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POLITICO Playbook Daily Briefing


POLITICO Playbook's must-listen briefing on what's driving the day in Washington.

POLITICO Playbook's must-listen briefing on what's driving the day in Washington.


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POLITICO Playbook's must-listen briefing on what's driving the day in Washington.




Sep. 28, 2022: Biden and DeSantis pledge 'close coordination' as Ian bears down

Hurricane Ian is set to reach Florida’s Gulf Coast as early as this afternoon after days of dire warnings about its potential impacts. This morning, the national Hurricane Center said winds had reached 140 mph, strengthening to a Category 4. More than 2 million people are under orders to leave their homes. Said Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis: “That doesn’t mean you need to go all across God’s creation to evacuate — just get to the higher ground and get into a safe structure.” And he’s been the de...


Sep. 27. 2022: CR released and Hurricane Ian heads to Florida

Countdown — Six weeks until Election Day! Continuing Resolution released — Full text … Section-by-section summary Nestled into the stopgap spending bill that Congress is aiming to pass to avert a government shutdown this week is over $12 billion in aid for Ukraine, AP’s Kevin Freking reports. What else is in it: “The funding package, which Congress is set to consider this week, will also provide disaster assistance, including for Jackson, Mississippi. … Also in the package is money to help...


Sep. 26, 2022: Pollsters fret over another big miss

Playbook editor Mike DeBonis and deputy editor Zack Stanton discuss Maggie Haberman's anticipated book, Confidence Man: The Making of Donald Trump and the Breaking of America. POLITICO's Steve Shepard's must-read this morning, Pollsters fear they’re blowing it again in 2022 and the odds of a government shutdown if Congress can't reach a deal by Friday at Midnight. Subscribe to the POLITICO Playbook newsletter Raghu Manavalan is the Host of POLITICO's Playbook Daily Briefing. Jenny Ament is...


Sep. 23, 2022: What's behind the latest Manchin drama

It’s perhaps the wonkiest, most in-the-weeds debate happening on Capitol Hill: The battle over Sen. Joe Manchin's (D-W.Va.) permitting reform bill. It’s also the biggest hold-up in the quest to keep the government from shutting down next week. The measure (aka the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2022) would basically shorten the process to get permits for energy projects. Its inclusion in the must-pass continuing resolution is the result of a deal struck between Manchin and Senate...


Sep. 22, 2022: Trump vs. James, appeals panel rejects Cannon ruling

The two big stories in Trump World: 1. In a Wednesday night ruling, a three-judge federal appeals panel sided with the Justice Department, blocking “aspects of … Judge Aileen Cannon's ruling that delayed a criminal investigation into highly sensitive documents seized from former President Donald Trump's Mar-a-Lago estate,” write Kyle Cheney and Josh Gerstein. Two of the three judges were Trump appointees. Their decision was unanimous. And it was unsparing. From the ruling: “Plaintiff...


Sep. 21, 2022: Sunshine showdown

It’s the juggernaut match-up Republicans can’t stop talking about: former president Donald Trump vs. Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis. The conventional wisdom for more than a year is that Trump would be impossible to beat in a GOP primary. According to a new USA Today/Suffolk University poll, that’s no longer the case — at least in their home state of Florida. In a hypothetical mano-a-mano Sunshine State presidential primary matchup, DeSantis leads Trump 48% to 40% — a major swing from January,...


Sep. 20, 2022: Covid confusion

With four offhand words, “the pandemic is over,” President Joe Biden touched off a firestorm during his Sunday “60 Minutes” interview. The White House cleanup attempt was swift. Obviously the president wasn’t saying the American people shouldn’t take Covid seriously, it told reporters. Sure, he could have been more nuanced, but he was simply saying we’ve hit a different phase. And yet: A summary declaration that the pandemic is kaput carried implications that Biden did not appear to fathom...


Sep. 19, 2022: What two new polls tell us about the midterms

Is 2022 a ‘waves’ election? Evidence that the election will likely be closer than originally thought continues to mount, as two new polls give a sense of the contours of the race. First, there's the NBC poll, which paints a decidedly mixed portrait. Seven weeks out, voters are evenly split at 46% in their preference for which party should control Congress next year. Biden’s approval rating has risen to its highest in 11 months, while DONALD TRUMP’s favorability has dropped. Sixty-one percent...


Sep. 16, 2022: Same-sex marriage bill will have to wait

After the Supreme Court overturned Roe, many Democrats pushed for legislation codifying the right to same-sex marriage, lest it, too, be taken away by the high court. Over the past two months, those efforts gained momentum thanks to the efforts of a small bipartisan group that saw a path to winning support from the requisite 10 Senate Republicans, raising hopes that a bill would soon hit Biden’s desk. Those dreams are now on hold through (at least) the midterms, Sen. Tammy Baldwin (D-Wis.),...


Sep. 15, 2022: Tentative deal averts rail strike, plus Baker and Glasser's biggest scoops

“Biden: Tentative railway labor deal reached, averting strike,” AP: “President Joe Biden said Thursday a tentative railway labor agreement has been reached, averting a potentially devastating strike before the pivotal midterm elections. He said the tentative deal ‘will keep our critical rail system working and avoid disruption of our economy.’” And NYT’s Peter Baker and The New Yorker’s Susan Glasser, two old friends of Playbook (Susan was POLITICO’s editor from 2014-2016), will release "THE...


Sep. 14, 2022: Did Lindsey Graham just score an own goal on abortion?

After the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade in June, most Republicans stuck to a simple message: The decision merely sent the issue back to the states; it was not a prelude to any national ban on abortion. Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) tossed all that out the window Tuesday, dropping a bill that would implement a nationwide ban on abortion after 15 weeks of pregnancy while allowing states to pass more restrictive laws. The immediate effect was to put fellow Republicans, who had already...


Sep. 13, 2022: What the VP told activists about abortion

Back in July, a coalition of civil rights and reproductive rights groups pushed President Joe Biden for “continued leadership” in the wake of the Supreme Court decision overturning Roe v. Wade, requesting a POTUS meeting. On Monday evening, they got their meeting — with VP Kamala Harris, who spent about 90 minutes with the groups’ leaders. Her message, attendees said, echoed the rising sentiment in Democratic circles that abortion rights stand to be a key motivating factor in the midterms —...


Sep. 12, 2022: Washington revs up for a stacked week

We’re keeping our eyes on three big things this week when senators return this afternoon: 1. The brewing Manchin-Sanders faceoff. 2. The status of the marriage bill. 3. How will the White House handle the new Taiwan bill? And Playbook's Eugene Daniels chats with New York magazine reporter (and former POLITICO) Gabriel Debenedetti about his new book, “The Long Alliance,” that comes out Tuesday. In it, he explores the complex and — as he puts it — “misunderstood relationship” between President...


Sep. 9, 2022: DOJ offers Judge Cannon a new deal

As expected, the Justice Department said on Thursday that it will likely move forward with an appeal of Judge Aileen Cannon's recent decision largely blocking DOJ’s use of materials seized at Mar-a-Lago and appointing a special master. But in the meantime, the government tried a new approach to convince Cannon to rethink her recent decision, at least when it comes to the key documents seized from Mar-a-Lago by the FBI. And Politico's health care reporter Alice Miranda Ollstein explains the...


Sep. 8, 2022: Why same-sex marriage is on the cusp of passing the Senate

It would have been unthinkable just a few months ago, let alone a decade ago, but senators of both parties are increasingly optimistic they can overcome a filibuster and pass a bill enshrining same-sex and interracial marriage into law as soon as this month. On Wednesday, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer told reporters a same-sex marriage vote “will happen on the Senate floor in the coming weeks.” But there are potential land mines. Subscribe to the POLITICO Playbook newsletter Raghu...


Sep. 7, 2022: Legal world fires at Judge Cannon

Legal pundits have had another day to digest Monday’s confounding opinion from Judge Aileen Cannon. Recall that the 41-year-old Trump appointee (who was confirmed in the days after the 2020 election) granted the former president’s request to appoint a special master to review the documents taken from Mar-a-Lago, and enjoined the Department of Justice “from reviewing and using the seized materials for investigative purposes.” She ordered the Office of the Director of National Intelligence to...


September 6: Welcome to the general election

Labor Day has long served as the unofficial kickoff of election season: More voters start to pay attention, political TV ads become inescapable, volunteers knock on doors and pollsters adjust their samples from “registered voters” to “likely voters.” Now, with Labor Day behind us, here’s the lay of the land just nine short weeks away from Election Day, per POLITICO’s just-updated forecast. The Senate is a toss-up, with the previous forecast leaning Republican. The House is likely going to...


September 2: Biden pulls an eager Trump onto center stage for 2022

There was a lot going on in President Joe Biden's 24-minute primetime speech at Philadelphia’s Independence Hall Thursday night. If you felt some whiplash listening to Biden, you’re not alone. We are in the midst of a confusing and turbulent political period 10 weeks before the midterms, and it seemed to us that Biden was attempting to weave together and make sense of a lot of contradictory political currents. At its core, the speech was about an issue as grave as any that a president might...


September 1: Alaska rejects Palin, Mississippi confronts a crisis

It's a shocker in Alaska as Democrat Mary Peltola won Alaska’s special election on Wednesday, making her “the first Alaska Native in Congress,” the Anchorage Daily News’ Iris Samuels reports. Peltola is also the first person elected via the state’s new ranked-choice voting system. “Peltola topped Republican former Gov. Sarah Palin after ballots were tallied and after votes for third-place GOP candidate Nick Begich III were redistributed to his supporters’ second choices. Peltola, a Yup’ik...


August 31: Trump likely obstructed classified records probe, DOJ says

Just minutes before a midnight deadline, the Justice Department filed a stunning response to former President Donald Trump’s request for an independent review of the documents seized from his Florida home earlier this month. The 36-page document is chock-full of previously unknown information, providing an extensive timeline of how the government worked to recover classified material before the unprecedented search of Mar-a-Lago. It is the clearest and most detailed account yet offered of...