POLITICO Playbook: McCONNELL torches REID in memoir out May 31: ‘rhetorically challenged … becomes bombastic and unreasonable, spouting things that are both nasty and often untrue’
EXCLUSIVE: MITCH McCONNELL in his forthcoming book, “The Long Game: A Memoir,” out May 31, re Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid: “Harry is rhetorically challenged. If a scalpel will work, he picks up a meat ax. He also has a Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde personality. In person, Harry is thoughtful, friendly, and funny. But as soon as the cameras turn on or he’s offered a microphone, he becomes bombastic and unreasonable, spouting things that are both nasty and often untrue, forcing him to then later apologize.
“For example, [in 2005] he’d called then-Federal Reserve chairman Alan Greenspan a political hack and later decided to enlighten a group of sixty students by calling President Bush a loser during a speaking engagement at their high school. This lack of restraint goes against what is expected from a party leader, and I was skeptical, at best, about the direction of the Senate under his leadership.” Amazon pre-order — $18.12http://amzn.to/1q9dMBb … The cover http://bit.ly/1RadPm9
BULLETIN — PARIS/AP: “Egypt’s aviation minister says terror attack or technical problem cannot be ruled outas cause of EgyptAir plane crash … EgyptAir Flight 804 from Paris to Cairo, carrying 66 people, … disappeared early Thursday.” http://apne.ws/27DiQQm
— TRUMP TWEETS: “Looks like yet another terrorist attack. Airplane departed from Paris. When will we get tough, smart and vigilant? Great hate and sickness!”
IF YOU READ ONLY ONE THING — “Republicans’ new reality: Forever Trump — — Win or lose in November, his supporters have already won key positions within the party that ensure their influence will extend well past 2016,” by Kyle Cheney: “[M]any of the incoming RNC members have won 4-year terms, virtually guaranteeing they’ll exert significant influence over the Republican Party through the 2020 presidential election and possibly long after. ‘The one thing that I’ve seen across the country are change agents getting involved,’ said Maryland’s David Bossie, the Trump ally and Citizens United CEO who ousted a 12-year member of the committee Saturday.” http://politi.co/1WE1DD9
INSIDE THE CAMPAIGNS — “Clinton’s tech team stumbles toward Trump: After struggling to put Sanders away, the Dems’ digital and data all-stars plot attack on low-tech Trump,” by Darren Samuelsohn in NYC: “[S]ome Democrats are warning the Brooklyn boiler room against overconfidence in the matchup with Donald Trump’s decidedly low-tech campaign. In a series of interviews at the campaign’s New York headquarters, Clinton’s tech team conceded it was caught off guard by Sanders, whose enterprise started miles behind in money and organization but has bested the front-runner at nearly every turn.” http://politi.co/1OOp5dU
MARCO’S NEXT ACT — “Rubio hires D.C.’s ‘Master of the Game’ to field job offers,” by Florida Playbook author Marc Caputo: “Robert Barnett, the Washington superlawyer who negotiated about $1.3 million worth of book deals for Marco Rubio, has been hired by the U.S. senator to handle the crush of job offers he’s getting ahead of his retirement from elected office in January.
“[Barnett said:] ‘Senator Rubio has already received many … inquiries from interested individuals and entities. They come from a wide variety of sectors and reflect the fact that he will be in high demand. Of course, many of the speakers’ bureaus want to sign him up too. He will likely also do some teaching. We won’t start negotiating anything until we receive guidance from the Ethics Committee.’” http://politi.co/1TolL7X … Subscribe to Florida Playbook http://politi.co/1JDm23W
TOP TALKER — “Have Female Journalists Ended the Boys-on-the-Bus Era of Campaign Reporting?” by Irina Aleksander in Vogue: “Of the reporters who dip in and out of the [Clinton press corps], there are 26 women and only three men. … [Annie] Karni and [Amy] Chozick lead lives that are at once prestigious and entirely unglamorous. Though they’re on arguably the biggest story in modern politics, their days are spent jammed into buses and planes and the aggressively air-conditioned Marriotts and DoubleTrees of the intercoastal states, where they eat out of plastic containers and file stories from the carpeted floors of countless event spaces. …
“To maintain energy levels, Karni and Chozick have taken power-yoga classes in Des Moines and boxing classes in the suburbs of Las Vegas. In Miami, everyone kept quiet so that NPR’s Tamara Keith and the AP’s Lisa Lerer, who both have young children back home, could read them ‘The Very Hungry Caterpillar’ via FaceTime.
“A few days before the March 15 primary, Jen Palmieri makes a rare appearance on the press plane to Cleveland and idly scrolls through her iPhone. ‘I’m so sick of my clothes,’ she says. ‘Are you guys so sick of your clothes?’ Chozick replies without looking up from her laptop. ‘I want to burn them.’” With cameos from Ruby Cramer, Sara Murray, Gwen Ifill, Jill Abramson, Colleen McCain Nelson, Beth Harpaz, Jenna Johnson http://bit.ly/1OJbqVe
TOP TWEETS: @newtgingrich: “I have a day trip to Atlanta [today] and just received Delta warning tsa could take 2–3 hours. Sanders socialist bureaucracy fails again.” … @michael_steel: “Thanks to all our friends, especially folks in the DC media who spread the word — MAGGIE IS HOME.”
FUTURE FIRST LADY? “Lady and the Trump: Melania Trump might speak softly, but in this rare, candid interview, she comes through loud and clear,” by Mickey Rapkin in DuJour: “I ask what Bill and Hillary Clinton got the Trumps for a wedding present in 2005, and Melania says innocently: ‘I don’t think they sent a gift.’ Really? She nods. ‘Some people didn’t send gifts.’ … ‘I like beautiful stuff. I live the life. It’s funny when we go and travel. They don’t have five-star hotels [in Iowa], but you go with it.’” http://bit.ly/1suMw1F
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LIFE ONLINE — N.Y. Times Business front, “State of the Art” column by Farhad Manjoo, “The Trouble With Twitter: Trump’s Favorite Tool Is a Blunt Weapon. Now He Needs Nuance” (online: “Twitter, Trump’s Trusty Weapon, Could Backfire”): “Twitter is like a partisan primary election. From Mr. Trump’s slogan to many of his policy ideas — build a wall, ban Muslims — his message has been perfectly tailored to the medium. But now, if he tries to expand his message beyond red-meat issues for the right, Mr. Trump may feel caged in by a platform that takes a dim view of self-restraint.” http://nyti.ms/1WDZC9O
DAILY DONALD — USA Today banner, “TRUMP’S TAX TROUBLES: More than 100 disputes are tied to billionaire candidate’s companies,” by Nick Penzenstadler and David McKay Wilson: “Trump’s companies have been engaged in disputes over taxes almost every year from the late 1980s until as recently as March.” http://usat.ly/1suO3EL
2016 PLAYERS — “Trump Taps Washington Lawyer to Help Vet Potential Running Mates,” by Bloomberg’s Kevin Cirilli and Jennifer Jacobs : “He ran the vetting process for Republican presidential nominee John McCain in 2008 that ultimately selected Sarah Palin. … From 1987 to 1989, Culvahouse served as White House counsel to President Ronald Reagan, helping to handle the failed Supreme Court nomination of Robert Bork. He is currently a lawyer in the Washington, D.C. law firm O’Melveny & Myers.” http://bloom.bg/1TliDrh
— Audrey Scagnelli has joined the GOP Convention comms team in Cleveland as Press Secretary, where she will be working with national media. She comes from New Day for America Super PAC and prior to that was with CARLY for America.
MEDIAWATCH — WashPost Style front, bottom of page, “Bezos [in on-stage interview with Marty Baron] responds to Trump’s criticism, defends campaign coverage,” by Paul Farhi (online: “’Not an appropriate way for a presidential candidate to behave’: Bezos fires back at Donald Trump”): “He declined to address each of Trump’s allegations specifically, but observed, ‘Some people would say this is very tactical, to immunize against the media. … But I’m very, very comfortable with all of Amazon’s approaches and behaviors, [such as] the way we pay taxes.’ …
“Trump’s latest criticism of Bezos was sparked by comments made by Post reporter Bob Woodward last week during a speech to a business group. Woodward said, accurately, that the paper had assigned some 20 reporters to produce a biography of Trump.”
Woodward told the group that Bezos said: “Look, the job at The Washington Post has to be tell us everything about who the eventual nominee will be in both parties — 15-part, 16-part series, 20-part series, we want to look at every part of their lives, and we’re never going get the whole story, of course, but we can get the best attainable.” http://wapo.st/1YESY0r
— “New York Times … Names Elizabeth Spayd Public Editor” — Release: “Since joining [Columbia Journalism Review], Ms. Spayd has led its transition from a print-centric bimonthly magazine to a digital-first publication that is more timely, sophisticated and smart in its coverage and analysis of news and media industry trends and journalistic ethics. Ms. Spayd spent the largest part of her career at the Washington Post in a multitude of reporting and editing positions. In 2006, she became the managing editor for the Post’s digital operations and in 2008, was named the paper’s managing editor. She began her career in small local newspapers before joining The Detroit News as business editor in 1984.” http://bit.ly/1Tr3tEg
DAILY DONALD — “Donald Trump accuses Bill Clinton of rape,” by Nick Gass: “The allegations raised against Donald Trump in a recent New York Times article are nothing compared to the Clintons’ history, the presumptive Republican nominee said in an interview with Fox News’ ‘Hannity’ aired Wednesday night. ‘For example, I looked at The New York Times. Are they going to interview Juanita Broaddrick? Are they going to interview Paula Jones? Are they going to interview Kathleen Willey?’ Hannity asked Trump … ‘In one case, it’s about exposure. In another case, it’s about groping and fondling and touching against a woman’s will.’ Trump replied, ‘And rape.’” http://politi.co/1WEUt0N
INSIDE TRUMP’S COURT LIST — Nick Gass: “Of the 11 names, … all are white and none … from Harvard — the law school that has churned out the most justices in Supreme Court history. Only one graduated from an Ivy League institution — Yale.” http://politi.co/251Oogt
RICH LOWRY on Politico, “The Trump-Sanders Two-Step”: “If the grass-roots movement that Sanders has built will pressure Democrats all the way to the Philadelphia convention and beyond, Trump has arguably done more to pull the country’s politics leftward. He has, for now, managed to do what the Democrats and the media have been attempting for most of the Obama era: to kill off the tea party as a national force. By dividing it, eclipsing it and making its animating concerns of limited government and constitutionalism into after-thoughts, Trump has neutered a heretofore potent vehicle against Big Government.” http://politi.co/23Y39OW
ROBERT KAGAN in WashPost, “This is how fascism comes to America”: “The Republican Party’s attempt to treat Donald Trump as a normal political candidate would be laughable were it not so perilous to the republic. If only he would mouth the party’s ‘conservative’ principles, all would be well. But of course the entire Trump phenomenon has nothing to do with policy or ideology. It has nothing to do with the Republican Party, either, except in its historic role as incubator of this singular threat to our democracy. Trump has transcended the party that produced him. … Their allegiance is to him and him alone.” http://wapo.st/25bTWIQ
— “Dying GOP Senator Apologizes to Muslims for Donald Trump,” by Daily Beast’s Tim Mak: “Former GOP senator Bob Bennett lay partially paralyzed in his bed on the fourth floor of the George Washington University Hospital. … ‘Are there any Muslims in the hospital? … I’d love to go up to every single one of them to thank them for being in this country, and apologize to them on behalf of the Republican Party for Donald Trump.” http://thebea.st/251KrbE
— “When Trump made a pass at me. And why it matters,” by Yahoo’s Lisa Belkin: “In the early months of 1987, I was a 26-year-old reporter at the New York Times and I went to a party at the newly opened Wollman Rink in Central Park. … I had interviewed Trump once for an article and was somehow invited to this event, which I attended with my now husband. I introduced him to Trump, we all chatted briefly, and then Bruce went off to get some hot chocolate or somesuch. After he’d walked away, Trump said there would be an even better afterparty and I was welcome to join him, but only if I came alone.” http://yhoo.it/1Tlm2Xb
KARL ROVE column in WSJ (with top-of-A1, tease), “What If Clinton Gets Indicted? It would scramble the campaign if Hillary or her aides lose the vital FBI primary”: “If there are indictments, Team Clinton will dismiss them as an overreaction to unintentional, minor mistakes and try pushing on through. But that may be unacceptable to the party’s hierarchy, especially if indictments occur before the Democratic convention in Philadelphia opens July 25. The party establishment might balk at having the ticket led by someone mired in a national-security scandal or by Mr. Sanders, … who has never … attended a … national convention.
“Instead, the party establishment might move to replace Mrs. Clinton with Vice President Joe Biden, a sentimental favorite, or Secretary of State John Kerry, whom many in the party’s leadership think more substantive, less prone to gaffes and, because of his 2004 loss against President George W. Bush, more deserving. The legally unbound superdelegates hold the balance of power.” http://on.wsj.com/1YEQ4bS
SANDERS STRATEGERY — N.Y. Times 1-col. lead, “SANDERS WILLING TO HARM CLINTON IN HOMESTRETCH: BUOYED BY SUPPORTERS — Upset Win in California Could Strengthen His Convention Hand,” by Patrick Healy, Yamiche Alcindor and Jeremy W. Peters: “Defiant and determined to transform the Democratic Party, Senator Bernie Sanders is opening a two-month phase of his presidential campaign aimed at inflicting a heavy blow on Hillary Clinton in California and amassing enough leverage to advance his agenda at the convention in July — or even wrest the nomination from her.” http://nyti.ms/1U12B5e
D.C. OFFICE TENANTS CAN BE CHOOSY — WashPost A1, at fold, “Many office towers around nation’s capital sit empty: As employers focus on urban centers, downturn hits suburbs [including office parks] hardest,” by Jonathan O’Connell: “Buildings began to empty during the recession, and they took another punch when the government shut down and federal spending slowed. The local economy began to pick up last year, but the recovery has been spotty, with construction cranes dotting the Washington skyline but absent from many parts of the suburbs, particularly areas far from mass transit.” http://wapo.st/2525J99
MAYOR OF THE WORLD — MIKE BLOOMBERG in London, “Leaving Europe Is a Risk the UK Shouldn’t Take”: “[W]e Yanks are watching the campaign closely — and many of us who have deep personal and business ties to the UK can’t help but take a close interest.” http://bloom.bg/1suNlHL
EU INFLUENCERS — Ryan Heath’s Brussels Playbook: “THE 40 MEPs [Members of the European Parliament] WHO MATTER — A NEW POLITICO LIST: The European Parliament has come a long way from its origins as an appointed and purely consultative body. Now, as an EU co-legislator, the Parliament has a direct legitimacy other [European Union] institutions lack. Yet … most people can name only a few of the 751 MEPs. … This list recognizes the 40 MEPs who do the most to shape Europe’s politics. … View and sort the list by country, party, and tribe here: http://politi.co/1XmJW9u … Read the full introductory text: http://politi.co/1WF3pDm."
TIME COVER — “Battle of the Bathroom: From schools to statehouses, what’s really at stake,” by Michael Scherer: This week, Time examines the debate over the use of public bathrooms by transgender Americans. Washington Bureau Chief Michael Scherer reports why the Obama Administration took action on this issue, its rich history in the context of civil rights and how it may impact the political landscape at the local, state and federal level. See the cover. http://bit.ly/2077sGA
SNEAK PEEK — JON FAVREAU interviewed by Chelsea Handler in episode 5 of Chelsea, Netflix new, first-ever talk show. The episode started streaming on Netflix at 3:01 a.m. ET today. Clips of Favreau/Handler http://nflx.it/22gRECV … http://nflx.it/23Y2uNA
FORMER FIRST FAMILY — “Laura Bush and Jenna Bush Hager Weigh in on the ‘Hate’ and ‘Bullying’ in This Year’s Presidential Campaign” — Sandra Sobieraj-Westfall: “[I]n a new PEOPLE interview to promote the children’s book that the mother-daughter duo wrote together, Our Great Big Backyard, Hager allows that the tone of this year’s campaign is ‘worrisome’ to her … ‘You know, we have parents who’ve been nothing but complimentary and kind. And so, if that’s the legacy they leave — you know, treat people with respect — it’s not a bad one.’ ‘Exactly,’ Bush added.” With 2-min. video http://bit.ly/1YEsZ9q
SPOTTED : Sen. Rand Paul, Kelley Paul, Sergio Gor and Steve Munisteri having dinner last night at the Magic Gourd
TRAILER OF THE DAY — “The New ‘Ghostbusters’ Trailer Will Ease Your Fears About the Movie Possibly Being Not Very Good” http://slate.me/22gQTtz
HOLLYWOODLAND — “Robin Wright Demanded The Same Pay As Kevin Spacey For ‘House of Cards,’” by HuffPost’s Emily Peck : “’I was like, “I want to be paid the same as Kevin,” said Wright, who plays Claire Underwood … ‘I was looking at the statistics and Claire Underwood’s character was more popular than [Frank’s] for a period of time. So I capitalized on it. I was like, “You better pay me or I’m going to go public,”’ Wright said with her trademark blinding-white grin. ‘And they did.’” http://huff.to/1U0YA0R
FUTURECAST — “Google Embeds AI in New Products to Make Search Ubiquitous,” by Bloomberg’s Jack Clark: “The Alphabet Inc. division unveiled a new mobile messaging application Wednesday called Allo containing a digital personal assistant, based on AI technology that powers other Google services like Inbox. At its I/O developer conference near its Silicon Valley headquarters, the company also showed off a voice-based search device called Google Home that uses the same assistant technology to answer questions when people are in their houses, a potentially potent rival to Amazon.com Inc.’s popular Echo gadget.” http://bloom.bg/251JXlZ
REMEMBERING KAREN FINNEY’s dad: “James Nathaniel Finney, a longtime civil rights activist, died May 5 at his residence in Washington … after an extended battle with cancer. He was 79. Finney, a former member of the Columbia University Law Students Civil Rights Research Council, was revered for his commitment and tenacity on behalf of those treated unfairly by society and his passion for social justice. A graduate of Columbia University School of General Studies and Columbia Law School, Finney also served in the U.S. Army, receiving an honorable discharge after a successful tour of duty in Germany.
“Finney continued his commitment to civil rights and social justice as a staff attorney for the NAACP Legal Defense Fund for six years, then at the New York Community Legal Services Agency until he was recruited to be associate general counsel of the trial division at the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, prompting a move to Washington in 1980.”
OUT AND ABOUT — Jonathan Capehart and friends celebrated his appearance on Celebrity Jeopardy last night by gathering at Café Milno to watch. He won nearly $15K for Sasha Bruce Youthwork, a DC charity that works to improve the lives of runaway, homeless, abused, and neglected at-risk youth and their families in the Washington area. Pic of Jonathan at Milano as he played Jeopardy on TV in the background http://bit.ly/27DiSYn
SPOTTED : Valerie Jarrett, UAE Ambassador Yousef Al Otaiba, Fred Hochberg, Amanda Downes, Rep. Debbie Dingell, Heather Podesta, Deesha Dyer, Kimball Stroud, Elizabeth Thorp, Carlos Elizondo and Mark Dumas, Fred Hiatt and Pooh Shapiro, Steve Clemons, Tracy Bernstein and Adam Bernstein, Maria Teresa Kumar, Patrick Steele and Lee Satterfield, Tamera Luzzatto, Janet Donovan, Peter O’Toole, Juleanna Glover and Christopher Reiter, Robert Raben, Jay Newton-Small, Mark Walsh, Susan Bennett, Franco Nuschese, Matt Lewis, Robin Sproul, Ben and Ashley Chang, Melissa Moss, Tom Toles, Michael Larabee, Tom Toles, Anthony Coley, Ruth Sherlock and Paul Wood.
WELCOME TO THE WORLD — Jen Nycz-Conner of Washington Business Journal and Chris Conner, who works in comms. for World Wildlife Fund (WWF), are thrilled to welcome Finnegan Kelley Conner to our crazy bunch. Finn made his big arrival May 11 at 8:13 p.m., weighing in at a very healthy 8 lbs., 15 oz. Pics http://bit.ly/1XmGmfq … http://bit.ly/251MYTc
BIRTHWEEK (was yesterday): Tim Chapman, COO at Heritage Action for America
BIRTHDAYS : David Marin, principal at the Podesta Group (h/t Jon Haber) … Allie Brandenburger (h/t Tim Miller) … Cindy McCain … Jim Lehrer is 82 … David Hartman is 81 … Daily Beast columnist Michael Daly … Time’s Phil Elliott, an AP alum … Grace and Henry, twins of Norah O’Donnell and “Chef” Geoff Tracy, are 9, celebrating at Chef Geoff’s (h/t Monica Pampell) … Carol “CJ” Guthrie, former assistant USTR for public and media affairs, now Head of the OECD Center in Washington, and the pride of Chattanooga (h/t Ben Chang) … Brian Mckeon, Sen. Shaheen’s legislative director (h/t Ryan Nickel) … Bob Schellhas (Portman/Boehner) of Washington Council/Ernst and Young is 5–0 … Politico’s Mandy Quinn … former Sen. Mark Andrews (R-ND) is 9–0 (h/t Jacqueline Tusa) … Mary Hager … Anton Becker, former press secretary for Rep. Tammy Duckworth … Ashley Mettler, Kevin McCarthy alum … Dem consultant John Hlinko … Blair FitzGibbon, president of Sound Speed Media … Yelberton (Yebbie) Watkins, longtime chief of staff to House Assistant Democratic Leader James Clyburn … Lucas Boyce, Bush 43 alum and now Orlando Magic’s director of business development and legislative affairs … Bob Juliano … Warren Coats …
Paul Schur, VP of publicity at Animal Planet and Science Channel … Cynthia Alksne … Katie Sander … Lindsey Parham, a Kay Bailey Hutchison alum … Jillian Martin … Beth Rossman … Phillip Carnegie Smith … Peggy Wilhide Nasir, senior comms. officer at World Bank … Kathleen Gleason Prayias … consultant Adrian Gray, a Bush-Cheney alum … Matthew Doering, president of Global Gateway Advisors … Melissa Cross … Margaret O’Meara … Cynthia Alksne … Eric Bakker … Branda Weix … Brendan Martin (BMart), SVP at Book Hill Partners and a DNC alum (h/ts Teresa Vilmain) … Pete Townshend (The Who) is 71 … Dusty Hill (ZZ Top) is 67 … College Football Hall of Famer and former NFL player Archie Manning is 67 … Phil Rudd (AC-DC) is 62 … Jenny Berggren (Ace of Base) is 44 … Kim Zolciak Biermann (“Real Housewives of Atlanta”) is 38 … pop singer Sam Smith is 24 … actor Nolan Lyons is 15 (h/ts AP)
DESSERT — “Ben & Jerry’s new ice cream flavor packs the politics,” by USA Today’s Ashley May: “The company just rolled out a new flavor, Empower Mint. It’s peppermint ice cream with fudge brownies and fudge swirls. While it sounds delicious, Ben & Jerry’s didn’t make it just to curb chocolatey mint cravings. Check out the flavor profile: ‘This fudge-filled flavor reflects our belief that voting gives everyone a taste of empowerment, & that an election should be more ‘by the people’ and less ‘buy the people!’” http://usat.ly/1TgKiyY
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