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The Lid: Trade Becoming First Policy Battle of Hillary Clinton’s Campaign

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Hillary Clinton participates in a roundtable with students and educators at NHTI, Concord's Comunity College, April 21, 2015 in Concord, New Hampshire. AFP PHOTO/DON EMMERTDON EMMERT/AFP/Getty Images DON EMMERT / AFP - Getty Images

Welcome to The Lid, your afternoon dose of the 2016 ethos… Yesterday afternoon, we spotted former President Bill Clinton strolling down a Washington DC avenue wearing fuchsia sneakers so blindingly neon that, no matter what his wife’s policy positions may be, we’re pretty sure we’ll always know exactly where he’s standing. Like, literally, standing.

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'16 AT 30 THOUSAND

Okay, we’ll concede that the phrase “expansive multinational trade accord” doesn’t exactly prompt a heart-thumping adrenaline rush for most people, but it’s shaping up to look like the first substantive policy fight of Hillary Clinton’s newly-minted presidential run. In New Hampshire today, Clinton made her first public comments about the pending Trans-Pacific Partnership negotiations. She didn’t specifically indicate support or opposition, but she did appear to telegraph some concerns, warning that any agreement must “produce jobs and raise wages and increase prosperity and protect our security.”

That comes on a day when the president is on a full-court-press to push Congress to approve fast-track authority for trade accords, which could happen with Republicans(!) and Obama(!) in rare cahoots. AND it comes just days after Clinton’s two most vocal potential primary challengers – Sen. Bernie Sanders and former Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley – took explicit aim at her on this issue by calling the deal a stab in the back for working people. If two of Clinton’s campaign objectives are 1) to embrace the progressive/populist spirit of standing up for the little guy and 2) to show that she’s the pol who can make Washington work again, she’ll face a tricky choice when she eventually has to give a yes or no answer.

POPPING ON NBC POLITICS

NBC’s Leigh Ann Caldwell recently traveled to Wisconsin to report on Scott Walker’s leadership style, which doesn’t seem to include taking much counsel from many of the people around him.

Our colleague Perry Bacon Jr. lays out what we know and don’t know about Hillary Clinton’s policy positions.

Speaking of trade, NBC’s Halimah Abdullah sums up what you need to know about the Trans-Pacific Partnership

Bill Clinton is keeping mum on his wife’s run, but did indicate at Georgetown University today that he is not planning to quit any time soon.

Frank Thorp reports on the apparent Senate deal to clear the way for a vote on AG nominee Loretta Lynch’s confirmation.

We know that men and women tend to vote differently, but what we don’t know is how much the gender of a candidate matters, NBC’s Dante Chinni reports.

On today’s @MTP, both of your authors talk you through what to expect from The Lid over the next 19 months, and how the GOP field is shaping up.

And we know it’s called First Read, but it’s good any time. Everything you need to know about the Clinton Foundation story can be found here.

CAMPAIGN QUICK READS

CHRISTIE: The New Jersey governor’s decision not to attend the Iowa Faith and Freedom Coalition conference is a sign he will focus his potential campaign on New Hampshire, NJ.com reports.

WALKER: David Koch told the Observer that Walker would defeat Hillary Clinton “by a major margin” but added that he is not yet endorsing any candidate.

RUBIO: The Florida senator answered some of his most Googled questions on Tuesday, which apparently includes, “Is Marco Rubio a twin?” You’re thinking of the Castro brothers, America!

CRUZ: Contrary to what he told New Hampshire voters,he hasn’t actually been “pressing” Sen. John McCain to hold hearings on service members carrying concealed weapons on military bases.

FOR THE RECORD…

“Maybe it was through, you know, hand telegraph. Maybe it was sign language.”

  • Sen. John McCain on Cruz’s claim to be pressing him about concealed weapons on military bases.

TOMORROW’S SKED

Hillary Clinton presents an award at the Sasha Bruce Youthwork Dinner in Washington DC

Carly Fiorina has a trio of events in Urbandale, Cedar Rapids and Marshalltown, Iowa.