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Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios
Neither of them has any real competitor for influence on their side. Each sees themselves as a master dealmaker. Both run in coastal-elite circles.
And now the chilly relationship between Speaker-designate Nancy Pelosi and President Trump is the most consequential in American public life:
Both sides are relishing the combat to come:
Be smart ... Erik Smith — founder of Blue Engine Message & Media, and a former senior House Democratic adviser — said:
President Trump met with Chris Christie last evening and considers him a top contender to replace John Kelly as chief of staff, a source familiar with the president’s thinking tells Jonathan Swan.
Behind the scenes: Trump has met with a couple of others, but the way he’s discussed Christie to confidants makes them think he’s serious. The former New Jersey governor's legal background may also come in handy next year.
Also spotted at the White House yesterday ... another contender for chief of staff: David Bossie, Trump's 2016 deputy campaign manager.
P.S. "President Trump's hunt for a new chief of staff has taken on the feel of a reality TV show," the AP reports.
The sentencing (before public testimony) of Robert Mueller's cooperating witnesses suggests the end of the Russia investigation may be near, the Washington Post's well-wired Devlin Barrett reports:
Multiplying fronts in Trump probes:
Sen. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.) hugs his wife, Cheryl, after delivering his farewell speech on the Senate floor yesterday.
"A 7-year-old girl from Guatemala died of dehydration and shock after she was taken into Border Patrol custody last week," the Washington Post's Nick Miroff and Robert Moore report:
"[T]he girl and her father were taken into custody ... as part of a group of 163 people who approached U.S. agents to turn themselves in."
CBP spokesman Andrew Meehan: "Our sincerest condolences go out to the family of the child."
The Affordable Care Act is limping toward the end of what will likely be the worst enrollment season in its history. That's partly because of the Trump administration's policies, but there are also other reasons, and they may matter just as much, Axios health care editor Sam Baker reports:
The timing of this enrollment drop has caught some experts by surprise. Yes, the Trump administration has chipped away at the ACA, but a lot of that was baked into the system a year ago, when premiums skyrocketed.
Here’s why it’s happening:
Trump certainly hasn’t helped, though some of the administration’s changes may not pack as much punch as you might think:
Eliza Dushku, known for her work on "Buffy the Vampire Slayer," won a confidential settlement of $9.5 million from CBS after confronting the star of "Bull," Michael Weatherly, about inappropriate comments he made to her on-set.
The big picture: The report says "the company’s handling of Ms. Dushku’s complaints was not only misguided, but emblematic of larger problems at CBS."
Illustration: Lazaro Gamio/Axios
Three recent moves by Facebook suggest the company is looking to aggressively expand its business beyond selling mostly display ads, Axios' Sara Fischer reports:
What's new: Facebook has invested heavily in finding ways to increase display ad revenue on its other apps, primarily Instagram. But the latest reports suggest Facebook is dabbling in a bunch of new revenue streams, including new types of advertising.
"The family offices through which the world’s wealthiest 0.001% invest are a new force in global finance that few have heard of," The Economist writes in its lead editorial:
"The concept is hardly new; John D. Rockefeller set up his family office in 1882."
The debate over the 74-year-old "Baby, It’s Cold Outside" makes the front page of today's N.Y. Times, as the "annual holiday culture wars and the reckoning over #MeToo have swirled together into a potent mix."
"The composer Frank Loesser, known for 'Guys and Dolls' and other Broadway hits, wrote it in 1944 for himself and his wife Lynn Loesser to perform for friends in their living rooms."
But it's popularity is rising: "[A]ccording to Billboard’s sales chart for holiday-themed digital songs, 'Baby, It’s Cold Outside' is rising in the rankings. Three cover versions appear in the Top 50, more than any other title."