The Hill's 12:30 Report: Rough night for Biden

The Hill's 12:30 Report: Rough night for 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: Sights and sounds from second debate night | Tough night for Biden | Harris on the rise | Marianne WilliamsonMarianne Williamson 2020 Democrats demand action on guns after Santa Clarita shooting Williamson announces poverty plan with support for universal basic income, minimum wage Yang seeks donations for 2020 rival Marianne Williamson: 'She has much more to say' MORE jokes dominate Twitter | Winners and losers after first two nights | Trump mocks debate performances from Japan |  Senate rejects measure to curb Trump's Iran war powers | Trump jokes with Putin about election meddling | Supreme Court to hear case on Trump ending DACA | Toll House's edible cookie dough



OK, can we now all agree that we have WAY too many candidates?

^ See, Bernie agrees:

20 candidates, five moderators and four hours of debating -- and that still excluded several candidates seeking the Democratic presidential nomination. Here are takeaways from the debates: 

The winners: Sen. Kamala HarrisKamala Devi HarrisBiden leads among Latino Democrats in Texas, California Overnight Health Care: Cigarette smoking rates at new low | Spread of vaping illness slowing | Dems in Congress push to block Trump abortion rule Democratic senators introduce bill to push ICE to stop 'overuse' of solitary confinement MORE (D-Calif.), South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete ButtigiegPeter (Pete) Paul ButtigiegButtigieg surges ahead of Iowa caucuses Overnight Health Care: Cigarette smoking rates at new low | Spread of vaping illness slowing | Dems in Congress push to block Trump abortion rule Ocasio-Cortez jabs 'plutocratic' late entrants to 2020 field MORE, Sen. Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth Ann WarrenButtigieg surges ahead of Iowa caucuses Biden leads among Latino Democrats in Texas, California Following school shooting, Biden speaks out: 'We have to protect these kids' MORE (D-Mass.) and former Housing and Urban Development Secretary Julián Castro.

The losers: Former Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenButtigieg surges ahead of Iowa caucuses GOP eager for report on alleged FBI surveillance abuse Biden leads among Latino Democrats in Texas, California MORE, former Rep. Beto O'RourkeBeto O'RourkeDeval Patrick enters 2020 race O'Rourke says he 'absolutely' plans to stay in politics Krystal Ball: Buttigieg is 'the boomer candidate' MORE (D-Texas) and climate change activists.

The jury is out: Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersButtigieg surges ahead of Iowa caucuses Biden leads among Latino Democrats in Texas, California On The Money: Trump appeals to Supreme Court to keep tax returns from NY prosecutors | Pelosi says deal on new NAFTA 'imminent' | Mnuchin downplays shutdown threat | Trump hits Fed after Walmart boasts strong earnings MORE (I-Vt.), Rep. Tulsi GabbardTulsi GabbardPanel devolves over new Russian accusation about Tulsi The Hill's Morning Report - Diplomats kick off public evidence about Trump, Ukraine Outsider candidates outpoll insider candidates MORE (D-Hawaii) and Sen. Cory BookerCory Anthony BookerDemocratic senators introduce bill to push ICE to stop 'overuse' of solitary confinement Krystal Ball: Patrick's 2020 bid is particularly 'troublesome' for Warren 2020 Democrats demand action on guns after Santa Clarita shooting MORE (D-N.J.).

Reasoning for each:


The big takeaway from the evening: Front-runner Joe Biden had a bad night. Full explanation from The Hill's Niall Stanage:


Happy Friday! 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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Team Biden knows the way to my heart: The Biden campaign handed out free ice cream cones yesterday. Photo:

You know how Andrew YangAndrew Yang 2020 Democrats demand action on guns after Santa Clarita shooting Panel devolves over new Russian accusation about Tulsi Yang unveils '21st century approach' to regulating tech MORE did not wear a tie?: Well, McClatchy's Emma Dumain pointed out, "Guys Andrew Yang wouldn't even be allowed in the Speaker's Lobby in that outfit!"

Incredible -- What a useful photo for future memes: Check out the facial expressions of the candidates while Marianne Williamson spoke. Photo:

Pete Buttigieg's husband on picking out his tie: Chasten Buttigieg posted a GIF, "Helping Peter pick out a blue tie for the debate." The GIF -- it's pretty funny: 

Tidbits from a bar: The Hill's Reid Wilson was in Grinnell, Iowa, with a bunch of local Democrats.

"Buttigieg's religious answer first one of the night that got everyone applauding."

"Coulda heard a pin drop in this bar full of Iowa Dems when Harris was going after Biden."

Overheard from a Democrat watching the debate: "'I'm not sure I'm a Democrat anymore.' --Democrat next to me complaining about how far left the party has moved." (Via The Washington Post's Rachael Bade

Free idea: "The NBC moderators should've done a hockey-style line change, vaulting over the boards." (Via The Wall Street Journal's Ben Pershing

Whoops: NBC's auto-transcription had a few issues last night... Photo:

Booker made it back to D.C.: Here's a photo of Sen. Cory Booker (D-N.J.) back in the Capitol yesterday:



The most dramatic exchange of the night: Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) repeatedly slammed former Vice President Joe Biden on his civil rights record. Watch the back and forth:

And during the Biden-Harris fight: Team Kamala tweeted a photo of her as a child, "There was a little girl in California who was bussed to school. That little girl was me." Photo:

^ Biden voluntarily ended his response: "My time's up?" Biden said, cutting his answer short after Harris attacked him. Watch: 

Throwback to happier times: Here's a photo of Biden and Harris last December in Washington, D.C. They look so chummy -- photo:

The first question went to...: Bernie Sanders, not Joe Biden. Keep in mind, fellow progressive candidate Elizabeth Warren got the first question on Wednesday night.

Joe Biden was caught off guard by Bernie Sanders's wingspan: 

Video of the interaction:

How long it took climate change to come up both nights: Night one: 80 minutes. Night two: 78 minutes.

'Hey, it's me. You're probably wondering how I ended up in this situation': Bernie's facial expression is incredible. I suggest you zoom in.


Livestream of the debate:


Who got swarmed in the spin room -- A good indicator of the night: Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) got swarmed by reporters last night. Video:

Marco RubioMarco Antonio RubioGOP senators plan to tune out impeachment week Republicans warn election results are 'wake-up call' for Trump Paul's demand to out whistleblower rankles GOP colleagues MORE was looking out for Andrew Yang.: Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) noticed that tech entrepreneur Andrew Yang had not spoken in a while. "When are [they] going to ask the dude without a tie a question in this debate?"

^ Andrew Yang claims that his microphone was 'not on': "There were also a few times, FYI, where I just started talking, being like, 'Hey, I want to add something there,' and my mic was not on," Yang told supporters. "And it's this sort of thing where, it's not like if you started talking, it takes over the [conversation]. It's like I was talking, but nothing was happening. And it was like, 'Oh f---.' So that happened a bit too."

Marianne Williamson thinks there are too many plans: The Wall Street Journal's Tarini Parti tweeted, "I asked Williamson why she was critical of candidates coming up with plans. She said it was more of a job for cabinet secretaries and that plans are not enough to inspire people to vote. 'I think they will all be great cabinet secretaries.'"

This morning -- from President TrumpDonald John TrumpButtigieg surges ahead of Iowa caucuses Biden leads among Latino Democrats in Texas, California Kavanaugh hailed by conservative gathering in first public speech since confirmation MORE: The president tweeted, "I am in Japan at the G-20, representing our Country well, but I heard it was not a good day for Sleepy Joe or Crazy Bernie. One is exhausted, the other is nuts -- so what's the big deal?"

Tidbit about Bennet's strategy: "Michael BennetMichael Farrand Bennet 2020 Democrats demand action on guns after Santa Clarita shooting Biden, Buttigieg condemn rocket attacks on Israel Press: Another billionaire need not apply MORE's entire [White House] bid started with a passionate speech on the Senate floor. His entire pitch tonight sounds like an effort to replicate that passion." (From The Hill's Reid Wilson)

Lol, in case anyone cares what O.J. Simpson thinks...: Not saying you do, but O.J. has a Twitter account now and posted a video with his thoughts about the debate. Watch:



^As am I.

 Her viral moment was ... unusual: Williamson pledged that her first act as president would be to call the prime minister of New Zealand. Her reasoning: "My first call is to the prime minister of New Zealand who said that her goal is to make New Zealand the best place in the world for a child in the world to grow up. And I will tell her, 'Girlfriend, you are so on, because the United States of America is going to be the best place in the world for a child to grow up.'" Watch:


A few of my favorite reactions...

This tweet made me laugh: "give Marianne the nomination so she can announce her running mate, a Himalayan salt lamp." (From Vice's Casey Johnston) Her tweets are pretty funny:

From Katy Perry: "not gonna lie I sound like Marianne Williamson after a few glasses of red"

From "The Daily Show's" Jason O. Gilbert: "Pete Buttigieg goes to shake Marianne Williamson's hand but she's already disappeared. On her lectern sits a lone origami crane."

"Marianne is what happens when Instagram influencers get old." (From Akilah Hughes)

"Excited to see Elizabeth Warren's plan for helping Marianne Williamson." (From HuffPost's Matt Fuller)

"Marianne Williamson is my spirit animal." (From HuffPost's Igor Bobic)

This is important, everyone: Lawfare Blog's Quinta Jurecic pointed out, "The more we joke about Marianne Williamson the more certain I am that she is going to be the next President of the United States."

This is so relatable: "Williamson enters the spin room. First thing she says: 'what do I do? Do I just walk?'" (Via The Wall Street Journal's Tarini Parti fact!: Actress Laura Dern was apparently once Marianne Williamson's roommate.



Haha, we're laughing about that. Ha, ha, HA, HA:

During President Trump's meeting with Russian President Vladimir PutinVladimir Vladimirovich PutinThe analysts are wrong: Putin's aggression exposes Russia's decline Pelosi: Trump bribed Ukraine, makes Nixon's offenses 'look almost small' Scarborough: Trump is either 'an agent of Russia' or 'a useful idiot' MORE earlier today, Trump joked with Putin about election meddling.

Journalists shouted questions at Trump about telling Russia not to meddle in U.S. elections: Trump responded, "Yes, of course, I will. Don't meddle in the election, please. Don't meddle in the election," Trump said, grinning at Putin.

Reaction from Putin: Putin appeared to chuckle.  

WATCH THE INTERACTION -- it is fascinating:






How Trump is feeling the pressure with China: 

Via The Hill's Sylvan Lane, "President Trump is under intense pressure to make progress toward a trade deal with China at this weekend's Group of 20 summit in Japan, as lawmakers and businesses anxiously wait for an end to damaging tit-for-tat tariffs."

Happening tomorrow: Trump is expected to meet with Chinese President Xi Jinping to discuss trade. 



OK, we'll do it:

This morning, the Supreme Court agreed to hear cases on the Trump administration's efforts to end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program.

When: During the court's next term, which starts in October.

Keep in mind: "The justices had previously declined to take up the administration's challenge to a district court ruling that temporarily blocked officials from winding down the program. But Friday's order puts the Supreme Court back at the heart of yet another controversial Trump policy move." 


But not this case:

The Supreme Court declined to hear a case that would restore an Alabama abortion law.



Via The Hill's Jacqueline Thomsen:



This morning -- rejected:

Via The Hill's Jordain Carney, "Senators blocked an effort on Friday to restrict President Trump's ability to go to war with Iran, handing a victory to Republicans and the White House."

The vote: More than 40 senators voted against the Democratic proposal. 

Keep in mind about the early-morning vote: "To try to accommodate every senator who wanted to vote, [Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellKavanaugh hailed by conservative gathering in first public speech since confirmation Overnight Defense: Erdoğan gets earful from GOP senators | Amazon to challenge Pentagon cloud contract decision in court | Lawmakers under pressure to pass benefits fix for military families On The Money: Trump appeals to Supreme Court to keep tax returns from NY prosecutors | Pelosi says deal on new NAFTA 'imminent' | Mnuchin downplays shutdown threat | Trump hits Fed after Walmart boasts strong earnings MORE (R-Ky.)] opened the chamber at 5 a.m. on Friday, roughly five hours before the Senate normally comes into session. The vote is still open but broke a record on Friday morning as the longest vote in modern Senate history."


30 minutes?! That feels like a long time before getting help...:



Same, girl:  



The House is out until July 8.

President Trump is in Osaka, Japan. Vice President Pence has no public events on his schedule.

5 a.m. EDT: The Senate votes. The chamber is keeping open a vote on limiting Trump's Iran war powers.

5:35 a.m. EDT: President Trump participated in the Group of 20 cultural program in Osaka, Japan.

10:30 p.m. EDT: President Trump meets with Chinese President Xi Jinping in Osaka, Japan.

2:25 a.m. EDT: President Trump holds a press conference in Osaka, Japan.

5:50 a.m. EDT: President Trump arrives in Seoul, South Korea.

July 17: Former special counsel Robert MuellerRobert (Bob) Swan MuellerSpeier says impeachment inquiry shows 'very strong case of bribery' by Trump Gowdy: I '100 percent' still believe public congressional hearings are 'a circus' Comey: Mueller 'didn't succeed in his mission because there was inadequate transparency' MORE will testify before the House Judiciary and Intelligence committees.



1:15 p.m. EDT: Former Vice President Joe Biden speaks at the Rainbow PUSH Coalition Convention in Chicago. Livestream:



Today is National Tapioca Day.


Important intel:

Nestlé Toll House is now selling edible cookie dough. Photos:


And to get your weekend off to a great start, here's a dog sharing his toy out the car window with another dog: