POLITICO Playbook: Dishy profiles drive Sunday buzz

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POLITICO Playbook: Dishy profiles drive Sunday buzz

HEADS UP —President JOE BIDDENFirst lady JILL BIDENWe will be traveling to Puerto Rico on Monday and Florida Wednesday. More from Myah WardJose Luis Magana/AP Photo

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IAN LATEST — “Florida deaths rise to 47 amid struggle to recover from Ian,” by AP’s Rebecca Santana and Meg Kinnard in Fort Myers, Fla.

HAPPENING TODAY — “Brazilians vote in contentious election plagued by violence and fear,” by CNN’s Camilo Rocha and Kara Fox

TOP TALKERS — Rolling Stone is up with two can’t-miss profiles —One that is nearly as dishy as it is explicit, and another that examines a rare character in the Republican Party.

Alex Morris on former Metropolitan Police Department officer MICHAEL FANONE: “Fanone is done being an American hero…. He’s tired of liberals who back the blue only on Jan. 6 and conservatives who back the blue only when it comes to policing people of color, tired of being given 47 seconds of airtime to explain how to reform an entire police system, tired of explaining why overthrowing a CVS and overthrowing the American government are not quite the same thing. He has given up on any delusions that what he says or does will change people’s minds.” Click through for Fanone’s expletive-filled rants on KEVIN MCCARTHY, MIKE PENCEMADISON CAWTHORN JOSH WAWLEYAmong many other topics,

Kara Voght travels to Alton, N.H., to talk with New Hampshire GOP Gov. CHRIS SUNUNUWho is it? “occupies a rare corner of the modern Republican Party: He’s a hardcore libertarian who has eschewed most of his party’s culture wars and, occasionally, DONALD TRUMP — all the while avoiding the RINO label that plagues others who dare to do so.”

  • Sununu on Trump “I don’t make it personal. … I don’t go out of my way to be the first out of the gate to say he did something wrong. And when he does good things, I give him credit.”
  • On Sen. LINDSEY GRAHAM’s (R-S.C.) proposed 15-week abortion ban: “Lindsey, Lindsey, Lindsey — God, he’s so disconnected.”
  • On Sen. RICK SCOTT’s (R-Fla.) agenda: “The one with the tax hikes in it? That’s not gonna fly.”
  • RON DeSANTIS governing style “The concept of a big government Republican — which I hate — telling a town, ‘Well, you didn’t do it the way I wanted you to do it, so I’m going to pass a state law that takes away your ability to make that choice’ — that’s cancel culture.”
  • His philosophy: “I don’t consider myself a moderate, actually. I’m just not an extremist.”
  • A potential run in 2024: “I don’t know what I’m going to do,” he says, adding: “if Republicans do not close the deal in November, what’s the point of worrying about ‘24?”

WELCOME BACK, SCOTUS — As the Supreme Court prepares to return to the bench on Monday, NYT’Adam Liptak wrote that “there are few signs that the court’s race to the right is slowing”After a contentious term, which saw one of the most controversial decisions in decades, the court struck down Roe v. Wade.

“The new term will feature major disputes on affirmative action, voting, religion, free speech and gay rights. And the court’s six-justice conservative supermajority seems poised to dominate the new term as it did the earlier one.”

Adjust your expectations “On things that matter most, get ready for a lot of 6-3’s,”IRV GROWSTEIN,executive director of Georgetown Law’s Supreme Court Institute.

THE MONEY MAN — Though he’s facing sagging approval numbers and struggling to get an invite to campaign with vulnerable Democrats across the country, Biden has found his groove in the campaign cycle, carving out a role as “fundraiser in chief — a man who schmoozes with aplomb while raking in millions,” AP’s Seung Min Kim and Aamer Madhani write.

“So far this year, Biden has headlined 11 receptions to raise cash directly for the Democratic National Committee, and they have brought in more than $19.6 million, according to the committee. … The quintessential Biden qualities — his candor and his warmth with the crowd — become more pronounced once the press is kicked out and audience members have a chance to ask Biden questions, say people who have attended such gatherings.”

Good Sunday morning. Thank you for reading Playbook. Drop me a line: [email protected]. Get in touch with the rest: Rachael Bade, Eugene Daniels, Ryan Lizza.

SUNDAY BEST …

— Sen. RICK SCOTT (R-Fla.) on the federal government’s response to Hurricane Ian, on NBC’s “Meet the Press”: “We do have to provide disaster aid, and whether that’s for a hurricane or whether it’s for a flooding, or whether that’s for wildfires, we’ve got to do that. And you know, I hope people will, you know, continue to support [it]. … We’ve got to come up with a way to do this where it’s a longer-term strategy.”

On how Graham’s abortion ban proposal affected the midterms: “Democrats have talked a lot about that this year. So every candidate has been talking about what their position is on abortion. … I think it’s important that people tell people what their position is, and it’s being done state by state all across the country. … So I don’t know [if] what Lindsey put out changed the conversation.”

— FEMA Administrator DEANNE CRISWELLThe federal response to Ian “Fox News Sunday”: “The biggest thing that we knew, and what the governor’s concern was, was being able to take care of the people that were going to be in the way of the storm’s path. And so we prepositioned the largest amount of search and rescue assets that I think we’ve ever put in place before, bringing together all of the federal family.”

— North Carolina Gov. ROY COOPER on whether he’s comfortable with the Democratic Governors Association boosting MAGA candidates in the primaries, on “Meet the Press”: “First, there were no LIZ CHENEYs running for governor across this country. Second, these were big front-runners and won by big margins and it is important for the DGA to make sure that voters are reminded of these candidates’ extreme positions even during the primary. Because what you are seeing now is some of these candidates trying to moderate their positions.”

TOP-EDS: A roundup of the week’s must-read opinion pieces.

Politics … 

Policy …

Culture …

Global …

PHOTO OF DAY

BIG PICTURE

DEMS’ DEMOGRAPHIC DIVIDE — Today’s national NBC News/Telemundo survey of Latino voters found that “Democrats lead Republicans by more than 20 points among Latino voters, but that Democratic advantage has declined from previous election cycles,” NBC’s Mark Murray writes. “54% of Latino voters say they prefer Democrats to control Congress as a result of the upcoming midterm elections, versus 33% who want Republicans in charge.”

The context: “That 21-point Democratic lead in congressional preference is down from past NBC/Telemundo over-samples of Latino voters in Oct. 2020 (when it was 26 points), Nov. 2018 (34 points), Oct. 2016 (38 points) and Oct. 2012 (42 points).”

BATTLE FOR The SENATE

DEEP DIVE — “The Racial Divide Herschel Walker Couldn’t Outrun,” by NYT’s John Branch in Wrightsville, Ga.: “[HERSCHEL] WALKER, who is one of the most famous African Americans in Georgia’s history, a folk hero for legions of football fans, is unpopular with Black voters. And nowhere is the rift more stark than in the rural farm town where he was raised about 140 miles southeast of Atlanta. …

“There are easy explanations: [Sen. RAPHAEL] WARNOCK, who is also Black, is a Democrat who preaches at MARTIN LUTHER KING JR.’s former church, and Mr. Walker is running as a Republican tied to Donald J. Trump. But there are complex reasons, too, especially in Wrightsville.

“‘Herschel’s not getting the Black vote because Herschel forgot where he came from,’ [former teacher and coach CURTIS] DIXON said. ‘He’s not part of the Black community.’ Such feelings toward Mr. Walker have been present for decades. They are flowering ahead of November’s elections.”

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BATTLE FOR THE STATES

DON’T CALL IT A COMEBACK — “Shying from Trump, ex-Maine Gov. Paul LePage seeks job back,” by AP’s David Sharp in Yarmouth, Maine: “Now, as [PAUL] LePAGE is running for a third term after a brief retirement to Florida, he rarely talks about Trump in public, and his advisers say LePage’s hiatus from politics changed him. He’s eager to show he’s smoothed over some of his own rough edges, though flashes of his fiery personality broke through recently at an event at a riverfront boatyard in Yarmouth, where he pledged to take on Democratic ‘elitists.’”

ATTACKING ABRAMS — “GOP attacks Georgia’s Abrams on voting as judge rejects suit,” by AP’s Jeff Amy in Atlanta: Democrat STACEY ABRAMS’ lawsuit challenging Georgia Gov. BRIAN KEMP’sOn Friday, her legal team lost their arguments and victory in 2018 was officially canceled. “And Republicans are now using the loss to attack what they see as the ‘big lie’ that underlies Abrams’ career. They label her claims that Georgia’s election system has been discriminatory as a fraud she used to enrich herself and aggrandize her political career after her 2018 loss.”

HOT ADS

With the help of Steve Shepard

— Missouri:In a new bio spot, GOP Senate nominee ERIC SCHMITT says, “In college, I gave tours and took out the trash at the estate [Democratic nominee] TRUDY BUSCH VALENTINE grew up on.”

Wisconsin: The Democratic Senate candidate is now being attacked by criminals. MANDELA BERNESRepublicans are running the same playbookGov. TONY EVERS. Some context from the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel

7 THINGS TO ADD TO YOUR RADAR

1. MAR-A-LAGO LATEST: The National Archives still doesn’t have all the documents from the Trump administration that it should. The National Archives wrote to the House Oversight Committee stating that it will be in touch with DOJ “on whether ‘to initiate an action for the recovery of records unlawfully removed,’ as established under the Federal Records Act,” WaPo’s Jacqueline Alemany writes. Acting Archivist DEBRA STEIDEL WALL “added that the Archives has been unable to obtain federal records related to ‘non-official electronic messaging accounts that were not copied or forwarded into their official electronic messaging accounts.’”

2. JAN. 6 & ITS AFTERMATH The legal team representing OathKeepers leader STEWART RHODESA few others are working to place Trump in the center of the narrative. AP’s Alanna Durkin Richer and Lindsay Whitehurst write. “Lawyers for Stewart Rhodes, founder of the extremist group, are poised to argue that jurors cannot find him guilty of seditious conspiracy because all the actions he took before the siege on Jan. 6, 2021, were in preparation for orders he anticipated from the then-president — orders that never came.”Monday is the start of opening statements

3. MISSED OPPORTUNITY “The war against superbugs caught in congressional quagmire,”Lauren Gardner and Krista Mahar. “[A] classic end-of-year congressional quagmire — a tight calendar, a heated election season, fights over spending, and inertia — threatens to stymie progress before the end of the year.”

4. 2024 WATCH: Virginia Gov. GLENN YOUNGKIN is continuing his 2022 campaigning — and 2024 flirtations. Youngkin is heading to New Mexico to run for the gubernatorial nomination. MARK RONCHETTI This week. “But Youngkin, who’s been in demand on the campaign trail, took time off from his tour on Thursday and Friday, as he gathered with roughly 80 top dollar Republican donors for a two-day gathering at a luxury hotel outside of Charlottesville, Virginia,” Fox News’ Paul Steinhauser reports. According to an attendee, Youngkin wouldn’t entertain a 2024 question, but “emphasized the political walk he’s taking, and that while he was not sure where that walk is going to lead, the governor asked the donors to stay with him on his trek.”

5. LETTER FROM OREGON “‘We Were Worse Than Prisoners’: The Plight of Undocumented Workers Who Grow America’s Illegal Weed,” Eleanor Mueller and Natalie Fertig in Medford, Ore. “Legalization was supposed to squelch the illicit marijuana market. Instead, it’s thriving in places like southern Oregon, where illegal weed farms are camouflaged beside their legal counterparts.”

Similar reading: “Courts could throw state marijuana markets into disarray,”Mona Zhang

6. WAR IN UKRAINE “Ukrainian Forces Patrol Strategic City After Russia’s Hasty Retreat,” NYT: “Ukraine continued its show of defiance against Moscow’s illegal annexation claims on Sunday, with soldiers and police officers fanning out to search for Russian stragglers in a key city reclaimed by Kyiv’s forces even as President VLADIMIR V. PUTIN declared it part of Russia. President VOLODYMYR ZELENSKY of Ukraine said that Lyman, a strategic railway hub in the Donetsk region, had been fully cleared by Sunday afternoon, as Ukrainian forces conducted patrols and delivered aid to residents who had survived months of Russian occupation and weeks of battle as Ukraine fought to retake it.”

Similar reading: “In Washington, Putin’s Nuclear Threats Stir Growing Alarm,” by NYT’s David Sanger, Anton Troianovski and Julian Barnes

7. AMERICA AND THE WORLD “7 Americans released from detention in Venezuela, Biden says,” by ABC’s Molly Nagle and Alexandra Hutzler: “Senior administration officials said the Americans were released in exchange for two Venezuelans with ties to President NICOLAS MADURO’s wife.”

WHAT PLAYBOOKERS READING:Here’s a roundup of the most clicked links in Playbook over the past week.

1. “Three Conversations With Donald Trump,”Maggie Haberman for The Atlantic

2. “‘It’s My Curse and My Salvation’: Trump’s Most Famous Chronicler Opens Up,”Michael Kruse, POLITICO Magazine

3. “Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene’s husband files for divorce,” Northwest Georgia News

4. “Tucker Carlson wants to talk about my tattoos. So let’s talk about them,”John Fetterman for NBC

5. “‘Giant Backfire’: Trump’s Demand for Special Master Is Looking Like a Mistake,” by NYT’s Charlie Savage

SPOTTEDA party celebrating Kaitlan Collins’New job, hosted at Tammy HaddadSaturday night, Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.), French Ambassador Philippe Étienne, Irish Ambassador Geraldine Byrne Nason, Mike Trish Donilon, Anthony Fauci Christine Grady, Maureen Dowd, Adrienne Arsht, Doug Jones, John McCarthy, Kara Swisher Amanda Katz, Chris Meagher, Herbie Ziskend, T.W. T.W., Senay Bulbul, Jamie Weinstein, Kate Glassman Bennett, Pascal Confavreux Robert Costa.

SPOTTEDA 30th birthday party Evan HollanderSaturday night hosted by Josh Dawsey: Kaitlan Collins and Tammy Haddad, Eli Yokley and James Adams, Mary Jordan, Matt Dornics, Senay Bulbul, Jeff Zeleny Jim Courtovich, Jacqueline Alemany Jake Levine, Katie Benner, John Hudson, Kate Sullivan, T.W. Arrighi, Rachel Levitan, Zolan Kanno-Youngs, Michael LaRosa, Kevin Walling, Richard Walters, Michael Ahrens Nate Evans.

MEDIA MOVE — Radley Balko Is moving to Substack after being let go by WaPo, where he’s been an opinion columnist.

BIRTHWEEK (was Saturday): Defense Department’s Yousra “Yousi” Fazili Ryan Shaw

HAPPY BIRTHDAY Rep. Hank Johnson (D-Ga.) … Doug Andres of Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell’s office … Barry BennettJohn Donnelly … NYT’s Lynsea GarrisonLauren BeliveNicole Runge D’Ercole Michael SinacoreSen. Rob Portman’s (R-Ohio) office … Michelle Sara King of the International Trade Administration … Julie Burton of the Women’s Media Center … former Rep. Mark Schauer (D-Mich.), now of Winning Connections … Ryan Stitzlein of NARAL Pro-Choice America … Charlotte Robertson Ken BazinetAnthony Zona … POLITICO’s Thomas Zhang, Shannon Young Zoë Mitchell Sejal Hathi … former Comptroller General Dave WalkerEd Cox … NPR’s David Gura

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Send Playbookers Tips [email protected]Send us a text at 202-556-3307. Playbook couldn’t happen without our editor Mike DeBonisAssisting Editor Zack Stanton, reporter Eli OkunProducers Setota Hailemariam Bethany Irvine.

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