February 10, 2023

Welcome back to Sneak: Smart Brevity™ count: 598 words ... 2½ minutes.

🚨 Situational awareness: Former Vice President Mike Pence has been subpoenaed by the special counsel investigating former President Trump, Axios' Hans Nichols and Sareen Habeshian report.

  • The subpoena comes after months of negotiations between Pence's legal team and federal prosecutors, per ABC News.
  • Representatives for Pence declined to comment.

🥵 1 big thing: Biden's 2024 headaches

Photo: Joe Raedle/Getty Images

President Biden is dealing with more re-election primary headaches than you'd expect for an incumbent president, Axios' Alexi McCammond reports.

Why it matters: Biden's State of the Union for a “blue-collar blueprint to rebuild America” acknowledged a persistent challenge for Democrats — keeping white, working-class voters in their column.

  • But he's also trying to reward racial and geographic diversity earlier in the primary election calendar, drawing blowback from states that prize their historic placement.

Biden's current list of 2024 problems:

  1. Chicago Democrats are warning Biden that organized labor will be offended if he hosts the Democratic National Convention in a right-to-work state like Georgia.
  2. New Hampshire Democrats say they won't change state law to accommodate his new primary calendar.
  3. Georgia Democrats are powerless to help him get the state's primary moved up since they'd need Republicans to make it happen.

Zoom out: The last time Big Labor felt rebuffed by a Democratic president's convention site selection (President Obama's choosing Charlotte in 2012), it boycotted and redirected money and time to a different event.

  • "It was a slap in the face" when Democrats selected right-to-work state North Carolina in 2012, said Lonnie Stephenson, former president of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers.
  • "Normally, we give financial support and we didn't that year," he told Axios.
  • Biden was greeted during a Wisconsin rally yesterday for union workers by a full-page ad urging him to "CHOOSE CHICAGO" for 2024.

The bottom line: The DNC has given New Hampshire and Georgia until June to comply with the new calendar dates.

  • Republicans in Georgia oversee these changes and they've maintained they're not interested in helping Democrats.
  • New Hampshire's state Constitution dictates that it hosts the first presidential primary one week before any other state, and Democrats say they can't unilaterally change that.

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2. Scoop: White House private sector liaison exits

Zach Butterworth, White House director of private sector engagement. Photo: Courtesy of Adam Schultz/The White House

A key player in major economic legislation passed by the Biden administration plans to leave the White House tomorrow, Axios' Sophia Cai reports.

Why it matters: As the White House's liaison to the business community, Zach Butterworth helped build support for the Inflation Reduction Act, the CHIPS Act to boost U.S.-based chip manufacturing, and the $1.9 trillion COVID relief bill.

  • Butterworth has been the "connective tissue" between the senior-most members of the administration and companies, CEOs and small-business groups across a range of industries, several people in and outside of the White House tell Axios.

The bottom line: His departure leaves an important role open as Biden gears up for 2024 and as the White House looks to improve its relationship with the business world and leverage public-private partnerships.

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3. Lawmaker attacked

Rep. Angie Craig walks down the House steps at the Capitol in May 2022. Photo: Bill Clark/CQ-Roll Call via Getty Images

Rep. Angie Craig (D-Minn.) is "physically OK" after she was assaulted in the elevator of her apartment building this morning in D.C., Axios' Erin Doherty reports.

  • "There is no evidence that the incidence was politically motivated," Craig's chief of staff Nick Coe said in a statement.
  • "Rep. Craig defended herself from the attacker and suffered bruising, but is otherwise physically OK," per the statement.

Craig defended herself by tossing her hot coffee at the alleged attacker, who fled before officers arrived at the scene.

🤑 4. Huge midterms cash trend

Source: Data: OpenSecrets; Chart: Axios Visuals

5. Pic du jour: Biden selfie

Photo: Joe Raedle/Getty Images

President Biden takes a selfie at an event to discuss Social Security and Medicare held today at the University of Tampa.