The Hill's 12:30 Report: High stakes for Detroit debate clash

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

 

The Hill's 12:30 Report: Debate night in Detroit | Progressive rivals Warren, Sanders take stage tonight | Critical test for mid-tier candidates | What to know for debate | New polls show Biden holding big lead | 'Bachelorette' finale to compete for viewers | DNC rejects Yang poll, leaving him out of September debate | Trump says he is 'least racist person' | Demands Washington Post apologize for calling McConnell a 'Russian asset' | 'Complete chaos' at DCCC | Republicans fear wave of retirements | National Cheesecake Day

  

HAPPENING TONIGHT

Tonight is the big night! A night of drama and passion and intrigue ... maybe even a fight or two.

...

It's "The Bachelorette" finale!:

...and it's the second round of Democratic presidential primary debates. Twenty candidates are hitting the stage this week in Detroit, split evenly between tonight and tomorrow. 

 

HERE IS WHAT TO KNOW FOR TONIGHT:

Who is debating Tuesday

Montana Gov. Steve BullockSteve BullockBrent Budowsky: Bloomberg should give billion to Democrats Key moments in the 2020 Democratic presidential race so far Kamala Harris dropped out, but let's keep her mental health plan alive MORE (D)

South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete ButtigiegPeter (Pete) Paul ButtigiegBiden breaks away from 2020 pack in South Carolina Sanders says gender 'still an obstacle' for female politicians Sanders v. Warren is just for insiders MORE (D)

Former Rep. John DelaneyJohn Kevin DelaneyElizabeth Warren moves 'bigly' to out-trump Trump DNC goof: Bloomberg should be on debate stage Bloomberg decides to skip Nevada caucuses MORE (D-Md.)

Former Colorado Gov. John HickenlooperJohn HickenlooperMitch McConnell may win the impeachment and lose the Senate Hickenlooper raised .8 million for Colorado Senate bid in fourth quarter of 2019 George Conway group releases ad targeting GOP senator: 'You're just another Trump servant' MORE (D)

Sen. Amy KlobucharAmy Jean KlobucharNYT editorial board endorses Warren, Klobuchar for Democratic nomination for president Sanders v. Warren is just for insiders Buttigieg to attend MLK Day event in South Carolina after facing criticism MORE (D-Minn.)

Former Rep. Beto O'RourkeBeto O'RourkeBiden calls for revoking key online legal protection Trump mocks Booker over suspended presidential campaign Julián Castro endorses Warren in 2020 race MORE (D-Texas)

Rep. Tim RyanTimothy (Tim) RyanOffice of Technology Assessment: It's time for a second coming Key moments in the 2020 Democratic presidential race so far GM among partners planning .3B battery plant in Ohio MORE (D-Ohio)

Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersNYT editorial board endorses Warren, Klobuchar for Democratic nomination for president Trump rails against impeachment in speech to Texas farmers Biden breaks away from 2020 pack in South Carolina MORE (I-Vt.)

Sen. Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth Ann WarrenNYT editorial board endorses Warren, Klobuchar for Democratic nomination for president Trump rails against impeachment in speech to Texas farmers Biden breaks away from 2020 pack in South Carolina MORE (D-Mass.) 

Author Marianne WilliamsonMarianne WilliamsonMarianne Williamson drops out of 2020 race Bill Press: Don't forget about Amy 2020 Democrats: Iran airstrike 'reckless,' 'could cost countless lives' MORE

 

How to watch: On CNN, CNN.com or CNN's apps. Did I mention CNN?

The good news -- When the debates start: 8 p.m. EDT. Keep in mind: Last month's debates started at 9 p.m. 

The bad news -- When the debates end: The debates are expected to end "around 10:30 p.m. ET" compared to NBC's debates ending at the two-hour mark on the dot. Politico's Steven Shepard reminded me this morning of CNN's Republican presidential primary debate in 2015 that lasted for three hours. "By the third hour of CNN's GOP presidential debate, the candidates looked like long-distance runners fading in the final lap." http://bit.ly/2GAWo3N

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Logistics: Here is CNN's breakdown of how the debates will work: https://cnn.it/2GDWB62

This is pretty cool to watch: Here is a 45-second time lapse of a crew setting up the CNN debate stage in Detroit. https://cnn.it/2GC0wQR

OK and real talk -- tonight is the 'Bachelorette' finale: Here is what to expect in the "Bachelorette" finale. Bachlorette Hannah Brown "says she doesn't know how live finale will play out." http://bit.ly/2ZvtWaE

 

It's Tuesday. 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.

Did someone forward this to you? Want your own copy? Sign up here to receive The Hill's 12:30 Report in your inbox daily: http://bit.ly/2kjMNnn

  

WHAT TO WATCH CONTENT-WISE:

Interesting graphic -- What each candidate needs to accomplish: https://politi.co/2GzIpLC

Six things to watch: Via CNN's Gregory Krieg: https://cnn.it/2GzR8gQ

  

NEWS TO KNOW LEADING INTO THE DEBATES:

Two new polls show Biden as the front-runner: Emerson's new poll has Biden with 33 percent support of likely Democratic voters, followed by Sanders at 20 percent, Warren at 14 percent and Harris at 11 percent. Morning Consult's poll has Biden with 33 percent, Sanders at 18 percent, Warren at 13 percent and Harris at 12 percent. The full polls: http://bit.ly/2Zu3r5P

Biden just got a big Iowa endorsement: A longtime Iowa congressman, former Rep. Neal Smith (D), endorsed former Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenNYT editorial board endorses Warren, Klobuchar for Democratic nomination for president Trump rails against impeachment in speech to Texas farmers Biden breaks away from 2020 pack in South Carolina MORE for president. Keep in mind: Smith served in Congress from 1959 to 1995 and overlapped with Biden's tenure on Capitol Hill. http://bit.ly/2Zgv41U

Andrew YangAndrew YangAndrew Yang's wife, Evelyn Yang, calls for 'big structural change' at 4th annual Women's March DNC announces new criteria for New Hampshire debate Poll: Sanders holds 5-point lead over Buttigieg in New Hampshire MORE just became the eighth candidate to qualify for the next debate: Businessman Andrew Yang just reached the threshold for the next round of debates. http://bit.ly/2GDlLC1

Who has qualified for debates three and four: Vice President Joe Biden, Sens. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), Kamala HarrisKamala Devi HarrisParnas pressure grows on Senate GOP Sanders defends vote against USMCA: 'Not a single damn mention' of climate change The Hill's Morning Report — President Trump on trial MORE (D-Calif.) and Cory Booker (D-N.J.), South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete Buttigieg (D), and former Rep. Beto O'Rourke (D-Texas). http://bit.ly/2GDlLC1

 

EXCLUSIVE — THE DNC JUST REJECTED ANDREW YANG’S DEBATE QUALIFIER POLL: 

Via The Hill’s Rachel Frazin, the Democratic National Committee (DNC) just rejected a poll that businessman and presidential candidate Andrew Yang submitted to qualify for the September presidential debate. I.e.: Yang still has not qualified for the next debate (!) http://bit.ly/2ZqDDYg

  

ON CAPITOL HILL

A Monday Night massacre:

Via The Hill's Al Weaver and Julia Manchester, senior staff of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) resigned last night in a mass departure.

Why: Criticism over the lack of diversity within the committee's top ranks.

Who left: Communications director Jared Smith, political director Molly Ritner, deputy executive director Nick Pancrazio, top communications aide Melissa Miller, and the committee's diversity director Van Ornelas.

^Following: The committee's executive director Allison Jaslow announced her resignation on Monday morning. 

From a House Democrat -- oh wow, this quote: "The idea of all DCCC staff sitting around for hours on Friday and again today to talk about this internal shit enrages me. Shut the f--- up about your feelings and just focus on winning. ... You know how NRCC [National Republican Congressional Committee] spent their day Friday and today? Not sitting around talking about diversity and their feelings." http://bit.ly/2GCJgeg

 

Tidbit -- if you would like to weigh in:

"The hottest topic at the Capitol today was senators and aides taking bets on when we'll get out of here this week." (Tweet from The Washington Post's Seung Min Kim.) http://bit.ly/2GzH0ok

 

Spotted at LAX -- this looks like a fun time at the airport:

 

You can't *all* retire!:

Via The Hill's Reid Wilson, "House Republicans plotting to win back their majority in Congress fear they are on the brink of a massive wave of retirements that could force them to play defense in a high-stakes presidential election year." 

  

LATEST WITH IMPEACHMENT TALKS

To quote David Bowie: 'Pressure, pressure, pressure, pressure, pressure, pressure, pushing down on me': 

--> http://bit.ly/2LNYLV9 ;)

Via The Hill's Alexander Bolton, "Pressure is growing on Senate Minority Leader Charles SchumerCharles (Chuck) Ellis SchumerTrump administration installs plaque marking finish of 100 miles of border wall Sanders defends vote against USMCA: 'Not a single damn mention' of climate change Schumer votes against USMCA, citing climate implications MORE (D-N.Y.) to endorse the start of impeachment proceedings against President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump rails against impeachment in speech to Texas farmers Trump administration planning to crack down on 'birth tourism': report George Conway on Trump adding Dershowitz, Starr to legal team: 'Hard to see how either could help' MORE as the idea gains support from his leadership, including several of the Senate's most influential women."

How so: "The third- and fourth-ranking Senate Democrats, Sens. Patty MurrayPatricia (Patty) Lynn MurrayConservative groups aim to sink bipartisan fix to 'surprise' medical bills Democrats request briefing on intel behind Trump's embassy threat claim Democrats ask if US citizens were detained at border checkpoints due to Iranian national origin MORE (Wash.) and Debbie StabenowDeborah (Debbie) Ann StabenowThe Hill's Morning Report — President Trump on trial John Lewis to miss Martin Luther King Jr. Day event Bottom Line MORE (Mich.), are now both backing an inquiry into Trump's possible impeachment." http://bit.ly/2Zvu7Tm

  

IN THE WHITE HOUSE

That's not a quote you ever want to have to give:

Speaking to reporters this morning, President Trump said he has no regrets over his feud with House Oversight and Reform Committee Chairman Elijah CummingsElijah Eugene CummingsBaltimore unveils plaques for courthouse to be named after Elijah Cummings GOP leaders encourage retiring lawmakers to give up committee posts Pelosi taps Virginia Democrat for key post on economic panel MORE (D-Md.) and the city of Baltimore. http://bit.ly/2GCmXWl

In Trump's words: "I'm the least racist person there is anywhere in the world."  Watch: http://bit.ly/2GCmXWl

  

ALSO FROM TRUMP'S REMARKS -- APOL *CLAP* IGIZE *CLAP*:

President Trump said The Washington Post should apologize to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellDemocrats worry a speedy impeachment trial will shut out public George Conway group drops ad seeking to remind GOP senators of their 'sworn oaths' ahead of impeachment trial GOP senator 'open' to impeachment witnesses 'within the scope' of articles MORE (R-Ky.) for publishing an opinion piece titled, "Mitch McConnell is a Russian asset." The op-ed's reasoning: The op-ed criticized McConnell for opposing election security legislation. http://bit.ly/2GCyi8H

Read the column: https://wapo.st/2GE7m8q

  

IN OTHER NEWS

Getting traction -- Rand PaulRandal (Rand) Howard PaulMitch McConnell may win the impeachment and lose the Senate GOP threatens to weaponize impeachment witnesses amid standoff Paul predicts no Republicans will vote to convict Trump MORE wanted in on the fun:

Via The Louisville's Courier Journal's Phillip M. Bailey, "Republican Sen. Rand Paul is offering to buy Democratic Rep. Ilhan OmarIlhan OmarMedia's selective outrage exposed in McSally-Raju kerfuffle Congressional Progressive Caucus co-chair Jayapal endorses Sanders Sanders, Warren battle for progressive endorsements MORE a plane ticket to visit her home country of Somalia to learn to be more grateful for living in the United States." http://bit.ly/2GCpFLl

 

You can't *all* retire!: 

Via The Hill's Reid Wilson, "House Republicans plotting to win back their majority in Congress fear they are on the brink of a massive wave of retirements that could force them to play defense in a high-stakes presidential election year." http://bit.ly/2ZgCQZE
 
Unusual timing: "Three House Republicans said last week they would not seek another term next year, catching party strategists off guard. Those announcements came earlier than in a typical election cycle, when members who are ready to hang up their voting cards usually wait until after the August recess or after the Christmas break." http://bit.ly/2ZgCQZE

 

NOTABLE TWEETS:

That's not a headline. That's a HEADLINE:

 

ON TAP

The Senate is in. The House is out. President Trump is in Williamsburg, Va., and Vice President Pence is in Columbus, Ohio.

10:10 a.m. EDT: Vice President Pence landed in Columbus, Ohio.

10:55 a.m. EDT: President Trump arrived in Williamsburg, Va.

11:30 a.m. EDT: The Senate had three roll call votes. The Senate's full schedule today: http://bit.ly/2GCeFxn

12:30 p.m. EDT: The Senate meets for weekly caucus luncheons. 

2 p.m. EDT: President Trump gets back to the White House.

2:10 p.m. EDT: Vice President Pence gets back to Washington, D.C.

4 p.m. EDT: President Trump signs the Let Everyone Get Involved in Opportunities for National Service Act.

  

WHAT TO WATCH

11 a.m. EDT: Vice President Pence spoke at the Magna Seating groundbreaking in Ohio. Livestream: http://bit.ly/2GwNTqn

11:15 a.m. EDT: President Trump gave a speech at the 400th anniversary of the first representative legislative assembly in Williamsburg, Va. Livestream: http://bit.ly/2GCf4zQ

2 p.m. EDT: Senate Republican leaders hold a news conference. Livestream: https://cs.pn/2GE1ADM

2:30 p.m. EDT: Senate Democratic leaders hold a news conference. Livestream: https://cs.pn/2GB51LJ

This week: C-SPAN's Steve Scully is interviewing President TrumpWhen it will air: TBD, sometime this week. http://bit.ly/2ZlStiv

 

NOW FOR THE FUN STUFF...

Today is National Cheesecake Day.

 

And to brighten your Monday, here's a dog with a very important message: http://bit.ly/2ZiYL2t