January 10, 2017
Good Tuesday morning — 10 days to President Trump. Jared Kushner is 36 today, with a West Wing office as a present. Trump announcement that Kushner will be Senior Advisor to the President, as forecast exclusively here yesterday ("An announcement is coming"), puts his son-in-law in a leadership troika with Chief of Staff Reince Priebus and Chief Strategist Steve Bannon. This deliberate counterbalance by Trump makes sure HE'S always the one with the last word.
- Thank you for the the fantastic response to yesterday's debut edition of Axios AM: Mike's Top 10 — keep the tips and suggestions coming to [email protected]. Please urge your friends, family and colleagues to join the breakfast conversation by signing up at this one-click link.
- For more on our launch plans, Harvard's Nieman Lab pops a Q&A with Jim VandeHei.
1. Ghosts in the Cabinet
As confirmation hearings begin today for Trump's Cabinet nominees, Dems can indulge in a wistful game of "What Might Have Been." My post-election convos with Brooklyn survivors make it clear that Hillary staffers and supporters had astonishingly specific, widely known/accepted roles planned for her administration. "Measuring the drapes" is a cliché; a notional org chart is real life.
While Trump had to scramble to build a government starting Nov. 9, Clinton had a team in waiting. By Election Day, her roster was so refined that most jobs just had one name.
Here's her prospective Cabinet and West Wing staff, based on interviews with numerous Clinton insiders. We miss or botch something? Drop me a note at [email protected], and I'll share your intel.
- Secretary of State: John Podesta, Bill Burns, Joe Biden
- Deputy Secretary of State: Kurt Campbell, Wendy Sherman
- Treasury Secretary: Sheryl Sanderg, Lael Brainard
- Defense Secretary: Michèle Flournoy
- Attorney General: Loretta Lynch retained, Jennifer Granholm, Jamie Gorelick, Tom Perez
- Commerce Secretary: Gregory Meeks, Sheryl Sandberg, Terry McAuliffe
- Labor: Howard Schultz
- HHS: Neera Tanden
- Energy Secretary: Carol Browner
- Education Secretary: Jennifer Granholm, John Sexton
- EPA: Likely an African American (and/or at Education)
- Budget Director: Gene Sperling
- U.N Ambassador: Tom Nides, Wendy Sherman, Bill Burns
- Director of National Intelligence: Tom Donilon
- CIA Director: Tom Donilon, Mike Morell
- SEC Chair: Gary Gensler
- Big Jobs: Tom Vilsack, Cory Booker
Ghost West Wing:
- White House Chief of Staff: Ron Klain
- Deputy Chief of Staff: Huma Abedin
- Deputy Chief of Staff for Operations: Sara Latham
- Deputy Chief of Staff for Policy: Maya Harris
- National Security Adviser: Jake Sullivan
- Deputy National Security Adviser: Laura Rosenberger
- Counterterrorism Adviser: Jeremy Bash
- West Wing Climate Czar: John Podesta
- Whatever She Wants: Jen Palmieri
- East Wing: Capricia Marshall
- Counselor: Philippe Reines
- Senior Adviser: Robby Mook
- Big Job: Leah Daughtry
- White House Counsel: Karen Dunn
- Deputy Counsel: Heather Samuelson
- Ambassador to NATO: Derek Chollet
- Ambassador to U.K.: Tom Nides, Anna Wintour
- Ambassador to France: Marc Lasry
- Ambassador to Ireland: Elizabeth Bagley
- Social Secretary: Dennis Cheng
- Deputy Social Secretary: Bryan Rafanelli
- Political Director: Marlon Marshall
- Speechwriting: Dan Schwerin, Megan Rooney
- Press Secretary: Brian Fallon
- Traveling Press Secretary: Nick Merrill
- Deputy Press Secretary: Lily Adams
- Communications Director: Kristina Schake
- Deputy Comms Director: Christina Reynolds, Lori Lodes
- Surrogate Communications: Adrienne Elrod
- Staff Secretary: Rob Russo
- Cabinet Affairs: Brynne Craig
- Domestic Policy Council: Ann O'Leary
- Some Other Council: Ed Meier
- Scheduling: Lona Valmoro
- Advance: Jason Chung
- Trip Director: Connolly Weigher
- Office of Administration: Charlie Baker
- Chief of Protocol: Natalie Jones Callahan
- DNC Chair: Tom Perez
- WJC Chief of Staff: Tina Flournoy
- WJC Deputy Chief of Staff: John Davidson
- Chelsea Chief of Staff: Bari Lurie
- Vice President Chief of Staff: Mike Henry
- V.P. Deputy Chief of Staff: Matt Paul
- V.P. Press Secretary: Amy Dudley
- Presidential Inaugural Committee Chair: Capricia Marshall
- Presidential Inaugural Committee co-E.D.s: Alex Hornbook and Brynne Craig
2. It's on: FB targets YouTube
Facebook will start showing short ads in some videos and share the money with publishers, according to Recode. This is huge news in the media business for two big reasons:
- Facebookers watched an astonishing 100 million hours of video per day, much of it produced by media companies that couldn't run ads against it. So they got views — but no coin.
- But Facebook is now offering to run ads in the middle of 90-second plus videos AND cough up 55 percent of the revenue, the same as rival YouTube. Good news for consumers: the ads will reportedly be capped at 15 seconds.
SOUND SMART: This is part of Zuckerberg's master plan to dominate the video world AND encourage more quality -- and less crap -- on Facebook.
3. How Trump rules
Trump is setting up White House structure similar to that of his campaign and businesses: competing power centers with DJT (as his aides call him when OTR) in the middle, as the ref and decider. A rough guide:
- The Family: Jared and Ivanka
- The Thinkers: Steve Bannon, Stephen Miller
- The Doers: Reince Priebus
- The Talkers: Sean Spicer, Kellyanne Conway
- The Hill Ambassadors: Mike Pence, Marc Short
- The Generals: James Mattis at Defense, Michael Flynn as national security adviser, John Kelly at homeland security
- The Enforcers: Jeff Sessions, Rick Dearborn
4. Jared's portfolio; Ivanka role
Jared Kushner's lane includes trade negotiations, government operations and Middle East issues.
Ivanka surprises with the decision she'll separate from her Trump and fashion businesses but won't join the administration. Look for her to maintain a very visible outside role, perhaps focused on women's empowerment issues.
NYT's Glenn Thrush and Maggie Haberman say Jamie Gorelick, Kushner's lawyer, is confident his arrangement would survive any legal challenge based on anti-nepotism laws, "and said Mr. Trump would seek an advisory opinion from the Department of Justice's Office of Legal Counsel."
Gorelick, deputy attorney general under Bill Clinton, has the Gray Lady's Quotation of the Day: "I am not saying there's no legal argument on the other side. I'm just saying we have the better argument and will prevail."
Kellyanne Conway repeatedly uses her strong outside game to urge Trump to stick with his positions and instincts — and does the same inside Trump Tower.
An interview with USA Today's Susan Page gets above-the-fold splash, "CONWAY DISMISSES FURTHER HACKING INQUIRIES: Trump may rethink sanctions on Russia."
- The first part of that headline isn't exactly right: Conway continues to say that the executive branch shouldn't interfere with the legislature.
- Conway said of Obama's punitive response: "I predict that President Trump will want to make sure that our actions are proportionate to what occurred, based on what we know."
6. How Rex works
Secretary of State-designee Tillerson's negotiating style includes "deliberately theatrical tactics … and silent stare-offs," per a WSJ front-pager. Best anecdote: "In a meeting in Yemen in the 1990s, he threw a book and stormed out of talks. The tantrum was preplanned … 'Anger is a strategy, not an emotion,' Mr. Tillerson told colleagues."
7. Chait on Obama legacy
As POTUS heads to Chicago for his 9 p.m. ET farewell address at McCormick Place (with the First Lady, the Vice President and Dr. Biden attending), Jonathan Chait of New York mag is about to embark on a book tour arguing that Obama's legacy will survive Trump.
- "Audacity: How Barack Obama Defied His Critics and Created a Legacy That Will Prevail" will be published a week from today. The final-final deadline was six days after the election: Chait added 5,000 words in a marathon session that went till 1 a.m., with his editor in the room to read copy as his author wrote it.
- Chait told us in a phone interview from his Chevy Chase, D.C., home: "Obama is a liberal Republican in a lot of ways. He took the best elements of the liberal Republican tradition — not just health care, but environment, education reform, foreign policy — just as the liberal wing of the Republican Party was collapsing. And he revived those ideas and gave them life in a way Republicans never had."
8. Trending in business
The New World Order: Financial Times tops site with "Investing Under Trump," including how international automakers are adjusting, and how otherwise ordinary events like tomorrow's presser in New York. are big, potentially market-moving moments.
9. Tops in tech
- THAT'S the ticket: The post-Verizon remains of Yahoo (stakes in Alibaba and Yahoo Japan) will be renamed Altaba Inc. (not a typo). CEO Marissa Mayer will step down from the new company but may be tapped for a role in Yahoo's integration at Verizon, per Techcrunch.
- Facebook is in court in Dallas, fighting a $2 billion claim that Oculus Rift, its big —VR bet, was built with stolen technology. Zuckerberg may have to testify.
10. 1 fun thing
"I said, 'Let's be legendary.'" That was Clemson QB Deshaun Watson, in huddle, at start of epic, game-winning drive in College National Championship. Alabama was dethroned in last-second 35-31 upset by Clemson — the FIRST loss for Nick Saban in SIX championship games.
- Final AP Top 25 poll for the season, out at 3:29 a.m.: Clemson, Alabama, USC, Washington and Oklahoma.
- The other football: FIFA World Cup just announced it will expand from 32 to 48 teams by 2026! Big bucks for the sport.
WHAT'D I MISS? Shoot your links, rants and tips to [email protected].