INSIDE WASHINGTON

What Sports Would Washingtonians Win If They Hosted the Olympics?

A man texts while walking in downtown Palo Alto, Calif., Wednesday, June 30, 2010. 
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Josh Kraushaar, Scott Bland and Marin Cogan
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Josh Kraushaar and Scott Bland and Marin Cogan
Aug. 29, 2013, 10:01 a.m.

Medalers

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.

Mar­in Cogan

Rocky Roads

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

Mur­murs

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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