy campaign manager slammed Trump and Carson for threatening to boycott the next GOP debate:

Sen. Cory Booker (D-N.J.) reminisced on his time at Stanford for Throwback Thursday. (By the way, the #15 Cardinal obliterated #18 UCLA last night, 56-35!):

Sen. Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) ran into trouble in the Halloween department:

–Instagrams of the day:

Rep. Jared Polis (D-Colo.) fed his daughter Cora her first HEMP BAR (You read that right. She’s 16 months old!):

Trying to present himself as thrifty, Marco Rubio posted a picture of himself on a late Amtrak train to Philadelphia. “Though Rubio was more modest with his spending than Bush, he wasn’t completely frugal,” Marc Caputo points out in Politico. “He spent about $271,000 on private jet flights (during the last three months) — including one from Koch Industries Aviation, owned by the billionaire conservative financier Koch brothers.” Funny that there are no pictures of that trip on Instagram! To be fair, Jeb spent $922,289 on charter airplane flights during the quarter.

Sen. Tim Scott (R-S.C.) tweeted a photo of Palmetto State scenery —  Lake Jocassee in Devils Fork State Park:


— The Intercept, “The Drone Papers,” by Jeremy Scahill: An intelligence community source involved in the covert operations aimed at killing suspected terrorists revealed details and detailed slides on the extremely sensitive program to the news organization, founded by Scahill, Glenn Greenwald and Laura Poitras, who were heavily involved in surfacing the leaks from Edward Snowden. The eight-part series is posted on The Intercept, and excerpted on The Huffington Post, which emphasizes that the new trove of data is not part of the original Snowden “cache.” Huffpo media reporter Michael Calderone says military officials always suspected a “second leaker” apart from Snowden, but “it’s not clear whether this individual — or someone else entirely — served as the source” for this new series. A Pentagon spokesperson said they don’t comment on classified information.

Some key nuggets from the first part of the series, as reported by HuffPo:

–“Taken together, the secret documents lead to the conclusion that Washington’s 14-year high-value targeting campaign suffers from an over reliance on signals intelligence, an apparently incalculable civilian toll, and — due to a preference for assassination rather than capture — an inability to extract potentially valuable intelligence from terror suspects.”

— “When someone was destined for the kill list, intelligence analysts created a portrait of a suspect and the threat that person posed, pulling it together ‘in a condensed format known as a ‘baseball card.’” That information was then bundled with operational information and packaged in a ‘target information folder’ to be ‘staffed up to higher echelons’ for action. On average, it took 58 days for the president to sign off on a target, one slide indicates. At that point, U.S. forces had 60 days to carry out the strike.”

— There are often bigger-than-admitted civilian casualties from drone campaigns: “Documents detailing a special operations campaign in northeastern Afghanistan, Operation Haymaker, show that between January 2012 and February 2013, U.S. special operations airstrikes killed more than 200 people. Of those, only 35 were the intended targets.”

— Politico, “Conservatives sharpen knives over Ryan’s immigration past,” by Seung Min Kim: “Ryan’s adversaries on the far right want to discredit his campaign [for House speaker] before it even begins – and they’re using Ryan’s extensive pro-immigration record as their key weapon. From his days battling a restrictive California immigration ballot measure in the early 1990s to his quiet efforts the last two years to help build GOP consensus for immigration reform, Ryan has a lengthy history of pushing for an overhaul that runs counter to the most conservative wings of his own party. There will be a ‘major intraparty battle over immigration if Paul comes forward,’ predicted Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa), a well-known immigration hardliner, in an interview this week. ‘And a majority of the conference is on my side of this argument.'”

— New York Times, “Street artists infiltrate ‘Homeland’ with subversive graffiti,” by Dan Bilefsky and Mona Boshnaq: “In a recent episode of Showtime’s hit series ‘Homeland,’ the former C.I.A. officer Carrie Mathison is escorted by a Hezbollah militant past a wall in a fictional Syrian refugee camp covered with Arabic graffiti. Attentive viewers who read Arabic, however, might have noticed something awry. Among the messages spray-painted on the walls: “‘Homeland’ is racist,” “There is no ‘Homeland’ ” and “‘Homeland’ is not a show.” The subversive messages seemingly escaped the notice of the producers of the television series. On Wednesday, an Egyptian artist, Heba Y. Amin, and two other artists, Caram Kapp and Stone, took credit for the graffiti, saying it was a subtle protest of false and misleading stereotypes in the series, which has been heavily criticized for its portrayals of Muslims.”

In a statement to Entertainment Weekly, show co-creator Alex Gansa was good-natured about the act, saying: “As Homeland always strives to be subversive in its own right and a stimulus for conversation, we can’t help but admire this act of artistic sabotage.”


Amy Schumer steers clear of jokes about race in new HBO special. From Salon: “Schumer is in the middle of a rebranding project. Whether or not she really is racist, great pains are being taken to ensure that she no longer looks quite so clueless about racial issues. The HBO special is not just at the Apollo; it’s directed by Chris Rock …  The stand-up material is very good, and notably steers very clear of race-inflected humor, except when she ribs the mostly white audience for braving Harlem just for her show.”


New York Times staffer tweets ‘F–k you Jeb Bush.’ From Talking Points Memo: “A New York Times staffer tweeted ‘F–k you Jeb Bush’ and then quickly deleted it on Wednesday after the Republican presidential contender discussed his plan to tackle poverty. Philip Richardson, a news assistant at the Times, tweeted ‘F–k you Jeb Bush for telling poor people they need stronger families to not be poor. Poverty weakens families,’ after Bush spoke at a New Hampshire town hall Wednesday night.” A Times spokeswoman called the tweet “completely inappropriate” and stressed that Richardson does clerical work for the photo desk and does not work on politics coverage.


— What’s happening today on the campaign trail: Hillary Clinton campaigns in Atlanta. Much of the Republican field starts convening at a conference of the Council for National Policy in Tyson’s Corner, Va. Donald Trump, Rand Paul, Ben Carson, Rick Santorum, Lindsey Graham and Jim Gilmore are expected to attend. Mike Huckabee speaks in Manchester and Rye, New Hampshire. Also in N.H., Martin O’Malley makes stops in Manchester, Concord, Hanover and Plymouth. George Pataki is in Windham and Manchester. In Iowa, Carly Fiorina greets voters in Pleasant Hill and Grinnell. 

–On the Hill: Congress is in recess. Investigators from the House Benghazi Committee will interview Clinton aide Huma Abedin.

–At the White House: President Obama holds a bilateral meeting, working lunch and press conference with Korean President Park Geun-hye. 


“Karl Rove characterized the different people in the debate and he called me Mr. Angry,” Jim Webb said at the Council on Foreign Relations yesterday. “I’m going to be very frank. It was rigged in terms of who was going to get the time on the floor by the way that Anderson Cooper was selecting people to supposedly respond to something someone else said. I even turned around to Bernie Sanders at one point and said, ‘Bernie, say my name, will you? Say my name!’ In that kind of an environment,, I was either going to be Mr. Angry or I was going to be a potted plant. That was the only way to try to get into the conversation.”


COLD WEATHER ON THE WAY: “Chilly autumn reinforcements are arriving from Canada for the weekend. Ahead of today’s cold front passage, we experience somewhat warm conditions but that’s it for a while. We remain cool to cold at times into early next week—especially at night, when some of the first frost threatens to the north and west of town,” the Capital Weather Gang reports.

The Washington Capitals beat the Chicago Blackhawks, 4-1.

The Redskins may be hobbled by injuries in their Sunday game against the New York Jets. “Wide receiver DeSean Jackson suffered an apparent setback during practice and two key offensive linemen — left tackle Trent Williams and center Kory Lichtensteiger —  were unable to practice at all” yesterday.

Jeb Bush uses his stump speech to propose that the Washington Redskins change their name to the Northern Virginia Redskins. “I think ‘Washington’ is the pejorative term, not the ‘Redskins,’” he quips.

The National Gallery of Art added 1,541 works to its collection from the Corcoran, bringing the total transferred from that museum to 8,000.

— Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-Md.) would become the immediate front-runner if he entered the race to succeed retiring U.S. Sen. Barbara Mikulski, holding a double-digit lead over Democratic primary contenders Rep. Donna Edwards and Rep. Chris Van Hollen, according to a new Washington Post-University of Maryland poll. “Cummings has the support of 33 percent of Democrats and Democratic-leaning independents, compared to 20 percent each for Edwards and Van Hollen. Should Cummings decide not to run, it will be good news for Edwards, the Post-U.Md. poll found. In a two-way race, Edwards leads Van Hollen, 38 percent to 28 percent,” per Bill Turque and Scott Clement.


Bernie Sanders appeared on “The Ellen Show” (if you watch to the end, you’ll see a super awkward high five):

Sanders came on stage dancing to “Disco Inferno.” Watch here.

Ann Romney swings a lightsaber and knits a “Kanye 2020” sweater while talking about how to be an awesome grandma:

You’ll love this if you’re from Chicago and pumped for Game One against the Mets tomorrow (or if you’re a Nats fan who does not want the Mets to make it to the World Series). Watch a video of the fans at Wrigley Field singing “Go Cubs go” after the team clinched their first postseason series at home for the first time ever. It was recorded from an apartment tower a mile away. See it here.

See images of the National Zoo’s new panda, Bei Bei, opening his eyes for the first time here.