Tuesday Reads: The Hillary and Bernie Show and Other NewsPosted: July 12, 2016
Bernie Sanders will supposedly endorse Hillary Clinton this morning at 11:00 at a joint rally in Portsmouth, New Hampshire. I’m not sure if I can bring myself to watch it, but I’ll give it a try. I’m still not convinced he will actually “endorse” her, and I’m afraid he’ll manage to say something nasty. From what I’m seeing in the news and on Twitter, this is going to be more of an anti-Trump thing, rather than a feel-good unity appearance.
Sanders will campaign with Clinton, and is expected to endorse her, at a high school in Portsmouth, New Hampshire, at 11 a.m. Tuesday, less than two weeks before the Democratic National Convention begins in Philadelphia.
The Vermont senator’s campaign announced his participation minutes after the Clinton team’s email hit inboxes, with both announcements sharing the same language that the two former primary rivals will “discuss their commitment to building an America that is stronger together and an economy that works for everyone, not just those at the top.”
“Expected to endorse her.” See what I mean? No one seems to know for sure if he really will.
Also from Politico: Clinton and Sanders unite for the war on Trump.
For weeks now, Hillary Clinton’s campaign has been engaged in a project to win over the staunchest — and loudest — of Bernie Sanders’ supporters in the places where they’ll matter most in November.
Using one-on-one meetings, social gatherings, and public campaign events, Clinton’s operatives have been quietly working to court his backers in battleground states Sanders won during the primary or where they fought in especially contentious contests — in some cases relying on personal appeals from staffers as senior as campaign manager Robby Mook.
The first return on that investment comes Tuesday when Sanders joins Clinton on stage here for the formal display of unity the party’s been waiting for in advance of the July convention….
Even with the specter of Donald Trump looming, however, in states like this one — where Sanders beat Clinton by 22 points five months ago — the unification effort hasn’t been easy. It’s been an even tougher challenge in states where the primary was particularly tense — places like Iowa, Michigan, Nevada, and Colorado, where in some cases suspicion still lingers.
But defusing those tensions has been a focus of top party brass ever since the Nevada Democratic Party convention exploded into chaos in May, and the Clinton team’s efforts — often run out of the local offices, but occasionally escalating to the Brooklyn headquarters — have ramped up since the last primary vote was held in June.
Read more about the completely one-sided “unity” efforts at the link above. Here’s another hint about how much unity there will be:
I don’t recall Hillary having special speakers at her New Hampshire unity rally with Obama in 2008, do you? Maybe I missed that.
It sounds like Al Giordano agrees with me.
In other news, the Republican National Convention begins next Monday in Cleveland. I wonder if Donald Trump will be able to find enough speakers to fill the TV time. Ted Cruz has agreed to speak, but not to endorse Trump. Apparently Trump is planning to have his current wife and his children give speeches. Joni Ernst has been given a prime-time slot, according to The New York Times. I suppose Newt Gingrich and Chris Christie will speak. And yesterday Paul Ryan agreed to give a short speech.
The Salt Lake Tribune: Part-time Trump critic Paul Ryan to speak at Republican convention.
Although we don’t yet know who else will fill out the Republican National Convention speaker list, we now know one: The speaker himself. Paul Ryan, who has not been the biggest Donald Trump fan, will speak in Cleveland next week, offering what an aide says is “the sharp contrast between Republican ideas and four more years of Obama-like progressive policies; and the need for conservatives to unite around Republican candidates in advance of a critical election.” [Politico]
Most Republican office-holders and operatives seem to be trying to find excuses not to attend the convention and many are trying to avoid even saying Donald Trump’s name.
Politico: GOP operatives dread Trump convention.
Many GOP regulars are skipping Cleveland entirely. (“I would rather attend the public hanging of a good friend,” says Will Ritter, an up-and-coming Republican digital strategist who worked on the three previous conventions.) And among those who are making the trek, there’s an overwhelming sense it won’t be fun at all. At a time when many Republicans are deeply dissatisfied with their nominee, pessimistic about their prospects for victory in the fall and alarmed about the direction of their party, there’s a reluctance about attending the convention more typically reserved for going to the DMV, being summoned for jury duty or undergoing a root canal.
“This is the first year in the past two decades that Republicans aren’t excited about attending the convention. Normally, we’re all jazzed up about getting together and celebrating our nominee,” said Chris Perkins, a GOP pollster who has attended every Republican convention since 1996. “There’s nothing to celebrate this cycle. I’m going because I have to, not because I want to.”
Those who are going often say they’re doing so out of a sense of obligation — to meet with clients or to hold meetings before making a beeline back to the airport. As the Republican Party prepares to nominate a figure who is registering historically high disapproval ratings, some don’t want to advertise their presence in Cleveland. “Don’t use my name,” said one senior party strategist. “I don’t want anyone to know I’m there.” (A few days after the interview, the strategist got back in touch, having decided not to go, after all.)
More embarrassing details for the GOP and Donald Trump at Politico.
This is interesting from NBC News: Federal Judge Rules for Anti-Trump GOP Delegate.
A federal judge blocked enforcement Monday of a Virginia law binding delegates to support the primary winner at the nominating convention.
It was a victory for Carroll “Beau” Correll, a delegate to the Republican national convention who argued that the law violated his First Amendment rights to vote for his preferred candidate. Correll supported Ted Cruz in the primary, while Donald Trump received the most votes in the state.
Correll said in an interview that the Trump campaign got “morbidly humiliated” by the outcome of the case.
“They put all their chips on the table and they lost all of them — if I were them I’d go hide in a closet in Trump Tower,” he said.
In a follow up statement, Correll made a plea to the like-minded, writing:
“To national political figures that are on the sidelines and awaiting your calling, I implore you to take a step forward from the darkness and into the light. Show us that you have the courage to stand for leader of the Free World, appeal to the better angels of our nature, and to deliver this Republic from the abomination of a Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton presidency.”
As a practical matter, the decision appeared to affect at most only some of Virginia’s delegates. Some legal experts even said the ruling may apply only to Correll himself, though it was filed as a class action on behalf of all the state’s Republican delegates.
The truth is that delegate cannot be legally bound to vote for the candidate who won their state. I wonder how many will try to avoid voting for Trump?
President Obama will be in Dallas today to honor the five police officers who were murdered by Micah Johnson. The Washington Post reports:
Obama will try Tuesday to help grief-stricken Dallas begin to heal less than a week after its officers were killed and others wounded by an Army veteran-turned-sniper. Obama has denounced the shooting as a “vicious, calculated and despicable attack on law enforcement” by a “demented” individual.
Just a few weeks ago, Obama spent hours in Orlando, Florida, consoling the loved ones of 49 people who were killed in a shooting rampage at a nightclub.
In what has become an unwelcome but regular duty of his presidency, Obama was preparing to address an interfaith memorial service in Dallas for the officers. They were killed last Thursday while standing guard as hundreds of people peacefully protested the police killings of black men in Louisiana and Minnesota earlier in the week….
Portions of both shootings were videotaped and broadcast nationwide, leading to fresh outrage, protests and scores of arrests. The killings also put the country on edge, heightened racial tensions and pushed the issue of the use of deadly force against black males by white police officers to the forefront.
Obama will seek to bridge those issues with his tribute to the fallen five, which include a former Army Ranger, a Navy veteran and a newlywed starting a second family.
As Dakinikat wrote yesterday, we are seeing Ferguson-like events in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. The situation is similar in St. Paul, Minnesota, where Philando Castile was killed by police after being stopped for a broken taillight. From Fox News 9, July 10: Protest shuts down I-94 in St. Paul: 21 officers injured, 102 arrested.
Hundreds of people protesting the shooting death of Philando Castile gathered Saturday night at the Governor’s Residence on Summit Avenue in St. Paul, Minn., then marched onto Interstate 94, shutting down the highway for more than 5 hours. Sunday morning, St. Paul police confirmed 21 officers from multiple agencies were injured, and 102 people were arrested. None of the injuries were serious.
Around 8 p.m., the crowd marched onto the eastbound and westbound lanes of I-94 at Lexington Avenue, forming a wall. Police closed the interstate from Highway 280 to downtown St. Paul, then reopened both directions by 1:49 a.m. Sunday. A total of 50 people were arrested on I-94, booked into Ramsey County Jail on third-degree rioting charges. State Patrol officials said at least eight people arrested were from outside Minnesota.
A second clash with police on Grand Avenue at about 4 a.m. led to 52 arrests for public nuisance and unlawful assembly. Those individuals were booked and released.
Sunday morning, St. Paul Police Chief Todd Axtell confirmed 21 officers were injured by projectiles, including fireworks, rocks, bricks, concrete chunks and glass bottles. An officer now has a broken vertebrae after being hit by a concrete block in the head. At the height of the confrontation, police said some people started arming themselves with rebar from a nearby construction site. Police then used smoke and to clear the crowd. After the freeway was cleared, one officer was hit in the face by a bottle thrown by a protester on a St. Paul city street.
A couple of updates from NOLA on Baton Rouge:
Baton Rouge police are facing criticism for the tactics used to deal with protests in the wake of Alton Sterling’s officers-involved fatal shooting, with groups like Amnesty International questioning whether police are committed to protecting First Amendment rights.
Protests on Sunday (July 11) have become a flashpoint for those criticisms after police ordered protesters off the street, then arrested people standing on private property when they refused to leave the area.
Police have said the group was targeted because they blocked a residential street hours before, but most of the arrests on Sunday were made while people were on private property — some with authorization of the owner.
Jamira Burley, a senior campaigner for Amnesty International, was in Baton Rouge over the weekend observing the protests and said she was deeply concerned about several aspects of the police response.
She said police responding in heavy military-style gear and vehicles, their decision to arrest people during an otherwise peaceful protest on private property, and the high number of arrests all appeared to be aimed at scaring protesters into not returning to demonstrations.
More at the link.
Baton Rouge District Attorney Hillar Moore III recused himself from the ongoing investigation into the fatal police shooting of Alton Sterling during a press conference Monday (July 11).
Moore said he is stepping down because of a personal relationship with the parents of one of the officers involved in the shooting. He said a new prosecutor will be appointed to oversee the pursue of any criminal charges for officers Howie Lake II and Blane Salamoni.
Again, read the rest at NOLA.
This is an open thread. If you’re planning to watch the Bernie and Hillary joint appearance this morning, you can use this as a live blog. Feel free to post links on any other topics you are following today.