Good Friday morning, and welcome to September. If you're blessed to be flood-free, enjoy Getaway Day — and do something for those for whom there's no getting away.
A quiet but consequential battle for staff and cash has begun among ambitious Democrats with their eyes on the 2020 presidential race. The party is likely to start with a bigger field — perhaps much bigger — than the unwieldy Republican batch that produced Donald Trump as the nominee.
Our conversations with well-wired Democrats produced a list of three dozen names that range from possible to plausible to probable. Other potential candidates seem certain to emerge, based on who looks strong after the 2018 midterms.
Breaking the potential candidates into formal tiers at this point would be silly. But here are groupings that emerged with our conversations with veterans of past Democratic presidential campaigns, as well as younger operatives likely to be involved in the 2020 campaign:
Be smart: A huge challenge for Democrats is that the energy, action and money are on the left (the Warren-Sanders wing). But winning in 2020 will require winning over working-class, more centrist voters who helped put Trump in office. Anybody who doesn't spend their weekdays in Washington is likely to have an advantage, so watch the governors and others who can run as outsiders against the incumbent GOP.
"Don't touch me: I"m dying": "One man used his last words to save a friend's life, warning him away from a live electrical wire. Another died checking on his uncle. Several others were last seen helping people out of floodwaters. They're among Harvey victims who lost their lives trying to save other people." (AP)
"How government policy exacerbates hurricanes like Harvey: As if global warming were not enough of a threat, poor planning and unwise subsidies make floods worse" — cover editorial of The Economist:
N.Y. Times Quote of the Day ... Porfirio Villarreal of Houston's Health Department, on the hazards of the water enveloping the city: "There's no need to test it. It's contaminated. There's millions of contaminants."
Lois Rose looks over belongings while salvaging items from her flood-damaged house in Houston yesterday.
Vice President Pence and his wife, Karen, greet residents affected by Harvey yesterday in Rockport, Texas.
Apple sent invitations to reporters yesterday for a Sept. 12 event that's expected to include the unveiling of new iPhones, AP reports:
Looking ahead to the return of Congress on Tuesday, Axios health-care editor David Nather breaks down the lessons learned:
"Trump chafes at criticism, restrictions," per WashPost's Phil Rucker and Ashley Parker, atop column 1:
"The president continues to call business friends and outside advisers, including former chief strategist Stephen K. Bannon, from his personal phone when [Chief of Staff John] Kelly is not around."
"Mueller has teamed up with the ... IRS' Criminal Investigations unit, [which focuses] on financial crime, including tax evasion and money laundering," per the Daily Beast's Betsy Woodruff. "And it goes without saying that the IRS has access to Trump's tax returns."
"Trump Attorneys Argue To End Obstruction Probe" — Wall Street Journal A1: "One memo submitted to Mr. Mueller by the president's legal team in June laid out the case that Mr. Trump has the inherent authority under the constitution to hire and fire as he sees fit."
Republican firms "Definers Public Affairs and WPA Intelligence partnered to gauge voter sentiment on [tax reform] based on scores from our national model applied to voters in 10 states that President Trump won in 2016 and are held by a Democratic Senator up for re-election in 2018."
"Mick the Knife: The ... player in Trump's government ... most committed to slashing it to the bone. Meet [White House budget director] Mick Mulvaney, who proudly calls himself a "right-wing nutjob" and is quietly ... trying to dismantle the federal bureaucracy," by Politico's Michael Grunwald:
"Rams could have the most expensive seat in America" — L.A. Times front-pager by Nathan Fenno and Sam Farmer: