Like what you read below? Sign up for HUFFPOST HILL and get a cheeky dose of political news every evening!
President-elect Trump made his first appearance since election night, and judging by his tone, substance and demeanor, he clearly is expecting a strong showing in the New Hampshire primary. Trump Tower is sending mixed messages over whether James Mattis will be tapped as defense secretary, which appears to precisely be the type of crap James Mattis hates. And Joe Manchin is being considered for a Cabinet job, meaning he and Steven Mnuchin could pose the greatest threat to Washington’s copy editors since Ben Nelson and Bill Nelson served together in the Senate. This is HUFFPOST HILL for Thursday, December 1st, 2016:
Discord in Trump Tower? Both WaPo and CNN have reported that Gen. James Mattis has been tapped for SecDef, but Trump spokesman Jason Miller tweeted, “No decision has been made yet with regard to Secretary of Defense.” Seems like Mattis wouldn’t abide Trump ignoring the results of the 2020 election if he loses. Which is how we’re judging this pick. Jesus.
D.C.’S STRANGEST MURAL ISN’T CHANGING TO ACCOMMODATE TRUMP - Anyone who has ever stumbled across the Duke Ellington Bridge after (or before) an evening of tears and oversized pizza in Adams Morgan has likely marveled at the mural on the side of Mama Ayesha’s, a Middle Eastern spot on Calvert Street NW. For the uninitiated, the mural, unveiled in 2009, depicts the restaurant’s eponymous founder ― a slight, older woman ― surrounded by every U.S. president from Eisenhower to Obama. A natural question arises: Will the Middle Eastern restaurant, not exactly a natural gathering place for Trump supporters, add the president-elect? “The mural is finished and done,” said the mural’s creator, Karlisima Rodas-Israel, in an email.
TRUMP MOVING TO FREE UP SENATE SEATS, FILL IMPORTANT POSITIONS - Steven Mufson: “Sen. Heidi Heitkamp (D-N.D.) will meet with President-elect Donald Trump on Friday, sparking speculation that she could be on the short list for a Cabinet job, most likely as energy secretary. A source familiar with the meeting arrangement said they would also discuss the Interior Department. Such a move would have several pluses for Trump. He would have reached across the aisle for a Democrat, and her seat would be filled by someone appointed by North Dakota’s Republican governor, Jack Dalrymple. That would nudge the Republican majority in the Senate up to 53. Moreover, Heitkamp is a loyal supporter of the oil, gas and coal industries, especially including the drilling of shale formations with hydraulic fracturing, or fracking.” [WashPost]
“Heitkamp took a little heat during a senate lunch today, one senator told Ryan Grim after the Senate Dems’ caucus meeting, ‘some good natured, some not.’”
Trump is also giving Joe Manchin the distinct privilege of directly overseeing the decline of his state’s economic engine: “President-elect Donald Trump’s transition team is considering Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia for the energy secretary job, according to three sources close to the discussions. The conservative Democrat ‘is being considered to show the coal people how serious Trump is about coal,’ one source said. Manchin told POLITICO Thursday afternoon that he and his staff haven’t been contacted by Trump’s transition team and he didn’t have any trips to New York City on his calendar. But Manchin, who is up for reelection in 2018 in a state that has become increasingly more Republican over the past decade, also didn’t dismiss the notion of taking DOE’s top job in the Trump administration.” [Politico’s Darius Dixon]
TODAY’S MOST TELLING POOL REPORT - From Adrian Carrasquillo’s report from the president-elect’s rally in Indiana: “As Trump walked past and then through reporters and photographers, chief strategist Stephen Bannon was heard saying, ‘Who are all these photographers and why are they here?’ Hope Hicks replied, ‘This is the press pool.’”
Like HuffPost Hill? Then order Eliot’s new book, The Beltway Bible: A Totally Serious A-Z Guide To Our No-Good, Corrupt, Incompetent, Terrible, Depressing, and Sometimes Hilarious Government
Does somebody keep forwarding you this newsletter? Get your own copy. It’s free! Sign up here. Send tips/stories/photos/events/fundraisers/job movement/juicy miscellanea to firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow us on Twitter - @HuffPostHill
TRUMP HOLDS FIRST TIMESHARE PRESENTATION/RALLY SINCE ELECTION - Arthur Delaney: “President-elect Donald Trump on Thursday toured the Indiana factory that won’t be closing after he intervened to stop the company from shipping all its jobs to Mexico. ‘They’re going to spend a lot of money on the plant and I said to some of the folks, I said companies are not going to leave the United States any more without consequences,’ Trump said at Carrier Corporation’s gas furnace factory in Indianapolis after greeting workers. ‘Not going to happen.’ Bizarrely, Trump claimed that some earlier statements of his ― like ‘If I were in office right now, Carrier would not be leaving Indiana’ and ‘They’re not going to move’ ― were not actually intended as promises to save jobs at Carrier…. Nevertheless, in exchange for keeping 800 of the 1,400 jobs it had planned to transfer to Monterrey, Mexico, Carrier is getting $7 million worth of tax breaks from the state of Indiana over the next 10 years, a spokesman for the Trump transition told The Huffington Post.” [HuffPost]
OBAMA DID A LOT FOR INDIANA, BUT SOLD IT TERRIBLY - Sam Stein: “In his first trip outside of Washington D.C. as president, Barack Obama went to Elkhart, Indiana, the hub of the RV industry and a town that, at that point in time, was being crushed by the Great Recession. He had gone there as a candidate several times. But when he arrived with the trappings of the presidency, it was to pitch the idea of a massive stimulus package to save towns just like Elkhart, where the unemployment level was nearing 20 percent. The stimulus passed. The economy came back. And Elkhart did, too. When Obama paid another visit this summer, the unemployment rate was down to 3.8 percent…. [A]s the president-elect takes a victory tour of Carrier, even aides to the president acknowledge they failed in the public relations phase that follows the legislating. Obama took trips, too. Elkhart’s residents can attest to that. But he was never able to connect the dots between a government action and a private sector reaction the way that Trump appears poised to do on Thursday. “ [HuffPost]
ELLISON UNDER FIRE FOR RADICAL PAST - Steve Bannon, meanwhile, remains an eccentric guy with a lot of passion. Andrew Kaczynski: “Rep. Keith Ellison’s past ties to the Nation of Islam and his defense of its anti-Semitic leader, Louis Farrakhan, are resurfacing as he campaigns to lead the Democratic National Committee. Ellison, the first Muslim elected to Congress, publicly renounced his association with the Nation of Islam in 2006 after it became an issue during his run for Congress, when local Republican bloggers began publishing his old law school columns and photos connecting him to the organization…. But several outlets have resurfaced Ellison’s past writings as he runs for DNC chair, raising new concerns about his own views and what they would mean for the Democratic Party if he were to be its leader. A CNN KFile review of Ellison’s past writings and public statements during the late 1980s through the 1990s reveal his decade-long involvement in the Nation of Islam and his repeated defense of Farrakhan and other radical black leaders against accusations of anti-Semitism in columns and statements to the press. None of the records reviewed found examples of Ellison making any anti-Semitic comments himself.” [CNN]
Ellison responds in a HuffPost blog entry: “In my effort to pursue justice for the African-American community, I neglected to scrutinize the words of those like Khalid Muhammed and Farrakhan who mixed a message of African American empowerment with scapegoating of other communities. These men organize by sowing hatred and division, including, anti-Semitism, homophobia and a chauvinistic model of manhood. I disavowed them long ago, condemned their views, and apologized.” [HuffPost]
Rep-elect Charlie Crist drew the worst number in today’s House housing lottery. We could be wrong, but we’re pretty sure he will soon be working atop the roof of Cannon.
@Redistrict: House GOP’s 4% geography bonus:
2012: 49% of 2-party vote, 53% of seats
2014: 53% of vote, 57% of seats
2016: 51% of vote, 55% of seats
REPEAL AND ― LOOK A SQUIRRELL! Raise your hand if you think the GOP is really prepared for three years of fighting amongst themselves about what kind of government health care is best. Jonathan Cohn and Jeffrey Young: “Republicans are coalescing around what’s come to be known as the ‘repeal and delay’ strategy for Obamacare…. [B]ut voting to end Obamacare, even years in the future, is likely to cause market problems right away. And that’s to say nothing of the anxiety that millions who depend on the health care provided through the Affordable Care Act will endure while they wait to find out exactly when they’re going to get kicked off their health insurance ― and what, if anything, they’ll get instead.” [HuffPost]
BECAUSE YOU’VE READ THIS FAR - Here’s a beaver who is not down with fake Christmas trees.
POPULIST WATCH: HOLLANDE WON’T RUN FOR REELECTION - Opening up a chance for Marine Le Pen to Rendre la France Super Encore. BBC: “In a surprise move Francois Hollande has announced he will not seek a second term as president of France. ‘I’ve decided not to be a candidate to renew my mandate,’ the Socialist leader said in a live televised address. Mr Hollande, faced with very low popularity ratings, has become the first sitting president in modern French history not to seek re-election. He said he was aware of the risks of running and warned of the threat from the far-right National Front. One of the first reactions came from a former economy minister, Emmanuel Macron, who said the president had made a ‘courageous decision’. He is himself now standing for president as an independent centrist, having resigned from the government a few months ago.” [BBC]
- Guy Fieri eating things set to Johnny Cash’s cover of “Hurt.”
- An app that calculates the political leanings of your Facebook news feed.
- A visualization of the relationships of Europe’s royal families.
@berniethoughts: I KNOW HUMANS DO NOT FEEL PAIN WHEN THEIR HAIR IS CUT—PERHAPS BECAUSE THE HAIRS ALONE FEEL IT
@jessetaylor: Finally, someone will provide businesses the certainty needed in these tough times, where you get government money for outsourcing