The Hill's 12:30 Report

The Hill's 12:30 Report

If you'd like to subscribe to The Hill's midday political newsletter, please click here:


The Hill's 12:30 Report — with a special theme song | Breaking: Kasich reportedly dropping out | How Trump pulled it off | 'Impossible' math for Bernie? | Trump's VP search | National Star Wars Day

To view online -->

It's Wednesday and in honor of the craziness that ensued yesterday, I have chosen some theme music for you today. I ask that you let this YouTube video play while you read Ted CruzRafael (Ted) Edward CruzState Department's top arms control official leaving Sanders NASA plan is definitely Earth first Trump judicial picks face rare GOP opposition MORE and John Kasich related news in the newsletter today: Filing from the American Enterprise Institute for a discussion on delegates, drama and the campaign dynamics of 2016 (because it's been quiet and uneventful, obviously), I'm Cate Martel with a quick recap of what you missed this morning -- and what's on tap for the rest of the day. Send comments, story ideas and upcoming events to and on Facebook.

BREAKING – KASICH QUITTING PRESIDENTIAL RACE: NBC News and Politico are reporting that John Kasich is dropping out. Kasich canceled a planned media appearance and a campaign aide told a group of reporters awaiting the Ohio governor in Dulles, Va., that he will instead make "an announcement" at 5 p.m. in Ohio. 

Tweet from @Darth: hoping this is the Kasich/Fiorina announcement we have all been waiting for to be honest

Tweet from Planned Parenthood Action's Madeleine P. Ellis: Maybe Kasich just didn't want to drive to Dulles cause driving to Dulles sucks. 

ALSO BREAKING – TRUMP KICKING OFF VP SEARCH: Via The New York Times' Maggie HabermanDonald TrumpDonald John TrumpAlaska Republican Party cancels 2020 primary Ukrainian official denies Trump pressured president Trump goes after New York Times, Washington Post: 'They have gone totally CRAZY!!!!' MORE says he will form committee soon to handle the VP process. He also said Ben Carson is likely on the short list. 

WELL, LAST NIGHT ESCALATED QUICKLY: Yesterday began with Donald Trump insulting Ted Cruz's father for being involved with JFK's assassination (yep...) -- and ended with Ted Cruz dropping out and John Kasich also reportedly ending his bid. It all feels like a blur to me, so here are five takeaways: 

AND YOU THOUGHT YOU COULD GET RID OF ME?!: Well everyone, it looks like Donald Trump has done it. When he entered the presidential race, he was widely mocked as a billionaire businessman putting on a vanity act -- a new episode in a reality television show. And less than a year later, he is the presumptive Republican nominee (!). Whoever put money on this should be feeling pretty smug right now. The Hill's Jonathan Easley has a fascinating timeline of how Trump did it. Note: It reads like a dramatic romance novel with lots of roller coasters and a few angry exes.  

  • June 16, 2015: Trump enters the race
  • July 20, 2015: Trump takes the lead for the first time
  • July 23, 2015: He flirts with a third-party run ( don't know me!)
  • Aug. 20, 2015: Hits "low energy" Jeb Bush
  • Dec. 8, 2015: The Muslim ban
  • Feb. 9: New Hampshire blowout
  • Feb. 20: South Carolina
  • March 1: Super Tuesday
  • April 5: The rough patch
  • April 19: New York
  • May 3: Indiana

Context for each: 

SORRY, BERNIE. THE MATH ISN'T LOOKING GREAT: Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonUkrainian official denies Trump pressured president The Memo: 'Whistleblower' furor gains steam Missing piece to the Ukraine puzzle: State Department's overture to Rudy Giuliani MORE is still on track to beat Bernie Sanders for the Democratic presidential nomination, even with his win in Indiana Tuesday. Because the delegates are proportional, Sanders will only gain six or so more delegates. Clinton only needs to win 19 percent of the remaining delegates between now and June 14.

AND LET'S PUT THIS INTO CONTEXT: Politico's headline: "It's mathematically impossible for Bernie to win with pledged delegates." Here's how: "Sanders has 1,399 pledged delegates and superdelegates to his name. ... That means he needs 984 more to reach the threshold of 2,383 needed to win. The remaining contests however ... only have 933 pledged delegates to offer. So even if Sanders were to win 100 percent of the pledged delegates in each of those states, he wouldn't make it past the mark." i.e. -- he NEEDS superdelegates. Clinton is leading in those 520 to 39 right now.

SO, TEAM, HOW DO WE WANT TO HANDLE THIS?: Via The Hill's Alex Bolton and Scott Wong, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellDC statehood push faces long odds despite record support Overnight Energy: California, 23 other states sue Trump over vehicle emissions rule | Climate strike protests hit cities across globe | Interior watchdog expands scope of FOIA investigation | Dems accuse officials of burying climate reports Hillicon Valley: Lawmakers say Zuckerberg to 'cooperate' on antitrust probes | Dems see victory after McConnell backs election security funds | Twitter takes down fake pro-Saudi accounts MORE (R-Ky.) and Speaker Paul RyanPaul Davis RyanDemocrats hit Scalia over LGBTQ rights Three-way clash set to dominate Democratic debate Krystal Ball touts Sanders odds in Texas MORE (R-Wis.) have adopted strikingly different approaches to leading their party in a turbulent election year. Ryan: push an ambitious agenda he calls Confident America. McConnell: stick to a game plan of passing small-bore bills, giving his vulnerable colleagues wide latitude to frame their candidacies as independently as possible in what could be a tough cycle for Republicans.

ELECTION WATCH 2044 -- YOU HEARD IT HERE FIRST: Via Yours Truly, politicians should be worried about Grover Norquist's elementary school-age daughter because they watch every debate and have the best political analysis. Norquist said his daughters were shocked the candidates could use words like the S-word on television. "Stupid," that is. "They're not allowed to use words like stupid, so they [kept] checking with us and thought [the candidates] were breaking the rules. 'Wait, they can't do that.' "

-- Grace, who is 13 months older than Giselle, has explained presumptive Republican nominee Donald Trump's blunt language a bit to her younger sister. "Oh, Giselle. He just uses strong words," said Grover Norquist, speaking for Grace. Grace even compared the Republican front-runner to Andrew Jackson. Grover Norquist assumed she was talking about their similar hairstyles, but no, the second-grader was referring to Jackson's 'Indian Removal Act,' which she believes is similar to Trump's immigration policy. Yikes, these girls know more about American politics than most adults I know. This is a fun lunch-time read:

HEADLINES OF THE DAY: The New York Post wins for the "punniest" cover featuring Donald Trump with the caption, "Hoosier Daddy" --cue punchline drum sound The New York Daily News features an elephant in a casket with the caption, "Dearly beloved, we are gathered here today to mourn the GOP."



Although, to be honest, it's a pretty slow day in non-2016 news...

WELL THAT'S A PRETTY BIG JUMP: Via The Hill's Lydia Wheeler, the White House has some big decisions to make before signing off on the Labor Department's widely contested rule to expand overtime pay, one of the biggest regulatory initiatives of President Obama's second term. Proposed rule: Anyone earning up to $50,440 per year would be eligible for overtime. Current rule: The cutoff is now set at $23,660 per year.

IRAN PUFFS UP A LITTLE: Via The Hill's Rebecca Kheel, Iran is threatening to close the strategic Strait of Hormuz to the United States. A leader of the elite Revolutionary Guard has said they'll respond to any U.S. provocation.

AN INTERESTING WEED -- I MEAN READ: The Washington Post's Keith Humphreys has an interesting analysis of what legalizing marijuana in Washington state has done to its prices and the economy. RAND's Steve Davenport said that prices "are now steadily falling at about 2 percent per month. If that trend holds, prices may fall 25 percent each year going forward." 



@blippoblappo (This screenshot is so great. If you click one tweet today, let it be this.)
Oct. 2, 2015: The Washington Post's Dana Milbank (who literally promised to eat some newspaper if Trump got nominated)

The Atlantic's David A. Graham retweeted adding: Dear Washington Post social team: Please make this into a Facebook Live

CNN's Betsy Klein
Ted Cruz takes the stage without his signature song

The Los Angeles Times's Lisa Mascaro
Ted Cruz using a teleprompter tonight

Journalist Edward Lawrence
What a difference a day makes. Carly Fiorina at Indy Airport & no one cares. (Pic: Steve Handelsman) 

IJ Review's Benny Johnson
I'm old enough to remember when the biggest problem the GOP had was Mitt Romney's car elevator.



Congress is on recess.

1:15 p.m. EDT: Former President Bill ClintonWilliam (Bill) Jefferson ClintonTrump sues to block NY prosecutors' subpoena for his tax returns Most voters say there is too much turnover in Trump administration RNC spokeswoman on 2020 GOP primary cancellations: 'This is not abnormal' MORE holds an organizing event in San Diego.

2:30 p.m. EDT: President Obama participates in a roundtable meeting with Flint, Mich., community members.

4 p.m. EDT: President Obama delivers remarks at Northwestern High School in Flint, Mich.

5 p.m. EDT: John Kasich to make a statement from Columbus, Ohio.

6 p.m. EDT: Former President Bill Clinton holds an event in Los Angeles.

8:25 p.m. EDT: President Obama delivers remarks at the Asian Pacific American Institute for Congressional Studies' 22nd annual gala dinner at the Washington Hilton Hotel back in Washington, D.C.



2 p.m. EDT: Donald Trump will appear on CNN.

5 p.m. EDT: CNN's Wolf Blitzer also sits down with Donald Trump.



Today is National Hoagie Day and National Homebrew Day!

LOOK, I CAN BE CULTURALLY RELEVANT: John Kasich released a "Star Wars"-themed ad depicting a Hillary Clinton presidency in 2017 and painting himself as the "only hope." Watch:

ALL. THE. CHERRY. BLOSSOMS.: Via DCist, "last year, 19.3 million tourists visited the District, setting a new record for the sixth consecutive year in a row. It's also an increase of nearly a million tourists -- matching t-shirts, selfie sticks, and all -- from 2014." And they spent $7.1 billion, an increase of 4.1 percent from the year before.

And with that, I'm signing off wishing you a happy National Star Wars Day -- hence, "May the 4th be with you." Hardy har har.


To view past editions of The Hill's 12:30 Report, click here:

To receive The Hill's 12:30 Report in your inbox, please sign up here: