October 19, 2018

Ready to go through the 2016 election all over again?

Philippe Reines, who worked for Hillary Clinton going back to 2002 and was her senior adviser at the State Department, made the argument to Politico Friday that the former Democratic nominee might actually be the party's best hope for defeating Trump in 2020. He said no other Democrat has "anywhere near a base of 32 million people," especially not Sens. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) or Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.). The party, he feels, shouldn't dismiss her as a failed candidate because she's "smarter" and "tougher" than most, and she "could raise money easier than most."

But it doesn't sound like this is just wishful thinking on his part. He really thinks it could happen, saying the chances of Clinton running in 2020 are "not zero.”

Publicly, Clinton has said she will not run again, but Reines doesn't sound so sure she'll keep her word on that. Politico explored Clinton's careful re-entry into the political arena, noting that she's going on tour with former President Bill Clinton this fall and has reportedly even called up journalists who cover the White House to put out "the occasional feeler."

Despite her non-zero interest in public office, her favorability is even lower than it was in 2016. A recent Gallup poll found that Clinton is now polling at 36 percent — five points lower than President Trump. Read more about her political future at Politico. Brendan Morrow

9:24 p.m.

A state of emergency has been declared in New York's Rockland County due to a measles outbreak, and starting at midnight on Wednesday, unvaccinated children will be prohibited from public spaces.

This applies to anyone 18 and under who is not vaccinated, and expires in 30 days; if a child receives an MMR vaccination, they will no longer be under the ban. While authorities will not stop children to ask if they are vaccinated, parents will be held accountable if found in violation of the declaration, with their cases referred to the district attorney, ABC 7 New York reports. Rockland County has a large Orthodox Jewish community, and there is no religious exemption; health officials said local rabbis have been encouraging their members to get vaccinated.

There have been 153 confirmed cases of the virus, and county executive Ed Day said that health officials who have been investigating the outbreak have been told by infected people to leave their homes. "This type of response is unacceptable and irresponsible," he said. "It endangers the health and well-being of others and displays a shocking lack of responsibility and concern for others in our community." Catherine Garcia

8:16 p.m.

Seeing Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah) use bizarre props to criticize her Green New Deal proposal actually boosted Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez's confidence, the Democrat from New York tweeted on Tuesday.

Lee printed out several strange images, including one of Ronald Reagan shooting a gun while riding a velociraptor, telling his colleagues from the Senate floor that he was giving the Green New Deal "the seriousness" it deserved. Ocasio-Cortez called Lee out on his shenanigans in a series of tweets, first pointing out that it's pretty hilarious that "GOP Senators are using their Congressional allowances to print Aquaman posters for themselves to argue that a #GreenNewDeal saving our nation from climate change is a 'waste of money.'"

Ocasio-Cortez went on to share a video of Lee's speech, and confessed that she occasionally suffers from "imposter syndrome: those small moments, especially on hard days, where you wonder if the haters are right. But then they do things like this to clear it right up. If this guy can be Senator, you can do anything."

She also called out Senate Republicans for "refusing to hold any major hearings on climate change," and then went right back to mocking Lee and his speech. "With the #GreenNewDeal, legislators, experts, and advocates have spent countless hours poring over details of industrial policy and impact of global temperature/sea level projections," she tweeted. "That's what you do when you take your job seriously and respect the chamber. This is what happens when you don't." Catherine Garcia

6:54 p.m.

Shortly after taking off from Orlando International Airport on Tuesday afternoon, a Southwest Airlines Boeing 737 MAX 8 jet turned around and made an emergency landing, after the pilots reported an issue with one of the engines, the airline said.

Southwest said the incident was not connected to a computer system that is being investigated for the role it may have played in the fatal crashes of a Lion Air jet in October and an Ethiopian Airlines plane earlier this month. Because of those crashes, the Federal Aviation Administration grounded all Boeing MAX planes, although the airlines have been able to fly their jets to storage areas.

The Southwest plane was headed to Victorville, California, where the company's fleet of 34 MAX jets will be stored during the grounding. There were no passengers on board, the airline said, and the plane will remain in Orlando for review. Catherine Garcia

5:49 p.m.

Democrats staged a resistance to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell's (R-Ky.) Green New Deal gambit on Tuesday, but still saw a few defections.

The Senate roundly defeated Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) and Sen. Ed Markey's (D-Mass.) non-binding climate resolution, with 57 senators voting "no" and 43 voting "present." Every Republican voted against the bill, and Sens. Joe Manchin (D-W.V.), Kyrsten Sinema (D-Ariz.), Doug Jones (D-Ala.), and Angus King (I-Maine) joined them.

McConnell called for the Tuesday vote knowing it would be easily defeated, and hoping it would put Democrats on the record as backing the controversial resolution. A handful of 2020 contenders have publicly supported the climate change-fighting proposal, but all of them voted "present" on the bill in Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer's (D-N.Y.) attempt to avoid what he called a "stunt" by McConnell.

The Green New Deal calls for a major overhaul to America's infrastructure in order to drastically cut carbon emissions. Kathryn Krawczyk

5:39 p.m.

There's only one path to total collusion delusion glory, and Sean Hannity is leading the way.

The Fox News host launched what he's calling a "collusion delusion bracket challenge," best described as his quest to find out which President Trump opponents committed the biggest media blunders since Inauguration Day, Hannity staffers wrote on his website. "The worst" blunderer will be determined in a "championship game played in a DC martini officiated by Wolf Blitzer" — and you can play along.

The bracket itself was actually created by the New York Post, and White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders tweeted out a distorted picture of it Monday night. It compiles 32 "media blunderers" from network TV, cable TV, Twitterati, and print conferences — though Hannity isn't actually letting you imagine a Rachel Maddow-Kathy Griffin faceoff.

Instead of choosing a winner by votes or some other unbiased election format, Hannity just wants you to guess how he filled out his mystery bracket. Match the most picks with Hannity, and you could win such epic prizes as T-shirts, polo shirts, or survival bands (bracelets).

You'll probably need to use Sanders' squished copy of the bracket, seeing as the downloadable version Hannity shared on his website is approximately 50 pixels wide. Kathryn Krawczyk

5:31 p.m.

The Robert Kraft saga continues.

The New England Patriots' owner pleaded not guilty to charges on two misdemeanor counts of first-degree solicitation on Tuesday. Prosecutors alleged last month that Kraft solicited a prostitute in Jupiter, Florida, saying they obtained video evidence of his alleged crime but would drop the charges if he paid a fine and agreed to admit his guilt and do community service.

Kraft did not speak publicly on the matter until last Saturday when he issued a statement of apology. "I am truly sorry," he said at the time. "I know I have hurt my family, my close friends, my co-workers, our fans, and many others who rightfully hold me to a higher standard."

But, per ESPN, the 77-year-old will not take the deal. Instead, Kraft is pleading not guilty to charges on two misdemeanor counts of first-degree solicitation, and has asked for a jury trial.

Kraft could be assigned 100 hours of community service and a $5,000 fine if found guilty. He technically could face up to a year in prison, as well, but, per ESPN, that is unlikely. Tim O'Donnell

5:06 p.m.

Everyone wants a public Mueller report, and that's not an exaggeration.

Audible, a global audiobook producer and distributor owned by Amazon, announced Tuesday that it's desperately awaiting the results of Special Counsel Robert Mueller's Russia investigation. And once it's maybe, possibly, released "by an official or sanctioned entity," Audible will record and release it as a free audiobook, the company said.

Attorney General William Barr revealed last week that he had received Mueller's investigation and released his preliminary findings from the report on Sunday. Mueller apparently indicated that it was up to Barr to decide whether "conduct" outlined in his report warranted charges against the president, but Barr declined to press them. Democrats and Republicans alike have since called for the report to be released to clear up any uncertainty.

Of course, Audible's promise relies on Barr actually releasing the report in its entirety. He hasn't committed to that, but maybe we'll get a few chapters in the future. Kathryn Krawczyk

See More Speed Reads