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Wake Up To Politics - February 13, 2020

I'm Gabe Fleisher, reporting live from WUTP world headquarters in my bedroom. It’s Thursday, February 13, 2020. 9 days until the Nevada caucuses. 264 days until Election Day. Have questions, comments, or tips? Email me.

The Rundown

State of the race: "The Democratic presidential race burst out of the New Hampshire primary this week into a new and highly unusual phase — with at least a half-dozen viable candidates, each facing an unpredictable path and major hurdles to overcome."

"Typically, after the first two nominating contests, primaries narrow to a handful of front-runners as a campaign crystallizes between competing factions. This year, the race looks like no other Democratic primary in modern history, an increasingly muddled mix of ideologies, backgrounds and theories on what has unfolded." (Washington Post)

--- "In both [Iowa and New Hampshire], a majority of voters supported candidates closer to the political center and named defeating President Trump as their top priority, but there was no overwhelming favorite among those voters as to which moderate was the best alternative to Mr. Sanders. Unless such a favorite soon emerges, party leaders may increasingly look to Michael R. Bloomberg as a potential savior." (New York Times)

--- Despite a growing controversy over a 2015 clip defending the "stop and frisk" police practice, Bloomberg received three endorsements from members of the Congressional Black Caucus on Monday, gaining support in a constituency that had until recently been leaning heavily towards Joe Biden. Bloomberg will receive another congressional endorsement from Florida Rep. Ted Deutch today, per Politico Playbook.

--- Biden on a conference call with supporters Wednesday: "I'll be damned if we're gonna lose this nomination" (Politico)

--- More Iowa caucus fallout: "The Iowa Democratic Party chairman is stepping down, he announced Wednesday, eight days after the Iowa caucuses became a national fiasco for the Democrats." (NBC News)

Trump's "impeachment vendetta": "President Trump is testing the rule of law one week after his acquittal in his Senate impeachment trial, seeking to bend the executive branch into an instrument for his personal and political vendetta against perceived enemies."

"And Trump — simmering with rage, fixated on exacting revenge against those he feels betrayed him and insulated by a compliant Republican Party — is increasingly comfortable doing so to the point of feeling untouchable, according to the president’s advisers and allies." (Washington Post)

--- Inside the DOJ: "After Stone Case, Prosecutors Say They Fear Pressure From Trump" (New York Times)

--- Meanwhile: "Over a 75-minute speech and Q&A session, [former White House chief of staff John] Kelly laid out, in the clearest terms yet, his misgivings about Trump’s words and actions regarding North Korea, illegal immigration, military discipline, Ukraine, and the news media." (The Atlantic)

--- Coming soon: "Attorney General William Barr has agreed to testify before the House Judiciary Committee next month, the panel's chairman Jerry Nadler said Wednesday, giving them a forum to press the attorney general on the sentencing of Roger Stone and other controversies that have emerged in the aftermath of President Donald Trump's impeachment trial." (CNN)

Happening today: "A bipartisan measure limiting President Donald Trump’s authority to launch military operations against Iran is moving toward approval in the Senate."

"The resolution, authored by Democratic Sen. Tim Kaine of Virginia, asserts that Trump must win approval from Congress before engaging in further military action against Iran. Eight Republicans sided with Democrats Wednesday on a procedural motion to force a vote on the issue as soon as Thursday." (Associated Press)


President Donald Trump will meet with Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D-NY) to discuss the Department of Homeland Security's recent prohibition on New Yorkers enrolling in Trusted Traveler Programs.

Vice President Mike Pence will attend a Trump campaign event in South Carolina, address the South Carolina Corps of Cadets at The Citadel, and receive the Nathan Hale Patriot Award at The Citadel Republican Society Patriot Dinner.

The Senate will vote on passage of a bipartisan resolution that would limit President Trump's authority to launch military operations against Iran.

The House will vote on a resolution that would remove the lapsed deadline for ratification of the Equal Rights Amendment.

Joe Biden will attend fundraisers in New York. Michael Bloomberg will campaign in North Carolina and Texas. Tulsi Gabbard will campaign in South Carolina. Amy Klobuchar and Tom Steyer will campaign in Nevada. Elizabeth Warren will campaign in Virginia.

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