John Wagner & Anne Gearan of the Washington Post: "... Sen. Bernie Sanders said in an interview broadcast Friday that he would wait to see what Hillary Clinton includes in her platform before deciding how actively to campaign for her in the fall if she is the party's nominee." -- CW
Patrick Healy of the New York Times: "Hillary Clinton's advisers and allies have begun extensive discussions about who should be her running mate, seeking to compile a list of 15 to 20 potential picks for her team to start vetting by late spring. Mrs. Clinton's team will grapple with complicated questions like whether the United States is ready for an all-female ticket, and whether her choice for vice president would be able to handle working in a White House in which former President Bill Clinton wields significant influence on policy." CW: So ConservaDem Bill definitely will be back. At least the campaign is admitting it to reporters. I doubt the Presidents Clinton will have Bernie Sanders on their contacts list. ...
... Alan Rappeport & Patrick Healy of the New York Times: "Here are some likely contenders -- according to allies and advisers of the Clintons and prominent Democrats -- and a look at their strengths and weaknesses. Sherrod Brown..., Julián Castro..., Tim Kaine..., Amy Klobuchar..., Deval Patrick..., Thomas E. Perez..., Mark Warner..., Elizabeth Warren." -- CW
Amie Parnes of the Hill: "... Hillary Clinton is doubling down on a strategy of not releasing transcripts of speeches she gave to Goldman Sachs and other investment banks.... The issue has been an effective line of attack from [Bernie] Sanders, who has closed the gap with Clinton in national polls. It also appears to have hurt Clinton, who has seen her favorability rating in polls drop below 50 percent. Just as bad, Clinton has seen her marks fall with Americans when they are asked whether they trust her or see her as honest. At the same time, Sanders is now coming under growing pressure to pull back on his attacks after Clinton's big win in New York's primary." -- CW
The Accidental Truth-Teller, Ctd. Jason Noble of the Des Moines Register: "U.S. Sen. Chuck Grassley [R] suggested on Friday that the FBI might leak reports of its investigation into presidential candidate Hillary Clinton's use of a private email server as secretary of state. Grassley, Iowa's senior senator and chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, said an anonymous and unauthorized release of FBI investigative materials could result if officials at the agency believed prosecution of Clinton was stymied for political reasons." -- CW
Edward-Isaac Dovere of Politico: "Joe Biden's made a decision in the Democratic primary race -- but he won&'t say whether he picked Hillary Clinton or Bernie Sanders. The vice president and his wife, Dr. Jill Biden, voted early while back home in Wilmington on Friday, four days before the Delaware primary on April 26, when Pennsylvania, Connecticut, Rhode Island and Maryland will also vote." -- CW
Jonathan Martin of the New York Times: Reince Priebus, "the head of the Republican National Committee, implored leaders of his sharply divided party on Friday to rally behind their eventual presidential nominee, suggesting that they ignore Donald J. Trump's assault on the nominating process." -- CW
John O'Keefe of the Washington Post: Uncommitted Pennsylvania delegates could choose the GOP nominee. "While most states award convention delegates on a winner-take-all or proportional basis, 54 of Pennsylvania's 71 delegates -- three for each of 18 congressional districts -- are officially unbound to a candidate and do not have to announce their intentions before Tuesday's vote. The winners can vote for whomever they want at the convention." -- CW
Oops, Forgot about GOP States' Rights Mantra, Bigot Vote. Daily Beast: "Less than 24 hours after saying transgender individuals should be able to 'use the bathroom they feel is appropriate,' Donald Trump backtracked from that pro-LGBT position. Speaking with Sean Hannity on Fox News Thursday evening, the Republican presidential frontrunner decided that while he still believes North Carolina's law overturning local anti-discrimination ordinances is 'causing a lot of problems,' he thinks 'local communities and states should make the decision. The federal government should not be involved.'" CW: Yes, people, you can count on Donald Trump to stand by you for up to 24 hours. ...
We're going to take care of those wounded warriors and we're going to take care of our vets better than anybody. -- Donald Trump, aboard the USS Wisconsin, October 2015 ...
... Tim Mak of the Daily Beast: "Three months ago Donald Trump held a fundraiser for wounded veterans and apparently raised $6 million. But most of that money has yet to be distributed and Trump's chairman for veterans issues couldn't care less." -- CW
Dana Milbank, borrowing from the Passover Seder service, assesses Donald Trump in terms of the "Ten Plagues that God inflicted on the Egyptians: blood, frogs, lice, wild animals, pestilence, boils, hail, locusts, darkness and slaying of the firstborn." -- CW
Kristina Davis of the Los Angeles Times: "An Orange County woman who wanted to back out as a class representative in a long-running lawsuit against Donald Trump has gotten her wish. Tarla Makaeff, who filed the lawsuit against Trump's now-defunct Trump University six years ago, claimed the litigation had caused her to suffer severe stress and unwanted publicity, especially in light of the combative presidential race.... Three other plaintiffs still will participate in the case...." -- CW
Other News & Views
President Obama & British PM David Cameron hold a press conference:
Britain's Prince George looks a bit wary of President & Michelle Obama, but warms up when he finds out they gave him that hobby horse. -- CW
We're Back in Iraq. Fred Kaplan of Slate: "... we are going to war in Iraq against ISIS. It's not going to be like George W. Bush's 2003 invasion of Iraq: It will involve about 5,000 U.S. troops, not 150,000; and local forces -- Iraqi soldiers, Kurdish peshmerga, and various militias -- will be in the lead. But the United States will be directly involved in the fighting and quite possibly the dying. And although [Secretary of Defense Ash] Carter and other senior officials say the U.S.'s mission isn't changing it's clear that, by any reasonable definition of 'mission' and 'changing,' it is." -- CW
Frederic Rich of Salon: "How extreme right-wing market fundamentalism captured the GOP -- and endangered the environment. Republican orthodoxy is deeply hostile to environmental goals -- along with science and basic common sense. Painting environmental protection as inconsistent with the things that people want most [jobs, wealth, and cheap gas] was an astute and successful political strategy for the foes of the Green movement." -- LT
"A good guy with a gun." Matt Drange of The Guardian: Mark Bryant, NRA member from Kentucky, "has developed what is by some measures the most comprehensive database of recent gun deaths and injuries in America... [by]collect[ing] information the government isn't capturing....Bryant isn't 'for or against' gun ownership. He's simply trying to reduce gun violence by building a better understanding of what guns are to America." -- LT
Beyond the Beltway
Sari Horwitz & Jenna Portnoy of the Washington Post: "Gov. Terry McAuliffe (D) will make all ex-felons in Virginia eligible to vote in the upcoming presidential election, part of a years-long effort to restore full voting rights to former convicts. McAuliffe's announcement in Richmond on Friday will allow an estimated 180,000 to 210,000 former felons who are not in prison or on probation or parole to register to vote this year in Virginia, a battleground state, according to a coalition of civil rights groups that had pushed for the restoration of voting rights. Advocates said McAuliffe's move was the biggest-ever single action taken to restore voting rights in this country." -- CW (Also linked yesterday afternoon.) ...
... Scott LeMieux in LG&M: "I'm so old that I remember extensive debates on various social media about whether or not McAuliffe was inspiring enough to be worth supporting ... against Ken Cuccinelli. The lesson, as always, is that this way of thinking about elections is really dumb." CW: Exactly. This is why you vote for the Democrat even when he's a jerk. ...
... Inae Oh of Mother Jones: "The executive order bypassed Republicans in the state, who view former felons as potential Democratic voters. Their angry response was swift." -- CW ...
... Nate Cohn of the New York Times: "... the big number of newly enfranchised voters is actually larger than Mr. Obama's 149,298-vote margin of victory there in 2012." However, ex-felons aren't all that into voting: studies "usually find that around 20 percent of ex-felons turn out, even in presidential elections." -- CW
Heide Brandes of Reuters: "An Oklahoma bill that could revoke the license of any doctor who performs an abortion has headed to the governor, with opponents saying the measure in unconstitutional and promising a legal battle against the cash-strapped state if it is approved. In the Republican-dominated legislature, the state's House of Representatives overwhelmingly approved a Senate bill late on Thursday. Governor Mary Fallin, a Republican, has not yet indicated whether she will sign it." -- CW
New York Times: "As law enforcement officials await the complete results of an autopsy performed [on performer Prince] Friday, they said they would be reviewing local pharmaceutical records as part of a broad effort to understand Prince's full medical history. They declined to comment on reports that Prince had been taking pain medication, saying the investigation was continuing." -- CW