Chris Stirewalt – Power Play: Testing Trump’s inevitability – Trump dispatches Carson to North Dakota

Chris Stirewalt – Power Play: Testing Trump’s inevitability – Trump dispatches Carson to North Dakota

FOX News First: March 28
By Chris Stirewalt

Buzz Cut:
·        A year after ‘wiped clean’ Hillary’s email still a mess
·        Power Play: Testing Trump’s inevitability
·        Trump dispatches Carson to North Dakota
·        Ryan’s conundrum
·        Meanwhile, back at the mall

A year ago this morning, America’s political class woke up to a new round of declarative-sounding claims from the campaign of Hillary Clinton.

In an emergency press conference earlier that month to answer revelations about her use of a “homebrew” email server as secretary of state, Clinton had already been clear that she had no classified information in the emails, that all the work-related emails had been turned over and that the server would “remain private.”

But some in the press remained unsatisfied and wondered whether there weren’t other shoes to drop.

So her lawyer, David Kendall, put a finer point on those claims a couple of weeks later in a letter telling House investigators that they couldn’t get to any more emails, even with a subpoena, because there were no emails from Clinton’s “tenure as secretary of state on the server for any review, even if such review were appropriate or legally authorized.”

Yes, folks, on this day in 2015, many Americans heard for the first time the words of Rep. Trey Gowdy, who said that Team Clinton claimed the server had been “wiped clean.”

In his letter, Kendall went on to declare that this whole email thing was absolutely, positively no big deal – “not an ‘arrangement’ that is ‘unprecedented’ or ‘unique,’ but instead the normal procedure carried out by tens of thousands of agency officials and employees in the ordinary course.”

Many Democrats quickly rallied to their frontrunner’s cause and declared further inquests by House Republicans pointless political grandstanding. That was another way of saying that this was all very normal and fine and super… but even if wasn’t you’ll never prove it, copper.

Consider that backdrop and now consider this headline in your Twitter feed today: “Clinton email probe enters new phase as FBI interviews loom.” Or this one: “How Clinton’s email scandal took root”

A year later we accept as relatively uncontroversial that the server did not, in fact, “remain private” (hence the FBI’s play in the game). We know that there were scads of classified material on the server. We know that her practices were truly unprecedented and absolutely unique.

It is up to partisans or media critics or sociologists to make claims about what that slipping sidewinder of a trajectory for the truth says about Clinton, the press and our relative tolerance for dishonesty.

But as it relates to the winning and losing of elections, ask yourself if Clinton would be having so much trouble with Sen. Bernie Sanders in March of 2016 if she had handled March of 2015 better?

Yes, there is much to explain the fact that Sanders is faring better against Clinton than Clinton fared against eventual nominee Barack Obama eight years ago – populism, hipsterism, anti-corporatism and even avianism.

There is also the fact that Democrats are so delighted by what they see as the self-immolation of the GOP that they cannot be bothered with too much pragmatism. If you feel certain that the other team can’t win the game, how hard are you going to get after it in practice?

(This has been something of a ratcheting effect since Republicans undertook their current fratricidal slaughter believing that Clinton was unelectable and might even be in prison before Election Day.)

But just remember that in the year since we learned about “wiped clean,” Democratic primary voters have been the main victims of Clinton’s shifting stories. The subtext of her claim to her party was that she had done nothing wrong… and that she had taken every step necessary to thwart investigators even if she had. She was, she assured her party, a safe bet.

As it turns out she had neither done right in her electronic hygiene nor been thorough in preventing the discovery of her bad practices. She proved neither forthright nor expert at the kind of tactical blocking for which she and her husband were famed.

Clinton still looks likely to clinch the nomination with much, much less agony than her GOP counterpart and, barring more shocking revelations, has a superhighway-width path back to the White House.

But what she doesn’t have is a smooth path to her party’s nomination and that is substantially the fault of her botched response to the email scandal of her own making.

[Dem delegate count: Clinton 1,712; Sanders 1,004 (2,383 needed to win)]

In the longstanding baseball battle of the jocks versus the nerds, the past decade has been all about the nerds. The “Moneyball” approach to analytics combined with new technologies for measuring and tracking player performance have allowed the statistically obsessive to see the Big League game as an algorithm rather than an organism. And that approach has tended to minimize the role of managers in the dugout. In some organizations, the revered “skippers” of yore have been reduced to functionaries implementing the spreadsheet orders of the nerds in charge. But, with less than a week until Opening Day 2016, some teams are rethinking the approach. Author Steve Kettmann checked in on one such team, the Los Angeles Dodgers, and its rookie manager, Dave Roberts, who has a very old-school approach to making better baseball players: Help them to become “better men.”

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Real Clear Politics Averages
National GOP nomination:
Trump 43 percent; Cruz 30.3 percent; Kasich 19.1 percent
National Dem nomination: Clinton 51.5 percent; Sanders 42.5 percent
General Election: Clinton vs. Trump: Clinton +11.2 points
Generic Congressional Vote: Democrats +1

With a solid lead and just a little more than a third of the delegates left to be doled out, Donald Trump can rightly be called the Republicans’ presumptive nominee. Even if he comes up short of clinching outright, Trump seems bound to reach the GOP convention in July with enough delegates that he would be hard to deny.

But could that change?

Top Republican pollster Ed Goeas is working with the anti-Trump Our Principles PAC that is spending millions to try to deny the frontrunner his party’s nomination. He argues that the tide may be turning and that the path to a contested convention is wider than many believe. He makes his case to Chris Stirewalt in the latest installment of “Power Play with Chris Stirewalt”.  WATCH HERE

Trump wants to study plan for delegates to carry firearms at convention – USA TODAY: “Donald Trump says he wants to study a petition that calls for allowing the open carry of guns at the Republican convention this July in Cleveland. While proclaiming himself ‘a very, very strong person for Second Amendment,’ the Republican front-runner told ABC’s This Week that ‘I have not seen the petition. I want to see what it says. I want to read the fine print.’ Posted on the website, the petition of unknown origin notes that ‘though Ohio is an open carry state, which allows for the open carry of guns, the hosting venue – the Quicken Loans Arena — strictly forbids the carry of firearms on their premises.’ … The other Republican presidential candidates — Texas Sen. Ted Cruz and Ohio Gov. John Kasich — have not commented on the open carry petition.”

[Avi Snyder recounts for National Review how at the GOP’s 1912 convention in Chicago a thousand policemen patrolled the aisles and the bunting around the stage concealed barbed wire. He argues that there are deeper similarities between the current contest and the one of 104 years ago than just worries about violence.]

Threatens lawsuit over Louisiana delegates – WashEx: “Trump is threatening Sunday to sue Ted Cruz over taking his Louisiana delegates, the Republican presidential frontrunner said Sunday. ‘Just to show you how unfair Republican primary politics can be, I won the State of Louisiana and get less delegates than Cruz-Lawsuit coming,’ Trump tweeted Sunday afternoon.”

Dispatches Carson to North Dakota – Ben Carson is hitting the trail to woo North Dakota delegates in the Trump campaign’s highest profile play yet for delegates,” Politico reports.

Repeats charge that Cruz illegally coordinated with PAC – Trump doubled down Sunday on his accusation that Cruz was behind posting of the nude photo of Trump’s wife Melania that set off the war of the wives. WaPo says there’s no evidence to back up Trump’s claim.

Ryan’s conundrum – Stalwart scribe David Drucker checks in on the looming struggle between House Speaker Paul Ryan and his party’s presumptive nominee, Donald Trump. It’s a timely read given the fact that the next key primary for the GOP will be contested in Ryan’s home state of Wisconsin.

[GOP delegate count: Trump 739; Cruz 465; Kasich 143 (1,237 needed to win)]

KTLA: “A man on horseback chased a suspected thief accused of stealing a purse from a woman in the parking lot of the Northridge Fashion Center Friday night, according to police. Security cameras captured a male following the victim about 10:30 p.m. in a parking structure on the mall’s property before taking her handbag and fleeing, Los Angeles Police Department Officer Sal Sandoval said. The mall is located in the 9300 block of Tampa Avenue. The woman started yelling that her purse had been stolen. Her screams alerted a man who was riding his horse nearby, according to Sandoval. The man on horseback pursued the alleged purse snatcher and cornered him at the intersection of Tampa Avenue and Prairie Street, the officer said. The individual dropped the handbag and ran away. The horseman rode back to the mall and returned the purse to its owner.”

Chris Stirewalt is digital politics editor for Fox News. Want FOX News First in your inbox every day? Sign up here.


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