The Atlantic Politics & Policy Daily: (Not Quite a) Lambslide

After a nail-biter election, Democrat Conor Lamb declared victory over Republican Rick Saccone in Pennsylvania’s 18th district.

Gene J. Puskar / AP

Today in 5 Lines

  • After a nail-biter election, Democrat Conor Lamb declared victory over Republican Rick Saccone in Pennsylvania’s 18th district. Lamb is up by roughly 600 votes, and most outlets have said the race is too close to call.

  • Attorney General Jeff Sessions is reportedly reviewing a recommendation to fire former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe, just days before he’s scheduled to retire.

  • CNBC contributor Larry Kudlow will replace Gary Cohn as the new director of the National Economic Council.

  • Hundreds of students across the country participated in a walkout to protest gun violence and commemorate the victims of the school shooting in Parkland, Florida, last month.

  • The United Kingdom will expel 23 Russian diplomats after a Russian-made nerve agent was used in an attack on a former spy and his daughter.

Today on The Atlantic

  • What Pennsylvania Means: Conor Lamb’s apparent victory in Pennsylvania’s special election suggests that Republicans can expect a stiffer challenge in some blue-collar districts, but will be most vulnerable in suburban white-collar districts. (Ronald Brownstein)

  • All the President’s Men: The White House, with the departure of Rex Tillerson, will become “more than ever the conniving and dishonest court of an unpredictable, ill-informed, and willful monarch,” writes Eliot A. Cohen.

  • ‘Enhanced Interrogation’: A 2014 Senate report details exactly what happened at the Thailand “black site” run by Gina Haspel, Trump’s pick for CIA director. (Annabelle Timsit)

  • Obama Is Partly to Blame: Adam Serwer explains why the former president bears some responsibility for Trump’s decision to appoint Gina Haspel to run the CIA.

Follow stories throughout the day with our Politics & Policy portal.


Chloe Appel, 15, of Gaithersburg, Maryland, center, and other students rally in front of the White House in Washington. Carolyn Kaster / AP

What We’re Reading

Her Time Is Up: House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi is both extremely unpopular and widely well-known—that’s why Democrats should get rid of her. (Walter Shapiro, The Guardian)

In Defense of Trump’s Decision: Firing Secretary of State Rex Tillerson was in the interest of national security, argues Hugh Hewitt: “Pompeo agrees with Trump’s priorities and understands that his job is to serve Trump’s agenda, not create one of his own.” (The Washington Post)

More Where That Came From: Democrat Conor Lamb’s narrow lead in last night’s special election in a Republican district is cause for concern for the GOP: The party has many more Conor Lambs. (Jonathan Chait, New York)

North Korea 101: Negotiating with North Korea is a good idea. But first, President Trump needs to understand the country he’s dealing with: a monstrous regime that “has been willing to starve its own people in the pursuit of nuclear weapons.” (Jonah Goldberg, National Review)


Photos of a Protest: On Wednesday, students across the U.S. participated in walkouts to protest gun violence. (Alan Taylor, The Atlantic)

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-Written by Elaine Godfrey (@elainejgodfrey)