Obama to Give Economic Speeches; Cuccinelli, McAuliffe Debate; 'Corpse Flower' at 'Peak Smell'

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  • Pres. Obama made a surprise visit to the WH briefing room on Friday to speak about the aftermath of the Trayvon Martin case, making some of the boldest and most open remarks about race of his presidency (National Journal).
  • Obama "will deliver a series of speeches this week designed to push the economy, and his proposals to ensure its long-term growth, toward the center of the national political debate after months of focus on other issues" (Washington Post).
  • House Speaker John Boehner "said the House would deal with" immigration reform "'in chunks,' but when he was asked whether he would allow the House to vote on a bill that included a pathway to citizenship ... he repeatedly demurred" (CBS News).
  • The DNC raised $5.5M in June, spent $5.8M, has $5.7M CoH and $18.3M in debt. The RNC raised $8.1M in June and has $12.7M CoH with no debt (Roll Call).
  • The DSCC raised $5.3M in June but did not release its debt and CoH figures. The NRSC raised $3.7M, has $7M CoH and $6.5M in debt (Roll Call).
  • The DCCC raised $6.7M in June and spent $4.5M. The NRCC raised $7.1M (Roll Call).
  • NJ SEN Special: Bonnie Englebardt Lautenberg, widow of late Sen. Frank Lautenberg (D), will campaign with Rep. Frank Pallone (D) on Monday in East Rutherford (Newark Star-Ledger).
  • VA GOV '13: Ex-DNC Chair Terry McAuliffe (D) and AG Ken Cuccinelli (R) "battled in their first debate Saturday, pushing their competing philosophies as job creators between attacks on topics ranging from social issues to the ongoing gifts scandal" involving Gov. Bob McDonnell (R). "The 90-minute debate was marked by rhetorical incursions launched by both men on what they perceived to be their opponent's greatest weakness, all centered on a theme that the other guy cannot be trusted" (Richmond Times-Dispatch).
  • HI SEN: Al Gore endorsed Sen. Brian Schatz (D), citing Schatz's "support for renewable energy" (Honolulu Star-Advertiser).
  • KY SEN: Businessman Matt Bevin (R) "plans to enter" the race and air TV commercials this week (WHAS-TV). Bevin "has met with some of the nation's top conservative groups," including Club for Growth, Senate Conservatives Fund and the Madison Project, about challenging Senate Min. Leader Mitch McConnell (R) (Politico).
  • NH SEN: Sen. Jeanne Shaheen (D) "acknowledged Friday she was at a fund-raiser for her reelection campaign last Monday night when the Senate met in a key, rare closed-door session to air out its differences on filibuster reform" (New Hampshire Union Leader).
  • The NRCC added 9 GOP members to its Patriot Program: Reps. Gary Miller (CA-31), Tom Latham (IA-03), Dan Benishek (MI-01), Lee Terry (NE-02), Michael Grimm (NY-11), Tom Reed (NY-23), Bill Johnson (OH-06), Keith Rothfus (PA-12) and Scott Rigell (VA-02) (release).
  • EMILY's List placed Dem female House candidates Alma Adams (NC-12), Staci Appel (IA-03), Erin Bilbray (NV-03), Pam Byrnes (MI-07), Emily Cain (ME-02) and Elisabeth Jensen (KY-06) "On the List" (release).
  • MN GOV: Gov. Mark Dayton (D) raised $217K in the second quarter and has $230K CoH (Minneapolis Star Tribune).
  • WH '16: "In a fiery, Bible-quoting first speech during his first time" in IA, Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) last Friday "called on evangelical conservatives to demand their GOP elected officials actually stand for the conservative principles they pretend to believe in" (Des Moines Register). NY Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) said a WH bid "is 'not at all' on his mind" (CBS News).


Hotline editors weigh in on the stories that drive the day

• The investigation into payments made by Rep. Michele Bachmann's WH '12 campaign to an IA state senator is the latest black eye for the first-in-the-nation caucuses. There's a long-standing, if so far unsuccessful, movement within the RNC to shake up the nominating calendar; pay-to-play worries, the botched '12 caucuses and the decline of the straw poll all threaten to give those who want other states to go first the ammunition they need to make it happen.

• Despite the rough '10 election, state-level Dems still have a healthy bench of talent at the AG level. But they're having some trouble tapping that bench for higher office. IL AG Lisa Madigan chose not to run for GOV, and it looks like NV's Catherine Cortez Masto will pass on a challenge to popular Gov. Brian Sandoval (R). Meanwhile, the lack of separation in the Dem PA GOV field appears to have some pining for AG Kathleen Kane, who was just elected in '12.



  • "Helen Thomas, whose keen curiosity, unquenchable drive and celebrated constancy made her a trailblazing" WH correspondent "in a press corps dominated by men and who was later regarded as the dean" of the WH briefing room, "died on Saturday at her home" in DC (New York Times).
  • "It's like watching Richard Nixon follow Oprah's playbook" -- A "longtime" IA GOP consultant, watching Cruz's speech last Friday to the IA Renewal Project (National Review).
  • TX LG David Dewhurst (R) "said Friday he saw bottles of urine being smelled" by Dept. of Public Safety officers earlier this month "and 'bags of feces'," although the dept. "reported finding one bottle of urine and '18 jars' of feces" during this month's special legislative session (San Antonio Express-News).
  • "In a major ruling on press freedoms, a divided federal appeals court on Friday ruled that" New York Times' James Risen, "must testify in the criminal trial" of ex-CIA official "charged with providing him with classified information." Risen "has vowed to go to prison rather than testify about his sources and to carry any appeal as far as the" SCOTUS (New York Times).
  • "Investigators looking into gifts to ... McDonnell and his family have asked questions about whether first lady Maureen McDonnell received cosmetic dental work for free, according to two people familiar with the probe" (Richmond Times-Dispatch).
  • "So we're going to Brooklyn! And then we're going to the Bronx! And then we're going to Staten Island and we're going to go to Manhattan and all the way to ... Gracie Mansion, yeah! YEAH!" -- Ex-VT Gov. Howard Dean (D), campaigning for NYC mayoral candidate Bill de Blasio (D) last week (New York Daily News).
  • "Rep. Steve Cohen Says A Black Guy Told Him He's Black Because Of His Paternity Test" (Buzzfeed).


  • Notre Dame has been home to more presidential commencement addresses than any other non-military institution.
  • The winner is Rich Vestuto, and here's his Swizzle Challenge: "Which president was forced to debunk a rumor that he had participated in a boxing match with ex-Notre Dame football coach Knute Rockne, writing that 'The people who got that story started took two or three little different incidents, put them all together into a single story, and came up with some weird and wonderful ideas?'" The 3rd correct e-mailer gets to submit the next question.



"[W]e should not be judged on how many new laws we create. We ought to be judged on how many laws we repeal" -- Boehner ("Face the Nation").


"For you to be a success, the laws of nature would have to be repealed" -- Bruce Willis ("Moonlighting").

Reid Wilson, Editor-in-Chief

Steven Shepard, Executive Editor