“With an unusual flurry of national media appearances and the rollout of her highest profile endorsement to date — former presidential candidate Julián Castro — Elizabeth Warren is trying to give her campaign a jolt in the final weeks before the Iowa caucuses,” Politico reports.
“For most of her presidential run, the Massachusetts senator had spurned Beltway-centric Sunday shows, mostly stayed away from the cable news circuit, and only occasionally went on national TV shows. But as her polling and fundraising has dipped in recent weeks, Warren has embarked on an energetic media tour.”
“Mike Bloomberg is starting to take heat from Democratic rivals for running an imperial campaign: Using his personal fortune to finance an infinite stream of TV ads while refusing to engage his opponents and defend his record on a live debate stage. To that he says: Too bad,” Politico reports.
“At a campaign stop here, the former New York mayor said he has no intention of trying to qualify for upcoming debates — even though he almost certainly could participate if he wanted to. It was his most definitive statement to date on a stance that has rankled his opponents, who chafe at his limitless war chest and feel he should have to endure the rigors of campaigning they do.”
“Bloomberg insisted he’d like to debate if the rules allowed. But the billionaire, a latecomer to the Democratic primary, reasoned it is inappropriate for someone of his wealth to ask supporters for cash.”
Politico: “Bloomberg has made a round of key state staff hires. He’s plowing millions of dollars each week into television ads. And over the next two weeks, 50 organizers will begin work at more than 20 regional campaign offices across the state. The blitz is part of Bloomberg’s unconventional, skip-the-early-states strategy, which puts its focus — and the candidate’s ample supply of cash — on delegate-rich March primary states, including Florida and its 219 delegates.”
Playbook: “Michael Bloomberg”s campaign operation has been reaching out to K Street figures to try and hire operatives with Senate and House experience to do Capitol Hill outreach for his presidential campaign. Sources familiar with the process say they are looking to move fast and are willing to pay significantly more than typical campaign salaries.”
Rep. Duncan Hunter (R-CA) will resign from Congress effective January 13, more than one month after the California Republican pleaded guilty to misusing campaign funds to finance several extramarital affairs, the Washington Post reports. Hunter will likely still receive his taxpayer-funded congressional pension despite pleading guilty to felony conspiracy for misusing campaign funds to finance multiple extramarital affairs, the San Diego Union-Tribune reports. He is to be sentenced March 17.
“President Trump’s reelection campaign is planning to drop $10 million to advertise during the Super Bowl, the start of a massive election-year spending spree that will intensify over the coming months,” Politico reports.
“The campaign has purchased 60 seconds of commercial time during the Feb. 2 Super Bowl, which is likely to be the most-watched television event of the year. The ad or ads — it’s unclear whether it will be a single 60-second spot or a pair of 30-second commercials — are expected to run early in the game, when viewership is likely to be at its highest.”
“Michael Bloomberg decided to one-up the president: It secured a 60-second spot that will air nationally during the game, an ad buy that will likely cost at least $10 million,” the New York Times reports. “The campaign added that the Super Bowl ad would be a new spot that would directly target Mr. Trump, rather than a biographical spot highlighting Mr. Bloomberg’s career.”
“Pete Buttigieg will begin airing four distinct ads in the early-nominating states on Tuesday, tailoring a message ranging from income inequality to his opposition to ‘Medicare for All’ to his support from black South Bend, Indiana, residents to audiences in Iowa, New Hampshire, Nevada and South Carolina,” CNN reports.
“The four ads — which roll out less than a month from when Iowans become the first to decide on the Democratic nominee — signal how the former South Bend, Indiana, mayor’s top aides believe different messages may work better in each early state, as opposed to one steadfast message from Buttigieg, who routinely sprinkles a host of issues into his standard stump speech.”
Washington Post: “Bloomberg, who is pumping millions of dollars into his entirely self-funded campaign, is running a single ad in 26 states that details where he stands in the health-care debate that has become a central issue in the Democratic primary. The ad, the only TV message Bloomberg is currently airing, is all about — you guessed it — health insurance.”
Politico: “The Democratic presidential debate stage is set to shrink again next week. Only five candidates so far have earned spots in the Jan. 14 CNN/Des Moines Register debate in Iowa: Joe Biden, Pete Buttigieg, Amy Klobuchar, Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren. Tom Steyer, Andrew Yang and Cory Booker will all watch from the sidelines unless they see polling surges before Friday’s deadline to qualify.”
DNC chairman Tom Perez said that the party would reschedule next week’s presidential primary debate in Iowa if the televised event conflicts with President Trump’s impeachment trial in the Senate, Politico reports.
Of the five White House candidates to have qualified thus far for the debate next Tuesday, three are senators: Amy Klobuchar, Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren.
What do we do? We mow them down like the terrorists they are.
“Pete Buttigieg’s presidential campaign filled less than half of the delegate slots for the four most diverse congressional districts in Illinois, a sign of how his campaign continues to struggle with Black and Latino voters,” the HuffPost reports.
“Finding a person to fill each slot — and collecting the 500 signatures necessary to put them on the ballot — is considered an early test of a campaign’s strength in the delegate-rich state, and supporters of Buttigieg’s rivals said his failure to fill the slots points to a potentially fatal weakness with voters of color.”
Jonathan Bernstein on picking a running mate now. “It’s simply not likely to win a lot of votes. Nomination voters are picking a nominee, not a ticket. The reason that Castro is available as a potential running mate, along with two dozen other hopefuls who dropped out either before or after formally declaring their candidacies, is that they all failed to win enough support to continue their campaigns. They simply don’t command votes to supply to the top of the ticket.”
“There’s more, however. One of the problems with having a vice-presidential nominee during primaries and caucuses is that it opens up new lines of attack… And nomination voters are more likely than general-election voters to be sensitive to small differences in policy preferences. General-election voters, after all, mostly vote based on party. Voters in primaries are looking for ways to sort through and eliminate candidates, and a bad vote or action in a running mate’s past could supply an easy way to narrow the field.”
“By the way, a lot of this logic applies as well to the pundit fantasy that a nominee would name a cabinet during the campaign — another thing that might be appealing in the abstract, but wouldn’t help a candidate succeed.”
“President Trump’s re-election campaign is planning to hold a rally in Iowa in the days leading up to the state’s leadoff caucuses,” the Wall Street Journal reports.
“Mr. Trump is expected to appear in the state several days before the Feb.3 caucuses… A gathering would give the president the opportunity to frame his campaign message in what will be a key general election state, as well as counter Democrats flooding the area before the first voting of 2020.”