The Hill's 12:30 Report: Anticipation high ahead of first debate

The Hill's 12:30 Report: Anticipation high ahead of first debate
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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: Debate day arrives | What to watch for | Warren takes center stage on first night | Sights and sounds from Miami | Debate details | Robert MuellerRobert (Bob) Swan MuellerTop Republican considered Mueller subpoena to box in Democrats Kamala Harris says her Justice Dept would have 'no choice' but to prosecute Trump for obstruction Dem committees win new powers to investigate Trump MORE to testify on July 17 | Trump's response: 'It never ends' | House panel votes to subpoena Conway over Hatch Act | Photo of drowned migrant father and daughter sparks outrage | Trump heads to G-20 in Japan | Barr plays the bagpipes | Lineups for tonight's Congressional Baseball Game

  

THREE WEEKS FROM TODAY

The man, the myth, the legend:

Special counsel Robert Mueller has agreed to publicly testify in front of the House Judiciary and Intelligence committees on July 17, following a subpoena. http://bit.ly/2Llw8gS

Who made the announcement: House Judiciary Chairman Jerrold NadlerJerrold (Jerry) Lewis NadlerTrump knocks Mueller after deal struck for him to testify House Democrats request briefing on Epstein, Acosta Nadler apologized after repeatedly calling Hope Hicks 'Ms. Lewandowski' at hearing MORE (D-N.Y.) and House Intelligence Chairman Adam SchiffAdam Bennett SchiffCourt filings show Trump, Cohen contacts amid hush money payments House passes annual intelligence bill Judge finds Stone violated gag order, blocks him from using social media MORE (D-Calif.) released a joint statement. 

From their joint statement: "Americans have demanded to hear directly from the Special Counsel so they can understand what he and his team examined, uncovered, and determined about Russia's attack on our democracy, the Trump campaign's acceptance and use of that help, and President TrumpDonald John TrumpUS-Saudi Arabia policy needs a dose of 'realpolitik' Trump talks to Swedish leader about rapper A$AP Rocky, offers to vouch for his bail Matt Gaetz ahead of Mueller hearing: 'We are going to reelect the president' MORE and his associates' obstruction of the investigation into that attack." 

Screenshot of the letter sent to Mueller with the subpoena: http://bit.ly/2LliXwm

Keep in mind -- Mueller is a reluctant witness: Mueller has signaled that his 448-page Russia report is his testimony and he has nothing to say beyond what is written. So don't expect much news from Mueller. 

 

HOW THE TOP JUDICIARY REPUBLICAN CONSIDERED SUBPOENAING MUELLER TO BOX IN DEMOCRATS:

Via The Hill's Olivia Beavers: http://bit.ly/2LlNEBN

 

THIS MORNING -- REACTION FROM TRUMP

"Well, my reaction is it never ends," Trump said during a phone interview this morning on Fox Business Network. http://bit.ly/2LkhbeT

 

It's Wednesday -- Christmas is officially less than six months away. 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 cmartel@thehill.com -- and follow along on Twitter @CateMartel and Facebook.

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IT'S DEBATE DAY!

Whoa, they actually fit everyone and their mother:

Twenty Democratic presidential hopefuls are taking the stage tonight and tomorrow for the first of 12 Democratic National Committee debates. 

  

WHAT TO WATCH TONIGHT AND TOMORROW:

1. A Biden pile-on is coming -- Biden will need to stay above the fray for a successful night.

2. An opportunity for Warren -- Warren has been nipping at Sanders's heels in the fight for the progressive base. She is solidly in third place behind Biden and Sanders.

3. Can Sanders recapture his old magic? -- He needs to prove he "wasn't merely a candidate suited for that time and place, but that he's best positioned to take on Trump in the election."

4. Trump looms over the Democratic field -- Trump has been threatening to live-tweet the debate.

5. Long shots look for a moment -- Fifteen candidates are fighting for relevancy with not much to lose, so it could make for a volatile debate. 

Context and details for each from The Hill's Jonathan Easley and Amie Parnes: http://bit.ly/2LjIwxN

Here's an interactive look at five topics that could be mentioned: Based on how often each candidate mentions the topics:  https://politi.co/2LjySeI 

 

DEBATE LOGISTICS:

How to watch: 9–11 p.m. EDT on NBC, MSNBC and Telemundo

 

Who is debating tonight, in order of podium placement:

New York City Mayor Bill de BlasioBill de BlasioDemocratic strategist predicts most 2020 candidates will drop out in late fall The Hill's 12:30 Report: Trump hits media over 'send her back' coverage The Hill's Campaign Report: Second debate lineups set up high-profile clash MORE (D)

Rep. Tim RyanTimothy (Tim) John RyanDemocratic strategist predicts most 2020 candidates will drop out in late fall The Hill's 12:30 Report: Trump hits media over 'send her back' coverage The Hill's Campaign Report: Second debate lineups set up high-profile clash MORE (D-Ohio)

Former Housing and Urban Development Secretary Julián Castro

Sen. Cory BookerCory Anthony BookerDemocratic strategist predicts most 2020 candidates will drop out in late fall The Hill's 12:30 Report: Trump hits media over 'send her back' coverage The Hill's Campaign Report: Second debate lineups set up high-profile clash MORE (D-N.J.)

Sen. Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth Ann WarrenJulián Castro is behind in the polls, but he's finding a niche Gabbard arrives in Puerto Rico to 'show support' amid street protests Democratic strategist predicts most 2020 candidates will drop out in late fall MORE (D-Mass.) 

Former Rep. Beto O'RourkeBeto O'RourkeThe Hill's Campaign Report: Second debate lineups set up high-profile clash Biden, Harris set for second Democratic debate showdown 2020 Democrats react to 'send her back' chants at Trump rally MORE (D-Texas)

Sen. Amy KlobucharAmy Jean KlobucharDemocratic strategist predicts most 2020 candidates will drop out in late fall The Hill's 12:30 Report: Trump hits media over 'send her back' coverage Protect American patients and innovation from a harmful MedTech Tax increase MORE (D-Minn.)

Rep. Tulsi GabbardTulsi GabbardBiden slams Puerto Rico governor over 'shameful' comments, backs protesters Gabbard arrives in Puerto Rico to 'show support' amid street protests Democratic strategist predicts most 2020 candidates will drop out in late fall MORE (D-Hawaii) 

Washington Gov. Jay InsleeJay Robert InsleeDemocratic strategist predicts most 2020 candidates will drop out in late fall The Hill's Campaign Report: Second debate lineups set up high-profile clash Biden, Harris set for second Democratic debate showdown MORE (D)

Former Rep. John DelaneyJohn Kevin DelaneyJulián Castro is behind in the polls, but he's finding a niche Democratic strategist predicts most 2020 candidates will drop out in late fall The Hill's 12:30 Report: Trump hits media over 'send her back' coverage MORE (D-Md.)

  

Who is moderating -- yes, there are five of them (!):

"NBC Nightly News" anchor Lester Holt

"Today" anchor and NBC chief legal analyst Savannah Guthrie

"Meet the Press" anchor and NBC News political director Chuck ToddCharles (Chuck) David ToddSanders campaign vents frustration with media, polls Megan Rapinoe reveals what she'd say to fans who are Trump supporters Rapinoe: Trump's message divides 'so he can conquer' MORE

"The Rachel MaddowRachel Anne MaddowMegan Rapinoe reveals what she'd say to fans who are Trump supporters Could I have some news with my emotions, please? Journalism industry falters when nation most needs it MORE Show" host Rachael Maddow

"Noticias Telemundo" and "NBC Nightly News Saturday" anchor José Diaz-Balart 

 

Who didn't make the cut:

Montana Gov. Steve BullockSteve BullockDemocratic strategist predicts most 2020 candidates will drop out in late fall The Hill's 12:30 Report: Trump hits media over 'send her back' coverage The Hill's Campaign Report: Second debate lineups set up high-profile clash MORE, Rep. Seth MoultonSeth Wilbur MoultonStanley McChrystal endorses Moulton for president 2020 Democrats react to 'send her back' chants at Trump rally 2020 Democratic candidates rip Trump remarks at campaign rally MORE (D-Mass.), Miramar, Fla., Mayor Wayne MessamWayne Martin MessamMoulton campaign makes formal case to DNC to be added to debate stage Bullock makes CNN debate stage Top Democrats who could win presidential nomination MORE and former Alaska Sen. Mike Gravel will not debate on either night.

  

SIGHTS AND SOUNDS:

Warren is visiting a Florida migrant shelter: During a town hall yesterday, Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) announced that she is visiting a migrant emergency care center in Florida today. http://bit.ly/2IMY5N0 Photos of the facility todayhttp://bit.ly/2IO8CHJ 

And Warren brought supporters with her: Warren’s “campaign has organized buses to take her supporters down to the Homestead detention center outside of Miami.” Photo of supporters loading the bus: http://bit.ly/2LlyJHM 

The view from Beto O’Rourke’s podium: http://bit.ly/2IPbbJG

Photo of the crew finalizing the debate stage this morning: No pressure. http://bit.ly/2IPrRRl

How Cory Booker is prepping: He did push ups and bicep curls ... while wearing a tie. (Via NBC’s Leigh Ann Caldwell) Video of his workout — and tweets mocking his workout gear: http://bit.ly/2IMQEVU 

Spotted: Here's a photo of presidential candidate Sen. Michael BennetMichael Farrand BennetDemocratic strategist predicts most 2020 candidates will drop out in late fall The Hill's 12:30 Report: Trump hits media over 'send her back' coverage The Hill's Campaign Report: Second debate lineups set up high-profile clash MORE (D-Colo.) on his flight from Washington, D.C., to Miami: http://bit.ly/2LkUEyS

 

IN CONGRESS

Late this morning — Subpoenaed:

The House Oversight and Reform Committee voted to subpoena White House counselor Kellyanne ConwayKellyanne Elizabeth ConwayFederal guidance identifying 'go back to where you came from' as discrimination goes viral after Trump comments Kellyanne Conway says she meant 'no disrespect' with question about reporter's ethnicity Kellyanne Conway asks reporter 'what's your ethnicity' while defending Trump's 'go back' comments about minority lawmakers MORE to testify on her alleged Hatch Act violations. http://bit.ly/2LlSrmD

The vote: 25-16. Rep. Justin AmashJustin AmashThe Memo: Fears of violence grow amid Trump race storm Top Missouri newspaper condemns GOP's 'shameful silence' on Trump's 'racism' Amash responds to 'Send her back' chants at Trump rally: 'This is how history's worst episodes begin' MORE (R-Mich.) was the only Republican to vote with Democrats.

Why Kellyanne Conway did not show up: The White House blocked Conway from testifying, citing “long-standing precedent.” 

  

TALK OF THE MORNING

Getting traction -- This is absolutely horrendous:

Via The Associated Press's Peter Orsi and Amy Guthrie, "The man and his 23-month-old daughter lay face down in shallow water along the bank of the Rio Grande, his black shirt hiked up to his chest with the girl tucked inside. Her arm was draped around his neck suggesting she clung to him in her final moments." http://bit.ly/2IOpq1d

The significance of the photo: "The searing photograph of the sad discovery of their bodies on Monday, captured by journalist Julia Le Duc and published by Mexican newspaper La Jornada, highlights the perils faced by mostly Central American migrants fleeing violence and poverty and hoping for asylum in the United States." 

The photo: http://bit.ly/2IOpq1d

 

NOTABLE TWEETS

Oh, lovey. Yay for us!:

 

Meanwhile...:

By the way, Attorney General William BarrWilliam Pelham BarrDemocratic lawmaker calls asylum, refugee programs 'crown jewel' of immigration system Trump says he won't watch Mueller testimony Cummings asks prosecutors about decision not to charge Trump in hush money probe MORE can play the bagpipes.

Back story: "At a gathering of U.S. attorneys at the Justice Department, Barr grabbed a set of bagpipes to join the Emerald Society of the New York Police Department's pipe band, which was already performing for the conference." http://bit.ly/2LlhPJd

  

ON TAP

The House and Senate are in. President Trump is about to leave for Osaka, Japan. Vice President Pence is in Washington, D.C.

1 p.m. EDT: President Trump leaves for Osaka, Japan, to attend the Group of 20 summit.

2 p.m. EDT: Vice President Pence swears in the U.S. ambassador to Ireland, Edward Crawford

2 – 3 p.m. EDT: First and last votes in the House. The House's full schedule today: http://bit.ly/31S2F3W

3 p.m. EDT: Vice President Pence meets with the vice president of Nigeria. 

7:05 p.m. EDT: The annual Congressional Baseball Game for Charity. Tickets and the lineup: http://bit.ly/2JNwegZ Throwback to former Rep. Ron Paul playing in 1982: Photo: http://bit.ly/2IOIvjJ

 

WHAT TO WATCH

11 a.m. EDT: President Trump spoke to the Faith and Freedom Coalition Road to Majority Policy Conference in Washington, D.C. Livestream: http://bit.ly/2YcZBNy

 

NOW FOR THE FUN STUFF...

Today is National Coconut Day.

  

The sky was on fire last night: 

Via PoPville, here are photos of last night's spectacular sunset in Washington, D.C.: http://bit.ly/2LklS8x 

 And because you made it to Wednesday, here's a dog who trying to reach his itch. You've got this!: http://bit.ly/2IP7bZJ