May 1, 2018

Meet the Schlapps, Washington’s "it couple"

Matt and Mercedes Schlapp and their five daughters (from left): Caterina, 12; Lucia, 5; Ava, 6; Viana, 13; and Elissa, 9. Photo: Andre Chung for The Washington Post via Getty Images

"Matt Schlapp, the pro-Trump chairman of the American Conservative Union, ... and his wife, Mercedes Schlapp, the director of strategic communications at the White House, are the most visible in the city’s cadre of conservative Republicans who, faced with a populist Trump juggernaut, chose to scramble aboard," the N.Y. Times' Elizabeth Williamson writes.

Sign of the times: "[T]hey’re symbolic of a deep rift within their party. ... 'I don’t have that many friends left,' Mr. Schlapp said."

  • "Business is ... booming at Cove Strategies, the lobbying and public relations firm the Schlapps founded in 2009 (Ms. Schlapp stepped away from the business when she took her White House job). Their lobbying income alone has surged in the year since Mr. Trump took office, to more than $1 million in 2017 from $600,000 in 2015."
  • "[T]he Schlapps just bought a $3 million home [in Alexandria] to go with their weekend retreat, Victory Farm, a 30-acre idyll in the Blue Ridge Mountains."
  • "The Schlapps had spent the weekend schlepping to multiple performances of their daughter Viana’s school play, in which she played Liesl in 'The Sound of Music.'"

Paragraph of the day: "This past weekend they aired their disgust at the comedian Michelle Wolf’s takedown of Sarah Huckabee Sanders, the White House press secretary, at the White House Correspondents’ Association Dinner. 'It’s why America hates the out of touch leftist media elite,' Ms. Schlapp tweeted from a limousine en route to an exclusive after-party organized by NBC/MSNBC."

  • Matt Schlapp tweets: "It was a really nice Chevy and I still think it cost too much"

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What to watch in tonight's Democratic debate

Bernie Sanders at a campaign rally in Colorado. Photo: Helen H. Richardson/MediaNews Group/The Denver Post via Getty Images

Bernie Sanders is now the clear front-runner for the Democratic presidential nomination, and his opponents are ready to try to knock him down at tonight's debate in Charleston, South Carolina — especially Michael Bloomberg, who was the punching bag at the Las Vegas debate.

Why it matters: This is the last debate before Super Tuesday, when Sanders is expected to win California and Texas and could secure an insurmountable lead for the Democratic nomination. That's a direct threat to the entire field, but especially to Bloomberg, who skipped the early states to focus on the March 3 contests.

Bob Iger to step down as CEO of Disney

Photo: Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic

The Walt Disney Company said Tuesday that it had named longtime Disney executive Bob Chapek as CEO Bob Iger's successor, effectively immediately. Iger will remain executive chairman of the company through 2021.

Why it matters: Iger is credited with having successfully turned around Disney’s animation and studio businesses and with the strategic acquisition of Marvel, Pixar, Lucasfilm and 21st Century Fox. Most recently, he was the person behind Disney's successful launch of its Netflix rival Disney+.

Go deeperArrowUpdated 2 hours ago - Economy & Business