George Clooney leaves Venice Film Festival by boat (Ettore Ferrari / ANSA via AP)

We told you Friday that 2020 hopefuls are beginning to put out feelers to potential staff and donors. The N.Y. Times' Ken Vogel and Rachel Shorey find a clear "shadow campaign," although the players remain coy:

  • "Aides to Senator Kamala Harris of California say that her fund-raisers in Martha's Vineyard and the Hamptons this summer have been all about helping Democrats in 2018. Former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr.'s allies say his new political group is building an email list so he can communicate directly with his supporters about the future of the party and the country. And Representative Tim Ryan of Ohio says he has been traveling to Iowa and New Hampshire in part because 'I like being out around the country.'"

Two potential candidates who are being closely watched in both parties:

  • George Clooney says at the Venice Film Festival that "Suburbicon" — a satirical film noir he directed, starring Matt Damon and Julianne Moore — is an angry movie for an angry U.S.: "A lot of us are angry — angry at ourselves, angry at the way that the country is going, angry at the way the world is going." (AP)
  • The Boston Globe front-pages a feature on religion as a "constant part of Elizabeth Warren's life": "Warren ... doesn't have a home church she regularly attends, but she frequently visits a variety of houses of worship — including many African-American churches — around the state."

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Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 10:30 a.m. ET: 12,528,449 — Total deaths: 560,921 — Total recoveries — 6,907,072Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 10:30 a.m. ET: 3,187,270 — Total deaths: 134,117 — Total recoveries: 983,185 — Total tested: 38,856,341Map.
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Romney calls Stone commutation "historic corruption"

Sen. Mitt Romney. Photo: Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images

Sen. Mitt Romney (R-Utah) on Saturday tweeted a scathing response to President Trump's Friday night commutation of former associate Roger Stone's prison sentence, calling the move "[u]nprecedented, historic corruption."

Why it matters: Romney has emerged as the party's most prominent Trump critic. He sent shockwaves through Washington after announcing he would vote to convict Trump in the impeachment trial — becoming the only Senate Republican to break ranks and vote for the president's removal from office. Now he is the first major GOP lawmaker to condemn Trump's Friday night call regarding Stone.

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We're losing the war on the coronavirus

Chart: Danielle Alberti/Axios

By any standard, no matter how you look at it, the U.S. is losing its war against the coronavirus.

Why it matters: The pandemic is not an abstraction, and it is not something that’s simmering in the background. It is an ongoing emergency ravaging nearly the entire country, with a loss of life equivalent to a Sept. 11 every three days — for four months and counting.