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POLITICO Playbook: First words in Kamala’s launch video: Truth, justice, decency

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Kamala Harris

Kamala Harris, a former California attorney general and San Francisco district attorney who was elected to the Senate two years ago, officially launched her campaign for president on Monday. | AP Photo/Sait Serkan Gurbuz

DRIVING THE DAY

NEW: SEN. KAMALA HARRIS is running for president … Her campaign will be based way outside of the Beltway in a faraway land called Baltimore. They’ll have a second office in Oakland. Her minute-long campaign announcement which invites people to Oakland Jan. 27.Kamala’s GMA announcement

— A BENEFIT of Baltimore HQ: People who live in D.C. can work for Kamala and not uproot their lives. Also, having a campaign HQ on the east coast is much easier logistically.

— THE FIRST WORDS in Harris’ campaign ad: Truth, justice, decency.

— THE LAUNCH EVENT will be at Frank H. Ogawa Plaza at 12:45 p.m. in Oakland.

— STRONG: LILY ADAMS (@adamslily), Kamala’s comms dir: “Hitting up that deli in Penn Station for an egg and cheese after you’ve announced for POTUS” Photo … “Donations in all 50 states in the first 30 minutes after launch #KamalaHarrisForThePeople”

THREE WOMEN — Sens. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts, Kamala Harris of California and Kirsten Gillibrand of New York — are the first declared presidential candidates in the Senate.

CHRIS CADELAGO: “Inside Kamala Harris’ 2020 campaign plan”: “Kamala Harris’ Democratic opponents are already telegraphing that they plan to make her law-and-order background an enormous vulnerability with voters on the left. But the California senator, who announced her bid for the White House on Monday amid an early wave of scrutiny of her career as a prosecutor, thinks she can turn the criticism on its head.

“According to interviews with a half-dozen of her confidants and strategists, Harris will court voters wary of law enforcement by presenting herself as a kinder and gentler prosecutor — a ‘progressive’ attorney who advocated for the vulnerable and served the public interest.

“At the same time, they believe leaning into her background will allow her to project toughness against Donald Trump, and contrast what they call her evidence-based approach to law and politics with the president’s carelessness with facts and legal troubles with the special prosecutor.” POLITICO

— L.A. TIMES’ MICHAEL FINNEGAN: “Kamala Harris was shaped by the crucible of San Francisco politics”: “‘San Francisco is hard-knocks politics,’ the freshly declared 2020 White House hopeful once said in an interview. ‘People sling mud. They punch the gut.’

“San Francisco is indeed a crucible that has forged state and national political leaders in numbers far out of proportion to the city’s relatively small size, including House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, California Gov. Gavin Newsom and Harris’ fellow U.S. senator, Dianne Feinstein.

“Her rivals could soon see the mix of cold calculation, relentless fundraising and force of personality that drove Harris’ quick rise, starting with the overthrow of her old boss in the prosecutor’s office. It set her on a path to statewide office and, barely two years into her Senate term, a top-tier try for the White House.” LAT

… MEANWHILE, BETO posts from his road trip. The post

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Good Monday morning, and happy Martin Luther King Jr. Day. It is a balmy 12 degrees — but feels like negative three — in upper northwest Washington.

— THE NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS will play the LOS ANGELES RAMS in Super Bowl LIII in Atlanta on Feb. 3.

VACATION DAY READ … ROBERT CARO in the New Yorker: “The Secrets of Lyndon Johnson’s Archives”

THE MONTH-LONG SHUTDOWN … Today is DAY 31 of the government shutdown.

THE IMPACT — “The government shutdown has drawn domestic violence shelters to the brink, imperiling life-or-death services to women,” by WaPo’s Katie Zezima in Martinsburg, W.Va: “The Eastern Panhandle Empowerment Center this month cut all extra spending and client expenses to prepare for the Justice Department freezing its regular stream of federal grant money. The center’s ability to help domestic violence victims pay for prescriptions was gone, and home visits to people in rural areas had to be canceled.

“There could be no more free rides for women to get to new jobs, leading to one woman’s firing. The shutdown belt-tightening also meant that the woman who escaped here from Baltimore would no longer get help with her trailer’s security deposit, meaning she continues to take a spot at the shelter while more than two dozen women seeking refuge from potentially dangerous situations sit on a waiting list.” WaPo

TRUMP SPEAKS … NYT’S RUSS BUETTNER and MAGGIE HABERMAN, “In Business and Governing, Trump Seeks Victory in Chaos”: “Three decades ago, Donald J. Trump waged a public battle with the talk show host Merv Griffin to take control of what would become Mr. Trump’s third Atlantic City casino. Executives at Mr. Trump’s company warned that the casino would siphon revenue from the others. Analysts predicted the associated debt would crush him. The naysayers would be proved right, but throughout the turmoil Mr. Trump fixated on just one outcome: declaring himself a winner and Mr. Griffin a loser.

“As president, Mr. Trump has displayed a similar fixation in his standoff with Congress over leveraging a government shutdown to gain funding for a wall on the Mexican border. As he did during decades in business, Mr. Trump has insulted adversaries, undermined his aides, repeatedly changed course, extolled his primacy as a negotiator and induced chaos. …

“In a brief telephone interview on Sunday, Mr. Trump was not specific in defending his tactics, but he described himself as successful in his chosen fields of real estate, entertainment and finally politics. ‘I ran for office once and I won,’ Mr. Trump said.” NYT … Quint Forgey on Trump tweeting three dozen times on Day 30 of shutdown

THE TRUMP SLUMP? — “China’s Annual Economic Growth Rate Is Slowest Since 1990,” by WSJ’s Lingling Wei in Beijing: “China’s economic expansion languished to its slowest pace in nearly three decades last year, as a bruising trade fight with the U.S. exacerbated weakness in the world’s second-largest economy.” WSJ

THE PRESIDENT has no public events on his official schedule.

2020 WATCH … SPOTTED: Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) on a flight from DC to Columbia, S.C., on Sunday — Sanders also watched the Pats-Chiefs game last night, while at the Carolina Ale House — pic Mike Bloomberg having dinner last night at Le Diplomate.

— MARC CAPUTO — “How Bloomberg plans to create his own lane in 2020”: “White. Male. Old. A Wall Street billionaire. At first glance, Michael Bloomberg would seem to have zero appeal in a Democratic Party where progressive populism is on the rise and activists and elites say it’s time for a woman or a person of color to win the White House.

“But unlike any of the other presidential hopefuls, Bloomberg plays a dominant leadership role on two of the top issues on the minds of progressives heading into the 2020 cycle: climate change and gun control. He’s spent a decade as the nation’s preeminent financier on those issues, buying considerable goodwill in progressive circles. If he runs, those familiar with his thinking say, they’ll be the pillars of his campaign.” POLITICO

— “Booker and Bernie plunge into South Carolina,” by Holly Otterbein and Nolan D. McCaskill

SCOOP — ALEX ISENSTADT, “Pompeo discussing a run for Kansas Senate seat”: “Secretary of State Mike Pompeo [was] slated to meet with veteran Republican strategist Ward Baker on Sunday afternoon to discuss a possible 2020 run for the vacant Kansas Senate seat, according to two people familiar with the plans.

“Pompeo, a former congressman and ex-CIA director who in April 2018 was confirmed as secretary of State, is considering a Senate bid, though he has yet to make a final decision. Yet party leaders, including Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, are aggressively wooing him. McConnell (R-Ky.) and Pompeo spoke shortly after Kansas Sen. Pat Roberts announced his retirement.” POLITICO

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— HEADS UP STEVE! … “Steve King’s challenger, state Sen. Randy Feenstra, hits the campaign trail running with PAC support and $ 100,000,” by Des Moines Register’s Robin Opsahl: “State Sen. Randy Feenstra’s campaign to take on U.S. Rep. Steve King has gotten financial support just 10 days in: He claims he raised more than $ 100,000 and has a super PAC run by a former Iowa House speaker.

“Feenstra, the chair of the Senate’s Ways and Means committee, said he has received tremendous support from Iowa’s 4th Congressional District as well national support. Feenstra announced in early January he would vie against King — before the nine-term U.S. House member became embroiled in controversy over his comments on white nationalism and white supremacy.” Des Moines Register

FOR YOUR RADAR … ISRAEL AT WAR? … “In rare move, Israel confirms attacking Iran forces in Syria” – AP/Jerusalem: “In an extraordinary statement, the Israeli military confirmed early Monday that it attacked Iranian military targets in Syria, hours after carrying out a rare daylight air raid near the Damascus International Airport. The statement was issued hours after Israeli missile defenses intercepted an incoming missile over the Golan Heights in the wake of the airport raid. ‘We have started striking Iranian Quds targets in Syrian territory,’ the military statement said.

“‘We warn the Syrian Armed Forces against attempting to harm Israeli forces or territory.’ Until now Israel has largely refrained from public admissions of its covert military operations in neighboring Syria, in order to avoid large-scale involvement in the eight-year civil war.” AP

— “Bolton’s test: Massaging Trump tweets into foreign policy,” by AP’s Zeke Miller

PLAYBOOK READS

A man leaves a sign with the words "This was not okay," at Covington Catholic High School

PHOTO DU JOUR: A man leaves a sign with the words “This was not okay,” at Covington Catholic High School in Park Kills, Ky., Sunday, Jan. 20. A diocese in Kentucky has apologized after videos emerged showing students from the Catholic boys’ high school mocking Native Americans outside the Lincoln Memorial on Friday after a rally in Washington. | AP Photo/Bryan Woolston

STOP US IF YOU’VE HEARD THIS BEFORE … NYT’S MAGGIE HABERMAN: “Book by Former Staff Member Describes a White House ‘Out of Control’”: “John F. Kelly, as White House chief of staff, presented himself as the man leading a charge of ‘country first, president second.’ The attorney general suggested administering lie-detector tests to the small group of people with access to transcripts of the president’s calls with foreign leaders.

“And President Trump sought a list of ‘enemies’ working in the White House communications shop. Those are some of the portraits of the Trump White House sprinkled throughout ‘Team of Vipers,’ an inside account of working there written by Cliff Sims, a former communications staff member and Trump loyalist who worked on the campaign. A White House spokeswoman declined to comment on the book.

“The book, which will be published at the end of January, describes a nest of back-stabbing and duplicity within the West Wing … But Mr. Sims, who left last year after clashing with Mr. Kelly, is one of the few people to attach his name to descriptions of goings-on at the White House that are not always flattering to Mr. Trump, and many of the scenes are not particularly flattering to anyone, including himself. ‘It’s impossible to deny how absolutely out of control the White House staff — again, myself included — was at times,’ Mr. Sims writes.” NYT … $ 26.99 on Amazon

REMEMBERING TONY MENDEZ – AP/Frederick, Md.: “A former CIA technical operations officer who helped rescue six U.S. diplomats from Iran in 1980 and was portrayed by Ben Affleck in the film ‘Argo,’ has died. He was 78. … Specializing in covert operations, Mendez helped devise the plan under which six diplomats who were in hiding were disguised as a Canadian film crew so they could board a flight and escape the country amid the Iran hostage crisis. The daring plot — for years a side note to the 52 people held hostage for 444 days — captured the public’s attention in ‘Argo,’ which won the 2013 Oscar for best picture.” AP

PLAYBOOKERS

BIRTHDAYS OF THE DAY: Gary Locke, former Commerce secretary and ambassador to China now at Locke Global Strategies and Davis Wright Tremaine, is 69. A trend he thinks deserves more attention: “Various think tanks are estimating that by 2030 … 8-15 percent of the workers in the industrialized nations like the U.S. will have their jobs displaced by robotics, automation, and artificial intelligence. What are the 40 to 55 year olds of 2030 going to do when their jobs are gone?” Playbook Plus Q&A

— Sean Neary, EVP at Edelman. How he got his start in his career: “I started as a journalist in New York. After working as a fact-checker at Rolling Stone, I was hired as an editor at a magazine that John F. Kennedy, Jr. was launching called George. It was an amazing experience as the staff was a small, close-knit group dedicated to making John’s idea of a magazine that mixed politics and pop culture a reality.” Q&A

BIRTHDAYS: Eric Holder, former attorney general now a partner at Covington, is 68 … Becca Glover of Commerce (hat tips: Katy Summerlin and Taylor Holgate) … Will Holley, partner at Firehouse Strategies … Sam Feist, CNN Washington bureau chief and SVP (h/t Mark Preston) … Tyler Cowen, GMU economist and Marginal Revolution blogger, is 57 … Matt Cooper (h/t Tim Burger) … John Shinkle … LAT’s Jen Haberkorn … columnist Will Bunch is 6-0 … Nahiomy Alvarez … philanthropist Lynn Schusterman is 8-0 … Jim Davidson (h/t Jon Haber) … Joe Donoghue … Bob Sensenbrenner … Chris Donovan, executive editorial producer at ABC News, is 44 … Josh Isay, partner at SKDKnickerbocker … Lyla Shaibi and Annie Swenson … Leonard Silverstein … Michael Anderson … James Waters is 4-0 … POLITICO Europe’s Helen Collis …

… Jonathan Grella, EVP of public affairs at the U.S. Travel Association (h/t Stuart Roy) … Christopher Spillane … Sen. Kevin Cramer (R-N.D.) is 58 … former Rep. Matt Salmon (R-Ariz.) is 61 … Nahiomy Alvarez … Michael Vanzetta … Caite Irvine … Jack Weiss … Brian Kupfer is 44 … Roberto Coquis, deputy assistant secretary for administration at HHS (h/t Judy Pino) … Alex Plitsas … Morgan Currier (h/t fellow Morgan Finkelstein) … AP’s Matt Friedman … Elizabeth Wickett … Scalise’s digital director Michael Comer (h/t Lauren Fine) … Klobuchar alum Jordan Grossman … Collin Hansen … Forrest Brown … Tommy McKone … Ron Bell … Tony Reinke … Kyle O’Connor, special assistant to the president of UVA and an Obama WH and FB alum … Margaret Olmos … Josh Warren … Michael Lemov … Katie Loovis … Rich Juliano … Len Colodny is 81 … Cynthia Faulkner … Amy Allman … Margaret Olmos … Steve Rosenthal is 66 … Campbell Spencer … Jeff Simmons (h/ts Teresa Vilmain)

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