OFF TO THE RACES: Donors hold off
Via the Washington Post: "According to other Republicans, some in the party establishment are so desperate to change the dynamic that they are talking anew about drafting Romney — despite his insistence that he will not run again. Friends have mapped out a strategy for a late entry to pick up delegates and vie for the nomination in a convention fight, according to the Republicans who were briefed on the talks, though Romney has shown no indication of reviving his interest."
Msnbc.com’s Emma Margolin offers this look at how Bob Jones University is making a comeback – hosting back-to-back appearances with Ben Carson and Ted Cruz. The reentry into the campaign world comes after the university lost some of its political luster due to its ban on interracial dating. “In many ways, BJU’s decision to step back into the political limelight – especially by hosting Carson, a leading African-American GOP presidential candidate, demonstrates how far the school has come in reforming its once racially discriminatory policies. On the other hand, the Cruz rally – the Texas senator’s second major event dedicated to protecting religious freedom in the face of nationwide same-sex marriage – could serve as a painful reminder of the fact that BJU once used similar arguments to justify racial segregation.”
The Wall Street Journal notes that nearly four out of five Obama 2012 donors haven't given any cash yet to Clinton or Sanders.
BUSH: The Washington Post notes that both Jeb Bush and Marco Rubio are at risk of losing their own home state and being forced from the race.
CLINTON: The day after a Clinton endorser in Ohio switched allegiances to Sanders, the Clinton campaign rolled out two new leadership councils in Vermont and Missouri.
About that Ohio official, via Cleveland.com. "Nina Turner, the former state senator from Cleveland and a top Ohio Democratic Party official, is ditching Hillary Clinton in favor of Bernie Sanders... The move comes as a surprise -- and a blow for Clinton. Turner had been among her most enthusiastic cheerleaders in the Buckeye State and nationally. She was involved early with the Ready for Hillary super political action committee that promoted Clinton as a presidential candidate before the former U.S. secretary of state launched her campaign."
Sister Souljah - yes, that Sister Soulja - is back, and being asked about Hillary Clinton. Via TIME: "But what does she think of Hillary Clinton? She pauses for a long moment, then pulls out an unsealed envelope. “I want to control what I say so that I can be quoted properly. I have this past history of being misquoted or misunderstood.” She slides an index card across the table. It reads, “She reminds me too much of the slave plantation white wife of the white ‘Master.’ She talks down to people, is condescending and pandering. She even talked down to the Commander in Chief, President Barack Obama, while she was under his command!”
Hillary Clinton is standing by the story that she visited a Marine recruiter as a young woman living in Arkansas. NBC's Kristen Welker reports that the Clinton campaign had this to say: "As she has noted in the past, Hillary visited a Marine recruiter shortly after moving to Arkansas because she was interested in exploring options for serving in the military. She did not pursue the idea further and her sole reason for visiting the recruitment center was to determine if there was a suitable opportunity for her to serve in some capacity. Her interest was sincere and it is in insulting, but not surprising, that Republicans would attack her for this, too."
SANDERS: Writes the New York Times: "Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont is preparing new lines of attack against Hillary Rodham Clinton on trade, gun control, and even the controversy over her State Department email to use on Saturday at their next televised presidential debate, which the Sanders team regards as — if not a do-or-die moment — perhaps his best chance to slow her political momentum this fall."
TRUMP: Ali Vitali wraps Trump's Ben Carson wrap in Iowa.
The Wall Street Journal editorial board has some fun with Trump's beef with them over trade policy.
*** Friday’s “Andrea Mitchell Reports” line-up: NBC’s Andrea Mitchell interviews Amb. Ryan Crocker – former Ambassador to Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan, Lebanon and Pakistan; DNC Chair Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz to preview tomorrow’s Democratic Presidential debate; and more 2016 politics with Washington Post’s Chris Cillizza, Huffington Post’s Sam Stein and our NBC reporters on the trail Chris Jansing, Katy Tur and Kristen Welker.