2020

Pence’s Battleground Stops, PAC Raise Eyebrows Amid Trump Scandals
VP’s office calls talk ‘ludicrous’ — but others see ‘too many coincidences’

Vice President Mike Pence leaves a meeting in the Capitol Visitor Center last Thursday. Two days later, he stopped in two presidential battleground states, Pennsylvania and Ohio, en route to his native Indiana. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Vice President Mike Pence has quietly spent his weekends visiting key battleground states, raising eyebrows in political circles about just what the ambitious politician is up to as scandals threaten Donald Trump’s presidency.

Last weekend provides a glaring — and fascinating — example. The former Indiana congressman and governor returned to the Hoosier State to deliver the commencement address at Notre Dame. But his route back home included stops in two perennial presidential battlegrounds: Pennsylvania and Ohio.

At Center for American Progress, a Tryout for 2020 Ideas
D.C. gathering alternates between liberal goals, Trump reaction

California Sen. Kamala Harris took aim at the administration’s approach to drug policy at Tuesday’s Center for American Progress gathering. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Potential Democratic presidential candidates took center stage Tuesday for what might prove to be the kickoff of the 2020 campaign, but the popular characterization of the progressive policy confab as a “CPAC for liberals” might have missed the mark.

The Center for American Progress’ 2017 Ideas Conference looked like the kind of muted 2020 cattle call one would expect from a gathering in the ballroom of the Georgetown Four Seasons in Washington. Missing were the raucous crowds that overtake the sprawling gathering at National Harbor for the annual Conservative Political Action Conference.

Warren to Trump: Everyone is Accountable — Even You
Senator’s speech at progressive policy will focus on conflicts of interest

Sen. Elizabeth Warren will be delivering a lunchtime keynote at Tuesday’s Center for American Progress conference. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

When Sen. Elizabeth Warren delivers a lunchtime keynote address to a progressive policy conference Tuesday afternoon, she will be directing her remarks at the president.

“I have news for Donald Trump: No matter how much he might admire Vladimir Putin’s Russia, here in America, we will never accept autocracy. Here in America, we embrace and defend democracy,” the Massachusetts Democrat will say. “And we do that by demanding that everyone in our government is accountable, even the President of the United States.”

California Lawmakers Vote to Move Primary to March
2016 primary came after Trump and Clinton secured nominations

Sen. Bernie Sanders campaigns in Santa Monica, Calif., in June 2016, after Hillary Clinton had already won enough delegates for the Democratic presidential nomination. (David McNew/Getty Images file photo)

California’s state Assembly and Senate both passed legislation Thursday to move the state’s presidential primary from June to March.

The legislation comes after complaints that the primaries came too late for voters to have a say in the contest, The Associated Press reported.

Don’t Trust Politicians Who Say They Aren’t Running for President
Barack Obama is a good reason to not rule out Kirsten Gillibrand

New York Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand says she’s not running for president in 2020. Don’t rule that out, Nathan L. Gonzales writes. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Democratic Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand told a group of local reporters in New York that she is not running for president in 2020. But, of course, that means you shouldn’t take her off any list of potential presidential candidates.

The Empire State’s junior senator is among the dozen or so Democrats most often mentioned as potential challengers to President Donald Trump, but Gillibrand probably needs to win re-election in 2018 first in order to remain in that conversation.

Kasich Not Ruling out Presidential Run
Gives Trump an ‘incomplete’ on three-month report card

Ohio Gov. John Kasich did not rule out another presidential run (Michael Bonfigli/The Christian Science Monitor)

Ohio Gov. John Kasich on Friday refused to rule out running for president on Friday but said it’s “unlikely.”

“In terms of politics, I don’t know what the future brings, but I know it’s in front of me,” Kasich told reporters at a Christian Science Monitor breakfast in Washington.

Maine’s Susan Collins Weighing 2018 Gubernatorial Bid
The four-term senator is considering where she can do ‘the most good’

Maine Sen. Susan Collins may run for governor in 2018. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File photo)

There’s been no shortage of speculation that Maine Sen. Susan Collins would run for governor in 2018. But she addressed the subject head-on in an interview with WGAN radio Tuesday morning. 

“Let me say that I am looking at where I can do the most good for the people of Maine,” said Collins, according to a report in the Portland Press Herald. “In the Senate I now have significant seniority and that allows me to do a lot,” she said. 

Opinion: James Comey and the Art of the Shiv
FBI director has the credibility to oppose the White House

In his testimony Monday, James B. Comey dropped enough bombshells to solidify his reputation as the most significant FBI director since J. Edgar Hoover, Shapiro writes. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Late in Monday’s marathon hearing of the House Intelligence Committee, FBI Director James Comey reminded the nation that he was something of a hostile witness, reluctantly summoned to talk about Russia, Donald Trump and the 2016 campaign.

“I’d rather not be talking about this at all,” Comey said. “Now we are going to close our mouths and do our work.”

Warren Taps Reid Aide Orthman as Senior Political Adviser
Massachusetts native will work for home state senator

Kristen Orthman, right, will be a senior adviser to Sen. Elizabeth Warren. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Sen. Elizabeth Warren has brought on a top leadership aide to Sen. Harry Reid as a senior adviser to her political operation.

Kristen Orthman, who hails from the Boston suburbs, will be going to work for the Massachusetts Democrat after a run as communications director in the retired Nevada senator’s leadership office, as well as a senior adviser to the Nevada State Democratic Party ahead of the 2016 campaign cycle.

Trump Might Be Open to Earlier Freeze of Medicaid Expansion
Spokesman says president willing to listen to ideas on health plan

Trump, gesturing at Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, is open to changes to the House health care bill. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

The White House appeared Friday to not rule out altering a Republican-crafted health care overhaul measure by accelerating a Medicaid expansion roll back, a move that could garner more conservative votes, although it could jeopardize support from GOP moderates and senators from states who have used the program to cover the uninsured.

The bill, which has been approved by two key House committees, would nix the 2010 health law’s expansion of the entitlement program in 2020. That’s not soon enough for many House conservatives, and a reason why the White House and GOP leaders appear to lack the 218 votes needed to send the overhaul measure to the Senate.