By MICHAEL FALCONE (@michaelpfalcone)
- OBAMA AND CLINTON PARTY ON THE VINEYARD: No word on whether they “hugged it out,” but, according to the White House, the President and First Lady were “happy to have the chance to spend time with Secretary Clinton and former President Clinton” and “a good time was had by all,” ABC’s MARY BRUCE notes.
- FROM PRINCIPAL DEPUTY PRESS SECRETARY ERIC SCHULTZ: “The President and First Lady attended the birthday celebration for Mrs. Ann Jordan at an event at the Farm Neck Golf Club. There were approximately 150 guests in attendance. Among the attendees seated with the Jordans and the President and First Lady were former President Bill Clinton and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Valerie Jarrett and her mother Mrs. Barbara Bowman, Ursula Burns, Kenneth Chenault and his wife Kathy, along with other friends and family of Mrs. Jordan. President Obama honored Mrs. Jordan with a toast before dinner, as did Mr. Jordan and Secretary Clinton and others. The President and First Lady have known the Jordans for over 20 years, and were grateful to have been able to share this special evening with them. The President and First Lady also were happy to have the chance to spend time with Secretary Clinton and former President Clinton.”
- AND THIS: According to the White House, President Obama was briefed last night by Senior Advisor Valerie Jarrett and Attorney General Eric Holder on the situation in Ferguson, Mo. Senior staff will continue to update the president as needed, including a briefing slated for this morning.
14 FOR 14: THE MIDTERM MINUTE
MARY LANDRIEU’S HARD LANDING. Things are just getting worse for Sen. Mary Landrieu, ABC’s JORDYN PHELPS reports. After the vulnerable Louisiana Democrat incumbent took heat over using $3,200 of taxpayer funds to charter a flight to a campaign fundraiser when it should have been paid for by her campaign — an incident that Landrieu’s campaign spokesman Fabien Levy said was a mistake and has been corrected — Landrieu’s office will now also reimburse taxpayers for a separate charter flight, for which her Senate office paid $5,700. Landrieu’s announcement comes after CNN questioned the flight, which Landrieu chartered to attend an official event in Shreveport, La. and then went on to Dallas, where she attended a fundraiser, on the same plane. Asked about the trip, Landrieu’s Senate spokesman, Matthew Lehner, told ABC News in a statement: “Sen. Landrieu was invited to an official evening event in Shreveport. She was traveling back to D.C. through Dallas, and a fundraiser in Dallas was added to her schedule. Out of an abundance of caution in case there was a cost allocation error connected to this flight, the Senate will be reimbursed for the flight.” MORE: http://abcn.ws/1q8EGSP
with ABC’s SCOTT WILSON
HAWAII CONGRESSWOMAN FILES LAWSUIT TO DELAY FRIDAY VOTING IN HAWAII SENATE ELECTION. The Democratic Senate primary in Hawaii is still too close to call, with the race hinging on two precincts that were unable to vote Saturday amid Tropical Storm Iselle, ABC’s SHUSHANNAH WALSHE reports. The election has been rescheduled for Friday, but Rep. Colleen Hanabusa, who trails incumbent Sen. Brian Schatz by just more than 1,700 votes, filed a lawsuit yesterday to delay Friday’s voting. The affected precincts are on Hawaii’s Big Island and Hanabusa’s campaign manager, John Salsbury, said people are still suffering from the clobbering the island got from recent storms. “People are struggling to get water, to get power. There are limited ways to notify the public and, for the most part, people are still clearing out their homes and driveways and trying to get food, water, ice and generators, just basic necessities.” Salsbury told ABC News. Salsbury said it’s possible the court could rule today, and Hanabusa has been on the Big Island handing out supplies since Sunday. http://abcn.ws/Vnxda5
OBAMA STILL COUNTS HILLARY CLINTON AS ‘CLOSE FRIEND’ DESPITE CRITICISM. MARTHA’S VINEYARD, Mass. — President Obama took no offense to Hillary Clinton’s recent criticism of the president’s foreign policy, the White House told ABC News, as the two prepared to meet face-to-face at a friend’s party Wednesday, ABC’s MARY BRUCE reports. “She remains a close friend of the president’s and I think the point is that their friendship extends well beyond any differences or anything that is spun up in the public sphere,” Deputy National Security Adviser Ben Rhodes told ABC’s JONATHAN KARL Tuesday. Clinton had suggested in an interview with The Atlantic that Obama’s failure to support moderate rebels in Syria fueled the rise of the terrorist group the United States is now bombing in Iraq. But Rhodes said Clinton and Obama have had a “long relationship. They understand that they agree on the broad majority of issues involving America’s role in the world. They’ve had occasional differences. This is not a new one as it relates to Syria.” http://abcn.ws/1uOvXtg
OBAMA DECLINES ICE BUCKET CHALLENGE — HERE’S 3 OTHER POLITICIANS WHO TOOK IT. Despite spending his vacation in the summer heat of Martha’s Vineyard, President Obama has declined an offer to partake in the Internet’s favorite charitable wet t-shirt contest, ABC’s SCOTT WILSON notes. Obama was nominated to take the challenge Sunday by Ethel Kennedy, the widow of former Sen. Bobby Kennedy. On Facebook, the 86-year-old challenged the president to join her in the #StrikeOutALS challenge by dumping a bucket of ice water on his head. “Welcome to Cape Cod, President Obama. I nominate you,” Kennedy declared on the social media site. An alternative to the challenge – make a donation in support of the ALS Association. In a statement Wednesday, White House spokesman Eric Schultz said, “The president appreciates Mrs. Kennedy thinking of him for the challenge – though his contribution to this effort will be monetary.” Several other politicians, however, have been more than willing to join in. WATCH: Gov. Chris Christie, Gov. Bobby Jindal and Sen. Lisa Murkowski take the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge. http://abcn.ws/1q92OVu
STARS COME OUT FOR AL FRANKEN: HOW HE’S CASHING IN ON HOLLYWOOD. George Soros? Try George Costanza. Sen. Al Franken eked out a victory in his high-spending 2008 Senate race with Hollywood’s help, according to ABC’s BENJAMIN SIEGEL. Now, as the Minnesota Democrat and former comedian faces reelection, entertainers are once again pitching in on his behalf in his contest with Republican challenger, Mike McFadden. Hollywood has helped Franken’s campaign raise more than $19 million, dwarfing McFadden’s $3 million in the cycle, according to recent FEC filings and data compiled by the Center for Responsive Politics. Franken has built a $4 million reserve, compared to McFadden, who had $2.7 million cash on hand through late July. The former “Saturday Night Live” writer’s celebrity donors are a mix of Hollywood’s high-spending Democratic boosters (such as directors JJ Abrams and Steven Spielberg ), friends and former “SNL” colleagues, including Mike Myers and Dan Aykroyd. And Jason Alexander, who played George Costanza on “Seinfeld,” has contributed $4,200 to Franken this cycle. http://abcn.ws/1sWAiuY
SLAIN GENERAL REMEMBERED AT PENTAGON MEMORIAL. Major General Harold J. Greene was remembered Wednesday at a somber Pentagon ceremony that focused on his leadership and love for his family, according to ABC’s LUIS MARTINEZ. There as almost no mention of last week’s insider attack in Afghanistan that made Greene the highest-ranking officer to be killed in combat during the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. An overflow crowd gathered at the Pentagon Auditorium for a poignant memorial service to hear from Army Chief of Staff Gen. Ray Odierno and Greene’s co-workers. Noting the overflow crowd gathered for the ceremony, Odierno said “my guess is, we probably could have done this in a 10,000 seat stadium and filled the stadium today because there are so many people that cared for Harry Greene.” http://abcn.ws/1q98Ghv
WHAT WE’RE READING
PRINCIPLES IN THE PARADOX: UNITED STATES FOREIGN POLICY. “Don’t do stupid s***.” I have said this to my three boys when they were going out for the weekend in high school, but there is a different context for this slogan, notes ABC’s MATTHEW DOWD. This supposedly is a premise upon which the Obama administration bases much of its foreign policy. And recently, and with justification, Hillary Clinton criticized this by saying that philosophy is not an organizing principle and great nations need organizing principles in foreign policy. But where are both major political parties and leading candidates for president on enunciating clear and compelling goals and objectives for American foreign policy? It seems the only compelling case each side makes these days is criticism. America hasn’t had a clear foreign policy vision and strategy for at least twenty years. And our country and the world has suffered because of this. The United States isn’t the only powerful country in the world, but it is the only superpower. And with this great power comes grave responsibility. It is incumbent on our leaders and future leaders to spell out a clear, effective foreign policy vision. And in that context, spell out the uses of our military as we seek to accomplish that vision. http://abcn.ws/1lVkv9K
@AP_Ken_Thomas: WASHINGTON (AP) – Applications for US unemployment benefits increase to 311k; averages at pre-recession levels.
@lisabonos: If you haven’t read @WesleyLowery‘s account of being arrested in Ferguson, Mo., remedy that now: http://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/in-ferguson-washington-post-reporter-wesley-lowery-gives-account-of-his-arrest/2014/08/13/0fe25c0e-2359-11e4-86ca-6f03cbd15c1a_story.html …
@BobCusack: It is clear that the Missouri governor and DOJ aren’t pleased with the police’s treatment of journalists last night. #Ferguson
@HotlineJosh: Political junkies, click & bookmark: Latest governors’ race ratings from @njhotline. http://www.nationaljournal.com/politics/the-governor-s-mansions-most-likely-to-flip-in-2014-20140814 …