The Guardian: Heller, Tark and the Nevada Senate Race

I spoke to The Guardian‘s Ben Jacobs for Lauren Gambino‘s article on the state of play in Nevada’s US Senate race.

Liam Donovan, a former operative at the National Republican Senatorial Committee, said Tarkanian is less a threat to Heller in the primary as he is an urgent distraction from what promises to be a grueling general election race. Donovan noted that the Nevada Republican is “already among the only targets that Democrats have and is going to have a lot thrown at him”.

Read the full piece here.

Tarkanian’s entry into the race is hardly a good thing for Heller. Anything with the potential to drain resources and take your eye of the general election ball is counterproductive. That said, Tarkanian is a 5-time loser with a trail of personal baggage and debt, one who just happens to have a famous last name. And with Heller falling into line on health care after a shot across the bow from Trump political allies, even the predicate for Tark’s candidacy is underwhelming. Short of unanticipated White House involvement I suspect it will look a lot like the 2016 race where fellow retread Susan Angle tried a comeback and failed to get traction. In the end Senator Heller has more to fear from Trump-related political tension and the state’s dreaded “None of These Candidates” line than he does Danny Tarkanian.

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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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