☕️ Good Wednesday morning from L.A. 27 days until midterms.
Breaking ... President Trump has a rare op-ed in USA Today, with his midterm closing argument: "The new Democrats are radical socialists who want to model America’s economy after Venezuela. If Democrats win control of Congress this November, we will come dangerously closer to socialism in America."
Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios
UN Ambassador Nikki Haley doesn't seem like a natural fit for President Trump's administration: As the first female and first minority governor of South Carolina, she had nearly opposite views on trade, immigration and globalism.
But Jonathan Swan has a fascinating breakdown of how Trump hires people.
The key is that Trump sees hiring as casting:
His personal chemistry with the potential pick trumps everything else:
Being "straight out of Central Casting," as Trump often says, is an advantage:
Be smart ... The former senior administration official said: "It is in conflicts and rivalries between his advisers that Trump feels (and is) most in control."
Dina Powell speaks with Indian delegation in the Rose Garden in June. (Cheriss May/NurPhoto via Getty Image)
Senior people in the White House have the impression that Dina Powell, former top official in the Bush and Trump administrations, can have the job as UN ambassador job if she wants it, Jonathan Swan reports.
A source close to Trump said the president likes Powell because she checks the boxes of being "competent and qualified" and "Senate-confirmable because she runs in traditional Republican circles," but is also an immigrant and a woman.
Powell, who was born in Egypt, returned to Goldman Sachs as a member of the management committee after serving as Trump's deputy national security adviser for strategy during most of his first year in office.
There are countervailing forces against Powell, though they may not matter if Trump has decided he wants her:
Trump told reporters he has a list of possible successors, but Powell is clearly at the top of any list.
This includes the widespread speculation that this was all a ruse to get Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina in as attorney general — then Haley into his Senate seat.
People who know Haley don't see her running immediately for Senate. They say she may run for president at some point — perhaps 2024.
Democratic voter turnout in this year's House primaries increased in each of the Cook Political Report's 19 competitive, comparable House districts compared to 2014, and doubled in more than two thirds of them, an analysis by Axios' Neal Rothschild shows:
Why it matters: Poor turnout has been the scourge of Democrats' efforts to win congressional elections in the last decade. But this data suggests that a surge of anti-Trump enthusiasm could boost their turnout in November — and not just in already-blue areas, but in parts of the country that could deliver control of the House to Democrats.
Michael roared down on the Florida Panhandle, strengthening into a Category 4 hurricane early today just before it was to crash against the region's white-sand beaches, fishing villages and coastal communities, AP reports:
"Florida officials said roughly 375,000 people up and down the Gulf Coast had been urged or ordered to evacuate. Evacuations spanned 22 counties from the Florida Panhandle into north central Florida."
Former New York Mayor Mike Bloomberg wrote on Instagram (followed by Facebook and Twitter) that he's now officially a Democrat.
Above, Justices Sam Alito, Elena Kagan and Brett Kavanaugh listen to attorney Brenda Bryn at the Supreme Court yesterday.
"Top Turkish security officials have concluded that the Saudi dissident Jamal Khashoggi was assassinated in the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul on orders from the highest levels of the royal court, per the N.Y. Times:
"By the end of the day, [the] 15-member Saudi team had conducted its business and left the country, departing on planes bound for Cairo and Dubai," write Loveday Morris, Souad Mekhennet and Kareem Fehim for the WashPost.
"Alexa, Should We Trust You? ... The voice revolution has only just begun. Today, Alexa is a humble servant. Very soon, she could be much more — a teacher, a therapist, a confidant, an informant," Judith Shulevitz writes in The Atlantic's November cover story:
Why it matters: "The company that succeeds in cornering the smart-speaker market will lock appliance manufacturers, app designers, and consumers into its ecosystem of devices and services, just as Microsoft tethered the personal-computer industry to its operating system in the 1990s."
Snapchat today "announced new scripted shows for its photo messaging app Snapchat which will launch this fall and struck partnerships with Hollywood production companies and writers in hopes of reversing its decline in users," per Reuters.
Taylor Swift continued to flaunt her new political persona at the American Music Awards, telling viewers to "get out and vote" in midterms, as she became the most decorated female artist in AMA history with 22 trophies overall, per the Hollywood Reporter.
"After the pop star endorsed two Democratic candidates — and urged her 112 million Instagram followers to vote in this year's midterm elections — Vote.org saw a massive spike in registrations."