POLITICO Playbook: TRUMP INTRIGUE: Adviser gets vast new power — BERNING HILLARY — LEARNING TO CUDDLE Cruz

Happy Friday! The Caucus, Politico’s weekly insider poll: “90 percent predict contested GOP convention — Democrats say there’s no need for Hillary Clinton for panic,” by Steve Shepard: “GOP insiders worried about both the short- and long-term effects for Republicans of a contested convention, especially if Trump enters Cleveland with the most delegates but is denied the nomination. ‘The issue is what this will do to the GOP and those voters who have been attracted to Trump because they feel left behind,’ said a Pennsylvania Republican. … ‘[A] contested convention in itself is nothing nefarious, but how it will be portrayed by the media and social media could adversely impact the GOP for years to come.’ …

“’Some of us who were in Kansas City 40 years ago remember a spirited, uncertain start of convention week,’ a veteran Iowa Republican added. ‘Tension and drama? Yes. But there was respect between the Ford and Reagan camps, no talk of skullduggery, and a sense the GOP would leave town united. Oh, for the good ole’ days!’” http://politi.co/1SUoVje

DOESN’T WANT IT, WON’T TAKE IT! New Paul Ryan video, “Politics These Days” — 43-sec. video http://1.usa.gov/1VcEENX

DRUDGE headline with the video, “PAUL RYAN LAUNCHES FIRST CAMPAIGN AD?”

— Mike Ricci (@riccimike), comms. director for Speaker Ryan, replies: “Nope, but thanks for the clicks!”

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

GOP CONVENTION 1-min. video, “Road to Cleveland,” spins a happy tale of coming unity for the party:”It has been one of the most exciting primary seasons with the largest field in GOP history, record voter turnouts, and enthusiasm not seen in a generation. The real question is, ‘Will you be there?’” http://bit.ly/1PXP780

2016 PLAYERS — “Trump announces expansion of nomination efforts under convention manager Paul Manafort” — Campaign release: “Trump is announcing that he is consolidating the functions related to the nomination process and assigning them to Convention Manager, Paul Manafort. … Manafort will oversee, manage, and be responsible for all activities that pertain to Mr. Trump’s delegate process and the Cleveland Convention. Working closely with Campaign Manager Corey R. Lewandowski and Deputy Campaign Manager Michael Glassner, Mr. Manafort will direct the campaign’s activities in areas including delegate operations, Washington, DC outreach and the DC office opening next week.”

— “How Trump is test-driving top aide’s defense in battery case,” by Florida Playbook author Marc Caputo: Trump is deftly firing a warning shot at the Florida prosecutor in the case against Corey Lewandowski, who was cited for misdemeanor battery last week by police … Palm Beach County State Attorney David Aronberg must determine whether a jury would likely convict. … Trump has systematically tried the case in the court of public opinion and … has repeatedly raised key points of the ‘defense of others’ legal doctrine on Lewandowski’s behalf.”http://politi.co/1V03Urf … Caputo’s profile of the prosecutor http://politi.co/20cPWkU

— Politico’s Reid Pillifant reports: Glen Caplin, the former communications director for Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, is taking a two-week sabbatical from his current job at Global Strategy Group to serve as a media adviser to Hillary Clinton’s primary campaign.

TRUMP’S SECRET ADVISERS — “Trump’s Health Care Ideas Bewilder Republican Experts,” by NYT’s Robert Pear and Maggie Haberman: “Trump calls for ‘a full repeal of Obamacare’ but says that ‘everybody’s got to be covered.’ … This whipsaw of ideas is exasperating Republican experts on health care, who call his proposals an incoherent mishmash … His chief policy adviser, Sam Clovis, said … Trump is receiving advice on health care policy from at least a half-dozen ‘very prominent people,’ but he declined to name them. ‘They are not ready to have their support of the Trump campaign known.’” http://nyti.ms/1XkWLPT

PICS DU JOUR — @Kevinliptakcnn: “White House sends around a #TBT pic of law Professor Obama as he returns to @UChicago” http://bit.ly/1Wh7X1B … @SenatorKirk: “Thanks @POTUS. I met w/ Judge Garland because my responsibility to people of #IL is more important than partisanship” (pic of POTUS’ hand-written thank you card to Kirk) http://bit.ly/1qbmDme

INTERVIEW OF THE DAY: Charlie Rose, filling in as anchor of the “CBS Evening News,” presses Bernie Sanders during an interview in the New York newsroom: ROSE: “Do you believe Secretary Clinton is unqualified to be president? … Why can’t you simply say ‘yes.’” SANDERS: “Well, does Secretary Clinton believe that I am unqualified to be president?” Video http://cbsn.ws/1S79VSd

MOOD MUSIC — WashPost 1.5-col. lead, “Democrats concerned about tone of race: GROWING TESTINESS COULD HAMPER UNITY — Sanders isn’t retracting assertion Clinton is unqualified,” by John Wagner and Abby Phillip in N.Y., and Anne Gearan in D.C.: “With both candidates launching 10-day sprints … ahead of New York’s April 19 primary, the strain and resentment of a hard-fought and unexpectedly long contest boiled over repeatedly in interviews, speeches and other public appearances. …

“Traveling with Obama on Air Force One, White House spokesman Eric Schultz said Obama believes that Clinton ‘comes to the race with more experience than any non-vice president’ in recent campaign history.” http://wapo.st/1RIawb2

— N.Y. Times 1-col. lead, “DEMOCRATIC RACE TURNS TO ATTACKS ON CREDENTIALS — TENSION WITHIN PARTY: Sparring by Sanders and Clinton Over Ability to Lead Country,” by Amy Chozick and Yamiche Alcindor with Alan Rappeport: “The change in tenor signaled a pivotal moment for Mr. Sanders. He has won six out of the last seven primary contests and could extend that streak on Saturday in Wyoming, but he faces a tough challenge leading to the April 19 primary in delegate-rich New York.” http://nyti.ms/1WhbFs0

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SPOTTED: Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg at the “All the Way” play about LBJ and Civil Rights Act at Arena Stage last night. “She stayed for the whole play and gave a standing ovation.” … Sen. Majority Leader Mitch McConnell with 4th Estate pal George Will, Sec 128, five rows behind the Nats dugout. Will was wearing an electric blue crew neck — no Nats gear. McConnell had his blue blazer on. Pic of Will http://bit.ly/1TFHvOt … Charles Krauthammer at the Nats home opener … On the same Amtrak train up to NYC yesterday, Sen. Chuck Schumer, former Congresswoman Allyson Swartz and BuzzFeed’s Rena Shapiro, although not all in the same car.

PIC of McConnell at the ball game — @BridgeProject21: “buy me some peanuts and cracker jacks I don’t care if I never meet with @SCOTUSnom @SenateMajLdr #DoYourJob” http://bit.ly/25ON9Cw

— SEND YOUR SPOTTINGS to dlippman@politico.com

IF YOU READ ONLY 1 THING — WSJ A1, above fold, “Obama Readies A Wave of Rules,” by Nick Timiraos (online: “Obama Readies Flurry of Regulations Burst of rule-making comes in an election season that has already been tough on corporate interests”): “Planned moves-across labor, health, finance and the environment-range from overtime pay for white-collar workers to more obscure matters such as requiring food makers to disclose added sugar on cartons of flavored milk. … The rush reflects … Obama’s aim to use his final months … to cement a progressive domestic-policy legacy using executive powers …

“Business uncertainty from Washington may not change anytime soon. Presidential front-runners in both parties have shown greater hostility toward business in some ways, with Democrats promising stiffer regulation and Republicans calling for new tariffs or an end to subsidies. …

“[A] deadline looms this spring. Congress can vote to stop any regulation within 60 legislative days of its completion. … To issue regulations and still leave 60 legislative days before Mr. Obama’s term ends, he has to issue them by mid-May.” http://on.wsj.com/1qzdXH1

TALKER — USA Today 1A graphic: “85% of runners said they prefer morning runs, but the top times that runs are logged are at 5 p.m. in winter and 6 p.m. in summer months. Source: Under Armour’s MyFitnessPal survey among 2,200 registered MyFitnessPal adult users.”

SUNDAY SO FAR:

— “Face the Nation”: Bernie Sanders and John Kasich…Ken Burns will preview his PBS film, “Jackie Robinson” … Panel: Bloomberg’s Jennifer Jacobs, National Review’s Ramesh Ponnuru, Slate’s Jamelle Bouie, Dan Balz

— ABC’s “This Week”: Sen. Bernie Sanders, live with George Stephanopoulos.

— “Fox News Sunday”: President Obama

— “Meet the Press”: Roundtable: Matt Bai, Molly Ball, Rich Lowry, MSNBC’s Joy-Ann Reid

— CNN’s “Inside Politics,” 8 to 9 a.m., anchored by John King: Jonathan Martin, CNN’s Sara Murray, AP’s Lisa Lerer, CNN’s Manu Raju

N.Y. TIMES QUOTATION OF THE DAY — KELLYANNE CONWAY, president of Trusted Leadership, the main super PAC supporting Cruz, summing up how prominent donors’ view of the Cruz-Trump fight had evolved: “It’s not just, ‘Would you rather be shot or poisoned?’ Now it’s, ‘This isn’t so bad.’”

— A1 story at top of col. 5, “To Beat Trump, Donors Learn To Love Cruz: Mutual Interests Help Fix an Awkward Fit,” by Nick Confessore and Matt Flegenheimer: “Lots of people are giving him a second look,” said John A. Catsimatidis, a New York investor and grocery store magnate who attended [an] event [with Cruz at Manhattan’s] Knickerbocker Club [last month]. “People are scared of Donald Trump, that’s why.’"http://nyti.ms/1SEhJFv

POLITICO MAGAZINE FRIDAY COVER — MICHAEL KRUSE, “’He Brutalized For You’: How Joseph McCarthy henchman Roy Cohn became Donald Trump’s mentor”: “Cohn, the lurking legal hit man for red-baiting Sen. Joe McCarthy, whose reign of televised intimidation in the 1950s, has become synonymous with demagoguery, fear-mongering and character assassination. In the formative years of Donald Trump’s career, when he went from a rich kid working for his real estate-developing father to a top-line dealmaker in his own right, Cohn was one of the most powerful influences and helpful contacts in Trump’s life. … Cohn brought his say-anything, win-at-all-costs style to all of Trump’s most notable legal and business deals. … Cohn’s philosophy shaped the real estate mogul’s worldview and the belligerent public persona visible in Trump’s presidential campaign.” http://politi.co/1SUm6yO

BETSY FISCHER MARTIN and TAMMY HADDAD interview RNC chair Reince Priebus for their Bloomberg podcast, “Masters in Politics” — Priebus on what the GOP nominee has to do to win the general: “You do have to reach out to Hispanics, and black voters, and Asian voters, and you do have to watch your tone. And you do have to have a general election message that builds and creates what I believe is the ultimate image of our party which should be the Open Door party. A party for everyone no matter where you’re from. Tone matters that has to be something that is first and foremost in our candidate’s minds if we are going to build a party that can win a big cultural vote in this country.”

— Says he does trust Trump : “I’ve never had a situation where he has told me something and he hasn’t done it. I don’t have any reason to distrust any of our candidates. Posturing and talking is different than actually violating. And they haven’t violated any pledge or any bit of loyalty to me.” … About the possibility of a white knight candidacy: “I would say highly, highly unlikely. You have to have a gazillion rounds of balloting, and everyone in the world to realize it wasn’t getting anywhere to then move on.” http://apple.co/1VDbJ4P … Bloomberg storyhttp://bloom.bg/1SEhES0

POWER PLAYBOOKERS — LIESL HICKEY, former NRCC exec. director, on Medium, “Too Late, Donald: GOP Voters are Already Tired of Winning”: “Donald Trump, the GOP frontrunner, spends a lot of time talking about winning, how he’s a winner and how much winning we are going to do when he’s president. There will be so much winning, he says, ‘that you may get bored with winning.’ But it seems like Republican voters already are.” http://bit.ly/1qxvLC4

SNEAK PEEK — New Weekly Standard cover, “UP IN THE AIR — Hard landing ahead for the GOP” — Trump and Cruz in wacky balloons over NYC — Trump has a few money bags attached to his balloon with $100 dollar bills flying around. Cruz is seen throwing darts to try to deflate Trump’s balloon. See the cover. http://bit.ly/1S6XtC3

BENNY JOHNSON VIDEO from Independent Journal Review — “Richard Dreyfuss Performs Theatrical Reading of Donald Trump”: “The breakout video team of the 2016 presidential campaign traveled West to enlist the thespian talents of Academy award-winning actor Richard Dreyfuss, and capture the trouper reciting a few familiar lines from the trail.” 2-min. video https://goo.gl/X4hf8S

GLORIA BORGER interview with former Secretary of State James Baker on the 1976 convention — Borger: “So how’d you keep track?” Baker : “You need to know everything there is to know about a potential delegate is what turns them on, what turns them off, what they believe in, what they favor, what they disfavor, who they’re sleeping with, the whole shmear, okay. Then you just massage that delegate, you stay in touch with him, you work him, protect him to keep him from being stolen by the other side. And then you got to go over and steal delegates from the other guy. So it’s a zero sum game, and as people say all the time it ain’t beanbag.”Video http://cnn.it/1MjhDGs... Story http://cnn.it/1PXleol

VIDEO DU JOUR — “Bloomberg Radio’s Charlie Pellett, voice of the New York City subway system (‘stand clear of the closing doors, please’), explains to the presidential candidates vying for political dominance in the Empire State just how to win New York.” 2-min. video http://bloom.bg/22gaOHB

LIFE ONLINE — “Facebook Wants You to Post More About Yourself,” by Bloomberg’s Sarah Frier : “Facebook Inc. is working to combat a decline in people sharing original, personal content, the fuel that helps power the money machine at the heart of its social network … [P]eople have been less willing to post updates about their lives as their lists of friends grow … Facebook employees working on the problem have a term for this decline in intimacy: ‘context collapse.’ Personal sharing has shifted to smaller audiences on Snapchat, Facebook’s Instagram and other messaging services.” http://bloom.bg/1YitepX

— WashPost A1, below fold, “The next hot job in Silicon Valley is for poets,” by Elizabeth Dwoskin:”Behind Apple’s Siri, Amazon’s Alexa and Microsoft’s Cortana are not just software engineers. Increasingly, there are poets, comedians, fiction writers, and other artistic types charged with engineering the personalities for a fast-growing crop of artificial intelligence tools. … As in fiction, the AI writers for virtual assistants dream up a life story for their bots. Writers for medical and productivity apps make character decisions such as whether bots should be workaholics, eager beavers or self-effacing.” http://wapo.st/20dmxXS

FUTURE OF MEDIA — “US newspapers raise alarm over new ad-blocker Brave,” by FT’s Shannon Bond: “US newspapers including the New York Times, the Washington Post and the Wall Street Journal are raising the alarm over new ad-blocking software that promises to replace publishers’ advertisements with its own and pay readers in bitcoin to view them. The ad-replacing plan comes from Brave, a web browser launched this year by Brendan Eich, the co-founder and former chief executive of Mozilla.” http://on.ft.com/23ht4pY

MEDIAWATCH — Bloomberg D.C. bureau job moves — bureau chief and executive editor Megan Murphy emails the staff: “Margaret Talev has been named senior White House reporter as we mark another inflection point for the administration. … Michael C. Bender has been named senior reporter covering national politics through the November election and beyond. … Brendan Greeley, who most of you know from Bloomberg TV and Bloomberg Businessweek, has moved to Washington to cover the intersection of politics and the economy, in a role focused mainly on campaign economic issues. Saleha Mohsin, previously in Oslo covering Norwegian economics, will move to Washington later this month to cover the Treasury. …

… Bill Faries, formerly Miami bureau chief, has joined us as our new National Security team leader. … Chris Strohm, previously our cybersecurity reporter … will cover the Justice Department. Nafeesa Syeed, formerly an eco/gov reporter in Dubai, is moving to DC to cover the intersection of technology, national security and foreign policy — with an emphasis on cybersecurity, intelligence and national defense. … Ben Bain, who has been covering emerging markets in Latin America, is moving to Washington to cover the SEC. Elizabeth Dexheimer has taken over coverage of the congressional committees that deal with the financial industry and will share responsibilities with Jesse Hamilton for reporting on banking regulators.”

— NBC “TODAY” ANCHOR AL ROKER IS LAUNCHING Roker Media, a company focused on live streaming video. http://on.wsj.com/1Sg52QL

— @PeterHamby: “Thrilled to expand our News & Local teams in Europe. Looking for smart journalists in London. Multi-lingual a plus!” www.snapchat.com/jobs

TRANSITIONS — Carol Joynt, host of the Q&A Café, emails: “It has taken me only 17 years , but I’m finally back in my sport. Last week I started full time as a guest producer for Hardball with Chris Matthews. … The last gig I had in television, before I had to give up my career to oversee my late husband’s restaurant, Nathans, was as a producer for a brand new Hardball. I say it is my sport because for years, at various stages, I was a producer for This Week, Nightline, Charlie Rose, Larry King Live.”

OUT AND ABOUT — SPOTTED at the Washington, D.C.-based Pulitzer Center’s 10-year celebration in NYC on Tuesday night: Pulitzer Center founder and executive director, Jon Sawyer, PBS Newshour’s Robin McNeil, Judy Woodruff, Craig Newmark of Craigslist, Mike Pride, administrator of the Pulitzer Prizes, former Gephardt campaign manager Don Foley, Marvin Kalb, and former Time, Inc. editor Isolde Motley.

COMING ATTRACTIONS- “White House announces 2016 Spring Garden Tours”: “[T]he White House will be opening its gardens and grounds to visitors on Saturday, April 16 from 10:00 AM to 4:30 PM EDT, and Sunday, April 17 from 10:00 AM to 2:30 PM EDT. During this event, visitors can see the Jacqueline Kennedy Garden, Rose Garden, and South Lawn of the White House. … The National Park Service will distribute free, timed tickets at the Ellipse Visitor Pavilion located near 15th and E Streets Northwest on each tour day beginning at 9:00 AM. Tickets will be distributed — one ticket per person — on a first-come, first-served basis.”

PLAYBOOK METRO SECTION — “Social media driving spike in urban dirt bike riding,” by AP’s Ben Nuckols: “The Washington area has dealt with several recent cases involving off-road vehicles that have alarmed law enforcement officials and the public, including an officer who was injured when his motorcycle was dragged by an ATV … ‘I think for the riders this has become a trend where they videotape themselves,’ [DC police chief Cathy] Lanier said.” http://yhoo.it/1XkYmVG

TRAILER OF THE DAY — “Rogue One: A Star Wars Story Official Teaser Trailer” — in theaters in December http://bit.ly/25OWCd5

BUSINESS BURST — WSJ 2-col. lead, “Pay for CEOs Shrank Most Since Crisis,” by Theo Francis and Joann Lublin: “[W]eaker corporate performance slowed cash bonuses and accounting rules pared back pension growth. Median pay for the CEOs of nearly 300 large publicly traded companies slipped 3.8% to $10.8 million last year from $11.2 million in 2014 … Half of those CEOs saw total pay either decline or rise by less than 1%-also the worst showing for S&P 500 chiefs since the 2008 crisis.” http://on.wsj.com/1qzdDIi

BIRTHWEEK (was yesterday): CNN’s Noah Gray, the youngest Trump embed, turned 24 … Rep. Robert Brady (D-Pa.) … (was Wednesday): Reps. Joe Courtney (D-Ct.) and Tim Walz (D-Minn.)

BIRTHDAYS : John Weaver, Kasich senior strategist… Tom DeLay is 69 … Chuck Todd, NBC News’ political director, moderator of “Meet the Press” and the pride of Miami (Pack tips: Kristian Denny, Olivia Petersen) … Robin Sproul, V.P. at ABC News … Susan Brophy, managing director of Glover Park Group, a Clinton alum …Seymour Hersh is 79 … former U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan is 78 … Janet Goldstein (h/ts Jon Haber) … Mary Beth Cahill … Lynn Becker (h/t Teresa Vilmain) … Mike Leiter, EVP for integration at Leidos, a Palantir alum and former director of the National Counterterrorism Center …

… Mike Berman, president and éminence grise of Duberstein group … Meghan Pianta, a director at Glover Park Group and chief rival for D.C.’s premier playbook (she writes the firm’s weekly internal copycat Playbook newsletter), is 3–0 (h/t Matt Woelfel) … Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wis.) celebrates 61 with a Miller Lite — his favorite beer and a Wisconsin staple … Politico’s Christian Guirreri … former U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan … WashPost policy editor Zach Goldfarb … Lauren Skowronski, VP of corporate comms at NBCUniversal … George Arzt … Jackie Kessel, VP of BerlinRosen … Jake Itzkowitz … Jack Daly … WSJ media reporter Lukas I. Alpert …

… Robin Wright of “House of Cards” is 5–0 … Microsoft alum Mike Cohen, founder of Congress in Your Pocket … Mike McCauley, an HHS and Obama alum … Lynn Becker … Dan Gainor, VP for business and culture at Media Research Center … Heather Brand, the personal photographer for McCain-Palin 2008 … BuzzFeed’s Liz Wasden, a Facebook and ABC alum … Bruce Charash … Boyd Norton … Kate Stence … Jim Garamone … Raymond Siller, an NBC and ABC alum … Melissa Wagoner Olesen … Brennan Monaco … Jack Daly … Lynn Becker … comedian Shecky Greene is 90 … actor-turned-diplomat John Gavin is 85 … Basketball Hall-of-Famer John Havlicek is 76 … “Mouseketeer” Darlene Gillespie is 75 … “Survivor” winner Richard Hatch is 55 … singer Julian Lennon is 53 … actress Sadie Calvano is 19 (h/ts AP)

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