Good Wednesday morning. THE BIG PICTURE — REPUBLICANS’ MASSIVE MESS.
— PRESIDENT TRUMP went all in for a Senate candidate — following Mitch McConnell’s lead — and was thoroughly embarrassed, losing to Roy Moore, a man who many in D.C. have said is not fit to serve in Washington.
Story Continued Below
— ROY MOORE ran a campaign almost entirely against MITCH MCCONNELL. So, if Moore wins in December — a good, but not great, bet — the Kentucky Republican will be working with a functional majority of 51 lawmakers, making passing any big legislation that much harder. With that partisan makeup, two defections will sink anything.
— DEMOCRATS ARE ALREADY HOPING they can tie the firebrand Moore to other Republican candidates for federal office. There are far too many inflammatory lines for this space, but just recently, Roy Moore lamented racial tensions between “reds and yellows.” He has a long history of those types of remarks.
— WITH THE FAILURE OF GRAHAM-CASSIDY, Republicans do not have a single major legislative victory going into October. They are counting on a tax code rewrite to carry them into the 2018 election year.
— WHAT HAPPENED TO INFRASTRUCTURE? Well, according to WaPo’s Tory Newmyer and Damian Paletta, Trump has abandoned his plan to include the private sector in funding a massive public works program, which means states and local governments would have to pony up. To put it bluntly — Republicans are nowhere on this front. If they played their cards right, they could’ve gotten several moderate Democrats to support an infrastructure package. Tory and Damian’s story http://wapo.st/2wjauQ1
— THE TAX BLUEPRINT THAT WILL BE UNVEILED TODAY will be vague and leave a lot for lawmakers to decide down the road. There are many reasons why tax reform is a good deal harder than the White House thinks. Republicans don’t want to hike taxes on rich folks, and anything sniffing of that will be difficult. Margins in both chambers are incredibly thin. There are less than 40 days left in the legislative year. The White House has indicated it believes it will get Democratic support, but it’s clear if you spend a few moments talking to lawmakers on Capitol Hill the vast majority of Democrats aren’t much interested in supporting a plan they had no say in.
— REMEMBER THIS: Six Republicans crafted the tax blueprint behind closed doors. Now 535 lawmakers with opinions will have a say in the details. And thousands of lobbyists looking to protect their carve outs will get in on the action.
— SEN. BOB CORKER’S RETIREMENT is another blow to Senate Republicans. The two-term Tennessee Republican is a key ally of McConnell’s but many thought he would have faced a primary opponent from the right. Now, the primary to succeed him will be messy, and the general could be surprisingly challenging for Republicans. He could be just the first Senate GOPer looking for the exits before the 2018 midterm election.
WHAT THE ALABAMA SPECIAL MEANS FOR MCCONNELL — “Mitch McConnell’s dreadful day,” by John Bresnahan, Burgess Everett, and Josh Dawsey: “For Mitch McConnell, Tuesday was about as bad as it could get. A vulnerable incumbent senator, Luther Strange, lost handily to Roy Moore, who used the Senate leader as his campaign punching bag. McConnell pulled the plug — again — on repealing Obamacare. One of his close allies, Sen. Bob Corker (R-Tenn.), announced his retirement. And President Donald Trump is back on McConnell’s case, dubbing him ‘weak’ at a private dinner with conservative activists on Monday evening.
“McConnell’s job is in no immediate danger, and he hopes to pivot quickly to tax reform. Yet months of woes are now taking their toll on the GOP leader’s agenda, and his caucus. ‘It’s been a hard summer for all of us,’ admitted Sen. John Thune of South Dakota, the No. 3 GOP senator.
“Asked Tuesday if he was having a ‘tough day,’ McConnell ignored the question. And that was before Corker announced his retirement and Moore won. ‘We haven’t given up on changing the American health care system,’ McConnell said. ‘We’re not going to be able to do that this week, but it still lies ahead of us, and we haven’t given up on that.’” http://politi.co/2hytDY1
— “Moore’s win spells trouble for GOP establishment in 2018,” by Alex Isenstadt in Montgomery, Alabama: “Insurgent Roy Moore’s rout of incumbent GOP Sen. Luther Strange in Alabama’s special election Tuesday has senior Republicans bracing for a wave of resource-draining primaries across the map that could undermine their best-laid plans to defeat Democrats in 2018. Moore’s win — over an incumbent who benefited from millions of dollars in spending by a super PAC aligned with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell — is certain to provide fuel for conservative challengers lining up to take on sitting senators in states like Arizona, Nevada, Mississippi.
“The result was a major setback for President Donald Trump, who went all-in for Strange in a state where the commander-in-chief is overwhelmingly popular. And it emboldened Trump’s former chief strategist, Steve Bannon, who said the Alabama race is the opening front in a pitched midterm war against GOP incumbents — and an opportunity to undermine his nemesis, McConnell. After the race was called, Bannon stood backstage with Moore as the victorious candidate prayed.
“As he introduced Moore at Tuesday’s victory party, Bannon made clear that he was looking far beyond Alabama, which he called the start of a ‘revolution.’ ‘You’re going to see in state, after state, after state, people that follow the model of Judge Moore – that do not need to raise money from the elites, from the crony capitalists, from the fat cats in Washington, DC.,’ said Bannon at Moore’s victory party. The race, he said, centered on the question of ‘who was sovereign — the people or the money — and Alabama answered today, the people.’” http://politi.co/2wUmxHM
BIG-PICTURE BOB COSTA — “After Alabama, GOP anti-establishment wing declares all-out war in 2018”: “The stunning defeat of President Trump’s chosen Senate candidate in Alabama on Tuesday amounted to a political lightning strike — setting the stage for a worsening Republican civil war that could have profound effects on next year’s midterm elections and undermine Trump’s clout with his core voters.” http://wapo.st/2fpY9Td
— AT THE WHITE HOUSE … “Regrets? In Alabama Senate race, Trump had a few,” by Josh Dawsey: “President Donald Trump began distancing himself from Sen. Luther Strange before ballots were even cast in Alabama’s GOP Senate primary, saying at a dinner on Monday night that the candidate he backed was likely to lose — and suggesting he’d done everything he could do given the circumstances. Trump told conservative activists who visited the White House that he’d underestimated the political power of Roy Moore, the firebrand populist and former judge who defeated Strange on Tuesday with the backing of Trump’s former chief strategist Steve Bannon, according to three people who were there. Attendees said the president asked questions that suggested he harbored doubts about his endorsement.” http://politi.co/2ysn4NB
— JONATHAN MARTIN and ALEX BURNS on A1 of the NYT: “On Dec. 12, Mr. Moore will face Doug Jones, a former federal prosecutor and the Democratic nominee, in a race that will test the party loyalties of center-right voters who may be uneasy about their nominee. It may also reveal just how reliably Republican the state has become in the quarter-century since a Democrat last won a Senate election here.
“Mr. Jones said in an interview Tuesday afternoon that he believed voters would reward a candidate focused on ‘kitchen-table issues,’ and said Alabama’s public reputation was at stake in the election. ‘People are tired of being embarrassed in this state,’ Mr. Jones said. ‘People want to see someone who can get things done.’” http://nyti.ms/2y8JZS2
— “After Luther Strange loses in Alabama, Trump’s supportive tweets disappear,” by Henry C. Jackson: “Trump … appears to have deleted at least two tweets, sent earlier in the day, that offered strong endorsements of Strange. … ‘Luther Strange has been shooting up the polls since my endorsement,’ read one tweet that later disappeared from his feed. ‘Finish the job — vote today for big Luther.’” http://politi.co/2xJuXkp
****** A message from Morgan Stanley: Batteries may power the future of the auto industry. Read more about disruption in the automotive industry from Morgan Stanley. ******
IT’S FINALLY HERE … TAX REFORM DETAILS — NYT’S GLENN THRUSH and ALAN RAPPEPORT: “Trump to Propose Sweeping Tax Cut for Corporations and Individuals”: “President Trump will propose a sweeping rewrite of the federal tax code on Wednesday, outlining a plan to reduce rates for corporations and individuals and eliminate some popular deductions, in a move that will set off a scramble among powerful groups eager to protect their tax breaks.
“The proposal will call for slashing the corporate tax rate to 20 percent from 35 percent, doubling the standard deduction for individual taxpayers and slightly increasing the bottom tax rate to 12 percent from 10 percent, according to two officials briefed on the details of the blueprint.
“The framework, which has been agreed upon by Republican leaders in the House and Senate, leaves most of the details to Congress but proposes a reduction in the individual rate to 35 percent from 39.6 percent, while leaving the door open for an unspecified, higher bracket for the wealthiest Americans. The plan would also, for the first time, create a 25 percent tax for ‘pass through’ businesses, which account for the vast majority of business income in the United States and are currently taxed at individual rates.” http://nyti.ms/2hytDat
— WAPO’S DAMIAN PALETTA, MIKE DEBONIS and CAROLYN Y. JOHNSON: “By refusing to specify on Wednesday which tax breaks could be jettisoned, GOP leaders make a calculated effort to try to postpone any backlash while they try to build a coalition, said the people, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss the internal negotiations.
“But they plan to lean heavily into promising Americans that the tax changes will lead to a wave of economic growth that will spur new jobs and better wages if the tax blueprint is passed into law.
“Trump told a group of Democrats and Republicans on Tuesday the tax framework could lead the economy to grow more than 6 percent a year, more than double what even his advisers had hoped for, and a view that many economists believe is preposterous.” http://wapo.st/2fQA8p8
— HOW HE PLANS TO SELL IT … — “Trump plans to enlist grassroots and Democrats to sell tax plan he will call biggest in history,” by USA Today’s Heidi M. Przybyla: “Trump will make the announcement alongside Indiana Sen. Joe Donnelly, a Democrat planning to travel with the president, and in tandem with the plan’s release by Republican negotiators on Capitol Hill. Donnelly is considered one of the most endangered Democratic senators up for reelection in 2018; he will make the trip unless he is needed in Washington for Senate votes. …
“Trump told dinner attendees that he thought a previous event in North Dakota, where he was accompanied by that state’s Democratic senator, Heidi Heitkamp, was a success and that he wants to model future events off it. Yet one Democrat who attended the Tuesday meeting with Trump said Democrats haven’t been consulted on a plan that will favor the wealthy, create more incentives to ship jobs overseas and force cuts to Medicare and Social Security.” https://usat.ly/2hx6uc6
— … BUT THERE IS CONCERN HE’LL FLY OFF THE RAILS: “Trump hits the road to sell tax plan – but some worry what he’ll say,” by Nancy Cook and Ben White: “President Donald Trump is expected to tout the Republicans’ new tax blueprint as one of the biggest tax cuts in recent American history at a Wednesday rally in Indiana – but Republican lawmakers, lobbyists and others are worried about exactly what he’ll say. … ‘He’s the one guy left in Washington who still wants a 15 percent corporate rate,’ said one person close to the president and the tax reform discussions. ‘They could put 20 percent down on paper and he could go out and say 15 percent anyway. He goes to these tax meetings and people just hammer him but he still wants 15 percent.’” http://politi.co/2wV9TUj
HOUSE REPUBLICANS have a five-hour retreat today at National Defense University, where they will talk about tax reform. The House Republican Conference video pushing tax reform http://bit.ly/2fyudrT … They are also launching a website, fairandsimple.gop.
TRUMP’S WEDNESDAY — THE PRESIDENT meets with Rex Tillerson at 10:30 a.m., and then heads to Indianapolis for a tax reform speech, which is slated to begin around 3:20 p.m.
NEW POLITICO/MORNING CONSULT POLL — MOST POPULAR CABINET MEMBERS: Defense Secretary James Mattis topped the list of Trump’s most popular advisers with a 40% favorable rating (+20% net favorable), according to a new POLITICO/Morning Consult poll. EVERY CABINET MEMBER is under water. JOHN KELLY: 39% (+17 net), BEN CARSON: 42% (+9% net), DAVID SHULKIN: 28% (+9 net), REX TILLERSON: 35% (+7% net), SONNY PERDUE: 24% (+4% net). LEAST POPULAR: BETSY DEVOS, who has 28% favorable, and 40% unfavorable rating. JEFF SESSIONS: 34% (-4% net), RICK PERRY: 30% (-3% net), STEVEN MNUCHIN: 26% (-3% net), RYAN ZINKE: 22% favorable, 22% unfavorable, 22% have no opinion of him, and 34% haven’t heard of him.
THE BACKSTORY — “Trump’s N.F.L. Critique a Calculated Attempt to Shore Up His Base,” by NYT’s Glenn Thrush and Maggie Haberman: “President Trump was restless on the flight home from his rally on Friday night in Alabama, griping about the size of the crowd, wondering how his pink tie played with his audience and fretting about the low energy of the Senate candidate he was there to bolster. But there was one part of the trip that cheered him up, according to three people close to the president: rallygoers’ thunderous approval of his attack on Colin Kaepernick, a former N.F.L. quarterback, for kneeling in protest during the national anthem, a slam punctuated by an epithet-laced suggestion that team owners fire employees who disrespect patriotic tradition. …
“In private, the president and his top aides freely admit that he is engaged in a culture war on behalf of his white, working-class base, a New York billionaire waging war against ‘politically correct’ coastal elites on behalf of his supporters in the South and in the Midwest. He believes the war was foisted upon him by former President Barack Obama and other Democrats — and he is determined to win, current and former aides said.” http://nyti.ms/2yI2ee2
ELIANA JOHNSON and ALEX ISENSTADT: “Trump defends NFL stance at GOP donor dinner”: http://politi.co/2k1YsIZ
— “A majority of adults disagree with Trump on firing athletes who kneel during anthem: Reuters/Ipsos poll,” by Reuters’ Chris Kahn: “A majority of Americans disagree with President Donald Trump’s assertion that football players should be fired for kneeling during the national anthem, even though most say they would personally stand during the song, according to an exclusive Reuters/Ipsos opinion poll released on Tuesday. The Sept. 25-26 poll found that 57 percent of adults do not think the National Football League should fire players who kneel. This included 61 percent of NFL fans who watch at least a few games per season. The results were split along party lines, however, as 82 percent of Democrats and 29 percent of Republicans disagreed with the president’s comments about firing football players.” http://reut.rs/2wU2vgH
— HOT JOB – “Senior Communications Strategist” at the NFL: http://bit.ly/2xzcWDj
RUSSIA WATCH — “IRS shares information with special counsel in Russia probe,” by CNN’s Manu Raju, Pamela Brown and Evan Perez: “The IRS is now sharing information with special counsel Robert Mueller about key Trump campaign officials, after the two entities clashed this summer over both the scope of the investigation into Russia’s meddling in the 2016 election and a raid on former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort’s home, people briefed on the matter tell CNN. …
“After several months of being at odds, one source said, the IRS Criminal Investigation division is now sharing information about campaign associates, including Manafort and former White House national security adviser Michael Flynn. The sharing happened after the two camps reached an agreement following consultation with officials at the Treasury Department. CNN has learned the IRS Criminal Investigation agents had been working with the FBI to investigate Manafort since before the election in a similar probe that centered on possible money laundering and tax fraud issues, according to the sources.” http://cnn.it/2wWrhrG
— “Special counsel interviews with White House staff could start later this week,” by CNN’s Gloria Borger and Pamela Brown: “Special counsel investigators could start interviewing current and former White House staff as soon as later this week regarding the Russian probe, two sources familiar with the matter tell CNN. One source cautioned it is still being worked out with Robert Mueller’s office and said it might be delayed until next week.” http://cnn.it/2wVwxvN
— “Blumenthal: ‘99 percent sure’ of Russia indictments,” by Darren Samuelsohn: “Criminal charges against two former top advisers to President Donald Trump are virtually certain, Democratic Sen. Richard Blumenthal said Tuesday. Michael Flynn and Paul Manafort are almost sure to be indicted as a result of Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s probe into Russian interference in the 2016 election, the Connecticut senator told POLITICO. ‘I’m about 99 percent sure there will be some criminal charges from this investigation,’ said Blumenthal, a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee. … Blumenthal said he is less certain Trump himself would end up facing charges, including for possible obstruction of justice for his firing of FBI Director James Comey.” http://politi.co/2xFeNs9
TRUMP’S CABINET …
— DRIP, DRIP, DRIP: “Price’s private-jet travels included visits with colleagues, lunch with son,” by Dan Diamond and Rachana Pradhan: “Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price took a government-funded private jet in August to get to St. Simons Island, an exclusive Georgia resort where he and his wife own land, a day and a half before he addressed a group of local doctors at a medical conference that he and his wife have long attended.
“The St. Simons Island trip was one of two taxpayer-funded flights on private jets in which Price traveled to places where he owns property, and paired official visits with meetings with longtime colleagues and family members. On June 6, HHS chartered a jet to fly Price to Nashville, Tennessee, where he owns a condominium and where his son resides. Price toured a medicine dispensary and spoke to a local health summit organized by a longtime friend. He also had lunch with his son, an HHS official confirmed. An HHS official said both the Georgia and Tennessee trips were for official government business and were paid for by the department.” http://politi.co/2wjM8p8
— WAPO: “EPA spending almost $25,000 to install a secure phone booth for Scott Pruitt,” by Brady Dennis: “The Environmental Protection Agency is spending nearly $25,000 to construct a secure, soundproof communications booth in the office of Administrator Scott Pruitt, according to government contracting records.
“The agency signed a $24,570 contract earlier this summer with Acoustical Solutions, a Richmond-based company, for a ‘privacy booth for the administrator.’ The company sells and installs an array of sound-dampening and privacy products, from ceiling baffles to full-scale enclosures like the one purchased by the EPA. The project’s scheduled completion date is Oct. 9, according to the contract. Typically, such soundproof booths are used to conduct hearing tests. But the EPA sought a customized version — one that eventually would cost several times more than a typical model — that Pruitt can use to communicate privately.” http://wapo.st/2y7PHU1
— “Dismayed by Trump, Head of Drug Enforcement Administration to Leave,” by NYT’s Mike Schmidt: “The acting head of the Drug Enforcement Administration will resign at the end of the week, according to law enforcement officials, who said he had become convinced that President Trump had little respect for the law. The official, Chuck Rosenberg, who twice served as chief of staff to the former F.B.I. director James B. Comey and remains a close confidant, had grown disillusioned with Mr. Trump. The president fired Mr. Comey in May, and then in July told law enforcement officers ‘please don’t be too nice’ when handling crime suspects. Mr. Rosenberg forcefully rejected Mr. Trump’s comment, sending an email to all D.E.A. employees at the time to tell them that they should not mistreat suspects.” http://nyti.ms/2wWh8Ln
THE JUICE …
— FIRST IN PLAYBOOK: JESSE KAMZOL, former RNC chief data officer, has joined data and analytics firm Genus AI’s Washington office for political and consumer clients.
WHAT SEN. MARK WARNER IS READING — “Russian-funded Facebook ads backed Stein, Sanders and Trump,” by Josh Dawsey: “Green Party presidential candidate Jill Stein was the beneficiary of at least one of the Russian-bought political ads on Facebook that federal government officials suspect were intended to influence the 2016 election. Other advertisements paid for by shadowy Russian buyers criticized Hillary Clinton and promoted Donald Trump. Some backed Bernie Sanders and his platform even after his presidential campaign had ended, according to a person with knowledge of the ads. The pro-Stein ad came late in the political campaign and pushed her candidacy for president …
“The ads show a complicated effort that didn’t necessarily hew to promoting Trump and bashing Clinton. Instead, they show a desire to create divisions while sometimes praising Trump, Sanders and Stein. A number of the ads seemed to question Clinton’s authenticity and tout some of the liberal criticisms of her candidacy. There is no indication Stein, Sanders or Trump was aware of the advertisements, which were described to POLITICO by people with knowledge of them.” http://politi.co/2yFR21j
FOR YOUR RADAR — “U.S. does not believe Cuba is behind sonic attacks on American diplomats,” by McClatchy’s Franco Ordonez and Anita Kumar: “The White House does not believe the Cuban government is behind the mysterious sonic attacks against U.S. personnel but plans to pull American staff out of Havana as the number of cases climbs, according to multiple U.S. sources familiar with the investigation. ‘No one believes that the Cubans are responsible,’ said one source, echoing comments from others who are closely involved in the situation. ‘All of the evidence points that they’re not.’ Sources would not say who U.S. intelligence believes is responsible.” http://hrld.us/2wUb776
VALLEY TALK — “Tech Firms Add $300 Million to Trump Administration’s Computer Science Push,” by NYT’s Cecilia Kang: “Many of the country’s largest tech companies, including Amazon, Facebook, Google, Microsoft and Salesforce, on Tuesday pledged a total of $300 million for computer science education, part of a partnership with the Trump administration meant to prepare students for careers in technology. The corporate donations follow a White House effort to direct federal money toward teacher training and resources that bolster science, technology, engineering and math, or STEM, education. President Trump on Monday directed the Education Department to put $200 million in grant money toward computer science education.” http://nyti.ms/2xAeJYQ
WOMEN RULE PODCAST: “Trump’s tough talk on Iran might have repercussions: Actress and activist Nazanin Boniadi has a message for President Trump: stop emboldening Iranian leaders by threatening to blow up the deal your predecessor made with Iran. In the latest Women Rule podcast, the British-Iranian actress emphasizes that ‘the nuclear issue has overshadowed human rights’ in Iran for too long, and that increasingly harsh rhetoric from D.C. will result in further oppression of the Iranian people. ‘The hardliners in Iran are fully aware that if they solve the nuclear issue and they get rid of the nuclear standoff with the U.S., the global attention will shift back onto human rights in Iran,’ she said. ‘That’s the last thing they want.’” Listen to the podcast http://politi.co/2olmtJ7
****** A message from Morgan Stanley: Amid a confluence of regulatory, market and technological factors, the production and sales of battery-powered electric vehicles may finally shift into high gear. A Morgan Stanley report projects that as many as a billion electric vehicles will be on the road worldwide by 2050. Read more. ******
HAPPENING TODAY — The Atlantic and the Aspen Institute are hosting the 9th annual Washington Ideas Forum starting today at the Harman Center. Among the speakers today: Mitch Landrieu, Newsmax CEO Chris Ruddy, Marty Baron, Boeing CEO Dennis Muilenburg, and more. On Thursday speakers include: Nancy Pelosi, Steven Mnuchin, Mark Warner, Jeff Flake, and Madeleine Albright, among others. http://bit.ly/2y7ejMM
POLITICO AGENDA: THE AGING ISSUE — “The U.S. has marked a profound demographic shift with 10,000 baby boomers turning 65 each day, in addition to the growing population of adults over the age of 85 increasing exponentially each year. Despite this, health care policy and practice haven’t necessarily caught up to the challenges that older patients face. The newest issue of POLITICO Agenda explores the challenges facing the American healthcare system due to our aging demography:” http://politi.co/2xzjX76
MEDIAWATCH — “Rolling Stone’s Sales Pitch to Investors: Go Monthly, Slash Editorial Budget, Pivot to Video,” by NYMag’s Gabe Sherman: “According to a Wenner Media financial document obtained by Vanity Fair, Rolling Stone’s print advertising revenue is projected to be just $10.9 million in 2020, down from $28.6 million in 2015. Circulation revenue will drop by nearly half during this period to $6.3 million. … [A]s Wenner and his 27-year-old son, Gus, who succeeded Wenner as president and C.O.O. of Wenner Media, meet with potential bidders, they are pitching an austere business plan that includes cutting the editorial budget by 30 percent and converting the biweekly magazine to a monthly. …
“Wenner’s sales pitch to investors, according to the document, calls for cutting the editorial budget from a high of $8.1 million in 2015 to $4.2 million in 2020. With the reduction in the number of printed issues, production costs will drop to $7.3 million in 2020 from $18.1 million in 2015. Gus Wenner says the pitch he is making to investors is that the future of Rolling Stone is online and in video and television.” http://bit.ly/2frExyi
–PER MICHAEL CALDERONE’S MORNING MEDIA: “Advocates for the news media will meet on Oct. 2 with Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein to discuss how the Justice Department deals with journalists in leak investigations. Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced plans in August to revisit guidelines for media subpoenas, remarks which heightened fears journalists could be prosecuted in the Trump era.”
— “Fox News’ Sean Hannity Tops MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow in First 9 p.m. Matchup” – Variety: http://bit.ly/2fyiPwb
— “Fox News Announces New Daytime Lineup: Harris Faulkner at 1 PM, Dana Perino at 2” – Mediaite: http://bit.ly/2xA3oIn
SPOTTED: Team Corker at NOPA last night celebrating his years of service: Sen. Bob Corker, Todd Womack, Micah Johnson, Hallie Williams, Rob Strayer, Chris Tuttle, Josh Falzone, Chuck Harper, and John Rader … former Rep. Tim Huelskamp (R-Kansas) outside the Peet’s near Metro Center yesterday looking at his phone.
OUT AND ABOUT — SPOTTED at a fundraiser last night at the Smoot Tewes Group for Obama and Clinton alum Buffy Wicks, who is running for California State Assembly in the 15th District: Meg Ansara, Paulette Aniskoff, Isaac Baker, Andrew Bleeker, Justin Brennan, Brian Bond, Pia Carusone, Jennifer O’Malley Dillon and Patrick Dillon, Adrienne Donato, Adrienne Elrod, Scott Goodstein, Ann Marie Habershaw, Karine Jean-Pierre, Dan Kanninen, Stephen Krupin, Clare Doody, Kyle Lierman, Marlon Marshall and Stacey Berger, Jonathan Mantz, Minyon Moore, Brandon Neal, Alexis Prieur L’Heureux, Tim Tagaris, Nicholas Rathod, Diana Rogalle, Sonal Shah, Erik Smith, Sean Sweeney, Mitch Stewart and Kelly Ward.
— NARAL hosted its 5th annual #MenForChoice party last night at Baby Wale, with special guest Senator Cory Booker. The featured cocktail was a “Ruth Bader GINsberg.” SPOTTED: Ilyse Hogue, Angie Kuefler, Soraya Chemaly, Kimball Stroud, Michael Khoo, Khalid Pitts, Sunita and Dan Leeds, Rene Redwood, John Jameson, Melinda Bieber, John Neffinger, Ari Rabin-Havt, Shripal Shah, Tyrone Gayle, Amanda Thayer, Kaylie Hanson Long, Liz Schoetz, Sam Lau, Alex De Luca, Rory Steele, Melissa Schwartz, David Williamson.
TRANSITIONS — Arlene Corbin Lewis has joined the D.C. office of the public policy think tank, Demos, as the director of communications. She previously was at the Case Foundation where she was the VP for communications. … Lincoln Strategy Group has brought on Corey Vale as EVP and chief digital strategist. Vale has had senior campaign roles with former Gov. Tim Pawlenty (R-Minn.), former Speaker Newt Gingrich (R-Ga.), and Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.).
WELCOME TO THE WORLD — Lisa Verstandig, assistant to Robert Allbritton, and Scott Verstandig, senior director of legislative affairs at Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association, email friends and family: “John Asher (‘Jack’) Verstandig you are our greatest joy! Born Saturday, September 23rd at 8:13 a.m. 7 lbs. 4 oz. 20 in. Mom and baby are resting and doing great! Dad is still recovering.” Pic http://bit.ly/2wVPvlC
BIRTHWEEK (was yesterday): Robert Kagan turned 59… Josie Martin, head of corporate affairs and comms at Purdue … Bloomberg’s Lucas Shaw (hat tip: Henry Seltzer)
BIRTHDAY OF THE DAY: Jeff Birnbaum, president of BGR Public Relations and longtime D.C. journalist, is 61. How he got his start in Washington: “I was transferred to Washington from the New York bureau of the Wall Street Journal in 1982 to cover agriculture and general assignment.” Read his Playbook Plus Q&A: http://politi.co/2k24lpz
BIRTHDAYS: New America Foundation head Anne-Marie Slaughter … Jenny Burke, acting communications director at DHS (h/t Lauren Claffey) … Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-Fla.) is 51 … Rep. Adriano Espaillat (D-N.Y.) is 63 … Recode’s Tony Romm … Lucy McCalmont, coordinating producer at the Sports Tribune … Megan Grant, VP for strategic comms at Glover Park Group … Brian Killheffer is 36 … Christina DiPasquale … LaVerne Alexander … David Ratcliff (h/t Jon Haber) … Kristin Sosanie … Meridith McGraw of ABC News (h/ts Arlette Saenz and Natalie Boyse) … Will Bredderman … Brendan Dunn, policy adviser and counsel to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell. Since Brendan is leading tax reform for the leader, he’s celebrating by getting the Big 6 rollout as a special birthday present (h/t Erica Suares) … AP’s Pablo Gorondi … LCV’s Sara Chieffo … Concetta Cantelmo … Juleanna Glover (hat tip: Becca) … Martin D. Franks … Laura Whitefield, project manager at Stand Together and the pride of Houston …
… Carl Woog, NSC and DoD alum, now lead for policy communications at WhatsApp (h/t Ben Chang) … Christian Hertenstein, senior account supervisor at Qorvis MSLGROUP, is 32 … Marcus Sebastian Mason, senior partner of the Madison Group (h/t Robb Watters) … Caitlyn Schneeweiss … Ed Niles, lead media strategist at BlueLabs … Deloitte’s Alexa Wertman is 27 (hubby tip: Josh Brown) … Bryce Hallowell, director of public affairs for Chevron Phillips Chemical (h/t Kristina Baum) … Politico Europe’s Nick Vinocur … Saraid Donnelly … WJLA alum Tim Traylor … Politico’s Steven Overly and Jonathan McClure … Charles Percy … Meg Jones Margiotta … Rene Carbone Bardorf … Earl Plante is 44 … Sean Miller … NBC News’ Matthew Vann … PwC’s Scott Moshier is 32 … former Rep. Ed Case (D-HI) is 65 … Geoff Burgan, comms director for Andrew Gillum’s Florida gubernatorial campaign … Shaun Cassidy is 59 … Michelle Carrier … Kathy Heinan … Lee Wasserman … John Loredo … Abby Curran (h/ts Teresa Vilmain)
****** A message from Morgan Stanley: For years, many industry watchers have predicted the demise of traditional gas-guzzlers and the rise of electric cars. Yet, despite the advent of hybrid vehicles, better and cheaper batteries, and the entry of high-performance luxury electric competitors, the former continues to dominate roads globally. Now, however, the automobile’s long-promised electric future may be in sight, according to a new report that projects that as many as a billion battery electric vehicles will be on the road worldwide by 2050, reaching parity with vehicles powered by the internal combustion engine. Why have electric cars never been successful before and why is it different this time? Read more from Morgan Stanley. ******
SUBSCRIBE to the Playbook family: POLITICO Playbook http://politi.co/2lQswbh … Playbook Power Briefing http://politi.co/2xuOiqh … New York Playbook http://politi.co/1ON8bqW … Florida Playbook http://politi.co/1OypFe9 … New Jersey Playbook http://politi.co/1HLKltF … Massachusetts Playbook http://politi.co/1Nhtq5v … Illinois Playbook http://politi.co/1N7u5sb … California Playbook http://politi.co/2bLvcPl … London Playbook http://politi.co/2xfDPuK … Brussels Playbook http://politi.co/1FZeLcw … All our political and policy tipsheets http://politi.co/1M75UbX