POLITICO Playbook: JEB WON’T ATTEND GOP CONVENTION — HILLARY dating tip — MILLENNIAL WOMEN have favorite candidate

Good Wednesday morning. TOP TALKER — “Top Republicans may skip GOP convention,” by CNN’s Manu Raju and Deirdre Walsh: “A number of high-profile Republicans, fearful of a potential melee in Cleveland this summer, are considering skipping the Republican National Convention and campaigning back home instead. …Asked Tuesday if he’d attend the convention, former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush told CNN: ‘No.’ ‘Unlikely,’ GOP Sen. Kelly Ayotte said when asked if she’d be in Cleveland in the midst of her tough bid for a second term.” http://cnn.it/1Vo1y5S

TOP TWEETS: @JakeSherman: “ryan became speaker under VASTLY different circumstances. there wasn’t 1 person who wanted that job. period. 17 want to be potus” … @MEPFuller: “Paul Ryan dream jobs, ranked: 1. Metallica’s crossfit instructor 2. Deer hunter 3. Ways and Means Chairman … 243. Speaker of the House” … @seungminkim: “A coffee shop in Des Moines is serving Obstruction Oatmeal, Garland Granola, etc to mark Grassley’s breakfast” [with Garland]. … @KilloughCNN: “Trump’s Twitter routine: He ‘shouts’ out his tweets to the ‘young ladies’ from his office, but after 7p, he ‘will always do it myself.’”

DAILY DONALD — “Drudge goes all in for Trump: Ted Cruz is right: The Drudge Report is doubling down on Donald,” by Nolan McCaskill, with Zach Montellaro: “A POLITICO analysis of more than 300 Drudge banners this year reveals that … Drudge … has largely pushed banner pieces publicizing Trump favorably and in recent days either criticizing or deriding Cruz, a stark shift from 2015, when he appeared to be ambivalent toward the billionaire businessman.” http://politi.co/1RTofvB

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

#AWKWARD — “Cruz’s message to Wall Street: Help me,” by Morning Money’s Ben White: “This Monday, assorted bankers, traders and Wall Street lawyers will gather inside the neo-Georgian walls of the Harvard Club in midtown Manhattan to write big checks to an unlikely recipient: Ted Cruz. Cruz, who attended Harvard Law School, isn’t one to trade too heavily on old school ties and friendships at the likes of Goldman Sachs, where his wife works. … But now he’s desperate: Cruz, who has already received $12 million in support from the financial industry, needs Wall Street money more than ever.” http://politi.co/20AUd23

ROGER STONE on Breitbart, “Trump Delegates Should Sign a Loyalty Pledge”: “The fix is in. The same insiders who have nearly destroyed the Republican Party are at it again, plotting in a backroom deal to block Donald Trump’s nomination as the GOP candidate for president. Trump has played by the rules and he’s winning big, fair and square. This lobbyist-led plot was concocted by the donor class and others who have bought and paid for the allegiance of the dishonest brokers of the Republican Party.” http://bit.ly/1S9ECDe

PLAYBOOK GETS RESULTS — “Ryan rules out White House bid, once and for all: ‘I do not want, nor will I accept, the Republican nomination,’ the speaker declares at a news conference,” by Jake Sherman: “[T]he House speaker went even further, urging delegates to the 2016 convention in Cleveland to limit the pool of potential nominees to the dozen-plus people who waged campaigns over the past year and a half.” http://politi.co/1V0ZKix

— N.Y. Times Quotation of the Day, SPEAKER PAUL D. RYAN, addressing reporters at RNC headquarters: “If no candidate has the majority on the first ballot, I believe you should only turn to a person who has participated in the primary. Count me out.” Story on A14, “Turning Away Pleas, Ryan Rules Out Presidential Bid: A potential white knight denounces the very idea of one,” by Jennifer Steinhauer and Jonathan Martin http://nyti.ms/1Sf4QY4

IF YOU READ ONLY 1 THING — USA Today banner, “Zuckerberg steps into political fray: Facebook CEO lays out 10-year plan, takes swipe at Trump,” by Jon Swartz and Jessica Guynn in S.F.: “The theme of the keynote was, ‘give everyone the power to share anything with anyone,’ positioning Facebook as a unifying force for good against the current political winds of divisiveness. Zuckerberg detailed a plan to bring people together through an ambitious strategy of unfurling technology that jumps borders and crosses cultures, a sharp rebuke to … Trump …

“’As I look around the world, I’m starting to see people and nations turning inward, against the idea of a connected world and a global community,’ Zuckerberg said. ‘I hear fearful voices calling for building walls and distancing people … I hear them calling for blocking free expression, for slowing immigration, for reducing trade, and in some cases even for cutting access to the internet. … It takes courage to choose hope over fear’ …

“In a post on his Facebook page after the keynote, Zuckerberg said the speech was ‘personally important to me and I spent a lot of time writing it.’” http://usat.ly/1YtebtC

— “Zuckerberg appears to take shot at Trump,” by Tony Romm: “argued at the company’s annual F8 developer conference for citizens to ‘connect more, not less.’” http://politi.co/1NnKUuA

— “Zuckerberg Outlines Shift to Messenger Bots, VR,” by Bloomberg’s Sarah Frier: “His vision … includes getting users to chat with artificially intelligent bots on Facebook’s Messenger to do everything from getting sports updates to ordering a car service.” http://bloom.bg/1Vo2mHV

MOON SHOT — “Collaborative institute aims to speed cancer drug creation,” by AP Business Writer Linda Johnson in Trenton: “The newly created Parker Institute for Cancer Immunotherapy is being funded by a $250 million grant from Sean Parker, the co-founder of the file-sharing site Napster and Facebook’s first president. It brings together partners at six top academic cancer centers, dozens of drugmakers and other groups.” http://apne.ws/1qonJuY

**A message from JPMorgan Chase & Co.: About 70% of middle market and small business executives surveyed, expressed optimism toward the performance of their companies in 2016, fueling plans for growth, according to the Business Leaders Outlook report. View the full report: www.jpmorganchase.com/businessleadersoutlook **

DEEP DIVE — “Inside a consulting giant’s deep roots in Clinton land: Hillary gave a special State Department post to an ex-fundraiser — even as he was laying the groundwork for a global firm with ties to her husband,” by Rachael Bade: “Manhattan-based Teneo has been a center of palace intrigue for years because of its proximity to the former first family. And in its early days, Teneo directly benefited the couple themselves, though the company emphasizes that it no longer has those ties.” http://politi.co/1NnTZnf

SCOOP — “White House demands Maryland super PAC pull Senate ad,” by Isaac Dovere and Kevin Robillard: “In an unprecedented and forceful move, … Obama’s administration is slamming a new gun control-themed ad from a super PAC backing Rep. Donna Edwards for Senate in Maryland, calling it ‘misleading’ and demanding it be pulled down. … Political director David Simas moved immediately on Tuesday to get the ad hitting Rep. Chris Van Hollen, Edwards’ opponent, taken off the air, acting on behalf of Obama and Vice President Joe Biden, who’s been leading the administration’s gun control push.” http://politi.co/1SyXQiG … The ad http://bit.ly/1T3nkYA

ADVICE FROM HILLARY — Hillary’s Q&A with Cosmo magazine’s Prachi Gupta: Q: “Dating as a feminist can be tough. Do you think that men and women should split the bill on a date?” A: “Look, I think splitting the cost on a date has to be evaluated on a kind of case-by-case basis. You know, many years ago I remember doing that, and I know a lot of young people who even today do because they kind of consider more casual dates, group dates, to be ones where everybody pays their fair share, but I think you also have to be alert to the feelings of the person that you are dating. If it’s important to that person to either split in the beginning of the relationship, or for one or the other of you to pay for whatever combination of reasons, you know, you just have to evaluate that and take it into account.” OK, then! http://bit.ly/1N83iwQ

CONVENTIONWATCH — 96 days to Cleveland; 103 days to Philly:

— “Over 500 Media Attend Spring Walkthrough [yesterday] … Find Democratic National Convention Planning On Time, On Task and On Budget”: Philadelphia “Mayor Jim Kenney and Democratic National Convention Committee (DNCC) CEO Rev. Leah Daughtry … briefed around 500 members of the media on the substantial progress being made towards planning the Convention [at the Wells Fargo Center July 25–28] … [O]rganizers expect up to 20,000 members of the media.” www.demconvention.com

— A Dem convention spokesman tells us media asked Qs on “everything from credentialing, to technology to hall configuration. … Google partnership … has provided support for small businesses in helping them to develop and enhance their online presence. Leah (our CEO) also highlighted our ongoing community engagement efforts in Philly and our upcoming celebration (this Saturday) to mark the 100-day point from the beginning of the convention.”

— “AT&T … will be the Official Communications and Technology Provider to the 2016 Democratic National Convention http://philly2016.att.com … “AT&T will be the Official Provider for Communications, Video and Technology to the 2016 Republican National Convention. http://convention.gop … http://cleveland2016.att.com

— “Happening this week: JPMorgan Chase will announce that their support for the conventions will focus on providing summer jobs to young people in Cleveland and Philadelphia. Aligned with the bank’s focus on creating economic opportunity, [JPMC] will provide a total of $300,000 divided between Youth Opportunities Unlimited in Cleveland and the Philadelphia Youth Network … Both programs will include opportunities for young people to engage in service projects and to hear from elected and community leaders.” Philly announcementhttp://bit.ly/1oX3bsl

— PLEASE SEND PLAYBOOK your convention plans: dlippman@politico.com.

N.Y. DAILY NEWS cover, “Daily News editorial board says: Why we choose Hil over Bernie.” See the cover.http://nydn.us/vp5qdB … Read the editorial: “Clinton’s proposals are shaped for the world in which we live, not the world in which we might wish to live.” http://nydn.us/1T3zGjs

— “Some Democrats accuse Sanders supporters of harassing convention delegates,” by WashPost’s Anne Gearan, John Wagner and Abby Phillip: “Among those efforts is a website created last week under the namesuperdelegatehitlist.com, providing phone numbers and addresses for superdelegates and encouraging users to submit further contact information, presumably to help advocates pressure them.” http://wapo.st/1SMbcIK

— “Bill Clinton aides tracked Trump’s flirtation with White House run,” by Josh Gerstein: “White House staffers seemed well aware Trump was mulling a presidential bid. ‘Donald Trump … has his eye on the big JOB,’ Clinton press aide Lisa Ferdinando wrote that same month to a staffer in the office of Vice President Al Gore, who was the Clinton team’s preferred candidate.” http://politi.co/1qo27Pt

TOP-ED — SEN. JEFF MERKLEY on the NYT op-ed page, “Why I’m Supporting Bernie Sanders”: “After considering the biggest challenges facing our nation and the future I want for my children and our country, I have decided to become the first member of the Senate to support my colleague Bernie Sanders for president.” http://nyti.ms/1Q6kfCk

WORTH THE CLICK — “2016 Race Sees Surge of Interest Among Millennial Women But Many Still May Not Vote, Poll Says,” by ABC’s Meghan Keneally: “In a national poll conducted by ABC News and Refinery 29 of women between the ages of 18 and 35, nearly half said that they were more interested in this election than they were in 2012. … 38 percent of respondents identified as Democrats and 40 percent called themselves Independents. Some 16 percent called themselves Republicans.

“Sanders was the most popular candidate among those polled … 35 percent. Women didn’t necessarily stick together … Clinton received only 25 percent. … The chances that millennial women actually show up … go up with age … 52 percent of 18–21 year-olds are registered to vote but 72 percent of those 26 or older are already registered.” http://abcn.ws/1RTEqcr

STEVEN RATTNER on the NYT Op-Ed page, “Foiling Obama, Congress Made Trump: Republicans opposed almost every measure to help the working class”: “Memo to Republican legislators biting your nails over the New York primary, wondering if you can finally derail Donald J. Trump’s candidacy with, gulp, Ted Cruz: You brought it on yourselves. … [Y]ou created the anger that lifted his candidacy by years of systematically and effectively preventing passage of legislation that might have ameliorated the tough economic state of Mr. Trump’s core voters.” With 4 charts! http://nyti.ms/23E4ADX

VALLEY TALK — WashPost 1-col. lead, “FBI paid hackers to get cell data,” by Ellen Nakashima, with Adam Goldman: “’[W]hite hats’ … disclose the vulnerabilities to the firms responsible for the software or to the public … ‘[B]lack hats’ … use the information to hack networks and steal people’s personal information. At least one of the people who helped the FBI in the San Bernardino case falls into a third category, often considered ethically murky: researchers who sell flaws — for instance, to governments or to companies that make surveillance tools.” http://wapo.st/1S9MXa0

FOR YOUR RADAR — WSJ A1, above fold, “Tax-Rule Changes Ripple Widely,” by Richard Rubin: “Corporate tax lawyers, who have spent the past week trying to understand one of the Obama administration’s most far-reaching tax regulations, say the rules cast aside decades of precedents and force corporations to alter routine cash-management techniques… Tax lawyers were surprised at how many transactions may be affected by the rules, which address the line between internal company debt and equity.” http://on.wsj.com/1Voo0eX

SPOTTED: Donald Rumsfeld yesterday evening walking south along 15th ST NW between N ST and Massachusetts Ave. “Wearing a dark suit, walking by himself with no obvious staff around, wheeling a suitcase behind him.” … Bono arriving yesterday morning to the NBC studios to tape before his hearing on the Hill. Our tipster: “He sat for 5 minutes in one of 3 Cadillac XL SUVs and when he got out there was an assistant to hold the umbrella over his head for the light sprinkle of rain, an NBC staffer to greet him at the door and at least 4 other people trailing behind on Team Bono. He had on a black T shirt, dark denim jacket and Jeans with rose colored Aviators.” … Justice Elena Kagan having lunch at Bistro Bis yesterday

SEND YOUR SPOTTINGS to dlippman@politico.com

PLAYBOOK METRO SECTION — “Starbucks is serving booze at 5 D.C. locations starting Tuesday,” by WashPost’s Perry Stein: “Starting at 2 p.m., the five locations will serve wine, beer and ‘shareable small plates perfect for the evening hours,’ according to the Seattle-based coffee chain. … Here are the five D.C. locations: Wisconsin and Idaho avenues … NW Grand Hyatt, 11th and H streets NW … 237 Pennsylvania Ave. SE … 1801 Columbia Rd. NW … 815 O St. NW.” http://wapo.st/1Sfcj9I

D’OH! “Pope replaces ambassador to U.S. who set up Kim Davis meeting,” by CNN’s Daniel Burke : “It was one of the worst kept secrets in Washington or Rome: Pope Francis would waste little time in replacing his ambassador to the United States, Archbishop Carlo Vigano … the diminutive diplomat who aroused ire by setting up a secret meeting in Washington between the Pope and Kim Davis.” http://cnn.it/1T35eG6

MEDIAWATCH — “BuzzFeed missed 2015 revenue targets and slashes 2016 projections,” by FT’s Matthew Garrahan and Henry Mance: “BuzzFeed missed its revenue target for 2015 and has slashed its internal projections for 2016 by about half, raising questions about whether the online news and entertainment network can meet the sky-high valuations put on new media groups by investors. The company, known for its lists, irreverent content and fast-growing editorial operation, had projected about $250m in revenues for 2015 but generated less than $170m.” http://on.ft.com/1XuFS5h

- New Politico Pro launch of DataPoint — Marty Kady emails the staff: “Over in the back corner of the newsroom, near the Magazine Conference Room, a team of four graphics journalists have been toiling away for several weeks on some of the coolest policy graphics you’ll see anywhere. … [T]heir work was revealed in our latest Pro launch, DataPoint, which is our standalone graphics and data visualization service. … [W]hat you’ll immediately see is smart, sophisticated, deeply reported data visuals on everything from drug pricing to water policy to spectrum auctions.” http://politico.pro/20AG4St

FUTURE OF NEWS — “The New Yorker Débuts a New App for the iPhone, The New Yorker Today”: “featuring editors’ selections from all that The New Yorker publishes: blog posts written within the hour, stories from the current issue, classic articles from the archive, cartoons, and podcasts. The app, continually updated and showcasing the very best writers on the stories that matter, provides in-depth perspective on the events and ideas of the moment.” Introductory post http://bit.ly/25ZbTbB  Animated video http://bit.ly/1Yt3xmG

HAPPENING TODAY — Former presidential candidates Mike Huckabee and Martin O’Malley, in their first public appearance together, are on GW’s Kogan Plaza this morning to promote the new season of AMC’s drama “TURN: Washington’s Spies.” They will be joined by the show’s star Ian Khan and executive producers Craig Silverstein and Barry Josephson. www.washington1778.com … Trailer http://bit.ly/1RTNJsP

- U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Samantha Power is “delivering a substantive speech at the Naval Academy in Annapolis [tonight at 7:30 p.m. to] … discuss the Obama Administration’s policy in the Middle East, focusing in particular on how to effectively use America’s foreign policy tools to advance our interests and foster more inclusive, accountable governments in the region.” Livestream http://bit.ly/1S5T5xO

TRANSITIONS — Taara Rangarajan of the White House and Obama 2008 family is joining Global Citizen as the Director of Campaign Strategy and Partnerships. Taara served for the last 7 years at National Security Council, the U.S. Mission to the United Nations and The White House.

— LAUREN FRENCH starts today at McBee, the lobbying firm and communications firm, as senior manager for public affairs, launching a public affairs service called the Press Office that will help connect clients to media and Washington when they need policy or political campaigns to advance their interests.

OUT AND ABOUT — The LBJ Washington Center hosted a special production of ALL THE WAY, the Tony Award-winning play about LBJ and the civil rights movement, at Arena Stage Theater. LBJ School Dean Angela Evans and the Center’s Director, Tom O’Donnell, presided. WashPost’s Peter Marks review, “At Arena, a master class in LBJ and the Civil Rights Act” http://wapo.st/22tKhH1

— SPOTTED: Texas Congressmen John Carter, Lloyd Doggett, Gene Green, Eddie B. Johnson, and Marc Veasey, Calif. Rep. Xavier Becerra, former Rep. Martin Frost, Sen. Bob Menendez (D-NJ), UT Vice Chancellor Bill Shute, Yebbie Watkins, Jason Mahler, Melissa Brown, Peter Kadzik, former LBJ official Lloyd Hand, Lyndon Boozer, Abby Livingston, Maura Keefe, Mindy Myers, David Kusnet, David Moore, and prominent LBJ School alums Joe O’Neill, Mike Naeve, Carmel Martin, Andrea Kane, Jenn Poulakidas, and Sarah Savoy.

BIRTHWEEK (was yesterday): Ben Preis, associate at Lewis Burke Associates, celebrating his first ever birthday in Washington … Chip Sutherland of CBRE turned 5–0 … (was Sunday): Ray Zaccaro, comms. director for Sen. Jeff Merkley (h/t Mike Zamore)

BIRTHDAYS : Taylor S. Gross, partner at the Herald Group … Celinda Lake … Politico’s Jack Smith (h/t Peter, Cally, Walt) … Politico’s Kate Gaertner (h/ts Danielle Jones and Rachel Schindler) … Sen. Bob Casey Jr. (D-Pa.) is 56 … former Sen. Ben Nighthorse Campbell (R-Colo.) is 83 … Sujata Mitra, senior director of comms. at HuffPost … Will Davis, executive director of the U.S. Global Leadership Council and an alum at State, OEC and the UN … Doug Coutts, chief of staff to Sen. Tom Cotton … Geoff “Bean” Embler, VP of “Special Projects” at America Rising and Boehner and NRCC alum … Nick Schaper, CEO of Engage and a U.S. Chamber and Boehner alum (h/t colleague David Almacy) … Brian Bartlett, VP of Rational 360 and an alum of Ketchum, Romney 2012, and Bush 43 and Cheney WH advance …

… Human Rights Campaign speechwriter Justin Snow (h/t Olivia Dalton) … Jeremy Art in C-SPAN’s media relations shop … Jonah Cunningham (h/t Maggie Rousseau) … Brad Carroll, SVP of comms at of the Ex-Im Bank, a White House, Commerce and FEMA alum and the pride of Livonia … David Stone, EVP for communications and public affairs at NY’s Columbia University … Rachel McCleery, spokesperson in Treasury’s Public Affairs office and a Stabenow and John Dingell alum (h/ts Jon Haber) … Rebecca Pearcey, Ted Strickland’s Senate campaign manager and a DCCC alum (h/t David Bergstein) … Sen. Bob Casey (D-Pa.) … Reps. Jim Costa (D-Calif.), Susan Davis (D-Calif.) and Ted Yoho (R-Fla.) … Madeleine Levey Lambert, deputy director for comms. at the Atlantic Council (h/t Mallory Shelbourne) … Sarah Corley … Hannah Shtein, assistant to the literary manager at The Gotham Group and a CBPP alum …

… James Kinnard … Emily Loeb, special counsel at Jenner & Block, a White House alum and the pride of Victoria, Tex. … Deena Tauster, director of gov’t affairs of the National Electrical Contractors Association and an Amtrak and Peter King alum … Christina Cattarini, senior publicist at Homepolish and a Sunshine Sachs alum … Dick Dadey, executive director of Citizens Union … Pesach Osina of the NYC Comptroller’s office … John Gallagher, managing director at Mercury and a former Bloomberg spokesman … Jessica Erickson … Pat Mitchell … Jessica Goldstein (h/ts Teresa Vilmain) … Richard Lipsky … Stephen Bates … Janet Ritz … Michele Mischa Bergeron … Steve Ayscue … Ryan Cross … David All … bandleader/rock musician Max Weinberg is 65 … chess grandmaster Garry Kasparov is 53 … Caroline Rhea is 52 … Ricky Schroder is 46 … actress Allison Williams is 28 … actress Hannah Marks is 23 (h/ts AP)

DESSERT — “Food truck for Fido: New Seattle business caters to canines,” by AP’s Manuel Valdes in Seattle : “Stand on any block around lunchtime near Amazon.com’s downtown Seattle headquarters and there are two common sights: people walking their dogs and people buying lunch at food trucks. … Now, one truck is combining both by catering to humankind’s best friend … Popular offerings include air-fried chicken feet and duck neck, cupcakes with bacon rebranded ‘pupcakes,’ mini cheesy doughnuts, pumpkin pretzels and peanut butter-banana cookies.” http://yhoo.it/1MtBP8U

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**A message from JPMorgan Chase & Co.: The 2016 Business Leaders Outlook report reveals that U.S. businesses are optimistic for growth despite uncertainty about the economy. The annual survey was conducted from January to February, and includes data from over 2,300 participants. “While business leaders admittedly see challenges overseas, they continue to see opportunities at home and anticipate positive growth in international markets over the next few years,” said Jim Glassman, Senior Economist at JPMorgan Chase. Read the report here: http://bit.ly/1qxkFxq **

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