TIME 2016 Election

Donald Trump Got a Call From Bill Clinton Before He Announced His Candidacy

Bill Clinton
Matt Rourke—AP, Stephen B. Morton—AP Former President Bill Clinton smiles after speaking at the NAACP's 106th Annual National Convention on July 15, 2015, in Philadelphia. Republican presidential hopeful Donald Trump greets supporters before he speaks at his South Carolina Campaign Kickoff Rally in Bluffton on July 21, 2015.

An aide to Bill Clinton confirmed the phone call occurred in late May.

Former President Bill Clinton privately called Donald Trump in late May when the real estate mogul was on the verge of announcing his 2016 bid for the presidency, the Washington Post reported, citing four Trump confidants and one Hillary Clinton campaign associate—all wishing to remain anonymous.

Bill Clinton’s personal office confirmed that the call occurred, telling the New York Times “that Mr. Trump reached out to President Clinton a few times.”

“President Clinton returned his call in late May,” the aide told the Times. “And, that while we don’t make it a practice to discuss the president’s private conversations, we can tell you that the presidential race was not discussed.”

The four Trump sources, however, told the Post that Trump was candid about the run.

The Clinton/Trump connection is one with some history. Trump has donated $100,000 to the Clinton Foundation and the Clintons were guests at Trump’s third wedding in 2005 to current wife Melania Knauss. Clinton also is a member of one of Trump’s golf courses.

Neither the Trump campaign nor the Clinton campaign responded to requests for comment.

TIME Congress

State Department Nomination Blocked Over Clinton Email Inquiry

US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton (R) and Deputy Chief of Staff Huma Abedin arrive for a NATO Foreign Minister family photo in front of the Brandenburg Gate in Berlin April 14, 2011.
SAUL LOEB—AFP/Getty Images US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton (R) and Deputy Chief of Staff Huma Abedin arrive for a NATO Foreign Minister family photo in front of the Brandenburg Gate in Berlin April 14, 2011.

Senator will block nomination over State Department's "contemptuous failures to respond to Congressional inquiries"

Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Charles Grassley has put a hold on the nomination of a senior State Department diplomat over what he says is the agency’s two-year pattern of “bad faith” in his investigation of Hillary Clinton’s tenure there.

The latest example of that pattern, Grassley says, is the department’s failure to provide copies of thousands of e-mails allegedly sent or received by a top Clinton aide, Huma Abedin, involving the head of a private consulting firm for whom Abedin simultaneously worked in 2012.

Grassley filed a statement in the Congressional record Tuesday evening indicating that he would block the nomination of career foreign service officer David Malcolm Robinson, who has been tapped by Secretary of State John Kerry to be Assistant Secretary for Conflict and Stabilization Operations. Grassley said Robinson was “an innocent victim” of the State Department’s “contemptuous failures to respond to Congressional inquiries.” Grassley said the department “has engaged in unreasonable delay in responding to Judiciary Committee investigations and inquiries” including the Abedin issue.

Grassley’s office says the Senator was tipped by a confidential source to the existence of approximately 7,300 e-mails sent or received by Abedin involving Douglas Band, the head of a global consulting firm, Teneo Holdings, who served as President Bill Clinton’s personal aide for much of his presidency. Abedin had been Hillary Clinton’s deputy chief of staff and in June 2012 shifted jobs to become a “Special Government Employee” at the State Department while also being paid as a consultant by Teneo Holdings. Grassley requested documents relating to Abedin’s unusual employment arrangement in June 2013 and has yet to receive the e-mails, his office says.

Abedin’s employment by the State department and Teneo Holdings came after her maternity leave from the government, when she was living in New York with her husband, former Congressman Anthony Weiner. Abedin was given the unusual job designation, “Special Government Employee” which is normally reserved for employees being hired from the private sector or elsewhere in government with unique expertise.

In a July 2013 response to Grassley, the State Department said Abedin was retained as “a senior adviser/expert” under the SGE designation, which allowed her to serve other clients or entities and to keep her security clearance. In a July 5, 2013, letter from Abedin to the department included in its response to Grassley, Abedin said the birth of her son “led me to decide to spend the bulk of my time in New York City” and that she had received approval for the arrangement from the department’s legal staff and human resource officials.

Abedin’s lawyers said that while they, like Grassley, have not seen the emails involving Band, they suspect based on the volume of email and the wording in the Senator’s letter that they are mass mailings of schedules or press clips on which both Abedin and Band are copied. In her July 5 letter to the State Department, Abedin said she “provided strategic advice and consulting services to the firm’s management team, as well as helped organize a major annual firm event.” She said she wasn’t asked to undertake any work on Teneo’s behalf with the State Department, and didn’t provide “insights about the Department, my work with the Secretary, or any government information” to Teneo.

Band has built Teneo’s business around the network he established as President Bill Clinton’s personal aide at the White House and during his post-presidency. He has been the target of criticism from some Clinton allies for leveraging that network for personal advancement, most notably in a Sept. 2013 New Republic article. A spokesman for Teneo did not immediately return a messages requesting comment for this story.

The State Department has provided five letters since 2013 in response to Grassley’s inquiries about everything from its use of SGE designations to Clinton’s use of a private e-mail server. But Grassley says those letters have been incomplete and that the department has willfully withheld responsive materials, demonstrating “a lack of cooperation and bad faith in its interaction with Congress.”

Grassley says Abedin’s employment by both State and Teneo raise concerns about potential conflicts of interest. Abedin also worked for the Clinton Foundation during the period she was working for Teneo. Grassley has also alleged that Abedin may have improperly received payment from the department while on leave.

A State official says the Department will be providing a response to Grassley “in the very near future.”

TIME jeb bush

Jeb Bush Honors Dad With Hipster Campaign T-Shirt

A vendor holds money while selling buttons and t-shirts outside an event where Former Governor of Florida Jeb Bush announced he will seek the 2016 Republican presidential nomination on the Kendall Campus of Miami Dade College in Miami, Florida, U.S., on Monday, June 15, 2015. In an attempt to follow his brother and father into the nation's highest office, Bush announced today that he's running for president of the United States. Photographer: Luke Sharrett/Bloomberg via Getty Images
Bloomberg—Bloomberg via Getty Images A vendor holds money while selling buttons and t-shirts outside an event where Former Governor of Florida Jeb Bush announced he will seek the 2016 Republican presidential nomination on the Kendall Campus of Miami Dade College in Miami, Florida, U.S., on Monday, June 15, 2015. In an attempt to follow his brother and father into the nation's highest office, Bush announced today that he's running for president of the United States. Photographer: Luke Sharrett/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush is not shying away from his family legacy in his campaign.

The Republican presidential candidate unveiled a new online store on his campaign website that is offering a $25 T-shirt with the quote: “My dad is the greatest man I’ve ever known, and if you don’t think so, we can step outside.”

His father, of course, was the 41st President of the United States, George H.W. Bush, and his brother was the 43rd President, George W. Bush.

Bush has embraced his family at various points in his campaign, even while trying to chart his own course. “I love my father and my brother. I admire their service to the nation and the difficult decisions they had to make,” Bush said in May. “But I am my own man.”

The cheeky T-shirt is becoming a staple of campaign merchandise.

An entire section of Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul’s website offers products that mock fellow Democrat Hillary Clinton. Products include a “Liberty Not Hillary” T-shirt and sticker, and a “Hillary Hard Drive”, with the description, “You’ve read all about it on the news, now you can get one for for yourself. 100% genuine erased clean email server.”

Florida Sen. Marco Rubio offers his own line of campaign polo shirts called “Marco Polo,” riffing on the 11th century Italian explorer.

Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s website offers the “Everyday Pant Suit” T-shirt as an option for those inspired by Clinton’s trademark outfit. Also on sale is a “Future Voter One-Piece” for your infant.

Clinton also channels the feminist within in “The PossibiliTee” shirt. The front of the tee says “We can build an America where a father can tell his daughter, ‘Yes, you can become anything you want to be,” and the back reads “Even the President of the United States.”

Read Next: What Hillary Clinton’s Campaign Can Learn From Etsy

TIME Hillary Clinton

Hillary Clinton Attacks Jeb Bush During Colorado Trip

In what could be a preview of the general election, Hillary Clinton went on the attack against potential Republican rival Jeb Bush during a trip to the swing state of Colorado designed to spur Democratic organizing.

The Democratic frontrunner ripped her attack on the former Florida governor straight from the day’s news, targeting a comment Bush had made just hours earlier across the country about women’s health spending as well as his position on immigration reform.

“Jeb Bush said he is not sure we need half a billion dollars for women’s health issues,” Clinton told nearly 300 Coloradans who had gathered in a Denver dance hall, many to organize for her. “Now, he has got no problem giving billions of dollars away to super wealthy and powerful corporations, but I guess women’s health just isn’t a priority for him.”

“This really isn’t complicated,” Clinton continued. “When you attack Planned Parenthood, you attack women’s health, and when you attack women’s health, you attack America’s health.”

Bush had already said he misspoke when he mused that the federal government might not need to spend the entire $500 million it gives to Planned Parenthood to operate health clinics, but that didn’t stop Clinton, who had already harshly criticized the remark on Twitter.

Clinton has sharpened her attacks on Republicans in recent weeks, especially on issues that could drive key groups of Democratic voters to the polls, such as ending the U.S. embargo on Cuba, making it easier to vote and promoting women’s health.

“I have been, as many of you have, fighting for women and children and families for my entire life,” Clinton told the crowd. “I am really tired of the double-speak. I am tired of women being shamed and blamed and dismissed.”

Tuesday evening marked Clinton’s first organizing event outside of the early primary states. The goal of organizing is to create a network of committed volunteers and commitments to vote.

At the event Tuesday Clinton also launched a less direct attack on Bush’s immigration plan, mentioning his super PAC “Right to Rise,” but not naming Bush directly.

“I don’t know how anyone can say they believe in a ‘Right to Rise’ and then push policies that leave behind millions of hardworking people and families, and even expose them to deportation,” Clinton said. “That is not the America we believe in and has been a home for immigrants across our history.”

Bush said Monday night in a Medium post that he would focus on securing the Mexico-U.S. by building more operating bases for border patrols and increasing surveillance. He also said he would deport more people who overstay their visas and crack down on sanctuary cities.

In the past, Bush has expressed support for a path to citizenship, but has since changed his views, proposing only going as far as “a rigorous path to earned legal status” that would require immigrants learn English, pay fines and pass criminal background checks.

Colorado is a significant state for Clinton to address immigration. It’s a Super Tuesday state, placing it among a dozen states whose contests fall in early March, a week after the Nevada primary, and its population is about one-fifth Hispanic.

And while the Clinton campaign views Colorado as part of its nominating contest strategy, the campaign is eyeing bolstering the state’s Democratic infrastructure for a general election.

Clinton has connections with many of the key Democrats in Colorado.

Michael Bennet, the state’s Democratic Senator, is the former chairman of the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, and the co-chair of the pro-Clinton super PAC, Priorities USA, is Guy Cecil, who was executive director at the DSCC the same time Bennet was there.

Gov. John Hickenlooper, a Democrat, has endorsed Clinton and was at two fundraisers for Clinton earlier in the day, an aide to the governor confirmed.

Ken Salazar, a U.S. Senator from 2005 to 2009 who served along with Clinton in the Obama was in the audience during Clinton’s event. Clinton has the support of the state’s Democratic delegation to the House of Representatives, including Rep. Diana DeGette, one of the speakers who introduced Clinton on Tuesday.

But Democrats in Colorado have been getting restless for Clinton to begin serious organizing efforts in the state, said Alan Salazar, a senior aide to Hickenlooper. The governor, the congressional delegation and other prominent Democrats are anxious for the Clinton campaign to invest time and money in the state.

“We are expecting Colorado to be one of the bellwether swing states,” Salazar said. “Hillary’s supporters in Colorado are concerned that if there isn’t an organizing effort early, it’ll be hard to catch up.”
Some Clinton-supporting Democrats in Colorado worry that Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders could gain momentum in Colorado, as he has in New Hampshire, where a poll released Tuesday showed him within 6 percentage points of Clinton. During a rally in Denver in late June, Sanders drew a crowd of 5,500 people.

Though Clinton’s campaign has long maintained the focus is on the primary contests, she has been ramping up her public events in key general election swing states. On Friday, she held two public events in Florida, and at the end of the month she will visit Ohio for an organizing event.

Obama won Colorado by substantial margins over John McCain and Mitt Romney in 2008 and 2012, but Republicans managed to defeat Democratic Sen. Mark Udall in 2014 in a hard-fought race. Assuming that Clinton wins the general election, it will be crucial for her campaign to keep the state voting blue.

The mood at the event Friday was supportive, but morale had sunk a bit by the time Clinton began her 13-minute comments: many people were standing for two-and-a-half hours waiting for her to arrive.

““I mostly just came to get a sense of her personality,” said Eva Grant, a recent graduate of Colorado College. “I wanted her to shine. She definitely had a warm, I-will-love-you-forever vibe, but she didn’t really inspire me.”

Clinton is likely to maintain a hardline on immigration and women’s health against all the Republican candidates, as its an issue that plays well with the Democratic base. “The truth is, what Jeb said, the other Republican candidates believe too,” Clinton said.

At the event, Deborah Harvey, a pre-kindergarten teacher and mother said she finds Clinton “relatable” to “average folks.” When asked about Clinton’s views on women’s health and family leave, Harvey added, “I have young girls and I would like to see all of those rights afforded to them.”

TIME Hillary Clinton

Hillary Clinton’s Favorite TV Shows Include Madam Secretary and The Good Wife

The 2016 hopeful also loves HGTV

Hillary Clinton sat down for an interview with South Carolina Democratic Party Chairman Jaime Harrison in a slightly less formal seat than her regular venues: a rocking chair.

Harrison’s “Chair Chats” series is meant to be a more personal discussion than the average presidential interview, acknowledging that politicians are people, too. It accordingly kicked off with plenty of talk about Clinton’s granddaughter, Charlotte Clinton Mezvinsky, and how much fun the former Secretary of State is having as a grandmother. As for who’s the better diaper changer, Hillary or Bill, she said, “We both were out of practice.”

Harrison also grilled Clinton on her favorite TV shows, and she listed two on-the-nose series, Madam Secretary and The Good Wife, as well as costume drama Downton Abbey. “But what I relax by,” she said, “is House and Garden TV,” naming some of her favorite HGTV programs to kick back and enjoy, such as Love it or List it and Beachfront Bargain Hunt.

Clinton and Harrison also tackled more serious matters like education and the Black Lives Matter movement. “There are some who say, ‘Well, you know, racism is a result of economic inequality,'” she said. “I don’t believe that. I think income inequality is, in large measure, a symptom of underlying racism.”

She would not answer a question on which Republican she’d prefer to face in the general election, arguing that she still needs to make it through the Democratic primary.

[Chair Chats]

TIME Starbucks

Friends Of Starbucks’ CEO Want Him to Run Against Hillary

Starbucks Holds Annual Shareholders Meeting
Stephen Brashear—Getty Images Starbucks Chairman and CEO Howard Schultz.

Better latte than never for Schultz

Hillary Clinton is still the presumptive favorite to become the Democratic nominee for the U.S. presidency. But high-powered friends of Starbucks’ CEO Howard Schultz are reportedly eager to anoint him as a challenger to Clinton.

The 62-year-old CEO has been urged by supporters to join the Democratic primary, with friends “thinking the time is right for someone who’s not a political lifer,” according to Maureen Dowd’s latest New York Times column. The idea, Dowd postulates, could “be a tempting proposition” for Schultz, and offers a worthy party back-up to Clinton should something unforeseen happen to her candidacy.

It would mark a shift for Schultz if he does enter the presidential ring. In an interview with Time in February, Schultz was adamant that he would not run for President in 2016: “I don’t think that is a solution. I don’t think it ends well,” he said in the story. He threw a cautious endorsement of Clinton, saying he was content to “see what Hillary does.”

Schultz has long been vocal about the role of government and its failure in addressing the nation’s pressing issues. In 2013, Schultz started a Starbucks-led petition to end the government shutdown, and delivered more than 2 million signatures to the White House in their “Come Together” campaign. While promoting his book For Love of Country, Schultz talked about the lack of leadership from the U.S. government and politicians: “The country is longing for leadership and for truth with a capital T,” he told Dowd in a New York Times story.

It was a message he repeated at Starbuck’s Investor’s Day meeting last December.

“The country is definitely not going in the right direction. There is a significant void of leadership in America and around the world,” he said in one report. “I strongly believe that businesses and business leaders have a significant responsibility to do all we can to bring our people along with us and share our significant success … and not wait for Washington because the void of leadership is getting bigger and bigger.”

If he does run, Schultz will be handed the difficult task of defeating Clinton. In the latest numbers by RCP, around 58% of those polled would choose Clinton as the Democratic nominee for President, three times more than runner-up Bernie Sanders.


The Left’s Quest to Create Hundreds of Elizabeth Warrens

Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen Delivers Semiannual Report On The Economy To The Senate Banking Committee
Bloomberg—Bloomberg via Getty Images Senator Elizabeth Warren, a Democrat from Massachusetts, listens to Janet Yellen, chair of the U.S. Federal Reserve, during her semiannual report on the economy to the Senate Banking Committee in Washington, D.C., U.S., on Thursday, July 16, 2015.

“Elizabeth—she’s here?”

The thumbs up came from the back of the meeting room, and two hundred future Sen. Elizabeth Warrens stood up and waited for their prototype to enter. Spindly and with a bouncy step, the Massachusetts senator strode rapidly into the room and was waylaid by a friendly sea of imperfect facsimiles calling for selfies. “What a way to start the morning!” Warren said at last, breathless at the podium.

Warren was stopping by a conference on Thursday just a 10-minute walk away from the Capitol building in Washington DC, where the goal was unabashedly to bolster the Warren brand of the Democratic party. In the belly of the swank Washington Court Hotel—also the host of a recent events for steel wire producers and the beef industry—progressive candidates for municipal and state office across the country had gathered for a four-day affair to create a surge of Democratic candidates in municipal and state elections, and build a movement of rookie Warrens.

The conference, organized by the advocacy group Progressive Change Campaign Committee, was intended to train candidates and activists from states far flung as Wisconsin and Louisiana to run for office and eventually shape national policy. TIME was one of the only publications granted access to the meeting.

Much of the focus was on the nuts and bolts of effective campaigning and fundraising. Questions flew: Do candidates need to fundraise within their own district? How much time should candidates spend on fundraising calls? How do you best target voters during get-out-the-vote efforts? Should candidates’ events have red wine, or are cookies enough? The PCCC offered candidates who attended back-end internet tools replete with website templates, and readymade email blasters and event managers.

And Warren was the star attraction. “You are the progressive bench, and we need a bench,” Warren told them. Dozens of attendees wore identical blue shirts that said, I’m from the Elizabeth Warren wing of the Democratic party. “Elizabeth Warren is the North Star,” said Adam Green, co-founder of the PCCC. And the enthusiasm for Warren has spilled over all across the left: “I want to clone Elizabeth Warren into every candidate,” said Tefere Gebre the executive vice president of the AFL-CIO, in an interview with TIME two weeks ago.

In the Washington hotel, building an army of Warrens to challenge establishment-backed Democrats was exactly the point. “Yes, this is about building campaigns and winning office, but this is also about building a movement,” Warren said during her keynote on Thursday. “You are the living spark of the progressive movement.” It was a sentiment made clear by the conference organizers. “How do we elect 300 more Elizabeth Warrens?” said Stephanie Taylor, the co-founder of the PCCC who dreamt up the conference. “This training is part of it: finding them and giving them the tools to run great campaigns.”

Movement-building with Warren in the lead is in part about catching up to conservatives. Republicans can boast of presidential candidates Ted Cruz and Rand Paul, Rush Limbaugh and a formidable coalition of right-wing legislators threatening to unseat their house speaker. Meanwhile the left has a few big-city mayors, a struggling cable network (MSNBC), handful of legislators (Sherrod Brown, Keith Ellison) and a upstart presidential candidate, Sen. Bernie Sanders, who counts Eugene V. Debs and the nation of Denmark among his biggest influences. And Warren, the progressive nonpareil, has refused to run for the White House.

Anger over the Obama years is a key motivator for conservatives. The stimulant on the left is made of a milder sauce, namely, disappointment over the Obama years, and many progressive ideals have faltered in Congress and on their way to the White House.

Republicans have taken notice of Warrens influence over Democrats. While the activists met in Washington, her name came up on the Republican campaign trail in Cedar Falls, Iowa. “The fact is the Democratic Party has a problem,” New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie said. “Their problem is that Elizabeth Warren is taking over that party.”

“They’re all running to be just like Elizabeth Warren,” he added, saying that Hillary Clinton has borrowed from Warren’s playbook on the campaign trail.

Though Warren was only present for the first hour of the four-day training session, her name came up again and again. When she ran for Senate in 2012, Warren liked to make fundraising calls from her kitchen at home while boiling a pot of tea and wearing a headset, an alumna of Warren’s fundraising team, Sarah Badawi, told trainees. Joel Silberman, a speech trainer, said in a session that when he consulted Warren before a Massachusetts state convention speech, he told Warren a trick to cure nerves: count the number of steps to the podium.

Taylor and Green of the PCCC once sat on Warren’s front porch and shared lemonade and iced tea to convince her to first run for Senate, Warren noted during her address. The former director of research for Warren’s senatorial campaign, Peter Jones led a class on opposition research. (A quick Google search on Warren’s defeated opponent for Senate, Scott Brown, shows him shirtless in photos hawking diet pills, a fact that Warren recently noted in a speech.)

Most of those hoping to follow Warren’s lead at the conference don’t look anything like her or share her Ivy League background. There was the black state senator who represents Ferguson, an Indian-American candidate for Congress from a Detroit suburb, and as many pairs of sneakers as suits. Union organizers, mothers, climate activists, feminists and campaign staffers were in Washington from Vermont and Georgia.

“You are a part of a global re-owning of a populist, progressive vision of America,” said Zephyr Teachout, chief executive of the Mayday PAC which aims to get money out of politics.

Many at the conference argued local victories could sway their states, and ultimately, Congress. Over a lunch of ravioli and tagliatelli with lemon sauce and iced tea, two attendees from Rhode Island debated the merits of the conference. “The more states have something like paid leave, and it’s successful, the more likely we’ll be able to get Congress to move it forward,” Shandi Hanna, an activist at the Women’s Fund of Rhode Island. “We need to infiltrate the system and change it.”

“You look around this room people—the people I’ve met makes me realize the country is moving in a good direction,” said Margaux Morisseau, a candidate for Rhode Island state Senate.

So far, the left has been unable to create the kind of movement that caught fire on the right after President Obama’s election. But in some ways, things have changed in recent years. Cities and states like California and Rhode Island are requiring businesses to provide paid family leave; activists in New York, Los Angeles and Seattle have with mixed success pushed for a $15-minium wage; Bernie Sanders has attracted crowds of 10,000 and more in purple and red states like Wisconsin and Arizona. To progressives, those are signs of shifting winds. “People will start to realize there’s a change happening from underneath. They’ll either have to evolve or die,” said Chris Larson, a state senator in Wisconsin.

Some date the recent wave in progressive activism back to Howard Dean’s 2004 campaign. A left-backed candidate, Dean’s loss in the primary spawned Democracy for America, a progressive PAC. The past five years has seen a slow increase in organizational support for progressive Democrats. DFA, MoveOn.org, Progressive Majority also aim to train progressive candidates for office.

It’s Warren’s message that has helped motivate them in recent years, and attendees repeatedly mentioned Warren’s name during the conference. “We can whine about this, we can whimper about this, or we can fight back,” Warren said Thursday. “I’m fighting back!”

The goal, of course, is victory against Republicans, and against old-line Democrats in primary contests. If they win, it will come the way of conquerors of old: by conversion, or a rout.

“It’s our movement,” said CM! Winters Palacio, a Chicago librarian (with punctuation in her first name) who is running for City Council and says she is facing pushback from the moderate Democratic mayor, Rahm Emmanuel. “We will eat the elephant one bite at a time.”

TIME Hillary Clinton

Hillary Clinton Praises Mother In First TV Ads of 2016

Hillary Rodham Clinton
Stephen B. Morton—AP In this July 23, 2015 photo Democratic presidential hopeful Hillary Rodham Clinton speaks at a campaign event in Columbia, S.C.

Hillary Clinton’s campaign will air the first two television ads of the Democratic primary race on Tuesday, as part of an effort to head off Republican attacks and present Clinton as a “tenacious fighter” for everyday Americans.

In a five-week ad buy worth $1 million each in Iowa and New Hampshire, Clinton will share her personal story, explaining how she drew inspiration mother’s life, and discuss her work in and out of government on behalf of children.

The two advertisements, which appear geared to building Clinton’s reputation as a politician who cares about regular voters, will air in Des Moines and Cedar Rapids, Iowa’s biggest media markets, and statewide in New Hampshire.

“When I think about why I’m doing this I think about my mother Dorothy. She was abandoned by her parents at the age of eight, sent from Chicago to LA to live with grandparents who didn’t want her,” Clinton says in the first advertisement. “But people showed her kindness, gave her a chance.”

Accompanied by footage of mothers and their children, Clinton says say, “That’s why I’m doing this. That’s why I’ve always done this. For all the Dorothys.”

The second advertisement focuses on Clinton’s time after college, when she worked for the Children’s Defense Fund, a kids’ advocacy group, and then touts her work on school reform and health care. The ad then turns to Clinton’s time as senator from New York, when she “made sure the heroes and families of 9/11 got the care they needed,” according to a voiceover.

The ad buys fit in with a larger theme the campaign has sought to broadcast since she announced: that Clinton has long been a strong advocate for children and Americans, a trait she learned from her own mother’s difficult childhood.

The Clinton campaign had long planned to air television ads sometime in the late summer, a campaign official said. Republicans are amassing cash for large ad buys in the four early states, and Clinton’s campaign anticipates that much of it is intended to attack Clinton.

Clinton’s spots aim to define the Democratic frontrunner with a positive biographical message.

“We’re going to make sure everyone knows who Hillary Clinton really is — who she fights for and what has motivated her lifelong commitment to children and families,” campaign manager Robby Mook said in a statement. “Since Day One, we’ve planned for a competitive primary with Hillary herself working to earn every vote and, ultimately, the nomination. This is the natural next step.”

According to a nationwide Quinnipiac poll released at the end of July, 52% of Americans believe Clinton does not care about their needs.

Clinton’s campaign hopes that when voters know the Democratic frontrunner’s personal story, much of which was deemphasized during her last run for president, her poll numbers will improve.

The campaign filmed the footage of Clinton speaking to the camera about her mother in the first advertisement in June, as part of a plan to show Clinton’s record.

Sen. Bernie Sanders, Clinton’s challenger for the Democratic nomination, has gained momentum in Iowa and New Hampshire but is still at least 10 points behind her in polls.

TIME 2016 Election

Beau Biden’s Dying Wish Was for His Dad to Run for President, Report Says

Beau Biden, Joe Biden
Charles Dharapak—AP At the time of the photo, Democratic vice presidential candidate Sen. Joe Biden, embraces his son Beau on stage at the Democratic National Convention in Denver on Aug. 27, 2008.

Joe Biden is reportedly considering running in 2016

Vice President Joe Biden’s late son Beau told his father to run for president before he died, according to a report.

New York Times columnist Maureen Dowd, in her weekend column entitled “Joe Biden in 2016: What Would Beau Do?,” describes, in great detail, a conversation that Beau had with his father before dying, urging his father to run for president rather than letting the office fall to former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. Joseph “Beau” Biden III died of brain cancer at the end of May. Dowd’s source for the anecdote is not clear from the column.

Vice President Biden has been holding meetings at his Washington home to discuss the possibility of a run, according to Dowd.

TIME Campaign Finance

Few New Mega-Donors Join 2016 Fundraising

Jeb Bush
John Raoux—AP In this July 27, 2015 file photo, Republican presidential candidate, former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush speaks in Longwood, Fla.

Correction appended, Aug. 4

The 2016 presidential race may be a whole new ball game in terms of fundraising, but most of the players’ names are awfully familiar — even if their faces are a bit more lined.

Very few of the top donors to the super PACs backing one of the many GOP White House hopefuls or handful of Democratic candidates are new to giving substantial political gifts, according to a review of Federal Election Commission data by the Center for Responsive Politics, and many have been active for decades.

The relative absence of new faces in the very small pool of really big donors magnifies the impact of ultra-wealthy individuals who have been participating in the process for years — the Robert McNairs, Jeffrey Katzenbergs and Richard Uihleins of the fundraising world.

But they are anteing up more than ever before as their favored candidates’ campaigns become ever more intertwined with the super PACs, announcing combined fundraising totals and splitting up activities, like voter outreach, that once were firmly functions of the campaign committees — not the supposedly independent outside groups.

While there are no complete ingenues among the rosters of top donors to the super PACs, which filed their disclosure reports for the first half of the year this week, there are a few who previously haven’t given sums anything like those they are notching this year. They include the Texas-based Wilks family, four members of which gave $15 million to groups backing Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas); brothers Farris and Dan are religious conservatives who got rich in the fracking business. Another: Laura Perlmutter, who gave $2 million to a super PAC supporting Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.).

The pure numbers are staggering: In the 2012 election cycle, all super PACs together had raised about $26 million by June 30 of the year before the vote; presidential super PACs were responsible for about $15.6 million. This time, the total comes to more than $258 million at the same point in time for presidential super PACs alone.

That’s about double the more than $130 million the presidential campaigns raised in the first six months of this year, setting up a new paradigm for campaign finance at the federal level. Jeb Bush and Hillary Clinton, with combined totals of $114 million and $71 million respectively, have settled themselves atop the all time list of presidential campaign-related fundraising in the first six months of the year before the election.

Several of the Republican efforts have been utterly dominated by outside groups raising unlimited amounts from individuals, corporations and other organizations. Seven Republican candidates reported larger fundraising totals for their supposedly unconnected super PACs than they disclosed for their campaigns, with the pro-Bush Right to Rise group pulling in nearly 10 times as much as the campaign itself.

A caveat, though: Absent this super PAC fundraising, the candidates themselves are lagging far behind the pace set in 2007, the last campaign with no incumbent seeking re-election. Six of the seven largest fundraising totals at this point in all prior cycles came in 2007 when Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama, Mitt Romney, Rudy Giuliani, John McCain and John Edwards all raised more than $23 million by June 30. Only four of this year’s competitors (Bush, Clinton, Cruz and Rubio) have reached that level for their campaigns and super PACs combined.

One important impact of super PAC activity in the 2012 presidential race could be looming again itself again in the earliest stages of the 2016 contest. These groups, which allow candidates to benefit from the seemingly limitless financial support of a small number of ardent and affluent supporters, can keep campaigns going long after they ordinarily would have died a natural death.

In 2012 the campaigns of former Rep. Newt Gingrich (Ga.), former Sen. Rick Santorum (Penn.) and other Republicans were prolonged by funding in the tens of millions from a handful of supporters. Friday’s filings show that contributions from five or fewer donors make up the majority of the super PAC funding for nine of the GOP candidates: Rubio, Rand Paul, Cruz, Rick Perry, Carly Fiorina, Bobby Jindal, Scott Walker, Mike Huckabee and Santorum. In many cases, the money given by five or fewer individuals or institutions is more than the total given by all individuals directly to the presidential campaign committees of these contenders.

Some donors have hedged their bets, giving large amounts to groups backing multiple candidates. Hedge fund manager Robert Mercer, for instance, was among the top three donors to super PACs backing both Jindal and Cruz, though he gave far more to the pro-Cruz effort. Houston Texans owner Robert McNair was more equitable, giving $500,000 each to super PACs backing no less than four Republican candidates: Security is Strength (Graham), Unintimidated (Walker), Keep the Promise (Cruz) and Right to Rise USA (Bush).

Only a few of the 17 declared Republican candidates, five Democrats, or the Green Party entry lacks at least one supporting super PAC, including Sen. Bernie Sanders(D-Vt.), former Rhode Island Gov. Lincoln Chafee and Green Party candidate Jill Stein. On the other hand, Paul has at least two major super PACs in his corner, andCruz has four, each of which seems to have been “purchased” by one or two mega-donors and has a name that is some version of “Keep the Promise.”

What’s a wealthy donor to do? The two primary outside groups supporting Hillary Clinton’s campaign have addressed the potential for confusion by organizing a joint fundraising committee to distribute funds among themselves — one-stop shopping that keeps prospective contributors from having to choose and the groups from having to compete for checks. Priorities USA Action will get the bulk of the funds, with a smaller share going to Correct the Record, the group that fights attacks on the former secretary of state.

The Center for Responsive Politics is a nonpartisan research group focused on money in politics.

Correction: The original version of this story misstated which super PACs had raised about $26 million for the 2012 election cycle by June 30, 2011. That was the total amount raised by that date for all super PACs.

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