Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton (D) “will host a high-dollar fundraiser for the Democratic Women’s Senate Network at her home, along with” DSCC chairman Michael Bennet, on Sept. 9. (Politico)
“A Republican takeover of the Senate this fall would hurt” President Obama “for the final two years of his presidency, but it might help … Clinton if she runs to succeed him. Republican control of both the House and Senate would provide … Clinton a clearer target to run against in courting voters fatigued by Washington dysfunction. The longer an unpopular president and his more-unpopular partisan adversaries battle to a standstill, the easier it is to offer herself as a fresh start. ‘It would be bad for the country,” said Stanley Greenberg, President Bill Clinton’s former pollster, but ‘total gridlock would allow Hillary to be the change.’” (New York Times)
“Clinton is emphasizing her roots in the Midwest, a region critical to electoral success and a calling card for any politician looking to hone an image of no-nonsense practicality.” (Wall Street Journal)
AFL-CIO political director Mike Podhorzer “said unions want to be more unified behind a candidate than they were in 2008, when Clinton and … Obama battled for the nomination, splitting labor. He also pushed back against the suggestion that workers have ‘concerns’ with Clinton. But Podhorzer acknowledged labor has questions about what Clinton will emphasize in an expected run for the White House.” Podhorzer: “People want to see where she’ll be on working family issues, if she decides to run.” (The Hill)
PAUL: BACK TO N.C. Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) “is scheduled to headline a” North Carolina Republican Party fundraiser in Charlotte next Monday. Paul “visited Charlotte about three months ago ahead of the state’s GOP Senate primary in May, attending a rally for” physician Greg Brannon (R). (Raleigh News & Observer)
BIDEN: WINDY CITY BOUND. Vice President Biden will raise money for Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn (D) “and Democratic members of Congress” in Chicago next Monday. (Chicago Tribune)
PERRY: NOT ALL THAT MEETS THE EYE. Texas Gov. Rick Perry (R) “waived his right to appear at his arraignment hearing on Friday morning and entered a plea of not guilty to two felony counts: abuse of official capacity and coercion of a public official.” (Texas Tribune)
“The conventional wisdom following … Perry’s indictment on charges of abuse of power has been strikingly uniform in the national media ““ the governor’s getting a raw deal. … But as is often the case, there’s more to the story. Here are five things to consider in evaluating the conventional wisdom. … 1) The case is about politics. … 2) Perry punished a district attorney for drunken driving. … 3) The case is about a veto. … 4) The district attorney was investigating insider dealing in a Perry program. … 5) The indictment was an effort to damage Perry’s 2016 presidential hopes.” (Dallas Morning News)
RYAN: TEA PARTY PUSHBACK. Scottie Nell Hughes of the Tea Party News Network on Rep. Paul Ryan’s (R-WI) new book: “Maybe it was the prospect of big publishing bucks, or the adoration of national media, or maybe he genuinely believes this is his ticket to the top of the GOP presidential ballot, but … Ryan has decided in his new book … to damn conservatives as the crazies behind a ‘suicide mission’ for the country—even as he writes, oddly, that Republicans must hew to conservativism to win.” (Politico)
O’MALLEY: DWS AGREES. DNC chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz “also thinks deporting children detained at the border is sending them back to ‘certain death.’” (Politico)
WARREN: RECUSAL. Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) “was ‘rescued’ by a handler after being asked a question about … Clinton.”
Warren: “Hillary is terrific.” Reporter: “Is she still the best choice though?” Warren: “I’m sorry?” Reporter: “Is she still the best choice?” Warren: “Look …” Reporter 2: “You’re being rescued. The rescuer is here.” (BuzzFeed)
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Sen. Susan Collins, who sits on the Intelligence Committee, "said on Wednesday she's open to using a subpoena to investigate President Donald Trump's tax returns for potential connections to Russia." She said the committee is also open to subpoenaing Trump himself. "This is a counter-intelligence operation in many ways," she said of Russia's interference. "That's what our committee specializes in. We are used to probing in depth in this area."
Over a meatloaf lunch at the White House last week, Donald Trump offered the job of Labor secretary to New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, a longtime loyalist. Christie promptly turned down the offer, once again signaling that he has no desire to move to Washington, D.C. to join the Trump administration. The job ended up going to Alexander Acosta, who is expected to sail through the Senate confirmation process.
"The Trump administration on Wednesday formally withdrew Obama administration rules granting transgender individuals access to the sex-segregated facilities of their choice, including bathrooms." In an official letter to the civil-rights divisions of the Justice and Education departments, the administration wrote that it prefers to let states set the course on the issue, and also that the Obama-era rules don't “contain extensive legal analysis or explain how the position is consistent with the express language of Title IX, nor did they undergo any formal public process.”
Congress will need to vote on Donald Trump's pick of Lt. General H.R. McMaster to be his next national security adviser, but not for the reason you think. The position of NSA doesn't require Senate approval, but since McMaster currently holds a three-star military position, Congress will need to vote to allow him to keep his position instead of forcing him to drop one star and become a Major General, which could potentially affect his pension.