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ABC News will host the third Democratic debate in September

Insight from Kayleigh McEnany, national press secretary for President Trump's reelection campaign.

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On the roster: How to drop out when nobody knows you’re running – I’ll Tell You What: Book club! – Appeals court sides with faithless elector – Trump focused on flipping Minnesota – Just a little off the top
HOW TO DROP OUT WHEN NOBODY KNOWS YOU’RE RUNNING

TO: Steve Bullock, Bill de Blasio, John Delaney, Tulsi Gabbard, Kirsten Gillibrand, Wayne Messam, Seth Moulton, Tim Ryan, Joe Sestak, Marianne Williamson and (eventually) Beto O’Rourke
RE: Next steps
You could listen to the naysayers in the media elite who call you “bottom-tier” or snidely refer to you as the “1 percenters.”
First of all, media FAIL! Many of you are not even registering in polls, so 1 percent isn’t even accurate. But you can bet that those liars in the mainstream press won’t be issuing any corrections. (Note to any reporters or producers who see this: All of the candidates listed above remain available for interviews, corndog eating contests or, potentially, some sort of trial-by-combat arrangement with each other.)
But the biggest mistake is saying you are at the bottom. Wrong again, media morons! (So sorry about all the media bashing. No timeslot too early or too late, no interview topic too demeaning!)
There have so far been 276 men and women who have filed their paperwork to run for president, starting with Willie Felix Carter, a former TV repairman from Los Angeles who first filed in 1986, re-upping quadrennially, to Mosemarie Dora Boyd, a personal injury attorney from Ft. Smith, Ark., who filed on Tuesday.
Most of you are not lawyers and certainly none of you could fix a television and yet here you are outperforming a guy who’s been running for president longer than Joe Biden and a woman who will come to your home anywhere in the Arkansas River Valley to discuss your case with no money up front.
And don’t get us started on Grapelton Monroe Feret of Philadelphia. His campaign committee name is simply listed as “DEEZ NUTZ.” You are all winners in our book if you are outperforming a candidate who is tapping into the power of the deez nuts movement but stepping it up to ALL CAPS.
But even as those media jackals (again, sorry) don’t credit you for powering past juggernauts like those three, you’re still caught in the expectations game simply because you’re, say, the mayor of America’s largest city, the governor of a state bigger than the United Kingdom or a longtime U.S. senator.
In the latest act of the corporate media’s rigged system (don’t hate the player, hate the game, y’all) all of you other than the former congressman from Texas are not likely to be included in next month’s presidential debate. While he will have the chance to bring his brooding intensity – and presumably some explicit and somewhat disturbing graphic novellas he’s been working on in his notebook – to a nationwide audience, the rest of you won’t.

So what will you do?
We see Sen. Gillibrand is currently dumping the remainder of her campaign coffers into early state TV ads like elephant-ear batter down a storm sewer at the end of the county fair in a bid to score a late polling rally. Cool, cool.
But at least she’s doing something! What are you going to do, sit at home drinking boxed chardonnay and eating Baked Lays while you stare holes in Julián Castro and Amy Klobuchar?
Don’t be the person sitting on their couch endlessly writing, deleting and re-writing congratulatory tweets for Andrew Yang. Be proactive and don’t let the lamestream media (ugh. Politics is the worst, right?!? Don’t be a stranger!) control your fate.
Sure, you could do the noble thing like Jay Inslee and just drop out with a note of thanks to your supporter(s) and a promise to work hard for the eventual nominee and then return to your otherwise normal and fulfilling life. But this is politics in 2019, and who’s got time for noble, normal and fulfilling?
The big idea is to just pretend you were never running in the first place.
Stick with us on this one for a second here. You delete your website, update your social media bios, cancel your upcoming interviews and just pretend like it never happened.
And when someone confronts you when you’re walking through the halls of Congress or maybe cashing in your change jar at the grocery store you just give them a super weird look and say “Um… no. What are you even talking about, weirdo?” Then just go into the Senate dining room or go buy some more boxed chardonnay like it never even happened.
Gaslighting those terrible reporters is exactly what they deserve (seriously, drinks soon!).
THE RULEBOOK: KEEP IT IN CHECK
“A man must be far gone in Utopian speculations who can seriously doubt that, if these States should either be wholly disunited, or only united in partial confederacies, the subdivisions into which they might be thrown would have frequent and violent contests with each other.” – Alexander Hamilton, Federalist No. 6
TIME OUT: BIRD SONGS
NYT: “[As Sesame Street] marks its 50th anniversary — after 4,526 episodes, not to mention specials, movies, albums and more — the legacy of ‘Sesame’ is clear: It impacted the music world as much as it shaped TV history, inspiring countless fans and generations of artists… In his first appearance, in 1973, Johnny Cash brought his young son to the taping — and in the ‘90s returned with his granddaughter and daughter Rosanne Cash. Throughout the late ‘70s and ‘80s, the artists that graced the Sesame stoop were a crossover with the Billboard charts: Carly Simon, Linda Ronstadt (doing a mariachi number!), Diana Ross, Paul Simon (upstaged by a little girl), Billy Joel. In the ‘90s and 2000s, there was Celine Dion, the Dixie Chicks and Destiny’s Child. For generations of children watching at home or at school, the message was that even world-famous stars could be accessible.”
Flag on the play? – Email us at HALFTIMEREPORT@FOXNEWS.COM with your tips, comments or questions.
SCOREBOARD

Trump job performance
Average approval:
41.6 percent
Average disapproval: 54.4 percent
Net Score: -12.8 percent
Change from one week ago: no change
[Average includes: Monmouth University: 40% approve – 53% disapprove; CNN: 41% approve – 54% disapprove; NBC News/WSJ: 43% approve – 55% disapprove; Fox News: 43% approve – 56% disapprove; Gallup: 41% approve – 54% disapprove.]
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I’LL TELL YOU WHAT: BOOK CLUB!
This week, Dana Perino and Chris Stirewalt discuss Joe Biden's continuing strength in the 2020 Democratic race, the controversy over Greenland and Dana discovers a new soup flavored tea. Plus, Dana and Chris give their thoughts on “West with the Night.” LISTEN AND SUBSCRIBE HERE
APPEALS COURT SIDES WITH FAITHLESS ELECTOR
The Denver Post: “A federal appeals court ruled Tuesday that three presidential electors from Colorado were unconstitutionally forced to cast their Electoral College votes for Hillary Clinton in 2016. The 2-1 opinion from the 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals is a victory for so-called ‘faithless electors,’ those who cast an Electoral College vote for a presidential candidate that is not the candidate chosen by a majority of voters in their state. … The Colorado case involves three Democratic Party electors — Micheal Baca, Polly Baca and Robert Nemanich. After Colorado voted for Clinton in the 2016 race, the three were required under state law to cast their electoral votes for her but wanted to instead vote for John Kasich, a former Republican governor of Ohio, and stop Donald Trump from becoming president. … After voting for Kasich, Michael Baca was replaced by an elector who would vote for Clinton. That led the other two electors to cast their votes for Clinton, despite their desire to vote for Kasich.”
Hickenlooper makes it official – The Denver Post:John Hickenlooper is launching a bid Thursday to unseat Republican U.S. Sen. Cory Gardner, exactly one week after pulling out of his run for the presidency. ‘I’ve always said Washington was a lousy place for a guy like me who wants to get things done – but this is no time to walk away from the table,’ the former governor of Colorado says in his announcement video, posted at hickenlooper.com. ‘… I’m not done fighting for the people of Colorado.’ In the video, filmed at the Denver brewpub he founded, Hickenlooper echoes his presidential pitch to voters, which focused on ending the conflict in Washington. And he promises to work on fighting climate change, prescription drug prices and economic inequity. … His entry is certain to upend the nascent Democratic Senate primary, which already includes 11 candidates. Early polls have shown Hickenlooper outpacing Gardner in a hypothetical matchup.”
Dems make push for secretaries of state – WaPo: “The Democratic Association of Secretaries of State is launching an initiative to try to wrest control of those offices from Republicans, who the group claims have used their power to make it harder for certain demographics to vote. Buoyed by successes last year in Arizona, Colorado and Michigan, the group has set its sights on flipping five more states in 2020. In addition to recruiting and supporting Democratic candidates, the association is planning a public education campaign on the importance of secretaries of state, who oversee the election process in most states. The offices of governor, U.S. senator and even attorney general tend to get more attention in statewide elections than that of secretary of state.”
ABC News ready for one-night stand – Variety: “The debate will be held on Thursday, Sept. 12, and will spill over to Friday, Sept. 13 if more than 10 candidates qualify. The moderating team will consist of chief anchor George Stephanopoulos, ‘World News Tonight’ anchor and managing editor David Muir, ABC News correspondent Linsey Davis and Univision anchor Jorge Ramos. ABC News is partnering with Univision for the debate which will air live on both networks from Texas Southern University’s Health & PE Arena in Houston, Texas. …[C]andidates must receive 2% or more support in at least four national polls, or polls conducted in the early-voting states… They must also have received donations from at least 130,000 unique donors over the course of the election cycle, with a minimum of 400 unique donors per state in at least 20 states by August 28 in order to qualify.”
TRUMP FOCUSED ON FLIPPING MINNESOTA
Politico: “For President Donald Trump, Minnesota is the one that got away in 2016. Now he’s fixated on flipping the state in 2020 — with the help of a provocative ex-radio host whose rantings earned him the nickname ‘mini-Trump.’ Former GOP Rep. Jason Lewis is expected to launch his Minnesota Senate bid on Thursday with guidance from two of Trump's top political lieutenants. After losing Minnesota by just 1.5 percentage points, the president has told aides repeatedly in recent weeks that he’s determined to win the Democratic stronghold, which hasn’t gone for a Republican presidential candidate since 1972. Trump’s push reflects his broader reelection blueprint, which is focused on a cluster of Midwestern and Rust Belt states that were decided by razor-thin margins in 2016 and are likely to determine the outcome of the election.”
Voters have little appetite for impeachment – Monmouth University: “The latest Monmouth University Poll finds that about one-fifth of those who disapprove of Trump’s job performance join nearly all of those who approve of the president to say that moving ahead with an impeachment inquiry is a bad idea. … Just over a third (35%) of Americans feel that Trump should be impeached and compelled to leave the presidency while a clear majority (59%) disagree with this course of action. Support for the president’s removal via impeachment has ranged between 35% and 42% since Monmouth started asking this question in July 2017, with the current results at the low end of that range. Opposition to impeachment has been between 53% and 59% during the same time.
THE JUDGE’S RULING: ON THE TOPIC OF SPYING
This week Fox News Senior Judicial Analyst Judge Andrew Napolitano explains why he believes Trump wants to give government permanent authority to spy on Americans: “I am not addressing eyesight surveillance on a public street. I am addressing electronic surveillance wherever one is when one sends or receives digital communications. FISA is an unconstitutional congressional effort to lower the standards required by the Fourth Amendment from probable cause of crime to probable cause of foreign agency. … Some of my Fox News colleagues joke with me that I am shoveling against the tide when it comes to defending the right to privacy. They claim that there is no more privacy. I disagree with them. As long as we still have a Constitution, it must be taken seriously and must mean what it says. And its intentionally stringent requirements for enabling the government to invade privacy remain the law of the land. The president has sworn to uphold the Constitution, not the NSA.” More here.
PLAY-BY-PLAY
White House considers new agency to develop mental health warning signs –WaPo
Mitch McConnell: ‘The filibuster plays a crucial role in our constitutional order’NYT
Pergram: Why Congress is trapped in ‘The Matrix’ on gun control – Fox News
Stephanie Grisham started from the bottom, now she holds top White House rolesNYT
Miss. GOP gubernatorial runoff candidates held first debate WednesdayMississippi Clarion Ledger
Celtics basketball legend Bob Cousy to receive Presidential Medal of Freedom[Worcester, Mass.] Telegram and Gazette
AUDIBLE: WHAT’S UP DOC?
“I don’t care if it’s Bugs Bunny who is purple standing on his head… As long as it’s a Democrat, I’ll vote for them.” – Marsha Carpenter, a retiree who lives in Lyndhurst, Ohio, in an interview about the 2020 general election with the LAT.
Share your color commentary: Email us at HALFTIMEREPORT@FOXNEWS.COM and please make sure to include your name and hometown.
JUST A LITTLE OFF THE TOP
CTV: “It was a hot day in Slave Lake, [Alberta, Canada] on Wednesday, so Sam Assaf left the door to his barbershop open to let the fresh air in. And then a wild customer came into the LionsDen Barbershop. ‘I've never seen a bear in my life,’ Assaf told CTV News Edmonton. ‘It happened inside my barbershop.’ ‘How ironic? A bear is hanging at the LionsDen.’ Assaf called 911, and while he says the small bear was harmless and no one was injured, it caused damage to his three-week-old barbershop. ‘He terrorized the place,’ Assaf said. ‘He ruined my work station. He defecated in my barbershop … it was a bad day for me.’ Police told people taking pictures outside to stand back, and the bear eventually walked out. ‘It was such a mess, but luckily he never took down my clippers. Those are expensive tools.’”
AND NOW, A WORD FROM CHARLES…
“The transformation of expectant father from nuisance — packed off to boil water, find towels, and generally get out of the way — to conscripted co-producer of the birth epic is one of the anthropological wonders of the age.” – Charles Krauthammer (1950-2018) writing in the Washington Post on June 28, 1985.
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.

Original Article