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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"The Senate standstill over a stopgap spending bill appeared headed toward a resolution on Friday night. Senators who were holding up the measure said votes are expected later in the evening. West Virginia Democrat Joe Manchin had raised objections to the continuing resolution because it did not include a full year's extension of retired coal miners' health benefits," but Manchin "said he and other coal state Democrats agreed with Senate Democratic leaders during a caucus meeting Thursday that they would not block the continuing resolution, but rather use the shutdown threat as a way to highlight the health care and pension needs of the miners."
Donald Trump transition team announced Friday afternoon that top supporter Rudy Giuliani has taken himself out of the running to be in Trump's cabinet, though CNN previously reported that it was Trump who informed the former New York City mayor that he would not be receiving a slot. While the field had seemingly been narrowed last week, it appears to be wide open once again, with ExxonMobil CEO Rex Tillerson the current favorite.
The House has completed it's business for 2016 by passing a spending bill which will keep the government funded through April 28. The final vote tally was 326-96. The bill's standing in the Senate is a bit tenuous at the moment, as a trio of Democratic Senators have pledged to block the bill unless coal miners get a permanent extension on retirement and health benefits. The government runs out of money on Friday night.
The Senate passed the National Defense Authorization Act today, sending the $618 billion measure to President Obama. The president vetoed the defense authorization bill a year ago, but both houses could override his disapproval this time around.