If any news story was able to penetrate the hive mind of the political-media class last week, beyond the freaking out over Miley Cyrus’s Video Music Awards performance (along with, you know, the freaking out over the possibility of an attack on Syria), it was word that Washington might be getting another shot at hosting the Olympics, in 2024. On Tuesday, Bob Sweeney, head of the Greater Washington Sports Alliance, announced the launch of D.C. 2024, a nonprofit aimed at exploring a bid for the Summer Games. The dream to bring the Olympics to Washington is still many years and many billions of dollars away from becoming a reality. But it did inspire something almost as rare as an Olympic event: an actually kind of funny D.C.-centric Twitter hashtag. Some of our favorites from #dcolympicevents: single tracking (@techn0cratic); tweeting while walking (@johnson); kicking the can (@peteschroeder); punting on legislation (@danielstrauss4); running of the interns (@asmith83); and softball with Chris Matthews (@ryanbeckwith.) But, as with all good things here, the quality and popularity of the hashtag were inversely proportional. By Wednesday, one-liners about red tape and procedural hurdles were clogging the Twitter stream.
Outside groups are spending money earlier than ever, but missing from all the action: cash-flush American Crossroads, the GOP granddaddy of super PACs. Crossroads notably stayed out of the special Senate election in Massachusetts, believing the race was unwinnable. It didn’t want to touch Mark Sanford in South Carolina’s special House election in the 1st District. But the group also isn’t spending money to soften vulnerable Dem incumbents such as Mark Pryor or Mary Landrieu; at this point in 2011, it had already attacked Claire McCaskill. (Its roster of McConnell alums ensures involvement in Kentucky.) More important, donations to American Crossroads are down significantly in the off-year. Through the first six months of 2013, it raised $1.86 million. During the same period in 2011, it raised $3.93 million. After Crossroads lost 11 of 13 Senate races it spent money on in 2012, big donors are less willing to pony up. The other reason: its renewed focus on persuading Republicans to support immigration reform. That shift from politics to policy came up short, failing to convince its targets despite the ad blitz. Crossroads helped fashion the current campaign finance world, and it’ll play a pivotal role in 2014. But with more money from upstarts being spent earlier, it risks being left behind.
Scott Bland and Josh Kraushaar
Air Marshal President Obama is expected to nominate Janet McCabe, a deputy administrator at the Environmental Protection Agency’s clean-air office, to head that division, according to sources familiar with his thinking. The position would put McCabe at the heart of the president’s historic, and controversial, global-warming agenda. She would be charged with crafting massive new pollution regulations affecting coal-fired power plants — rules that could eventually freeze the nation’s coal industry but also position the U.S. as a global leader on climate change. She will step into the shoes of her boss, Gina McCarthy, who was confirmed last month as EPA’s chief. While McCarthy will be the public face of the new climate-change regulations, McCabe will act as her right-hand woman, taking on the burden of drafting and legally bulletproofing the rules, as well as working with all the stakeholders they’ll affect — states, electric utilities, consumers, and environmental advocates. It’s likely that McCabe could face a tough confirmation process. Senate Republicans held up McCarthy’s confirmation for more than 100 days.
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Perhaps Donald Trump can take a plebiscite to solve this whole messy immigration thing. At a Fox News town hall with Sean Hannity last night, Trump essentially admitted he's "stumped," turning to the audience and asking: “Can we go through a process or do you think they have to get out? Tell me, I mean, I don’t know, you tell me.”
Donald Trump "nearly quintupled the monthly rent his presidential campaign pays for its headquarters at Trump Tower to $169,758 in July, when he was raising funds from donors, compared with March, when he was self-funding his campaign." A campaign spokesman "said the increased office space was needed to accommodate an anticipated increase in employees," but the campaign's paid staff has actually dipped by about 25 since March. The campaign has also paid his golf courses and restaurants about $260,000 since mid-May.
Donald Trump probably isn't taking seriously John Oliver's suggestion that he quit the race. But he has canceled or rescheduled rallies amid questions over his stance on immigration. Trump rescheduled a speech on the topic that he was set to give later this week. Plus, he's also nixed planned rallies in Oregon and Las Vegas this month.
Donald Trump's Fox News brain trust keeps growing. After it was revealed that former Fox chief Roger Ailes is informally advising Trump on debate preparation, host Sean Hannity admitted over the weekend that he's also advising Trump on "strategy and messaging." He told the New York Times: “I’m not hiding the fact that I want Donald Trump to be the next president of the United States. I never claimed to be a journalist.”