Quick Takes

* Apparently it wasn’t just the media that was impressed with Hillary Clinton’s speech on national security last week.

“Yesterday in San Diego, I had the opportunity to—”

Before Hillary Clinton could finish the sentence, or even mention the speech, the crowd in Culver City cut her off with cheers. Later that day, in Westminster, it happened again. And again in Santa Ana. And again in San Bernardino…

In the days since San Diego, aides and supporters have said they see the speech “breaking through the noise,” as one put it — and resonating on the trail to a degree Clinton hasn’t seen in past efforts to draw sustained attention to Trump’s failed businesses, for instance, or to his comments about profiting from the housing crisis.

* There is a lot of buzz today about when President Obama will formally endorse Hillary Clinton. Here’s a pretty good guess:

* This week House Speaker Paul Ryan begins the process of releasing what he is calling his “Confident America” agenda. In contrast, today the Center for America Progress released A Progressive Agenda to Cut Poverty and Expand Opportunity.

This blueprint lays out a policy framework that would dramatically reduce poverty and restore the American dream along five core areas:

1. Building better jobs and wages
2. Valuing all families
3. Ensuring basic living standards
4. Investing in human capital
5. Removing barriers to opportunity

Families across America cannot afford to wait any longer. We need to build an economy that works for everyone, not just for the wealthy few.

* This is a pretty bold move:

“Earlier today, BuzzFeed informed the RNC that we would not accept Trump for President ads and that we would be terminating our agreement with them,” Peretti said. “The Trump campaign is directly opposed to the freedoms of our employees in the United States and around the world and in some cases, such as his proposed ban on international travel for Muslims, would make it impossible for our employees to do their jobs.”

Peretti added later in the email, “We certainly don’t like to turn away revenue that funds all the important work we do across the company. However, in some cases we must make business exceptions: we don’t run cigarette ads because they are hazardous to our health, and we won’t accept Trump ads for the exact same reason.”

* I always appreciate reading about the people who are hard at work organizing the ground game of political campaigns.

In a political arena dominated by brash billionaires, wealthy politicians and high-priced consultants, Hillary Clinton aide Buffy Wicks is an outlier. The California state director is “just full of love,” says Marlon Marshall, the national director of states for the Clinton campaign. “She is brilliant in strategy, tactics, but she’s an organizer at heart.” Wicks is responsible for corralling nine campaign offices, hundreds of volunteers and 475 delegates. Hopes are pinned on this likable yet shrewd former Obama-ite, who helped elect the president and push through his signature legacy, the Affordable Care Act, to make the difference for Clinton…

Her philosophy is shaped by fellow Obama alums, from Axelrod and Emmanuel to David Plouffe and Marshall Ganz. “I don’t come from the school of slash-and-burn,” Wicks says, adding that while she’s building for the primary, she aims for on-the-ground excitement to carry into November. Authentic relationships are key, she says, as well as crafting a community around her candidate … even as that candidate’s historically unfavorable ratings continue to crest over 50 percent.

* Finally, Hawaiian artist Kamea Hadar was commissioned to paint a mural.

Hawaiian artist Kamea Hadar…just completed and unveiled the new piece entitled “Hapa”: a grand portrait of the President, who was born and raised in Honolulu…

In Hawaiian, hapa means “part” or “portion” and is used in the Islands to refer to anyone with a mixed ethnic background. Hadar explains, “The concept of hapa is something beautiful, and President Obama is definitely a symbol of someone who not only is hapa, but represents the philosophy and the beauty of not only being of mixed race, but promoting racial equality.”

Nancy LeTourneau

Nancy LeTourneau is a contributing writer for the Washington Monthly.