Trump Looks Likely to Join Race

Donald Trump will make a “major announcement” at the Trump Tower in New York City on June 16, and he plans to return to New Hampshire the following day, WMUR reports.

“All signs point to a Trump declaration of candidacy, however. He has been moving in that direction for many months with steps beyond those he took in his previous flirtations.”

“Trump has set up a pre-campaign organization, headed by conservative strategist Corey Lewandowski of Windham, and has hired staffers in New Hampshire and first-caucus state Iowa, as well as in South Carolina, where the first primary in the South will be held. Last week, Trump unveiled a 17-member leadership team in New Hampshire.”

Former Schock Aide Talking to the FBI

“A onetime aide to Aaron Schock told the FBI this week that the embattled ex-congressman and two employees flew on a private jet with an insurance company executive last year, prompting the adviser to raise concerns about the legality of the trip,” Politico reports.

“If Schock accepted travel on a private jet from an individual or corporation without accounting for the trip, it could be a violation of federal law.”

Another Way Clinton Could Make History

Hillary Clinton “could become the first Democratic president in the party’s nearly two century-long history* to never control the House of Representatives while she’s in office,” Kyle Kondik writes.

“Let’s say Democrats net 19 seats in 2016 and 19 more in 2020, which given the current maps and overall political outlook in the House would be two very successful elections. That’s a 38-seat net gain, or eight more than they need to win the House. However, there’s a midterm to be held in between those elections, and Democrats could only afford to lose eight seats, no more, to control the House in 2021 under this scenario. In only nine of the last 39 midterms has the president’s party lost eight or fewer seats. Again, one can concoct scenarios whereby a President Hillary Clinton controls the House during her term. They are just ones that take a tremendous leap of faith to predict.”

Clinton Ties Herself Closely to Obama

Rick Klein: “Hillary Clinton’s promise to work it hard to win votes one at a time may not ever include classic retail politics featuring open access to ‘everyday’ voters, or freewheeling exchanges with the press. But her event Wednesday in South Carolina showed that she’s serious about the effort to win votes where she needs them. On a day that the national news cycle was elsewhere, this was Clinton trying to get done what she knew she needed to get done. Bringing traces of an old twang, she reminded South Carolina voters of what they knew: That she ran against Barack Obama there and lost.”

“It was a light touch on what could have been a delicate day; the Clinton camp knows that minority voters represent an area of potential vulnerability in the Democratic race. Clinton brought a simple explanation for why she ran against Obama – and accepted his offer to work in his Cabinet: ‘He and I share many of the same positions about what should be done in the next presidency.'”

Santorum Has None of His Key Iowa Staffers

NBC News reports that none of Rick Santorum’s 2012 Iowa staff is currently working for his campaign.

“Two of the three main architects of his successful caucus game plan — Deputy Campaign Manager Jill Latham Ryan and Nick Ryan, who ran the pro-Santorum super PAC — are now working for Mike Huckabee. The other, former Iowa State Director Cody Brown, is running a consulting firm in Austin, Texas.”

Harry Enten: “So why doesn’t Santorum have a chance this time around? Much of his success in 2012 was thanks to a historically weak field.”

Why Nebraska Killing Death Penalty Is a Big Deal

First Read: “Maybe the most significant political story in the country over the past 24 hours didn’t take place in Washington, DC, or on the 2016 campaign trail. Instead, it’s what happened yesterday in Nebraska, which repealed the death penalty in the state after Republican and Democratic lawmakers overrode — barely — the GOP governor’s veto.”

“This is a big deal for three reasons. One, Nebraska becomes the first red state in the country to repeal the death penalty in 40 years (after North Dakota did it in 1973). Two, it comes after at least one national poll (Pew) had found a drop in support of the death penalty. (If you don’t think that public opinion on a social issue can change in a hurry, just look at gay marriage.) And three, it comes in the midst of a bipartisan effort — even among Dem and GOP 2016ers — to overhaul the nation’s criminal-justice system.”

Bush’s Role on Corporate Boards Could Invite Scrutiny

“During his transition from Florida governor to likely presidential candidate, Jeb Bush served on the boards or as an adviser to at least 15 companies and nonprofits, a dizzying array of corporate connections that earned him millions of dollars and occasional headaches. Bush returned to corporate America after leaving the governor’s mansion in early 2007, and his industry portfolio expanded steadily until he began shedding ties late last year to prepare a run for president,” the Miami Herald reports.

“Executives who worked alongside Bush describe him as an engaged adviser with an eye on detail. Yet experts question how anyone could serve so many boards at once effectively.”

Pataki Kicks Off Presidential Campaign

Former New York Gov. George Pataki (R) announced he’s running for the GOP presidential nomination in 2016.

New York Times: “Though he will be clearly the closest to the political center among the announced candidates, Mr. Pataki has sought to present himself as an experienced executive tested by crisis: Citing his record of budget cuts in New York, Mr. Pataki has vowed to slash the federal work force… But in recent presidential elections, the party base has gravitated mainly toward candidates with orthodox conservative views, as well as styles more aggressive than Mr. Pataki’s.”