The Note: All Eyes On Iowa

August 14, 2015, 9:28 AM
PHOTO: Republican presidential candidate, former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee speaks at the Iowa State Fair, Aug. 13, 2015, in Des Moines.
Republican presidential candidate, former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee speaks at the Iowa State Fair, Aug. 13, 2015, in Des Moines.
Charlie Riedel/AP Photo


--IT'S A BIG DAY IN IOWA: The State Fair continues and the annual Iowa Wing Ding Dinner, an important Democratic event in the caucus process is tonight, ABC's SHUSHANNAH WALSHE notes. Four of the five Democrats running -- including Hillary Clinton -- will attend. It's an important event for Clinton because she will be on the same stage as rival Bernie Sanders, a rare event and it comes just days after that poll showing Sanders leading Clinton in New Hampshire. The Iowa Wing Ding is at 7 pm ET tonight, it's a fundraiser hosted by 22 Northern Iowa County Parties in Clear Lake and Clinton, Bernie Sanders, Lincoln Chafee, and Martin O'Malley will all attend.

--7 THINGS TO WATCH AT THE IOWA STATE FAIR: ABC's JESSICA HOPPER, JOSH HASKELL and LIZ KREUTZ list the top seven things to watch for at this year's Iowa State Fair, which started yesterday and runs through Aug. 23.

--STATE FAIR LIVE BLOG ABC News will keep you posted on all the political and edible happenings at this year's Iowa State Fair. Keep checking back for updates:

--WHAT TRUMP'S GOT PLANNED FOR THE FAIR: Donald Trump plans to arrive at the Iowa State Fair tomorrow in his Trump helicopter. And, yes, he plans to give rides on the chopper to kids at the fair - although his aides acknowledge this will be logistically challenging and caution it may not be possible, ABC's JONATHAN KARL reports. But that is the plan. Also, Trump is staffing up in the early states. He has 10 paid staff in Iowa, 8 in New Hampshire and 8 in South Carolina. His senior advisors are currently in Nevada and plan to announce hires there shortly. As for those policy announcements: Trump's team continues to say they are coming shortly, but the policy announcements are now likely to come after his trip to Iowa.

THIS WEEK ON THIS WEEK: Republican presidential candidates Carly Fiorina and Ben Carson come to "This Week" Sunday. Plus, the powerhouse roundtable debates the week in politics with ABC News analyst Matthew Dowd, Democratic strategist and ABC News contributor Donna Brazile and Hugh Hewitt, host of the "The Hugh Hewitt Show." See the whole political picture, Sunday on "This Week."


"CLINTON SHARES MY VALUES ON SOCIAL AND ECONOMIC JUSTICE," a Des Moines Register Op-Ed by former Iowa Democratic Sen. Tom Harkin. "We all know Iowans have a sincere responsibility in nominating our next president. This year, that responsibility is as important as it's ever been. As Iowans and as a nation we fought back from a terrible recession, but we are making progress. Now it's time for a president who can create a stronger future. As Democrats, we're fortunate to have a slate of candidates that are all fine individuals, but we need a fighter who has a record of getting things done and the vision for the future that will build on the progress we've made. For my wife, Ruth and I, that candidate is Hillary Clinton."


HILLARY CLINTON HANDS OVER PRIVATE EMAIL SERVER TO JUSTICE DEPARTMENT. Hillary Clinton has turned over her private email server to the Department of Justice, the Clinton campaign confirmed to ABC News. Barbara Wells, an attorney for Platte River Networks, the technology company that has managed Clinton's email server since 2013, said the company turned the server over to the FBI Wednesday afternoon at a New Jersey facility. She said the server was handed over voluntarily, under an agreement between Platte River and Clinton's presidential campaign, with no subpoena, ABC's JONATHAN KARL and BENJAMIN SIEGEL report. Clinton's attorney had previously turned over a thumb drive containing copies of emails submitted to the State Department.

JEB BUSH SAYS TAKING DOWN SADDAM HUSSEIN WAS 'PRETTY GOOD DEAL.' Yesterday, Republican hopeful Jeb Bush uncharacteristically came out in favor of many of his brother's Iraq policies, offering a rare show of vigorous support. While speaking in a national security forum in Davenport, Iowa, the younger Bush defended the change he says George W. Bush's policies brought about in Iraq, according to ABC's CANDACE SMITH. "I'll tell you though, that taking out Saddam Hussein turned out to be a pretty good deal," Jeb Bush said. He has publicly disavowed the Iraq war, saying recently that "it was a mistake. I wouldn't have gone in." But last night, Bush defended elements of strategy that his brother employed, including the troop surge of 2007, saying that it was a "great success" and adding that Iraq was a safer place because of it.

AL GORE'S FRIENDS AND FORMER AIDES EYEING 2016 RACE. A one-time high-ranking political adviser to Al Gore tells ABC News that a group of friends and former aides are having a "soft conversation" about the possibility that Gore run for president in 2016. The adviser cautions that there have been no formal or even informal moves by Gore himself -- but that the former vice president has not ruled out anything. Gore ran for president in 2000 and was successful in clinching the Democratic nomination, but ultimately lost the general election to George W. Bush. This comes, of course, as the current vice president, Joe Biden, spends time with family this month mulling his own bid. The Gore conversations are not as far along as those for Biden, who has also not ruled out a run, ABC's RICK KLEIN reports.

MIKE HUCKABEE HAS PORK CHOPS FOR BREAKFAST, HITS CLINTON ON EMAILS. After chowing down on a pork chop for breakfast with his wife Janet, Mike Huckabee took to the soap box at the Iowa State Fair. ABC's JOSH HASKELL caught-up with Huckabee on his tour of the fair and instead of talking about his Republican rivals, he continued to go after Hillary Clinton. "I think she's in real trouble. This is no longer just a political issue," he said. "It's a legal issue now and I think that Hillary's got a lot of questions to answer and there's some serious things when you don't take care of top secret material and there's no way that she can pretend that she didn't know better."

DONALD TRUMP POSTS VIDEO FEATURING ISIS MILITANT 'JIHADI JOHN.' Donald Trump is once making headlines for his actions on social media, this time for a video posted on his verified Instagram account. The video opens with a shot of ISIS militant "Jihadi John," from the video showing the purported execution of journalist Steven Sotloff in September 2014, according to ABC's ALANA ABRAMSON. It contrasts the image of the ISIS militant holding a knife and a shot of the 2012 attack on the US compound in Benghazi with photos of President Obama in a golf cart and Bill and Hillary Clinton dancing.

PRESIDENT OBAMA'S SUMMER READING LIST. You can't golf all day. President Obama packed plenty to read for his two weeks vacationing with his family in Martha's Vineyard, ABC's ALI WEINBERG writes. Here are Obama's six summer reads, a mix of critically acclaimed fiction and nonfiction, obtained first by ABC News.

5 NOTABLE LEFTIES WHO ARE ON THE POLITICAL RIGHT. Thursday is International Left Handers Day! And even though left-handed people make up about 10 percent of the population, many recent presidential candidates -- and occupants of the Oval Office -- have been Southpaws. Several recent presidents like Bill Clinton, George H.W. Bush and Gerald Ford, not to mention current President Obama -- have signed bills into law using their left hand - ABC's RYAN STRUYK notes. See the full list.


MEET THE 'PRESIDENTIAL SELFIE GIRLS':THE TEENS TRYING TO TAKE SELFIES WITH EVERY 2016 CANDIDATE. Most teenagers haven't met one presidential candidate. Ever. These New Hampshire teenagers have met 19. And they're not done yet. Sisters Emma and Addy Nozell are on a mission: to get a selfie with every person running for president. "It started when Emma took a selfie with Chris Christie," Addy, 17, said. "I was the one who said do it with everyone." That was earlier this summer. Since then, the teens from Merrimack, New Hampshire, have snapped photos all but four candidates, according to ABC's BRAD MIELKE. So how do you get the next potential leader of the free world to make time for you? It helps being in New Hampshire, with its first-in-the-nation primary.


THAT TIME MICHELE BACHMANN WAS ON HER WAY TO WINNING IOWA. As the Iowa State Fair kicks off this week, it's worth remembering this headline on from exactly four years ago yesterday - Aug. 13, 2011: "Bachmann Wins Ames Straw Poll, Ron Paul in Close Second." The eventual winner of the Iowa Caucuses, Rick Santorum, finished fourth in the Straw Poll behind Tim Pawlenty, who dropped out of the GOP race a day later. Aug. 13, 2011 also happened to be the day Texas Gov. Rick Perry launched his presidential bid, almost immediately becoming the front-runner -- until he wasn't, ABC's MICHAEL FALCONE writes. Much has changed in four years: There's no straw poll; Donald Trump sits at the top of the polls for the Republican presidential nomination; Rick Perry doesn't have enough money to pay his staff; and Ben Carson is on the rise in Iowa. All of which is to say: A lot can happen between now and Caucus Day next February.


@HillaryClinton: Today is Social Security's 80th birthday. Congrats on reaching what some Republicans think should be the retirement age. -H

@SusanPage: What happens to former presidential nominees? Meet Michael Dukakis, 27 years later: ...

@davecatanese: Branstad on Trump: "I think he's got a real campaign here." ...

@sahilkapur: Rubio on Obama's Iran and Cuba initiatives: "Hillary Clinton will not overturn these deals as president. I will."

@JWGOP: Maddening -- but resigned to it -- when reporters write they story they want and not the story they have.

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