Bernie, Warren, Buttigieg, Biden knotted in N.H.

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On the roster: Bernie, Warren, Buttigieg, Biden knotted in N.H. – Detroit Democrat does impeachment flip-flop-flip – Audible: How it’s done – The car that caught the dog

BERNIE, WARREN, BUTTIGIEG, BIDEN KNOTTED IN N.H.
Boston Globe: “A new Suffolk University/Boston Globe poll of likely New Hampshire Democratic primary voters shows a tight, four-way contest, with Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont on top but statistically tied with Senator Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts, Mayor Pete Buttigieg of South Bend, Ind., and former vice president Joe Biden. It has been decades since this many candidates have jostled for the lead so soon before a New Hampshire presidential primary. On Monday, longtime New Hampshire Secretary of State Bill Gardner officially scheduled the vote for Feb. 11. The survey found Sanders, who won the New Hampshire primary in 2016, leading the field with 16 percent, including those who lean toward the candidate. Warren had 14 percent, Buttigieg had 13 percent, and Biden had 12 percent. All other candidates, including former Massachusetts governor Deval Patrick, who jumped in the race this month, were in single digits. The poll suggested little about this race is set in stone.”

Senior Biden staffer, Latina adviser quits campaign – Politico: “A senior Joe Biden campaign staffer in charge of outreach to Latino, African-American and women’s groups has quit her post, telling two allies she was frustrated over her lack of input and with the presidential candidate’s immigration rhetoric. Vanessa Cárdenas, the most senior Latina Biden staffer, had been serving as national coalitions director since the campaign formally announced its existence April 25. She resigned last week and has since changed her bio on Twitter to say she was ‘formerly with @joebiden.’ Cárdenas did not return a call or text message, but two friends familiar with her thinking told POLITICO that she felt the campaign wasn’t heeding her advice on immigration as she tried to reach out to Latino groups that have had longstanding concerns with the former vice president’s rhetoric and record stemming from the Obama administration.”

Bloomy’s low-key, high-dollar launch – NYT: “Michael R. Bloomberg started his campaign at a hushed diner in downtown Norfolk, Va. … before strolling to a nearby hotel ballroom and making an efficient statement before a bank of television cameras. Accompanied by a small platoon of aides, including two of his former deputy mayors from New York City and a security team that flitted around a downtown waterfront nearly barren of pedestrians, Mr. Bloomberg described himself as a political pragmatist skilled at wielding his wealth to win elections. … If Mr. Bloomberg’s first in-person appearance as a presidential candidate lacked something in organic political energy, he has already jolted the race through the sheer scale of his political spending, stunning the Democratic political establishment and stirring an outcry from the party’s populist wing.”

Deval Patrick has a long way to go – Politico: “To call Deval Patrick’s campaign a shoestring operation would be insulting to shoestrings. Attend a Patrick event and there’s not a bumper sticker or pin to be found, let alone organizers with clipboards collecting names of would-be voters. His ground game looks to be nonexistent: The entire campaign appears to consist of a handful of volunteers and one publicly announced staffer, campaign manager Abe Rakov. In comparison, other campaigns have several hundred paid staffers and dozens of offices combined — and that’s just in New Hampshire. Patrick has spent the first dozen days of his campaign trying to persuade senior Democratic leaders in the early voting states to take him seriously. They want to give the former Massachusetts governor with an inspirational life story and friendship with Barack Obama the benefit of the doubt. But Patrick has a way to go before they fully buy in.”

Ryan Lizza: Waiting for Obama – Politico: “The post-presidency of Obama is unlike any other. Many presidents have had to navigate the tricky politics of leaving office when a president from the other party takes over. And plenty of presidents have had to grapple with the delicate situation of their vice president seeking a promotion. But Obama has to grapple with both situations simultaneously, and under unprecedented conditions: Obama is under near daily personal assault from the president, who has tweeted about him relentlessly in the past three years, often accusing him and his top officials of an array of crimes, a situation that no ex-president has faced or even imagined.”

THE RULEBOOK: IT’S IN THE DETAILS
“THE erection of a new government, whatever care or wisdom may distinguish the work, cannot fail to originate questions of intricacy and nicety; and these may, in a particular manner, be expected to flow from the establishment of a constitution founded upon the total or partial incorporation of a number of distinct sovereignties.” – Alexander Hamilton, Federalist No. 82

TIME OUT: PLEASE LEAVE A MESSAGE AFTER THE TONE
Smithsonian: “In the spring of 1900, twenty-four years after Alexander Graham Bell introduced the telephone, a Danish inventor named Valdemar Poulsen unveiled the ‘telegraphone’ at the Exposition Universelle in Paris. It was an engineering marvel—Poulsen recorded sound on a wire using nothing but a magnet, similar to the principle that underlies computer hard drives—and it was a minor social miracle, an antidote to Bell’s constantly ringing telephone. The telegraphone was the world’s first answering machine. … Not everyone was overjoyed. AT&T, which held a monopoly on the U.S. phone system and forbid the use of third-party technology, suppressed the innovation for more than half a century, according to research by Mark Clark, a historian of technology. … A big concern was that the device would be used not just to answer calls but to record conversations. The American Telegraphone Company, which had attempted unsuccessfully to market the machine, claimed that AT&T feared the device’s ability to record calls.”

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SCOREBOARD
DEMOCRATIC 2020 POWER RANKING
Biden: 27.6 points (no change from last wk.)
Warren: 22.6 points (no change from last wk.)
Sanders: 17.6 points no change from last wk.)
Buttigieg: 7.6 points (no change from last wk.)
Harris: 3.2 points (no change from last wk.)
[Averages include: Monmouth University, NBC News/WSJ, ABC News/WaPo, Fox News and IBD.]

TRUMP JOB PERFORMANCE 
Average approval: 44 percent
Average disapproval: 52.6 percent
Net Score: -8.6 percent
Change from one week ago: ↑ 2.8 points
[Average includes: CNN: 43% approve – 53% disapprove; NPR/PBS/Marist: 44% approve – 51% disapprove; Gallup: 43% approve – 54% disapprove; Monmouth University: 45% approve – 52% disapprove; NBC News/WSJ: 45% approve – 53% disapprove.]

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DETROIT DEMOCRAT DOES IMPEACHMENT FLIP-FLOP-FLIP
Detroit Metro Times: “Rep. Brenda Lawrence [D-Mich.] is walking back statements she made about impeaching President Trump in an interview with Charlie LeDuff. In a written statement to Metro Times, Lawrence said she still supports impeaching Trump but censure may be a more viable option because of Republicans’ opposition to impeachment. ‘I was an early supporter for impeachment in 2017,’ Lawrence says. ‘The House Intelligence Committee followed a very thorough process in holding hearings these past two weeks. The information they revealed confirmed that this President has abused the power of his office, therefore I continue to support impeachment. However, I am very concerned about Senate Republicans and the fact that they would find this behavior by the President acceptable.’”

PLAY-BY-PLAY
Judge rules McGahn must comply with House subpoena – WaPo

SupCo shields Trump’s financial records from House for now – WaPo

Trump signs bill making animal cruelty a federal crime – Fox News

Trump donates 3rd-quarter salary toward efforts to help nation’s opioid crisis – AP

Mortality rates skyrocket for Americans 25 to 34, drugs, alcohol, suicide key drivers – WaPo

AUDIBLE: HOW IT’S DONE
Chris Wallace is a damn good reporter. He asked me a very direct question. He asked me about hacking the DNC computer. I heard him say I thought he’d said meddling in the election. Chris was right. I was wrong. So let me be clear. Russia hacked the DNC computer. I have no evidence whatsoever that Ukraine did it.” – Sen. John Kennedy, R-La., on “America’s Newsroom” taking a do-over for statements he made on “Fox News Sunday.”

FROM THE BLEACHERS
“Upon hearing yet another of Joe Biden’s continuing verbal gaffes, I’m reminded that when Gov. Rick Perry had ONE instance of ‘brain fade’ during a presidential debate, it did great damage to his campaign and his viability as a candidate. But when we hear Biden’s frequent brain fades, during debates and everywhere else, Democrats and the MSM shrug and say, ‘Oh that’s just good ol’ Uncle Joe.’  Doesn’t seem like a level playing field to me – what was levied against the goose ought to be levied against the gander. Short-term memory loss is often a fact of life as we age – OK, fine! But should someone who continuously exhibits those symptoms be in the most powerful position on the planet? Should that person be the commander-in-chief?” – Dave Wittnebert, Seneca, S.C.

[Ed. note: I thiiiiink you may be shading the past in a favorable light for the former secretary of energy. Perry burst into the 2012 primary race as a frontrunner. When he declared in August of 2011 he was already running even with Mitt Romney. By mid-September, Perry was way out in front with a double-digit lead on his fellow former governor. But then the cracks started to show. Aside from some spectacularly bad political moves – dissing Iowa, feuding with the Bush family, etc. – Perry was a simply awful debater. One performance in September in which Perry tried to attack Romney for inconstancy turned into such a debacle that commentators openly wondered about his health. In October, Perry seemed to rally for a bit, but his steep descent had already begun. By the time of the “brain fade” you reference in November, Perry was tied for fifth and headed for the exits. When he couldn’t remember the third federal agency he had called to shutter – ironically, the one he would eventually lead – it was bad enough. But that he stood there vapor locking so long and then eventually said, Heaven help us, “Oops,” it wasn’t instant disqualification. It was the coda to a long symphony of Perry’s ill-conceived, poorly executed presidential campaign. (He would later reveal that the after effects of intense back surgery the summer before his entry had been worse than he had admitted.) Biden takes a lot of abuse for his rambling, discursive answers and the anxiety-inducing inability to land answers. But that’s been his thing for 40 years. Biden was a notorious blarney and bluster merchant when he first ran in 1988. So I don’t know how much of it is media bias or, as Perry did in his subsequent 2012 candidacy and federal service, what another former Texas governor might call “the soft bigotry of low expectations.”]  

“I am puzzled by the whole quid pro quo/bribery charge against Trump for calling for an investigation of Biden. If the investigation showed that there was no wrongdoing, wouldn’t that benefit Biden and be detrimental to Trump? So, those who believe the President urging Zelensky to investigate Biden was bribery (i.e., a benefit to Trump for a granted favor) must assume the investigation would find that Biden is guilty of wrongdoing.” – Pat Conroy, West Lake Hills, Texas

[Ed. note: Why would you ever, ever, ever want a sitting president to directly involve himself in a criminal or corruption matter involving his leading political rival? Instead, one would want the sitting president to keep himself as far removed from the process on that matter more than any except for those that might involve himself or those close to him. Members of the House may get the chance to decide whether what Trump did merits removal and they can debate the names they want to use for specific conduct. But that isn’t about whether Biden did or didn’t do the things Trump claims. The conduct at issue in Congress is about Trump involving himself personally and through his personal attorney in the process. Maybe think of it this way: police or judicial misconduct isn’t dependent on whether the suspect is guilty or not. The two issues are separable.]

Share your color commentary: Email us at HALFTIMEREPORT@FOXNEWS.COM and please make sure to include your name and hometown.

THE CAR THAT CAUGHT THE DOG
WPTV: “What dog doesn’t love a car ride? Better yet- a ride behind the wheel? Some Port St. Lucie neighbors watched a dog get the ride of a lifetime. It was stuck inside a car spinning in reverse for nearly an hour. Neighbors say the dog did not seem to mind at all. ‘I figured ‘how the heck did they manage to do that?’’ said neighbor Anna Sabol. Sabol said she looked out her window Thursday morning and a police car grabbed her attention. … She realized they were all responding to a grey sedan spinning in reverse in a cul-de-sac. The one occupant inside was a Black Labrador. … Police say the dog’s owner had briefly stepped out of the car when the dog somehow knocked the car into reverse. Police say they were able to stop the joyride by punching the passcode into the driver’s side door. But, not before the dog took out a mailbox, a trash can, and moved some bricks in front of a home. … Police say the dog was not hurt. No neighbors were hurt. … Instead, they say the dog seemed pretty happy about his first, and likely last, solo drive.”

AND NOW, A WORD FROM CHARLES…
“The sun rises regularly, too, but so often that we can’t help being dulled to the wonder of its rhythm. And what rhythms, beyond that of the familiar year, really touch us?” – Charles Krauthammer (1950-2018) writing in the Washington Post on Dec. 13, 1985.

Chris Stirewalt is the politics editor for Fox News. Brianna McClelland contributed to this report. Want FOX News Halftime Report in your inbox every day? Sign up here.

Source: Fox News

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