March 5, 2021

Global News Archive

News archives from around the world.

POLITICO Playbook: Is Tanden toast? And why Biden is wary of touching reparations – Politico

15 min read

Below: What we’re hearing about NEERA TANDEN’S prospects after the JOE MANCHIN stunner, and an inside peek at Trump’s Mar-a-Lago 2022 war room.But first, a look at how JOE BIDEN is navigating the reparations debate …

Presidents are often at their most powerful — and most cautious — in the first year of their administration. They arrive with political capital to do a few big things before the honeymoon ends, so they must be careful how they spend it.

For Biden and his administration, that’s meant studiously avoiding the kinds of cultural issues that have tripped up some of his predecessors early in their terms.

This week, we asked Press Secretary JEN PSAKI about Biden’s support for HR 40, a bill that would create a commission to study reparations for the Black descendants of enslaved people. She responded carefully: “It’s working its way through Congress. We’d certainly support a study, but we’ll see what happens through the legislative process.”

As a candidate, Biden supported the spirit of the legislation, which has been kicking around in Congress for years. But now the administration won’t say whether he would support the actual bill. (Minutes before, Psaki told a different reporter that if Congress passed a bill to provide $10,000 in student debt relief, “he’d be eager to sign that.” So it’s not that the administration doesn’t throw support behind bills still in the legislative hopper.)

The pitfalls of Biden’s recent predecessors help explain the caution.

During his 1992 campaign, BILL CLINTON made a “dramatic” promise to lift the ban on gay people serving in the military but was met with bitter opposition in Congress from both parties, as well as Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff COLIN POWELL. The issue engulfed Clinton in controversy for months after he won, and the country ended up with the widely-panned “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy.

For BARACK OBAMA, it was the Henry Louis Gates incident. In July 2009, the Black Harvard professor was arrested at his own home after a neighbor called to report a break-in. Obama gave what by today’s standards was a pretty measured response — he didn’t know whether race played a role in the arrest but said police had acted “stupidly” for arresting someone who’d proven he was trying to get into his own house.

But the backlash was fierce. “[T]he Gates affair caused a huge drop in my support among white voters, bigger than would come from any single event during the eight years of my presidency. It was support that I’d never completely get back,” Obama wrote in his memoir.

The episode and ensuing “beer summit” was a perfect example of how fraught cultural issues can be for a new president (and particularly, for a Black president, one involving race).

Which brings us back to reparations, a topic as little understood by some as it is prone to hyperbole and distortion. Biden plainly sees no upside to wade into it at this point — even though the measure wouldn’t do anything more than study the idea.

The cautious approach extends to other cultural hot potatoes. Biden was outspoken during the campaign about passing gun control. But when asked about it on Tuesday, Psaki said that while it is “a priority to him on a personal level … I don’t have a prediction for you or a preview for you on a timeline of a package, and certainly not what it would look like and how it would go through Congress.”

The early display of discipline is a reminder that Biden has learned a thing or two from his decades observing the early missteps of his predecessors. But it’s a tricky balance. After being promised the most progressive agenda in generations, activists are only going to hold their tongues for so long if their issues are ignored.

TANDEN IN TROUBLE — “Manchin to oppose Tanden for OMB, imperiling major Biden nomination,” by Marianne LeVine and Caitlin Emma: “Manchin’s opposition presents a major problem for Tanden, given that Democrats only hold a 50-seat majority in the Senate. Without Manchin’s vote, Tanden likely would need at least one Senate Republican … In a statement, Manchin said that he had reviewed Tanden’s previous tweets criticizing his colleagues …

“‘I believe her overtly partisan statements will have a toxic and detrimental impact on the important working relationship between members of Congress and the next director of the Office of Management and Budget,’ Manchin said. … The White House so far is not conceding defeat. When asked whether he’d pull Tanden’s nomination Friday evening, Biden replied ‘no.’”

This has the potential to be what Biden might call a BFD if Manchin’s move solidifies opposition against Tanden from all 50 Republicans — by no means a sure thing. (The most no votes against a Biden cabinet pick so far were the 43 who opposed Secretary of Homeland Security ALEJANDRO MAYORKAS.) But Senate Republicans are relishing the development. “Biden and Schumer are going to hem and haw for a bit so Tanden can save a bit of face and then they’re going to pull her and move on,” one Senate GOP aide predicted.

We think it’s far too early for that. Assuming the other 49 Democrats remain on board, Tanden only needs one Republican vote. The most likely Republicans are the six who voted for Mayorkas: MITT ROMNEY, SUSAN COLLINS, LISA MURKOWSKI, ROB PORTMAN, SHELLEY MOORE CAPITO, and DAN SULLIVAN.

But here are a few other questions our Biden sources are asking:

— How did the White House lose Manchin on this? Our sources there were as surprised about Manchin’s statement as Manchin was about Kamala Harris’s interview with WSAZ.

— What other Dem senators are about to go rogue? There is often an implicit assumption that there are 50 Dem votes for Biden’s nominees and legislation. It only takes one Dem to scuttle anything Biden wants passed through the Senate, and Manchin’s Friday surprise is a reminder that we have no idea what’s on the minds of all 50 at any given moment.

Was this statement from Psaki really a full-throated endorsement of Tanden?

“Neera Tanden is an accomplished policy expert who would be an excellent Budget Director and we look forward to the committee votes next week and to continuing to work toward her confirmation through engagement with both parties.”

We’ve seen more coordinated messaging efforts by this White House to support a profile in People magazine than we did last night to support Tanden, who would be the first woman of color in history to serve as OMB director.

Who could replace Tanden if she can’t make it through and Biden declines to make a recess appointment? The American Prospect’s BOB KUTTNER says that GENE SPERLING is waiting in the wings. Others say not so fast. “There is no way they can pick another white dude from the Obama administration,” says one source close to the White House.

BIDEN’S SATURDAY — The president and VP KAMALA HARRIS have nothing on their public schedules. Harris is in Los Angeles.

TRUMP WATCH

MEANWHILE, IN MAR-A-LAGO: “Trump gears up for war with his own party,” by Gabby Orr and Meridith McGraw: “Cocooned in Mar-a-Lago, the newly acquitted ex-president is stepping up his political activities.”

“There’s no longer a chief of staff to screen his calls and he keeps no predictable working hours. So an unspoken rule has governed Donald Trump’s calendar since he left Washington last month: To sit down with the former president, you must belong to his posh Palm Beach club or know how to contact him directly.

“But even that won’t always do it. For weeks now, Trump has rejected meetings with everyone from former South Carolina governor and 2024 hopeful Nikki Haley to House and Senate GOP candidates vying for his ear — preferring to spend his days leisurely calling friends, binging cable news, golfing with a rotating cast of partners and basking in standing ovations whenever he arrives for dinner on Mar-a-Lago’s outdoor patio. One person close to the ex-president said he’s become “unreachable” to anyone outside his limited circle of loyal aides, longtime friends and die-hard political allies.

“That’s about to change.

“According to three people familiar with the planning, Trump will soon begin vetting candidates at Mar-a-Lago who are eager to fulfill his promise to exact vengeance upon incumbent Republicans who’ve scorned him, and to ensure every open GOP seat in the 2022 midterms has a MAGA-approved contender vying for it.

“Trump already has received dozens of requests from prospective candidates seeking to introduce themselves and nab his endorsement, and formal meetings with them could begin as early as March. Now that Trump has survived his second Senate impeachment trial, he has shifted his focus to post-presidential activism — a venture mostly bankrolled by his new leadership PAC, Save America, which had $31 million in its coffers at the start of this month.”

POLICY CORNER

TRUMP TOILET WATCH — “Biden admin targets Trump’s let-the-water-flow legacy and other energy efficiency rules,” NBC: “Former President Donald Trump’s effort to loosen regulations dictating the water-flow levels of many household appliances and fixtures is under threat with the Biden administration announcing it will launch a federal review of several Trump-era rules and regulations governing the topic, in addition to other energy and efficiency-related edicts.”

X MARKS THE SPOT — “Biden administration suggests it will add ‘X’ gender markers to federal documents,” The 19th: “After years of lobbying and lawsuits, nonbinary and intersex people may finally be getting passports that reflect who they are: LGBTQ+ advocates have been in talks with the Biden administration about executive action to add ‘X’ gender markers to all federal documents, including passports and social security cards, according to the ACLU.

“The White House declined to offer a timeline for the rollout or comment on how the policy might be implemented. But Matt Hill, a spokesperson at the White House, said President Joe Biden remains committed to issuing nonbinary IDs.”

JAN. 6

OATH KEEPERS CONSPIRACY — “U.S. alleges wider Oath Keepers conspiracy, adds more defendants in Jan. 6 Capitol riot,” WaPo: “A 21-page indictment alleged that the defendants ‘did knowingly combine, conspire, confederate, and agree with each other and others known and unknown’ to force entry to the Capitol and obstruct Congress from certifying the election of Joe Biden as president in riots that led to five deaths and assaults on 139 police.”

ALSO — “U.S. investigating possible ties between Roger Stone, Alex Jones and Capitol rioters,” WaPo

THE PANDEMIC

TRACKER: The U.S. reported 2,477 Covid-19 deaths and 75,000 new coronavirus cases Friday.

‘NORMALCY BY THE END OF THIS YEAR’ — “Biden defends progress on COVID as weather delays 6M shots,” AP: “President Joe Biden toured a state-of-the art coronavirus vaccine plant Friday, intent on showcasing progress even as extreme winter weather across the U.S. handed his vaccination campaign its first major setback, delaying shipment of about 6 million doses and causing temporary closures of inoculation sites in many communities.

“While acknowledging the weather is ‘slowing up the distribution,’ Biden said at the Pfizer plant in Michigan that he believes ‘we’ll be approaching normalcy by the end of this year.’ His speech melded a recitation of his administration’s accomplishments in its first month confronting the pandemic, a vigorous pitch for his $1.9 trillion COVID relief bill and criticism of his predecessor.”

— NYT: “When Could the United States Reach Herd Immunity? It’s Complicated.”

— KNOWING YOUYANG GU — “The 27-Year-Old Who Became a Covid-19 Data Superstar,” Bloomberg Businessweek

POLITICS WATCH

CHALLENGING CUOMO — “GOP Rep. Tom Reed ‘definitely looking’ at challenging NY Gov. Cuomo amid nursing home controversy,” Fox News: “‘People across the district, across the state, are saying “you need to take a look at this.” I’m humbled by that, but I’m also energized by it,’ the six-term congressman, who represents the southwestern corner of New York State, said in an interview with Fox News. ‘Given an opportunity to do my part to serve and try to change the direction of the state, we are definitely looking at it,’ Reed said. …

“Reed isn’t the only Republican member of New York’s congressional delegation who’s being urged to challenge Cuomo. Fox News was first to report on Friday that Rep. Lee Zeldin is being encouraged by influential Republicans to run.”

AMERICA AND THE WORLD

NOT SO FAST — “Biden Tells Allies ‘America Is Back,’ but Macron and Merkel Push Back,” NYT: “President Biden used his first public encounter with America’s European allies to describe a new struggle between the West and the forces of autocracy, declaring that ‘America is back’ while acknowledging that the past four years had taken a toll on its power and influence.

“His message stressing the importance of reinvigorating alliances and recommitting to defending Europe was predictably well received … But there was also pushback, notably from the French president, Emmanuel Macron, who in his address made an impassioned defense of his concept of ‘strategic autonomy’ from the United States, making the case that Europe can no longer be overly dependent on the United States.”

VALLEY TALK

AUSTRALIA FALLOUT — “Facebook just handed its critics in Washington a lot more ammunition,” by Nancy Scola: “Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg has said for years that governments should set rules for the internet. Now his Washington critics say the company’s news blackout in Australia proves he didn’t mean it.

“The company blocked all news content for users in Australia this week in the face of a proposed law that would force it to pay news publishers for displaying their content. The move provided instant fodder for those in the U.S. who say Facebook is too big, too powerful and verging on ungovernable — the very concerns that prompted federal and state regulators to launch an antitrust suit against the company late last year.”

MEDIAWATCH

NO JEFF BEZOS — “Los Angeles Times Owner Exploring Sale of Company,” WSJ: “Billionaire biotech investor Patrick Soon-Shiong is exploring a sale of the Los Angeles Times less than three years after buying it for $500 million, people familiar with the matter said. The move marks an abrupt about-face for Mr. Soon-Shiong, who had vowed to restore stability to the West Coast news institution and has invested hundreds of millions of dollars into the paper in an effort to turn it around. …

“A tweet on Mr. Soon-Shiong’s account said: ‘WSJ article inaccurate.’ … The options being considered include an outright sale of the entire company, bringing in an additional investor or transferring management of the properties to another media group … Mr. Soon-Shiong has also considered selling or transferring management of the San Diego publication to another company, possibly Alden Global Capital Inc.’s MediaNews Group.”

MOO — “Judge tosses Nunes’ libel suit against CNN,” by Josh Gerstein: “A federal judge has thrown out a lawsuit Rep. Devin Nunes filed in 2019 claiming he was libeled by CNN in reports alleging he was involved in an effort to dig up Ukraine-related dirt on Joe Biden. … [Laura Taylor] Swain dismissed the suit against CNN on a technical ground.” The decision

THE NEW OBAMA TAN SUIT? — MEDIA MATTERS’ @aliciasadsowski6: “Newsmax guest attacks Biden’s dogs for being dirty and ‘unlike a presidential dog.’” The video

THE LATEST IN TEXAS

DIRE SITUATION — “Texas Is Facing a Food Supply Nightmare in Wake of Blackouts,” Bloomberg … “Texas water shortages persist; ‘fragile’ power grid returns to life,” Reuters … “Many Texans have died because of the winter storm. Just how many won’t be known for weeks or months,” Texas Tribune

AND A FEW CRUZ UPDATES — “United probing Cruz flight data leak,” by Daniel Lippman: “The United executive said no options are ‘off the table,’ but it depends on the outcome of the investigation and if they definitively find the employee who disclosed the information.

“The leak had led journalist Yashar Ali to tweet: ‘That guy claiming to have a United source is putting that source in danger of being fired with his tweet. Airlines track every single keystroke of their agents or anyone else who has access to flight records.’”

“Cruz family’s Cancun trip rattles their private school,” by Marc Caputo

RUSH READS

THE POST-RUSH LANDSCAPE — NYT opinion page editor Kathleen Kingsbury invites four writers — Ross Douthat and Frank Bruni from the inside, and Jill Filipovic and Ben Shapiro from the outside — to weigh in on Limbaugh’s legacy.

— Also NYT: “Where Will Rush Limbaugh’s 15 Million Listeners Go Now?”

CLICKER — “The nation’s cartoonists on the week in politics,” edited by Matt Wuerker — 15 funnies

GREAT WEEKEND READS:

“Trump Can Still Be The Republican Party’s Future. Just Look To Arizona,” by Rosie Gray in Buzzfeed: “Arizona Republicans keep losing — but the state party has already turned itself into a Trump machine, still trying to win an election that’s long over. And that might be the future of conservatism.” (We love anything Rosie writes and this one is a must-read!)

“‘I Don’t Trust the People Above Me’: Riot Squad Cops Open Up About Disastrous Response to Capitol Insurrection,” by Joaquin Sapien and Joshua Kaplan in ProPublica: “Interviews with 19 current and former officers show how failures of leadership and communication put hundreds of Capitol cops at risk and allowed rioters to get dangerously close to members of Congress.”

“Why is America getting a new $100 billion nuclear weapon?” by Elisabeth Eaves in the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists.

“The student and the algorithm: how the exam results fiasco threatened one pupil’s future,” by Tom Lamont in The Guardian: “Josiah Elleston-Burrell had done everything to make his dream of studying architecture a reality. But, suddenly, in the summer of 2020, he found his fate was no longer in his hands.”

“Working for Syria’s chemical weapons program and spilling its secrets to the CIA,” by WaPo’s Joby Warrick, excerpted from his new book, “Red Line” ($29.95): “When civil war broke out in Syria in 2011 … [t]he CIA knew much of what materials Damascus possessed and where they were hidden — thanks mostly to one agent.”

“The Christian Prophets Who Say Trump Is Coming Again,” by Julia Duin in POLITICO Magazine: “In the growing community of charismatic Christian prophecy, faith in Donald Trump’s imminent return to the White House is a new dividing line.”

“She used to be an agent. Now she is one of Border Patrol’s loudest critics,” by the San Diego Union-Tribune’s Kristina Davis: “Jenn Budd uses her experience to advocate for migrant rights and call for accountability on border”

HAPPY BIRTHDAY: Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (79) … Doug Mills Mark Knoller Chris CillizzaDavid CornMichael Clemente … WSJ’s Bob Davis (7-0) … POLITICO’s David Cohen, Carmen Paun and Juan Perez … USIP’s Andrew Hanna … STG’s Aaron Wells … Rally’s Manny Rivera Kaylin DinesDan Gross Tim Farley David Blair Haley MorrisRebecca Samuels Michael Zona (3-0) … Clarissa Chandoo Katie FratesAmy SpitalnickMiguel Rodriguez of the Gates Foundation … Scott Hobson Jen FinnMichael Zona, VP at Bullpen Strategy Group … LaVaughn Cole Trevor Noah

THE SHOWS (Full Sunday show listings here):

  • ABC

    “This Week”: White House press secretary Jen Psaki … Rep. Steve Scalise (R-La.). Panel: Chris Christie, Rahm Emanuel, Leah Wright Rigueur and Margaret Hoover.

  • FOX

    “Fox News Sunday”: Anthony Fauci … Bill Gates. Panel: Josh Holmes, Kristen Soltis Anderson and Mo Elleithee.

  • CNN

    “State of the Union”: Anthony Fauci … Rep. Michael McCaul (R-Texas) … Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson … Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D-Wash.).

  • Gray TV

    “Full Court Press”: Sen. Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.) … Rep. Michael McCaul (R-Texas).

  • MSNBC

    “The Sunday Show”: Rep. Joyce Beatty (D-Ohio) … Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee (D-Texas) … Rep. Bennie Thompson (D-Miss.).

  • NBC

    “Meet the Press”: Anthony Fauci … Randi Weingarten … Will Hurd. Panel: Cornell Belcher, Pat McCrory, Susan Page and Kristen Welker.

  • CNN

    “Inside Politics”: Rep. Ro Khanna (D-Calif.) … Laura Barrón-López and Jeff Zeleny … Jonathan Martin.

  • CBS

    “Face the Nation”: Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner … Scott Gottlieb.

Got a document to share? A birthday coming up? Know which Republican could support Tanden? Drop us a line at [email protected] or individually: Rachael Bade, Eugene Daniels, Ryan Lizza, Tara Palmeri.

Playbook couldn’t happen without our editor Mike Zapler and producers Allie Bice, Eli Okun and Garrett Ross.

Source Link

Leave a Reply

Copyright ©2016-2021 Global News Archive. All rights reserved.