Hillary Clinton Casts A Shadow
By MICHAEL FALCONE ( @michaelpfalcone )
- A DEMOCRAT GOES TO IOWA (BUT HER NAME ISN'T HILLARY): Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar's trip to Iowa today may be just a hop and a skip over the border to a neighboring state, but its putting her squarely among the ranks of non-Clinton presidential contenders for 2016, ABC's ABBY PHILLIP reports. Klobuchar speaks tonight at the annual Northern Iowa Democratic Party's Wing Ding fundraiser, a bastion of Democratic politics in the swing state that for the last 10 years has featured former presidential contenders like John Edwards in 2006 and Obama in 2007. But former Secretary of State Clinton won't be far from the minds of the Iowans assembled. She'll receive the Beacon Award, for a "current or former elected Democrat who has embodied the principles of the Democratic Party and has accomplished significant Democratic ideals." So where does that leave Klobuchar? Exactly where several other Democrats with presidential potential are for the upcoming contest: in limbo and persistently in Clinton's shadow. http://abcn.ws/16rMJ8R
- QUOTE OF THE DAY: Sen. Klobuchar has answered the obvious question about her travel to Iowa by saying: "It simply means I was invited to a wingding, and I think anything in Iowa makes a wingding out of a wingding, and that is all it is."
- GOP ALREADY FIGHTING THE CLINTON WARS: Today in Boston, the Republican National Committee will vote on a resolution to go through with a threat to boycott NBC and CNN as debate partners if the networks refuse to pull their planned films about Hillary Clinton, ABC's SHUSHANNAH WALSHE notes. ABC News obtained the resolution the committee members will consider. In it they call the programs "little more than extended commercials promoting former Secretary Clinton" and the "programming decisions are an attempt to show political favoritism and put a thumb on the scales for the next presidential election." The non-binding resolution is expected to pass easily.
- THIS WEEK ON 'THIS WEEK': We cover the latest on the escalating crisis in Egypt and how the U.S. will respond, Sunday on "This Week." And the powerhouse roundtable debates all the week's politics, with Rep. Keith Ellison, D-Minn., former White House senior adviser and Bloomberg TV contributor David Plouffe, former Hewlett-Packard CEO Carly Fiorina, and Weekly Standard editor Bill Kristol, in his first appearance on "This Week" in over a decade. Check the "This Week" page for full guest listings. Be sure to use #ThisWeek when you tweet about the program. Tune in Sunday: http://abcnews.go.com/thisweek
ABC's SHUSHANNAH WALSHE: The RNC has been meeting this week in Boston holding their summer confab of operatives, party chairman, and activists. The highlight was New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie's speech Thursday where he told the party to focus on winning-not so subtly saying the group should lead by his example-while jabbing two of his potential 2016 opponents, but part of the work that goes on here isn't just hearing Christie or Newt Gingrich speak it's to get the work of the party done. On Thursday members met to examine the primary process, but almost immediately decided to send it to a subcommittee. That subcommittee will meet to examine the primary process, including carve out states like Iowa, New Hampshire, and South Carolina, debates, the earliest dates states can go, and winner takes all vs. proportional distribution of delegates. The subcommittee begins Thursday in what will be a lengthy process and there is likely no answer on these critical primary questions anytime soon, but the subcommittee will have the power to take up some of these issues that Chairman Reince Priebus has said is a priority of his, including cutting down on how long the primaries go or how long the candidates can "slice and dice" each other and limiting the number of debates for the same reason.
ABC's DANA HUGHES: Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel unveiled a series of new policies to fight sexual assault in the military, a problem Pentagon Press Secretary George Little called "a stain on the honor of our men and women who serve our country, as well as a threat to the discipline and the cohesion of our force." The measures include actions such as having judge advocates general (JAG) officers, people with legal training rather than just commanders, investigating sex assault charges, as well as providing a legal military advocate in every branch specifically to help victims. Not included were provisions that would take the reporting or prosecution out of the chain of command, something some Senators have been calling for. The Pentagon's move prompted praise from Senator McCaskill who issued a statement congratulating the DoD for taking the problem seriously, while the fiercest critic Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, who wants these cases investigated and prosecuted outside the chain of command said the actions don't go far enough. Gillibrand continues to call for Congress to act on the matter. http://t.co/dPCoj61OI8
WHAT WE'RE WATCHING
THE REAL WAR HORSE: THE LIFE AND LEGEND OF THE MARINE CORPS' FOUR-LEGGED STAFF SERGEANT. In many ways, Staff Sgt. Reckless was no different from the Marines she served beside during the Korean War. She braved enemy fire on many occasions, enjoyed scrambled eggs and coffee for breakfast, and her favorite pastime was drinking beer with comrades. Except Reckless was a horse. Reckless has long been considered a war hero for her service during the Korean War and was recently honored at the National Museum of the Marine Corps in Virginia, where a life-sized statue of the horse was unveiled. Retired Marine Sgt. Harold Wadley, who served side-by-side with Reckless in the Korean War, spoke to "On the Radar's" MARTHA RADDATZ at the installation ceremony of the new Staff Sgt. Reckless statue and told of the horse's unusual valor in braving enemy fire to bring reinforcement ammunition to her platoon on the front lines. WATCH: http://yhoo.it/1cS0L6d
CHRIS CHRISTIE TELLS REPUBLICANS TO FOCUS ON WINNING… New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie told Republican operatives Thursday to make winning elections the focus of the party, not endless intra-party debate, ABC's SHUSHANNAH WALSHE notes. "We are not a debating society. We are a political operation that needs to win," Christie told activists and GOP operatives at a Republican National Committee luncheon at their summer meeting. "My job is to win. I believe my job is to win. Our job is not to be college professors." Christie's speech was closed to reporters, but several GOP sources invited to the luncheon shared parts of the New Jersey governor's speech with ABC News. http://abcn.ws/15KAsGk
…AND JABS POTENTIAL 2016 OPPONENTS. Several people listening to Christie's speech believed he was making distinctions between himself and Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky. Paul and Christie have had an ongoing feud that began in July when Christie warned Paul's brand of "libertarianism" was dangerous for the country. He also called Paul's libertarian viewpoint both "esoteric" and intellectual, starting a war of words on each other's positions ranging from national security to pork barrel spending. Christie also appeared today to hit Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal, another possible 2016 rival, who in a keynote address at the Republican National Committee's winter meeting in Charlotte, N.C., in January, said, "We've got to stop being the stupid party. It's time for a new Republican Party that talks like adults." "I'm not going to be one of these people who goes and calls our party stupid," said Christie, widely thought to be eyeing the White House. "We need to stop navel gazing. There's nothing wrong with our principles. We need to focus on winning again. There's too much at stake for this to be an academic exercise. We need to win and govern with authority and courage." http://abcn.ws/15KAsGk
MICHELLE OBAMA ON RACE, THE FIRST FEMALE PRESIDENT, HER BANGS. Two weeks before the 50th anniversary of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.'s "I Have a Dream" speech, first lady Michelle Obama says that having an African-American family in the White House "expands the scope of opportunity" for the next generation and has "absolutely" moved the needle when it comes to race in the United States, ABC's MARY BRUCE notes. Obama said she has "immense hope" going into the anniversary, as she reflected on her family's recent trip to South Africa and the leaders who have influenced her husband. "To come back to the United States, with an African-American president who has been influenced by both King and [Nelson] Mandela, that is a reason to be hopeful about all that Dr. King sacrificed," she said. Looking ahead, the first lady said she thinks the country is ready to break another barrier and have a woman in the White House. "I think the country is ready for it. It's just a question of who's the best person out there," she said. Does she see her husband's foe-turned-friend, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, getting that job? "She hasn't announced anything, so I'm certainly not going to get ahead of her," Obama said, laughing. The first lady made one thing crystal clear: She will not be running for that position or any other. http://abcn.ws/1bApEQA
RUSH LIMBAUGH: 'I'M TOO FAMOUS' TO MODERATE GOP DEBATE. So much for talk of conservative radio-host Rush Limbaugh's hosting a Republican presidential debate, ABC's ABBY PHILLIP notes. Limbaugh said yesterday there's "no question" that a Limbaugh-moderated debate would get high ratings, but his star power would overshadow the event. "I don't see how I can, I'm too famous," Limbaugh, 62, said on his show yesterday. The comments come after Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus suggested that instead of having "mainstream media" networks moderate party debates, Limbaugh and other conservative radio pundits could. Asked by Fox News Channel-host Andrea Tantaros earlier this month about the possibility of a debate hosted by Fox News' Sean Hannity and conservative radio-host Mark Levin, Priebus threw his support behind the idea. "I actually think that's a very good idea," Priebus agreed. "I mean, there's a lot of good people out there that can actually understand the base of the Republican Party, the primary voters." http://abcn.ws/19vRr7K
WHITE HOUSE FINALLY GETS SOLAR PANELS. Washington's most famous residence is getting an energy overhaul, ABC's MARY BRUCE reports. Solar panels are being installed on the White House this week while the Obamas are away on vacation, three years after the administration first vowed to do so. "The White House has begun installing American-made solar panels on the first family's residence as part of an energy retrofit that will improve the overall energy efficiency of the building," according to a White House official. In addition to the solar panels, energy-saving equipment such as updated building controls and variable-speed fans are also being installed at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. The retrofit is three years in the making. The White House first announced in October 2010 that it planned to install solar panels on the roof. "As we move towards a clean energy economy, the White House will lead by example," then-Secretary of Energy Steven Chu said at the time. Why the delay? "The White House isn't your typical home," a White House official explained. "It has very specific requirements that had to be addressed as a part of the energy retrofit. This includes taking the time to update the technical scope of the retrofit project to include energy efficiency improvements." http://abcn.ws/16puqB1
IN THE NOTE'S INBOX
AMERICANS UNITED FOR CHANGE ON AUGUST RECESS: 'GOP STILL LOSING'. Americans United For Change President Brad Woodhouse offers his assessment of this summer's Obamacare wars in a new memo out this morning: "Two weeks into August recess, and Republicans are still off message, off balance - and losing. Still lacking a coherent anti-Obamacare strategy as repealers and defunders continue to squabble. And Newt Gingrich didn't help calm family feud much this week when he slammed Republicans for hating on Obamacare while having 'zero answer' when it comes to an alternative health plan," Woodhouse writes. "The GOP are still under siege by the voters and still being defined by the most extreme and intolerant voices in their party on comprehensive immigration reform. Still facing tough questions on why they want to strip away Americans' health security and consumer protections so insurance companies can go back putting profits before people's lives. Adding to their woes, this week Republicans across the country felt the heat from constituents over their inaction on/denial of climate change." FULL MEMO: http://bit.ly/1bBUZm2
?@McCormickJohn: Christie Says His Re-Election Should Be Model for Party http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2013-08-15/christie-says-his-re-election-should-be-model-for-party.html …
@AlexPappas: Ted Cruz gives lengthy answers to questions on Obamacare defunding strategy http://dailycaller.com/2013/08/15/4-questions-with-ted-cruz-on-defunding-obamacare/ …