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Photo: Scott Olson/Getty Images

At an Axios event in Chicago yesterday, Mayor Rahm Emanuel told me midterm Democratic candidates are unwise to rely on the allure of impeaching President Trump as an issue in November's races.

His advice: "I lived through the Clinton White House. This is a serious legal and constitutional, not political, issue. ... I couldn't be angrier at Donald Trump. ... That said, you don't just flippantly say: We're for [impeachment]."

  • "When we get to it, we collectively as a country will know it — as we did with, like, Richard Nixon."
  • "[Y]ou don't just treat ... the policy standard of impeachment ... as a political tool. It's a constitutional standard and, when that standard has been met, we'll know about it. ... This is a case where the best politics is good policy."

The backdrop: The N.Y. Times reported that Republicans are trying to energize their base and lure moderate voters by warning that Dems "will immediately move to impeach President Trump if they capture the House."

  • Liberal N.Y. Times columnist Charles Blow bluntly spells out the politics of impeachment: "It is quite possible that trying to impeach and remove Trump could have the opposite effect than the one desired: It could boost rather than diminish his popularity and an acquittal by the Senate would leave an even more popular president in office."

P.S. Rahm's big idea for governments ... One of the most common complaints to Chicago's 311 hotline is streetlights being out, and Mayor Emanuel told me the city is converting 270,000 sodium bulbs, one by one, to an LED smart grid model:

  • Some neighborhoods can be brighter or dimmer.
  • Why it matters: "Governments [need] to get where private sector is — being able not just to throw out mass information, but target residents, residents be able to communicate back ... It's a part of modernizing government services and making them more personal, more direct."
Subscribe to Axios AM/PM for a daily rundown of what's new and why it matters, directly from Mike Allen.
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Go deeper

Why made-for-TV moments matter during the pandemic

Photo illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios. Photos: Erin Schaff-Pool, Biden Inaugural Committee via Getty Images

In a world where most Americans are isolated and forced to laugh, cry and mourn without friends or family by their side, viral moments can offer critical opportunities to unite the country or divide it.

Driving the news: President Biden's inauguration was produced to create several made-for-social viral moments, a tactic similar to what the Democratic National Committee and the Biden campaign pulled off during the Democratic National Convention.

Updated 8 hours ago - World

Over 3,000 detained in protests across Russia demanding Navalny's release

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Police in Russia on Saturday arrested more than 3,300 people as protesters nationwide demanded that opposition leader Alexey Navalny be released from jail.

Details: Demonstrations began in the eastern regions of Russia and spread west to more than 60 cities.

Updated 9 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Arizona Republicans censure Cindy McCain and GOP governor

Combination images of Cindy McCain and Gov. Doug Ducey. Photo: FilmMagic/FilmMagic for U.S.VETS/Michael Brochstein/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

Arizona Republican Party members voted on Saturday to censure prominent GOP figures Cindy McCain, Gov. Doug Ducey and former Sen. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.), who've all faced clashes with former President Trump.

Why it matters: Although the resolution is symbolic, this move plus the re-election of the Trump-endorsed Kelli Ward as state GOP chair shows the strong hold the former president has on the party in Arizona, despite President Biden winning the state in the 2020 election.