PHILADELPHIA — Democratic discontent with Hillary Clinton was on full display at the California delegation breakfast Monday morning ahead of the first night of the Democratic National Convention.

Members of the delegation repeatedly disrupted the lineup of speakers, including House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, with protestations against Clinton and cheering for Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders.

Sanders won 43 percent of California's Democratic primary vote, compared to Hillary Clinton’s 56 percent.

But whenever a speaker talked about uniting to elect Clinton in November, the crowd balked. They booed Rep. Mike Honda. And chanted “Bernie, Bernie, Bernie!” during Rep. Barbara Lee’s address.

[Wasserman Schultz Will Step Down As DNC Chair ]

Pelosi tried to unify the room by emphasizing the commonalities in the room rather than the divisions. “The differences that we have are not so great compared to the chasm between us and Republicans.”

The crowd wasn’t having it. When a Bernie sign was thrust in Pelosi’s face on stage, she remained calm. “I don’t consider it a discourtesy even if it is intended as one.”

[Democrats to Promote Positive Vision Amid Divisions ]

She said she’d always opposed super delegates and praised Sanders for staying in the race through the California primary because he helped boost turnout that resulted in more down-ballot Democrats finishing in the state’s top-two primary system.

With one final call for unity, and rallying calls to take back the House and Senate, Pelosi walked off stage to more “Bernie” chants.

Get breaking news alerts and more from Roll Call on your iPhone or your Android.

12,000 Read more...

PHILADELPHIA — All those hacked DNC emails showing the joy of backstabbing , the self-absorption of DWS and the price of sitting next to the president have, alas, distracted us from another shocking/not that shocking revelation, this one from the GOP nominee.

On "Meet the Press" on Sunday, Donald Trump stuck up for his old friend Roger Ailes, the ousted (but still well-compensated) head of Fox News, who’s been accused by some two dozen women of trying to pressure them into sex by promising jobs and advancement if they complied and professional consequences if they did not. (Through his famous feminist lawyer, Susan Estrich , he has denied doing any such thing.)

According to The Washington Post, these accusations go all the way back to the '60s — decades before Ailes helped build a network that perseverates on sexual misconduct.

Yet — and I’m not sure how this jibes with Ivanka Trump’s RNC speech about what a champion of women her dad is — Trump at a minimum doesn’t mind leaving the impression that Ailes might soon be running his presidential campaign.

“Is he helping you?” MTP moderator Chuck Todd asked Trump. “Is he advising you?”

“Well, I don't want to comment,” the new nominee responded.“But he's been a friend of mine for a long time. And I can tell you that some of the women that are complaining, I know how much he's helped them. And even recently. And when they write books that are fairly recently released, and they say wonderful things about him.

“And now all of a sudden they're saying these horrible things about him. It's very sad. Because he's a very good person. I've always found him to be just a very, very good person. And by the way, a very, very talented person. Look what he's done. So I feel very badly. But a lot of people are thinking he's going to run my campaign.”

For a candidate who only has to do something to mitigate his historically low standing among women if he wants to win the election, this is bold talk even from him.

But it is hardly out of nowhere for a man who, as Fox’s Megyn Kelly noted at an early GOP debate, has called women he doesn’t like fat pigs … dogs, slobs and disgusting animals,” — a man who’s obsessed with looks and youth, has made a creepy comment about his own daughter’s attractiveness, and with cameras rolling, mocked his then-rival Carly Fiorina’s appearance: “Look at that face!”

Another of Trump’s friends, and one he has in common with Bill Clinton, is Jeffrey Epstein , a convicted pedophile. Years before Epstein’s conviction, in 2002, Trump spoke glowingly — and in retrospect, tellingly — about him to New York magazine for a profile that cast Epstein as “Gatsbyesque” and a “collector of beautiful minds.”

“I've known Jeff for fifteen years. Terrific guy,” Trump told the magazine writer. “He's a lot of fun to be with. It is even said that he likes beautiful women as much as I do, and many of them are on the younger side. No doubt about it — Jeffrey enjoys his social life.”

One reason Trump may feel so bad for his buddy Roger Ailes is that he can relate. Because another thing Donald Trump has in common with Bill Clinton is that they’ve both been accused of, and strenuously denied, committing rape.

One more thing they have in common: Neither accusation got as much mainstream attention as you’d think such a serious allegation would attract.

I’ve said for years that we’ve been wrong not to want to know whether the Big Dog was not just a hound dog, but a man credibly accused of violating a campaign volunteer in 1978. The woman involved, Juanita Broaddrick , has also said that Hillary Clinton soon thereafter thanked her for all she’d done for her husband in a way that made Broaddrick think the candidate’s wife was really pressuring her to stay silent.

To me, Trump’s refrain that Hillary Clinton enabled her husband’s treatment of women is indeed relevant as she campaigns on her record as a global encourager of women and their rights. But it was so long ago, when we knew so much less, my friends tell me.

Those who suspect that a prominent Republican accused of rape would be treated differently have so far been proven wrong, because the lawsuit filed last month by a woman who charges that Trump raped her at a 1994 Epstein party when she was 13 years old has been even more widely ignored.

That’s at least in part because the anonymous woman has never given an interview, and neither has another woman who reportedly worked for Epstein procuring adolescent girls as party favors and who has filed a sworn statement saying she witnessed the attack.

It’s also because the woman who filed the suit has gotten financial support from a conservative anti-abortion donor and a former "Jerry Springer" producer who say outright that they’re motivated by hatred of Trump.

In other words, not enough is on the record to assess the facts of the case, and the people who’ve taken it on don’t inspire confidence. The nominee's first wife, Ivana Trump, also said years ago that he had raped her in a fury as they were divorcing, but she later said she didn't mean the charge literally.

A third woman, Jill Harth , filed a 1997 lawsuit alleging Trump had sexually assaulted her but made the charges amid a business dispute and soon dropped the suit. She recently renewed her allegations.

Yet there is more than enough from the innocent-until-proven-guilty candidate’s own lips — including his victim-blaming defense of Ailes and admiring view of Epstein — to convict him of holding a view of women that is not just politically incorrect but all wrong. He used to defend Bill Clinton, too — and smeared our 42nd president's accusers, too, back in the day.

Those, including me, who have thought some pro-choice feminists have been too willing to look the other way on piggery by politicians who happen agree with them on abortion rights should now admit that some pro-life feminists come off as similarly craven in supporting Trump because he’s pledged to appoint Scalia-like conservatives to the Supreme Court; this is their issue, but it isn't the only issue.

And as long as our discussion of the treatment of women never gets beyond forest-for-the-trees arguments over whether the R or D team’s sins are worse, none of the above will change.

Get breaking news alerts and more from Roll Call on your iPhone or your Android.

12,000 Read more...

PHILADELPHIA — Sen. Bernie Sanders' supporters soundly rejected presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton on Monday.

The crowd packed into a ballroom at the Philadelphia Convention Center responded with loud boos when Sanders said, "We have got to elect Hillary Clinton.”

Sanders addressed his delegates amid heightened divisions in the Democratic Party just a few hours before the first day of the Democratic National Convention.

Democratic National Committee Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz agreed Saturday to step down after the convention amid controversy over leaked DNC emails showing some staffers plotted against the campaign.

When Sanders addressed her resignation, the crowd responded with cheers.

Sanders supporters disrupted an appearance at Wasserman Schultz's home state delegation's breakfast Monday morning. And his supporters said to expect further disruption on the convention floor Monday if Wasserman Schultz addresses the convention.

The Bernie Delegates Network, which claims more than 1,200 Sanders delegates in its ranks, said its members were discussing possible protest actions during the convention.

Norman Solomon, the head of the delegate network, said he had not heard from the Sanders campaign that they should not protest. But Karen Bernal, who heads the California delegation, said she had heard indirectly that Sanders campaign staffers were concerned about disruptions.

Sanders did not tell his crowd of supporters not to protest or demonstrate at the convention. He instead attempted to say over the displeased crowd that Trump would be a disaster, and he did not respect the Constitution.

The delegate leaders rejected notions that they could hurt the Democratic Party's chances of unifying by acting on their disapproval of Clinton, and therefore help Trump win the presidency.

"We don't want to see Donald Trump taking the White House," said Bernal. "We need to be able to show that there is a space for this kind of discontent within the party and understanding that we can still move forward and try to do everything that we can to make this a more progressive party."

Sanders spent much of the rally laying out his campaign's victories, including more than 20 primary and caucus victories and nearly 1,900 pledged delegates.

He also encouraged supporters to keep his political revolution going, and support candidates up and down the ballot in November who promote progressive policies.

Campaign organizers passed out papers to attendees encouraging them to sign up and host kick off events for "Our Revolution ," a new political organization to recruit candidates who run on a progressive platform. Sanders said he would support 100 progressive candidates across the country.

"We continue to fight," Sanders said.

Contact Bowman at bridgetbowman@rollcall.com and follow her on Twitter at @bridgetbhc .

Get breaking news alerts and more from Roll Call on your iPhone or your Android.

12,000 Read more...

Get breaking news alerts and more from Roll Call on your iPhone or your Android.

12,000 Read more...

PHILADELPHIA — With his white-knuckle approach to speechwriting — making changes in the text until the final millisecond — Bill Clinton as president always courted disaster. And then transcended it.

He ad-libbed the first seven minutes of a 1993 speech to Congress on health care because the wrong speech had been inserted into the teleprompter. His 1997 State of the Union address somehow went into the teleprompter as a James Joycean single paragraph because Clinton had been tweaking the speech in the limousine on his way to the Capitol.

That is not — to put it mildly — Hillary Clinton's style. She is more likely to give her Thursday night acceptance speech while juggling bowling pins than she is to emulate the high-wire rhetorical acts of her husband.

But Hillary's orderly, unflappable approach brings with it a different kind of risk. She often gives the impression that her approach to campaigning is to check off boxes.

Remind the world that she's a grandmother for likability, check. Arouse women voters with talk of the glass ceiling, check. Reach out to Latinos with a Spanish-speaking running mate, check. Stress her years of advocacy for children's rights to show she has a heart, check.

It is her take on the New Deal Democratic coalition — run for president by offering a little something for every winnable constituency group. Putting it in baseball terms (and remember Hillary is a Cubs and a Yankee fan), it is creating an offense based entirely on hitting singles.

Running for president with an incumbent of your own party in the White House can be a daunting challenge. In the shadow of Ronald Reagan, George H.W. Bush admitted his bafflement at "the vision thing. Al Gore in 2000 was the pretzel candidate — tying himself in knots trying to avoid a tarnished Bill Clinton while still claiming credit for the achievements of Clintonism.

Still, there is an inescapable mushiness to Hillary Clinton's vision. In her Sunday night "60 Minutes" interview along with Tim Kaine, she described her policy agenda in these stirring terms: "I think we can create more economic opportunity. I think we can improve education, make college affordable, deal with the myriad of issues that we confront."

You can see the bumper-stickers now: "Deal with the Myriad of Issues — Vote Hillary."

Later in the interview, Scott Pelley gave Clinton another chance to summarize her ambitions as president. But, again, Hillary opted for the warm and very fuzzy: "I care most about getting the economy working for everybody. Not just those at the top. I care deeply about rebuilding the ladders of opportunity that have been battered, and broken, and knocked over — so that people can get an education that'll equip them for the future."

Make no mistake, this is not Ted Kennedy being unable to articulate a coherent reason why he was running for president in his 1979 interview with Roger Mudd . But this is also not the crisp answer that might be expected from a well-rehearsed woman who will deliver the biggest speech of her many-faceted career Thursday night.

Even if she were not running against a bilious billionaire and apprentice authoritarian, Hillary Clinton brings obvious strengths to this campaign. Strengths like competence and professionalism.

The rollout of Tim Kaine as her running mate was a textbook political operation — devoid of leaks or hints of indecisiveness. Watching Clinton and Kaine in Miami Saturday, I thought of the slogan "Better Together," last used to keep Scotland as part of Great Britain.

The hacking of the internal emails of the Democratic National Committee and their release by Wikileaks was an embarrassment. But the Clinton campaign acted promptly to provide DNC Chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz with an exit strategy — straight out an open window. And the choice of Donna Brazile as the acting DNC chair was pitch perfect since the CNN commentator is well liked, soothing and experienced.

This convention is also the last time that Hillary has a chance to win the battle of False Equivalence. Her secrecy mania (the home-brew email servers), her greed (those Goldman-Sachs speeches) and her husband's questionable fund-raising for the Clinton Foundation have produced nods of agreement when Donald Trump mocks her as "Crooked Hillary."

For all of Hillary's missteps and for all the Clinton family's sense of entitlement, there is no comparison between the former secretary of state and the former reality-show host. Hillary does not threaten America's alliances, advocate war crimes, demean Muslims and Latinos, consort with white supremacists and display a total contempt for the norms of democracy.

It seems an open-and-shut case — and it is central to Clinton's need to win the votes of independents and Republicans appalled by Donald Trump.

But asked on "60 Minutes" about her image as someone who is unethical, Hillary quickly retreated to her familiar "vast rightwing conspiracy" tone of martyrdom. As she put it, "I often feel like there's the Hillary standard and then there's the standard for everybody else."

Yes, Hillary has been the victim of partisan witch-hunts from Whitewater to Benghazi. But she has also played fast and loose from her miraculous commodities trading record in the 1980s to her State Department emails.

In her battle against the most dangerous presidential candidate of my lifetime, it is vital to eliminate the counter-argument that "Hillary Is Worse." Sadly, though, I see no signs that this talented, dedicated and exasperating almost-nominee can pull it off.

Roll Call columnist Walter Shapiro is a veteran of Politics Daily, USA Today, Time, Newsweek and the Washington Post. His book on his con-man great-uncle was just published: "Hustling Hitler: The Jewish Vaudevillian Who Fooled the Fuhrer." Follow him on Twitter @MrWalterShapiro.

12,000 Read more...
12,000

Bernie Sanders arrives in Philadelphia vanquished but unbowed.

Platform negotiations brought compromises he can support on the issues that framed his campaign: trade protection, affordable college and universal health care. His call for the ouster of Democratic National Committee Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz has been honored . And he has a prominent speaking role at the convention Monday night.

But his supporters — protesting in the streets, shouting down party leaders and threatening to disrupt speeches on the floor — could undermine hard-fought negotiations to unify the Democratic Party in advance on November's election.

[ Full Coverage of the Democratic National Convention ]

Beyond Philadelphia, though, it remains unclear whether Sanders and his call for a revolution will have a lasting imprint on the party. Almost a quarter-century after President Bill Clinton pulled the party to the center, Sanders wants to push it back to the left. And he’s promising to do so by mobilizing his legions of supporters and leveraging his formidable fundraising ability to elect progressive candidates up and down the ballot.

The question then is whether Sanders’ movement will lead to a stronger Democratic Party or divide it, much as the tea party movement has split the GOP.

Sanders’ victory in shaping the party platform earlier this month — it is widely considered to be the most liberal in years — initially seemed to quell the dissent.

[ Democrats to Promote Positive Vision Amid Divisions ]

Sanders was pleased enough with the document — which calls for a $15 minimum wage, abolition of the death penalty and free community college — that he endorsed Clinton earlier this month two days after it became final. At the same time, he’s argued that it doesn’t go far enough. In particular, Sanders would have liked a plank critical of the Trans-Pacific Partnership, the sweeping trade deal President Barack Obama has pushed but that both Sanders and Clinton oppose.

The apparent peace between the party's factions dissolved late last week when Wikileaks released a series of DNC emails that suggested committee staff were working against Sanders. Clinton's decision to pick Virginia Sen. Tim Kaine as her running mate angered some Sanders supporters, who had hoped for a more progressive vice presidential candidate.

[ Wasserman Schultz Will Step Down As DNC Chair ]

Protesters arrived in full force Sunday, marching through the streets of Philadelphia. Even after Wasserman Schultz stepped down from the committee chairmanship, protesters shouted the Florida congresswoman down at a Monday morning breakfast with her state delegation. House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi was also heckled at a California delegation breakfast.

Sanders has already vowed to support Wasserman Schultz's opponent in her August congressional primary . That is just one small piece of a broader effort to elect more progressive candidates across the country, making public calls for like-minded people to step up and run for office.

“What we need is people standing up, running for school board, and we need other people to be helping them win,” Sanders told supporters in Albany, New York, in late June. “And we need people running for city council, for mayor, you know, for state legislature.”

In a live-stream address to supporters in June, Sanders asked for people interested in seeking local office or campaigning for those who do to contact his operation through a new page on his website. In the first week, roughly 20,000 did. Now the Vermont independent seems ready to put his ability to raise large sums from small-dollar contributions to work for his movement.

[ Trump Tries to Woo Sanders Supporters by Trolling Trump ]

“We are prepared to try to help you. We have millions and millions of names. One of the things that we’re doing right now is we have given support to ... a number of candidates running for Congress, running for state legislature,” Sanders said.

Another Vermonter, former Democratic Gov. Howard Dean , used the support he gained in the 2004 presidential election to launch an organization, Democracy for America, dedicated to expanding progressive influence in those down-ballot races. The organization is encouraging Sanders to do the same.

“It would be an incredible asset to have an organization coming out of Bernie Sanders’ campaign that we can work with and partner with,” said Neil Sroka, a spokesman for the group.

Sanders’ efforts in down-ballot races in 2016 have had mixed results. Though some of his candidates lost, he helped them raise hundreds of thousands of dollars, allowing them to remain competitive in their primaries.

Lucy Flores, a former member of the Nevada state Assembly, was one of them. Sanders’ fundraising email on her behalf brought in more than $400,000. A Democrat, Flores ultimately lost the primary to state Sen. Ruben Kihuen who gets to take on Republican Rep. Cresent Hardy in the state's 4th District in November. But she helped change the conversation in the race with her strident criticism of Wall Street.

[ Sanders Delegates Weigh Kaine Challenge ]

Flores said it was “inevitable” that the Sanders campaign will morph into a campaign operation for progressive candidates. But her loss indicates that it’s not going to be easy to change the party. “This is not a change that is going to occur overnight,” she said.

Strategists who are asked about the Sanders’ effect down-ballot often point to Zephyr Teachout’s win in the Democratic primary in upstate New York’s 19th Congressional District. The incumbent, Republican Chris Gibson, is not running and it’s a prime pickup opportunity for the Democrats.

But it’s not clear how much Sanders had to do with Teachout’s primary win. Though the senator helped raise money for her campaign, she had immense name recognition from a previous gubernatorial run and was one of the favorites from the start.

Democratic consultant Rick Ridder said the key for more down-ballot success is picking the right candidates and analyzing changing demographics that reflect potential pickup opportunities.

“If you’re going to go pick cherries, you got to know where the cherries are,” Ridder said.

As the Sanders campaign weighs its next moves, some of his supporters are taking matters into their own hands. Several former staffers formed “Brand New Congress,” a group with an ambitious plan to run hundreds of candidates in 2018.

[ The Emotional Life of Sanders Supporters ]

The goal is to back more “Berniecrats,” or candidates who run on Sanders’ platform, and take over the Congress in one fell swoop. The founders believe that thinking big keeps people energized.

“If you ask somebody to do something big, to win something big, then people show up,” said Becky Bond, a former senior adviser to the Sanders campaign.

Bond spoke at a gathering of 3,000 activists and Sanders supporters in Chicago in June called “The People’s Summit .” She said the energy was strong and people were eager to figure out their next steps.

Part of the challenge is uniting all the different groups and pockets of supporters, and channeling that energy to make real change. Some of these groups include more established progressive organizations like MoveOn.org and Democracy for America. The Sanders campaign also spurred others, such as Millennials for Sanders, which is now considering becoming a political action committee.

[ Will Sanders Hill Internship Be Hottest Ticket for Wonky Millennials? ]

“I think everyone’s going to have to find their spot,” said Katy Hellman, a former Sanders campaign staffer. “But we do need to find a way to continue to support each other and maintain collaboration.”

Hellman worked on a team that coordinated grass-roots groups of Sanders supporters on the ground who traveled to different states, giving them training and tools to help the campaign.

When her team was cut during a campaign shake-up, she reached out to her contacts, who were eager to maintain their momentum. Since then, she has been working on corralling the more than 80 groups and developing a website to mobilize them.

“I’m sort of operating under the impression that we’re going to do this on our own,” Hellman said.

One question is the extent to which these supporters will back candidates within the Democratic Party or challenge sitting Democrats in an attempt to make the party more progressive.

“My guess is when push comes to shove a lot of these young people will end up Democrats, but I think it’s quite possible they create a tea party-like movement on the left,” said Democratic strategist Brad Bannon.

[ Democrats May Find Occupy Movement Is Not That Into Them ]

But other Democrats were skeptical that the progressive movement would go that far.

Montana Sen. Jon Tester, who heads the party’s Senate campaign arm, hopes to work with Sanders and said he’s not concerned about the Vermont independent trying to unseat incumbents.

That’s the prevailing view on Capitol Hill. “I don’t think Bernie Sanders is going to turn into Jim DeMint,” said Connecticut Sen. Christopher S. Murphy, referring to the former South Carolina Republican senator who now runs the Heritage Foundation and has turned the once-staid think tank into a campaign operation for conservatives. Murphy is one of the vast majority of Senate Democrats who endorsed Clinton.

“I could be wrong. I just don’t think that that’s his intent,” Murphy said. “I think he’ll get a lot more done by becoming an influential voice inside the caucus … I’m not suggesting he’s never going to support a primary candidate. But I don’t think his intent is to go create a big outside organization to primary lots of incumbent members.”

Bond said progressives are not a left-wing version of the tea party, but rather a burgeoning movement finding its strength. “We’re not talking about a very vocal minority like the tea party who are willing to go to extreme lengths to impact the outcome of policy decisions,” she said. “What we’re seeing is ‘little d’ democracy exploding.”

“The to-do list is beat Trump, elect progressives, shape the platform and keep building the movement energy by giving people stuff to do,” said Ben Wikler, the Washington director for MoveOn.org, which backed Sanders in the primaries.

[ Sanders Signals He'll Work With Clinton to Beat Trump ]

No matter in what direction Sanders’ movement goes, Democratic leaders have taken notice of his supporters.

“I think we used to view Bernie and his followers as an important small part of our party. Now we have learned that it’s a larger part of our party,” said Richard J. Durbin of Illinois, the Democrats’ Senate whip. “And he has shown with a very dynamic and effective campaign that there are many people who are looking for progressive answers to the challenges we face.”

Sanders supporters said they want to seize this moment and make sure the passion that fueled Sanders’ campaign does not fade. “One of the things that I know is that they’re not going home,” said Bond.

Contact Lesniewski at nielslesniewski@cqrollcall.com and follow him on Twitter @nielslesniewski .

Contact Bowman at bridgetbowman@rollcall.com and follow her on Twitter @bridgetbhc .

Get breaking news alerts and more from Roll Call on your iPhone or your Android.

12,000 Read more...

You're with her but not actually with her in Philadelphia? Still writing constituent letters while your boss is at the convention? Good news for you, you’re not alone.

Here is the HOH calendar of Democratic convention fun this week in D.C..

Union Pub: $5 Hill Yes! Crush; $3 Dem Jell-O shot; $7 Jell-O Shot/Crush Combo.

201 Bar: New Liberty whiskeys available with titles: "Madam President," "First Dude" and "Feel the Bern."

Mission: $4 Tecate and $7 Madame president margaritas (blue).

Hawthorne: $4 Coronas , $7 Blue State Smash.

Union Pub: $1 Dem Jell-O shots during acceptance speech.

Mission: $6 El Jimador shots during acceptance speech.

Hawthorne: $4 Coronas , $7 Blue State Smash.

Anything to add? Email HOH@cqrollcall.com

Get breaking news alerts and more from Roll Call on your iPhone or your Android.

12,000 Read more...

In her statement on Sunday announcing her resignation as chair of the Democratic National Committee, Debbie Wasserman Schultz said she was focusing on serving her congressional district in Florida.

That tidy statement belied a messy situation back home as she runs for a seventh term in the House.

Wasserman Schultz's fall from her lofty party perch on the eve of the presidential nominating convention in Philadelphia was tied to Bernie Sanders.

He had long complained that the DNC favored his victorious rival, Hillary Clinton, in the primaries. That grievance wasn't going far until last week's release of DNC emails that seemed to back him up.

When Wasserman Schultz arrives in South Florida after the convention for the stretch run of her campaign, she'll face Tim Canova, who on his own probably wouldn't stand a chance in the Aug. 30 primary.

But Sanders is playing hardball with his new-found political power and has come through on his vow to make his fellow native New Yorker a private citizen again by backing the law professor and political novice with fundraising muscle. And so far, that's paying off.

Federal Election Committee reports show Canova raised $1.7 million in total contributions in the latest quarter compared to $1.2 million for Wasserman Schultz.

Because the district is so heavily Democratic, the winner of the primary likely will take the seat in November.

Android.

12,000 Read more...

Media outlets are reporting some grumbling about Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz's leadership of the Democratic National Committee and whether she can bring the party back together after a divisive presidential primary between former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Sen. Bernie Sanders.

Wasserman Schultz was a rising star from a swing state when President Barack Obama selected her for the chairwoman post in 2011 . Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr., in a letter to supporters, said Obama picked her for her "tenacity, her strength, her fighting spirit and her ability to overcome adversity." [ Reports: Murmurs About Ousting Wasserman Schultz at DNC ]

But those qualities have at times rubbed some in her party the wrong way. Here are a few of those times:

She was already in hot water for criticizing the Obama administration's policy of sending undocumented immigrant children back to their home countries a couple weeks earlier.

Contact Akin at stephanieakin@rollcall.com and follow her on Twitter at @stephanieakin .

Get breaking news alerts and more from Roll Call on your iPhone or your Android.

12,000 Read more...

Convention Preview: Philadelphia Freedom

By Cody Long, David Ellis
12,000
12,000
12,000
Heard on the Hill

Arizona's Kyrsten Sinema Spins Through Her Day

By Simone Pathé
12,000

Norman Solomon, a Sanders delegate from California, said the choice of Sen. Tim Kaine as Hillary Clinton's running mate shows "demonstrable contempt for the progressive wing of the party."

[ Clinton Picks Virginia's Tim Kaine for VP ]

Solomon told reporters at a news conference that there are "very serious" discussions about forcing a challenge to the Kaine nomination on the convention floor.

Solomon heads the The Bernie Delegates Network, an independent group of Sanders delegates which claims 1,250 in their ranks. The group conducted a survey of some delegates 10 days ago, in which some 88.1 percent said Kaine would be a "not acceptable" choice.

"We're going to be very quickly doing another straw poll," to see what action the delegates would like to do, Solomon said. He expected that survey of delegates within the network would take place within the next 24 hours.

[ Kaine the Attack Dog Goes After Trump ]

Solomon said that under the Democratic National Convention rules, it would take 300 signatures, no more than 50 of which could originate from any individual state, in order to put a second name in for nomination as vice president. "There has been outreach to specific individuals" about possibly being involved, said Progressive Democrats of America Executive Director Donna Smith, speaking at the same news conference.

Sanders said on NBC's "Meet the Press" that he would have preferred another person for vice president, but the choice was up to Clinton. But, he said, Kaine was not the choice he was hoping for. “Tim is a very very smart guy. His is a very nice guy. His political views are not my political views. He is more conservative than I am," Sanders said. "Would I have preferred to see somebody like Elizabeth Warren selected by Secretary Clinton? Yes I would have.”

Bridget Bowman contributed.

Contact Lesniewski at NielsLesniewski@cqrollcall.com and follow him on Twitter @nielslesniewski.

Get breaking news alerts and more from Roll Call on your iPhone or your Android.

12,000 Read more...

PHILADELPHIA — Delegates in town to support Sen. Bernie Sanders have grievances, but their candidate will be fully behind the presumptive Democratic nominee when he takes the stage Monday night.

His campaign seemed to want to make clear to supporters that despite their concerns — whether about the contents of leaked emails from the Democratic National Committee that indicated some staffers there had been plotting against him, or the selection of Virginia Sen. Tim Kaine as Clinton's running mate — that Clinton is the obvious choice for November.

A Sanders campaign aide promised a speech touting Clinton's policies on key domestic issues, including the environment and health care.

Sanders said in an interview on ABC's "This Week" that he will use his speech to make the case for his "revolution" to continue.

"We have got to continue to get people involved in the political process at every level," Sanders said. "And that means not just the U.S. Senate but school board, at every level."

[ Sanders Endorses Clinton ]

Sanders also plans to say that his movement is going to, "continue the fight to create a government which represents all of us, and not just the 1 percent — a government based on the principles of economic, social, racial and environmental justice," according to the aide.

The Sanders campaign did claim victory Saturday night with an agreement to establish a commission designed to curtail the power of super delegates.

The deal prevents what could have been a complicated floor fight at Wells Fargo Arena on Monday.

"This is a tremendous victory for Senator Sanders' fight to democratize the Democratic Party and reform the Democratic nominating process," Jeff Weaver, Sanders' campaign manager, said of the commission on superdelegates. "We were pleased to work with the Clinton campaign to enact this historic commission."

As proposed, the commission would feature appointees from both campaigns, as well as the Democratic National Committee.

[ Roll Call's 2016 Election Guide: President ]

"We haven't completely eliminated superdelegates, so this fight is not over. But a guaranteed recommendation of two-thirds fewer superdelegates is a major step, and one that I'm excited to continue building on in future years," said rules committee member Aaron Regunberg, a state lawmaker from Rhode Island who had pushed an effort to completely eliminate the use of superdelegates.

The coming together on reducing the number of party insiders who get to cast votes as delegates without being bound to election results tracks well with the news reported by CNN that Democratic National Committee chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz is expected to no longer have a leading role on the convention stage.

Wasserman Schultz has long been criticized by supporters of Sanders over concerns the DNC put a thumb on the scale in favor of Clinton during the primary process, and the deluge of internal emails released by Wikileaks only added fuel to that fire.

Sanders said Sunday that Wasserman Schultz should step down.

“I think she should resign. Period," Sanders told ABC. "And i think we need a new chair who is going to lead us in a different direction.”

Bridget Bowman contributed to this report.

Get breaking news alerts and more from Roll Call on your iPhone or your Android.

12,000 Read more...
Politics

Trump Gets Bounce, but GOP Still Divided

By Jeremy Silk Smith
12,000
12,000
12,000
12,000

Donald Trump’s biggest selling point is his brilliance as a manager.

Yet if this week’s Republican National Convention is any guide, a Trump administration would marry the micromanaging of Jimmy Carter, who refused to delegate even the scheduling of the White House tennis courts, with the incompetence of, say, James Buchanan, who held that Southern secession was illegal, but that going to war to keep the country together was, too.

The unlikely theme of the day here in Cleveland is “Making America One Again.”

Doing that would never have been easy in a moment so polarized that even the weather is a political topic. (“It’s so cool here for this time of year,” my climate change skeptic dad often tells me in midsummer. “Really? Because it’s beastly here,’’ I often answer.)

But this GOP convention has itself made “making America one again” a little harder.

A conspiracy theory-loving person like the GOP nominee might not have to think too hard before concluding that yes, Donald J. Trump's party is out to sink him with the goings-on here, which have featured daily booing on the floor by what he’s called a tiny minority of embarrassed losers.

[ The Latest From Day 4 ]

John Kasich, the governor of the state hosting Trump’s nominating party, has not only stayed away but let slip that he was offered the vice presidency – and told by Donald Trump Jr. that if he took the job, his portfolio would include both foreign and domestic policy. (The nominee’s son has denied making any such offer, which would presumably have left Trump free to pursue other interests.)

Then we have the whole Melania speech fiasco , George W. Bush wondering aloud whether he will go down in history as the last Republican president, and Ted Cruz urging Americans to “vote your conscience” — a decision that the party, if it does survive, may yet come to see as principled even if it also involved score-settling.

[ Who Came Off Worse — Cruz or Trump? ]

After that performance, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie called the Texas senator "selfish,” to which Cruz's former campaign manager, Jeff Roe, responded, “That guy turned over his political testicles long ago.”

All in all, you have to wonder how Trump can run a country when he can’t run a convention, or how he might bring the country together when the Quicken Loans Arena is the site of so many civil war skirmishes.

The speakers squarely in Trump’s corner are busy making the drawing together of our countrymen less likely with over-the-top rhetoric like Christie's, when he essentially asked for a thumbs up or thumbs down during a mock trial of Clinton on Tuesday that recalled entertainment in the Roman Colosseum . And when Ben Carson linked Clinton to Lucifer, Dana Carvey’s old “Church lady ” skit on Saturday Night Live was officially surpassed by reality.

In his speech accepting the GOP nomination tonight, Donald Trump would have to change course radically to even start to unify the country. And though I’m sure we will hear a few words about love and kindness, any suggestion that we’re not that different or all that far apart would be so out of character that his supporters wouldn’t recognize him even if he did.

Get breaking news alerts and more from Roll Call on your iPhone or your Android.

12,000 Read more...