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Mel Evans / AP

Former Vice President Joe Biden is creating an American Possibilities PAC as a possible prelude to running in 2020, the N.Y. Times' Jonathan Martin reports.

A Biden adviser emails me:

"I'd say there are three ways to see this. First, it is driven by mechanics: He is much in demand for political travel and appearances, and he needs a way to staff and pay for it."
"Second, it is driven by his passion. He loves politics: He doesn't see it as some unpleasant necessity to govern, he sees it as a joyous enterprise — and this is his platform to pursue that passion."
"And third, it is driven by a desire to be seen as a 2020 player: Whether he runs or not, he knows he is a more significant figure if he is in the mix, and he sees no reason to take himself out of it."
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Go deeper

2 hours ago - World

Special report: Trump's U.S.-China transformation

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

President Trump began his term by launching the trade war with China he had promised on the campaign trail. By mid-2020, however, Trump was no longer the public face of China policy-making as he became increasingly consumed with domestic troubles, giving his top aides carte blanche to pursue a cascade of tough-on-China policies.

Why it matters: Trump alone did not reshape the China relationship. But his trade war shattered global norms, paving the way for administration officials to pursue policies that just a few years earlier would have been unthinkable.

McConnell: Trump "provoked" Capitol mob

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said on Tuesday that the pro-Trump mob that stormed the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6 was "provoked by the president and other powerful people."

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2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

GOP leaders skip Trump sendoff in favor of church with Biden

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) and House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) in July. Photo by Erin Scott-Pool/Getty Images

Congressional leaders, including House GOP leader Kevin McCarthy and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, will skip President Trump's departure ceremony in Maryland tomorrow morning in favor of attending mass with incoming President Joe Biden ahead of his inauguration, congressional sources familiar with their plans tell Axios.

Why it matters: Their decision is a clear sign of unity before Biden takes the oath of office.