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Jim GallowayGreg BluesteinTamar Hallerman

A White House third wheel? Tim Kaine says Democratic bench is ‘an embarrassment of riches’

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Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton is joined by Sen. Tim Kaine, D-Va., as she speaks during a campaign rally at Florida International University Panther Arena in Miami, Saturday, July 23, 2016. Clinton has chosen Kaine to be her running mate. (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer)

Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton announced U.S. Sen. Tim Kaine, D-Va., as her running mate at a rally in Miami on Saturday. (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer)

Hillary Clinton and her newly-minted running mate, Virginia Sen. Tim Kaine, had their debut interview Sunday with “60 Minutes” on CBS. And one of the most pointed questions asked was whether Kaine worried he could be playing third fiddle in an Oval Office featuring a former president as the first gentleman.

It was more than a fair question, as there was no secret that Hillary Clinton clashed with Vice President Al Gore during the early years of Bill Clinton’s presidency. Could the script be flipped now that Bill is the spouse?

Elle Dieal holds a sign at Liberty Plaza near the Georgia State Capitol building during a rally to support the new Clean Power Plan (CPP), Wednesday, August 5, 2015, in Atlanta. Finalized by the Obama Administration and the Environmental Protection Agency, these protections will help clean up the air, reduce pollution-related respiratory illnesses, and curb the worst effects of climate disruption. BRANDEN CAMP/SPECIAL

“It’s an embarrassment of riches,” Kaine said in the interview. Clinton then pounced, saying that her husband should be viewed as an asset.

“It does happen to be a historical fact that my husband served as president for eight years,” she said. “And there’s a lot that happened which helped the American people during those eight years.”

She also said that the chants of “lock her up” at last week’s GOP convention in Cleveland – a slogan which quickly became the unofficial mantra of the RNC – left her feeling “very sad” by the aggressive chanting.

“I don’t know what their convention was about, other than criticizing me,” said Clinton, adding: “I seem to be the only unifying theme that they had. There was no positive agenda.”

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Kaine, we should note, has a bit of a local tie. He’s a Minnesota native raised in Kansas, who did a stint as a Honduran missionary in the early 1980s.

But according to Keith Mason, once chief of staff to Gov. Zell Miller and now a senior player with Dentons in Atlanta, Kaine also has a Georgia connection. He was a law clerk for Lanier Anderson of Macon, then a federal judge on the 11th Circuit appeals court. This was before Kaine moved to Virginia in the late 1980s.

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Is Vladimir Putin behind Debbie Wasserman Schultz’s ouster at the DNC?

It’s a strange question, but one that’s got people talking after a trove of highly-embarrassing DNC emails was released Friday. It’s led to suggestions that the Kremlin may have been behind the hack in order to help Republican nominee Donald Trump, who’s been complimentary of Putin in the past.

From the New York Times: 

…The release on Friday of some 20,000 stolen emails from the Democratic National Committee’s computer servers, many of them embarrassing to Democratic leaders, has intensified discussion of the role of Russian intelligence agencies in disrupting the 2016 campaign…

Proving the source of a cyberattack is notoriously difficult. But researchers have concluded that the national committee was breached by two Russian intelligence agencies, which were the same attackers behind previous Russian cyberoperations at the White House, the State Department and the Joint Chiefs of Staff last year. And metadata from the released emails suggests that the documents passed through Russian computers. Though a hacker claimed responsibility for giving the emails to WikiLeaks, the same agencies are the prime suspects. Whether the thefts were ordered by Mr. Putin, or just carried out by apparatchiks who thought they might please him, is anyone’s guess.

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Donald Trump gave a lengthy shout-out to Georgia operative Brian Jack, his chief delegate wrangler. You can read more about Jack here.

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Former Democratic U.S. Rep. Cynthia McKinney prompted anger and ire on social this weekend for a tweet that implied Israel was behind recent terrorist attacks in Nice and Munich.

This isn’t the first time McKinney has landed in the news for  antisemitism. She tweeted a link to a controversial French comedian last year who had a history of making antisemitic remarks.

From our coverage last year: 

After becoming a top target of the pro-Israel lobby for opposing aid to the Jewish nation, she accused her opponents of antisemitism. Her father, then-state Rep. Billy McKinney, said of her 2002 primary fight that “Jews have bought everybody.”

She landed back in the national news after members of her entourage spewed anti-Semitic rhetoric at members of the media during another election battle in 2006. And after she was ousted from Congress, she hopped aboard ships that sought to break Israel’s blockade of the Gaza strip and associated herself with Holocaust deniers.

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Debbie Wasserman Schultz’s resignation doesn’t appease all her critics.

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In case you missed it, Texas U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz drew a standing room only crowd when he swung through Newnan on Friday to campaign for state Sen. Mike Crane’s congressional bid. The Crane campaign said nearly 600 people showed up.

Our colleague Becca Godwin was at the event. Read her full dispatch here. 

Per the Newnan Times-Herald, the rally also drew about 40 demonstrators, most from the Georgia Fraternal Order of Police, who were unhappy with Crane’s past comments on law enforcement and no-knock warrants.

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Speaking of Mike Crane, he squared off with runoff opponent Drew Ferguson in a debate sponsored by Georgia Public Broadcasting and the Atlanta Press Club over the weekend. Watch it here.