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• Supreme deliverance for GOP
• Divide on emails threatens Hillary’s story
• Eulogy offers Obama another chance for reset on race
• Power Play: Everybody in the pool
• Other than the 20 million bees, how was your commute?
SUPREME DELIVERANCE FOR GOP
Republicans may not much agree with the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn state bans on same-sex marriage, but just like the other ruling this week sparing ObamaCare, it is a political deliverance for their party.
Had the court rejected the case and restored same-sex marriage bans struck down by lower courts, the Republican 2016 field would have been in a quandary. With a socially conservative base but a general electorate that has shifted dramatically on the subject in the past decade, GOP contenders would have been obliged to take positions on 31 state bans that were resurrected by the court.
The list would have included swing states Ohio, Virginia, North Carolina and Florida and each candidate would have had to take a position on the subject. No good answers – either flip-flop or be called an extremist.
Managing to anger social conservatives directly and libertarians by way of precedent for judicial activism, the high court has stoked a righteous anger on the right. While Republicans may be increasingly accepting of gay marriage, its imposition by court order will hardly enhance the good vibes.
But there is enormous relief among GOP strategists that this issue is mostly off the table for 2016.
As it stands, social conservatives can call for a federal amendment to reverse the decision – as Gov. Scott Walker, R-Wisc., already has – but since there is no chance of a two-thirds majority in the Senate, and not even likely to be a vote, this comes with lower risk.
Moreover, the Republican base, already inflamed over fears of lost religious liberty, will bring a new focus to the subject and new activists and donors for the cause. The target will shift from the social issue itself to the issue of government and religious overreach.
No matter who the Republicans nominate, Hillary Clinton will declare them to be extremists on the subject of gay marriage. But as of today, the Supreme Court has declared the issue moot.
Hillary, Obama take credit for gay marriage trend they resisted – WaPo: “Hillary Clinton‘s campaign is list-building off the [Supreme Court decision on same sex marriage] while President Obama spoke at an LGBT Pride event at the White House Wednesday, where he noted that the number of states in which same-sex couples can marry has grown from two when he took office to 37 today. ‘A decade ago politicians ran against LGBT rights; today, they’re running towards them,’ he said. What was left unsaid, of course, was that he and Clinton are among those who used to run against same-sex marriage but have since changed their tune. … In fact, they jumped on-board well after gay marriage attained overwhelming majority support among Democrats. Obama came out in support of same-sex marriage in 2012, and Clinton in 2013, half a decade after a majority of Democrats already supported it in public polling.”
DIVIDE ON EMAILS THREATENS HILLARY’S STORY
Fox News: “The State Department said Thursday it cannot locate 15 work-related emails from Hillary Clinton‘s private server released this week by the committee probing the 2012 Benghazi attacks — indicating she never turned them over, in a revelation the committee chairman described as ‘significant and troubling.’ The emails consist of more in a series of intelligence reports passed to her by longtime political confidant Sidney Blumenthal, officials told The Associated Press. … When asked for comment by Fox News, a Clinton official said ‘not only did she turn over all emails that she had from Blumenthal, she actually turned over more than a dozen emails that were not included in what he handed over to the House committee. We do not have a record of other correspondence between her and Mr. Blumenthal beyond that which was turned over to the State Department. In terms of the documents provided by Mr. Blumenthal to the House committee, we do not recognize many of those materials and cannot speak to their origin,’ the official said.”
The takeaway – A crack has emerged between Hillary Clinton and her former team at the State Department. Her process for culling the emails was demonstrably flawed and now further open to charges of wrongdoing. The choice to destroy 31,000 emails looks increasingly suspect. The campaign may hang Blumenthal out to dry on this, but this becomes a stickier web all the time. Prosecutors know the way to win is to divide the suspects, and that may be what congressional investigators are doing.
Wut? Sanders down to single-digit deficit in Granite State Poll – WMUR:“Less than two months ago, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton held a 21 percentage point lead over her nearest competitor in the New Hampshire Democratic presidential primary campaign. Now, her edge is down to 8 percentage points over Vermont U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders. Clinton leads Sanders, 43 to 35 percent, in a new WMUR/CNN Granite State Poll, which was conducted by the University of New Hampshire Survey Center from June 18 to 24. The poll included 360 likely 2016 Democratic primary voters and has a margin of error of 5.2 percent, meaning Sanders is close to being in a statistical dead heat with the frontrunner.”
McAuliffe re-emerges as Hillary’s inside man – Politico: “[Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe] a former Democratic National Committee chairman and a consummate political animal, just can’t keep his fingers away from the flame. Despite the daily demands of running the state he was elected to lead in 2013, he’s emerging as Hillary’s informal liaison to governors and the party’s biggest donors, while also keeping a finger on the pulse of the camp’s central operations in Brooklyn.”
EULOGY OFFERS OBAMA ANOTHER CHANCE FOR RESET ON RACE
WashEx: “[President Obama] Vice President Joe Biden, and [first lady] Michelle Obama will travel to South Carolina to pay tribute to the Rev. Clementa Pinckney and eight other victims of last week’s mass murder at an historic black church in Charleston. The Senate is out, and the House has canceled votes so members can attend memorial services for the victims, who were shot during a Bible study. The president came to know Pinckney, pastor of the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church and a state senator, when he was an early supporter of Obama’s 2008 White House campaign.”
Power Play: Clinton’s gambit – After Charleston, Hillary Clinton moved race to the forefront of her campaign. Is her outreach to African American voters smart or is she overplaying her hand? National Journal’s Emily Schultheis and The Hill’s Kevin Cirilli discuss the strategy with Chris Stirewalt. WATCH HERE.
WITH YOUR SECOND CUP OF COFFEE…
Staring out at your lovely garden you might not be aware that there is chemical warfare raging all around you. Smithsonian Magazine took a look at the development of mustard, and how this tiny seed survived over time. Mustard is from the Brassicaceae family – a tough bunch that developed a defenses, called glucosinolates by scientists but more commonly known as the mustard oil that gives its flavor to horseradish, cabbage and, of course, mustard. These evolving compounds create a deterrent so if the insects do consume them they will get sick or die. Over time, though, insects developed their own defense so they can consume the plants without injuring themselves. The clear winner in the struggle, though, are humans who love the sinus-clearing tastes of the combatant plants.
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Real Clear Politics Averages
Obama Job Approval: Approve – 44.1 percent//Disapprove – 51.2
Directions of Country: Right Direction – 28.3 percent//Wrong Track – 63.0 percent
POWER PLAY: EVERYBODY IN THE POOL
Bobby Jindal’s entry into the race makes the 2016 GOP field a baker’s dozen. The National Journal’s Emily Schultheis and The Hill’s Kevin Cirilli join Chris Stirewalt to discuss whether the growing number of candidates will bring clarity or muddle the Republican contest. WATCH HERE.
Walker looks to solidify stance with social conservatives – An influential conservative group will hear from numerous GOP candidates this weekend, but one has more to gain than others. Gov. Scott Walker, R-Wisc., seeks to impress the influential leaders at the Western Conservative Summit in Denver on Saturday. Walker has a clear path as the star of the show since Floridians Jeb Bush and Marco Rubio decided to sit this one out. Which leaves Walker to collect all the influencers for himself.
[Also attending the summit: Carly Fiorina, former Sen. Rick Santorum, R-Pa., and former Gov. Rick Perry, R-Texas, former Gov. Mike Huckabee, R-Ark, and Gov. George Pataki, R-N.Y.]
Rubio PAC hits Obama on Iran deal – The Hill: “A group tied to Sen. Marco Rubio is hitting the airwaves with a new ad campaign characterizing the Florida senator as the key opponent of ‘Obama’s bad Iran nuclear deal.’ The new spot is from the Conservative Solutions Project, a nonprofit linked to J. Warren Tompkins, the leader of the Conservative Solutions super-PAC that is backing Rubio’s presidential bid.” Watch the ad here.
Rubio campaign hits airwaves too – ABC: “A Rubio source tells ABC News the campaign has reserved air time in Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carolina and Nevada — all critical early states in the Republican nominating contest. The ads won’t start running for some time, but Rubio, Florida’s Republican senator, has locked in the time at lower rates by buying now.”
Cruz book offers intense, highly personal story – Ahead of the release of the new book by Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, the Daily Beast got an advance look a story the includes his father’s torture in Cuba, his aunt being “brutalized” in a Cuban prison. He talks about how his family’s history influences how he feels about America. But the story is not all dark, Cruz also talks about watching porn with a few Supreme Court justices during his clerkship.
Team Cruz summons top donors to Colorado – Eliana Johnson reports: “Texas Senator Ted Cruz is summoning the biggest donors to his presidential campaign to Colorado Springs in mid-July. Cruz and his top bundlers — those who, according to a top campaign aide, ‘have met or exceeded their finance goals’ by raising a minimum of $100,000 — will convene at The Broadmoor, the five-star resort owned by the conservative billionaire Philip Anschutz.”
[#mediabuzz – Cruz joins the show this Sunday to discuss the state of the 2016 race, and how he feels the press treats his campaign. Watch #mediabuzz Sunday at 11 a.m. and 5 p.m. ET.]
Fiorina rakes in more endorsements in the Granite State – Concord Monitor: “Two Republican state senators have voiced support for Carly Fiorina…State Sens. Sharon Carson of Londonderry and Jeanie Forrester of Meredith announced their endorsement in a press release from Fiorina’s campaign Thursday. ‘Carly’s positive vision for unlocking the potential of our nation is appealing to me and so many others who have met her here on the campaign trail,’ Carson said in the release.”
Christie to announce run next week – AP: “New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie is entering the 2016 Republican presidential nomination contest early next week in a far different position than he was in four years ago…This time, Christie is battered and bruised following a political scandal at home and will not be a potential front-runner when he joins a field of more than a dozen major GOP candidates.”
Ew… – Former Gov. Mike Huckabee, R-Ark., shows his new grandson, George, in his latest ad. The ad compares George’s dirty diapers with the Supreme Court’s ruling on Obamacare yesterday. Watch here.
Trump, Univision breakup gets legal – Fox News Latino: “Presidential candidate and mogul Donald Trump says he plans to sue media giant Univision for ‘hundreds of millions of dollars’ for severing ties with him and the Miss Universe Pageant organization. Univision had said earlier Thursday that because of offensive comments Trump made about Mexico and Mexicans when he launched his campaign, it was breaking off with the pageant organization – of which Trump is an owner – and that it would not air the event on July 12.”
[Trump comes in second in yet another poll. CNN/WMUR Granite State poll has him at 11 percent behind frontrunner Jeb Bush in New Hampshire.]
“I think it’s disgraceful. I think he should be ashamed of himself. He immediately deleted it…We have a binding five-year contract where they pay a lot of money. And they broke it and they’re not allowed to do that. They have no right to break it.” –Donald Trumpon “The Kelly File” talking about Univision president sending out a picture comparing Trump to the S.C. shooter, and breaking their contract to air the Miss Universe Pageant.
[Lo siento – Following Trump’s interview, the executive who compared Trump to the mass murder has apologized. Trump told Megyn he would still participate in a forum Univision is hosting with The Washington Post.]
Bret Baier traveled to Jordan for an exclusive interview with KingAbdullah and his country’s fight against Islamist militants. But off the battlefield, Jordan is also helping Christians who face death at the hands of ISIS. Hear the heartrending stories of Christians and other persecuted minorities fleeing torture, massacre and chemical weapons. And in an exclusive Fox News investigation, learn for the first time about a modern-day underground railroad delivering persecuted Christians into America. Watch “Fox News Reporting: Crossing Jordan – Escape from Terror,” tonight at 10 p.m. ET, Saturday at 8 p.m. ET, or Sunday at 9 p.m. ET. And check out a preview here.
OTHER THAN THE 20 MILLION BEES, HOW WAS YOUR COMMUTE?
KSL: “An estimated 20 million bees are or will soon be dead following a semitruck crash on State Highway 33 near Howe Thursday morning. The Butte County Sheriff’s Office reports a 2005 Freightliner swerved off the road at milepost 8 south of Howe at 8:01 a.m. The semitruck was carrying 408 beehives, each carrying 50,000 bees…The beehives were completely destroyed when the flatbed trailer tipped, releasing millions of bees alongside the highway. The driver of the truck, Rolondo Aparicio of Florida, was uninjured, and took off running down the highway after the accident occurred, Collins said.”
AND NOW A WORD FROM CHARLES…
“Look, SCOTUSCare is here to stay unless until the Republicans win the White House and hold the Senate. If they do, there is no question they will repeal and replace. They are going to run on it. It’s something they are going to campaign on and be committed to it and the president is going to have to do something about it.” – Charles Krauthammer on “Special Report with Bret Baier.” Watch here.
Chris Stirewalt is digital politics editor for Fox News. Want FOX News First in your inbox every day? Sign up here.
Chris Stirewalt joined Fox News Channel (FNC) in July of 2010 and serves as digital politics editor based in Washington, D.C. Additionally, he authors the daily “Fox News First” political news note and hosts “Power Play,” a feature video series, on FoxNews.com. Stirewalt makes frequent appearances on the network, including “The Kelly File,” “Special Report with Bret Baier,” and “Fox News Sunday with Chris Wallace.” He also provides expert political analysis for Fox News coverage of state, congressional and presidential elections.