Good Sunday evening. Jonathan Swan is visiting his 🇦🇺 homeland for a well-deserved break, so he has entrusted Sneak Peek to his colleagues. I can't keep up with his marathon schedule of coffees, texting and cocktails, but it's fun to try. Shoot me your thoughts, tips, gripes: email@example.com.
Sneak Peek now sneaks off for a two-week holiday break, then will be back with Super Swan on New Year's Eve. Thanks for helping make this such a great launch year for Axios. And I'll look forward to breakfast with you tomorrow in Axios AM.
Sneak Peek has learned that on Wednesday, President Trump will deliver his closing argument on tax reform to an audience made up largely of young people and middle-class families whose personal stories will be laced into his remarks.
At the other end of Pennsylvania Avenue, it's Ego Week — or, more precisely, a week about overcoming egos:
Be smart: Republicans expect to pull this off. Since both chambers have voted for a version of the tax bill, there's no incentive to tank it now. But with this much urgency and this little time, lots of players have leverage — meaning more drama before this is baked.
With President Trump's announcement on Jerusalem lighting up the Middle East, Vice President Mike Pence embarks Saturday on his first trip to Israel since taking national office.
The vice president will be gone for a week, with stops in Egypt and Germany:
The takeaway: A key theme for Pence's remarks and interviews will be U.S. efforts to stop persecution of Christians and other religious minorities in the region.
Go deeper: Palestinians won't meet with Pence.
Jonathan Swan emails from Sydney: "I was determined not to do any work while in Australia but here's something."
Paul Winfree is leaving the White House, according to a senior administration official with knowledge of the decision.
Why this matters: Winfree's departure is part of what we've been forecasting will be a wave of White House staff departures after year one of the Trump presidency.
What Winfree has been telling friends and colleagues:
Sure, Congress wants to go home for the holidays. But it also has to fund the government after Dec. 22. And there are a lot of things that could go wrong, Axios' managing editor David Nather writes for Sneak:
Here's how plugged-in appropriations experts are ranking the dangers over the next two weeks:
One more thing: A larger problem, Dyer said, is "the general level of rhetorical excess" — partly driven by the White House.
Watch how the conference report handles the estate tax, and how the GOP messages it, Axios' Caitlin Owens tells me:
Other big issues to watch:
Diverging from the White House line, U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley said on CBS' "Face the Nation" that the women accusing President Trump of sexual harassment and assault "should be heard":
And on "Meet the Press": Sen. Bernie Sanders warned against "jumping the gun" in pursuing impeachment charges against Trump: "I think there is a process that has to be followed."
Anyone who sells — an idea, a candidate or a product — will be interested in debating this passage from "Let Trump Be Trump," the new book by campaign insiders Corey Lewandowski and David Bossie:
Early on in his time with us on the campaign, [digital director] Brad Parscale went to Mr. Trump and Jared [Kushner] and made this analogy: Imagine, he said, two television screens. The one on the left is a commercial for a new personal music device. The device is open so you can see its inner workings. It is a marvel of engineering. You can also see how sleek it looks on the outside, and the gold plating where you plug in the headphones.
The scene on the right has only a silhouette of a woman with long, curly hair dancing while listening to the device. The tagline is, "iPod, this is how it's going to make you feel."
Brad was new to politics. ... But he had been in the Web design business for many years, and he knew what sold and what didn't.
"The people want to know how it makes them feel," he said. "They want to buy the dance."
If Donald Trump was Twitter, then Hillary Clinton was LinkedIn. Her online presence was filled with long descriptions of stances and policies. ... She was the television screen on the left. But people ... didn't want a scripted intellectual connection. They wanted a visceral one. ... Trump ... made them dance.