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FOR LAY AMERICAN READERS
1. The newly announced members of the Biden economic and communications teams are experienced, diverse, and well received by the Dominant Media as known, solid center-left choices with just enough ties to the Democrats’ progressive wing to avoid any major early December flaps.
Ken Thomas @KThomasDCNEWS: .@JoeBiden intends to nominate Neera Tanden to serve as director of the Office of Management and Budget + Princeton labor economist Cecilia Rouse to serve as the chair of the Council of Economic Advisers. https://t.co/Qfhr0MB39T
2. Tom Friedman’s essential reading column arguing that Iran’s missile program should be getting at least as much attention as its nukes includes this key paragraph:
Trump forced Israel and the key Sunni Arab states to become less reliant on the United States and to think about how they must cooperate among themselves over new threats — like Iran — rather than fighting over old causes — like Palestine. This may enable America to secure its interests in the region with much less blood and treasure of its own. It could be Trump’s most significant foreign policy achievement.
3. Joe Biden adorably fractured his foot playing with his dog but he should be fine after a stint in a medical walking boot.
4. Kicker: One of the Georgia U.S. Senate runoffs has turned into a plant-based burgers versus bacon contest!
DJ Judd @DJJuddBack in Atlanta, Democratic candidate for Senate Jon Ossoff kicks off a Small Business Saturday tour with a stop at Slutty Vegan, a vegan burger joint. “We got Jon Jon running for Senate in the building!” a staffer calls out as Ossoff enters, prompting cheers. https://t.co/UTjjCX8hjr
FOR THE GANG OF 500
1. The recruitment of Jen Psaki as White House press secretary is only the latest example (but a very significant one) of Ron Klain and Co. having an extremely well calibrated sense of how to staff a new administration with both the Right Stuff and the Best and the Brightest. It is often said that “Person X is perfect for Job Y.” In this case, that description is spot on. Everything Team Biden wants to accomplish from “this podium” is now there for the taking via Psaki. Not to jinx anyone, but this selection makes it meaningfully more likely that the new administration gets off to a fast start and delays the moment when the White House press corps shifts from holding Donald Trump accountable to holding Joe Biden accountable.
1B. The single most consuming Beltway question at this writing is how much of the insta-reaction to the nomination of Neera Tanden did Team Biden anticipate? About the best two things one can say at this point about the prospects of her confirmation are (1) the ferocity of the reaction on the right has muted the reaction on the left (so far) and rallied the Dominant Media and (some) progressives to her side; and, (2) most of her deleted tweets have not been excavated yet. If there isn’t a Klain-Psaki-managed Neera Nomination War Room already, well…..
NYT Politics @nytpoliticsPresident-elect Joe Biden is expected to name top members of his economic team this week, including Neera Tanden to lead the Office of Management and Budget, and Cecilia Rouse to run the Council of Economic Advisers. https://t.co/lm9R3qJsIl
Kevin Gosztola @kgosztolaDuring Hillary Clinton's 2016 presidential campaign, Neera Tanden was a prime supporter of recruiting liberal columnists to weaponize identity and stifle Bernie Sanders' campaign for economic, racial, social, and environmental justice. https://t.co/WlCZoZ6uPC
Yashar Ali 🐘 @yasharNEWS President-elect Biden intends to nominate @neeratanden as director of the Office of Management and Budget. This is a Senate confirmable position. https://t.co/pQ74V5a7ks
2. At some point, perhaps we will know how the nation’s most experienced national security president since Bush 41 plans to address the many complex world hot spots he will inherit. Beyond less bluster and a greater reliance on international coalitions and organizations, your guess is as good as Richard Haass’.
4. In the end, Georgia Republicans and Team McConnell are counting on history and the “Georgia must be a check on PelosiSchumerBidenAOC” message to win the Senate runoffs; in the end, Georgia Democrats and Team Schumer are counting on (their own take on) history and the quality of their candidates versus the opposition to win the Senate runoffs.
Advisers to Donald Trump Jr. are launching a super PAC to prod the president’s supporters to vote in the upcoming Georgia Senate runoffs, as Republicans grow concerned that Trump’s backers will boycott the elections.