Joe Biden meets with AFL-CIO president

Welcome to Trail Guide, your daily run along the road to the White House. It's Thursday, Aug. 27, and this is what we're watching:

  • Vice President Joe Biden is in  no rush to decide whether to run for president, The Times' Michael A. Memoli and Evan Halper report
  • Biden meets with AFL-CIO president
  • The Times’ Kate Linthicum looks at how the immigration debate  changed so rapidly  from talk of expanded protections to "anchor babies." One word: Trump
  • Univision chief Randy Falco says Donald Trump's kicking Jorge Ramos out of a news conference was "beneath contempt"
  • Jeb Bush  travels to Norfolk, Va., to continue his effort to bring attention to veterans issues
  • Hillary Rodham Clinton  is in Ohio for a rally

The email list will help the DNC expand its reach online, build support for a new generation of leadership, and test new tactics for activating Democratic voters in future elections.
Matt Compton, Democratic National Committee digital director, in a statement about obtaining President Obama's massive campaign email list. Democrats are meeting in Minneapolis for the party's summer gathering.

Eric Cantor back in the political sphere

In 2014, Cantor surprisingly lost a Virginia GOP primary. Now he's set to work on Jeb Bush's campaign in the Old Dominion state.

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Joe Biden meets with top labor leader

Vice President Joe Biden visited with the head of the AFL-CIO on Thursday, another in a series of moves that has heightened scrutiny about whether he'll seek the Democratic presidential nomination.

While Biden has held several meetings in recent weeks with strategists and politicians, those meetings, aides say, have been primarily driven by his responding to potential support.

As reported in The Times on Thursday, Biden is in no rush to make a decision and could delay an announcement until after the first Democratic presidential debate in October or even next year's early nominating contests in Iowa and New Hampshire.

Still, his meeting with AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka arrived as each of the current Democratic presidential candidates courts support from labor, a major constituency for the party.

Hillary Rodham Clinton, Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders and former Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley all met last month in Washington with leaders of the AFL-CIO, offering pitches to try to secure future endorsements.

Clinton captured the support of the American Federation of Teachers this summer. And earlier this month, National Nurses United, a union made up mostly of women, offered its support to Sanders.

In a speech this summer, Trumka said Democratic candidates must embrace blue-collar workers.

"Standing with working people once in awhile won't work. Candidates can't hedge bets any longer," he said in what some viewed as a veiled jab toward Clinton.

Moreover, controversy surrounding Clinton's use of a private email server while secretary of State has led some Democrats to pause and rethink whether there might be a better alternative as the party looks toward what will be a contentious 2016 general election.

When asked Thursday about Biden's potential candidacy, Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel, a former chief of staff to President Obama, said the vice president will need the "emotional energy."

"Running for office is one thing. You have to also have the energy for that process, and I can say that personally. And you also have to have the energy for the job," he told the Chicago Tribune. "And I think the vice president, obviously, in his comments, is acknowledging the kind of process you go through as you evaluate this."

Democrats consider resolution to honor the late Beau Biden

As Joe Biden weighs whether he has the "emotional fuel" to mount a presidential campaign, the Democratic National Committee will consider a resolution honoring the vice president's late son, Beau.

A draft version of the resolution, which would probably be adopted by the full party organization meeting Friday, cites Biden's own words about his son, the former Delaware attorney general and an Iraq war veteran, calling him "quite simply the finest man any of us have ever known."

It also offers the party's formal condolences to the vice president and his family.

"His accomplishments for the people of Delaware and the country were numerous and extraordinary, and his commitment to Democratic values helped make people's lives better every day," a party official said of Beau Biden, who died of brain cancer on May 30 at age 46.

Each of the five announced candidates are set to address the DNC's summer meeting in Minneapolis on Friday.

Though Biden will not attend, he addressed DNC members on a conference call Wednesday organized to discuss the Iran nuclear deal. But Biden was asked about his own uncertain plans.

"If I were to announce to run, I have to be able to commit to all of you that I would be able to give it my whole heart and my whole soul," he said. "Right now, both are pretty well banged up."

Trump submits to hair inspection in South Carolina

Is it real or a toupee?

Well, a South Carolina woman says it's real.

Apparently, Donald Trump, the Republican presidential front-runner, is tired of the speculation about his hair. So, to set the record straight, he called on a woman at his rally in Greenville, S.C., Thursday to come on stage and check it out.

"Is it mine?" Trump asked after she touched his scalp.

"Yes, I believe it is," she replied.

What Jeb Bush was talking about when he tried to explain his 'anchor babies' comment

 (Mark Wallheiser / Associated Press)

(Mark Wallheiser / Associated Press)

Jeb Bush's comment the other day describing the loaded phrase "anchor babies" as "more related to Asian people" drew plenty of flak as a clumsy attempt to describe a complicated phenomenon.

Southern California has seen an influx of well-to-do women coming to the U.S. to give birth here, thus automatically conferring U.S. citizenship on their newborns. The federal government raided three businesses last year that cater to pregnant Chinese women who travel here, usually on tourist visas, to deliver their children.

Times staffers Frank Shyong, Cindy Chang and Paloma Esquivel explore the issue:

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Horsey: In Trump, supporters see alpha male leader with a message

 (David Horsey / Los Angeles Times)

(David Horsey / Los Angeles Times)

In a political world where candidates are stage-managed to project a poll-tested image of what voters are supposed to want, Trump, the reality TV star, is simply himself -- a blunt, confident rich guy -- and that comes across as strangely authentic.
David Horsey, Los Angeles Times editorial cartoonist

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How the calendar shakes out, or doesn't, for a Joe Biden presidential run

 (Cliff Owen / Associated Press)

(Cliff Owen / Associated Press)

The conventional wisdom in Washington in recent weeks surrounding Vice President Joe Biden is that he can take some time to make the big decision about whether to run for president -- but he can't wait too long.

Or can he?

No real deadline exists to enter the Democratic race. The nominee need only secure the most delegates through the nominating contests that start in late winter. And even then, Biden wouldn't have to necessarily compete in the first of those -- in Iowa and New Hampshire -- to win the majority of them.

And all of this calculating leaves Hillary Rodham Clinton's campaign in a more precarious position than it might be otherwise. On the other hand, a little competition could prove to be good for her.

The Times' Michael A. Memoli and Evan Halper take stock of the Democratic race:

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How Donald Trump continues to shift the immigration debate

 (Jeff J. Mitchell / Getty Images)

(Jeff J. Mitchell / Getty Images)

So who are Donald Trump's supporters?

In the months since the billionaire businessman entered the 2016 contest, he's been lambasted for his inflammatory rhetoric about Mexicans, alluding to some as "rapists" and drug runners.

But he's also tapped into support.

“People are waking up,” said Toni Holle, 60, a tea party activist from Chino Hills. “I think some people were afraid to say that they were against illegal immigration because, you know, you don't want to be called a racist. With Donald Trump at the forefront, people feel more at ease stepping out with their views. I think people are willing to stand up and say, 'No more.'”

The Times' Kate Linthicum has more.

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Mr. Trump demonstrated complete disregard for [Jorge Ramos] and for the countless Hispanics whom Jorge seeks to represent through press questions that are at the heart of the First Amendment.
Univision chief Randy Falco defends the network's Jorge Ramos from criticism from Republican Donald Trump.