POLITICO Playbook: BERNIE’S MATH: Both conventions look like blockbusters

SIREN — Apple resisting magistrate order to share iPhone information in San Bernardino killings: “They have asked us to build a backdoor to the iPhone” — L.A. Times: “Apple Inc. CEO Tim Cook said his company will resist a federal judge’s order to access encrypted data hidden on a cellphone that belonged to the terrorist couple …

“In [‘A Message to Our Customers’] posted early Wednesday, … Cook argued that such a move would undermine encryption by creating a backdoor” that could be used in future cases. http://lat.ms/1PEOrrn Read the statement. http://apple.co/1QkvIoB

By Mike Allen (@mikeallen; mallen@politico.com) and Daniel Lippman (@dlippman; dlippman@politico.com)

Good Wednesday morning. BOTH CONVENTIONS could be crazy: We could be seeing a race where Bernie stacks up delegates and can push his agenda even if Hillary wins.

BILL SCHER, senior writer at the Campaign for America’s Future, and Politico Magazine contributing editor, “Why Bernie Sanders Wins Even If He Loses: If you have delegates, you can make demands”: “There are no ‘winner take all’ states in the Democratic primaries. Every state allocates delegates on a proportional basis. So even if Clinton rights her ship and starts racking up clear primary wins … her victories could be as thin as his in terms of delegates.

“The primary system is set up perfectly for a strong insurgent candidacy … The Democrats’ formula for distributing delegates is downright socialist. … The delegate fight now shifts to terrain more favorable to Clinton than Sanders. … The stronger the Sanders minority, the more plausible it would be to force, and possibly win, floor votes on stricter Wall Street rules, rejecting corporate campaign cash and single-payer health care.” http://politi.co/1SxzHhO

— “Clinton makes pre-Super Tuesday cash dash,” by Gabe Debenedetti in Atlanta: “Clinton’s top bundlers and donors are reconciling themselves to a jarring new reality: The money advantage that they had long taken for granted is unlikely to last — and the campaign might even be outraised by Bernie Sanders’ over the rest of the primary season. …

“Between last Thursday’s Democratic debate and February 27’s South Carolina primary, Hillary Clinton is scheduled for 13 events, Bill Clinton for 11, and Chelsea Clinton for nine — alongside a host of other fundraisers hosted by surrogates and aides.” http://politi.co/1ooVJXU

SNEAK PEEK — VOGUE profile of Hillary, “The Race Is On,” by Jonathan Van Meter in their March issue:”When Clinton is the only woman in a room, she has a particular way of introducing herself: Hand jutting straight out, head up, she looks right into the eyes of men who are all taller than she. Her body language seems to be saying: I am, at the very least, your equal; I am also probably the most powerful person here.” http://vogue.cm/kKGLJC5

TV TONIGHT — MSNBC hosts a one-hour town hall at 8 p.m. with Donald Trump, moderated by Joe and Mika, while also at 8 p.m., CNN has night 1 of its GOP town hall in South Carolina with Cruz, Rubio and Carson, and Anderson Cooper moderating. http://politi.co/1R6vAWH

BITE DU JOUR — “Meet potential Obama nominee Sri Srinivasan, who could be the first Asian-American on the Supreme Court,” by Fusion’s Casey Tolan: “At Srinivasan’s confirmation hearing in April 2013, Sen. Ted Cruz noted that ‘we have been friends a long time.’” http://fus.in/1Vlo1N0

— “Scalia to lie in repose at Supreme Court” — AP: “The … public will be invited to pay its respects Friday from 10:30 a.m. until 8 p.m. … [His] courtroom chair was draped in black to mark his death as part of a Supreme Court tradition that dates to the 19th century.” http://yhoo.it/1PQ1hRJ

PRESIDENT OBAMA at a presser in Rancho Mirage, Calif., on a Supreme Court nomination: “I’m amused when I hear people who claim to be strict interpreters of the Constitution suddenly reading into it a whole series of provisions that are not there. There is more than enough time … I understand the pressure that Republican senators are, undoubtedly, under. … [T]he Court is now divided on many issues; this would be a deciding vote. … I intend to do my job between now and January 20th of 2017. I expect them to do their job as well.”

— OBAMA on TRUMP: “I think foreign observers are troubled by some of the rhetoric that’s been taking place in these Republican primaries and Republican debates. I don’t think it’s restricted, by the way, to Mr. Trump. I find it interesting that everybody is focused on Trump, primarily just because he says in more interesting ways what the other candidates are saying, as well. So he may up the ante in anti-Muslim sentiment, but if you look at what the other Republican candidates have said, that’s pretty troubling, too. He may express strong, anti-immigration sentiment, but you’ve heard that from the other candidates, as well.

“You’ve got a candidate who sponsored a bill — that I supported — to finally solve the immigration problem, and he’s running away from it as fast as he can. They’re all denying climate change. I think that’s troubling to the international community, since the science is unequivocal. … But this is not just Mr. Trump. …

“I continue to believe Mr. Trump will not be President. And the reason is because I have a lot of faith in the American people, and I think they recognize that being President is a serious job. It’s not hosting a talk show or a reality show. It’s not promotion. It’s not marketing. It’s hard. …

“[A]s you get closer, reality has a way of intruding. And these are the folks who I have faith in, because they ultimately are going to say: Whoever is standing where I’m standing right now has the nuclear codes with them, and can order 21-year-olds into a firefight, and have to make sure that the banking system doesn’t collapse … And the American people are pretty sensible and I think they’ll make a sensible choice in the end.” Transcript http://1.usa.gov/1PQ36xU

** A message from the U.S. Postal Service: Direct Mail Is Now a Digital Delivery System: Mail technologies can prepare campaigns for a digital home run. As more constituents are turning to digital channels, digitally enabled direct mail can break through political noise to bolster voter engagement. Know what mail can do. And know it can do more. DeliverTheWin.com **

YOU’RE BACK! Patrick Gavin (@pwgavin): “New video: I’m pretty sure I’ve been banned from Politico’s Playbook” http://bit.ly/1Q0Qmbo … His YouTube channel, where he’s making a video every day to try to score an interview with POTUS http://bit.ly/1OfUdvC

RNC COO SEAN CAIRNCROSS memo to Members of the RNC, “Debate Ticket Allocation”: “[T]he RNC has been accused of “stacking” the debate audiences with our donors. This is incorrect. For example, in South Carolina the approximately 1,600 debate tickets were allocated as follows: 642 to campaigns; Approximately 300 to the RNC/elected officials/in-state grassroots activists (of these, only 10 to RNC donors); and The remainder to the South Carolina Republican Party and CBS News. …

“St. Anselm students have been accused of selling their tickets to donors and lobbyists. This too is incorrect. Every ticket to RNC-sanctioned debates is matched on a name identification basis to its holder. Individuals who receive tickets are entered into an electronic database before they arrive, and are required to produce a government-issued photo ID matching the name in the database and on their ticket before being allowed entry into a debate.” http://bit.ly/1QkCElI

DAILY TRUMP — WashPost Style lead by Ben Terris in Fountain Inn, S.C., “Would a Trump win here add injury to insults? As one poll after another affirms his lead, some South Carolina Republicans are worried about damage to the GOP brand” (online: “Meet the South Carolina Republicans who are horrified by the Trump coronation”): “Maybe because Trump has been leading in the polls here for months, … and maybe because other Republican candidates say they will support him if he is the nominee, this doesn’t seem so crazy anymore.

“Over drinks, aides for other campaigns speak wistfully about a brokered convention — once the pipe dream of journalists and Ron Paul supporters, but now a scenario many are counting on as their last-ditch safety net. … Hogan Gidley, a veteran GOP operative and South Carolina native who until recently worked on the Mike Huckabee campaign, believes that Trump could be a fine nominee, and that the so-called establishment is just ‘freaking out’ because they have lost control of what’s going on.” http://wapo.st/1OfP3zC

JACOB HEILBRUNN on Politico, “Trump Is Trampling Over the GOP’s Corpse: Republican elites who want him to go away don’t realize that he’s already taken over an empty party”: “The irony of the new darling of the party’s disenchanted base is that his open divergence from the putative ideology of that base is near-complete. Trump preaches Trumpism; he doesn’t seem to care at all what the official party doctrine is supposed to be. Trump is not only not a neocon; he’s something close to a Robert Taft isolationist, a stance the party has rejected since World War II. He’s not only not a Reaganite small-government guy; he openly says he won’t touch entitlements like Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security.” http://politi.co/1R7FLKB

THINGS TRUMP SAYS — BuzzFeed resurfaced video yesterday of Trump talking about sleeping around on Howard Stern’s show a decade ago: “I’ve been so lucky in terms of that whole world. It is a dangerous world out there — it’s scary, like Vietnam. Sort of like the Vietnam era. It is my personal Vietnam. I feel like a great and very brave soldier.” http://bzfd.it/1TnFKEt

POLL DU JOUR — USA Today front page, above fold, “USA Today/Suffolk Poll: WHO SCARES AMERICANS THE MOST? Findings show voters fear unwelcome policies coming from either party in White House,” by Susan Page and Jenny Ung: “Percentage of likely voters who say they would be scared if the candidate won their party’s nomination: Trump 38% … Clinton 33% … Sanders 28%.” http://usat.ly/1QHVCgm

2016 PLAYERS — “Kasich hires former George W. Bush press aide,” by Reuters’ Steve Holland: “The adviser, Trent Duffy, is an Ohio native who worked on Capitol Hill when then-Representative Kasich was chairman of the House Budget Committee. Duffy, who has been a public relations consultant in the years since serving in the Bush White House, will be a national communications strategist and responsible for national media outreach on behalf of Kasich’s campaign for the Nov. 8 election.” http://reut.rs/1PEIjzt

N.Y. DAILY NEWS cover, “DOLT .45 — Desperate Jeb Bush gets ripped for tweet suggesting guns are ‘America’” http://bit.ly/1TnEgKg … The original Tweet http://bit.ly/1SxgjBv

WASHINGTON CARTEL … “CRUZ-FRIENDS IN CONGRESS,” by AP’s Mary Clare Jalonick: “Despite a distinct lack of support from Senate colleagues — not one single endorsement — the Republican presidential candidate and freshman Texas senator has a small but loyal group of supporters in the House who are flying to rallies, meeting with voters and trying to convince the electorate that he’s not such a bad guy.” http://apne.ws/1QI2ESj

— FLASHBACK — Politico, Dec. 29, “House rebels crusade for Cruz: Most senators can’t stand him, but a collection of House conservatives is going all out for Ted Cruz in 2016,” by Anna Palmer and Lauren French http://politi.co/1U7bRsQ

— “Cruz Misstatements: Cruz and his collisions with the facts” — AP: “A look at some of Ted Cruz’s collisions with the facts as some of his Republican presidential rivals level charges that the Texas senator has trouble with the truth.” http://apne.ws/1U7brCH

UNDERSTANDING BERNIE — “Sanders’ brother shares political odyssey,” by AP’s Jill Lawless in Oxford:”These are exciting times for Larry Sanders, a stalwart Green Party campaigner in Oxford, England. He’s just been appointed to a new job as his party’s national spokesman on health. And he’s helping out his little brother Bernie with a small electoral campaign on the other side of the Atlantic. … To Sanders, his brother is always Bernard, never Bernie, which just doesn’t ‘sound right.’” http://yhoo.it/1onR1sH

TOP TWEET: @heatherhaddon: “Christie’s return to public life today: one local news van and few reporters here in Trenton so far.”

CLICKERS — “Cartoonists Take on Hillary Clinton”: “Politico’s Matt Wuerker handpicks his favorite HRC-themed cartoons.” 18 keepers http://politi.co/1QHRRHR

— “The weirdest, best photos I found in an old Bernie Sanders archive,” by Fusion’s David Matthews — 25 pix on one page http://fus.in/1TnDxcc

TRAILER OF THE DAY — “’Bastille Day’ Trailer: Idris Elba, Car Chases and a Terrorist Plot” http://bit.ly/1QHRNHS

HOT VIDEO — “This Guy Went To IKEA And Pretended To Be A Couples Therapist” — 4-min. video http://huff.to/1KVO90p

OBAMA ALUMNI — Matthew McGregor and “another OFA 2012 alum, Toby Fallsgraff, now do a baseball podcast in our spare time from working with Stephanie Cutter and Teddy Goff (and Jen) at Precision (Matthew) and with Jon Carson (Toby). Each week, we have a campaign alum friend on to talk baseball and this week we had Jen O’Malley Dillon on. It’s no Axe files, but Jen gets into what got her into the game (mom!), accidentally seeing the Mets play in the 1986 season (sick sibling…), and whether or not America is ready for two Chicago baseball fans in a row (spoilers: yes.)” http://goo.gl/aL9gwv

— Buffy Wicks, former Deputy Director of the White House Office of Public Engagement and campaign strategist for President Obama, and Sally Smith, Founder and Executive Director of The Nexus Fund, will launch a new podcast, The Riveters. The new podcast, designed to give voice to the modern woman, will feature a collection of stories on the struggles and successes of female leaders across sectors. … The first three episodes, set to be released [today] … will feature: Jay Newton Small, TIME Magazine contributor and author of Broad Influence … Neera Tanden, President and CEO of [CAP and] Sarah Thomas, [NFL’s] first female referee.” http://bit.ly/1Wr5Aqm

FIRST LOOK — “American Principles Project , a 501c4 organization, is unveiling a new website, TrumpWinsYouLose.com … which is designed to help inform voters about Donald Trump’s close ties to the gambling world.” www.trumpwinsyoulose.com

MEDIAWATCH — “How BuzzFeed’s Jonah Peretti Is Building a 100-Year Media Company: Once the ‘bored at work’ network, BuzzFeed is now a globally distributed digital media powerhouse read by 79 million people every month,” by Fast Company’s Noah Robischon: “Although BuzzFeed currently employs approximately 1,200 people and is valued at $1.5 billion, Peretti still largely thinks of it as his teaching workshop. …

“’We can make predictions about how a particular piece of content should spread through this network based on where it begins,’ says Duncan J. Watts, a sociologist with Microsoft Research and early BuzzFeed adviser … That’s why you might see an article titled ‘Guys Confess Secret Reasons Why They Cry’ on a page devoted to stories about cats.” http://bit.ly/1U7a9Yg

— “Reddit Hires Twitter’s Former News Manager As Head Of Journalism And Media,” by TechCrunch’s Megan Rose Dickey: Mark “Luckie’s new role will entail working with media organizations, as well as government organizations.” http://tcrn.ch/20DfTJk

VALLEY TALK — “GoFundMe Has Helped Raise $2 Billion to Support Causes, Like Bringing Water to Flint,” by Re/code’s Dawn Chmielewski : “Water for Flint is one of more than 100 grassroots campaigns that collectively raised more than $405,000 to help residents without access to clean drinking water — including some 8,600 children … The cause-based funding site has seen its growth accelerate. It took nearly 60 months for users of the platform to raise $1 billion in support of their causes. GoFundMe reached the $2 billion mark in little more than nine months.” http://on.recode.net/20Dgo5X

— N.Y. Times Quotation of the Day: PALMER LUCKEY, 23, a co-founder of Oculus, on figuring out how people will interact with the imaginary worlds virtual-reality technology is creating: “It’s nice that science fiction exists because these are really creative people figuring out what the ultimate use of any technology might be. They come up with a lot of incredible ideas.” A1 article, at fold, by Nick Wingfield, “Tech Industry Turns to Sci-Fi for a Compass” http://nyti.ms/1OfOVAm

HOLLYWOODLAND — Billboard’s 2016 Power 100 List: “No. 1. Lucian Grainge … No. 2. Michael Rapino … No. 3. Trent Reznor, Jimmy Iovine, Robert Kondrk, Eddy Cue … No. 4. Doug Morris … No. 5. Martin Bandier.” http://bit.ly/2185O9m

TRANSITIONS — Lizzy Price, former comms. director for the New Hampshire Democratic Party, is joining Correct The Record as deputy comms. director.

BIRTHWEEK (was yesterday): Bush 43 education dept. alum Kent Talbert … Matt Chayes, NYC City Hall reporter for Newsday

BIRTHDAYS: Betsy Fischer Martin, the pride of New Orleans, Bloomberg Politics podcast host, executive in residence at AU, and contributing editor at More magazine (gumbo tips: Ella, Jonathan, Julie) … Dianna Heitz, senior multi-platform editor at CNN and a Politico alum … Ashley Berrang, comms director for Sen. Shelley Moore Capito (h/t Amy Graham) … Curtis Tate, McClatchy D.C. bureau national correspondent and train expert, who won the National Press Foundation’s Feddie Award last week … Sean Cartwright, chief of staff in the Employment and Training Administration at Labor (h/t Aoife McCarthy) … Brian Jack, Dr. Ben Carson’s ballot access, delegate, and now Southeast director, is 28, celebrating by filing petitions and calling delegates (h/t David Pasch) … Surya Gunasekara, chief of staff to Rep. Jim Renacci (R-OH) birthday, celebrating with the arrival of his second child, a girl, with mommy, Senate EPW counsel Mandy, and their first born son …

… Mark Shriver … Spence Geissinger … Shantanu Chandra, senior associate at PwC Advisory … Richard W. Pinto Jr. of Fabiani & Company … Cara Camacho, back at Treasury after a stint at the NSC (hubby tip: Adam Hodge and baby Owen, their 8-month old son) … Drew Cantor … Ted Gavin, managing director & founding partner at Gavin/Solmonese … Barbara Shipley, SVP at AARP (h/ts Jon Haber) … Politico national editor Kristin Roberts … Politico’s Kelsey Tamborrino, Andrew Bilski and Lindsey Sullivan … Greg Matusky of Gregory FCA Public Relations … Frederick “Freddie” Hill, comms. director for the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation and an Issa/OGR alum (h/t Lauren Hammond) … FCC’s Alison Kutler, a Visa alum …

… Adam Benson of Digital Citizens Alliance and VP at Vrge Strategies and a Dingell alum … Alicia Davis … James Lynch, client services director at Ari Fleischer Communications, is 29 … Alex Sutton is 5–0 … Deborah M. Hohlt … Allison Hunn, White House alum now a law student at UC Berkeley … Ali McLaughlin, managing editor of Washington Life … Surya Gunasakera … Shana Marchio … Kelsey Rohwer, PR manager at Time Inc., is 25 … Lachlan Markay, reporter at Washington Free Beacon … Samantha Vinograd, VP at Goldman Sachs and an NSC alum (h/t Leslie Poellnitz) … Bush 43 WH alum Skyla Freeman … Steve Smith (the one from NM not the one from CA) … Ashley Graham … Dave Cieslewicz … Mike Sager … Eric Traczyk (h/ts Teresa Vilmain) …

… Hal Holbrook is 91 … Barry Humphries (aka “Dame Edna”) is 82 … Football Hall-of-Famer Jim Brown is 80 … Michael Jordan is 53 … Larry, the Cable Guy is 53 … Olympic gold and silver medal skier Tommy Moe is 46 … Billie Joe Armstrong (Green Day) is 44 … Paris Hilton is 35 … Daphne Oz (“The Chew”) is 30 … actress Sasha Pieterse is 20 (h/ts AP)

DESSERT — “John Oliver is bringing his stand-up act to the Kennedy Center in August,” by WashPost’s Peggy McGlone: “Oliver, host of HBO’s … ‘Last Week Tonight,’ … will perform three shows at the Kennedy Center in August. Oliver appears Aug. 25–27 at 7 p.m. in the Concert Hall. Tickets are $59, $69 and $79 and go on sale to Kennedy Center members on Thursday, and to the general public on Friday. Tickets [will be] available online and by calling the box office at (202) 467–4600.” http://wapo.st/1QkYsYf … Tickets http://bit.ly/1LtdPwr

** A message from the U.S. Postal Service: Direct Mail is Now a Digital Delivery System: Mail technologies can prepare campaigns for a digital home run. As more constituents are turning to digital channels, digitally enabled direct mail can break through political noise to bolster voter engagement. Know what mail can do. And know it can do more.

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