Two Potential Democratic VP Nominees Come Out Swinging

 

Secretary of Labor Thomas Perez and Sen. Cory Booker of New Jersey delivered hard-hitting speeches at the National Press Club last week that showed why each is regarded as a top option as the Democratic vice presidential nominee.

Tom Perez National Press Club June 22, 2016Perez, born in Buffalo, NY and shown in our photo at right, described how his family’s immigrant roots in the Dominican Republic helps inspire his implementation of the Obama administration’s policies, including a presidential order enabling estimated 4.2 million workers to qualify for overtime.

Booker, shown below in a file photo, spoke on “The Search for Equal Justice.” He was reared in a prosperous New Jersey suburb that his parents desegregated, and after a stint as mayor of the 95 percent minority nearby city of Newark won election to the U.S. senate in 2013.

Cory BookerEach spoke on June 22 at the press club, which is located in downtown Washington, DC. This editor attended both talks as part of our ongoing understanding of the 2016 election campaign and other national issues. We focus both on mainstream and little-reported issues in the contest between prospective Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton and Republican Donald Trump.

The Labor Secretary's talk was entitled, Building the Best America, with quotations below from the prepared text, which closely paralleled his talk as delivered.

“A few weeks ago,” Perez began, “the New York Times asked, “When did optimism become uncool?” I must confess that – as a chronic, relentless optimist – I took it a little personally. I know my teenage kids think I’m uncool. I get that.

"But the Times hit on something darker within our politics – the fact that some politicians find it expedient to exploit people’s worst fears… to accentuate the negative and eliminate the positive… to turn people against each other instead of toward each other."

Labor Secretary Perez (continued)

"For all those peddling fiction that America is in decline," Perez continued, "I’d invite them to join me on one of my “house calls.”  I travel the country to meet with workers, businesses, and local officials who are shaping a brighter future for all of us. I’d invite the naysayers to turn off the cable news, tear up the talking points, and take a look at America at its best.

Perez, 43, went on to share a number of personal encounters, statistics and policy arguments that illustrated his theme that the nation is making considerable progress even as Obama administration officials understand that much more progress on jobs and income is needed. Perez came to his current post after serving from 2009 to 2013 as the Obama Justice Department's assistant attorney general for civil rights.

“I see America at its best," Perez said, “when I pay a house call to my friend, Cory McCray, in the remarkable, resilient city of Baltimore. Cory’s here with me today [sitting at the press club's headtable and shown in a C-SPAN interview.] He’s a first-term delegate in the Maryland State House. In his short time in office, he’s already made some big moves – sponsoring a bill to restore voting rights to some 40,000 people coming out of prison in Maryland, enacted over the Governor’s veto.”  

Cory McCray on C-SPANBut Cory’s story could’ve gone a different way. You all know the narrative of the city kid, the young man of color: he grew up in a tough neighborhood, made some bad choices, and got involved in the juvenile justice system. He spent his 18th birthday in a Baltimore jail cell.

When he got out, his mother presented him with a list of apprenticeship opportunities that she found through the state labor department, and she made him pick one. He asked his mother, why do you still believe in me? She replied, “I’m going to believe in you until you believe in yourself.”

Cory chose a five-year apprenticeship program through the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers and graduated with flying colors. Reflecting on that opportunity, Cory said, “It was a vehicle for me to achieve my dreams. It literally saved my life.”

Perez, a graduate of Harvard Law School, continued in that vein with other up-by-the-bootstraps stories and accounts of pro-worker policy initiatives. He said in his talk available via C-SPAN video:

[W]e’ve come a long way since the depths of the economic crisis. Thanks to the grit and determination of the American people – combined with leadership from the private sector and sound policy decisions by the Obama Administration – we are back on our feet as a nation....

Today, the unemployment rate is below 5 percent. We’re in the middle of the longest streak of private-sector job growth on record – 75 consecutive months to the tune of 14.5 million jobs. Initial claims for unemployment benefits have remained under 300,000 – less than half of early 2009 levels – for 67 consecutive weeks, a sustained low that we haven’t experienced since December 1973.

In just the last couple of months, the Labor Department completed “historic rule making on issues at the heart of what it means to be middle class in America,” he said, including regulations limiting workers’ exposure to silica dust, updating overtime rules and protecting retirement accounts by raising investment-advice standards.

America is its best when “we offer a hand to working people who have gotten knocked down…when workers get a chance to share in the prosperity they help to create…. when everyone has a voice at work …when people get the tools they need to succeed at work and at home …and when we fully enforce laws that protect workers,” Perez said.

Cory Booker

Corey Booker photoBooker, 47, shown above in a file photo, was born in an all-white community in Northern New Jersey that his parents, reputed to be the first African-American executives at IBM, integrated with the help of white civil rights activists.

Booker went on to be a first-team high school All-American football player, to earn degrees from Stanford University, Oxford University under a prestigious Rhodes Scholarship, and Yale Law School. He embarked on a career in civil rights advocacy and politics in Newark. He won elections to the city council in 1998, and then to the mayor's office in 2006 after losing his first attempt in 2002. In 2013, he won a special election over Republican Steve Lonegan to succeed the late Frank Lautenberg as a senator representing New Jersey. He won re-election in 2014 over Republican Steve Bell.

Cory Booker Memoir coverBooker's spoke at the Press Club the evening of June 22 to Yale Law School alumni gathered for the annual dinner for the DC metropolitan region. His talk was off-the-record under standard rules. But the title was public, and it might not be wild surmise to imagine he might draw on his well-received memoir published in February, United: Thoughts on Finding Common Ground and Advancing the Common Good, and the notable policy positions from his political career.

Other Democratic VP Possibilities

Pundits frequently mention Perez and Booker as among the most likely vice presidential nominees from about 10 officials often cited as under consideration. What appears to have been leaks recently from the Clinton campaign floated also the names for Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren, Virginia Sen. Tim Kaine and U.S. Housing and Urban Elizabeth WarrenDevelopment Secretary Julian Castro of Texas as additional possibilities.

However, sometimes names are floated early on to give a prospect prominence for strategic reasons even if the prospect has relatively little chance.

In this situation, for example, Warren (shown in a file photo) does not represent a swing state and is female lawyer-politician nearly the same age as Clinton. Further, Warren's policies are more progressive than Clinton's.

In sum, floating Warren's name might reassure Sen. Bernie Sanders' supporters at this stage of the campaign as Clinton successfully woos progressives.  But Clinton, her advisors and their top corporate supporters are unlikely to see Warren, a native of solidly Republican Oklahoma, as a good match, especially in expanding the Clinton voting base in the crucial Midwestern and southern Atlantic coast battleground states such as Virginia, North Carolina and Florida.

Similar results but different factors could well apply to Kaine and Castro. Kaine, a former mayor of Richmond and Democratic Party national chairman, is regarded as competent but bland. Castro, a former mayor of San Antonio, is regarded as having a bright future in politics. But HUD's mission has only modest cross-over political appeal these days and Texas has long been out of reach for Democratic presidential candidates in a two-party contest, as the Clintons know well. As Yale Law School students in their final year of school in 1972, Hillary and Bill Clinton served as co-chairs for Texas of the ill-fated George McGovern for President Campaign during a period when Democrats still had significant strength in Texas.    

Booker and Perez are regarded as among the five or so most likely vice presidential selections to join the ticket of prospective Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton, according to recent news accounts summarized by Wikipedia. The summary contains also a list of two dozen or so possibilities, plus smaller lists of nine or ten prospects reported as likely prospects by the Wall Street Journal, New York Times, Washington Post, and others.

Hillary Clinton"With her long Democratic primary fight now over," CNN reported in Clinton closing in on running mate search on June 21, "Hillary Clinton is narrowing her choices for a running mate, intently focusing on a handful of potential candidates as her team closes in on the final weeks of vetting before she makes a decision in less than a month, several Democrats watching the process tell CNN. Clinton has privately signaled she is less concerned about choosing someone who fills a specific liberal or progressive void, rather than selecting a partner who is fully prepared for the job and has a strong camaraderie with her.

The list of serious vice presidential candidates is believed to be smaller rather than larger, with Democrats close to the campaign placing it at no more than five contenders. But several aides acknowledged they were not sure, considering the secrecy imposed on the process by Clinton.

"John Podesta, chairman of the Clinton campaign and a trusted confidante is leading the effort, according to Democrats who spoke on the condition of anonymity because they are not authorized to speak about the highly-secretive process," CNN's Jeff Zeleny and Dan Merica reported. "Cheryl Mills, Clinton's longtime adviser and lawyer, is also helping Clinton with the decision.

As Clinton has repeatedly said in interviews, her top consideration is someone who would be able to step into the presidency should anything happen to her....Another top consideration for Clinton and her aides, Democrats said, is finding someone she actually wants to work with, not necessarily someone who checks regional or specific electorate boxes. She, perhaps more than most presumptive nominees in recent history, knows the inner-workings of the West Wing intimately.

This could bode well for several Democrats, who aides say Clinton enjoyed campaigning with this year, including Kaine, Perez, Castro and Sen. Cory Booker of New Jersey. For all the calculations about who would make a better running mate, the list of actual candidates is believed to be fairly small.

Does 'Experience Count?'

A couple of final thoughts:

Many in the media are wasting everyone's time by continually asking potential VP nominees whether they are interested in the job, as in the focus of this coverage of the Perez speech last week (Perez dodges questions about VP chances).

With a few obvious exceptions, the candidates are interested — but they know also that it looks impolitic to say so. So, such inane questions combine some of the worst features of "pack journalism," political "horse-race" coverage (that is, who is ahead?) and "gotch ya!" reporting.

The effort could be much better spent on the many important topics rarely if ever raised during campaigns.

For example, in the fields of civil rights and criminal justice alone it happens that major new books by experts have been published this month with virtually no comment by political leaders on the new evidence William Pepper The Plot To Kill Kingof botched and suppressed evidence regarding the 1968 murders of the Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. and Democratic presidential candidate Robert F. Kennedy. The Plot To Kill King was published last week to vast media silence by King's friend and family attorney Dr. William Pepper. He has undertaken decades of brave interviews of suspects, some of them also brave or at least forthcoming, regarding the historic murder case that authorities immediately pinned on one lone gunman despite vast amounts of differing evidence. Little known to today's public, that evidence convinced a civil jury in 1999 to pin responsibility for the most part on those identified by Pepper.

The upshot is that the wrong suspects in each case may well have been convicted, as our Justice Integrity Project has reported in our updated and comprehensive Readers Guides to the MLK Assassination and RFK Assassination.

More generally, this dubious and suppressed evidence tends to raise disturbing questions about the thoroughness of probes of current events by our watchdog institutions, both in law enforcement and media.

Regarding the current "Veepstakes," it's worth noting also that the track record of even highly experienced presidential nominees in picking running mates has been very spotty through the years.

Longtime Arizona Sen. John McCain flubbed his choice as 2008 GOP nominee when he picked the erratic Alaskan Gov. Sarah Palin as his running mate. Soon revealed to be way out of her league except with a niche too small to make a difference, she inadvertently helped make even the first-term Illinois Sen. Barack Obama (a favorite of Wall Street as it turned out) look capable by comparison during the 2008 financial crisis, whose magnitude left even the incumbent President George Bush and McCain appearing indecisive at times.

Similarly, Al Gore, the 2000 Democratic presidential nominee and incumbent vice president, appears to have erred in picking as his running mate Connecticut Sen. Joe Lieberman, a favorite of pundits and power Spiro T. Agnewbrokers who gained little apparent traction with voters even in the vital state of Florida.

Going back into history, "Experience counts" was the campaign slogan of Republican 1960 nominee Richard Nixon, an incumbent vice president who lost to the less experienced Massachusetts Sen. John Kennedy. For a second run in 1968, Nixon picked Maryland Gov. Spiro Agnew as his running mate.

They won their two campaigns. But Agnew was forced to resign after a no contact plea bargain arising out of corruption while in Maryland and in the White House.

Although a harsh critic of criminals, Agnew (shown in his official photo) remains as the only vice president in history to resign because of criminal charges.

So, we should be prepared — especially during this campaign of surprises — to expect the unexpected despite best efforts at prediction.

 

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Related News Coverage

Los Angeles Times, Here are the top vice president picks for Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton, Staff report, July 8, 2016. Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton are each vetting potential running mates as the White House hopefuls prepare for their national party conventions in late July. Here are some of the top contenders for vice president:

DONALD TRUMP: Newt Gingrich | Chris Christie | Mike Pence | Jeff Sessions | Mary Fallin | Tom Cotton

HILLARY CLINTON: Tim Kaine | Elizabeth Warren | Sherrod Brown | Julián Castro | Cory Booker | Tom Perez

Huffington Post, The RNC Plans To Turn Bernie Backers Against Hillary Clinton’s VP Pick, Sam Stein, June 26, 2016. The Republican National Committee (RNC) is planning to cleave liberal voters away from Hillary Clinton as part of a campaign to counteract her forthcoming pick of a vice presidential running mate. In a strategy memo provided to the Huffington Post, the committee outlines how it will attack the top candidates.

In a detailed memo outlining its strategy to combat Clinton’s VP choice, the committee says it will frame the selection as both a cynical play to certain constituencies and as an emotional letdown for voters who backed Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) in the Democratic primary. The goals, the memo says, are to “drive wedges between these top contenders and either Clinton and/or traditional Democrat constituencies, such as labor, environmentalists, and gun control advocates, and other traditional left-wing constituencies;” and “[w]here applicable, frame the choice as an insult to the large, deep base of Bernie Sanders supporters who are struggling with the notion of supporting Hillary Clinton as the presumptive Democrat nominee.”

Titled “Project Pander,” the RNC’s strategy memo also reveals which candidates the committee views as most likely to be selected. Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), HUD Secretary Julian Castro and Sen. Tim Kaine (D-Va.) occupy the top tier; Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio), Labor Secretary Thomas Perez and Rep. Xavier Becerra (D-Calif.) are in the second.

Authored by Raj Shah, the research director and deputy communications director at the RNC, the memo telegraphs a campaign of subterfuge that is traditionally executed in private. Parties normally don’t like their fingerprints on the attacks against the opposition. But this has been an untraditional election, with both sides relatively unapologetic about the mud they are slinging.

Sean Spicer, the RNC’s communications director and chief strategist, said that the committee already has conducted extensive field research in San Antonio, Boston and Richmond, Virginia (homes to Castro, Warren and Kaine, respectively) in addition to investigative work on all six potential choices.

CNN, Clinton closing in on running mate search, Jeff Zeleny and Dan Merica, June 21, 2016. Among those considered: Sen. Tim Kaine, Sen. Elizabeth Warren and HUD Secretary Julian Castro. Hillary Clinton is Hillary Clintonnarrowing her choices for a running mate, intently focusing on a handful of potential candidates as her team closes in on the final weeks of vetting before she makes a decision in less than a month, several Democrats watching the process tell CNN.

For all the calculations about who would make a better running mate, the list of actual candidates is believed to be fairly small. Clinton is not expected to make a decision before Trump reveals his choice at the Republican convention, but aides say she is almost certain to have her decision made privately by then.

National Press Club, Perez dodges questions about VP chances, slams Trump without naming him, Michelle Amber, June 22, 2016. Labor Secretary Thomas Perez highlighted a number of recent rulemakings that he said would benefit American workers and retirees. Photo/Image: Noel St. John. U.S. Labor Secretary Thomas Perez repeatedly declined on June 22 to answer questions about whether he is being considered as a running mate with presumptive Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton. At a National Press Club luncheon, Perez, who has been mentioned as one of nine possible candidates being considered by Clinton for vice president, would not say whether he is being vetted.

Tim Kaine officialWashington Post, In Clinton’s vice presidential search, Tim Kaine is right at the top, Chris Cillizza, June 26, 2016. Hillary Clinton had to pick her running mate today, I think she’d pick Sen. Tim Kaine of Virginia.

Combine Clinton’s natural caution with the state of the 2016 race and all signs point to her settling on a vice presidential pick who a) cannot possibly do any harm and b) is regarded as a governance pick — a person who has the résumé and knowledge to help Clinton run the decidedly complex federal bureaucracy.

That’s Kaine — a former mayor of Richmond, a former Virginia governor, a former Democratic National Committee chairman and now a senator. That he was a very early endorser of Clinton’s 2016 campaign (he announced his support in May 2014!) and hails from a swing state doesn’t hurt, either.

Politico, Sherrod Brown throws cold water on Clinton VP talk, Nick Gass, May 17, 2016. Ohio Sen. Sherrod Brown may support Hillary Clinton, but the Democratic senator provided one reason Tuesday that he might think twice before accepting an invitation to be her running mate: Ohio Gov. John Kasich would nominate his replacement if the ticket is successful.

Chris Matthews opened his interview with Brown on MSNBC's "Hardball" by asking whether his name was being considered by Clinton's campaign. "I've not been asked by Hillary's campaign to talk about this. I know they're looking at people, but my interest all along has been staying in the Senate and fighting for the issues that you talk about on your show," Brown said, talking up his agenda for working-class families.

If he were on a winning ticket with Clinton, Brown noted, Ohio's Republican governor would appoint his replacement. "And that bothers me," he said. "So I have no idea what she's going to do. I know that my focus is doing this job and come August and September, besides my Senate duties, is to fight for Hillary Clinton to be the next president," he said.

 

Other Recent Campaign News

Washington Post, Poll: Support for Trump plunges, giving Clinton double-digit lead, Scott Clement and Philip Rucker​, June 26, 2016. Support for the GOP candidate has plummeted as he alienated fellow Donald Trump 2016 buttonRepublicans and large majorities of voters overall in a month of self-inflicted controversies. The Democrat has jumped ahead, 51 percent to 39 percent, in a national Washington Post-ABC News poll.

Donald Trump’s bad month just got worse, because Sanders backers just rallied to Clinton, Aaron Blake, June 26, 2016. Donald Trump would like for Bernie Sanders supporters to ditch the Democratic Party and support him. There is very little evidence that they will do that, mind you, but it's certainly possible that they might just stay home — which would help Trump.

Well, we have some bad news for the Trump campaign. Sanders supporters aren't just rallying around Clinton; they're doing it rather quickly. Last month, 20 percent of Sanders supporters said they would back Trump over Clinton in the general election. This month, that figure is down to 8 percent.

CBS News, Conservative columnist George Will leaves GOP over Donald Trump, Reena Flores, June 25, 2016. Conservative columnist George Will is joining the exodus of Republicans who are leaving their party because of its presumptive presidential nominee, Donald Trump.

George Will Will, who writes for The Washington Post and is a Fox News contributor, reportedly told the Federalist Society Friday that he was no longer a Republican. "This is not my party," Will said during a speech at the organization's Washington, D.C., luncheon, according to conservative news outlet PJ Media.

Washington Post, Donald Trump’s Scottish golf swing: A chaotic two-day trip across the green, Jenna Johnson, June 25, 2016.  Donald Trump capped off his two-day overseas tour in a golf cart Saturday afternoon, zooming around the golf course he built on top of sand dunes. Running the country won’t be much different than building a resort like this, he told the pack of political reporters who followed in maintenance carts — “just a lot bigger.”

Amid the chaos of the day, Trump seemed to dramatically shift on two of his major policy proposals, although it was unclear if he meant to do so and his staff provided no clarification.

There was great anticipation as Trump stepped up to the microphone at a press conference on the ninth hole of the course, close to a cliff. Before he could say anything, a man wearing a Turnberry sweater jumped up to apologize for having forgotten to hand out golf balls to the crowd— then tossed dozens of red golf balls featuring a black swastika in Trump’s direction. Secret Service agents surrounded the man, British comic Simon Brodkin, and escorted him away.

Donald Trump ribbon cutting at new Trump Turnberry golf course June 24, 2016 Andrew Learmonth via Twitter

Trump Golf Course Opening in Scotland (Photo via Twitter)

Washington Post, As markets tank, Trump holds a ribbon-cutting at his Scottish golf course, Jenna Johnson and Jose A. DelReal, June 24, 2016. Arriving in Scotland on Friday, the likely GOP presidential nominee did not seem to understand the gravity of Britain’s decision as he attended a surreal ribbon-cutting at his luxury golf resort.

Associated Press via Fox News, Clinton's State Dept. calendar missing scores of entries, Staff and wire reports, June 24, 2016. An Associated Press review of the official calendar Hillary Clinton kept as secretary of state identified at least 75 meetings with longtime political donors, loyalists, Clinton Foundation contributors and corporate and other outside interests that were not recorded or were listed without the names of those she met.

The missing entries raise new questions about how Clinton and her inner circle handled government records documenting her State Department tenure -- in this case, why the official chronology of her four-year term does not closely mirror other more detailed records of her daily meetings. At a time when Clinton's private email system is under scrutiny by an FBI criminal investigation, the calendar omissions reinforce concerns that she sought to eliminate the "risk of the personal being accessible" -- as she wrote in an email exchange that she failed to turn over to the Obama administration but was subsequently uncovered in a top aide's inbox.

Washington Post, When it comes to Trump, a Republican Treasury secretary says: Choose country over party, Henry M. Paulson Jr., June 24, 2016. Henry Paulsen, shown in a 2006 official photo as Treasury Henry Paulson 2006 Treasury Secretary photoSecretary during the Bush administration, is chairman of the Paulson Institute and a former chief executive of Goldman Sachs. Republicans stand at a crossroads. With Donald Trump as the presumptive presidential nominee, we are witnessing a populist hijacking of one of the United States’ great political parties. The GOP, in putting Trump at the top of the ticket, is endorsing a brand of populism rooted in ignorance, prejudice, fear and isolationism. This troubles me deeply as a Republican, but it troubles me even more as an American. Enough is enough. It’s time to put country before party and say it together: Never Trump.

Washington Post, Donald Trump had no choice but to give his campaign almost $50 million, Chris Cillizza, June 23, 2016. Donald Trump did something Thursday that you might not think is all that big a deal: He forgave more than $50 million in personal loans to his presidential campaign.

Donald Trump for President logoThis isn't new money Trump is donating to the campaign. It's money that has already been given — and spent. But, that misses how important — and necessary — what Trump did actually is: In forgiving the personal loans, he turned them into contributions. What that means in plain English is that he can't refund that $50 million to himself out of the campaign's coffers — now or ever.

Many major Republican donors have been sitting on the sidelines for the seven-plus weeks Trump has been the presumptive nominee. There are lots of reasons for their unwillingness to back Trump more fully, but the biggest one was that they simply didn't trust that Trump was genuinely committed to the race.

Why spend time and political capital — not to mention money — on a guy who, at any moment, might take the cash you collected and use it not to beat Hillary Clinton but rather to make himself whole again? The idea of helping Trump stay exactly as rich as he was before this campaign began didn't sit well with major donors, many of whom fundamentally disagree with him on lots of policy matters as well. That Trump had repeatedly insisted he would forgive his loans — and repeatedly refused to do so — also didn't make these donors particularly sanguine.

It became clear earlier this week that Trump's lack of major donor support was badly hampering his ability to raise money. In May — a month in which he was the presumptive Republican nominee for 27 days — Trump raised a stunningly low $3.1 million and ended the month with $1.3 million in the bank. That was, roughly 1/42 of how much Clinton had in the bank at that point. Cue panic.

Daily Beast, Michael Steven Sandford, a British Immigrant, Allegedly Confessed That He Tried to Kill Trump, Nico Hines, June 21, 2016. The Secret Service says a young British man admitted that he tried to grab a cop’s gun and kill Donald Trump. A British citizen who was in the U.S. illegally attempted to assassinate Donald Trump at a campaign rally this weekend, Secret Service officials said. Michael Steven Sandford, 20, allegedly spent a year plotting to kill Trump.

According to an affidavit filed in Las Vegas, he planned to snatch a firearm from a police officer at one of Trump’s events, and shoot the presumptive Republican nominee, who is shown at left in a file photo.

Standford was arrested after making a grab for a cop’s weapon at a campaign rally at the Treasure Island casino in Las Vegas on Saturday. He allegedly approached the police officer and asked about obtaining an autograph from the presumptive Republican nominee before reaching out with both hands and trying to pull the gun from the officer’s holster.

Charles G. KochWashington Post, The Kochs’ powerful operation isn’t aimed at helping Trump – but it might anyway, Matea Gold, June 20, 2016. It’s focusing on vulnerable GOP Senate candidates, but the presidential race is tough to avoid.

Charles Koch (shown in a file photo), his brother David and their conservative brethren are on track to spend $750 million this cycle through the network, with roughly a third — $250 million — financing the policy and political campaigns of groups such as AFP, Freedom Partners Action Fund, Concerned Veterans for America, the LIBRE Initiative and Generation Opportunity, officials said.

That’s less than the $889 million spending goal that the network initially set at the beginning of the two-year election cycle, in part because of the network’s decision to stay out of the presidential race. Holden said the original figure was more of “wish-list number” that was adjusted “to reflect the reality of where we are now.”

Defense One, Hillary Clinton’s Likely Defense Secretary Wants More US Troops Fighting ISIS and Assad, Patrick Tucker, June 20, 2016. The woman expected to run the Pentagon under Hillary Clinton said she would direct U.S. troops to push President Bashar al-Assad’s forces out of southern Syria and would send more American boots to fight the Islamic State in the region. Michele Flournoy, formerly the third-ranking civilian in the Pentagon under President Barack Obama, called for “limited military coercion” to help remove Assad from power in Syria, including a “no bombing” zone over parts of Syria held by U.S.-backed rebels.

Washington Post, Trump entered June with just $1.3 million, while Clinton sat on $42 million war chest, Matea Gold and Anu Narayanswamy, June 20, 2016. Donald Trump loaned his campaign $2.2 million in May and collected $3.1 million in donations, ending the month with less than $1.3 million in bank, according to new campaign finance filings.