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Wake Up To Politics - December 1, 2016

Thursday, December 1, 2016

50 Days until Inauguration Day
705 Days until Election Day 2018I'm Gabe Fleisher for Wake Up To Politics, and reporting from WUTP world HQ in my bedroom - Good morning: THIS IS YOUR WAKE UP CALL!!!

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Transition Central

  • Trump, the Unprecedented President-Elect, Goes on Victory Lap President-elect Donald Trump will hold his first public events today since winning the White House, celebrating the first achievement of his Administration in Indiana and thanking supporters in Ohio.
  • Trump and Vice President-elect Mike Pence, the governor of Indiana, will hold an event in Indianapolis at the manufacturing facilities of Carrier, a company that manufactures and distributes heating, ventilating, and air conditioning (HVAC) systems. The Carrier factory that Trump and Pence will appear at was set to close next year and move to Monterrey, Mexico, taking about 1,400 U.S. jobs with it.
  • The Carrier closing was mentioned by Trump multiple times on the campaign trail, as he promised to get the jobs back in the United States. Today, he and Pence announce a deal with Carrier to keep at least 1,000 of those jobs.
  • "Carrier has had very productive conversations in recent days with President-elect Trump and Vice President-elect Pence," according to a Wednesday statement from the company. "We have negotiated an agreement with the incoming administration that we believe benefits our workers, the state of Indiana and our company. We are announcing today that Carrier will continue to manufacture gas furnaces in Indianapolis, in addition to retaining engineering and headquarters staff, preserving more than 1,000 jobs."
  • The statement continued: "Today’s announcement is possible because the incoming Trump-Pence administration has emphasized to us its commitment to support the business community and create an improved, more competitive U.S. business climate. The incentives offered by the state were an important consideration."
  • The President-elect also previewed the deal on Tuesday, tweeting: "Big day on Thursday for Indiana and the great workers of that wonderful state.We will keep our companies and jobs in the U.S. Thanks Carrier."
  • The details of the deal remain unclear, as does the range: the statement does not make clear if Carrier will keep all 1,400 jobs at the Indianapolis factory, or any of the 400 jobs at a Huntington plant that was also set to move. In addition, the exact terms of the negotiations are unclear, although the Carrier statement signals that Indiana offered them incentives.
  • A state giving tax incentives to a company to stay in the state is far from uncommon, and would have been especially easy in this case since Indiana's governor is the Vice President-elect, but it is still rare for the President or President-elect to take such personal interest in the negotiating of the deal. Although Trump is not yet in office, the Carrier deal could be a signal of a hands-on governing style, at least in keeping his promise to project Rust Belt jobs. The deal also may have been affected by Trump's campaign promises to ease taxes regulations and cut taxes on businesses.
  • The New York Times also notes that "[the deal] also signals that Mr. Trump is a different kind of Republican, willing to take on big business, at least in individual cases." The Times continues: "And just as only a confirmed anti-Communist like Richard Nixon could go to China, so only a businessman like Mr. Trump could take on corporate America without being called a Bernie Sanders-style socialist."
  • Trump and Pence will announce the deal at a 2pm event at the Carrier factory, in itself a grand piece of political showmanship, the kind Trump seemed to master in his campaign: it is not common for the Commander-in-Chief to personally fly out to a factory to announce the company is staying in the U.S., but it certainly heightens coverage of the company's decision.
  • From there, the President and Vice President-elect will continue their victory lap with a 7pm rally at the U.S. Bank Arena in Cincinnati, Ohio. The rally is the first stop on their "Thank You Tour," which is expected to take them to "swing states we flipped over," the campaign advance director told reporters, likely Iowa, Michigan, Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, and Florida.
  • It remains unknown what these "thank you" rallies will look like; again, it would be rare for a President-elect to hold campaign-style rallies after the election, but seems like a step Trump might take. He has said his enthusiastic supporters, who he honors today, and the raucous rallies they held, are a big reason behind his victory.
  • It is difficult to see how this rally - which will be held in primetime, just as many of Trump's campaign rallies were, and at a huge venue that actually hosted a Trump campaign rally in October - will differ in feeling from Trump's campaign events, which sometimes grabbed headlines for fights between supporters and protesters. There has also been no indication of what Trump will say at the rally, with all eyes on how "presidential" he acts and speaks.
  • But how is "presidential" really judged? Against the only 43 examples of U.S. Presidents that exist. In other words, by the precedent that already exists. And, with 50 days still to go until Trump will be inaugurated, it is already clear that he will not be a Commander-in-Chief to follow precedent.

White House Watch

  • The President's Schedule Continuing a light week (he has had only one or zero events on his public schedule each day), President Obama again has a single public event.
  • At 5pm, the President and First Family will attend the 94th annual national Christmas Tree Lighting at President's Park, continuing a tradition that was originated by President Calvin Coolidge.
  • Every President since Franklin D. Roosevelt has spoken at the lighting ceremony and pressed the button to illuminate the lights; the tree is located on President's Park (or The Ellipse), just south of the White House.
  • At this year's lighting ceremony, performs were include: Chance the Rapper, Kelly Clarkson, James Taylor, Eva Longoria, and Simon Manuel, among others. The show will be broadcast on Monday at 7pm on the Hallmark Channel.
  • Vice President's Schedule Vice President Joe Biden will fly to Cartagena, Colombia today.
  • At 7:20pm Eastern Time, Biden will meet with Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos; at 8:30pm, Biden will attend a dinner hosted by Santos. The Vice President remains overnight in Cartagena.
  • Biden's visit comes just one day after the Colombian Congress' passage of a peace deal with FARC, the 7,000-member rebel group that has been battling the government for 52 years. The deal, which gives FARC six months to disarm, was signed by Santos and FARC leader Rodrigo Londono last week and ratified unanimously by the Congress on Wednesday.

Capitol Hill News

  • Senate: Schedule The Senate will gavel in for the day at 9:30am, entering Leader remarks and then morning business (when senators can each speak for up to 10 minutes).
  • At 1:45pm, the chamber will vote on passage of the Iran Sanctions Extension Act, a measure to enact a 10-year extension on current American sanctions on Iran, in order to ensure Iran keeps its side of an international nuclear deal brokered last year. Current sanctions will otherwise expire at the end of the month; according to the nuclear agreement (which took effect at the beginning of this year), the P5+1 nations (including the United States) agreed to ease sanctions on Iran in exchange for the reduction of their nuclear program. However, the sanctions being extended by this bill do not apply to the deal, as they were first enacted in the United States in 1996.
  • The House passed the extension bill in a 419-1 vote last month, with libertarian-leaning Rep. Thomas Massie (R-KY) the only "nay" vote. "If we let the clock run out on the Iran Sanctions Act, Congress will take away an important tool to keep Tehran in check. And that, in turn, will only further jeopardize America’s national security,” House Foreign Affairs Committee chairman Ed Royce (R-CA) said last month after the House passage.
  • If the bill succeeds in the Senate (as expected), it will head to the President's desk.
  • House: Schedule The House meets at 10am for morning hour today, moving to legislative business at 12pm, with voting lasting from about 5pm to 6pm.
  • The chamber is scheduled to vote on three measures: a resolution to consider the conference report on the Defense Department appropriations package, a bill amending Dodd-Frank "to specify when bank holding companies may be subject to certain enhanced supervision," and a bill authorizing $800,000 to be paid out for extra expenses by the House Energy and Commerce Committee.
  • Also today: the House holds a lottery for Representatives-elect to choose their new offices. Many incoming lawmakers have already arrived in Washington, D.C. as they prepare for the 115th Congress to begin next month. Ahead of the next Congress' opening, both parties have now officially decided on their leadership teams: House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi was formally re-elected on Wednesday, with Rep. Tim Ryan (D-OH) receiving 63 votes.
  • While Ryan was far from winning, that is a more serious challenge than any Pelosi has received in her decade leading the House Democratic Caucus, and does send warning signs to Democratic leaders about frustration among junior lawmakers who want to see changes to the party in light of their losses at the ballot box last month.

Today's Trivia

  • Answer: Tuesday's Question On Tuesday, as Donald Trump's victory in Michigan was certified (formally giving him 306 electoral votes, even as he is losing the popular vote by over 2 million votes), the trivia question was: "Who is the only presidential candidate in American history to win the most electoral votes and the most popular votes in the election, but still lose the Presidency?"
  • As we know, the winner of the popular vote is usually, but not necessarily elected President, as victory relies on winning the Electoral College. Therefore, it would seem impossible to win both the popular vote and the Electoral College, but still lose the White House.
  • To start off, there are five elections in which the winner of the popular vote did not become President: 1824, when Andrew Jackson won the popular vote against John Quincy Adams; 1876, when Samuel Tilden won the popular vote against Rutherford B. Hayes; 1888, when Grover Cleveland won the popular vote against Benjamin Harrison; 2000, when Al Gore won the popular vote against George W. Bush; and 2016, Hillary Clinton vs. Donald Trump.
  • In all but one did the popular vote loser become President by winning the Electoral College. The exception is 1824, when Jackson won 99 electoral votes and 41.4% of the popular vote vs. Adams' 84 electoral votes and 30.9% of the popular vote.
  • However, at that time, 131 electoral votes were needed to win; meaning, for the only time in history, the election was thrown to the House of Representatives, which chose Adams, despite his 2nd place showing in the election.
  • How did no one get to a majority? At the time, the dominant party were the Democratic-Republicans, who had won the previous six consecutive presidential elections, resulting in the disbanding of the Federalist Party. However, in 1824, Democratic-Republicans failed to rally behind one candidate, so four ended up running: Adams, then Secretary of State; Jackson, then a Senator from Tennessee; Speaker of the House Henry Clay; and Treasury Secretary William H. Crawford.
  • Crawford received 41 electoral votes, and Clay received 37, enough to deny either leading candidate a victory, and resulting in the House deciding. When the House votes to pick the President (which the Constitution mandates happens when no candidate reaches a majority), the body votes by state delegation: in 1824, Adams won 13 state delegations, while Jackson won seven and Crawford four.
  • The election essentially destroyed the Democratic-Republican Party, which then split into the modern Democratic Party (led by Jackson) and the National Republican Party (led by Adams and Clay), which would become the Whig Party and then the modern Republican Party.
  • Anyways, congratulations are in order to those who correctly answered Andrew Jackson: Brad Chotiner, David Massengill, Jakob Gibson, Thomas Alpert, Miles Kwiatek, and Rick Isserman!
  • One of the other common answers I got was Samuel Tilden in 1876, which does make sense: he won the popular vote, and disputed 20 electoral votes that would have made him President - but those disputed votes were later awarded to Hayes in the Compromise of 1877, so Tilden never formally won the Electoral College. Good guess, though!
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