NATION POLITICS ESSENTIAL WASHINGTON

All five candidates make a last-minute campaign push in New York ahead of Tuesday's primary.

I'll let somebody else be the first.

Hillary Clinton, after hosts on Power 105.1, New York's hip-hop and R&B; station, suggested she could win support by hosting an event at a strip club.

In a room filled with female supporters, a plea from Hillary Clinton to help her make history

Hillary Clinton has worked to strike a balance on the matter of potentially becoming the first female president — accenting it, but trying not to accent it too much. Monday was a day to accent it.

Before a rapturous crowd, mostly women, in a midtown Manhattan hotel, after the equally rapturous introductions by women ranging from former Rep. Gabrielle Giffords of Arizona to a Madison Square Garden union worker, Clinton suggested her prospective win was a component in a line of civil rights achievements dating to the suffragettes of the early 1900s.

Recounting what made Tuesday’s New York primary special to her, she segued from her tenure as the state’s U.S. senator to the work of women upstate in Seneca Falls, who crafted a declaration of women’s rights.

“It didn’t come easily,” she said, recounting hunger strikes and women chaining themselves to the fence surrounding the White House. That sentiment is what her campaign is about, she said.

“When I think about the sacrifices of suffragettes, when I think about the sacrifices of the leaders of the civil rights movement, when I think about the sacrifices of those who were trying to form unions against extraordinarily violent protest,” she said. ”When I think about what all these Americans did, starting in the 19th and going into the 20th century — to make a very simple frame on the idea that we are all created equal, we all have a right to life, liberty.”

The crowd roared over the end of her remarks.

The presence of Giffords, shot in the head in an attempted assassination in 2011, added an emotional component to another of Clinton’s pitches Monday: her insistence that challenger Bernie Sanders is not up to combating the National Rifle Assn. and other gun-rights groups. She criticized the Vermont senator, as she does almost every day, for voting for a measure that protected gun makers and sellers against legal liability in the case of shootings.

“This is an issue that knows no boundaries,” Clinton said. “I have met too many people — fathers and mothers, siblings, children, close friends and loved ones — who have lost people. On average 90 people a day are killed by guns in America. That is 33,000 people a year.”

“This has to be a voting issue. We have to organize ourselves,” she said. “They know I’m coming for them. They’re already coming after me, and I consider that a badge of honor. I will stand with Gabby Giffords.”

She also scored Republican candidates Donald Trump and Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas for remarks critical of Muslims.

“What you’re hearing from Trump and Cruz is not only offensive, it’s dangerous,” she said. “That doesn’t only offend us, that sends a message to the rest of the world. …We need a coalition of nations to stand with us.”

Clinton’s day was a blur of activity that drove her from multiple visits with voters in places as disparate as a Queens carwash to the chandeliered hotel ballroom where she was embraced by supporters. She pleaded with all she met for their votes in Tuesday’s primary, when she hopes — once again — to hasten the end of Sanders’ campaign.

Hillary Clinton campaigns like a local politician in New York

While rival Bernie Sanders has been drawing tens of thousands of people to rallies here ahead of Tuesday's New York primary, Hillary Clinton has campaigned more like a city council candidate, visiting neighborhoods to shake hands and rub shoulders with local leaders. 

She has played dominoes at a senior center in East Harlem, danced at a Washington Heights block party and spoke at a church in Mount Vernon.

On Monday, the day before the state's crucial primary, she was making the rounds again. First, she visited a Yonkers hospital, flanked by city officials including the mayor and state lawmakers, and spoke to about 150 workers in a hot and crowded room. 

“New York values are America’s values, and we want to stand up for those, here in New York and across the country,” Clinton said, taking a shot at Republican candidate Ted Cruz, who had derisively referred to “New York values” during his campaign. 

Next she was on to a car wash in Queens, which had the slogan “Lube It or Lose It.” The car wash is unionized, and Clinton shook hands with the owner.

"I’m proud of what you’re doing,” she said. “This is such a model. I’m so impressed, so grateful."

Before climbing back into her black SUV, a reporter asked how Clinton was feeling about Tuesday’s primary.

“I’m excited. I will work as hard as I can," she said. "I’ve got great friends and supporters across the city and the state who are helping me, but we’re not talking anything for granted.”

She’s scheduled to appear in Manhattan with Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.), the president of the Planned Parenthood Action Fund and former Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D-Ariz.) in the afternoon.

“You can get three delegates in a congressional district that might have 2,000 Republican votes and they matter just as much as a congressional district that might have 200,000 Republican votes.”

John Weaver, chief strategist for John Kasich, on the incentive for presidential hopefuls to campaign in Democratic strongholds such as New York City, Los Angeles and the Bay Area.

Hillary Clinton says Donald Trump is hurting U.S. standing abroad

Hillary Clinton refused to respond to Donald Trump labeling her “crooked Hillary,” but she nonetheless used his attack as an opportunity to challenge his own image.

“He is hurting our unity at home,” Clinton said in an interview with ABC’s “This Week.” “He is undermining the values that we stand for in New York and across America, and he’s hurting us around the world.”

His insulting nickname for her doesn’t deserve an answer, Clinton said.

She also accused Trump of threatening women, Muslims, immigrants and people with disabilities. Before anyone can make a decision on policy toward any groups, she said, they need to understand the people themselves, the issues and consequences.

“Unlike some people, I do try to learn what’s the core of any question before I offer an opinion because it’s not enough to say what’s wrong,” she said. “I think you’ve got a responsibility to say how you’ll fix it.”

Donald Trump: The GOP convention needs a 'showbiz' touch

Donald Trump wants to add his own touch to the Republican National Conventions in July with a little stagecraft and a “showbiz” feel. 

“It’s very important to put some showbiz into a convention; otherwise people are going to fall asleep,” Trump said in an interview with the Washington Post. The comment appeared to be, in part, an warning by Trump that he wants more of a say in the convention than a nominee would normally get, assuming he does secure the party's nomination.

He told the Post that he thinks non-politicians and business leaders deserve the opportunity to speak at the convention in Cleveland, not just the party leaders. The Republican National Committee runs the event, but Trump, the GOP front-runner, said he doesn’t think the RNC can handle putting on an interesting show.

“We don’t have the people who know how to put showbiz into a convention,” he said.

In past elections, a nominee surfaced long before the convention and helped put together the convention around their campaign. But in this 2016 race, the potential for a contested convention and lack of a clear leader threatens to upend traditional convention proceedings. 

Trump is poised to win New York, but by how much matters a lot to delegate-hungry Cruz and Kasich

Donald Trump campaigns in Staten Island, N.Y. (Kena Betancur / AFP/Getty Images)
Donald Trump campaigns in Staten Island, N.Y. (Kena Betancur / AFP/Getty Images)

The 12th Congressional District of New York, centered on Manhattan's Upper East Side, is home to many symbols of the city's gilded glory: Park Avenue, the Guggenheim and Metropolitan museums, the penthouse abode of one Donald J. Trump.

It is also home to about 48,000 registered Republicans, a population dwarfed by more than 210,000 Democrats who twice delivered the district to President Obama with a vote surpassing 75%.

Still, that relatively meager mass of GOP faithful — more moderate, affluent and educated than the national norm — explains why presidential hopeful John Kasich plopped this weekend onto a counter seat at PJ Bernstein's delicatessen, where a swarm of reporters documented his intake of kreplach, sour pickles and strudel.

He was cherry-picking.

Are you an independent voter? You aren't if you checked this box

From left, Emma Stone, Sugar Ray Leonard, Mark Pincus None
From left, Emma Stone, Sugar Ray Leonard, Mark Pincus

With nearly half a million registered members, the American Independent Party is bigger than all of California's other minor political parties combined. The ultraconservative party's platform opposes abortion rights and same-sex marriage, and calls for building a fence along the entire United States border.

Based in the Solano County home of one of its leaders, the AIP bills itself as “The Fastest Growing Political Party in California."

But a Times investigation has found that a majority of its members have registered with the party in error. Nearly three in four people did not realize they had joined the party, a survey of registered AIP voters conducted for The Times found.

That mistake could prevent people from casting votes in the June 7 presidential primary, California's most competitive in decades.

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