Today’s installment of campaign-related news items from across the country.
* Yesterday, Donald Trump’s re-election campaign launched a fundraising campaign based on the demise of Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the founder and leader of ISIS.
* Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich.) has thrown her support behind Sen. Bernie Sanders’ (I-Vt.) presidential campaign. She’s the fifth sitting U.S. House member to endorse the Vermont senator’s candidacy. Overall, Sanders now ranks fifth in the 2020 field for House endorsements, trailing Joe Biden, Kamala Harris, Cory Booker, and Elizabeth Warren.
* On a related note, on Election Day 2020, Bernie Sanders will be 79 years old, though the Washington Post reports that the independent lawmaker wants that to be seen as an asset for his presidential campaign.
* As a member of Congress, Mike Pompeo (R-Kansas) was occasionally derided as “the Koch Brothers’ Congressman.” Now that he’s Donald Trump’s secretary of State, eyeing a possible U.S. Senate race in 2020, Pompeo reportedly discussed the race with billionaire Charles Koch late last week.
* On a related note, the Kansas City Star ran a rather brutal editorial on Friday, directed at the Republican cabinet secretary: “If Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is running to replace retiring U.S. Sen. Pat Roberts, Republican of Kansas, then he should quit his rather important day job and do that. Or if, as he told The Star and The Wichita Eagle in a testy, credulity-straining interview on Thursday, he isn’t even thinking about it, then he should by all means focus on U.S. diplomacy – remember diplomacy? – and stop hanging out here every chance he gets.”
* As the number of college students casting ballots grows, Republican officials in a variety of states are taking new steps to make it harder for these young voters to participate.
* Maine’s Democratic U.S. Senate primary field narrowed a bit late last week, with retired Air Force Gen. Jon Treacy dropping out of the race, citing subpar fundraising. Maine House Speaker Sara Gideon appears to be the frontrunner for the Democratic nomination.
* And former Massachusetts Gov. Bill Weld, taking on Donald Trump in a GOP primary, was asked last week whom he’d support in a Biden-vs-Trump race. “Could I vote for a Democrat? Hell yes,” Weld replied. “If it’s Trump against Joe Biden, I’m with Biden in a heartbeat.”