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Trump and McConnell give a joint press conference at the White House. Photo: Pablo Martinez Monsivais / AP

If you thought you were tired of Roy Moore, you'll still love these insights into the thought bubbles of both President Trump and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, from the formidable N.Y. Times trio of Jonathan Martin, Maggie Haberman and Alex Burns:

  • "Trump's decision to reject every long-shot plan to save the Senate seat reflects the imperative that an unpopular president faces to retain his political base, a determination that he should follow his own instincts after having felt steered into a disastrous earlier endorsement in the Alabama race, and even his insistence that he himself has been the victim of false accusations of sexual misconduct."
  • "McConnell and his allies have been particularly infuriated as Mr. Trump has reacted with indifference to a series of ideas they have floated to try to block Mr. Moore."
  • Key fact: "McConnell ... enlisted Washington campaign lawyers with experience in Alabama elections to devise a four-page memo outlining a legal avenue to block Mr. Moore's path."
  • Why it matters: "The accusations against Mr. Moore have lifted Democrats' hopes of notching a rare victory in the Deep South in [the Dec. 12] special election, which would narrow the Republican Senate majority to a single seat."
  • "Just as significantly, the president has handed the Democrats a political weapon with which to batter Republicans going into the midterm elections: that they tolerate child predation."

Be smart ... Scott Jennings, a Republican strategist close to McConnell: "Either we're saddled with a Democrat in a seat that ought to be Republican, ... or we're saddled with a brand anvil that's going to drag down the president, drag down the Senate, drag down the party and plunge the Senate into immediate turmoil when he gets there."

Go deeper

Updated 1 hour ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

  1. Health: Nursing homes are still getting pummeledU.S. could hit herd immunity by end of summer 2021 if Americans embrace virus vaccines, Fauci says.
  2. Politics: Pelosi, Schumer call on McConnell to adopt bipartisan $900B stimulus framework.
  3. World: U.K. clears Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine for mass rollout — Putin says Russia will begin large-scale vaccination next week.
  4. Business: Investors are finally starting to take their money out of safe-haven Treasuries.
  5. Sports: The end of COVID’s grip on sports may be in sight.

Pelosi, Schumer call on McConnell to adopt bipartisan $900B stimulus framework

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Nov. 20. Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) on Wednesday urged Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) to use a $908 billion bipartisan coronavirus relief framework as a basis for jumpstarting negotiations.

Why it matters: The framework, introduced by a group of bipartisan senators on Tuesday, calls for significantly less funding than Pelosi had previously demanded — a sign that Democrats are ready to further compromise as millions of Americans endure economic hardship.

Scoop: Uber in talks to sell air taxi business to Joby

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Uber is in advanced talks to sell its Uber Elevate unit to Joby Aviation, Axios has learned from multiple sources. A deal could be announced later this month.

Between the lines: Uber Elevate was formed to develop a network of self-driving air taxis, but to date has been most notable for its annual conference devoted to the nascent industry.