The playbook against Hillary Clinton is to spotlight her age and overall lack of newness, Jonathan Martin writes. “The 2016 election may be far off, but one theme is becoming clear: Republican strategists and presidential hopefuls, in ways subtle and overt, are eager to focus a spotlight on Mrs. Clinton’s age. The former secretary of state will be 69 by the next presidential election, a generation removed from most of the possible Republican candidates.”
“Despite her enduring popularity, a formidable fund-raising network and near unanimous support from her party, Mrs. Clinton, Republican leaders believe, is vulnerable to appearing a has-been.”
“Some top GOP strategists and candidates warn that the ruby red districts the party drew itself into are pushing House Republicans further to the right — narrowing the party’s appeal at a time when some GOP leaders say its future rests on the opposite happening,” Politico writes. “If you’re looking for a root cause of the recurring drama within the House Republican Conference — from the surprise meltdown on the farm bill to the looming showdown over immigration reform — the increasingly conservative makeup of those districts is a good place to start.”
Town halls to watch… “The tea party has a message for Republican senators who voted Thursday for the immigration bill and congressmen who might: Welcome home,” Politico writes. “Activists are promising to spend the congressional recess reminding lawmakers who support the Gang of Eight legislation what the base is capable of. Think loud town halls, jammed phone lines and primary challenges down the road — echoes of Obamacare three years ago.”
Per Jessica Taylor, the National Republican Senatorial Committee is launching its newest web video as part of its "Yes" campaign, working to counter the perception that the GOP is the "Party of No." The 90-second video focuses on the "Voices of Republican Women," and features Sens. Kelly Ayotte (R-N.H.), Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska), Deb Fischer (R-Neb.) and Susan Collins (R-Maine) talking about how their conservative policies can tackle issues to help the economy, small businesses and education. Watch the video here.
NEW JERSEY: Chris Christie took a shot at Obama during a town hall over the weekend, saying he didn’t vote for him, and he hasn’t shown leadership. “We look at Washington, D.C., and we shake our heads in wonder at a president who can’t figure out how to lead, at a Congress that only 11 percent of the people in the last poll I saw approve of the job they’re doing.” He added, “That’s what happens when you have someone in the executive office who is more concerned about being right than he’s concerned about getting things done, and I’m not going to be that kind of leader of New Jersey.”
Christie got defensive when talking about embracing Obama after Sandy. “That doesn’t mean I like Obamacare, that doesn’t mean I like what he’s doing on taxes or spending or anything else,” Christie said. “For the folks who are critical of that, let me just ask them, ‘What would you have me do, exactly?’ … The president calls and says I want to come and visit and see it for myself so I can help you and I say, ‘Yeah, no. I’m for Mitt Romney, I don’t want you to come.’ Or would you have me wear my Romney sweatshirt while I was walking around with him? You know, I mean, this is ridiculous stuff.”
The Star Ledger: “Gov. Chris Christie veered to the right [Friday], twice touting himself as a ‘conservative Republican’ and taking a shot at President Obama within the first 10 minutes of a town hall meeting in Sussex County. Unlike his famous praise of Obama’s leadership during Hurricane Sandy, Christie today said Obama is not an effective leader.”
Here’s Christie’s summer playlist.
NEW YORK: Maggie Haberman: “Anthony Weiner’s campaign is reaching far and wide in fundraising appeals — including using an email list for Hillary Clinton’s 2008 campaign alumni to fundraise. Weiner’s campaign manager, Danny Kedem, sent a fundraising appeal this weekend to the listserv, touting the Democratic New York mayoral hopeful’s single-payer health care plan and his first-place position in last week’s Marist College poll.”
TEXAS: AP: “Round two of Texas' fierce ideological battle over abortion limits was set to begin Monday, less than a week after a Democratic filibuster and hundreds of raucous protesters threw the end of the first special session into chaos.”