Good Friday morning, and happy Cinco de Mayo!
Good Friday morning, and happy Cinco de Mayo!
West Wing officials had been sweating the health-care vote more than they let on. A White House source texted Axios' Jonathan Swan last night: "Needed that win. It was like a fog lifted."
What's next: The Senate will radically rewrite the House bill, which will take at least a month, and maybe two. But Mitch McConnell will allow the wheels to turn. A top aide says: "He wants to get it done."
Disney CEO Bob Iger is being pelted with entreaties to run for president in 2020, and is clearly intrigued by the idea, according to industry sources. Iger has discussed the feasibility with friends but has made no formal moves.
"He's hearing quite a bit of: You should run — you'd be a great president," said one Hollywood insider. "He's hearing that quite a bit from prominent fundraisers and Democratic insiders."
Maggie Haberman, in an online chat with the N.Y. Times' new Australia bureau chief, Damien Cave:
A key Republican strategist tells me that the health-care vote gives Dems a better (though still not good) chance of retaking the House in 2018.
SIREN: The Cook Political Report today will shift its 2018 forecast for 20 House districts, all in favor of Ds!
N.Y. Times Quote of the Day ... House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi, warning moderate Rs: "You have every provision of this bill tattooed on your forehead. You will glow in the dark."
Quick points from a Wall Street Journal front-page analysis, "A Bet on More Winners Than Losers," by Stephanie Armour:
"The House Republican health bill is driven by one big idea: Insurers and markets, rather than government, should be empowered to find ways to provide health insurance ... at affordable prices."
President Trump, appearing last night with Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull (via pool report by Tara Palmeri): "So when you compare something to Obamacare, Obamacare is no longer living. And we have something that's going to be, I think, one of the best anywhere in the world."
The takeaway: WashPost's Dan Balz, on a report yesterday by the American Association for Public Opinion Research: "National surveys were generally accurate in projecting the popular vote but state polls had 'a historically bad year' in forecasting the results in the electoral college."
From the report: "State-level polls ... clearly under-estimated Trump's support in the Upper Midwest. Polls showed Hillary Clinton leading, if narrowly, in Pennsylvania, Michigan and Wisconsin."
Reasons polls under-estimated support for Trump:
N.Y. Times' "About New York" column by Jim Dwyer, "Libraries Are Fining Children Who Can't Afford to Be Without Books":
"Just as adults discover they cannot renew their driving licenses if they have too many unpaid tickets, children discover that they lose library privileges if they rack up more than $15 in late fees. The library is the Department of Motor Vehicles on training wheels.
"A recent tally found that library cards were blocked for more than 225,000 young people in the city. That means around one in five city children with library cards cannot use them."
Economist cover, "Regulating the internet giants: The world's most valuable resource is no longer oil, but data — The data economy demands a new approach to antitrust rules":
Brad Parscale, the Trump campaign's Digital Director, is joining the board at Data Trust, the conservative voter file and data management company that has an exclusive data-sharing agreement with the RNC to provide foundational data for right-leaning campaigns and groups. —Axios' Sara Fischer
Carl Woog, a Pentagon and National Security Council official under President Obama, started this week at Facebook, where he'll lead policy communications for WhatsApp, which has 1.2 billion users.
The inside story of the engagement of "Morning" Joe Scarborough and Mika Brzezinski, by Emily Jane Fox on Vanity Fair's "The Hive":
[S]omething shifted about a year and a half ago. "Everyone talks about how there was always something there," Brzezinski told me. "Over the past year and a half, I realized I had to face these feelings and that it was time to stop putting them in a box. ... It was something I couldn't deny anymore." ...
"The trip to the Hotel du Cap in Antibes was ostensibly for Brzezinski's 50th birthday, which was on May 2 ... On the final evening of their trip, the couple ascended the hotel's palatial walkway from the pool and restaurant to its mansion overlooking the Mediterranean. They were en route to the Bellini bar ... when Scarborough paused and stopped Brzezinski. ...
Scarborough then plopped down on one knee with an oval-shaped diamond ring set in platinum that he'd been hiding in his suitcase for days and asked her to marry him.
I asked them if they would consider [an offer by Trump to officiate, made back in January]. "The White House that I grew up in was an amazing place. If it weren't Trump, it might be something to think about," Brzezinski said. "The mental picture is just fascinating, but the reality is just . . . no. No, no, no, no, no."