The cover of John Boehner’s new book has a photo of him drinking red wine with a cigarette burning in an ashtray in a very Washington-like room. | Alex Edelman/Getty Images
NEW … JOHN BOEHNER’S new book has a name, a cover and a release date — and it’s all as delicious as you would’ve hoped.
— “ON THE HOUSE: A Washington Memoir” will be released April 13, 2021. $29.99 on Amazon
— THE COVER has a photo of BOEHNER drinking red wine with a cigarette burning in an ashtray in a very Washington-like room. The cover
— ST. MARTIN’S PRESS is the publisher, and the deal was negotiated by MATT LATIMER and KEITH URBAHN at Javelin. LATIMER tells us: “It’s the most honest memoir about how Washington really works ever written.”
— IT INCLUDES STORIES about GEORGE W. BUSH, BILL CLINTON, BARACK OBAMA, NANCY PELOSI, MITCH MCCONNELL and JOE BIDEN.
CAPITOL HILL is approaching an exceedingly volatile stretch. Government funding is hitting a slight snag, and the Supreme Court nomination process is about to launch.
— MEMBERS OF CONGRESS in both parties are peeved that critical ag funding has been left out of the stopgap funding measure, which is designed to fund the government until Dec. 11. Republicans fought for the money and Democrats resisted, suggesting President DONALD TRUMP was trying to buy off rural voters ahead of the election. This would appear to be only a speed bump, for the moment, although the government will shut down in EIGHT DAYS absent congressional action.
— THE HOUSE will vote on the stopgap measure today. It will pass on something resembling party lines. MCCONNELL then has a decision to make. He can try to amend it with farm money, but we expect that Senate Minority Leader CHUCK SCHUMER will block that. So MCCONNELL will have to decide whether to pass the Dems’ bill, or risk a shutdown. We assume no shutdown — but hey, it’s 2020, so let’s assume nothing.
SUPREME COURT … TODAY: The Senate lunch will be focused on the Supreme Court nomination process. It begins around 12:30-ish p.m. and will wrap with a GOP leadership news conference around 2 p.m.
— WHO WE’RE WATCHING FOR: Sen. MITT ROMNEY (R-Utah). He told a group of us Monday evening that he was going to wait until he spoke to his colleagues to comment on the process and timing of a nomination. Burgess Everett and Marianne LeVine don’t see Romney splitting with Trump
A FEW SUPREME COURT TRUISMS … In considering when a Supreme Court nominee will get a floor vote, think of this: MCCONNELL will move when he has the votes — and not a minute sooner, or later. There is a genuine desire in the White House and Capitol Hill to hold the vote before the election — and that will happen if MCCONNELL has the votes, which he appears to be racking up quickly.
AS OF NOW, Sens. SUSAN COLLINS (R-Maine) and LISA MURKOWSKI (R-Alaska) have said they don’t believe a vote is appropriate before the election. MCCONNELL can lose only two more. ROMNEY could be one, but it’s tough to see who the other one is at this moment. Sen. LINDSEY GRAHAM (R-S.C.) told SEAN HANNITY plainly Monday night that they had the votes, and they’re going ahead with hearings and a floor vote in the next few weeks.
IT’S RISKY FOR REPUBLICANS to hold the vote during the lame-duck session after the election. Sen. MARTHA MCSALLY (R-Ariz.) is expected to lose, and would be replaced by a Democrat in November. And pushing through a vote on TRUMP’S pick could put other Republicans in a political predicament they’d rather not be in.
DEMOCRATS have limited remedies to slow this process in the immediate. The House Democrats — despite what they may say — have no ability to slow a Supreme Court nomination. It’s a unicameral process by design. A shutdown wouldn’t even slow it down, since the Senate would be open and running even absent government funding. ADAM JENTLESON laid some ideas out for Senate Dems in the NYT. … WAPO’S PAUL KANE and RACHAEL BADE say the Democrats are “largely powerless.”
— IF DEMOCRATS want to truly change the Supreme Court and the legislative filibuster should they win the majority, they need to be united in their strategies and threats. Right now, there’s no single unifying threat. For example, Sen. DIANNE FEINSTEIN (D-Calif.) said she’s opposed to blowing up the filibuster, and told Bloomberg’s DANIEL FLATLEY to “ask me when we win the majority” about adding seats to the Supreme Court.
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IN OUR NEW POLITICO/MORNING CONSULT POLL, 50% of those surveyed said the winner of the presidential election in November should pick RUTH BADER GINSBURG’S successor, while 37% said TRUMP should fill the seat.
EEEEEK … NEW POLITICO/MORNING CONSULT POLL: 69% of Americans believe the country is on the wrong track, compared with just 31% who say it’s moving in the right direction. … DEMOCRATS have a 6-POINT ADVANTAGE on the generic congressional ballot, beating Republicans 47-41. … BIDEN has a 7-POINT ADVANTAGE when it comes to who is trusted to lead during a crisis, 47-40.
48% of those polled plan to watch “some/all” of the upcoming presidential debates, but do not anticipate they’ll sway their vote. … 47% of those polled said they’d trust BIDEN if he claimed victory before all the votes are counted. 36% said they’d trust TRUMP.
BRIGHT SPOT FOR TRUMP: 74% of those polled say the economy is a “very important” issue when going out to vote. TRUMP has a 1-point advantage on the economy, edging BIDEN 46-45.
TRUMP SCOTUS PICK CONTINUING APACE — “Trump interviews Barrett while weighing a high court nominee,” by AP’s Lisa Mascaro, Zeke Miller and Jonathan Lemire: “President Donald Trump met with Judge Amy Coney Barrett at the White House as the conservative jurist emerged as a favorite to replace the late Ruth Bader Ginsburg on the Supreme Court, the start of a monumental Senate confirmation fight over objections from Democrats it’s too close to the November election.” AP
WAPO’S SEUNG MIN KIM, JOSH DAWSEY and BOB COSTA: “Two Trump advisers said the president told others on Monday that he was leaning toward Barrett — a Catholic conservative who fended off attacks on her religion during her appeals court confirmation hearing — because it would help with his base, particularly evangelical voters. One official pushing that perspective is White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows, who has been meticulously sussing out the political ramifications of each potential nominee.
“Barrett has other powerful backers within the White House, with counsel Pat Cipollone among her boosters and Vice President Pence — who, like Barrett, hails from Indiana — advocating for her internally. She served as a clerk for the late Justice Antonin Scalia, and could boost support for Trump among Catholics in critical swing states such as Pennsylvania this fall.
“McConnell has made it clear to the White House that while he will advocate for any nominee that Trump puts forward, the majority leader views Barrett as the best choice, according to several people briefed on his views. Sen. Todd C. Young (R-Ind.), who leads the Senate GOP’s campaign arm, is also lobbying for a Barrett nomination.”
JUST TELL MERRICK GARLAND! … WSJ EDITORIAL BOARD: “One good argument for a vote before Nov. 3 is having a full Court of nine Justices in the event of a contested election (see nearby). The country would not be well served by 4-4 votes that allow disputes to be settled by a cacophony of lower courts. The Court itself will suffer if it looks dysfunctional on the crucial legal questions surrounding the legitimacy of an election. If Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has the votes to confirm, the case for doing so before Nov. 3 is compelling.”
DEMS SEE CASH INFUSION, via NYT’S SHANE GOLDMACHER and JEREMY PETERS — AL GROSS, running for Senate in Alaska, got $3 MILLION after RBG died, and Dems have had $160 MILLION processed through ActBlue.
THE BIDEN CAMPAIGN has a new minute-long digital spot urging people to vote. “Get Hype, Go Vote” is an upbeat spot featuring BARACK and MICHELLE OBAMA. 60-second spot
THE DCCC is putting money into deep Republican seats — another sign of its latest quest to plunge House Minority Leader KEVIN MCCARTHY and the House GOP deeper into the minority.
— THE DCCC I.E. IS PUTTING $631,000 into Colorado’s 3rd Congressional District, where LAUREN BOEBERT, a QAnon-curious Republican, knocked off Rep. SCOTT TIPTON (R-Colo.) in a primary. DIANE MITSCH BUSH, the Democrat, is running ahead of BOEBERT in some polls. This reservation is split between Colorado Springs and Grand Junction broadcast, and district-wide satellite.
— DEMS ARE PUTTING $570,000 into Michigan’s 3rd Congressional District, which is currently held by the retiring Libertarian-but-once-GOP Rep. JUSTIN AMASH. The district has been in Republican hands for nearly 30 years. This reservation is split between Grand Rapids broadcast and cable.
— THE DCCC CONTINUES to go up big in Texas. Democrats are reserving another $622,000 in Texas 23 — the border seat being vacated by GOP Rep. WILL HURD. Republicans have privately written this seat off, as GINA ORTIZ JONES has consistently been beating TONY GONZALES in polls. They have reserved $830,000 on San Antonio English broadcast that can be used for ORTIZ JONES or to boost WENDY DAVIS over GOP Rep. CHIP ROY in the Austin-to-San-Antonio seat.
WHAT MARK MEADOWS SHOULD BE READING … NYT’S JONATHAN MARTIN in Chapel Hill: “The White House, Senate and Supreme Court Could All Hinge on North Carolina”: “North Carolina, where the changing demography reflects America as much as the urban-rural divisions mirror its polarization, was already a crucial bellwether. The state is critical to President Trump’s re-election, particularly as he has slipped in the industrial Midwest and come under more pressure to retain the rest of his 2016 map.
“With competitive races for president, Senate and governor and control of the State Legislature up for grabs, voters are being deluged by advertisements: More money has been spent on television commercials here than in any other state.
“And now, Justice Ginsburg’s death has made North Carolina even more important this year. If Mr. Trump and Senate Republicans try to hastily push through a new justice before or immediately after the election, it could doom three senators in states where they were already trailing, and where Joseph R. Biden Jr. appears well-positioned: Maine, Colorado and Arizona.
“That makes North Carolina not just a bellwether but a linchpin, with Senator Thom Tillis holding perhaps the deciding seat in who controls the Senate. The White House, the Senate and the Supreme Court, then, could hang in the balance here.”
NEW — HAPPENING TONIGHT: ANITA KUMAR reports BIDEN will raise $3 MILLION at a virtual fundraiser hosted by Impact, a group working to elect Indian Americans. VIVEK MURTHY, the first U.S. surgeon general of Indian descent, will be in conversation with Biden, and Impact co-founder DEEPAK RAJ is also supposed to speak. The event underscores the larger fight for Indian American voters, many of whom live in battleground states, including Pennsylvania, Michigan and Nevada, which has only escalated since Biden picked Sen. KAMALA HARRIS (D-Calif.), the daughter of an Indian mother, as his running mate.
BIDEN STICKS TO THE SCRIPT ON THE TRAIL — “Wisconsin campaign memo: Biden ignores SCOTUS, slams Trump on Covid,” by Natasha Korecki
WHAT JEN O’MALLEY DILLON SHOULD BE READING — “Rank-and-file union members snub Biden for Trump,” by Holly Otterbein and Megan Cassella: “Joe Biden has pitched himself to voters as a ‘union man,’ a son of Scranton, Pa., who respects the dignity of work and will defend organized labor if he wins the White House. To rank-and-file members in some unions, especially the building trades, it doesn’t matter. They’re still firmly in Donald Trump’s camp.
“Labor leaders have worked for months to sell their members on Biden, hoping to avoid a repeat of 2016 when Donald Trump outperformed among union members and won the White House. But despite a bevy of national union endorsements for Biden and years of what leaders call attacks on organized labor from the Trump administration, local officials in critical battleground states said support for Trump remains solid.
“‘We haven’t moved the needle here,’ said Mike Knisley, executive secretary-treasurer with the Ohio State Building and Construction Trades Council, who estimated that about half of his members voted for Trump in 2016 and will do so again. ‘Even if given all the information that’s been put out there, all the facts — just pick an issue that the president has had his hands in — it doesn’t make a difference.’” POLITICO
HAPPENING TODAY … AP: “World powers set to take the stage, virtually, at U.N. debate”: “Among those expected to speak Tuesday are U.S. President Donald Trump and Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro, whose countries have reported the highest and second-highest coronavirus death tolls, respectively. Also on deck are President Xi Jinping of China, where the virus originated, and President Vladimir Putin of Russia, which has raised international eyebrows with its rapid vaccine development.”
TRUMP’S TUESDAY — The president will receive an intel briefing at 12:30 p.m. in the Oval Office. He will leave the White House at 5:35 p.m. en route to Pittsburgh. He will arrive at the Pittsburgh International Airport at 6:50 p.m. and give a campaign speech at 7 p.m. Trump will depart at 8:30 p.m. and return to Washington. He will arrive at the White House at 9:45 p.m.
ON THE TRAIL … BIDEN will attend a virtual fundraiser. … HARRIS will travel to Flint, Mich., where she will tour small businesses affected by Covid-19. Afterward, she will head to Detroit to participate in a “shop talk” roundtable conversation with Black men. Harris will participate in a voter mobilization event ahead of early voting in Michigan that begins Thursday.
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PHOTO DU JOUR: COVID Memorial Project volunteers install 200,000 U.S. flags on the National Mall to commemorate the approaching milestone of 200,000 American lives lost in the pandemic so far. | Win McNamee/Getty Images
WILD STORY — “Luxury cars, MAGA flags and Facebook invites: How an unknown Idaho family organized the Portland rally that turned deadly,” by WaPo’s Issac Stanley-Becker, Joshua Partlow and Carissa Wolf in Meridian, Idaho
FOR THOSE KEEPING TRACK — “Trump Could Be Investigated for Tax Fraud, D.A. Says for First Time,” by NYT’s Benjamin Weiser and William Rashbaum: “The Manhattan district attorney’s office, which has been locked in a yearlong legal battle with President Trump over obtaining his tax returns, suggested for the first time in a court filing on Monday that it had grounds to investigate him and his businesses for tax fraud.
“The filing by the office of the district attorney, Cyrus R. Vance Jr., offered rare insight into the office’s investigation of the president and his business dealings, which began more than two years ago. Mr. Vance, a Democrat, has never revealed the scope of his office’s criminal inquiry, citing grand jury secrecy. The investigation has been stalled by the fight over a subpoena that the office issued in August 2019 for eight years of the president’s tax returns.
“Lawyers for Mr. Trump have said the subpoena should be blocked, calling it ‘wildly overbroad’ and politically motivated. Mr. Vance responded to that argument in a carefully worded new filing that did not directly accuse Mr. Trump or any of his businesses or associates of wrongdoing and took pains to avoid disclosing details about the inquiry.”
DANIEL LIPPMAN and MICHAEL STRATFORD: “DeVos under investigation for potentially violating Hatch Act because of Fox News interview”: “The Office of the Special Counsel has started investigating Education Secretary Betsy DeVos for potentially violating the Hatch Act, after she slammed Joe Biden in a Fox News interview and her agency promoted it through official channels.
“The head of investigative watchdog blog Checks and Balances Project Scott Peterson said in an interview that OSC Hatch Act attorney Eric Johnson told him he had been assigned to investigate the matter. ‘We’ll investigate matters in your complaint,’ Johnson told Peterson, recounting the conversation. ‘The incident seems very well documented.’ Johnson also told him that because of remote work prompted by the coronavirus pandemic, the timeline for the investigation is uncertain.” POLITICO
WILDFIRES CONTINUE TO RAGE … AP: “Enormous California wildfire threatens desert homes near LA,” Christopher Weber in Los Angeles: “An enormous wildfire that churned through mountains northeast of Los Angeles and into the Mojave Desert was still threatening homes on Monday and was one of more than two dozen major fires burning across California.
“Five of the largest wildfires in state history are currently burning and more than 5,600 square miles have been charred, an area larger than the state of Connecticut, Gov. Gavin Newsom said. At 165 square miles, the Bobcat Fire is one of the largest ever in Los Angeles County after burning for more than two weeks. It was only about 15% contained.”
ACROSS THE POND — “U.K. Covid alert level to rise as Brits brace for new restrictions,” by Andrew McDonald
MEDIAWATCH — “Quibi Explores Strategic Options Including Possible Sale,” by WSJ’s Amol Sharma, Benjamin Mullin and Cara Lombardo: “Streaming service Quibi is exploring several strategic options including a possible sale, according to people familiar with the situation, as the company founded by Hollywood mogul Jeffrey Katzenberg struggles to sign up subscribers in a competitive online-video marketplace.
“Quibi, which launched its short-form, mobile-focused video service in April, is also considering raising more money or going public through a merger with a special-purpose acquisition company, or SPAC—essentially a blank-check company that helps fund deals, the people said. Quibi is working with advisers to review its options.” WSJ
— “L.A. Times shaken by a summer of turmoil and scandals,” by LAT’s Meg James and Daniel Hernandez
The Texas Tribune Festival. At-home edition: We’re proud supporters of the 2020 Texas Tribune Festival. Where else could you hear from Hillary Clinton, Dr. Anthony Fauci, Ted Cruz and Willie Nelson at one event? Join attendees from across the country to hear from and talk with politicians, activists, advocates, lawmakers, and media icons about today’s biggest news. Stream TribFest, happening just weeks before the 2020 presidential election, from wherever you are. Learn more and buy tickets today HERE.
SPOTTED at the March on Washington Film Festival’s opening night virtual awards gala, which honored the late Rep. John Lewis with the newly renamed John Robert Lewis Lifetime Legacy Award: March On Award recipients Rep. Maxine Waters (D-Calif.) and Margaret Huang, host Jonathan Capehart, Joy Reid, Kerry Kennedy, D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser, Jamey Johnson, Keb’ Mo’, Robert Randolph, Angie Primm, Frédéric Yonnet, Jamar Roberts, Rep. Joyce Beatty (D-Ohio), Robert Raben, Marie Sylla-Dixon, Bruce Harris, Tanya Lombard, Laurie Knight, Bruce Kieloch, Diane Blagman, Lecia Brooks, David Frederick, Craig Emanuel, Marissa Mitrovich, Ellie Friedman and Samara Foxx.
WELCOME TO THE WORLD — Christina Bellantoni, professor of professional practice and director of the Annenberg Media Center at USC, and Patrick Khoo, an insurance consultant, welcomed Matilda JiaYi Khoo on Monday in Los Angeles. Matilda, whose Chinese name means beautiful and joyful, joins big brother Maxwell. Pic … Another pic
BIRTHDAY OF THE DAY: TJ Ducklo, national press secretary for Joe Biden’s campaign. A fun fact about him: “In high school, I played the marimba — like a fancy xylophone — and was a wizard at it. I’m serious. I slayed the marimba. I didn’t start dating until college.” Playbook Q&A
BIRTHDAYS: Ryder Sherman is 3 … Amy Chozick … Kate Karnes of the White House … Carl Cameron is 59 … Gloria Borger … Kelly Anne Ilagan of the Commerce Department … Marc Charon … Jeffrey Goldberg is 55 … POLITICO’s Stephanie Murray, Jeremy Siegel and Kelsey Powers … Terry Delahunty … Rich Meade, a vice chair at Prime Policy Group … Katie McBreen, VP for comms and research at the Consumer Brands Association … Becca Lauer … Edelman’s Kelsey Cohen … Adrian Zuckerman is 64 … former Rep. Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.) is 68 … former Rep. Dan Lungren (R-Calif.) is 74 … Tommy Burr … Arthur Ochs Sulzberger Jr. is 69 … Sandra Smith, co-anchor of Fox News’ “America’s Newsroom” … Jon Romano, senior adviser at the Democratic Governors Association … CNN’s Jamie Crawford … Joe Van Wye is 28 … Seattle Times senior investigative reporter Patrick Malone … Molly Mirhashem … Ari L. Goldman … Rahlyn Gossen …
… Hayley Zachary, partner at Locust Street Group … Stacy Kerr … Reta Lewis … Lynn Reed (h/ts Teresa Vilmain) … Bill Middendorf … Caroline Schaberg Pope … Scott Wallace, founder of the Wallace Global Fund and co-founder of Kennedy Democrats (h/t Andrew Laureti) … Ben Leonard … Garrett Stephens, account executive at the Pivot Group, is 27 … Shannon Graves Polizzi … Jerald Watson … Facebook’s Dara Levy … Stephanie Butnick … Justin Germany of Outlaw Media is 41 … Marguerite Murer Tortorello … former Sen. Tim Wirth (D-Colo.) is 81 … Sarah Cabrera … Rita Medina … Lavin Gartland Briggs … Mississippi state Auditor Shad White … Jennifer Bishop … Lois Cassano … Tandy Dickerson … David Pressman, a partner at Jenner & Block … Athan Koutsiouroumbas … Jennifer Donahue … Devika Ranjan … James Slepian … Brett Broesder … Brian Wright O’Connor … Heather Dawn Thompson … Jack Pagano … Chelsie Paulson … Lyndsay Keith
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News – POLITICO Playbook: Here’s what’s in Boehner’s new book