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POLITICO Playbook: What we’ve learned post-shutdown

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President Donald Trump

“Negotiations with Democrats will start immediately. Will not be easy to make a deal, both parties very dug in,” President Donald Trump tweeted Saturday. | Jacquelyn Martin/AP Photo


THE SHUTDOWN IS OVER. One can believe that this is what PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP needed to do — reset the negotiations — but you cannot make a coherent argument that it’s not a cave to accept an agreement that you privately dumped on and said you couldn’t imagine the president embracing. That’s what the White House did for the last month: they said he would not reopen government without wall money. That’s what he did. Burgess Everett and Andrew Restuccia break down Trump’s cave

— Caveat: This bill does give the government the ability to repair wall, but the 2016 campaign slogan wasn’t “repair existing fencing and wall!”


— DEMOCRATS DIDN’T BLINK, AND TRUMP DID: No matter what they say now after the shutdown is over, Republicans were gambling that SPEAKER NANCY PELOSI and SENATE MINORITY LEADER CHUCK SCHUMER’S position was not sustainable. Trump’s allies thought that the red-state and red-district Democrats would pressure Pelosi and Schumer to negotiate with the government closed.

THE WHITE HOUSE WAS WRONG. Shutdowns are supposed to hurt, and clearly the president thought it was hurting him more than it was hurting Democrats. And he folded, giving Congress another three weeks to negotiate. That wasn’t the only fold: Pelosi held her ground, denying Trump the ability to give a State of the Union and the president backed down.

— THE WHITE HOUSE IS A BIT OF A MESS. Everyone we speak to in the administration and on Capitol Hill says that since Mick Mulvaney took over as chief of staff, the process in the White House has gone to hell. The shutdown became a Jared Kushner show, and the people whose job it is to deal with policy and politics were sidelined. Of course, Kushner is the president’s son in law, and his camp believes he was empowered to do this by the president.


— THERE WERE BITS OF TRUMP’S SPEECH YESTERDAY where he sounded like he was open to compromise on the wall. He said he didn’t need a wall from sea to shining sea. He talked about technology. This is a good sign.

— THE HILL wants Trump to be apprised of what’s going on, but not meddling in it. Almost everything that the White House gets into fails. And we don’t mean that as an insult, but just a statement of reality. If there’s someone who can inform Trump of what’s going on without getting him to the Capitol, that would be helpful to the process.

— APPROPRIATORS CAN MAKE DEALS. If the Hill takes hold of this, this can get done. One of the least sexy — but most important — functions of Congress is spending money. Appropriators negotiate all the time. There’s an easy deal to be had here: a pile of money for technology, a bit of new fencing where it’s needed, repairs where that’s needed etc.

ONE BIG CAVEAT — Republicans and Democrats felt burned in the last go around with the president changing his negotiating position. In order to actually end this showdown over the wall, all sides are going to have to come to the table as good faith actors.

WHERE THE PRESIDENT IS AT — @realDonaldTrump at 9:01 a.m.: “21 days goes very quickly. Negotiations with Democrats will start immediately. Will not be easy to make a deal, both parties very dug in. The case for National Security has been greatly enhanced by what has been happening at the Border & through dialogue. We will build the Wall!”

… at 9:06 a.m.: “We have turned away, at great expense, two major Caravans, but a big one has now formed and is coming. At least 8000 people! If we had a powerful Wall, they wouldn’t even try to make the long and dangerous journey. Build the Wall and Crime will Fall!”

HOW IT PLAYED … NYT: “Trump Backs Down, Ending Longest Shutdown in U.S. History”WAPO: “Trump signs bill to end longest shutdown in history”WSJ: “Trump Signs Spending Bill, Ending Longest Shutdown in U.S. History”

AND THEY’RE GONE … SPOTTED: Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer on a 5 p.m. DCA to JFK flight, taking a selfie with Finsbury’s Eric Wachter. Smart man: he didn’t take a flight to LGA!!! Pic

Good Saturday morning. BUT NOT EVERYBODY LEFT TOWN … SPOTTED at the Four Seasons last night having dinner together in a private room: House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.), Jeff Bezos, Jamie Dimon, Colin Powell, Josh Bolton, Warren Buffett and Bob Gates …

… Sen. Roy Blunt (R-Mo.) and friends at one table and Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Paul Pelosi and friends at another table at La Chaumiere in Georgetown. “A friendly hello between parties” was had, per a tipster.

THE ANNUAL ALFALFA DINNER is tonight. While the president often speaks at the dinner, Trump is not expected to attend. He has nothing on his public schedule today.

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MORE SHUTDOWN FALLOUT … ANITA KUMAR and GABBY ORR, “‘All for nothing’: Trump’s wall retreat bewilders allies”: “Before President Donald Trump finished speaking from the Rose Garden, putting a temporary end to the five-week government shutdown, a running group text between several of his former aides lit up with complaints. ‘[Speaker Nancy] Pelosi ordered everything off the menu and left Trump hanging with the bill,’ one Trump ally texted to the group. ‘President Nancy Pelosi, she runs the country now,’ said a former White House official.

“‘We went from indefinite shutdown, to down payment, to cave — all within a span of 24 hours.’ That official said that Trump’s core supporters and former aides are ‘furious’ and ‘melting down.’ Bewildered by his decision to accept a deal without funding for a wall on the southern border — not even the ‘down payment’ the White House had requested a day earlier — some of his most loyal supporters fretted that Trump was in danger of losing his fervent base that has fueled his presidency.” POLITICO

— WAPO’S PHIL RUCKER, JOSH DAWSEY and SEUNG MIN KIM: “‘Prisoner of his own impulse’: Inside Trump’s cave to end shutdown without wall”: “His poll numbers were plummeting. His FBI director was decrying the dysfunction. The nation’s air travel was in chaos. Federal workers were lining up at food banks. Economic growth was at risk of flatlining, and even some Republican senators were in open revolt.

“So on Friday, the 35th day of a government shutdown that he said he was proud to instigate, President Trump finally folded. After vowing for weeks that he would keep the government closed unless he secured billions in funding for his promised border wall, Trump agreed to reopen it. He got $ 0 instead.” WaPo

— NYT’S PETER BAKER, “For a President Consumed With Winning, a Stinging Defeat”

THE NEW SHERIFF IN TOWN — “‘She’s not one to bluff’: How Pelosi won the shutdown battle,” by Rachael Bade, Heather Caygle and John Bresnahan: “Two months ago, Nancy Pelosi was battling an internal Democratic rebellion trying to bar her from the speakership. Pelosi faced doubts over whether she was the right person to lead the new Democratic majority, despite shepherding her party to victory on Election Day, and some colleagues demanded she step down after 16 years in power.

“Now — just weeks after reclaiming the speaker’s gavel — the California Democrat has already bested President Donald Trump in a gut-wrenching fight that may help define the 116th Congress, while strengthening her hold over rank-and-file lawmakers. … ‘No one should ever underestimate the speaker, as Donald Trump has learned,’ Schumer (D-N.Y.) told reporters Friday.” POLITICO

THE IMPACT — “Recovery from shutdown will be long and difficult,” by Adriel Bettelheim: “After 35 days of mass furloughs, bureaucratic inertia and a culminating wave of airport delays, nine shuttered federal agencies began laying plans to creak back to life Friday after President Donald Trump announced a short-term deal to reopen the government. It won’t happen overnight. The shutdown froze court cases, curtailed drug reviews and food safety inspections and sidelined investigations into matters like Facebook’s data security practices. The IRS fell behind on preparations to handle millions of tax returns.

“The E-Verify system the Homeland Security Department runs to help businesses determine whether employees are eligible to work in the United States went offline. And the EPA twice scuttled a public hearing on a proposal to roll back a major climate rule for future power plants. Federal workers who went without pay during the shutdown will get full back pay in the next few days.” POLITICO

PAGING JOSE ANDRES … DAVID ROGERS: “Trump White House stonewalls as Puerto Rico aid runs dry”: “Call it Donald Trump’s second wall, only this time the president’s target is not migrants coming north but dollars going south to help storm-tossed Puerto Rico. Additional food aid for the island’s poor will soon be exhausted without supplemental funds opposed by the White House. At the same time, billions in community development appropriations have yet to leave Washington — a year after being approved by Congress to assist in the recovery from Hurricanes Maria and Irma.

“Next to the government shutdown and bitter fight over immigration policy, Puerto Rico’s plight remains an afterthought to many in Washington. But the big common denominator is Trump’s high profile and the fact that low-income, often Hispanic or Latino families are feeling the crunch — even as U.S. citizens.” POLITICO

THE LATEST ON ROGER STONE — “In media blitz, Stone vows to fight Mueller’s charges,” by Brent D. Griffiths: “Roger Stone on Friday night said in a pair of cable TV interviews that the federal indictment against him is ‘thin,’ special counsel Robert Mueller is out to get him and he will never turn on President Donald Trump.

“‘I’m in for the fight of my life. I will not quit. I will not fold. I will not bend,’ the longtime Republican political operative told Fox News host Tucker Carlson. ‘I will not bear false witness against the president. I intend to fight because this indictment is fabricated.’” POLITICOVideo of the interview

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2020 WATCH …

– “Bernie Sanders set to announce 2020 presidential run,” by Yahoo’s Hunter Walker: “Three years after fighting a surprisingly competitive Democratic primary race against Hillary Clinton, Sen. Bernie Sanders, the Vermont independent, is making another run for the White House. Two sources with direct knowledge of his plans told Yahoo News that Sanders, an independent and self-described ‘democratic socialist,’ plans to announce his presidential bid imminently.

“While Sanders has been considering a bid for months, one of the sources said he was emboldened by early polls of the race that have consistently showed him as one of the top candidates in a crowded Democratic primary field. In particular, the source said Sanders was heartened to see numbers indicating he is one of the leading candidates among African American and Latino voters, two groups he was perceived as struggling with in 2016.” Yahoo

— “The Ex-Starbucks CEO Could Get Trump Re-elected,” by The Atlantic’s Isaac Dovere: Howard “Schultz, the former Starbucks CEO, will say in a ‘60 Minutes’ interview already recorded, but airing on Sunday that he is thinking very seriously about a presidential run—but stop short of a full announcement.” The Atlantic

“Beto O’Rourke says 2020 decision could be months away,” by David Siders in El Paso, Texas


House Speaker Nancy Pelosi

PHOTO DU JOUR: House Speaker Nancy Pelosi signs a deal to reopen the government Friday on Capitol Hill. | Andrew Harnik/AP Photo

AT FOGGY BOTTOM — “Elliott Abrams, prominent D.C. neocon, named special envoy for Venezuela,” by Nahal Toosi: “Abrams, a controversial neoconservative figure who was entangled in the Iran-Contra affair, has been named as a Trump administration special envoy overseeing policy toward Venezuela, which has been rocked by a leadership crisis. Abrams’ appointment, announced Friday by Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, is something of a surprise — President Donald Trump nixed his 2017 bid to be deputy secretary of State after learning that Abrams had criticized him.” POLITICO

K-STREET FILES – Daniel Lippman in POLITICO Influence: “When Rep. Dan Newhouse (R-Wash.) proposed to Joan Galvin last year, he disclosed in interviews with newspapers in his district that Galvin worked as a Washington lobbyist. What he didn’t mention: Galvin had advocated for a bill that Newhouse later cosponsored … Newhouse and Galvin started dating in the late summer of 2017, according to his office.

“Galvin was lobbying at the time for a bill called the DAIRY PRIDE Act … which would prevent the sale of products labeled milk, cheese or yogurt that aren’t made from ‘the milk of a hooved animal.’ Newhouse signed on as a cosponsor of the bill on Oct. 12, 2017, although he said he was ‘unaware’ of Galvin’s lobbying for the bill until PI inquired about it.” POLITICO

MEDIAWATCH — CNN’S OLIVER DARCY: “BuzzFeed lays off dozens of journalists in its news division as the media outlet restructures”

DAVOS WATCH — RYAN HEATH, POLITICO Europe’s political editor, interviewed New Zealand Prime Minister JACINDA ARDERN about her political philosophy, climate change and the EU – New Zealand Free Trade Agreement. Full video

CLICKER – “The nation’s cartoonists on the week in politics,” edited by Matt Wuerker – 11 funnies

GREAT WEEKEND READS, curated by Daniel Lippman:

— “The Unbelievable Story Of The Plot Against George Soros,” by Hannes Grassegger in BuzzFeed: “How two Jewish American political consultants helped create the world’s largest anti-Semitic conspiracy theory.” BuzzFeed

— “‘Nobody Is Going to Believe You,’” by Alex French and Maximillian Potter in March’s Atlantic: “The Bohemian Rhapsody director Bryan Singer has been trailed by accusations of sexual misconduct for 20 years. Here, his alleged victims tell their stories.” The Atlantic

— “This Is What Happens When You Try to Sue Your Boss,” by Max Abelson in Bloomberg Businessweek: “Millions of American workers sign away legal rights without knowing what they’re in for: Arbitration Hell.” Bloomberg Businessweek

— “The Hidden Automation Agenda of the Davos Elite,” by NYT’s Kevin Roose in Davos: “In public, many executives wring their hands over the negative consequences that artificial intelligence and automation could have for workers. … But in private settings … these executives tell a different story: They are racing to automate their own work forces to stay ahead of the competition, with little regard for the impact on workers.” NYT

— “Trump said he beat ISIS. Instead, he’s giving it new life,” by Brett McGurk in WaPo: “[I]f the president does not reverse course … [o]ur partners will stop listening and make decisions that run contrary to our interests. Our adversaries will play for time, knowing the United States is on its way out. The Islamic State and other extremist groups will fill the void opened by our departure, regenerating their capacity to threaten our friends in Europe — as they did throughout 2016 — and ultimately our own homeland.” WaPo

— “The Art of Eyeball Harvesting” — Q&A with Harvard economics professor Shengwu Li in Logic Magazine: “We’re told we’re living in an attention economy. Sites and platforms harvest our data, then use it to place targeted ads in our path. But how does this business model actually work? What are the processes and practices taking place behind the scenes that make this lucrative arrangement possible?” Logic Magazine (h/t TheBrowser.com)

— “What the Covington Saga Reveals About Our Media Landscape,” by Joshua Rothman in the New Yorker: “Covington is the kind of product our social-media platforms sell to us. Perhaps we should be warier consumers.” New Yorker

— “Don’t Overthink It,” by Agnes Callard in the Boston Review of Books, reviewing “Farsighted: How We Make the Decisions that Matter the Most,” by Steven Johnson – per TheBrowser.com’s description: “Johnson says we should make the big decisions of life more scientifically; we should listen to other voices, measure costs and benefits, revisit and re-analyse past decisions. It sounds like sensible advice; but what’s the evidence? How do you control for luck and for opportunity cost?” Boston Review$ 19.04 on Amazon

— “Operation Cobra: The untold story of how a CIA officer trained a network of agents who found the Soviet missiles in Cuba,” by Yahoo News’ Sean D. Naylor. Yahoo

— “Can a California town move back from the sea?” by Ruxandra Guidi in High Country News – per Longreads.com’s description: “By 2050, the ocean is expected to consistently flood Imperial Beach, California, but in recent years, high tides have already flooded many streets. The town is now discussing how to confront rising sea levels. One tactic is called a managed retreat, and the discussion alone has many property owners trying to sell.” HCN


REMEMBERING TOM RAUM – AP’s Ricardo Alonso-Zaldivar: “Tom Raum, a versatile writer who covered three presidents, Congress and national politics and translated knotty economic issues for readers during 44 years with The Associated Press, died Friday. He was 74. The cause of death was a brain injury from a fall last week at home, said his wife, Nora Raum.” AP

SPOTTED: Raffi Freedman-Gurspan of the National Center for Transgender Equality having lunch at the Iron Gate with LGBTQ rights fundraiser West Honeycutt. “The two were overheard discussing candidates that might serve as the next Human Rights Campaign president after current HRC President Chad Griffin steps down this spring,” according to a tipster.

BIRTHWEEK (was yesterday): Matthew Simon, deputy COS/legislative director for Rep. Debbie Lesko (R-Ariz.) (hat tip: Jennifer Lauterbach) … Phil Beshara … Michael Glantz, partner at ICM Partners Broadcasting, turned 6-0 (h/t Brandon Shaw)

BIRTHDAYS: House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy is 54 … WH staff secretary Derek Lyons … California Attorney General Xavier Becerra is 61. He celebrated on Thursday in the office with cake and Mexican chocolate bread — pic … GSG’s Jim Papa … The Kansas City Star’s Eric Nelson is 49 … Mike Luce … Jarrod Bernstein, current head of relief, recovery and rebuilding for Bloomberg in the USVI and an Obama alum, is 39. He’s “celebrating by chaperoning kids’ go-kart party before joining friends for lasagna in Brooklyn” (h/t wife Hildy Kuryk) … Rep. Albio Sires (D-N.J.) is 68 … Mike Quaranta … Cristina Antelo, CEO of Ferox Strategies (h/ts Jon Haber) … Justin Green, deputy managing editor at Axios, is 3-0 … Lindsay Bomar … Marisa Bellantonio … Hauwa Otori … John Fisher (h/t Sophie White) … NPR’s Isabel Lara … Jessica Phan is 28 … Brett Layson … John Ruxton (h/t fellow Googler Erica Arbetter) …

… POLITICO Magazine’s Tim Alberta is 33 … Jen Hing, who’s in a masters program in public policy at LSE … Ditto PR’s Kendall Clark … Jon Tomashoff, MBA candidate at U Chicago Booth … Chenyu Zheng … Sarah Pompei (h/t Tucker Bounds) … India turns 7-0 on its Republic Day, and Australia turns 231 (h/t BCIU) … HHS’ David Naimon … Matt Kaye … Mala Parker (hubby tip: Richard) … Isabelle Furth … Lindsay Hayes … Paul Feinman is 59 … former Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton is 72 … Daryn Kagan … Matt Miller, senior adviser for DOLVETS at DOL … Joel Noyes … Cheri Jacobus … Christian Mesa … Margie Omero … Susan Muntzing, celebrating with friends in Atlanta (h/t daughter Lily Lancaster) … Sabena Siddiqi … Christian Deschauer … Russell Krantz is 31 … Imelda Green … Robert Mitchell is 61 … Jeremy Settle … Chris Cook … Paula Wolfson … Laura Kuhl … Sam Norris.

THE SHOWS, by @MattMackowiak, filing from Durham, N.C.:

  • “Face the Nation”: Mick Mulvaney … Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine) … Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) … El Paso Mayor Dee Margo … New London, Conn. Mayor Michael Passero. Panel: Molly Ball, Ramesh Ponnuru, David Sanger and Shawna Thomas

  • “Meet the Press”: New NBC News/WSJ poll … House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) … Rep. Hakeem Jeffries (D-N.Y.) … Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.). Panel: Yamiche Alcindor, Tom Brokaw, Hugh Hewitt and Kristen Welker

  • “Fox News Sunday”: Sen. Roy Blunt (R-Mo.) … Joe Manchin … NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg. Panel: Jason Riley, Julie Pace, Gillian Turner and Juan Williams (substitute host: John Roberts)

  • “This Week”: Guests to be announced. Panel: Terry Moran, Meghan McCain, David Bossie and Donna Brazile

  • “State of the Union”: Julián Castro … Marco Rubio. Panel: Rick Santorum, Nina Turner, Paul Begala and Linda Chavez

  • “Sunday Morning Futures”: House Minority Whip Steve Scalise (R-La.) … Rep. Devin Nunes (R-Calif.) … Mark Penn

  • “MediaBuzz”: Mollie Hemingway … Jessica Tarlov … Beverly Hallberg… Buck Sexton … Mara Liasson … Dana Perino … Britt McHenry

  • “Inside Politics”: Panel: Rachael Bade, Jeff Zeleny, Astead Herndon, Sara Murray and Carrie Cordero

  • “Fareed Zakaria GPS”: Afghan President Ashraf Ghani … Canadian Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland … Jane Goodall

  • “Reliable Sources”: Panel: Shelby Holliday, Oliver Darcy and Jess McIntosh … panel: Olivier Knox, Charlotte Alter and Laura Bassett … Ann Seltzer … Jason Rezaian and Joel Simon … Howard Schneider

  • “Al Punto”: Venezuelan Interim President Juan Guaidó … Venezuelan opposition leader María Corina Machado … Luis Gutierrez … Mexican Senator (PAN Party) Martha Cecilia Márquez … exiled Nicaraguan journalist Carlos Chamorro … author Laura Esquivel

  • “The Communicators”: Gary Shapiro … “Newsmakers”: Rep. Adam Smith (D-Wash.), questioned by Tom Vanden Brook and John Donnelly … “Q&A”: author and journalist Jane Leavy

  • “Kasie DC”: Sen. Doug Jones (D-Ala.) … Sen. Ben Cardin (D-Md.) … Rep. Max Rose (D-N.Y.) … Michael Caputo… Jonathan Swan … Jake Sherman … Eli Stokols … Ken Vogel … Tiffany Cross … Ken Dilanian … Anna Schecter… Kayla Tausche

  • Washington Times

    “Mack on Politics” weekly politics podcast with Matt Mackowiak (download on iTunes, Google Play, or Stitcher or listen at MackOnPolitics.com): Victor Cha.

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