Final reads for Friday
"You never go full Trump," warns Maxim's Jared Keller, sharing Donald Trump's epic rally tirade on everything that’s wrong in this race (at 7,700+ gobsmacked shares right now). "This is what mutually assured destruction looks like: Trump’s 95-minute rant: 'How stupid are the people of Iowa?" summarizes CNN's Michael Smerconish. "There will never be another political rally like this in my lifetime," concludes Washington Post's Steven Ginsberg. At one point, Trump "signed a book for an audience member and then threw it off the stage," points out National Journal's Clare Foran, while Whet Moser with ChicagoMag.com resolved he was "going to plagiarize the end of donald trump's iowa speech in a novel someday." Also, Glenn Thrush at Politico notices, "Key line in the Trump rant story is about his health/stamina: he was completely exhausted after few days on the road." No matter your takeaway, this moment was one for the books, folks.
So is it time for the GOP to panic? The establishment seems worried that Ben Carson or Trump might win. It could also be billed this way: "GOP panic: 'What if Hillary hits a banana peel and this person becomes president?'" tweets Robin Abcarian at the LA Times. Speaking of Hill, she's got an early, commanding delegate lead for the nomination. "Also notable from @AP survey: HRC's focus on superdelegates. Reflects an obsession with not repeating 2008 mistakes," notes AP's Lisa Lerer. And elsewhere in politics, major donors are considering funding Black Lives Matter.
But wait. Drop everything. WaPo reports that U.S. drones have been targeting "Jihadi John," the Briton linked to hostage beheadings, and now ABC News indicates that he is believed to have been killed in a strike. "Dear John: Behead this," suggests Sherman Frederick, although ABC's James Gordon Meek adds, "But Diane Foley, mom of Jihad John's 1st victim Jim Foley, tells @ABC the terrorist's killing is 'small solace'."