If you’re reading this around the time it’s sent — at close-of-business time Friday, on a holiday weekend — then you’re probably someone who’s savvy enough about political news to know that we are entering prime news dump hours. For any lawmaker, candidate or official looking to bury some inconvenient headline, now may be the last, best moment to do that until Independence Day. Which means the hours that most Americans are officially transitioning to summer mode are among the most stressful for any reporter.
While we wait for the other hed to drop, here’s a brief rundown of some of the pre-news dump news today:
A DREAM DEFERRED:
This afternoon — after Bernie Sanders’s campaign capped off two days of tweets and press releases and interviews with a statement that he was “prepared to accept” either of the network debate proposals for a Trump-Sanders faceoff — the Trump campaign quickly released a statement of their own putting a kibosh on the whole idea: it would be “inappropriate,” said Trump, for a primary season winner to debate the other party’s runner-up.
As some Sanders supporters pause to mourn what might have been, a reminder: every minute anyone, anywhere spent thinking or talking about this debate that was never going to happen was a minute they did not spend thinking or talking about this week’s Clinton email report. There are times when a candidate wants the spotlight to fall on their opponent, and for Donald Trump, the latter half of this week was almost certainly one of those times. The Clinton campaign may owe Team Sanders a fruit basket or something. They might also want to send one to Donald Trump, whose comment yesterday that he’d “love to debate Bernie …it would get very high ratings. It should be in a big arena” guaranteed another day of both Sanders pressure and public attention.
FINDING HER FOOTING?
“…Clinton (and her team) realized that what she had said wasn’t enough. So she set about trying to fix it. She called in to Chuck Todd’s ‘Meet the Press Daily‘ on Thursday and offered this up:
I said this many times, it was still a mistake. If I could go back, I would do it differently. And I understand people have concerns about this, but I hope and expect voters to look at the full picture of everything I’ve done and stand for. And the full threat posed by Donald Trump. If they do, I have faith in the American people that they will make the right choice.
The answer is better, he says, because Clinton concedes that she made a mistake; she doesn’t dismiss people’s concerns, but adds context.
“Clinton’s next line — ‘I hope and expect voters to look at the full picture of everything I’ve done and stand for’ — is the pullback move that she needs. That line — and appeal for more context — won’t win over conservatives who believe her career is riddled with other events that show that the email controversy is more rule than exception. But it might help Clinton rally Democrats to her cause and win over some wavering independents.”
The answer also “reminds people that the only other choice they have in this election is Donald Trump… Clinton doesn’t need to beat the ideal choice for Republicans; she just needs to beat Trump. Driving home that point again and again and again is Clinton’s best strategy.”
Looks like two nearly topless women were just kicked out of Donald Trump’s rally in San Diego. I’m not tweeting a pic.
— Jenna Johnson (@wpjenna) May 27, 2016
Outside the Trump rally in San Diego this afternoon:
Trump backer telling protester the candidate’s “shtick…isn’t meant to offend anyone. He’s just communicating.” pic.twitter.com/oOIrzF0tyn
— Eli Stokols (@EliStokols) May 27, 2016
Protest music: “F— Donald Trump, F— Donald Trump.” Trump supporter adds this refrain: “Real class! Real class!” pic.twitter.com/WvgqjLMZQr
— Jenna Johnson (@wpjenna) May 27, 2016
SWAT team stands between Trump supporters and protestors pic.twitter.com/dK1z8B2znK
— Zeke Miller (@ZekeJMiller) May 27, 2016
Protesters tried jumping over barricade: pic.twitter.com/jU9I5YLrYG
— Jenna Johnson (@wpjenna) May 27, 2016
—The Libertarian convention kicked off today in Orlando…and it’s shaping up to be more competitive than people expected, because 2016: Former New Mexico governor/perennial Libertarian nominee Gary Johnson and running mate Bill Weld are still the favorites — but there are plenty of Johnson skeptics on hand, reports Dave Weigel.
Spotted at the Libertarian Party convention, this guy:
“DEMAND TRANSPARENCY” pic.twitter.com/1hqEN5hYmp
— Eliot Nelson (@eliotnelson) May 27, 2016
—Martin O’Malley’s presidential campaign is long gone (RIP.) The super PAC supporting his presidential bid is not, and it’s out with a new spot attacking Bernie Sanders on gun control.
—This afternoon, Donald Trump told a California crowd that he does not particularly enjoy reading The New York Times or The Washington Post. We’re sorry to hear this, but thank him for being a loyal reader! (One of the things he did not like reading today: a story which said some campaign staffers were growing so paranoid they believed their Trump Tower offices were bugged.)
—Question in the ether today: Did pharma-bro Martin Shkreli endorse Donald Trump (who once said he looked like a “spoiled brat”) to boost the mogul’s odds of winning the White House, or torpedo them? Discuss.
—Ed Rendell says Democrats are running about $10 million short on convention expenses.
—Fresh numbers on new citizenship applications for the first three months of the year: The numbers are soaring in Trump’s wake, say activists who predict at least a million might become new citizens this year.
—An unbelievable story for this Memorial Day weekend: one of the 4,200 veterans mistakenly declared dead by the VA — then later declared…not dead — says he feels like he’s been “resurrected.”
HOLIDAY WEEKEND READING: Philip Bump on Donald Trump’s demographic problem (with several fantastic #charts. Like this one, tracking the size of the group that supports Trump more strongly than any other):
—Dave Weigel on why The Young Turks, and their viewers, love Bernie Sanders: “‘A lot of you know the Young Turks?’ asked Sanders, referring to the online news empire [Cenk] Uygur launched in 2002. The cheers gave him his answer. ‘We live in a world where the corporate media, people who own our country, give us their definition of reality. What Cenk and a few other people are trying to do is give us a different perspective on reality…'”
—Former Rubio correspondent Ed O’Keefe on what drove the Florida senator’s dramatic about-face on Trump: “Long a star of the mainstream conservative movement, Rubio is one of the starkest symbols of the GOP’s rapid capitulation to Trump. Nearly every prominent Republican — from lawmakers to governors to former White House officials — has acquiesced as polling shows Trump’s support building …”
@allahpundit how Rubio is surprised many of us are shocked to hear he’s “honored” to introduce trump is beyond me.
— Meghan McCain (@MeghanMcCain) May 27, 2016
Others in the #NeverTrump camp took a different view.
I consider @marcorubio a friend. He did what he thought was right. If I purged all my friends who did as he did, I’d have few left.
— Erick Erickson (@EWErickson) May 27, 2016
THE THIN LINE BETWEEN LOVE AND LOATHE:
One day after he used a teleprompter to deliver a policy speech, Donald Trump slammed politicians who use teleprompters. In the past, we have received a mixture of gratitude and pity over the fact that we track his evolving view of the device. We will gratefully accept both.
Here are Donald Trump’s teleprompter positions over the past month, from April 27 through May 27:
—April 27: Pro. Uses a teleprompter while delivering a foreign policy speech.
—May 2: Con. “I don’t have any teleprompters…I’m up here all by myself.”
—May 20: Pro. “I’ve started to use [teleprompters] a little bit. They’re not bad. You never get yourself in trouble when you use a teleprompter.”
—May 22: Con. Attacks Clinton because she “reads off a teleprompter, you notice. She’s reading off a teleprompter, she always does.”
—May 24: Con. “We should have a law that when you run for president, you shouldn’t be allowed to use a teleprompter.”
—May 26: Pro. Uses a teleprompter while delivering an energy policy speech in North Dakota.
—May 27: Con. “Isn’t it great when you don’t use teleprompters? …we oughta have a law that if you’re running for president, you can’t use teleprompters.”
(To be continued….)
YOUR DAILY TRAIL PIT STOP: We’re taking a quick break from politics in honor of a day that has nothing to do with politics at all.
Have a good Memorial Day.