There’s more to primary day than California

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On the roster: There’s more to primary day than California – California Dems risk House seat with hateful race – Scouting Report: Bernie’s backing of dubious worth – Trump asserts ‘absolute right’ to pardon himself – **Rubs temples**

THERE’S MORE TO PRIMARY DAY THAN CALIFORNIA 
Being the biggest has its privileges. And being the most populous state means that California’s politics get outsized significance.

It’s the political equivalent of the phenomenon that when a blizzard hits New York City and whether you’re sunning your buns in Scottsdale, Ariz. or dining al fresco in Florence, S.C., you are subjected to nonstop coverage of the “snowpocalyspe” or “snowapalooza.”

Media markets and metropolitan size matter a great deal in terms of coverage, but it’s too easy to overlook the stories that affect the 264 million people who live in neither the New York metro area nor California.

So we know you know that California has a very consequential primary coming up Tuesday. And we promise to be back with blowout coverage of the Golden State’s races. They matter so much for what they will say about the direction Democrats are likely to take this fall and in 2020, so we will not skimp.

However…

Today, let’s get up to speed on the other states voting Tuesday: Mississippi, Alabama, Iowa, Montana, New Jersey, New Mexico and South Dakota. Put together, that list includes four Senate races, four gubernatorial races and primary contests in nine of the most competitive House districts in the country.

Golden State may be dominating Cleveland so far, but the heartland won’t be getting shut out on Tuesday.

MOUTHY SOUTHIE: S.D. GUBERNATORIAL PRIMARY TURNS UGLY
[S.D.] Argus Leader: “The gloves are off in the final days of South Dakota’s GOP primary contest. … It wasn’t always a contentious campaign, but over the last several weeks, Attorney General Marty Jackley and U.S. Rep. Kristi Noem are tirelessly working to convince voters that they’re the best choice to lead South Dakota for the next four years. … Both candidates started airing negative ads about their opponent and releasing daily releases about his or her shortcomings. And in separate interviews with the Argus Leader, Noem and Jackley laid out plans to highlight the nuances that they thought could set them apart in the eyes of voters. The candidates appeared nearly even in an Argus Leader-KELO TV poll published Tuesday, with Noem picking up 45 percent of support from Republican voters likely to cast ballots in the primary while Jackley picked up 44 percent.”

NEW MEXICO FACES TURNING POINT ELECTION 
Albuquerque Journal: “A critical election year in New Mexico – one that could establish the political pecking order for years – will begin taking shape Tuesday as voters choose the Democratic and Republican nominees for two open congressional seats, governor and other state offices. … Two members of Congress – Democrat Michelle Lujan Grisham and Republican Steve Pearce – are leaving safe seats to try for the Governor’s Office, where the Republican incumbent, Susana Martinez, cannot run because of term limits. And voters have a broad mix of political veterans and newcomers to choose from as they weigh the nominees to succeed Lujan Grisham and Pearce in the U.S. House. … In the governor’s race, meanwhile, Lujan Grisham faces intense competition just to win the nomination. Pearce is unopposed on the Republican side. Democratic gubernatorial candidates Jeff Apodaca, a former media executive, and state Sen. Joseph Cervantes, a lawyer, are campaigning aggressively in the final days…”

Rivals pounce on Dem frontrunner’s financial disclosure – Politico: “Rep. Michelle Lujan Grisham earned more from her role as co-owner of the company that runs New Mexico’s high-risk insurance program than she stated on her congressional financial disclosure forms for 2013, according to a review of the report and newly released tax returns. In annual financial disclosures required for members of Congress, Lujan Grisham initially reported receiving between $50,001 and $100,000 in dividends in 2013 from the Delta Consulting Group, which she co-founded in 2008 with a political ally who went on to get elected to the New Mexico Legislature. But her tax returns show she earned nearly $138,000 in so-called ‘passive income’ from the company that year.”

IOWA GUBERNATORIAL RACE GETS CRAZY EXPENSIVE
Des Moines Register: “Iowans will head to the polls in Tuesday’s primary in what will likely become the most expensive gubernatorial race in the state’s history. Candidates for governor raised roughly $17 million since the start of 2017 — an amount that outpaces what’s been amassed during entire election cycles in recent years. Of that, $12.4 million has already been spent blanketing the airwaves with television ads, hiring consultants and sending mailers. Those massive numbers include through the middle of May and will only grow in the final pre-primary tally. The high spending comes amid higher stakes. Iowa Democrats — facing a volatile primary season, a slew of recent election losses and two years of total Republican control in the Statehouse — say they can’t afford another four years under Republican Gov. Kim Reynolds. Reynolds supporters say the state should stay the course in November and re-elect the first female governor it has ever had.”

CLUB FOR GROWTH MAKES A BIG BET IN MONTANA
Politico: “Club for Growth President David McIntosh thinks Republicans are being far too bearish in their predictions for the Senate this cycle, and he says it will be a complete failure of party leadership if they lose the upper chamber. McIntosh hopes his conservative organization can help sway critical races for its favored candidates, from hard-fought Republican primaries to campaigns against Democratic incumbents in deep-red states. The group’s most notable investment so far has been in Tuesday’s Montana Senate primary, where it has spent $1.7 million backing state Auditor Matt Rosendale, widely viewed as the Republican front-runner, and attacking his chief opponent, former Judge Russ Fagg. The Club started spending in early May, and those investments helped set the tone for the final weeks of the race to take on Democratic Sen. Jon Tester. Montana is just the earliest preview of the Club’s spending plans for this cycle.”

NEW JERSY DEMS EYE LONG-SOUGHT PRIZE 
The Trentonian: “A competitive primary between two Democratic rivals on Tuesday will fire up the base as the party seeks to unseat Republican incumbent U.S. Rep. Chris Smith in November. Smith has represented New Jersey’s Fourth Congressional District since 1981, but his prospective challengers say he has lost touch with the constituents of Monmouth, Ocean and Mercer counties. Fellow Democratic candidatesJosh Welle and Jim Keady, however, have to first emerge victorious in Tuesday’s primary in order to challenge Smith in the general election. Only one Democrat can get the party’s nomination to compete in the main event, so Welle and Keady are therefore battling it out to determine which one will appear on the fall ballot.”

IVEY GROWS STRONGER IN ALABAMA 
AL.com: “Liz Davis may typify the average Alabama voter ahead of Tuesday’s election: She’s aware of the primary, isn’t sure who all is running and is ‘too busy’ to keep up with the blitz of campaign advertisements promoting statewide and local races. But she has heard the name ‘Kay Ivey,’ and she thinks the current governor is doing a good enough job. ‘I like what that lady has been doing,’ said Davis, 57, of Mobile, during a recent lunch at Hickory Pit Too in Semmes. … Davis’ sentiments are shared among almost all Alabama political observers contacted by AL.com in recent days. To the expert, anything less than an outright Ivey win during Tuesday’s Republican primary would be a shocker. Ivey is opposed by three candidates: Birmingham evangelist Scott Dawson, Huntsville Mayor Tommy Battle and Alabama State Senator Bill Hightower of Mobile. A runoff, if needed, is July 17.”

MISSISSIPPI NICE? 
Fox News: “Mississippi has no shortage of candidates seeking to win its two U.S. Senate elections and a broadly contested 3rd District House race this year, but with only a handful of exceptions, there has been a noticeable lack of fireworks. The relative tranquility in the races has surprised local observers, who say it’s the happy product of strong incumbents, narrowly avoided primary challenges, and policy agreements on key issues. There have been some splashes of unexpected drama. Last month, actors Robert De Niro and Alec Baldwin helped host a pricey cocktail party in Manhattan for a Democrat campaigning in what is widely viewed as a futile effort to unseat Republican incumbent Roger Wicker in the Senate. The party, which had suggested campaign donations ranging from $1,000 to $5,400 per person, benefitted Howard Sherman, one of six Democrats facing off in the June 5 primary, his campaign confirmed to The Associated Press.”

THE RULEBOOK: WHAT HE SAID
“Let us not attempt to reconcile contradictions, but firmly embrace a rational alternative.” – Alexander HamiltonFederalist No. 23

TIME OUT: WILTING FLOWERS
Smithsonian: “A new X-ray study confirms … [Vincent Van Gogh’s] paints are fading over time. … In the latest study, reports [The Guardian’s Daniel Boffrey], scientists created a detailed X-ray ‘chemical map’ of one of the sunflower paintings held in Amsterdam’s Van Gogh Museum, mapping the areas where Van Gogh used the UV-sensitive pigments and areas where he used less sensitive paint. …Van Gogh used the photo-sensitive pigments in about half the painting. Currently, the darkening of the paint and the wilting of the sunflowers is not visible to the naked eye. But researchers are not sure how long they will stay vibrant. The museum has already taken some steps to protect the artwork, like installing smart LEDs last year which allow them to control the light spectrum hitting the paintings and more finely control the brightness and hours of light paintings receive. Despite the effort, there is currently no known way to keep the chrome paints from changing color. And it’s not just the sunflowers at risk—Van Gogh used the light-sensitive paint in many of his other works.”

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SCOREBOARD
Trump job performance 
Average approval: 
40.8 percent 
Average disapproval: 
54.2 percent 
Net Score:
 -13.4 points
Change from one week ago: 
down 0.6 points 
[Average includes: Gallup: 40% approve – 55% disapprove; CBS News: 40% approve – 55% disapprove; CNN: 44% approve – 51% disapprove; IBD: 38% approve – 56% disapprove; Pew Research Center: 42% approve – 54% disapprove.]

Control of House
Republican average: 
41.8 percent
Democratic average: 48.4 percent
Advantage: 
Democrats plus 6.6 points
Change from one week ago: 
no change 
[Average includes: CNN: 47% Dems – 44% GOP; CBS News: 50% Dems – 41% GOP; Pew Research Center: 48% Dems – 43% GOP; Monmouth University: 49% Dems – 41% GOP; Quinnipiac University: 48% Dems – 40% GOP.]

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CALIFORNIA DEMS RISK HOUSE SEAT WITH HATEFUL RACE
Politico: “Gil Cisneros and Andy Thorburn, two millionaire Democratic candidates for a battleground House district in Southern California, had been attacking each other so ruthlessly that party leaders encouraged them to meet at an Italian restaurant in Los Angeles last month to force a truce: Play nice, or risk forfeiting a top district to Republicans. The armistice, brokered by California Democratic Party Chairman Eric Bauman and the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, altered the course of one of the stranger primaries of 2018, replete with party meddling and nasty attacks but few policy differences. Looming above it all is the possibility that two Republicans will advance to the general election to replace Republican Rep. Ed Royce in a district Hillary Clinton carried in 2016. The Orange County-based seat tops the nationwide list of Democratic targets, but it became the site of an early, multimillion-dollar rescue operation when it became clear the wide field of Democrats could split their vote enough to land a pair of Republicans atop the all-party primary on Tuesday.”

Riggleman chosen to replace Rep. Tom Garrett – WaPo: “Republican activists chose Denver Riggleman at a meeting Saturday in central Virginia to replace Rep. Thomas Garrett (R) on the November ballot, following a frenzied five-day campaign. The craft distillery owner and former Air Force intelligence officer will face Democrat Leslie Cockburn, a journalist, author and first-time candidate trying to capitalize on opposition to President Trump in Charlottesville and other liberal enclaves in Virginia’s 5th Congressional District. The district is among about 100 nationwide that Democrats are targeting in hopes of taking control of the House in the midterm elections. It is a reliably red seat, but the pressure was on activists to choose a candidate who can unite hard-line conservative, libertarian and moderate Republicans and overcome a blue wave if it materializes. … The nominee was decided after five hours and four rounds of secret balloting that came down to two candidates: Riggleman and Cynthia Dunbar, a national GOP committeewoman with far-right views.”

GOP doubles number of female candidates – The Hill: “House Republicans have doubled the number of female candidates they have recruited to run for congressional seats this year as they seek to hold their majority and counter accusations of a gender gap with Democrats. There are 103 Republican women, including incumbents, running for House seats this election — up from 48 in the previous election cycle, according to the Center for American Women and Politics at Rutgers University. The recruitments could be crucial in a year where the majority is likely to be decided in suburban swing districts where college-educated women and independent voters form a crucial voting bloc. Democrats have been busy attracting candidates in those districts, too, as the #MeToo movement and furor surrounding President Trump’s policies energizes the left.”

The Erins tag team Minnesota gubernatorial race – Minneapolis Star Tribune: “Minnesota DFLers wrapped up their hard-fought endorsing convention Sunday by unexpectedly backing lieutenant governor candidate Erin Maye Quade, a rookie legislator whose fight against sexual harassment and sit-in for gun control vaulted her into the spotlight. Minnesota DFLers backed Maye Quade a day after state Rep. Erin Murphy won the gubernatorial endorsement over U.S. Rep. Tim Walz in seven rounds of voting. … This weekend’s Republican and DFL endorsement conventions have set the stage for showdowns this fall. In order for Murphy and Maye Quade to face off with GOP contenders in the November general election, they would first have to beat at least one fellow DFL ticket in the August primary. Walz, of Mankato, and his running mate state Rep. Peggy Flanagan, of St. Louis Park, plan to head to the primary even though they lost the party’s endorsement.”

SCOUTING REPORT: BERNIE’S BACKING OF DUBIOUS WORTH
WSJ: “There is no candidate in the country for whom Sen. Bernie Sanders has expended more political capital this year than Pete D’Alessandro. Mr. Sanders hosted a rally for Mr. D’Alessandro, a U.S. House candidate who ran the Vermont senator’s 2016 presidential campaign in Iowa. He twice emailed his supporters soliciting campaign funds for Mr. D’Alessandro and recorded his only TV ad of the year to urge support for him. Yet Mr. D’Alessandro, a longtime Iowa Democratic political operative, appears from public polling set to place third in Tuesday’s Democratic primary. The Sanders seal of approval, for Mr. D’Alessandro and a handful of other Democrats, isn’t turning out to be a winning one in this year’s congressional elections.”

Biden to decide on run after midterms – NBC News: “The former vice president [Joe Biden] already has been one of the most active Democratic surrogates in 2017 and 2018, and his advisers are hard at work on plans for a busy campaign schedule this fall that could have him appearing at as many as a dozen events each week. At the same time, he and a trusted inner circle have quietly been engaging a wider network of political allies to sketch the outlines of what a Biden 2020 candidacy might look like should he decide to run, multiple sources who have participated in the discussions tell NBC News. Biden himself has only gone so far as to say he’s not ruled out what would be a third run for the White House. He’s also been adamant that while a decision won’t come until after the 2018 midterms, it shouldn’t linger much beyond year’s end — a timetable that would help to bring some order to what could be the largest Democratic presidential field in generations.”

Starbucks boss steps down, hints at possible 2020 run – Fox Business: “Howard Schultz, the Starbucks executive who oversaw the Seattle coffeehouse chain’s global expansion, will step down as the company’s executive chairman of the board, the company confirmed on Monday. Schultz, 64, spent four decades working at Starbucks. … A prominent critic of President Donald Trump, Schultz has long been rumored to have political aspirations. Schultz said earlier this year that the Trump administration ‘is creating episodic chaos’ in the country. ‘I want to be truthful with you without creating more speculative headlines,’ Schultz told The New York Times on Monday. ‘For some time now, I have been deeply concerned about our country — the growing division at home and our standing in the world.’ ‘One of the things I want to do in my next chapter is to figure out if there is a role I can play in giving back,’ he added. ‘I’m not exactly sure what that means yet.’”

TRUMP ASSERTS ‘ABSOLUTE RIGHT’ TO PARDON HIMSELF
Fox News: “President Trump sought to settle the widespread weekend chatter over whether he’d consider pardoning himself if charged in the Russia probe – tweeting Monday that he has the ‘absolute right’ to do so, but wouldn’t have to since he’s ‘done nothing wrong.’ ‘As has been stated by numerous legal scholars, I have the absolute right to PARDON myself, but why would I do that when I have done nothing wrong? In the meantime, the never ending Witch Hunt, led by 13 very Angry and Conflicted Democrats (& others) continues into the mid-terms!’ the president tweeted. Moments later, the president decried the investigation as ‘UNCONSTITUTIONAL’ — the latest swipe at Special Counsel Robert Mueller amid negotiations over a possible interview with the president. … Trump weighed in after legal team member Rudy Giuliani fielded numerous questions on the self-pardon scenario on the Sunday shows. ‘The president of the United States pardoning himself would just be unthinkable. And it would lead to probably an immediate impeachment,’ he said bluntly on NBC’s ‘Meet the Press.’”

Giuliani says Mueller needs to ‘man up’ – 
Fox News: “Special Counsel Robert Mueller is sensitive to pulling ‘another Comey’ as the Russia probe enters its final months, Trump attorney Rudy Giuliani said in an interview Sunday. Calling the investigation a ‘long nightmare with the American people,’ Giuliani also issued a challenge directly to Mueller’s team, telling investigators to ‘man up’ rather than seek to subpoena President Trump. ‘They have to make a decision without it,’ Giuliani said on ABC’s ‘This Week,’ noting that the Trump team has already made available several witnesses and turned over more than a million documents. ‘So, come on, man up and make your decision.’ Meanwhile, former Trump campaign manager Corey Lewandowski told ‘Fox News Sunday’ that President Trump’s legal team will ‘take it to court’ if Mueller subpoenas him as part of the Russia probe.”

GOP LOOKS BEYOND MCCARTHY FOR SPEAKER CHOICES  
WSJ: “House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy and Majority Whip Steve Scalise are the lawmakers to beat to replace the departing House Speaker Paul Ryan. But their status as the frontrunners to succeed Mr. Ryan, who plans to leave office in January, hasn’t quelled chatter on Capitol Hill of who else might become a contender. And a brewing fight over immigration could foment angst within the House GOP, leading to unpredictable outcomes. … Still, it’s not clear that conservatives would want to push Mr. Ryan out early—and none of the candidates to succeed him has enough support to force him to leave. Many House Republicans are consumed by their own re-election races, with relatively few weeks of legislating in Washington scheduled before the midterms. … Most of those being discussed as potential GOP leadership candidates already flex some power, including Rep. Mark Walker of North Carolina… Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Greg Walden of Oregon; Homeland Security Committee Chairman Michael McCaul of Texas; and Rep. Tom Cole of Oklahoma…”

McCarthy still defending tariffs – Politico: “House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy on Sunday defended the administration for leveraging tariffs on close allies as ‘standing up’ for free trade. ‘We are in the middle of a trade discussion. Nobody wants to be in a trade war. Nobody wins a trade war,’ the California Republican said on CNN’s ‘State of the Union.’ ‘But we are standing up for the process of where we’re moving forward that we have fair trade. President Donald Trump last week announced tariffs on metal imports from Canada, Mexico and the European Union, prompting each to announce they are considering retaliatory tariffs. Other Republicans have attacked the tariffs, including Sen. Bob Corker (R-Tenn.)… McCarthy pointed to specifics in the trade imbalance, even with one of America’s closest allies.”

SUPCO SIDES WITH BAKER WHO SHUNNED GAY WEDDING
Fox News: “The Supreme Court ruled Monday in favor of a Colorado baker who refused to make a wedding cake for a same-sex couple, in one of the most closely watched cases of the term. In a 7-2 decision, the justices set aside a Colorado court ruling against the baker — while stopping short of deciding the broader issue of whether a business can refuse to serve gay and lesbian people. The opinion was penned by Justice Anthony Kennedy, who is often the swing justice in tight cases. The narrow ruling here focused on what the court described as anti-religious bias on the Colorado Civil Rights Commission when it ruled against baker Jack Phillips. ‘The Commission’s hostility was inconsistent with the First Amendment’s guarantee that our laws be applied in a manner that is neutral toward religion,’ Kennedy wrote in his majority opinion.” 

David French: How Kennedy did it – National Review: “No, the Court did not issue the sweeping free-speech ruling that many advocates hoped for and others feared. Instead it issued a ruling that reminded state authorities that people of faith have the exact same rights — and are entitled to the exact same treatment — as people of different faith or no faith at all. … The Lord works in mysterious ways, and it is no small irony that the same justice who just struck a blow for the dignity of the faithful is also the man most responsible for creating the constitutional right to same-sex marriage. State bullies beware, when Justice Kennedy declared in Obergefell that the First Amendment still protects religious people as they seek to teach and uphold those “principles that are so fulfilling and so central to their lives and faiths,” he meant what he said. Tolerance, it appears, is not a one-way street.”

BILL CLINTON IN BREAKDOWN LANE 
NYT: “Former President Bill Clinton celebrated the #MeToo movement in an interview that aired on Monday, but said that it would have done little to change his response to the scandal that prompted his impeachment. ‘I don’t think it would be an issue because people would be using the facts instead of the imagined facts,’ he said in the interview on NBC’s ‘Today’ show. When asked whether he would handle the response to his affair with Monica Lewinsky, then a White House intern, any differently, Mr. Clinton said, ‘If the facts were the same today, I wouldn’t.’ … In the run-up to this year’s midterm elections, Mr. Clinton has been virtually invisible on the campaign trail because of new scrutiny of his past treatment of women, including Ms. Lewinsky. For years, he had deflected allegations of sexual harassment and assault from several women, but several of his accusers have felt empowered recently as the #MeToo movement gained momentum. Juanita BroaddrickKathleen Willey and Paula Jones, three of the women who have accused Mr. Clinton of sexual harassment, said in November that they felt newly vindicated.” 

Yglesias: Democrats struggle with re-evaluation of Clinton misdeeds – Vox: “Of course, Democrats aren’t going to travel back in time to force Bill Clinton to resign in the late 1990s. But it also now seems clear that Clinton won’t be able to avoid answering these questions in future public appearances, which may well make him less likely to want to make public appearances in the future. There is also a strong likelihood that Clinton, who has been a mainstay of Democratic National Conventions for decades, won’t be speaking in 2020 or deployed as a campaign surrogate this fall for the first time in a generation. Yet it’s also clear that another cohort of Democrats — especially those on the older, maler side — are uncomfortable with the direction Gillibrand is going. That’s in part a disagreement about political tactics, with some seeing it as foolish for Democrats to try to hold themselves to a high standard of conduct when Republicans hold Trump to no standard at all. But it’s probably better to think of it as primarily a disagreement about substance and the still-ambiguous legacy of #MeToo.”

HOUSE GOP FACE PRESSURE TO MAKE IMMIGRATION DECISION 
The Hill: “House Republicans are facing a make-or-break moment on immigration as they return to Washington this week. GOP members will huddle in the Capitol on Thursday for a two-hour conference meeting designed to reach a consensus on the hot-button issue. If none emerges, then more Republicans are expected to sign on to a discharge petition that would force a series of contentious immigration votes on the House floor as early as June 25. Before lawmakers left town for the Memorial Day recess, two more Republicans endorsed the petition — meaning just two more GOP signatures are needed to reach the magic number of 218 if all Democrats sign on. ‘We’re adding votes every single day. We’re engaged in conversations to figure out, is there another path? I don’t believe there is,’ Rep. Will Hurd (Texas), one of the moderate Republicans leading the discharge petition effort, told CBS’s ‘Face the Nation’ on Sunday.”

Cruz, Alexander conducting poll for Senate agenda – Politico: “Republican senators aren’t sure what to do between now and the November elections. So they’re conducting a poll — of themselves. Sens. Ted Cruz of Texas and Lamar Alexander of Tennessee have been quietly circulating an unusual ‘survey’ of their colleagues in recent weeks asking about their level of support for dozens of legislative proposals, some of them highly controversial. The areas under consideration include taking another stab at repealing and scaling back Obamacare; trying for Round 2 of tax cuts; eliminating or reining in the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau; defunding Planned Parenthood and other anti-abortion rights measures; instituting work requirements for federal welfare programs; expanding gun rights; instituting budget reforms; and dozens more. Yet the Cruz-Alexander poll will likely show that Obamacare repeal still can’t get 50 GOP votes, according to Republican sources who’ve already taken the temperature of the caucus, and that any proposal to make the Trump tax cuts permanent couldn’t clear the 60-vote filibuster bar.”

PLAY-BY-PLAY
Maureen Dowd
: ‘Obama — Just Too Good for Us’ – NYT

Pruitt sent aide to various tasks, including getting an old Trump hotel mattress
 – WaPo

Melania to skip G7, North Korea summits
 – Fox News

AUDIBLE: THERE’S A DIFFERENCE 
“No. I have never talked to her, but I did say publicly on more than one occasion that I was sorry.” – Former President Bill Clinton, in an interview with the “TODAY show” on NBC News, when asked if he thinks he owes Monica Lewinsky an apology. 

FROM THE BLEACHERS
“Wait — Chris is a Cardinals fan??? I’ll tell you what, if that’s true, I’m boycotting the Halftime Report and the podcast!!!” – Stephen J. Tock, Dwight, Ill.

[Ed. note: Something in your note, Mr. Tock, suggests to me that you might be a fan of the Chicago Cubs. And if that is so, I sincerely hope that you do not abandon the newsletter and the podcast. If you continue to absorb these insights, it may help you to see things more clearly. At first there may be just slight stirrings of a higher consciousness – maybe a new preference for the White Sox – and then a growing understanding of the ways of the universe – maybe a trip down I-55 to take in a game with the AA Springfield Cardinals. A few podcasts more and you may find yourself standing beneath the heart-stirring span of the Gateway Arch and then, after that, nirvana…] 

Share your color commentary: Email us at 
HALFTIMEREPORT@FOXNEWS.COM and please make sure to include your name and hometown.

**RUBS TEMPLES**
Harper’s Bazaar: “In a turn of events that read like an episode of Charmed, it’s been revealed that Louis Vuitton employs a professional shaman (or wizard of good and evil spirits) from Brazil to ensure the weather at their [annual outdoor fashion shows] always remains impeccable. Who would’ve thought? According to The Guardian, the unidentified shaman also commanded the weather at LV’s Cruise shows in Rio and Kyoto. While menacing clouds threatened for the duration of the show, rain did indeed hold off—unlike Dior’s outdoor Cruise 2019 show in Chantilly, which fell victim to an unfortunate downpour. Vogue Runway also reported that the Brazilian-based shaman flies only private, and commands a six-figure fee for ensuring the weather remains precipitation-free. And, just when we thought we’d heard it all, the shaman reportedly worked his magic at Meghan and Harry’s Windsor Castle nuptials last month (resulting in beaming sunlight all day long).”

Chris Stirewalt is the politics editor for Fox News. Brianna McClelland contributed to this report. Want FOX News Halftime Report in your inbox every day? Sign up here.

Chris Stirewalt joined Fox News Channel (FNC) in July of 2010 and serves as politics editor based in Washington, D.C.





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