— -- If we have our undisputed frontrunners, why does nobody seem to be happy about it?
Maybe it has something to do with the hair. Donald Trump has his, but we’re not sure his rivals will have theirs by the time they read all of Trump’s Tweets. Hillary Clinton says she colors hers, but the focus of the Democratic race is on some men who most certainly don’t.
As Labor Day weekend approaches, we’re talking about Bible verses, chocolate bars, and Asian people. At least we’re entitled to ask some questions, we assume.
Here’s a look at some of the stories the ABC News political team will be tracking in the week ahead:
Hillary Clinton might be sorry she ever set up her own private server, but that doesn’t mean anyone’s done talking about her emails. Monday will bring thousands of fresh pages released by the State Department, with reams of emails that may or may not touch on classified issues. To round out the week, two former top Clinton aides will be deposed on Thursday in front of the House Benghazi committee. This is all separate from a rolling series of releases involving her aides’ emails that have pulled back the curtain on the always complicated web of Clinton world connections – plus former President Clinton’s lucrative speaking career. The email disclosures and her handling of them have already caused deep concern about Clinton’s candidacy inside the Democratic Party.
What will Joe do? It’s the biggest question in the Democratic race, as we near decision time for the vice president and an anxious party. Joe Biden told Democrats this past week that he’s not sure he has the “emotional fuel” for another run. But Draft Biden officials have the caloric fuel handled, passing out chocolate bars to those same Democrats the following day. Biden will be in Florida Wednesday and Thursday for a speech and a meeting specifically designed to sell the Iran deal. As his team-in-waiting puts pieces in place to support a possible run, Biden still appears weeks away from a decision, though signals (intentional and otherwise) will be emanating from his camp.
We’re not in lame duck territory just yet, and President Obama is out to prove it. The Obama agenda is becoming the 2016 agenda, despite and sometimes because of a certain Republican frontrunner. The president’s trip to Alaska on Monday will put energy and climate issues in the spotlight, and put Obama himself in the middle of some stunning pictures. Republican candidates led by Scott Walker are calling on the president to cancel or dial back a scheduled state visit by the Chinese president. Then there’s Iran, with Donald Trump and Ted Cruz joining forces – and Dick Cheney lending his voice, too – to push Congress to kill the nuclear deal. It’s hard to think of a troika that might unite Democrats more quickly.
LONELY ON TOP
The GOP frontrunner is reaching new high-water marks in polls while breaking every rule of politics. Donald Trump is campaigning his way – with nighttime rallies, nonstop interviews, and middle-of-the-night Tweets that taunt and flummox his opponents. Labor Day weekend offers the possibility of a quieter Trump campaign. Will any of his opponents be able to fill the void? Traditional stumping is being supplemented with policy addresses – foreign policy is a good late-summer topic – yet no one has yet solved the Trump equation with satisfactory results.
Who’s in, who’s out, and how many will there be? The deadline for polls that count toward earning a spot at the second Republican debate is Sept. 10. Already some GOP candidates – led by Carly Fiorina – are complaining that they aren’t being ample space to prove they’ve broken through since the first debate. On the Democratic side, complaints are growing about the fact that there will be only six debates. Martin O’Malley is flat-out accusing the Democratic National Committee of colluding with the Clinton campaign to limit the number. The encounters are make-or-break moments for candidates, so the lobbying and pressure is intense.