No Deal —> Impeachment?
Tuesday 10:30am ET Trump meeting with Democratic leaders could define all of 2019-20.
My take: Nothing in Washington gets done until it absolutely has to get done (and sometimes not even then). A well-crafted infrastructure plan would be good for America, but the incentive structure for Pelosi and Schumer (and Trump) will likely push them away from productive talks. Getting anything big done — infrastructure, prescription drug costs, the new Canada/Mexico trade deal — requires a bipartisan whip operation and the aspiration for a bipartisan White House signing ceremony. Washington is not close to providing an environment for those dynamics right now. Will one meeting change things? Don’t bet the funds in your Deutsche Bank checking account on it.
Team Biden plays to his strengths on launch day, with Pittsburgh rally featuring working women and men.
My take: So far, Biden is playing it safe, while creating the Potemkin impression he is taking risks. His best friend right now is the reality of math: as long as he and Sanders take up more than 45% of the vote, it is difficult for anyone else to make it into the top tier. The longer Biden can cast the nominating contest as a two-person race, the better the chance he has of consolidating establishment support — that is his single most likely path to the general election. As lukewarm as the establishment backing is for Biden, it is a raging volcano compared to how they feel about Sanders being their standard bearer against Trump.
Dangers lurking for Biden: Lucy Flores op-ed, spending burn rate with massive staff, and constant engagement with Trump can drive him off message.
Boffo for Biden, bad for Bernie: Fresh New Hampshire poll shows Biden bounce.