For the first time since Election Night one year ago today, Democrats could smile.
On a day that set the opening tone for the midterm elections of 2018, voters rejected President Trump, handed Democrats a big win in a swing state in a racially charged moment, and provided hope that they can win back power in Washington. Some empirical data behind the hope:
And it wasn't just Northam:
A big story that could get lost in the blizzard: Two more House Republicans — Rep. Frank LoBiondo of New Jersey and Rep. Ted Poe of Texas — announced their retirements, increasing chances Dems take the House a year from now.
Sound smart: It's tempting to read too much into off-year elections. And, given both Virginia and New Jersey are states Hillary Clinton won, they by all measures should have gone to Democrats. BUT ... Don't underestimate how much unity, momentum, money will now flow to Democrats — and how much finger-pointing and funk they avoided.
The takeways: Top Republicans were stunned by the severity of the shellacking, and worry that it will endanger both tax reform and the House majority. One longtime party power texted me: "The beginning of the end." Another: "R donors are shocked and dismayed."
Sticking to his teleprompter as he spoke at the National Assembly Building in Seoul, South Korea, President Trump delivered a tough but calibrated speech that a senior administration official later described on Air Force One as "historic."
Trump drew applause when he invoked a signature phrase of President Reagan: "I want peace through strength."
Other memorable lines:
When a dozen Senate Democrats met with two White House officials at the Library of Congress yesterday to discuss tax reform, President Trump called in from Seoul.
P.S. Congress' nonpartisan Joint Committee on Taxation finds the GOP plan would raise taxes for nearly 20% of Americans over the next 10 years:
So many screw-ups in the system allowed the Texas church shooter to be free and buy guns ... The N.Y. Times describes it as "a series of red flags about the threat the gunman, Devin P. Kelley, posed to those around him":
The N.Y. Times' Maggie Haberman once called longtime aide Keith Schiller "the ultimate emotional binky for Trump."
So Schiller's closed-door testimony to the House Intelligence Committee yesterday was one of the most vivid signs yet of how deeply the Russia investigations are penetrating the president's inner circle.
More people are surviving a cancer diagnosis today than in the 1970s, according to a report released earlier this year by government agencies and cancer groups.
Snap Inc. stock cratered after earnings fell short of expectations. CEO Evan Spiegel announced Snapchat is redesigning its app, which the company hopes will lead to increased user adoption.
P.S. Twitter 280: As we told you in the lead of Axios PM ... Twitter, after years of forcing us to express ourselves under its signature 140-character limit, is doubling that length for everyone.
"Talks with Disney over sale of key TV and movie assets could signal end of an era for the media moguls," per the Financial Times (subscription):
David Boies, one of America's most famous lawyers, is canned by the N.Y. Times for his role in helping Harvey Weinstein thwart the paper's investigation — while also representing The Times ...
Two days after the leaked Paradise Papers showed Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross had retained an investment with undisclosed ties to Putin cronies, "Forbes says Wilbur Ross lied about being a billionaire," per the Financial Times (subscription):
Waymo, Google's self-driving car company, is pulling the human backup driver from self-driving minivans and will test vehicles on public roads with only an employee in the back seat, AP's Tom Krisher reports from Detroit: