The Daily 202 – Is Trump a choke artist?

The Daily 202 – Is Trump a choke artist?

Colorado shows why Cruz could do well in Cleveland.
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Is Trump a choke artist? Continuing unforced errors bode poorly for his hopes in a contested Republican convention.
Donald Trump speaks in Rochester, New York, last night.&nbsp;(Photo by Jabin Botsford/The Washington Post)</p> <p>

Donald Trump speaks in Rochester, New York, last night. (Photo by Jabin Botsford/The Washington Post)

THE BIG IDEA:

Donald Trump loves to call Mitt Romney “a choke artist” because he could not beat Barack Obama in 2012.

But Rick Santorum dropped out of the Republican race four years ago yesterday, effectively giving Romney the nomination.

At this point, in the best case scenario for Trump, he’ll maintain his lead but not secure the 1,237 delegates needed to become the GOP’s standard bearer until June 7, when California and New Jersey hold primaries.

In “The Art of the Deal,” Trump emphasized the importance of closing the sale. “You can’t con people, at least not for long,” he wrote in 1987. “You can create excitement, you can do wonderful promotion and get all kinds of press, and you can throw in a little hyperbole. But if you don’t deliver the goods, people will eventually catch on.”

Once again, Trump struggled this weekend to deliver the goods. And often it was attributable as much or more to his own campaign’s organizational failures than to Ted Cruz being some kind of brilliant tactician.

Cruz supporters link arms in prayer during the Colorado Republican State Convention&nbsp;in Colorado Springs. (AP/Brennan Linsley)</p> <p>

Cruz supporters link arms in prayer during the Colorado Republican State Convention in Colorado Springs. (AP/Brennan Linsley)

— In COLORADO, Cruz swept all of the available delegates at a convention. Ed O’Keefe reports on Trump dysfunction from Colorado Springs: “The convention planned to choose the final 13 delegates from a list of more than 600 people who are running for the positions. Each of the presidential campaigns and several conservative groups are running slates of like-minded candidates, hoping to pool their support and prevail among the thousands casting ballots. … In the hours before Saturday’s vote, Trump supporters distributed glossy white flyers (with their slate) … But several names were misspelled or assigned the wrong ballot number … The mistakes were exposed at the worst possible moment … Trump volunteers frantically printed new lists with new names and ballot numbers — but those lists also had mistakes.”

Creating more conflict in the hall, the Colorado GOP account tweeted out the below:

Facing blowback, the party deleted the tweet and posted this:

But Trump supporters conceded defeat in the Rocky Mountain State: “I’ve been in politics exactly 37 days,” said Pamela Gentry, who began organizing a slate of Trump delegates less than two months ago when she realized that the campaign hadn’t started organizing. “It would have been nice if it was a couple of months ago.”

— In SOUTH CAROLINA, where Trump handily won the primary, several anti-Trump activists won delegate slots at district-level conventions. They will be compelled to vote for him on the first ballot at the convention, but then they’ll become free agents. (The State)

— In WASHINGTON State, Trump’s campaign sent an email encouraging supporters to sign up to be a potential Trump delegate two days after the filing deadline. (Politico)

— In NEW YORK, two of Trump’s children reportedly did not register as Republicans in time to become eligible to vote for their dad in next week’s primary. (New York has a closed primary, so only registered Republicans can participate.)

— He has also been dealt various setbacks in Indiana, North Dakota, Tennessee, Louisiana, South Dakota, and Georgia, according to Politico. “Massachusetts is also shaping up as a delegate battleground, despite Trump’s dominance of the popular vote there. … Early indications in North Carolina and Iowa suggested Trump had been routed in the hunt for another 30-plus delegates there.”

— There are a lot of ways to describe the aforementioned mistakes: Amateur hour. Not ready for primetime. A gang that can’t shoot straight.

— Getting outmaneuvered has only fueled Trump’s pre-existing impulse to feel like he’s being wronged and cheated. “They’re trying to subvert the movement,” Trump said at a rally last night in Rochester, N.Y. “They can’t do it with bodies, so they’re trying to subvert the movement with crooked shenanigans.”

Paul Manafort, Trump’s newly-empowered senior adviser, appeared as his surrogate on “Meet the Press” yesterday to accuse Cruz’s campaign of using “Gestapo tactics” to win delegates. “We’re going to be filing several protests,” he said.

— Even 10 months in, Trump seems to lack a fundamental understanding of what it takes to become president:

One bright spot for Trump came in Michigan, where his boosters allied with John Kasich’s to deny Cruz supporters slots on the convention committees that will oversee disputes about rules and credentials.

The Trump campaign’s Manafort acknowledged that Cruz will likely dominate the Wyoming GOP convention this coming weekend, but he said everything is about to change. “After that, he is done,” Manafort told Dan Balz in an interview. “We’re going to have our act together. We’re going to start putting numbers on that board, and that will become infectious.” Just like Trump’s repeated promises to act more presidential, we’ll believe it when we see it.

Cruz, meanwhile, shifted his messaging this weekend. He has previously expressed confidence that he can secure the nomination outright during the primaries. But, speaking in Las Vegas, he seemed to acknowledge that a multi-ballot convention is likely. “I believe the first ballot will be the highest vote total Donald Trump receives,” he said. “And on a subsequent ballot, we’re gonna win the nomination and earn the majority.”

Welcome to the Daily 202, PowerPost’s morning newsletter.
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WHILE YOU WERE SLEEPING:

John Kerry visits Hiroshima,&nbsp;Japan. (Jonathan Ernst/AP)</p> <p>

John Kerry visits Hiroshima, Japan. (Jonathan Ernst/AP)

— John Kerry became the first Secretary of State to travel to Hiroshima since World War II. He’s there for the G-7 foreign ministers’ conference. Kerry and his fellow foreign ministers from six other powerful democracies first toured the Hiroshima Peace Memorial museum, where exhibits display the aftermath of the bomb nicknamed ‘Little Boy’ — from charred tricycles and melted roof tiles to cancerous tongues and models of people with melting skin,” our Carol Morello reports from the scene. “Then they walked solemnly to lay wreaths of white and pink carnations at a cenotaph that frames an eternal flame and the skeletal ruins of the one, dome-shaped buildings left standing.” President Obama is weighing a visit in May, David Nakamura reported on the front page of the Sunday paper and the White House is closely monitoring how Kerry’s trip is playing.

Peruvian presidential candidate Keiko Fujimori waves from the balcony of a hotel in Lima, Peru, last nihgt. (EPA/Ernesto Arias)</p> <p>

Peruvian presidential candidate Keiko Fujimori waves from the balcony of a hotel in Lima, Peru, last nihgt. (EPA/Ernesto Arias)

— “The daughter of jailed former president Alberto Fujimori appeared headed for a victory in the first round of Peru’s presidential election Sunday and is likely to face a former World Bank economist in a June runoff,” the Associated Press reports. “The center-right Fujimori has led opinion polls for months but faces a competitive runoff scenario because of how polarizing a figure she is among Peruvians, who either adore her father for defeating Maoist-inspired Shining Path rebels and taming hyperinflation or loathe him for human rights abuses and ordering tanks to shut down Congress. Almost half of Peruvians surveyed said they would never vote for anyone associated with her father, who is imprisoned for human rights violations. … In a bid to project a more moderate image, Fujimori promised during her campaign not to pardon her father if elected.”

— Hillary Clinton is going up on New York City TV with an ad that uses Trump as a foil. “With so much at stake, she’s the one tough enough to stop Trump,” a narrator says at the end of a 30-second spot that includes footage of Trump saying women who get abortions should be punished and that Muslims should be blocked from entering the country. There’s a clip from the Democratic front-runner speaking in the Empire State. “Donald Trump says we can solve America’s problems by turning against each other,” she says. “It’s wrong, and it goes against everything New York and America stand for.” Watch:

Stronger Together | Hillary Clinton

— Bernie Sanders is also going on the air today in NYC with an ad that plays off Ted Cruz’s criticism of “New York Values.” A narrator says the Vermont senator, who grew up in Brooklyn, has “values forged in New York” and describes him as a “native son who knows what we know: we are all in this together.” Watch:

Bolder | Bernie Sanders

 

GET SMART FAST:​​

Then-Lt. Edward Lin speaks&nbsp;in 2008. (Spec. 1st class Sarah Murphy/Navy)</p> <p>

Then-Lt. Edward Lin speaks in 2008. (Spec. 1st class Sarah Murphy/Navy)

  1. A Taiwan-born Navy officer who became a naturalized U.S. citizen stands accused of providing classified information to China. Lt. Cmdr. Edward C. Lin faces charges of espionage, attempted espionage and prostitution in a highly secretive case. … The Navy, which has not identified Lin by name, said the officer is assigned to the Patrol and Reconnaissance Group headquarters. (Dan Lamothe)
  2. Oil is flowing again through the Keystone Pipeline after over 16,000 gallons leaked in South Dakota. (KELO)
  3. Ukraine’s Prime Minister announced he will resign next week, calling for the formation for a new government amid an ongoing political crisis. (Andrew Roth)
  4. At least 110 were killed in a temple fire in India, after an illegal fireworks display exploded during a Hindu New Year celebration. Police are now searching for 15 of the temple’s board members in connection to the blast. (AP)
  5. Dubai is planning to construct a $1 billion skyscraper that will become the world’s tallest building. (Bloomberg)
  6. A California man pleaded guilty to setting a wildfire that took 27 days to contain after a “selfie” video incriminated him. (Yanan Wang)
  7. A Boston man launched a “female-only Uber,” raising questions about whether a ride-sharing app catering exclusively to women is legal. (Justin Wm. Moyer)
  8. Police are looking into additional motives in the death of former New Orleans Saints player Will Smith, who was fatally shot in what appeared to be a road rage accident. (Cindy Boren)
  9. A Texas teacher was arrested after video footage showed her slapping a student in the head repeatedly following a disruption in class. (USA Today)
  10. Navy and Coast Guard personnel are searching for a missing U.S. sailor off the coast of North Carolina. (Dan Lamothe)
  11. In a show of gratitude, Egypt gifted Saudi Arabia with two islands in the Red Sea. (New York Times)
  12. The U.K.’s Daily Mail is “in the early stages” of considering a bid for Yahoo, joining a wide group of interested companies, including Verizon. (Wall Street Journal)
  13. The 27-year old vice president of a jetpack company crashed while demonstrating his product in Colorado, suffering a broken jaw and requiring 27 stitches. He was not wearing a helmet. (Travis M. Andrews)

Jordan Spieth presents Danny Willett of England with the green jacket after Willett won the Masters Tournament at the Augusta National Golf Club in Georgia yesterday.&nbsp;(Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)</p> <p>

Jordan Spieth presents Danny Willett of England with the green jacket after Willett won the Masters Tournament at the Augusta National Golf Club in Georgia yesterday. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)

COMEBACK TOUR – Sneak peek at Russ Feingold’s debut ad in Wisconsin: The former Democratic senator is running hard to get his old job, and this week he will hit the airwaves with a 60-second ad showing him visiting all 72 counties. It includes clips of Feingold driving around in what appears to be a pick-up truck and sitting at kitchen tables. “If you’re going to represent people, you don’t tell them what they think,” he says. “You go out and listen to them. That’s how it starts.” Americans for Prosperity launched a seven-figure buy last week to boost Sen. Ron Johnson, the Republican who toppled Feingold in 2010. Watch:

72 Counties

MORE ON THE DEMOCRATIC RACE:

Hillary speaks at a church in New York yesterday. (AP/Bryan R. Smith)</p> <p>

Hillary speaks at a church in New York yesterday. (AP/Bryan R. Smith)

— Clinton and Trump both hold big leads in New York. A Fox News poll puts The Donald at 54 percent, followed by 22 percent for Kasich and 15 percent for Cruz. Clinton leads Sanders by 16 points, 53 to 37 percent. Trump enjoys widespread support in the state, leading among men and women, voters in every age and income group, and among those with and without a college degree. There is room for movement, however, with 9 percent of voters remaining undecided and nearly one-quarter (23 percent) saying they “might change their mind.” Clinton retains comfortable margins with women (61-30) and non-white voters (56-37), though Sanders continues to lead among younger voters and men.

— The Clintons spent Sunday courting black voters in New York and Baltimore, arguing for police reform and against mass incarceration. It was part of a coordinated effort to recover from the blowback Bill faced after arguing with Black Lives Matter protesters and defending Hillary’s use of the word “super-predators.” (Abby Phillip)

— Rep. Elijah E. Cummings (D-Md.) endorsed Hillary after staying neutral because of his position as the ranking Democrat on the House Oversight Committee. “Families in Baltimore who are hurting right now need more than the promise of a political revolution,” the congressman wrote in an op-ed for The Post. (Rachel Weiner)

— Sanders won the Wyoming caucuses on Saturday. But both Democrats will wind up with seven delegates from the state. (John Wagner)

Sanders finds out he’s won Wyoming during speech

Jane Sanders tells her husband that he won Wyoming on Saturday evening during the middle of a rally in New York City.

— “The Clinton team thinks that by the end of the month, the numbers will be incontrovertible, that she will be seen as the presumptive nominee,” Dan Balz reports. “Senior campaign advisers who have run the numbers argue that by month’s end, Clinton will have accumulated roughly 90 percent of the delegates needed to clinch the nomination… Clinton’s strength among super delegates appears to be understated by public counts. Campaign officials have told their allies in the party that their actual super-delegate count is at least 100 more than the AP count and closing in on 600 overall. Nor are those tasked with keeping an eye on those super delegates seeing any defections, according to several party officials.”

But, but, but: That won’t end the competition with Sanders, Balz notes, because the calendar looks better for him in May than in late April. “He is most likely to win contests that month, giving rise to more questions about Clinton. … By the time we get to California in June, Clinton could be in a position to claim the nomination while still losing the state to Sanders by a wide margin.”

SUNDAY SHOW HIGHLIGHTS:

President Obama discusses Clinton’s email controversy on Fox News

— Obama vowed there will be no political influence on the Justice Department’s investigation into Clinton’s use of a private email server. “I can guarantee that,” Obama said in an interview with “Fox News Sunday.” Appearing on the network for the first time in two years, the president said her email use showed “carelessness” but said he still thinks she did a good job as Secretary of State and believes “she has not jeopardized America’s national security.” (Anne Gearan)

 — Clinton said she is not planning for a contested Democratic convention because she will lock down the nomination before Philadelphia. “I feel good about the upcoming contests,” she said on CNN’s “State of the Union.” She also declined to take shots at Sanders. “I don’t have anything negative to say about him,” Clinton told host Jake Tapper.  (Abby Phillip)

— Sanders took aim at Clinton’s “judgment”: “In many respects, she may have the experience to be president of the United States,” Sanders said during an appearance on NBC’s “Meet the Press.” “No one can argue that. But in terms of her judgment, something is clearly lacking.”

Sanders: ‘Something is clearly lacking in Clinton’s judgment’

— Kasich said he “probably” would not have signed North Carolina’s “bathroom bill.” “Obviously I don’t want to force people to violate their deeply held religious convictions, but we’d have to see what that’s all about,” he said on CBS’s “Face the Nation.” “I wouldn’t have signed that law from everything I know.”

— CIA Director John Brennan said his agency will never again use waterboarding and other “enhanced interrogation” practices — even if ordered to do so by a future president. “I will not agree to carry out some of these tactics and techniques I’ve heard bandied about because this institution needs to endure,” he told NBC News.

Wild: Yesterday was the first time since Nov. 15 that Trump did not appear on a Sunday show. (CNN’s Brian Stelter)

MORE ON THE REPUBLICAN RACE: 

— Paul Ryan “is shaping an agenda that he plans to roll out right before the convention, a supplement of sorts to the official party platform,” the New York Times reports. “These moves could prove useful to rank-and-file Republicans seeking a life raft in Trumpian seas.”

— Cruz told Republican Jewish Coalition donors that nominating Trump could trigger a general election “bloodbath”: “It’d be an absolute disaster for Republicans,” Cruz said at a meeting in Vegas, hosted by billionaire casino magnate Sheldon Adelson. The AP says “Cruz earned a warm reception, yet his appearance came amid an overall sense of dissatisfaction from many Jewish Republicans. … Many prefer Cruz over Trump, but few were excited about either candidate.”

Some of the biggest donors in the Jewish Republican community are so dispirited by the GOP’s ugly primary that they may sit out the presidential contest: “And while some are reluctantly getting behind a remaining candidate, others are shifting their attention to congressional contests,” Politico’s Alex Isenstadt and Katie Glueck report. “The lack of interest is partly rooted in exhaustion. After watching many of the party’s establishment prospects …  go up in flames, many top donors say they’ve simply grown tired of opening their wallets. Some here have given to multiple candidates, only to watch them suffer defeat. ‘Burnout’s real. People spent a lot of time and energy … asking friends for money from different candidates. There’s only so many times you can go back to the well,’ said [former Jeb Bush supporter] Jay Zeidman.”

— Cruz raised $12.5 million in March. (Katie Zezima) 

— The Boston Globe‘s Sunday opinion section included a satirical front page that imagines a Trump presidency. “Deportations to begin,” reads the leading headline. The Globe’s editorial board called the mock-up an “exercise in taking a man at his word.”  “How about that stupid Boston Globe?” Trump said in response during a New York rally. “It’s worthless, sold for a dollar.”

WAPO HIGHLIGHTS:

A revealing portrait of The Donald’s approach to philanthropy and charitable giving, by David A. Fahrenthold and Rosalind S. Helderman on the front page of today’s paper: “Since the first day of his presidential campaign, Trump has said that he gave more than $102 million to charity in the past five years. To back up that claim, Trump’s campaign compiled a [93-page] list of his contributions … But, in that massive list, one thing was missing. Not a single one of those donations was actually a personal gift of Trump’s own money. Instead … many of the gifts that Trump cited to prove his generosity were free rounds of golf, given away by his courses for charity auctions and raffles. The largest items on the list were not cash gifts but land-conservation agreements to forgo development rights on property Trump owns. … It reveals how Trump has demonstrated less of the soaring, world-changing ambitions in his philanthropy than many other billionaires. Instead, his giving appears narrowly tied to his business and, now, his political interests.”

How far will the campaigns go to win support from Republican delegates? By Matea Gold and Ed O’Keefe: “Imagine this: Trump wooing delegates with rides on his gold-plated private jet. A wealthy Cruz supporter wining and dining them at the Cleveland convention. Welcome bags stocked with expensive swag awaiting party activists in their hotel rooms, courtesy of a well-funded super PAC. The already freewheeling Republican presidential contest is fast turning into a personal persuasion game as the candidates pursue a no-holds-barred effort to lock up delegates — and there are relatively few limits on how far they can go.

  • “Under regulations established in the 1980s, delegates cannot take money from corporations, labor unions, federal contractors or foreign nationals. But an individual donor is permitted to give a delegate unlimited sums to support his or her efforts to get selected to go to the convention, including money to defray the costs of travel and lodging. A candidate’s campaign committee can also pay for delegate expenses. Some legal experts believe a campaign could even cover an all-expense-paid weekend prior to the convention to meet with senior staff at, say, a Trump-owned luxury golf resort in Florida.
  • “Given that the last contested Republican convention was 40 years ago — Gerald Ford vs. Ronald Reagan in 1976 — many of Washington’s top campaign-finance experts are furiously paging through old Federal Election Commission opinions, trying to discern what delegates can accept. ‘We’re in uncharted territory,’ said Kenneth Gross, a former associate general counsel at the Federal Election Commission.”

— “A new divide in American death,” by Joel Achenbach and Dan Keating: “White women have been dying prematurely at higher rates since the turn of this century, passing away in their 30s, 40s and 50s in a slow-motion crisis driven by decaying health in small-town America, according to [The Post’s] analysis of national health and mortality statistics … Among African Americans, Hispanics and even the oldest white Americans, death rates have continued to fall. But for white women in what should be the prime of their lives, death rates have spiked upward. In one of the hardest-hit groups — rural white women in their late 40s — the death rate has risen by 30 percent. The Post’s analysis, which builds on academic research published last year, shows a clear divide in the health of urban and rural Americans, with the gap widening most dramatically among whites. The statistics reveal two Americas diverging, neither as healthy as it should be but one much sicker than the other.” Read Eli Saslow’s first piece in a series on the phenomenon.

The Saint-Denis apartment building where Abdelhamid Abaaoud died. (EPA)</p> <p>

The Saint-Denis apartment building where Abdelhamid Abaaoud died. (EPA)

— “One woman helped the mastermind of the Paris attacks. The other turned him in,” by Greg Miller and Souad Mekhennet: All of Europe was looking for Abdelhamid Abaaoud, the planner of the Paris attacks, when two women approached his hiding place. One woman, Abaaoud’s cousin, jumped into his arms. But her companion felt a shudder of recognition. “I’d seen him on TV,” she said. While his cousin helped him elude authorities, the other woman secretly met with police, providing information that helped authorities stave off another wave of attacks. “In many ways, the relationship between the two women reflects broader tensions in Muslim communities across Europe over interpretations of their religion, degrees of loyalty to their countries and the insidious appeal of the Islamic State.”

Sonia Sotomayor,&nbsp;Ruth Bader Ginsburg and&nbsp;Elena Kagan have not spoken publicly in support of Garland.&nbsp;(Steve Petteway, Collection of the Supreme Court of the United States, File)</p> <p>

Sonia Sotomayor, Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Elena Kagan have not spoken publicly in support of Garland. (Steve Petteway, Collection of the Supreme Court of the United States, File)

— “So far, Supreme Court has found unanimity in silence on Garland nomination,” by Robert Barnes: “It seems beyond question that Judge Merrick Garland is respected by the justices and a friend to many … But so far, at least, no justice has been willing to publicly comment on Garland’s qualifications for moving from the second most important court in the land to the first, nor to render an opinion about the Republican Senate’s refusal to consider President Obama’s nominee in this election year.”

  • “Before Justice Sonia Sotomayor spoke and answered questions at St. John’s College in Santa Fe, N.M., last week, for instance, audience members were told not to ask about either Garland or the nomination process.”
  • Elena “Kagan also refused to talk about her old friend at an appearance at New York University Law School … but has demonstrated her regard for Garland by hiring eight of his former clerks since she joined the Supreme Court in 2010.”
  • “It is not unheard of for them to venture an opinion about a nominee. Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, for instance, came to Sotomayor’s defense before she was confirmed in 2009.”
  • In a speech on the Senate floor last week, Chuck Grassley warned Chief Justice John Roberts to keep quiet on the subject. “That’s a political temptation the chief justice should resist,” said the chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee.

SOCIAL MEDIA SPEED READ:

— ZIGNAL VISUAL: Are bots behind Trump’s Twitter buzz? Trump mentions spiked Saturday, with more than 24,000 during a 15-minute period on Saturday. It was mostly driven by a Tweet from “Olof Gustafsson.” Our analytics partners at Zignal Labs looked into it:

If you study his Twitter page, it appears “Olof Gustafsson” took a two-year hiatus from tweeting and then came back a couple weeks ago. The only tweets that have RTs are ones about Trump. That is usually (although not always) a red flag.

There are a bunch of tweets of his that caused spikes over the past few days for Trump. If you go a layer deeper and look at who retweeted him, there are definitely some suspicious bot-like looking twitter handles. It is also suspicious that there are 23,000 RTs but only 12 likes on the tweet. Pro tip: When you just see a bunch of Twitter eggs as a profile picture like this for the RTs, it is a pretty strong sign of bots:

Here is a chart showing all mentions of the candidates on Twitter Saturday. See the spike:

Here were the most popular tweets about Trump during that period:

Meanwhile, Trump supporters gave journalists the middle finger at his rally yesterday:

Sanders campaigned on Coney Island:

This photo of a Martin Luther King Jr. statue wearing a Trump hat is causing concern on social media:

A top Trump aide retweeted a fake endorsement:

Eric Trump deleted a Sopranos-related tweet directed at Cruz:

Rand Paul put a political spin on #NationalUnicornDay:

Rudy Giuliani said he’s voting for — but not endorsing — Trump. Commentators were not amused:

Lawmakers noted signs of spring:

Politicos celebrated National Siblings Day:

HOT ON THE LEFT: 

“Sorry, Feds: Kids Can Sue Over Climate Negligence, Judge Says,” from Think Progress: “A group of youngsters just won a major decision in their efforts to sue the federal government over climate change. An Oregon judge ruled Friday that their lawsuit, which alleges the government violated the constitutional rights of the next generation by allowing the pollution that has caused climate change, can go forward … The complaint alleges that the U.S. government has known for half a century that greenhouse gases from fossil fuels cause global warming and climate change.”

HOT ON THE RIGHT: 

“Study: Fracking Has No Impact On Property Values, Despite Green Claims,” from the Daily Caller: “Hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, has no impact of property values, according to a study published last week … ‘When it comes to the proximity of active oil or gas wells, there is no definitive evidence that fracking impacted 2015 home values,’ the … study concluded, directly [contradicting] research published in December by Duke University which found homes that used well water lost value when fracking occurred nearby.”

DAYBOOK:

On the campaign trail: Everyone but Cruz is in New York state. Here’s the rundown:
  • Clinton: Mount Kisco, Port Washington, Glen Cove, N.Y.
  • Sanders: Binghamton, Albany, Buffalo, N.Y.
  • Trump: Albany, N.Y.
  • Cruz: Irvine, San Diego, Calif.
  • Kasich: Albany, Troy, Saratoga Springs, N.Y.
— CNN will air Anderson Cooper town halls in New York City with the GOP presidential candidates and members of their families. Tonight, Kasich will be joined by his wife Karen and daughters Reese and Emma. Tomorrow, Trump will be joined by his wife Melania and children Ivanka, Eric, and Donald Jr. On Wednesday, Cruz will be joined by his wife Heidi. All three will air from 9-10 p.m. ET.

— At the White House: President Obama meets with Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen.

— On Capitol Hill: The Senate meets at 3 p.m. to continue work on the FAA bill. Senators vote on a judicial nomination around 5 p.m. The House meets in pro forma session at 3:30 p.m. with no votes expected.

QUOTE OF THE DAY: 

“There’s classified and then there’s classified,” Obama told interviewer Chris Wallace with a smile, trying to contextualize “classified” material on Clinton’s server. (Anne Gearan)

NEWS YOU CAN USE IF YOU LIVE IN D.C.:

— Out with the cold, and in with the spring – FINALLY. The Capital Weather Gang forecasts: “Scattered showers are possible this morning, but we should dry out some this afternoon. A bit of sunshine is possible while southerly breezes push the highs from the delightful mid-60s to near 70.”

— Maryland lawmakers reached agreement on a criminal justice bill that eliminates “mandatory minimum sentences” for nonviolent drug offenders. The groundbreaking legislation aims to reduce both prison populations and costs by shifting to a treatment-focused approach. (Ovetta Wiggins and Josh Hicks)

— D.C. police are looking for a man who broke into the Columbia Heights Five Guys and proceeded to grill hamburgers in the restaurant’s kitchen. (Michael Laris)

— The Capitals’ first-round playoff schedule has been set. Game 1 against the Philadelphia Flyers will happen Thursday at the Verizon Center. The team lost its regular-scheduled season finale against the Anaheim Ducks 2-0.

— The Nationals beat the Miami Marlins 4-2.

— The Nats unveiled Herbert Hoover as a new Racing President at the game. He won his first race. (Hoover actually played on the freshman baseball team as a student at Stanford and then became the student manager.)

— A raven at the National Zoo is learning to paint using a canvas and paintbrush, thanks to the efforts of a biologist. (Martin Weil)

VIDEOS OF THE DAY:

Kate McKinnon was back as Clinton on SNL, addressing her primary losses and trying to court the New York vote:

Hillary Clinton Addresses Her Losing Streak Cold Open – SNL

Here’s a GIF of McKinnon spoofing Clinton’s attempt to enter the New York subway (click below to watch):

The real Hillary joked about her subway troubles at a charity dinner:

Hillary Clinton Jokes About Her Subway Struggles at Charity Dinner

SNL poked fun at Al Sharpton — and the real Sharpton made an appearance in the sketch!

Politics Nation: Voter I.D. Disaster – SNL

Spike Lee produced a new ad for Sanders:

These Are Mothers and Fathers, Sons and Daughters

A rare dust storm swept through Arkansas yesterday, and drivers documented their experiences on social media. Visibility in some areas was reduced to one-quarter of a mile.

What it looks like to drive through a dust storm

Bruce Springsteen canceled a North Carolina concert because of the state’s bathroom bill:

Springsteen cancels North Carolina concert over bathroom bill

Police are investigating after a California student threatened a black classmate with a noose and a gun in a Snapchat message:

Student threatens black classmate with noose, gun in Snapchat message

Three men were rescued from a remote island after spelling H-E-L-P on the beach:

‘H-E-L-P’ sign gets three men rescued from remote island

 

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