DEMOCRATS

Obama, Biden, Kaine, Bloomberg Take DNC Stage

DNC staff are dishing about Debbie Wasserman Schultz’s time as chairwoman.

July 28, 2016, 9:30 a.m.

“President Obama delivered a stirring valedictory address at the Democratic convention Wednesday night, hailing Hillary Clinton as his rightful political heir and the party’s best hope to protect democracy from “homegrown demagogues” like the Republican Donald J. Trump. … [H[e vouched passionately for Mrs. Clinton as a trusted and reliable ally not just for him but for all Americans who need a fighter to improve their lives and keep them safe. … In the most unmistakable declaration yet by Mrs. Clinton that she is effectively seeking Mr. Obama’s third term, she strolled on stage after his speech and embraced the president as the delegates roared. ” (New York Times)

Vice President Joe Biden (D): “This guy does not have a clue about the middle class. Not a clue. … His cynicism is unbounded, his lack of empathy and compassion can be summed up in a phrase I suspect he’s most proud of having made famous, ‘You’re fired!’ Think about that. He’s trying to tell us he cares about the middle class, give me a break. That’s a bunch of malarkey.” (NBC)

Former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg (I): “There are times when I disagree with Hillary Clinton. But let me tell you, whatever our disagreements may be, I’ve come here to say: We must put them aside for the good of our country. … Trump says he wants to run the nation like he’s run his business. God help us.”

Tim Kaine: “When I lived in Honduras, I learned that the best compliment you could give someone was to say they were ‘listo’ — ready,” he said. “Because what ‘listo’ means in Spanish is this: it means prepared, it means battle-tested, it means rock-solid, up for anything, never backing down. And friends, Hillary Clinton, she’s ‘lista.’ Hillary Clinton is lista.” (CNN)

PREVIEW. Tonight Chelsea Clinton will introduce her mother. “The biggest question is how she will depict her mother. Will we hear about the Mrs. Clinton who has been an advocate for women and girls? Will the speech be a more intimate portrait of a nurturing mother with stories from her childhood we haven’t heard before?”

When Clinton herself takes the stage, it “will be the beginning of what could be her biggest challenge in the general election: making voters think she is trustworthy.” (New York Times)

2020 WATCH. “[T]his week in Philadelphia, a new generation of Democrats is jockeying for attention. … [T]hose eager to break out of the pack someday are all here.” Appearances by California Attorney General Kamala Harris (D), Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ), Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed (D), Rep. Joaquin Castro (D-TX), HUD Secretary Julian Castro, Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper (D), Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-MN). (New York Times)

DNC FALLOUT. “More than a dozen people inside the party apparatus, speaking in the wake of Wasserman Schultz’s resignation on Sunday, describe an internal culture in which few felt they could challenge an increasingly imperious and politically tone-deaf chair who often put her own interests ahead of party functions.”

“Frustration within the DNC, the White House and the Clinton campaign was exacerbated by Wasserman Schultz’s efforts to raise her own profile by appearing more often on national television.”

“[A]ll DNC senior staffers seem to believe they’re on the verge of being fired — and that’s before the next WikiLeaks release, which many fear is coming within days, and which DNC lawyers are bracing for. Several staff members have already been asked to prepare statements about their departures.” (Politico)

Speculation on who will replace Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-FL) as permanent DNC chairman has begun. Names being passed around include: Former Michigan Gov. Jennifer Granholm (D), EMILY’s List president Stephanie Schriock, former Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley (D), DNC Vice Chairman R.T. Rybak, New Hampshire Democratic Party Chairman Raymond Buckley, former DNC CEO Minyon Moore, Rep. Steve Israel (D-NY), Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-MD), South Carolina Democratic Party Chairman Jaime Harrison, former Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, Rep. Xavier Becerra (D-CA), and HUD Secretary Julian Castro. Castro said Monday he is not interested in the job.

“[T]he chair needs to be not only a proven fundraiser, but also a party figure acceptable to the restive Sanders wing … Many party leaders have urged people close to Clinton to select a Latino leader.”

Party operatives speculate that a Clinton White House would “be sure to bring the committee closer to the White House from Day One, while likely restructuring its leadership to more closely resemble the two-chair arrangement that prevailed under President Bill Clinton.” (Politico)

VERY READY FOR HILLARY. “Clinton and Democratic National Committee staffers began the gradual process of merging” media monitoring operations “weeks before the primary ended, emails in last week’s WikiLeaks release show.” (Buzzfeed)

NATIONAL SECURITY. “Demo­crats have a na­tion­al se­cur­ity prob­lem. In the first two days of their con­ven­tion, hardly a single speak­er ad­dressed the threat of IS­IS and rad­ic­al Is­lam­ic ter­ror­ism. The del­eg­ates were even more dovish than the party’s rank-and-file voters. … But the Demo­crats had a weapon to counter their dis­con­nect with the pub­lic’s anxi­ety over ter­ror­ism: Don­ald J. Trump. … The roster of Wed­nes­day night’s speak­ers treated Trump as dan­ger­ous, with Obama even call­ing him a ‘homegrown dem­agogue’.” (National Journal)

STAYING HOME. “In an election year when the financial-services sector is seen as a political liability, top bank executives and trade-group chiefs have largely stayed away from both parties’ conventions, while those who do attend are keeping a low profile.” (Wall Street Journal)

POST-ELECTION. “The in­ter­woven top­ics of crim­in­al justice and poli­cing re­form have had a high pro­file on the main stage at the Demo­crat­ic Na­tion­al Con­ven­tion. That’s no ac­ci­dent as Hil­lary Clin­ton pre­pares to try and go bey­ond what Pres­id­ent Obama has achieved. … Clin­ton’s agenda in­cludes sev­er­al items achiev­able with ex­ec­ut­ive muscle, such as de­vel­op­ing na­tion­al “guidelines” on the use of force by po­lice.” (National Journal)

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"Former Secretary of State Rex Tillerson was spotted entering a congressional office building on Tuesday morning for what a committee aide told The Daily Beast was a meeting with the leaders of the House Foreign Affairs committee and relevant staff about his time working in the Trump administration. ... Tillerson’s arrival at the Capitol was handled with extreme secrecy. No media advisories or press releases were sent out announcing his appearance. And he took a little noticed route into the building in order to avoid being seen by members of the media."

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