Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton (D) said in an interview with Diane Sawyer that she plans to make a decision on whether to run for president by the end of the year and then make an announcement sometime in 2015. (ABC News)
A new ABC/Washington Post poll, conducted by Langer Research Associates (May 29-June 1, 851 RVs, +/- 4%) finds Clinton leading the Democratic primary field 69% to 12% over Vice President Joe Biden (D), her nearest competitor, with other Democrats in single-digits. (ABC News)
Clinton’s upcoming book tour “will give Clinton a fresh taste of life on the trail, and help her team hone her message and operations.” For “Clinton herself, the tour promoting Hard Choices will offer something more personal: a gut check.” (National Journal)
“Clinton’s book … is a methodical march through the challenges she encountered as the nation’s top diplomat. Beyond the diplomacy, it includes lighter moments and self-deprecating asides as she seeks to project both a deep understanding of the world and a warm, human side to her personality.” (Washington Post) The New York Times reviewed the book here.
The DSCC sent a fundraising email featuring Clinton (and written by executive director Guy Cecil, a Clinton 2008 veteran) over the weekend pegged to Clinton’s book launch. It’s the first time Senate Democrats have used Clinton’s name in a fundraising appeal this year. (Hotline reporting)
Another Clinton 2008 veteran, former DCCC executive director and Terry McAuliffe campaign manager Robby Mook, “has been meeting with top aides to Mrs. Clinton and discussing strategies to win enough states to clinch the White House, two people familiar with the matter said.” (Wall Street Journal)
REPUBLICANS: ROMNEY RETREAT AHEAD. “Top donors to Mitt Romney’s two presidential campaigns are gathering this week for the former Massachusetts governor’s annual retreat in Park City, where they will get a fresh look at many of the top potential 2016 contenders,” including New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R), Sen. Rob Portman (R-OH), former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee (R), and Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI). (Los Angeles Times)
PAUL: SUMMER PLANS. Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) has planned “a frenetic summer schedule aimed at reaching beyond the party’s traditional base, with explicit appeals to minorities and young people. In late summer or early fall, Paul plans a major foreign policy address that will give him a prime chance to close a gap with establishment Republicans that has been perhaps the biggest hurdle to acceptance of Paul by party elites.” (Politico)
Paul, in remarks to the Republican Liberty Caucus of Texas: “Chamber of Commerce is fine, I was a member of the Chamber of Commerce, but a Chamber of Commerce Republican is not going to win a national election.” (Politico)
JINDAL: PALMETTO STATE SPEECH. Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal (R) “spoke Friday before hundreds of S.C. Republicans of a growing rebellion against personal and religious intrusions by the Obama administration.” (Columbia State)
Jindal “stepped up his criticism” of the Common Core standards at the end of last week “when he said flatly that he wants the state out of Common Core.” Whether he does so “is clearly linked with his national political calculations, election watchers say.” (Baton Rouge Advocate)
CRUZ: STRAW WINNER. Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) won the straw poll at the state GOP convention, taking 43% to best Ben Carson (R), Texas Gov. Rick Perry (R), and Paul with about 12% each. Christie finished in 11th place. (AP)
IOWA: DMR POLL. A new Des Moines Register poll conducted by Selzer & Co. (May 27-30, 400 LVs, +/- 4.9%) showed Ryan with the highest favorable ratings (56%) among Iowa Republicans, while Christie has the highest unfavorables (40%). But Christie scores comparatively well on an electability question. Overall, little separates the large potential GOP field. (Des Moines Register)
PERRY: ‘WORKING IT.’ Perry “has a lot of ground to make up after his gaffe-filled race for the 2012 GOP nomination, but at least some reviews indicate that his work is starting to pay off.” (Houston Chronicle)
TEXAS: PRIMARY INFLUENCE GROWING? “Texas Republicans want to make a difference in the 2016 presidential race. So they changed their party rules Friday to create a process similar to what Texas Democrats have used. It’s known as the ‘Texas Two-Step,’ a two-tiered system that awards delegates through both a popular vote on election night and also through post-election caucuses. … Texas Republicans could gain double the influence in 2016, first by being the first large state to head to the polls on March 1. And second, by pinning some of the delegates on a convention vote, they could draw presidential candidates back to Texas for a second time.” (Ft. Worth Star-Telegram)
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An aide to Mitt Romney confirmed to the Washington Post that the 2102 GOP nominee will not attend the Republican convention this year. He joins the two living Republican presidents, George W. Bush and George H.W. Bush, as well as 2008 nominee John McCain in skipping the event. Even among living Republican nominees, that leaves only Bob Dole who could conceivably show up. Dole did say in January that he'd prefer Trump to Ted Cruz, but his age (92) could keep him from attending.
In a long-awaiting new rule, the Food and Drug Administration will ban sale of all tobacco products—including e-cigarettes—to those under 18. The rule takes effect in 90 days. It's part of a larger package of regulations that "gives FDA authority to regulate—but not to ban—all tobacco products, from e-cigarettes to cigars and hookahs." Meanwhile, California Gov. Jerry Brown (D) signed a bill on Wednesday that would bump the legal age to buy all tobacco products from 18 to 21.
Sen. Ben Sasse, the most prominent elected official to declare that he's #NeverTrump, wrote an open letter on Facebook to the "majority of Americans who wonder why the nation that put a man on the moon can’t find a healthy leader who can take us forward together." Calling to mind recent conversations at a Fremont, Neb., Walmart, the senator pitted the presumptive general election battle between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton as such a "terrible choice" that there would be an appetite for another candidate to emerge. In a parenthetical aside to reporters, Sasse ruled himself out. "Such a leader should be able to campaign 24/7 for the next six months," he wrote. "Therefore he/she likely can’t be an engaged parent with little kids." Meanwhile, his colleague Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) admitted in a private recording obtained by Politico that Trump hurts his reelection chances.
"Judge Emmet G. Sullivan, of the United States District Court for the District of Columbia, approved a joint proposal presented by Judicial Watch and the State Department to take the depositions of officials" involved in the setup and use of Hillary Clinton's private email server, "including Cheryl D. Mills, Clinton's former chief of staff, Huma Abedin, a senior adviser to Clinton, and Bryan Pagliano, a State Department employee who serviced and maintained the server." He said Clinton could be deposed later on, though that may not be necessary.