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The Lid: How Kevin McCarthy Helped Hillary Clinton

Image: FILE : Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy Announces Bid for House Speaker

U.S. House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) speaks during a news conference following the weekly House GOP conference meeting at the Republican National Committee headquarters. Chip Somodevilla / Getty Images

Welcome to The Lid, your afternoon dose of the 2016 ethos… In an interview with Rolling Stone this week, Dave Matthews voiced support for Bernie Sanders -- which will definitely lock up the key voting bloc of your freshman year roommate in 1997 and that other dude who was always on the Quad with his acoustic guitar playing “Crash Into Me."

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’16 AT 30 THOUSAND

The first rule of Fight Club is: You don’t talk about Fight Club. And for Republicans, until yesterday, the first rule of the House Benghazi committee was that you don’t talk about the potential political impact of the House Benghazi committee. Then enter Kevin McCarthy, who told FOX News “We put together a Benghazi special committee, a select committee. What are her numbers today? Her numbers are dropping. Why? Because she's untrustable.” Talk about ammunition for a Clinton campaign that’s been trying to make the case that the Benghazi/email controversy is a fabrication of political foes. McCarthy tried to walk that statement back slightly Wednesday, saying through a spokesman that “these inquiries have nothing to do with politics and everything to do with the consequences of what the former Secretary has done and her confusing, conflicting, and demonstrably false responses.”

Hillary Clinton’s Unlikely Political Lifeline as New Emails Released 2:22

The comments almost certainly aren’t going to impact McCarthy’s drive to be Speaker. In fact, there’s a case to be made that the conservatives who are wary of him might LIKE his apparent gusto for using every tool available to fight Democrats. But for establishment types who are eying the fate of their 2016 presidential nominee, McCarthy’s gift of an attack ad-ready quote will underscore existing questions about whether the California Dem is really ready for - quite literally - primetime. (As one leadership aide told our colleague Luke Russert: “Yikes.”)

POPPING ON NBC POLITICS

CAMPAIGN QUICK READS

The Donald has strengthened his lead in a new USA TODAY/Suffolk poll, while Carson and Fiorina have gained ground.

CLINTON: Former Texas state senator and unsuccessful gubernatorial candidate Wendy Davis is endorsing Clinton, the Houston Chronicle reports.

HUCKABEE: The former Arkansas governor is lashing out at the rise of the outsiders in the GOP presidential primary.

FOR THE RECORD…

“Think of how ridiculous it is to think that the main qualifier is, 'I have no idea what I'm getting into.’”

  • Mike Huckabee bashing on the rise of political outsiders in an interview with the Washington Examiner.

TOMORROW’S SKED

Hillary Clinton speaks at a substance abuse community forum in Massachusetts.

Marco Rubio and Bobby Jindal campaign in Iowa.

Jeb Bush will be on the TODAY show.