The Hill's 12:30 Report: All eyes on Biden

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--> A midday take on what's happening in politics and how to have a sense of humor about it.*

*Ha. Haha. Hahah. Sniff. Haha. Sniff. Ha--breaks down crying hysterically.


The Hill's 12:30 Report: Biden jumps into 2020 race | Says character of 'America is at stake' | Biden's rollout plans | 'The View' to get first interview | Seven tough questions Biden will need to answer | Trump welcomes 'Sleepy Joe' to the race | Obama offers praise but no endorsement | Trump denies ordering McGahn to fire Mueller | New scrutiny on Buttigieg | Take Our Daughters and Sons to Work Day | Kit Kat unveiling new flavor



I have ARRIVED!  

*jazz hands*:

Former Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenGiuliani clashes with CNN's Cuomo, calls him a 'sellout' and the 'enemy' Giuliani says 'of course' he asked Ukraine to look into Biden seconds after denying it Trump whistleblower complaint involves Ukraine: report MORE officially announced he is seeking the Democratic nomination for president in 2020.



Biden released a 3 1/2-minute campaign video on YouTube at 6 a.m. today. 

Important excerpt: "I believe history will look back on four years of this president and all he embraces as an aberrant moment in time. But if we give Donald Trump eight years in the White House, he will forever and fundamentally alter the character of this nation – who we are – and I cannot stand by and watch that happen." 

Biden's core message: Trump's presidency has left the country in a state of chaos and he wants to fix it. 

Watch Biden's announcement video:



Biden's first campaign stops: Biden will not campaign immediately. His first campaign stop will happen Monday in Pittsburgh, followed by campaign stops in Iowa, South Carolina, Nevada, California and New Hampshire.

Biden's first televised interview: ABC News is reporting that Biden will appear on "The View" on Friday.

Photo of Biden's 2020 logo:


It's Thursday, April 25. That's the best date, according to Miss Rhode Island in "Miss Congeniality" "because it's not too hot, not too cold, all you need is a light jacket."  

Today is also Take Our Daughters and Sons to Work Day.

I'm Cate Martel with a quick recap of the morning and what's coming up. Send comments, story ideas and events for our radar to -- and follow along on Twitter @CateMartel and Facebook.

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Biden's age: Biden is 76 years old. His younger competitors are expected to raise concerns about his age.

The core of Biden's campaign: "Biden plans to resurrect some of his proposals from earlier bids, according to NBC News. In particular, Biden contemplated a $15 minimum wage proposal, higher taxes on investment income, no tuition for students at public colleges and universities, and a major infrastructure overhaul."

Seven big decisions Biden has to make: 

  1. Whether to support impeaching Trump
  2. Whether he should announce a running mate early
  3. Whether to endorse liberal proposals such as "Medicare for All" and free college 
  4. Whether to hold high-dollar fundraisers and accept help from super PACs
  5. How to handle allegations of inappropriate conduct with women
  6. How to defend his record -- his 36 years in the Senate gives him a long record to defend
  7. How to handle concerns about his age

Context and details for each:

Biden's baggage: Biden has been facing allegations of inappropriate behavior with women. He argued that he did not think he "acted inappropriately," but "will listen respectfully."



Getting a Trump nickname is a rite of passagePresident TrumpDonald John TrumpMarine unit in Florida reportedly pushing to hold annual ball at Trump property Giuliani clashes with CNN's Cuomo, calls him a 'sellout' and the 'enemy' Giuliani says 'of course' he asked Ukraine to look into Biden seconds after denying it MORE tweeted, "Welcome to the race Sleepy Joe. I only hope you have the intelligence, long in doubt, to wage a successful primary campaign. It will be nasty -- you will be dealing with people who truly have some very sick & demented ideas. But if you make it, I will see you at the Starting Gate!"

Endorsements -- line right up: Biden has already received endorsements from several Democratic senators. Including: Sens. Christopher CoonsChristopher (Chris) Andrew CoonsSenate committee approves 0 million for state election security efforts Media and candidates should be ashamed that they don't talk about obesity Bill to return B in unredeemed bonds advances MORE (D-Del.), Bob CaseyRobert (Bob) Patrick CaseyEx-GOP congressman to lead group to protect Italian products from tariffs The Hill's Morning Report - Progressives, centrists clash in lively Democratic debate Democrats press Trump Treasury picks on donor disclosure guidelines MORE Jr. (D-Pa), Tom CarperThomas (Tom) Richard CarperTo stave off a recession, let's pass a transportation infrastructure bill Overnight Energy: Trump tweets he's revoking California's tailpipe waiver | Move comes as Trump visits state | California prepares for court fight | Climate activist Greta Thunberg urges lawmakers to listen to scientists Media and candidates should be ashamed that they don't talk about obesity MORE (D-Del.) and Doug Jones (D-Ala.).

A progressive group came out against Biden: Justice Democrats, a group with sway in the Democratic Party, announced its opposition to Biden's bid. The group said in a statement: "The old guard of the Democratic Party failed to stop Trump, and they can't be counted on to lead the fight against his divide-and-conquer politics today."

Why Biden's video announcement was an interesting choice:


How Biden is spending his morning:


Oh wow, check out this throwback:

Here's Biden's presidential candidacy announcement from 1987. 




To quote the poetic Shaggy, 'it wasn't me.'

--> ;)

This morning, President Trump denied that he ordered former White House counsel Don McGahn to fire special counsel Robert MuellerRobert (Bob) Swan MuellerLewandowski says Mueller report was 'very clear' in proving 'there was no obstruction,' despite having 'never' read it Fox's Cavuto roasts Trump over criticism of network Mueller report fades from political conversation MORE

Where that claim originated: The Mueller report on the Russia investigation.

Trump tweeted: "As has been incorrectly reported by the Fake News Media, I never told then White House Counsel Don McGahn to fire Robert Mueller, even though I had the legal right to do so. If I wanted to fire Mueller, I didn't need McGahn to do it, I could have done it myself." Trump then added that he allowed Mueller to finish his work despite his opposition to the probe.



The problem with the fast rise to fame:

Via The Hill's Jonathan Easley, "Pete ButtigiegPeter (Pete) Paul ButtigiegOvernight Health Care — Presented by Partnership for America's Health Care Future — Pelosi unveils signature plan to lower drug prices | Trump says it's 'great to see' plan | Progressives pushing for changes Buttigieg calls Warren 'evasive' on Medicare for all Overnight Energy: Trump officials formally revoke California emissions waiver | EPA's Wheeler dodges questions about targeting San Francisco over homelessness | 2020 Dems duke it out at second climate forum MORE's early success in the Democratic presidential primary has prompted scrutiny and rougher treatment from his rivals and the news media, creating new challenges for the rising star and his campaign." How this is playing out for Buttigieg:


Interesting tidbit -- We're all friends here:



That's a big chunk of change:

Via BBC, $835 million has been donated to repair the Notre Dame Cathedral in the aftermath of last week's fire, but French economists are suggesting that number exceeds the cost to rebuild. An estimate of the repair costs: Around $668 million, though that number is still in the air.


'Be open for IT':

Via Baltimore Business Journal's Amanda Yeager, Maryland just released a new tourism advertising campaign: "Maryland -- Open For it."



Hahaha -- that is so kind

Side-by-side screenshots of the hate mail in all caps and in lowercase: Amazing.



The House and Senate are out. 

President Trump and Vice President Pence are in Washington, D.C.

11 a.m. EDT: Vice President Pence has a phone call with the prime minister of the Iraq Kurdistan Regional Government.

12 p.m. EDT: President Trump received an intelligence briefing.

12:45 p.m. EDT: President Trump and Vice President Pence have lunch with Secretary of State Mike PompeoMichael (Mike) Richard PompeoOvernight Defense: Pentagon waiting for Saudi assessment on attack | Defense bill talks begin | Border fight takes centerstage | Pentagon finalizes .5B in wall contracts | US withholds Afghan aid citing corruption House Armed Services panel gets classified briefing on Saudi attacks US withholds 0M in Afghan aid citing corruption MORE.

4:50 p.m. EDT: Vice President Pence participates in the Young Presidents Organization Vision and Values Conference at the Mandarin Oriental in Washington, D.C.

April 29: The Hill editor-in-chief Bob Cusack interviews Secretary of State Mike Pompeo for The Hill's Newsmaker series. Details and how to RSVP:



4:30 p.m. EDT: President Trump speaks at Take Our Daughters and Sons to Work Day on the South Lawn of the White House. Livestream:

9 p.m. EDT: President Trump will be interviewed by Sean Hannity on Fox News.



Today is National Zucchini Bread Day.


I'm supportive:

Via Refinery29, Kit Kat is releasing a new flavor for the first time in almost a decade -- Kit Kat Duos Mint and Dark Chocolate. The sad part: They won't be released until December. Photo of the new flavor:


If you're in D.C. this weekend, expect to see adults in costumes:

Via The Washington Post's "Going Out Guide," here's a list of events happening in the Washington, D.C., area this weekend. Including: "Awesome Con, Washington's answer to San Diego's Comic-Con, brings more than 70,000 costumed fans to the Walter E. Washington Convention Center for a weekend-long celebration of fantasy, science-fiction and pop culture." Details and the full list of D.C. happenings:


And because this is one of the best videos I've seen in a long time, here's a chimpanzee using Instagram -- and using Instagram ~correctly~. I'm equally baffled and impressed: