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Anxious Democratic Establishment Asks, ‘Is There Anybody Else?’

Anxious Democratic Establishment Asks, ‘Is There Anybody Else?’

Party leaders who are fatalistic about Democrats’ chances in 2020 are musing about possible late entrants to the race.

WASHINGTON — When a half-dozen Democratic donors gathered at the Whitby Hotel in Manhattan last week, the dinner began with a discussion of which presidential candidates the contributors liked. But as conversations among influential Democrats often go these days, the meeting quickly evolved into a discussion of who was not in the race — but could be lured in.

a group of people standing on a stage: Senator Elizabeth Warren has faced persistent questions about her viability in the general election, and there is concern among some Democrats about her liberal politics.© Parker Michels-Boyce for The New York Times Senator Elizabeth Warren has faced persistent questions about her viability in the general election, and there is concern among some Democrats about her liberal politics.

Would Hillary Clinton get in, the contributors wondered, and how about Michael R. Bloomberg, the former New York mayor? One person even mused whether Michelle Obama would consider a late entry, according to two people who attended the event, which was hosted by the progressive group American Bridge.

It’s that time of the election season for Democrats.

“Since the last debate, just anecdotally, I’ve had five or six people ask me: ‘Is there anybody else?’” said Leah Daughtry, a longtime Democrat who has run two of the party’s recent conventions.

With doubts rising about former Vice President Joseph R. Biden’s ability to finance a multistate primary campaign, persistent questions about Senator Elizabeth Warren’s viability in the general election and skepticism that Mayor Pete Buttigieg, of South Bend, Ind., can broaden his appeal beyond white voters, Democratic leaders are engaging in a familiar rite: fretting about who is in the race and longing for a white knight to enter the contest at the last minute.

It is a regular, if not quite quadrennial, tradition for a party that can be fatalistic about its prospects and recalls similar Maalox moments Democrats endured in 1992, 2004 and in the last primary, when it was Mr. Biden who nearly entered the race in October. But the mood of alarm is even more intense because of the party’s hunger to defeat President Trump and — with just over three months to go before voting starts in Iowa — their impatience with finding Mr. or Mrs. Right among the current crop of candidates.

“There’s more anxiety than ever,” said Connie Schultz, a journalist who is married to Senator Sherrod Brown of Ohio, another Democrat who some in the party would like to see join the race. “We’re both getting the calls. I’ve been surprised by some who’ve called me.”

“I can see it, I can feel it, I can hear it,” Mitch Landrieu, the former New Orleans mayor, said of the unease within the party. He said he thinks Mr. Biden is best positioned to defeat Mr. Trump but called the former vice president’s fund-raising “a real concern.”

Mr. Biden’s lackluster debate performances and alarmingly low cash flow — he has less than $9 million on hand, not even half of some of his rivals — has fueled the Democratic disquiet. But if the causes of the concern are plain to see, what exactly can be done about it is less clear.

And even some of those being wooed acknowledge that it can be hard to discern between people just being nice and those who genuinely want them in the race.

Mrs. Clinton and Mr. Bloomberg have both told people privately in recent weeks that if they thought they could win, they would consider entering the primary — but that they were skeptical there would be an opening, according to Democrats who have spoken with them.

Former Secretary of State John F. Kerry, who associates say has wondered aloud about whether he should have run and has found it hard to watch Mr. Biden’s missteps, has also been urged to get in. But he still thinks the former vice president, who was once his longtime Senate colleague, is the party’s best nominee.

Another Obama administration official who weighed a campaign at the start of the year, former Attorney General Eric Holder, is considering a last-minute entry but has conceded it may be too late, according to a Democrat familiar with his thinking.

Mr. Brown, who nearly entered the race earlier this year, said the pressure on him to reconsider from labor leaders, Democratic officials and donors has “become more frequent.” And Deval Patrick, the former Massachusetts governor, who also weighed a campaign run before deciding not to, said he too has been nudged by friends to reconsider. “It’s nice to be rumored about,” he said, before notably refusing to rule out a last-minute entry. “Don’t ask me that question,” he said.

But Mr. Patrick suggested an 11th-hour bid was highly unlikely and had a message for increasingly angst-ridden Democrats: “Everybody needs to calm down, it’s early. It’s so early.”

Michael Bloomberg standing in front of a laptop: Michael R. Bloomberg has privately told friends he may consider entering the primary.© Stephen Maturen/Getty Images Michael R. Bloomberg has privately told friends he may consider entering the primary.The chances that another major contender decides to run are remote: While Mrs. Clinton and Mr. Bloomberg have both been encouraged to enter the race, Democrats close to them believe the only scenario under which they’d consider running is if Mr. Biden drops out or is badly weakened.

Neither is likely to take place before the end of this calendar year, at which point the filing deadline to be on the primary ballot in large Super Tuesday states like California and Texas will have passed. But that’s not stopping the speculation, which has only grown of late thanks in part to the 2016 Democratic nominee’s public comments.

Mrs. Clinton, after largely staying in the background of the Democratic primary, has been more vocal this month, promoting a book she wrote with her daughter and taunting Mr. Trump on Twitter. She also opened a feud with Representative Tulsi Gabbard of Hawaii by claiming the long-shot candidate was being supported by the Russians, as a potential third-party spoiler in the general election.

Democrats who have recently spoken with Mrs. Clinton say she shares the same concerns other party elites have about the field — worried about Mr. Biden’s durability, Ms. Warren’s liberal politics and unsure of who else can emerge to take on Mr. Trump. But these people, who spoke anonymously to discuss private conversations, say she enjoys the freedom that comes with not being on the ballot.

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Source: https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/politics/anxious-democratic-establishment-asks-is-there-anybody-else/ar-AAJa37x

GOP Sen. Rand Paul harassed by NY couple while eating lunch in California

GOP Sen. Rand Paul harassed by NY couple while eating lunch in California

Republican Senator Rand Paul was verbally assaulted by two left-wing protesters while out to lunch with his staff at a California restaurant.

Republican Sen. Rand Paul was confronted by two people while eating lunch Friday with his staff at a California restaurant.

Paul’s deputy chief of staff, Sergio Gor, captured the moment in a video he posted to Twitter.  “While having lunch with @RandPaul in California, we got verbally assaulted by these aggressive libs complaining about incivility,” Gor wrote. “Check out the vid! #unhinged

“You just ran into two people from New York, kiddo, and we’re not putting up with your Republican bulls–t,” the woman in the video shouts at Gor.

The Kentucky senator is on a nationwide tour to promote his new book “The Case Against Socialism.”

Paul retweeted the video and said that while “the left blames incivility” on the president, he urges voters to “watch this video and decide who the rude ones are.”

 

“This is not every New Yorker, but I see this way too often in New York City, though,” said “Fox & Friends: Weekend” host Jedidiah Bila. Noting that this happens when people recognize you and they know that you have a different opinion.

“At the end of the day when you see lawmakers, when you see people that are in this process, let them eat their dinner,” said co-host Griff Jenkins.

“And also, people who do these things: It may feel in the moment that you’re taking a stand, but this is not a good look for you…Have some respect,” Bila added.

See entire article here: GOP Sen. Rand Paul harassed by NY couple while eating lunch in California

Sanders New York rally marks largest of primary campaign

Sanders New York rally marks largest of primary campaign

Bernie Sanders’s campaign rally in New York City brought in nearly 26,000 attendants, making it the largest audience of the entire Democratic primary thus far.

Bernie Sanders’s campaign rally in New York City brought in nearly 26,000 attendants, making it the largest audience of the entire Democratic primary thus far.

At the “Bernie is Back” event in Queens, the Vermont senator sought to fight back against concerns that his White House run is in jeopardy following his heart attack earlier this month. The rally featured a number of high-profile speakers who offered their endorsements, including liberal filmmaker Michael Moore and Democratic Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.

According to a security firm that worked at the event, 25,872 supporters showed up for the rally, making it larger than Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren’s Washington Square Park rally in September that had an estimated 20,000-22,000 people. At Sen. Kamala Harris’s announcement in Oakland, California, an estimated 10,000 people attended, with another estimated 12,000 in overflow.

The Sanders campaign said the City Parks department permitted the event to hold 15,000 people, but another 10,000-plus individuals watched from outside the perimeter.

Shortly after stepping on stage, Sanders reassured supporters that he is more than fit to continue his second White House run.

“I am more than ready to take on the greed and corruption of the corporate elite and their apologists. I am more ready than ever to create a government based on the principles of justice,” Sanders said. “To put it bluntly,” he added, “I am back.”

Read entire article here: Sanders New York rally marks largest of primary campaign

Tulsi Gabbard blasts Hillary Clinton after Russian asset comments: ‘I stand against everything she represents’

Tulsi Gabbard blasts Hillary Clinton after Russian asset comments: ‘I stand against everything she represents’

Democratic presidential candidate Tulsi Gabbard fired back at Hillary Clinton’s comments on a podcast in which she claimed there is a current primary contender who is an “asset of the Russians.”

Democratic presidential candidate Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, D-Hawaii, fired back at Hillary Clinton’s comments on a podcast in which she claimed there is a current primary contender who is an “asset of the Russians.”

On “Tucker Carlson Tonight,” host Tucker Carlson said a news reporter later asked Clinton spokesman Nick Merrill if the former secretary of state was referring to Gabbard.

Carlson said Merrill responded with the comment, “If the nesting doll fits, this is not some outlandish claim, this is reality.”

The former secretary of state is targeting her because she opposes Clinton’s foreign policy platform, the Hawaii lawmaker said.

Gabbard told Carlson that Clinton and her “proxies” are sending a message not only to her but to veterans, active service members and Americans who are against foreign interventionism.

“They are saying that you are also a Russian asset — that you are also a traitor to this country,” Gabbard said. “The reason why she is doing this is because, ultimately she knows that she can’t control me — that I stand against everything that she represents, and that if I’m elected president, that she won’t be able to control me.”

Gabbard dared Clinton to run for president in 2020, fighting back against assertions that she is a Russian asset

Source: Tulsi Gabbard blasts Hillary Clinton after Russian asset comments: ‘I stand against everything she represents’

‘Donald Trump’ bound, abused appears in Dhvani’s Tim

‘Donald Trump’ bound, abused appears in Dhvani’s Tim

President Trump — held against his will and abused — is the focus of a new ad campaign by the athletic apparel company Dhvani.

President Trump — held against his will and abused — is the focus of a new ad campaign by the athletic apparel company Dhvani.

Times Square ad space has been purchased for the #StandForSomething campaign, which features the commander in chief bound in red, white, and blue rope while an angry woman looming over him presses her foot on his face.

“You’ll notice some significant changes at http://DHVANI.com,” the Portland, Oregon based company tweeted Monday. “We realize that some of our customers won’t agree with our activism and that’s okay with us. We’re not afraid to make bold statements & exercise our first amendment rights.”

AdAge reported on the Times Square “Lady Liberty” purchase on Thursday, which includes “middle school teacher and Marine Corps veteran Michal Mesa” looming over Mr. Trump.

“[It’s] inspired by the superhero Wonder Woman and her Lasso of Truth,” Ad Age reported.

 

Read entire article here: ‘Donald Trump’ bound, abused appears in Dhvani’s Tim

38 people cited for violations in Clinton email probe

38 people cited for violations in Clinton email probe

WASHINGTON (AP) — The State Department has completed its internal investigation into former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s use of private email and found violations by 38 people, some of whom may face disciplinary action.

The investigation, launched more than three years ago, determined that those 38 people were “culpable” in 91 cases of sending classified information that ended up in Clinton’s personal email, according to a letter sent to Republican Sen. Chuck Grassley this week and released on Friday. The 38 are current and former State Department officials but were not identified.

Although the report identified violations, it said investigators had found “no persuasive evidence of systemic, deliberate mishandling of classified information.” However, it also made clear that Clinton’s use of the private email had increased the vulnerability of classified information.

The Associated Press sent an email seeking comment to a Clinton representative.

The investigation covered 33,000 emails that Clinton turned over for review after her use of the private email account became public. The department said it found a total of 588 violations involving information then or now deemed to be classified but could not assign fault in 497 cases.

For current and former officials, culpability means the violations will be noted in their files and will be considered when they apply for or go to renew security clearances. For current officials, there could also be some kind of disciplinary action. But it was not immediately clear what that would be.

The report concluded “that the use of a private email system to conduct official business added an increased degree of risk of compromise as a private system lacks the network monitoring and intrusion detection capabilities of State Department networks.”

The department began the review in 2016 after declaring 22 emails from Clinton’s private server to be “top secret.” Clinton was then running for president against Donald Trump, and Trump made the server a major focus of his campaign.

Then-FBI Director James Comey held a news conference that year in which he criticized Clinton as “extremely careless” in her use of the private email server as secretary of state but said the FBI would not recommend charges.

The Justice Department’s inspector general said FBI specialists did not find evidence that the server had been hacked, with one forensics agent saying he felt “fairly confident that there wasn’t an intrusion.”

Grassley started investigating Clinton’s email server in 2017, when he was chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee. The Iowa Republican has been critical of Clinton’s handling of classified information and urged administrative sanctions.

Source: 38 people cited for violations in Clinton email probe

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