GQ: What If Mike Pence Becomes President?

I indulged GQ‘s Jason Zengerle for his look into a hypothetical Pence administration.

In fact, one can imagine many of the big G.O.P. agenda items—from health care to a massive tax-reform plan—would likely remain out of Pence’s grasp, just as they have for Trump. “There might be reasons to root for a President Pence,” says the G.O.P. strategist Liam Donovan, “but the idea that you’re going to pass tax cuts or anything else is incredibly naive. A Pence presidency won’t send things back to normal.”

Read the whole thing here.

I’ve touched on this before. Bottom line– Trump is not going anywhere, and even if he somehow did, things don’t magically go back to normal for his successor. There are no circumstances under which Trump leaves before his term is up and the legislative landscape somehow improves.

 

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POLITICO: Senate Democrats reach for message on tax reform

I spoke with POLITICO‘s Colin Wilhelm about the Senate Dem tax reform letter and the meaning of the handful of holdouts.

Liam Donovan, a former National Republican Senatorial Committee staffer who now handles legislative and political affairs for the Associated Builders and Contractors, said estate tax repeal — which Republicans have promised to include in their effort — could be floated as a carrot in front of vulnerable Democrats like Manchin, Heitkamp and Donnelly to bring them to the table. Manchin was the lone Democrat to cross the aisle on a 2015 bill to repeal the estate tax.

But, “at the end of the day I don’t expect them to be there,” said Donovan.

Read the whole piece here.

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Washingtonian: What’s Evan McMullin’s Angle?

I spoke to Elaina Plott of Washingtonian for her profile of erstwhile presidential hopeful Evan McMullin.

It’s understandable why McMullin may prefer Twitter and cable-news commentary to behind-the-scenes organizing: it’s much easier and cheaper to punch out a tweet from the makeup room before a TV hit than it is to travel and fundraise and lead town halls and connect with folks face to face. But many conservatives I spoke to suggested that McMullin’s prioritization of Twitter and political media also sheds light on his preferred audience. “I can’t quite figure out what his angle is…Unless you’re Trump, Twitter is not to the right scale,” says Republican operative Liam Donovan, who voted for McMullin. “It’s good for having a fervent following” among the Acela corridor-types, he says, “but it’s not great to parlay into anything else.”

McMullin admits that Twitter “is not the place where voters are. That’s Facebook. Or Instagram.” On Twitter, though, he emphasizes, “you reach influencers. That has serious value.”

You can read the full piece here.

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