HAPPY MARCH and good Wednesday morning. It’s Ash Wednesday and the beginning of Lent.
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ABOUT LAST NIGHT… IT WORKED. REMEMBER WHEN Donald Trump told us all he could act so presidential we wouldn’t believe it? He did. He looked the part — his suit fit a bit better, his tie looked a bit snazzier and his tone was considerably more measured. HE TALKED LIKE A PRACTICED POLITICIAN. When he spoke about health care and taxes, he was singing from the tried and true GOP song sheet, giving hope to skeptical Republicans that he is more attuned to what’s happening in town than he lets on. He came within an inch of endorsing the controversial border-adjustment tax, which taxes imports instead of exports, and he embraced Hill Republicans’ view on replacing Obamacare. He praised NATO, talked about healing America’s cities and condemned a wave of anti-Semitism. Up until the 9 o’clock hour Tuesday night, the GOP was a scattered bunch — worried their party could never coalesce around anything with a disconnected president in the White House and a cadre full of aides with little relevant experience. They left the Capitol late Tuesday night feeling hopeful — if they could get their act together, they might have something to talk about at home, and on the campaign trail in 2018. To that end, Trump succeeded, for the most part, in rallying his base behind him.
TRUMP’S MESSAGE was certainly more optimistic than usual, and was delivered in a moderate and relatively normal tone. The policies, however, show that the president is leaving conservative orthodoxy behind, and will not shy away from massive price tags — paid maternal leave, $1 trillion in infrastructure spending, a $50 billion increase in defense spending and a $30 billion emergency spending bill would’ve caused Republicans to twitch in the Obama era. Remember: Republicans demanded to offset minor spending like disaster relief for years.
WHAT IT MEANS — In terms of navigating Washington, the speech showed Trump has a lot to learn. He said he wants to work with Democrats and called on Washington to ditch “trivial fights,” but, in the last 40 days, he has called Chuck Schumer a phony and, just this week, he said Nancy Pelosi is incompetent. He called for immigration reform, but is intent on building a “great wall” along the U.S.-Mexico border — a major problem for Democrats. He implored Democrats to work with him on a health-care overhaul, but spent a good chunk of time calling the Affordable Care Act — which they spent lots of political capital on — a failure. He also appeared to motion at Pelosi when railing against the law. NEWSFLASH: Mr. President, you’re going to need Nancy Pelosi more than you realize (see: debt ceiling, government funding, infrastructure). Get to know her. WE’RE NOT PASSING JUDGEMENT ON WHAT TRUMP SAID. Merely discussing the political realities about what it means for governing. It was a mixed message, to put it mildly.
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THE MADE-FOR-TV POWERFUL MOMENT was when Trump introduced Carryn Owens, the widow of Navy SEAL Ryan Owens, who was killed in a late-January raid in Yemen. Trump, who had just hours before distanced himself from authorizing the raid, brought the chamber to its feet as he stayed silent for a minute while the television cameras focused on the sobbing widow.
ONE NOTE OF SKEPTICISM — The White House keeps adding legislative priorities to Washington’s agenda. They don’t have unlimited time, or political capital, and what they are asking for is not feasible. They say they want to repeal and replace Obamacare, pass a $1 trillion infrastructure program, reform the tax code, pass an emergency $30 billion spending bill that could — in theory — build a border wall with Mexico, institute paid maternity leave and reform the nation’s immigration laws. Pick a few, and try to get them done.
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BEING THERE — SOME OBSERVATIONS FROM THE HILL — When VP MIKE PENCE was walking into the House chamber with the Senate, reporters shouted questions about immigration reform. Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) laughed and said quietly “immigration reform,” as in, “that will never happen” … Florida Gov. Rick Scott was in the chamber, sitting next to Newt and Callista Gingrich … Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin and Secretary of State seemed a bit uncomfortable waiting on the House floor for the address. They are total D.C. outsiders … Democrats laughed when Trump said he has drained the D.C. swamp … House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) stood up and forcefully clapped when Trump called on the U.S. to only build pipelines with U.S. steel. Hoyer’s been talking about American manufacturing for years … Lots of Dems cheered Trump’s trade bashing, underscoring his scattered partisan make up … Louisiana Attorney General Jeff Landry — a former member of Congress — was on the floor…
…SPEAKER PAUL RYAN stopped to peek in on CNN reporter Dana Bash’s FaceTime, appearing to tell her son to do his homework … Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-Fla.) sat with DNC Vice Chair Keith Ellison (D-Minn.) … Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) sat near Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) … Joe Scarborough was on the House floor (all former members are permitted to go) and he was warmly greeted by Republicans and Democrats. He sat with Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-Md.), appeared to take Rep. Charlie Crist’s (D-Fla.) card and also got a hearty reception from Rep. Fred Upton (R-Mich.), Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-Texas) and others … Former Reps. David Wu (D-Ore.) and Alan Grayson (D-Fla.) showed up … Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) and Lindsay Graham (R-S.C.) sat right behind Trump’s cabinet.
— PHOTOS: The extraction team, suited up waiting for the unthinkable http://bit.ly/2mcy7Ie … http://bit.ly/2m7pPAR … BERNIE and JANE SANDERS heading over to CNN http://bit.ly/2mJKNmG … Alan Grayson http://bit.ly/2lbgqsO … KEVIN MCCARTHY coming over to chat with us http://bit.ly/2mE0kVC … MCCARTHY and the incomparable Kelly O’Donnell http://bit.ly/2mE3wAJ … VP PENCE before the speech http://bit.ly/2lVCTHy … CHIEF JUSTICE JOHN ROBERTS http://bit.ly/2lbkr0v
CHECK IT OUT — @hunterschwarz: “Trump, in the back of limo, appears to be practicing his speech” http://bit.ly/2mJFlAe
TRUMP’S FRONTS — NYT: “BEFORE CONGRESS, TRUMP URGES END TO ‘TRIVIAL FIGHTS’ … In Remarks Before Address, He Signals Shift on Tough Immigration Stance” http://nyti.ms/2lbnPse … WAPO: “Trump details vision in milder tone” http://bit.ly/2mDZHvp .. N.Y. POST: “DREAM BIGLY … Don: $1T for infrastructure … Softens tone on immigration … Goodwin: Prez’s best moment” http://nyp.st/2algwpl
–DRUDGE banner, “TRUMP ROCKS THE HOUSE” … HuffPost banner, “SPEAKER’S PET”
THE INTERWEBS — With 3M Tweets, last night’s POTUS speech was the most Tweeted #SOTU or #JointSession address ever, surpassing the previous record of 2.6M. … FACEBOOK had 7.5 million people who generated 20.5 million likes, posts, comments and shares about Trump’s speech.
TRUMP has delayed the signing of the new travel ban. It was slated to be today. The White House wants to take advantage of a good day.
THE REST OF TRUMP’S WEEK — Trump will get his intelligence briefing, host House and Senate leadership for lunch, hold a legislative affairs strategy session and will have dinner with Rex Tillerson. THURSDAY: The president is going to Norfolk, Virginia, to speak aboard the U.S.S. Gerald R. Ford. He’ll also hold a roundtable with “military officials, shipbuilders, and community leaders.” FRIDAY: The president will be in Orlando, hosting a “listening session on school choice at St. Andrews Catholic School.” He’s in Palm Beach this weekend, speaking at the RNC retreat. Our sources tell us he’ll be at Mar-a-Lago.
THE NARRATIVE — NYT’S MAGGIE HABERMAN and PETER BAKER: “President Rips Up the Script, Then Sticks to the Teleprompter”: “When Mr. Trump sat down with television anchors at the White House for an off-the-record lunch on Tuesday, he was supposed to preview his first address to Congress. Instead, he suddenly opened the door to an immigration bill that would potentially let millions of undocumented immigrants stay in the country legally. … After the lunch was over, aides rushed off to alert their colleagues, including Stephen K. Bannon and Stephen Miller, the architects of the president’s immigration crackdown.
“Once again, the unlikeliest of presidents had torn up the script and thrown his young administration into upheaval. Once again, Washington was left trying to fathom what his strategy was. Was it mad genius, an improvisational leader proposing a Nixon-goes-to-China move to overhaul immigration after making a point of deporting ‘bad hombres’? Or was it simply madness, an undisciplined political amateur unable to resist telling guests what he thinks they want to hear even at the expense of his own political base? In the end, he did not include it in the speech. And yet, rising to the occasion, Mr. Trump on Tuesday night sounded as presidential as he ever has since taking office. He invoked Abraham Lincoln and Dwight D. Eisenhower, heralded Black History Month, condemned anti-Semitic vandalism, celebrated American entrepreneurs like Alexander Graham Bell and Thomas Edison, and promised a ‘renewal of the American spirit.’” http://nyti.ms/2m7j1n0
— WAPO’S DAN BALZ: “A tale of two speeches: The contradictions of Donald Trump’s presidency” http://wapo.st/2mcGHa4
— “Trump hits the reset button,” by Eli Stokols: “For 60 minutes and 14 seconds Tuesday night, President Donald Trump abandoned the dark rhetoric and narrow vision that have long defined his politics and offered an aspirational vision stocked with bold promises for the country in his first address before a joint session of Congress. While Trump still offered some charged language — including his use of the term ‘radical Islamic terrorism’ — the speech was notably less confrontational than his ‘American carnage’ inaugural address. It was, in fact, by far the most unifying moment of his divisive and chaotic first 39 days in office. Reading almost exclusively from prepared remarks on a teleprompter, the president pledged to provide ‘massive’ tax relief for the middle class, extinguish the ‘vile enemy’ that is ISIS, and rebuild America’s military.” http://politi.co/2laZUZH … Full text of Trump’s speech http://politi.co/2mDQkMn
THE IMPORTANT CAVEAT — “Analysis: Trump pivot pleases GOP, but will it last?” by AP’s Lisa Lerer: “Donald Trump finally gave Republicans what they’ve spent months begging him to deliver: a pivot to presidential. The question now is how long it lasts. Days, weeks, months — or simply until the next tweet?” http://apne.ws/2lxYF37
THE BACKSTORY — “How Trump’s disciplined speech came together,” by Josh Dawsey: “President Donald Trump sat in the White House Map Room Tuesday with a coterie of advisers, a black Sharpie, stacks of paper and a teleprompter. Beside him much of the day — the 40th day of his presidency — were Stephen Bannon and Stephen Miller. Other aides circled in, from Gary Cohn to Reince Priebus to Kellyanne Conway to Jared Kushner to Sean Spicer to Hope Hicks, suggesting language and offering advice. He remained unhappy with parts of the speech, scribbling notes on printed drafts for aides to incorporate and bring back. He practiced twice on the teleprompter, timing the cadence for specific lines. He continued to pepper his team with questions. On Tuesday morning he had ‘marked up from front to back’ 17 or 18 pages, one White House official said. He edited again at 3 in the afternoon. The first paragraph was edited as late as 5. Around 6:15, he was convinced the speech had come together. Most in the White House never saw the remarks before he delivered them, with aides conscientious about leaks. He kept practicing in the presidential limo on the way over.” http://politi.co/2loCsUf
— “What Trump didn’t say in his address to Congress,” by Annie Karni: “I love Russia … The press is evil … Iraq or Afghanistan … We should broaden access to health care … Deport the 11 million undocumented immigrants … Overturn Roe v. Wade and return abortion laws to the states.” http://politi.co/2lSlNfl
UPDATE: TRUMP’S TRAVEL BAN — “Trump delays signing new travel ban order, official says,” by Shane Goldmacher and Nahal Toosi: “President Donald Trump won’t sign a revised travel ban on Wednesday as had been anticipated, a senior administration official confirmed. The official indicated that the delay was due to the busy news cycle, and that when Trump does sign the revised order, he wanted it to get plenty of attention. ‘We need [the executive order] to have its own time to breathe,’ the official said. The Trump team has repeatedly delayed issuing the new order after its original version was stayed by courts amid a slew of legal challenges.” http://politi.co/2mcrCoG
— “Donald Trump’s New Travel Ban Would Likely Exempt Existing Visa Holders,” by WSJ’s Laura Meckler: “Exempting existing visa holders would mark a notable scaling back of the original order. It also could put the revised ban on firmer legal footing by focusing more directly on individuals who haven’t previously been granted approval for U.S. travel.” http://on.wsj.com/2lxQDaw
UNDERSTANDING TAX REFORM — READ EVERYTHING WSJ’S RICH RUBIN WRITES — “The Next Dilemma of the Republican Tax Overhaul”: “House Republicans are struggling to write a crucial piece of their tax plan: the rules for partnerships, limited liability companies, and other “pass-through” firms that account for a majority of U.S. business income. Republicans want to lower the tax rate for these businesses in conjunction with corporate rate cuts. But they haven’t decided what should be taxed at 25%, as a firm’s business income, and what should be taxed at 33%, as the owner’s wages at the firm. The rules would affect millions of business owners whose income passes through to their individual tax returns rather than appearing on corporate filings. They include law firms, hedge funds and manufacturers and they are a powerful force in Republican politics. They range from tiny businesses to the enterprises of some of the wealthiest Americans.” http://on.wsj.com/2lboji8
THE JUICE …
— BUZZ: CALIFORNIA ATTORNEY GENERAL XAVIER BECERRA is setting up an outpost in Washington, D.C. This is somewhat rare for an attorney general, but California is going to be combatting the federal government a good deal in the Trump era and Becerra is positioning himself as the Democrats’ answer to Attorney General Jeff Sessions.
— FIRST IN PLAYBOOK: AMERICAN ACTION NETWORK is launching a two-week $450,000 digital ad campaign focused on conservative Republican lawmakers in 21 congressional districts to continue to fight for Obamacare repeal and replacement. The buy supplements a $2.2 million TV ad campaign running nationally and in the 21 districts. Digital ads will run in California, Colorado, Florida, Iowa, Indiana, North Carolina, Nebraska, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Texas, Virginia and Wisconsin. The ad http://bit.ly/2mDKxGw
–The NATIONAL RETAIL FEDERATION is running an anti-border adjustment tax ad called “B.A.T. is a BAD Tax” that mimics a “Billy Mays” infomercial. “It’ll tax your car, your food, your gas, your medicine, your clothes — you name it, BAT will tax it,” the ad says. NRF declined to share how much they’re spending but the ad will run over the next two weeks in DC and in both DC and NYC during SNL this weekend. http://bit.ly/2lbtoqv
— TIME’s ZEKE MILLER and KATY STEINMETZ report that “the Trump Administration is maintaining a gender-neutral restroom at the White House, despite recently rolling back a key Obama-era policy designed to protect transgender youth … A White House official confirmed late Monday that the single-user restroom remains in place for White House staff and visitors.” http://ti.me/2mHOkSl
— T.V. THIS MORNING: “MORNING JOE” has VP MIKE PENCE live from Capitol Hill in the 6 a.m. hour. ALSO ON THE SHOW: Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.), House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas), former Gov. Steve Beshear, Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.), Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) and RNC Chair Ronna Romney McDaniel.
— NEIL GORSUCH is putting the full-court press on the Senate. He is scheduled to meet with Sens. Angus King (D-Maine), Cory Booker (D-N.J.), Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), Tim Kaine (D-Va.), and Jack Reed (D-R.I.). He is also slated to meet with Republican Sens. John Barrasso of Wyoming and Dan Sullivan of Alaska.
HAPPENING TODAY — The Senate is expected to vote this morning to confirm Ryan Zinke as the next secretary of the interior. The Senate is also scheduled to hold a roll call vote on the motion to invoke cloture on Ben Carson to be Trump’s HUD secretary.
YOU’RE INVITED — HOUSE MINORITY LEADER NANCY PELOSI is certainly an extremely newsy figure these days. The president called the longtime lawmaker incompetent this week, sparking outrage in Democratic circles. She’s sitting down with us for a Playbook Interview Friday morning at the Newseum (555 Pennsylvania Ave., N.W.). We’ll talk with Pelosi about how Democrats are going to combat Trump, the DNC’s election of a new chairman and Democrats are facing the real possibility that Republicans are going to move swiftly to repeal the health care law. Much of what Trump talked about wanting to do last night — tax reform, infrastructure — will need Democratic votes. We’ll talk about all of this Friday morning. Doors open at 8:20 a.m. RSVP http://bit.ly/2mjyTDN
SPORTS BLINK — THE WIZARDS ARE ACTUALLY GOOD – “Wizards hang on to beat Warriors after Kevin Durant exits game with knee injury,” by WaPo’s Candace Buckner http://wapo.st/2lVNTEP
HMM — “FBI once planned to pay former British spy who authored controversial Trump dossier,” by WaPo’s Tom Hamburger and Rosalind S. Helderman: “The former British spy who authored a controversial dossier on behalf of Donald Trump’s political opponents alleging ties between Trump and Russia reached an agreement with the FBI a few weeks before the election for the bureau to pay him to continue his work, according to several people familiar with the arrangement. … Ultimately, the FBI did not pay Steele.” http://wapo.st/2m74Y0N
FIRST PERSON — “The State Department Is Already Running on Fumes: I worked at the Pentagon and in Foggy Bottom. And let me tell you: Slashing the budget for diplomacy is insane,” by Ilan Goldenberg in Politico Magazine: “At the Pentagon and in Foggy Bottom, I saw firsthand how this contrast in priorities translated into striking differences in resource allocation and institutional culture. At State, despite working on an issue that was at the very top of Secretary of State John Kerry’s agenda—Middle East peace—I had to walk across the hall just to use a secure phone to call my White House or Pentagon colleagues, most of whom had these phones at their desks. At the Defense Department, any of roughly 40 four-star generals could get access to military aircraft and a team to ensure access to secure communications during trips. But at State, only the secretary had this privilege at all times, while other senior diplomats often had to travel without support despite the fact that the State Department was in the lead for intensive diplomatic negotiations that required rapid turnaround of information and unpredictable travel driven by shuttle diplomacy.” http://politi.co/2lp7Wtz
HILLWATCH — “Freedom Caucus chief’s wife blasts Ryan on Obamacare repeal,” by Rachael Bade: “House Freedom Caucus Chairman Mark Meadows’ wife is rallying North Carolina Republicans to sink Speaker Paul Ryan’s Obamacare replacement bill, telling activists in an email that ‘Ryancare’ ‘will be wrapped around Republican’s necks.’ In a Monday afternoon email, a copy of which was obtained by Politico, Debbie Meadows encouraged Republicans to call Ryan’s office and the White House to protest the House plan. ‘Please take just a few minutes to call right away,’ she wrote under a headline that read, ‘ATTENTION — IMPORTANT AND TIME SENSITIVE’ in red letters. ‘In a nutshell, for reasons we cannot fathom, Republican leadership is putting forth a so-called Obamacare ‘repeal’ that is not a repeal at all,’ she wrote.” http://politi.co/2lblqNW
THE NEW GILDED AGE — “China’s Richest Win, Mexican Billionaires Lose With Trump Effect,” by Bloomberg’s Brendan Coffey and Jack Witzig: “The 36 Chinese billionaires on the Bloomberg Billionaires Index have increased their wealth by 13.2 percent since the real estate mogul was elected U.S. president on Nov. 8, a $39.2 billion increase that’s pushed their combined net worth to $336 billion. The gains top those seen by billionaires in any other country outside the U.S., even as Trump has called China a currency manipulator whose trade policies have led to the loss of American jobs. For Mexico’s wealthiest, returns have headed in the other direction.” http://bloom.bg/2m7if9C
CLICKER – “Here’s A Video Of Travis Kalanick Chewing Out An Uber Driver” http://huff.to/2m70OG7
FUTURECAST — “Snap Is Said to Have Worked on a Drone,” by NYT’s Katie Benner: “[O]ver the past few years, the company has repositioned itself as a modern-day camera company. One of the products that Snap has worked on to bolster that direction is a drone, according to three people briefed on the project who asked to remain anonymous because the details are confidential. A drone could help Snap’s users take overhead videos and photographs, and then feed that visual data to the company. It is unclear when or if Snap’s drone would become available to consumers. Like many technology companies, Snap often works on experiments, many of which are killed or repurposed into other projects.” http://nyti.ms/2lSv8E0
FUTURE OF MEDIA — “Can YouTube TV Get You to Cut the Cord for $35 a Month?” by Bloomberg Businessweek’s Felix Gillette: On Tuesday “YouTube Inc. announced a new service that will deliver an assortment of major television channels to paying customers via the internet. For $35 a month, starting sometime this spring, subscribers to YouTube TV will be able to watch the top four broadcast networks—ABC, NBC, Fox, and CBS—and 35 or so of their affiliated cable channels, including ESPN, Disney Channel, MSNBC, National Geographic, and Fox News.” http://bloom.bg/2lbjSUu
SHOW ME THE MONEY — “Barack and Michelle Obama reach book deal,” by Aidan Quigley: “Publisher Penguin Random House announced Tuesday it will publish books by former president Barack Obama and former first lady Michelle Obama. The company has acquired worldwide publishing rights for two books, one from each of the Obamas. Terms of the agreement were not released, but the Financial Times [and several other outlets] reported on Tuesday that the auction for the rights to the books reached more than $60 million, citing people with knowledge of the sales process.” http://politi.co/2lxMQK0 Who cut the deal? Williams and Connolly’s Bob Barnett and Deneen Howell
LATE NIGHT BEST — EARNEST ON COLBERT – “Former Press Secretary Josh Earnest Talks Sean Spicer And Fake News”: “Sean Spicer’s predecessor, former Press Secretary Josh Earnest, evaluates the current White House’s treatment of the press corps.” Video http://bit.ly/2lp6KX1
MEDIAWATCH — MIRIAM JORDAN, a senior special writer for WSJ in its LA bureau, is headed to the NYT, she wrote in an email to colleagues. http://bit.ly/2mso3eR
TV TONIGHT – CNN’S DANA BASH will moderate a town hall tonight with Sens. John McCain (R-Ariz.) and Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.). They’ll take audience questions, and focus on foreign policy, immigration and other national security issues. 9 p.m. on CNN.
SPOTTED — Corey Lewandowski and Mike Murphy separately at the Four Seasons yesterday morning. UAE Ambassador Yousef Al Otaiba and Niall Ferguson also had breakfast there. … Gary Cohn, Gillian Tett and Lionel Barber yesterday having lunch at the Hay Adams.
OUT AND ABOUT — Pinnacle West’s Robbie Aiken celebrated 6-0 Monday night at the Metropolitan Club with 200 of his closest friends and family. SPOTTED: Chief Justice John Roberts, Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), Sen. John Barrasso (R-Wyo)., Sen. John and Jeanne Warner, Don Nickels, Nevada Attorney General Adam Paul Laxalt, Bill and Marylin Livingood, Brian McCormack, David Metzner, Fred Ryan, Gloria Dittus, Tom Kuhn, Bill Anaya, Rep. Jim Clyburn (R-S.C.), Bryan Anderson, Nicole Barranco, Bradley Blakeman, Steve Ross, Brian Wolff, Brian Montgomery, Ed Henry, Debbie Hohlt, Hal and Sally Furman, Christopher Chapel, John Arundel, artist and brother Bruce Aiken, and of course, Loran, Gigi and William Aiken, who threw the bash. Remarks were given by Aiken’s cousin, Richard Viguerie.
–The Chesapeake Bay Foundation celebrated its 50th anniversary with “D.C. on the Half Shell” Monday night at Union Market. The group raised more than $700,000 at the event, which featured buffets of shucked oysters from the area, entertainment by Alex Hoffman Sax and an interactive video wall. SPOTTED: Marriott International CEO Arne Sorenson, who was the recipient of the 2017 Conservationist of the Year, CBF President Will Baker, CBF Board Chair Harry Lester, Katie Leavy and David Leavy, Lt. Gov. Ralph Northam, Jill Daschle, Nathan Daschle, Kathleen Matthews, Melissa Maxfield, Patrick Steel and Lee Satterfield Steel, Ben Wilson, Aviva and Dan Rosenthal, Nicole Elkon and Neal Wolin, Cathy Merrill Williams, Leo Jardot, Erick Mullen, Skye Raiser and David Perlin, Rev. Eugene Taylor Sutton, Tom O’Donnell, Courtney and Scott Pastrick, Marriott head of business development, Rick Hoffman. Pix http://smu.gs/2lbdQmM
OBAMA ALUMNI — Jen Friedman, formerly of the White House press staff, is starting at GE today in NYC as senior director of corporate reputation. She previously was deputy press secretary in the Obama White House.
FIRST IN PLAYBOOK – The Senate Leadership Fund is naming Grace Eberhart finance director, Mark McLaughlin research director and Billy McBeath digital director. http://bit.ly/2loYMgq
TRANSITIONS — TargetPoint Consulting is announcing that one of its founding partners, Alex Gage, will be leaving his full time role at the company to focus on his role at G2 Analytics. He will continue to provide strategic advice and counsel to the company and service his clients. http://politi.co/2lxzuhe
–The Atlantic Council’s new Adrienne Arsht Center for Resilience has added three fellows: Peter Neffenger, former administrator of TSA, Amy Pope, former deputy homeland security adviser in the Obama administration and Brian Kamoie, former assistant administrator at FEMA for grant programs. http://bit.ly/2mDZhVP
HILLARY ALUMNI — Varun Anand has started in communications at Jigsaw, an incubator within Alphabet that builds technology to fight problems like censorship, online radicalization and online harassment. He was previously press wrangler for Hillary’s campaign.
WELCOME TO THE WORLD – Peter Oppenheim, education policy director at the Senate HELP committee and Katie Oppenheim, an executive director at Merck, emailed friends and family: “We are thrilled to announce the arrival of William Frawley Oppenheim. William made his big debut … [yesterday] at 5:10 p.m., weighing 9 lbs., 1 oz. and measuring 21 ½ inches. He is named for two beloved family members – Peter’s great-uncle, William Oppenheim, and Katie’s maternal grandmother, Bridget Frawley Browne.” Pic http://bit.ly/2mDVnvV
BIRTHDAY OF THE DAY: Sen. Deb Fischer (R-Neb.) is 66 – today she’s working in D.C., but on Saturday, she and her husband Bruce are joining Nebraskans at their statehood dinner – read her Playbook Plus Q&A: http://politi.co/2lbtMVO
BIRTHDAYS: Hannah Klain, a student at Harvard Law and a Hillary alum, is 26 — she’s headed to the ACLU Voting Rights project this summer … Dr. John P. Holdren is 73 … former Sen. John Breaux (D-La.) is 73 … Will Robinson, an adopted Iowan and partner at The New Media Firm (h/ts Sean Johnson and Jon Haber) … Jonathan Lipman, former VP of BerlinRosen Public Affairs … Stephen Ezell, ITIF VP for global innovation policy (h/t Samantha Greene) … Politico’s Lorraine Woellert, David Gelsomino, and Hossein Ghodosi Fard … Sally Canfield, senior director of int’l gov’t relations at AbbVie and a Rubio alum … Lauren Vicary, VP for editorial at CAP … Cheyenne Klotz … Trevor FitzGibbon … Elizabeth Brooks, director of federal gov’t affairs at CVS Health … Rev. Brenda Girton-Mitchell … Marjorie Marquardt … Bridget Bowman, Senate reporter at Roll Call and a PBS NewsHour alum … Zain Khan … Sen. Luther Strange (R-Ala.) is 64 … Rep. Randy Hultgren (R-Ill.) is 51 … Rep. Carlos Curbelo (R-Fla.) is 37 … Rep. Trent Kelly (R-Miss.) is 51 … Rep. Warren Davidson (R-Ohio) is 47 …
… Nigel Duara, border correspondent at the LATimes and an AP alum, is 34 … Center for Public Integrity CEO John Dunbar (h/t Dave Levinthal) … Mike Haidet (observed) … Peter Guber, Hollywood executive, CEO of Mandalay Entertainment, Chairman of Dick Clark Productions, and a co-owner of both the LA Dodgers and Golden State Warriors, is 75 … Joshua Lachter, VP at ASAPP, a NYC-based software technology company, is 3-0 … real estate developer Avron B. Fogelman is 77 (h/ts Jewish Insider) … Ryan Little … Aaron Sherinian, chief comms. and marketing officer at UN Foundation and a State alum … Sarah Nolan, AVP for alumni relations and development and campaign comms at UChicago and a State and Hillary alum … Aaron Lennon Rosen … journalist Jonathan Krohn … Ruth Malhotra … Jonathan Miles is 52 … Meghan Milloy … Biogen’s Adam Brand … Howard Owen is 68 … Ryan Connolly … The Tampa Bay Times’ Howard Altman is 57 … Karin Roberts, web editor on NYT’s int’l desk … Tyler Jameson … Chris McGowan … Jerry Regier … Lee Ann Smith … Jeff Sabbath … Laura Tucker … John Gibson (h/ts Teresa Vilmain) … Peter Mirijanian Public Affairs is 17 … Christian Spencer of Rep. Vern Buchanan’s office … Mike Bloomquist of House E&C (h/ts Legistorm) … singer Harry Belafonte is 9-0 … actor-director Ron Howard is 63 … actor Tim Daly is 61 … Kesha (formerly Ke$ha) is 3-0 … Justin Bieber is 23 (h/ts AP)
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