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The latest on the veepstakes, Sanders to endorse Clinton

Trump-Gingrich? Clinton-Kaine? Clinton-Warren? Trump-Christie? The political soothsayers are looking closely at every appearance Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton make with potential running mates. Also in the news: Bernie Sanders on Tuesday is expected to finally endorse the former secretary of state. Gwen Ifill talks with Tamara Keith of NPR and Amy Walter of The Cook Political Report.

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  • Gwen Ifill

    : Public debates automatically turn political, as the presidential campaigns enter their pre-conventional stretch.

    Joining us, as they do every Monday, to discuss the issues that are shaping voters’ choices are Tamara Keith of NPR and Amy Walter of The Cook Political Report.

    Let’s compare and assess what we have seen happen in the last several days. It’s been an amazing period in our nation, and we have seen the way Donald Trump handled it. We saw the way Hillary Clinton handled it. How do you compare those two things, Amy?

  • Amy Walter, The Cook Political Report:

    Well, I think how I think there is how they dealt with it in the immediate aftermath, which was both were very sort of nonpolitical. Both called for unity. Both called for sort of ratcheting down the rhetoric.

    Today, though, you saw Donald Trump talk a little bit more about this. And if you had to pick the difference between how Donald Trump is talking about this and Hillary Clinton is talking about this, she made a talk at a church this weekend. She talked about bringing America together. That’s been really the theme of her campaign is bringing Americans together.

    What Donald Trump talked about is how law and order is what really — is much more central to his campaign. So one is talking about the togetherness of Americans. The other is saying the only way to keep us from falling apart is to have strong law and order.

    It sounded very reminiscent of another Republican presidential candidate from 1968, which was…

  • Gwen Ifill

    : Richard Nixon.

  • Amy Walter

    : … Richard Nixon.

  • Gwen Ifill

    : Tam, it’s not insignificant where Hillary Clinton chose to make these comments. She was speaking at the quadrennial Conference of the African Methodist Episcopal Church.

  • Tamara Keith, NPR:

    Right.

  • Gwen Ifill

    : Obviously, we saw Mother Emanuel AME Church in Charleston was a member of that. So, she was speaking to an audience which got this.

    At the same time, I was struck when she said something like, we have to learn, as white people, need to start listening to black people, which shouldn’t be a shocking idea, but somehow it was taken as a big moment.

  • Tamara Keith

    : Yes.

    And the other interesting thing about that is, it’s not the first time she’s talked about that. It’s not the first time she’s talked about talking to white people about their privilege or about listening, about walking in the shoes of other people.

    This has actually been a theme of her campaign for months now, but, somehow, in that place, in this moment in time, it had a different resonance than it’s had before. It got noticed.

  • Gwen Ifill

    : And, of course, tomorrow, President Obama goes to Dallas and we get to see him. I hate to use the term consoler-in-chief, because he has to be that so often, but that’s what we see happen again.

    Let’s talk about what else is on the candidates’ minds right now, which is, who’s going to run with them? Who is going to be on their ticket? We have conventions coming right up. And are we any closer to knowing?

  • Amy Walter

    : Do we have any idea?

  • Gwen Ifill

    : Next week.

  • Amy Walter

    : I’m terrible when it comes to predicting who the vice president is going to be. I’m always wrong about this. And part of it is, it’s very difficult to assess from here, and partly because we get so caught up in the poll and the strategy and who’s going to fill the gaps.

    And at the end of the day, this is about — I think sometimes more important than anything else is the rapport — the rapport.

  • Gwen Ifill

    : The rapport. Yes.

  • Amy Walter

    : The rapport — thank you — the chemistry that they have between each other.

    I think that that comes across and it’s even more important in this day and age, where they’re going to be together and shot at every single angle, live-streamed, Snapchatted, on television together. That is going to come across and become very important.

    The other piece, as we’re seeing now, that these candidates are literally trying their V.P.s out on the trail, on television. Who succeeds and who fails under the sharp microscope and under the spotlight?

  • Gwen Ifill

    : Donald Trump now today, he appeared with Chris Christie. Not too long ago, he was with Mike Pence from Indiana. He’s basically trotting them all out.

    Does Hillary Clinton do the same thing, or is she just waiting to see what he does?

  • Tamara Keith

    : Well, on Thursday, she is campaigning with Senator Tim Kaine of Virginia. And they will be in Northern Virginia together. He is…

  • Gwen Ifill

    : It won’t be the first time she’s done that.

  • Tamara Keith

    : And if you’re looking at the wager lists, he’s near the top. Who knows if he’s actually at the top of her list, but in terms of the parlor game that we’re all now playing, because that’s what you do this time of year, he’s near the top of the list.

    Other people on that list are Elizabeth Warren, the senator from Massachusetts, who Hillary Clinton campaigned with, and also Tom Perez, the labor secretary, and probably five other people who I’m not mentioning.

  • Gwen Ifill

    : That’s what’s happening with Republicans. They’re putting out a whole list of people who may or may not be vetted right now. But are there other goals besides that for this convention coming up?

  • Amy Walter

    : Well, the most important goal, of course, for Donald Trump is to make it at least appear as if there’s some unity in this party.

    And the first hurdle he has to overcome is this week as the rules committee gets together. There’s talk about that there’s going to be something of a never Trump moment, where they can unbind delegates. I don’t think that’s going to happen. In fact, I am pretty convinced that’s not going to happen.

    But until that is actually over, the talk will not die down. Once he overcomes that hurdle, the next is, what does this convention look like? There obviously are a lot who aren’t going to show up, including the last sitting Republican presidents.

  • Gwen Ifill

    : The current Republican governor.

  • Amy Walter

    : Or the current Republican governor, or the 2012 nominee for the party.

    But I don’t think that that’s the bigger problem for Donald Trump. I think it is — his challenge has long been he’s done very well in a primary that was very narrow focused to a certain group of voters. He has yet to make the case to a broader group of voters. Can he do that in this convention?

    This is his second chance that he’s getting, when people are tuning in to see, has Donald Trump turned the corner from primary candidate to general candidate?

  • Gwen Ifill

    : Tomorrow in New Hampshire on the Democratic side, Bernie Sanders finally shows up and decides to, we think the E-word will be used, endorse Hillary Clinton.

  • Tamara Keith

    : Yes. Yes, the word from Democratic sources with knowledge of the negotiations between the Sanders campaign and the Clinton campaign is that this is, in fact, an endorsement event.

    Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton will be campaigning together at a rally in Portsmouth, New Hampshire. This has been weeks and weeks in the making. One source tells me that the campaign manager for Hillary Clinton and the campaign manager for Bernie Sanders have been either texting or talking on the phone every single day since June 7.

  • Gwen Ifill

    : Cute. That’s so high school.

    But what about the platform committee? They actually met, and Bernie Sanders got a couple of things.

  • Tamara Keith

    : Bernie Sanders got a lot of what he was looking for. The platform includes a $15 minimum wage, for instance. Also, over the last week or so, Hillary Clinton’s made a number of policy concessions.

    She’s moved closer to Bernie Sanders. She made some announcements on health care, as well as college affordability. So Bernie Sanders, you know, this endorsement isn’t for free. Bernie Sanders has been pushing Hillary Clinton, and you can expect that to continue beyond tomorrow.

  • Gwen Ifill

    : To the extent platforms matter.

  • Amy Walter

    : Does a platform matter, which they don’t, although I think — good for him. He got a lot of what he wanted.

    The most fascinating thing about this primary has not simply been how Sanders has pushed Hillary Clinton. I think it’s been twofold, one, how far she has moved from the other Clinton’s legacy. Right. She is really not running as a Bill Clinton part two. She’s running as a Hillary Clinton.

    And she did something that Jeb Bush and others didn’t do, which is she moved where the party went. Jeb Bush decided to stay where his party was in the early 21st century.

  • Gwen Ifill

    : OK.

    We will see you wherever we are at this time next week, waiting probably still for more shoes to drop.

    Amy Walter of The Cook Political Report, Tamara Keith of NPR, thank you both.

  • Tamara Keith

    : You’re welcome.

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