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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."
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Go deeper

Scoop: Trump-backed Perdue says he wouldn’t have certified Georgia 2020 results

Perdue at a December 2020 campaign event in Columbus, Ga. Photo: Elijah Nouvelage/Getty Images

Georgia gubernatorial candidate David Perdue wouldn’t have signed the certification of the state’s 2020 election results if he had been governor at the time, the former Senate Republican told Axios.

  • “Not with the information that was available at the time and not with the information that has come out now. They had plenty of time to investigate this. And I wouldn’t have signed it until those things had been investigated and that’s all we were asking for," he said.

Why it matters: There has been no evidence widespread fraud took place in Georgia's elections last year and the November results were counted three times, once by hand.

Beijing Olympics: These countries have announced diplomatic boycotts

Photo: Zhang Qiang/VCG via Getty Images

Several countries, including Canada and Australia, have announced they will join the U.S. in a diplomatic boycott of the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics to protest human rights abuses committed by China's government.

Driving the news: Leaders have faced pressure from human rights groups and others to boycott the Games, pointing to the ongoing genocide of Uyghurs and other Muslim minorities in China's Xinjiang region and other abuses.

Biden directs federal government to become carbon neutral by 2050

President Biden speaking to reporters outside of the White House on Dec. 8.

President Biden signed an executive order Wednesday that requires the federal government achieve multiple goals related to reducing its carbon emissions, including achieving net-zero emissions by 2050.

Why it matters: Meeting the objectives of the order would require a massive investment by the federal government to buy electric vehicles, upgrade buildings and change how it procures electricity.