May 30, 2018

Axios AM

Good Wednesday morning.

Situational awareness: "The Trump administration will soon begin fingerprinting parents claiming custody of children who entered the United States illegally without an adult relative, [HHS said yesterday], prompting criticism that children may be abandoned by those who fear being identified and deported. Currently, most parents are not required to be fingerprinted to get custody of their children." (Reuters)

1 big thing: Some black women candidates feel neglected by Dem groups

Illustration: Rebecca Zisser/Axios

There are at least 43 Democratic black women running as challengers for U.S. House seats, but only one — Lauren Underwood, a nurse running in Chicago's western suburbs — has the backing of the national campaign organization, Axios' Alexi McCammond reports:

  • Why it matters: Black women are a powerful voting bloc for Democrats as they work to capture the House and Senate. In 2016, 94% of black women voted for Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump.
  • Now they're running for office in overwhelming numbers, but some feel the party isn't investing in them.
  • Right now, there are only 19 black women serving in Congress. Only 67 women of color overall have been members of Congress since 1964.

Be smart: The conversation about the party's support of the black community — both as voters and candidates — is not going away any time soon:

  • There's been a focus on the progressive vs. moderate fight within the Democratic Party, making some feel overlooked. "I think some of the other groups [like progressives] have gotten more attention than any racial group," Kimberly Hill Knott, who's running for Congress in Detroit, told Axios. "I don’t hear the national party talking about an urban agenda."
  • One progressive candidate who is also black, Kerri Harris, running for U.S. Senate in Delaware, said she's had no recognition from the party. "They can keep pretending like we don’t exist or come out against us as candidates, but they’ll realize the best way to uphold our democracy is to encourage it."

One big challenge: Politics is driven by money. If you're not raising a lot of it, you're viewed as unelectable. But raising money as a first-time candidate and a black woman is often half the battle, candidates told Axios.

  • The bottom line: Black women candidates want more from the Democratic Party, but Democrats might not have to worry much about how they'll vote in 2018 or 2020.
2. New question on trail: Have you been accused of harassment?

"Candidates who hope to win the endorsement of a leading Massachusetts women’s rights group this election cycle should be prepared to answer this question: 'Have you ever been formally accused of sexual harassment? If so, please explain,'" the Boston Globe reports:

  • "The provocative query [by NARAL Pro-Choice Massachusetts] appears on a questionnaire circulating among state candidates that's believed to be the first instance nationally in which an interest group is demanding such disclosures as a condition of its endorsement."
  • Why it matters: "The questionnaire shows how much the political discourse has changed since the 2016 presidential election, and how much further women’s rights groups hope to push it in the #MeToo era."
3. Immigration dominates GOP ads in House races; Dems focus on health

"House Republican candidates are blanketing the airwaves with TV ads embracing a hard line on immigration — a dramatic shift from the midterm elections in 2014," USA Today reports:

  • "Republicans have aired more than 14,000 campaign ads touting a tough Trump-style immigration platform this year," according to a USA TODAY analysis of data from Kantar Media.
  • "Democratic candidates have focused overwhelmingly on health in their advertising, running more than 26,000 ads on the subject. Of those, more than 8,500 Democratic spots promise to protect or expand Medicare."

Why it matters: "The competing messages demonstrate how far apart the two parties are. They’re not just talking about issues differently; they’re touting completely different issues to motivate activists and win hotly contested primaries."

  • In 2014, immigration "was not among the top 10 issues Republicans spent their ad dollars on at this point ... In that cycle, GOP contenders attacked President Obama, bashing the Affordable Care Act and promising to rein in government spending."
4. Pic du jour
Drew Angerer/Getty Images

CNN chief White House correspondent Jim Acosta works in Nashville last night as Trump supporters shout toward members of the press before the start of a presidential rally.

5. Record number of women (42) running for Senate
Rep. Martha McSally (R-Ariz.), running for the Senate seat being vacated by retiring Republican Sen. Jeff Flake, delivers her signatures to the Arizona Secretary of State's office at the Capitol in Phoenix yesterday. (Matt York/AP)

There's been lots of coverage of the surge of women running in House races, but it's also true of the Senate.

A record 42 women from major parties are running for 19 seats in the Senate, according to AP:

  • "Today, 23 women are senators."
  • "Two female senators, both Democrats [in states Trump won by double digits: Sen. Heidi Heitkamp of North Dakota and Sen. Claire McCaskill of Missouri], could lose their re-election bids, possibly leaving the Senate more male-dominated."
  • "[W]omen stand a chance of picking up a seat in Nevada, where Democratic Rep. Jacky Rosen is challenging Republican Sen. Dean Heller."
  • "Likewise, in Tennessee, Republican Rep. Marsha Blackburn ... faces Democratic former Gov. Phil Bredesen for the seat being vacated by the retiring Republican Sen. Bob Corker."
6. Mika Brzezinski: Women driving change together like never before
Mika Brzezinski appears with Joe Scarborough at the National Archives last July. (Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

Mika Brzezinski, agreeing with Axios' story yesterday about the global surge in women's empowerment, sends me this note about harnessing universal female energy in the quest for true empowerment:

  • “This isn’t the end, we are just at the beginning of this culture shift with women. Why now? Because the current presidential administration has woken up a chorus of voices and unleashed a wave of activism and empowerment."
  • "Women of all ages and backgrounds — from Hollywood to the tech sector to Corporate America — are inspired to impact change because they just can’t stand by anymore and be silent."
  • "This change is bonding women everywhere, from recent college grads to middle managers, educators and to those who can use their influence to scale awareness, such as Meghan Twohey, Jodi Kantor, Tarana Burke, Reese Witherspoon, Cate Blanchett, Frances McDormand, Chelsea Handler and many, many more."

"Since the release of my book Knowing Your Value: Women, Money and Getting What You’re Worth in 2011, I’ve encouraged women to take risks and negotiate their worth from my seat on the news desk to national events."

  • "Now with and our respective social handles, the Know Your Value community is reminded every single day to step out of their comfort zone, and use their voices to speak up and change the world."
  • "And the results have been so positive and swift, women are really getting things done. They are harnessing their collective energy to drive change together like never before. They’ve been unified by a shared sentiment: 'Damnit, if no one else is going to do it, then I guess will.'"
7. Hurricane's toll 70 times what Puerto Rico reported

Officials still don't have an agreed upon number of storm-related casualties from Hurricane Maria, which slammed the island of Puerto Rico on Sept. 20, 2017. A new study, published in the New England Journal of Medicine on Monday, finds a far higher estimate for the actual death toll, 4,645, than the official estimate of just 64, Axios science editor Andrew Freedman reports:

  • Researchers say their estimated death toll — 70 times higher than the official estimate — is "likely to be an underestimate."
  • The biggest factors leading to the higher death toll were disrupted medical services, including access to medication and medical facilities, the study found.
8. Roseanne canned

Boston Globe TV critic Matthew Gilbert: "ABC played with fire when it brought Roseanne Barr back to TV this year. And the network got burned."

"In the time it took to compose a 53-character tweet, Roseanne Barr went from a hero that ABC was banking upon to unemployed," AP's David Bauder writes:

  • "The network canceled its hit reboot of 'Roseanne' .... after Barr’s racist tweet that referred to Valerie Jarrett."
  • Barr's "agent dropped her, and other services pulled 'Roseanne' reruns."
  • "The swift developments rendered President Trump at least temporarily mum."
  • "Jarrett, ... who said she was 'fine' after the slur, urged in an MSNBC special .... about racism that the incident become a teaching moment. She said that Robert Iger, chief executive of ABC parent Walt Disney Co., called to apologize and told her before it became public that the show was being canceled."
Courtesy N.Y. Post
9. Once a GOP rising star, Missouri governor slinks out
Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens reads his resignation announcement at the state Capitol in Jefferson City, Mo. (Julie Smith/The Jefferson City News-Tribune via AP)

"Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens [R] ... abruptly announced he is stepping down effective 5 p.m. Friday in the face of an impeachment effort, an adverse judicial ruling and criminal investigations," per the St. Louis Post-Dispatch:

  • “The last few months have been incredibly difficult for me, for my family, for my team, for my friends, and many, many people that I love,” he said, saying he was the victim of “legal harassment." He added, "I have not broken any laws or committed any offense worthy of this treatment."
  • "Greitens ... rocketed onto Missouri’s political scene in 2015, promising to take on 'career politicians' and a culture of 'corruption' in Jefferson City."
  • "A year after taking office, his own administration became engulfed in scandal when Greitens admitted to a 2015 extramarital affair but denied allegations he threatened his lover with a compromising photograph."
10. 1 historic thing
President Bill Clinton is assisted by adviser Paul Begala on Aug. 17, 1998, in the Map Room of the White House just before addressing the nation about his testimony earlier that day to a federal grand jury. (Luke Frazza/AFP/Getty Images)

The N.Y. Times' Peter Baker, "When the President Testified: People in the Room Recall Clinton’s 1998 Interrogation ... The date was Aug. 17, 1998. President Bill Clinton testified before a grand jury. Twenty years later, people in the room and those waiting nearby share their memories":

  • Bill Clinton, from his memoir, “My Life”: "I believed every word I said, but my anger hadn’t worn off enough for me to be as contrite as I should have been."
  • "Starr and his interrogators did their best to turn the videotape into a pornographic home movie, asking me questions designed to humiliate me and to so disgust the Congress and the American people that they would demand my resignation, after which he might be able to indict me."
  • "I did acknowledge that I had misled everyone who asked about the story after it broke. And I said over and over again that I never asked anyone to lie."
  • "I was visibly upset when I went up to the Solarium to see friends and staff who had gathered to discuss what had just happened."
  • "Everyone knew I had to admit that I had made an awful mistake and had tried to hide it. The question was whether I should also take a shot at Starr’s investigation and say it was time to end it. The virtually unanimous opinion was that I should not."
  • Doug Sosnik, White House counselor and later senior adviser: "I said, 'This is why God invented James Carville.'"
  • Joe Lockhart, White House deputy press secretary and later press secretary: "In 1998, I could not imagine a president pleading the Fifth [Amendment]. I don’t even remember there being a serious conversation about it."
  • Hillary Clinton, from her memoir, “Living History.”: "When it was over, at 6:25 p.m., Bill emerged from the room composed but deeply angry. I had not been present for his testimony, and I was not ready to talk to him, but I could tell from his body language that he had been through an ordeal."
  • Hillary Clinton: "I finally said, 'Well, Bill, this is your speech. You’re the one who got yourself into this mess, and only you can decide what to say about it.' Then Chelsea and I left the room."
  • Worthy of your time.
White House Deputy Press Secretary Joe Lockhart looks out of his office window while talking on the telephone on Aug. 17, 1998, at the same time President Clinton was testifying in the Map Room before Kenneth Starr's grand jury. (Tim Sloan/AFP/Getty Images)