The Atlantic Politics & Policy Daily: White House Survival Guide

How White House aides survive the whims of the president. Plus, what is George P. Bush up to?

Pablo Martinez Monsivais / AP

What We’re Following Today

It’s Monday, April 15.

We messed up—our Friday newsletter had the wrong link to Elaina Plott’s profile of Ivanka Trump. Here’s the right one.

‣ Washington is on edge waiting for the Justice Department to release the Mueller report, expected to happen early this week. But, as The Atlantic reported last month, large parts of the report are expected to be redacted. The version made available to the public could be just a shell of the full report.

Here’s what else we’re watching:

The Other George Bush: You’d be forgiven for forgetting about George P. Bush, the latest in a long line of Bush-family politicians (and son of the former Florida governor Jeb). Compared to the rest of his establishment Republican family, he’s a political outsider: He alone endorsed Donald Trump for president. But he’s equally politically ambitious, reports Elaina Plott: “George P. Bush is running. For what? Probably governor of Texas. When? It’s too soon to say.”

Controlling the Narrative: The relationship between Donald Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin has been the subject of much speculation. Natasha Bertrand and Anna Nemtsova look to Russian media to answer the question of why the White House has allowed Russia to dictate the story lines of the two leaders’ relationship.

Survival Guide: Trump churns through senior aides more quickly than any other president in recent history, and the rate seems to be accelerating. Yet some longtime aides have managed to keep their jobs. How? Peter Nicholas lays out a survival guide for the Trump White House. “The keys: praising Trump, mastering skills that he values, and forging alliances in a rivalrous West Wing,” he explains. “If none of that works, plant yourself in front of a TV camera and impress the boss.”

Leaves of Grass: Walt Whitman was born 200 years ago, but his musings about democracy feel as pressing as ever. The Atlantic’s May issue explores the legacy of the poet who “never withdrew his hope that America could be a thriving nation not only for some, but for all of its people.”


The iconic Notre Dame Cathedral, in Paris, caught fire, heavily damaging the structure and destroying the iconic spire of the nearly 900-year-old building. (Francois Guillot / AFP / Getty)

Ideas From The Atlantic

Ilhan Omar’s Deeply American Message (Peter Beinart)
“Omar’s core argument was simple: We Muslims are not guests here. We are as American as everyone else and, thus, we should bring our full selves into the public square … Many Jews who have lived outside the United States will instinctively understand what she meant.” → Read on.

Democrats Are Falling Into the Ilhan Omar Trap (David Frum)
“Having promised not to ‘let him drive us apart’ from Omar, Democrats are now stuck with responsibility for the reckless things the representative from Minnesota says, not only about Jews, but about other issues, too.”  → Read on.

Discrimination’s Digital Frontier (Aaron Rieke and Corrine Yu)
“Even when advertisers do nothing wrong, Facebook can still perpetuate discrimination in housing, credit, and employment in deeper and more systematic ways.” → Read on.

Basing Laws on Nothing Is Easier Than Using Evidence (John List and Eszter Czibor)
“The problem isn’t just that relevant data are hard to come by. It’s also that the data we have are usually collected in one-off studies involving unrepresentative populations over short spans of time. The research community needs to define clearer standards for what makes useful evidence, and it must insist that experiments be designed accordingly.” → Read on.

Trump’s Unpardonable Challenge to the Constitution (Quinta Jurecic)
“It is hard to see how asking an official to violate the law, and promising a pardon to mitigate the risk of doing so, is consistent with a defense of the Constitution—not to mention the similar obligation the Constitution places on the president to ‘take care that the laws be faithfully executed.’” → Read on.

What Else We’re Reading

The Heart of Dixie Alley: Why Alabama Tornadoes Are the Deadliest in the Nation (Andrew J. Yawn, Montgomery Advertiser)
Trump’s Idea to Ship Illegal Immigrants to Sanctuary Cities Is Ridiculous and Wrong (David French, National Review)
The Insiders’ Guide to the Mueller Report (Darren Samuelsohn, Politico Magazine)
ICE Now Aided by ‘Enhanced’ Spy Powers (Betsy Woodruff, Daily Beast)

We’re always looking for ways to improve The Politics & Policy Daily. Comments, questions, typos, grievances and groans related to our puns? Let us know anytime here.

Were you forwarded this newsletter? Sign up for our daily politics email here. We have many other free email newsletters on a variety of other topics. Find the full list here.